So, you’re trying to earn some extra points in your fantasy lineups I see.
I see you being sneaky, coming to a place looking for possible waiver wire adds, a case to play someone you’re unsure about over another, or simply seeing if it’s worth taking a risk on a guy that on first glance makes your opponents go “wtf”, because they don’t have the insight you have.
You know me from my 2019 “Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em’s” on Full Press Coverage, but this season, I’m taking on a new task – rolling with a completely sleeper article.
If you’re new to mine or FPC’s fantasy content, I just celebrated my first full year on the most successful podcast at FPC: The Full Press Fantasy Pod. My 2019 fantasy articles got thousands of views most weeks and I specialize in deep NFL offensive player analysis, both here and on the podcast. This is also my 13th year playing fantasy football.
Before we get to week three, let’s take a look at the stat lines from my under the radar sleepers from week two (based on non-PPR):
Justin Herbert: 20-for-34, 264 yards, 4 TDs = 38 points (yeah buddy I had him as my top QB sleeper and he led me to a blowout victory)
Ryan Fitzpatrick: 22-for-28, 350 yards, 3 TDs = 37.1 points
Kirk Cousins: 27-for-39, 249 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT = 21.6 points
Damien Harris: Didn’t play, game rescheduled due to COVID-19 (I did note replacements)
D’Ernest Johnson: 8 carries, 32 yards, 1 reception, 4 yards = 3.6 points (yes this one hurts)
Devonta Freeman: 17 carries, 60 yards, 1 TD, 2 catches, 27 yards = 14.7 points (you thought I was crazy when reading this, but he helped win me a matchup by three points)
Antonio Gibson: 11 carries, 27 yards, 5 catches, 24 yards = 5.1 points
D.J. Moore: 4 catches, 93 yards, 1 TD = 15.3 points
Justin Jefferson: 3 catches, 23 yards = 2.3 points
Darius Slayton: 8 catches, 129 yards = 12.9 points
Jamison Crowder: 8 catches, 116 yards, 1 TD = 17.8 points
Laviska Shenalut Jr.: 7 catches, 79 yards = 7.9 points
Mo Alie-Cox: 0 catches, 0 yards = 0 points (Got injured, also out week 6)
Ian Thomas: 0 catches, 0 yards = 0 points (ouch)
Dalton Schultz: 1 catch, 6 yards = 1.6 points (also ouch)
Evan Engram: 1 catch, 16 yards, rushing TD = 8.5 points
So as long as you didn’t listen to my tight end advice you’re probably back again for week six. Two catches from four choices combined? We’ll work on that this week.
1) Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami vs New York Jets
I have to do it. Miami is at home and playing a winless Jets team that’s rolling with Joe Flacco at QB, Frank Gore at RB, one decent wide receiver and a bunch of no-names in the secondary. In three out of his last four games he has scored at least 28 fantasy points and hasn’t dropped under 20. Fitzy also has three games of more than 300 yards passing and New York has already given up two 300-yard games this season. Miami should get up early, making the bulk of his work come sooner rather than later, but he should do enough to sustain a solid fantasy day. If the game is close, he’ll do even better with how open I expect Miami’s receivers should be.
2) Matthew Stafford, Detroit @ Jacksonville
I want it to be known that in the FPC Fantasy Pod series of tiering, I put Stafford in tier two of the QB episode. That was two tiers higher than my co-hosts, but I convinced them he’s one of the most under-valued, high-fantasy-point achieving QBs in the league. I’ve reaped the benefits of him on my 5-0 team so far with the FPC boys, but the consensus of percentage owned ratioed to percentage started is still disrespectful.
Stafford is playing Jacksonville who has allowed 659 combined passing yards between Deshaun Watson and Joe Burrow. The Jaguars have also swapped 300-yard games and multi-TD games with opposing QBs this year and Stafford fits right in. Stafford is averaging 250 yards and two TDs per game this season and has scored mid-20s for fantasy points all season, as well as a 30-pointer in his last outing against the New Orleans Saints.
3) Andy Dalton, Dallas vs Arizona
Why not? He’s available unless you’re in dynasty. Arizona will be without position Chandler Jones which is a huge loss to it and its already weak secondary. Jimmy Garoppolo, Stafford and Teddy Bridgewater have all had at least 250 yards passing against the Cardinals. The only QBs Arizona was able to limit were Dwayne Haskins and Joe Flacco, and if you ask me, Dalton is much better right now than those two at their stages of their careers. Dalton also has weapons in the receiving corps and on the ground and it’s not like he hasn’t led an NFL team for a decade already in his career.
1) Damien Harris, New England vs Denver
This game has been rescheduled to this week, giving Harris and the Patriots extra time to rest. I still feel the way I do about him as I did last week, so in case you missed it or need a refresher, Harris’ positives against Denver are below.
Ep 113: The Patriots And The AFC East
by Full Press Coverage on March 17, 2023 at 2:14 pm
I don’t think Denver is going to put up many points in this game and I expect New England to be ahead early and strive to run the ball to run out the clock. That bodes well for Harris as in his first game saw him rush for 100 yards. Harris has also leap-frogged the entire depth chart and is listed as the No. 1 back. I don’t know about you, but I’d pick up a starting back out of free agency even if he loses a few touches to his QB. Be cautious in PPR formats, as I don’t expect Harris to take pass-catching work away from RB James White and he could be slightly impeded by RB Rex Burkhead there too. Overall though, I’m looking at his groundwork potential and for pesky byes and injuries to RBs, Harris is a good option.
2) Devonta Freeman, New York Giants vs Washington
I started him last week in multiple leagues banking on him to find the end zone and get more touches. Well I’m going to play the lottery now because I was right. Freeman ticked up to 17 carries last week and recorded 60 yards off of them for a TD. I think that similar stat line is very possible again this week against Washington who has allowed six TDs alone to RBs in its last three games. RB Dion Lewis has also been pushed down to the No. 3 role and backup Wayne Gallman only comes in for change-of-pace downs. Until I see otherwise, Freeman is the guy in New York. I’m nervous he busts without a TD, but the amount Washington is allowing makes him unignorable again this week. I will be playing him again.
3) Myles Gaskin, Miami vs New York Giants
Gaskin has done something no one saw coming: being the lead back in Miami. He’s clearly hyped up about it, posting his highlight reel of the season so far on social media. After the Dolphins made now-third string back Jordan Howard inactive last week in favor of WR/kick returner Jakeem Grant, Gaskin saw the handoff from one-yard out and followed his blocks for the easy score. He had 21 total touches (16 carries) last week and should see similar volume Sunday against one of the worst teams in the league. New York has also allowed eight TDs to backs so far this season.
4) Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco
I’m tired of blaming injuries for why San Francisco loses. The Dolphins kicked their @$$ last week and it wasn’t even close, while the 49ers’ only wins this season have come against both New York teams. The Rams are a surprising 4-1 and San Francisco hasn’t won at home yet this season (0-3). Akers’ rib injury has seemed to have subsided and head coach Sean McVay said in his postgame that Akers is going to get more involved again going forward. If Gaskin, who is practically a rookie in terms of NFL-usage, Akers has the same floor and ceiling. I think fellow RBs Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown still work into a committee-like feel, but it seems like to me McVay wants to premiere Akers. I also think Los Angeles has more receiving threats than Miami, drawing more 49ers out of the box giving Akers more room to run.
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1) Tim Patrick, Denver @ New England
Patrick has silently moved into the No. 2 WR role in Denver and will benefit more this week with WR K.J. Hamler out (hamstring). He has scored in his last two games and broke the 100-yard plateau last week against the Jets. Patrick was also targeted the most he has been last game (seven) and hauled in six of them. I think Denver will be playing from behind in this game and will need to rely on wideouts even more now that RB Melvin Gordon may miss the game for a DUI. Patriot CB Stephon Gilmore may also miss the game, opening up bigger days for both he and WR Jerry Jeudy.
2) Marquise Brown, Baltimore @ Philadelphia
The Ravens may not get to run all over Philadelphia and could trade scores depending on how the Eagles can use their run-pass option. Despite all its injuries, Philadelphia is having a couple players step out of the woodwork in the receiving game and Miles Sanders showed again last week that he’s capable of making big runs. I think Baltimore will need to use more than tight end Mark Andrews in the red zone and if it turns to the air the next option will be Brown. I do think Brown needs a TD to not bust, but I think the possible game script puts him in a position to score.
3) Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville vs Detroit
The over/under in this game is currently 54.5 and that makes sense. This could easily be one of the highest scoring games of the week and I almost made QB Gardner Minshew a sleeper, but I like Stafford more and WR D.J. Chark might miss the game. Shenault Jr. had the most targets and catches of his NFL career last week and I expect him to be looked at more than eight times especially if Chark is out. In non-PPR leagues he hasn’t been in double digits since week one where his only TD was, and I think he should’ve found the end zone last week. I don’t think the Jaguars make that same mistake this week.
1) Irv Smith, Minnesota vs Atlanta
Smith has a great matchup this week as the Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points to TEs this season. Something is wrong in Atlanta with not only the front office, but the communication between players on the field. Having head coach Dan Quinn fired this week can’t help that. Smith is also coming off of his best game this season of four catches for 64 yards. I would’ve liked to see him score last weekend to make me feel better about this week but I still like the matchup and by the looks of leagues, he’s available.
2) T.J. Hockenson, Detroit @ Jacksonville
The target shares are there for Hockenson but he needs to do a better job at hauling them in. I like him this week as a low-end sleeper because of the Jaguars’ poor defense against TEs. They gave up a score last week and Hockenson has two in four games this season. Hockenson has also averaged double-digit yards per reception in three of four games and should have decent yardage again this week. He likely busts unless he scores, but that’s like most TEs, but Hockenson has a better chance to do so then a lot of other TEs this week.
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