Every week, you look at your bench and you see a player who had a great week. Sadly, you never start this player and you are just like, “C’MON DEVONTA! FOZZY WHITTAKER OUTSCORED YOU!” Or maybe not. Devonta let me down…. Anyway, don’t you just wish somehow you could know who would do great the week before? Well, we don’t consider ourselves fortune tellers here at Chicago Sports Daily but we do our best. These key players aren’t necessarily the Antonio Browns of the league, but they can make a key difference for your team. See what we did there. These are our picks for the top key players for week 3:
Drew Brees, Saints QB- Drew Brees and home games are a fantasy owner's dream. In 2015 Drew Brees threw for about 800 more yards at home, 14 more touchdowns, and had 46 more completions. To top it all off, Brees is playing against the Atlanta Falcons, who have let up a total of 59 points between weeks 1 and 2. This week should be a Brees for Drew.
Marcus Mariota, Titans QB- Marcus Mariota? We only know him as Mr. Consistency. He scored 16.7 in week 1 and week 2 (in decimal leagues). In week 2 he really started taking advantage of his TE, Delanie Walker. We see him doing a lot of that this week. Oakland is one of the worst pass defenses so far this year but more importantly, a way better rushing defense than pass defense. This will cause the Titans offense to rely less on DeMarco Murray and more on Mariota, which equals more points for Mariota owners. Expect a strong outing from Mariota.
Andrew Luck, Colts QB- We think you can get very Lucky if you start Andrew this week. Ha! Get it? No? Anyway, last week was a rough matchup for Luck and the Colts going against a very strong Denver defense. Of course, Luck isn’t going to have an amazing game against the defense that won Denver the Superbowl. However, the former pro-bowler may be able to avenge his last outing against a weak San Diego pass defense that got torched by Alex Smith and Blake Bortles.
Melvin Gordon, Chargers RB- Without Danny Woodhead to take some of his carries, there are no limits on Melvin Gordon’s abilities. He has scored at least one touchdown in each of his games and he ran for over 100 yards without Woodhead in week 2. The Chargers did sign Dexter McCluster who could be a threat to Gordon’s carries but we wouldn’t worry about it. To top it all off, the Chargers are playing the Colts, who have let up 3 touchdowns rushing (second-most in the NFL) and 250 yards (fourth-most in the NFL). Expect big things from Melvin Gordon in week 3.
Matt Forte, Jets RB- Dear Chicago, what were you thinking? First Marshall and now Forte. Shortly after being traded to the Jets, Forte is already torching every team he’s playing and is averaging 26 touches a game. This week, against a struggling Chiefs defense that has let up on average 125 yards to the opposing run, we expect him to be a top 3 fantasy RB.
Theo Riddick, Lions, RB- It’s always a shame when a player gets injured and can’t continue a season. However, since this injury did occur and since Ameer Abdullah is out for the season, someone needs to fill the Lions backfield. Who? Why, of course, Theo Riddick. In week one he averaged almost 6.5 yards per carry and hauled in 5 catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. Even though he dropped from 22 points in week 1 to 5 points in week 2 (standard scoring), we think that the loss of splits with Abdullah will lead to Riddick becoming a solid RB2 in standard scoring leagues and an RB1 in PPR leagues.
Quincy Enunwa, Jets WR- Some of you reading this may be asking yourself...Who? Even though averaging 10 points between the first two weeks (16.5 PPR), Quincy Enunwa is only owned in 34.8% of leagues on ESPN. Even though this number has jumped a whopping 30.6% since Week 1, Enunwa is still very undervalued. Additionally, Jet’s WR1 Brandon Marshall and WR2 Eric Decker are both questionable for the upcoming matchup against the struggling Chiefs defense (who have surrendered the 12th most fantasy points to receivers since the start of last season). Enunwa is a strong flex option or even WR2 for week 3.
Mike Wallace, Ravens WR- After seven seasons and four different teams in the NFL, Mike Wallace is still putting up big numbers. Between the first two weeks, Wallace has 7 receptions for 132 yards and 3 touchdowns. These 3 touchdowns account for all Ravens touchdowns so far this season. Wallace is looking better than ever and has no signs of slowing down.
Doug Baldwin, Seahawks WR- When we think Doug Baldwin this year, we think of his week 1 against the Dolphins. When Doug scored a touchdown with 94 yards and 9 receptions. To all fantasy owners who have him: erase week 2 from your mind. He left the game early from an injury and was very limited. Going against a very weak San Francisco Defense and with a fully healthy Russell Wilson, expect bigger numbers similar to week 1.
Delanie Walker, Titans TE- As we said before, we love Marcus Mariota this week and with that, we love Delanie Walker. Delanie Walker his Mariota’s favorite target. He is currently the fourth best TE in fantasy football. With the number of targets and receptions Walker gets, he has what it takes to deliver a high TE1 performance in all league types.
Gary Barnidge, Browns TE- The Browns are a mess. RG3 is out, Corey Coleman is out, and Josh McCown, who had a decent game against the Ravens, is out. Gary Barnidge, a TE who we thought would be great already, also hasn’t been performing well. We think this is his time to shine. Cody Kessler knows Gary Barnidge is one of the best players out there and will be targeting him a lot. We think Kessler will be looking at Barnidge a lot, especially on the short passes. We think this week will be Barnidge’s week to show how good he really is, especially in PPR leagues.
-Jeremy Langsam and Sammy Fourlas