Week 3 Fantasy: Heroes and Villains

Week 3 of the fantasy football season is in the books. Fortunately, this week didn’t result in the same number of injuries as there were last week. I hope you won in your leagues this week… unless I was your opponent!

Let’s take a look at the heroes who led your team to victory this week, and also acknowledge the villains who let your team down.

HEROES

Photo Credit: BuffaloBills.com
  • Josh Allen: Quarterbacks like the Buffalo BillsJosh Allen are the reason why I don’t advocate taking a quarterback early in fantasy football drafts. Commonly drafted in the ninth round or later, he is on a serious tear to start the season. Allen has outscored every quarterback in fantasy except for one (and it’s not Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes, either). He faced more resistance this week against a Los Angeles Rams defense that had given up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks coming into the game. But, it didn’t matter, because Allen carved up that defense to the tune of 311 yards, four touchdowns, and had a completion percentage of 72%. He wasn’t perfect by any means; he did throw his first interception this season and lost his third fumble. However, all of his fantasy owners can tolerate that this week, given that he had 31 fantasy points. Josh Allen is a must-start as the Bills travel to Sin City to take on the Las Vegas Raiders.
  • Rex Burkhead: A player very scarcely rostered in fantasy leagues, New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead had a huge game on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. With James White out again, Burkhead made the most of his opportunity, catching seven of his team-leading 10 targets on the day, 98 yards from scrimmage, and three touchdowns. This kind of fantasy performance reminds me of WIll Fuller’s 51-point performance against the Atlanta Falcons last season. I wouldn’t rely on Burkhead for consistent production for the rest of the fantasy season. When James White returns, figuring out who will produce in the Patriots’ backfield will like figuring out where to go to dinner with your wife. Enjoy the points for now.
  • Jimmy Graham: A largely forgotten name in fantasy football since he left the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham had a throwback performance against the Atlanta Falcons. In a favorable match-up against a weak Falcons defense, Graham took advantage. He caught 6-of-10 targets for 60 yards and two touchdowns, finishing as the highest-scoring tight end this week. His 10 targets were second on the team behind Allen Robinson. Graham was only started in 3.6% of fantasy football leagues, and is currently rostered in 13.6% of fantasy football leagues. Now that Nick Foles is under center, Graham is worth rostering in fantasy leagues. However, I wouldn’t advise starting him this week, as he has a disadvantageous match-up looming against the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Tyler Lockett: A wide receiver who has been underrated by fans and NFL media alike, Tyler Lockett is producing at a very high level again this season. By catching 9-of-13 targets for 100 yards and three touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys, he’s demonstrating why his peers respect his game. The Seahawks travel to South Florida to take on the Miami Dolphins next Sunday.
  • Colts D/ST: What?! Listing a defense as a hero this week? Absolutely. The Indianapolis Colts D/ST scored an absurd 27 points this week, resulting in the most points scored by a defense this week. Scoring as many fantasy points as Derrick Henry this week, the Colts took advantage of an offense that is, quite frankly, offensive to watch. The Colts sacked New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold twice, intercepted him three times (including two pick-sixes), and gave up a stingy 4.3 yards per play. Whoever plays against the Jets in a given week, that defense is a must-start. Previously a much more advantageous match-up, the Colts travel to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Bears next Sunday.

VILLAINS

Photo Credit: Bengals.com
  • Joe Mixon: Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon has been a massive disappointment for fantasy owners, scoring single-digit fantasy points in two-of-three games this season. It was more of the same against the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, as Mixon had 17 carries for 49 yards and caught two-of-three targets for 16 yards. The volume has been there for quality production, but Mixon has failed to deliver. Until he gets an especially favorable match-up, I would advocate leaving Mixon on your bench. The Bengals host the Jacksonville Jaguars next.
  • Kenyan Drake: Another disappointing running back drafted early in fantasy leagues, Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake failed to take advantage of a great match-up against the Detroit Lions. Against a defense that gave up the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs, he produced 18 carries for 73 yards and one catch for six yards. Though he’s been an utter disappointment so far, next week’s match-up against the Carolina Panthers should result in a much better showing for Drake.
  • T.Y. Hilton: Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has been arguably the worst receiver drafted in the first 4-5 rounds of fantasy football leagues this year. He has failed to post more than single-digit fantasy points in a game this season. Against the New York Jets, it was more of the same, as he had three catches for 52 yards. Fantasy football owners have to wonder if there are any Colts receivers worth owning in leagues this season, because the Colts offense has gone exclusively through the running backs. Even with a slightly difficult match-up against Chicago Bears next Sunday, I can’t advocate for anyone to start T.Y. Hilton.
  • Darren Waller: Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller was effectively shut down against the New England Patriots. Coming off of a huge game against the New Orleans Saints, Waller’s fantasy owners expected more production from the Pro Bowl tight end. However, this was not the case, as Waller caught two-of-four targets for only nine yards. Waller will have better days for fantasy football owners. With an advantageous match-up against the Buffalo Bills next Sunday, Waller should bounce back.
  • Daniel Jones: Full disclosure, I listed New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones as someone I would play this week against the San Francisco 49ers. That was a mistake, as Jones was the second-worst starting quarterback in fantasy football this week. The 49ers effectively shut him down, only allowing him 179 yards through the air, an interception, a fumble lost, and 49 yards rushing. Yikes. Jones has been a disaster this season so far. With a trip out west to take on the Los Angeles Rams next, I expect he will continue to be a disaster. Keep Jones on your bench if you haven’t cut him already.

HERCULEAN EFFORT OF THE WEEK

Photo Credit: Seahawks.com
  • Russell Wilson: The Seattle Seahawks star quarterback has had a sensational start to the season. This week against the Dallas Cowboys was no different. Russell Wilson’s 315 yards through the air, 22 yards on the ground, and five touchdowns resulted in Wilson being the QB1 for the week; edging out Josh Allen. Wilson is currently the highest-scoring quarterback in fantasy football this season, and remains a must-start in all leagues. Wilson has a favorable match-up looming against the Miami Dolphins.
Photo Credit: NewOrleansSaints.com
  • Alvin Kamara: Have a day, Alvin Kamara. The New Orleans Saints running back has proven himself worthy of his contract extension signed right before the season began. Against the Green Bay Packers, Kamara’s performance resulted in six carries for 58 yards, and caught a whopping 13-of-14 targets for 139 yards and two touchdowns. The increased receiving volume can be attributed to wide receiver Michael Thomas being out again this week. Kamara is the third player this season to put up over 40 fantasy points in a game. His 44 fantasy points were the most of any player this season. The Saints travel up to the Motor City to take on the Detroit Lions.

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