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9 Players the Top Experts Like in Week 3

Sep 25, 2015

C.J. Anderson will look to fly through the Lions defense Sunday to recapture his 2014 form

C.J. Anderson will look to fly through the Lions defense Sunday to recapture his 2014 form

Week 3 got off to a good start for those that started Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle. As for those who started a Redskins running back, you may need a bit of help from the rest of your players. That said, we’re here to help as much as we can.

We asked the top rated experts from last year to tell us why they like the players below more for Week 3 than our consensus rankings. There’s no reason to make any lineup mistakes for this weekend…

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Running Back

C.J. Anderson (RB – DEN)
Chet Gresham’s Rank: RB6 | Consensus Rank: RB14

“The Detroit Lions rush defense is allowing a good 3.9 yards per rushing attempt, but they are also allowing the second most attempts with 31.5 a game. That correlates to 122 rushing yards allowed per game to opposing running backs, which ranks third to last, or 29th if you switch things up for fun. They’re also giving up five receptions and 55.5 receiving yards per game to running backs for a total of 178.5 yards per game. And just think if Adrian Peterson hadn’t fumbled away some golden opportunities last week? These numbers could be even uglier. And this is all due to the Lions and their second to last ranking in time of possession. Matt Stafford is already banged up and their offense is sputtering and now they take on the No. 1 defense in the league. That should allow for C.J. Anderson to get things going as the Broncos offense wears the Lions defense down. And of course we have to worry about Anderson losing work to Ronnie Hillman, but it is obvious the coaching staff wants Anderson as their bell cow. You would think the speedy Hillman would have plenty of targets and receptions as he’s split time with C.J., but he has one target and no receptions to Anderson’s nine targets and five receptions. Hillman is good, but Gary Kubiak wants a between the tackles workhorse and they are going to give Anderson plenty of time to get things going.”
Chet Gresham (WalterFootball)

Danny Woodhead (RB – SD)
John Paulsen’s Rank: RB18 | Consensus Rank: RB26
“In Week 1, Woodhead posted 62 total yards and two touchdowns en route to the 6th-most fantasy points among running backs. In Week 2, he didn’t find the end zone, but still managed to gain 104 total yards on 13 touches, including six receptions. Those numbers were good enough to make him the No. 15 running back last week. In fact, when we remove his very first (three-touch) game with the Chargers and last year’s game against the Bills (when he was injured), Woody has averaged 12.2 touches for 64.9 yards and 0.52 touchdowns in 21 games as a Charger. Those are strong fantasy RB2 numbers in standard formats and low-end RB1 numbers in PPR leagues.”
John Paulsen (4for4.com)

Frank Gore (RB – IND)
Dawgmatica’s Rank: RB8 | Consensus Rank: RB15
“In order to be a successful fantasy football owner, one needs to understand what it means to have a ‘short memory’ when it comes to certain players… and Frank Gore is a prime example of that here in Week 3. Gore’s first two games as an Indianapolis Colt have been extremely forgettable, which is exactly what his owners need to do (forget them!) as I expect him to thoroughly shred this pillow-soft Titans rush D on Sunday. Tennessee allowed the second-most fantasy points to the running back position last season and while their numbers have been okay so far in 2015, they were put up against two bottom-feeding offenses (Tampa Bay and Cleveland). After starting out 0-2, the Colts need to right the ship and in order to do so, they’ll need to establish their run game first to set up the pass. Gore should see a good 20 touches or so because of it and put up his first RB1 fantasy numbers of the year.”
Dawgmatica (Pyromaniac)

Wide Receiver

Mike Evans (WR – TB)
Kevin Hanson’s Rank: WR10 | Consensus Rank: WR18
“Over the past 35 seasons, only three rookies — Randy Moss (1998), Odell Beckham (2014) and Evans (2014) — have exceeded 1,000 receiving yards with 12-plus touchdowns. Expectations were high going into his age-21 season, but a hamstring injury sidelined Evans in Week 1 and kept him on a snap count in Week 2. The good news is that Evans has stated that his snap count will be lifted for Week 3 in a game where the Bucs are TD underdogs, which should lead to more pass attempts this week. In addition, some of the other receivers in the same tier as Evans (based on my preseason rankings) have question marks — Alshon Jeffery ruled out, Jordan Matthews (visiting Revis Island?) and Brandin Cooks (Drew Brees ruled out), etc. Perhaps I’m a week early as he returns to health, but I love Evans’ skill set and expect a top-10 week from him.”
Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball)

Larry Fitzgerald (WR – ARI)
Sean Koerner’s Rank: WR8 | Consensus Rank: WR15
“Larry Fitzgerald has looked like his old self in the young season by completely dominating the opposing defense in each of the first 2 weeks. With Michael Floyd getting eased back into the offense, Carson Palmer has been relying on Fitzy even more. I see them continuing their hot streak this week against a 49ers defense that is no where near as dominant this year compared to the last several seasons.”
Sean Koerner (STATS)

Donte Moncrief (WR – IND)
Chet Gresham’s Rank: WR11 | Consensus Rank: WR24

“Moncrief finished with eight targets, catching seven of those for 122 yards and a touchdown last Monday night against the Jets. According to Pro Football Focus he ran 38 pass routes compared to 36 for T.Y. Hilton and 31 for Andre Johnson, while out-targeting each by one. On the year, Moncrief has 19 target compared to Hilton’s 21, but has 13 receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns compared to Hilton’s 133 yards and no touchdowns. And no, it isn’t completely fair comparing numbers since Hilton was hurt, but the efficiency is clearly in Moncrief’s corner so far this season. Football Outsiders ranks the Colts opponent this week, the Tennessee Titans as 14th against No. 1 receivers and 27th against No. 2 receivers. Moncrief is firmly entrenched in the No. 2 receiver spot now, as Andre Johnson’s ability has slipped. Travis Benjamin destroyed the Titans with big plays last week and Moncrief has big play ability along with one of the best ratings in RotoViz’s Adjusted Explosivity Index over the last 15 years. He’s a special talent that needs to be taken seriously this year in an offense that will let him flourish.”
Chet Gresham (WalterFootball)

Michael Crabtree (WR – OAK)
Sean Koerner’s Rank: WR17 | Consensus Rank: WR40
“Michael Crabtree seems to have revived his career in Oakland (for most players it’s the opposite) after a hot start to the 2015 season. With Amari Cooper likely to draw the attention of shut-down corner Joe Haden for most of the game, I look for Carr to find his safety-valve in Michael Crabtree early and often.”
Sean Koerner (STATS)

Jeremy Maclin (WR – KC)
Tozzi Brothers’ Rank: WR12 | Consensus Rank: WR20
“Maclin’s season through 2 weeks can be considered somewhat disappointing. Week 1 was a result of terrible game flow where KC built a big lead on the Texans early on. Week 2, Maclin faced top corner Chris Harris and an elite Denver Defense. Through the first 2 weeks, Maclin has looked extremely explosive, and heading into Green Bay Monday night, it’s likely the Chiefs will be playing from behind. We expect Maclin to see a majority of the “catch-up” targets against a Packers defense that has allowed an injured Alshon Jeffery to catch 5 balls for 78 yards on opening day and Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin to catch 7 balls for 92 yards and a TD in Week 2. There’s high upside with Maclin in Week 3.”
Tozzi Brothers (Legion Report)

Tight End

Eric Ebron (TE – DET)
Mike Clay’s Rank: TE7 | Consensus Rank: TE16
“Taking on Denver this week, I expect Detroit to be playing from behind quite often. We already know the Lions aren’t afraid to lean heavily on their passing game, but Denver’s talented secondary is going to make it tough for Matt Stafford to get the ball to Calvin Johnson and especially Golden Tate, who will be matched up with Chris Harris Jr. This is going to mean more work for Ebron, who has quietly seen a hefty 19 percent of the team’s targets and scored twice through two games. Ebron should be owned in all formats and makes for a fine TE1 play in Week 3.”
Mike Clay (Pro Football Focus)

Thank you to the experts for giving their picks for this weekend. For more from the experts, be sure to check out their profile pages and follow them on Twitter.

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