5 Things We Learned in Week 3
Following a crazy Week 2 that included several breakout performances and a few more surprise disappointments, Week 3 brought more of the same. After Week 3, there will be several waiver claims to replace star players with injuries and to pick up those aforementioned breakout stars. With that in mind, here are five things we learned in Week 3.
Tyrod Taylor is a legit fantasy QB
After another impressive showing, Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor looks to be the real deal. In a blowout of the Dolphins on Sunday, Taylor finished going 21-of-29 for 277 yards and three touchdowns. He also added three rushes for 12 yards. Coming into the season, after head coach Rex Ryan named him the starter, no one knew what to expect from Taylor. However, with three games in the books, Taylor looks to be a solid option for your fantasy squad. His rushing ability adds to his value even more, as he has averaged 32 rushing yards per game this season. With the number of injuries hitting the QB position right now (more on that in a bit), it’s never a bad idea to have a solid backup option on your bench. If Taylor is still available in your league, he will definitely be worth the waiver claim this week.
Lance Dunbar has emerged as a solid FLEX option
Another uncertain situation coming into the season was how the Cowboys backfield would shake out after losing Demarco Murray to the Eagles. After a huge game by Joseph Randle (14 carries, 37 yards, three touchdowns), it looks like he has won the battle as the main back in Dallas. However, there is another running back on the roster that has value; Lance Dunbar. The other Dallas back also had a huge day, but in a far different way, catching ten passes for 100 yards on Sunday. While Dunbar has only gotten two carries for 13 yards on the season, he’s amassed 21 catches for 215 yards and he was clearly the main target for Brandon Weeden on Sunday. Dunbar has yet to find the end zone this season, but he can be very valuable in a PPR league, especially while Dez Bryant is still out. If you’re looking for help in your fantasy backfield, Dunbar may be an unconventional yet solid addition to your squad.
A.J. Green shows his elite WR1 status
After a slow start to the season (by his standards), AJ Green showed everyone why he deserved his high draft pick and his elite WR1 status on Sunday. In a big win versus division opponent Baltimore, Green finished with 10 catches for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Green’s huge day likely pushed his owners to wins in Week 3, and it looks like Green is just getting started. Following an average of only 54 receiving yards in the first two weeks, the Cincinnati wide out looks to have synced up with QB Andy Dalton in Week 3. If the two of them can keep the chemistry going in the upcoming weeks, Green will likely continue to torch defensive backfields as he did on Sunday.
Devonta Freeman can carry the load in ATL
Similar to Dallas, Atlanta also had a murky situation in their backfield coming into the season. Tevin Coleman was named the starter going into Week 1 and, after two okay performances; Coleman was injured leaving the door open for second-year player Devonta Freeman. With that opportunity, Freeman looks to have made a solid claim to the starting job. Freeman had a huge day Sunday, in a win versus the Cowboys, with 30 carries for 141 yards and two touchdowns while adding five catches for 52 yards. While it’s unlikely Freeman is still available in your league (if he is, he’s worth the claim), owners will enjoy having him on their squad as it looks like he’ll remain the starter once Coleman returns. If Freeman can continue putting up numbers like he did Sunday, he’ll definitely be looked at to carry the load for Atlanta going forward.
Andy Dalton can be an injury fill-in for Ben Roethlisberger owners
As mentioned above, the quarterback position has been ravaged by injury this year. With Tony Romo and Drew Brees already out on Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger was the next victim as he left his game early with a knee injury. Initial reports have Roethlisberger out 4-6 weeks, which means if you own the Steelers QB in your league, you’ll be looking for a replacement. One such option could be Andy Dalton, who had a huge game Sunday and looks to off to a hot start on the season. Dalton finished Sunday going 20-of-32 for 383 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Outside of just Sunday, Dalton has put up solid numbers early this season as he has thrown for 866 yards and eight touchdowns with only that one interception. If you are a Romo, Brees or Roethlisberger owner, it might be worth it to look at Dalton as a fill in until your main QB returns. However, if Dalton keeps playing like he is, you may not need your other QB back to keep winning.