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Week 3 Heat Index: Emmanuel Sanders, Kendrick Bourne, Dalton Schultz (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Scott Youngson | @fantasymutant | Featured Writer
Sep 28, 2021

As usual, several unexpected players were on fire in Week 3. Are they for real, or are they one-week wonders? That’s what we’re trying to figure out with the Heat Index, where we’ll rank them on a scale of πŸ”₯-to-πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯. Below are the guys who stood out the most during Week 3 — along with their stats and positional rank for the week (based on their Half-PPR ranking through Sunday’s games).

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Sam Darnold (QB – CAR)
Stat line: 23-34 passing for 304 yards, 2 rushing TDs
QB Rank: 5

Analysis: There’s no doubt that the two rushing touchdowns from last week were a bit of a fluke, but it’s worth noting that he has been pretty solid in all three games thus far. He has played well enough to warrant consideration as a bye-week streaming option, depending on his matchup. There are many quarterbacks in this situation, so you don’t need prioritize adding him.

Heat Index: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Wide Receivers

Emmanuel Sanders (WR – BUF)
Stat line: 5 catches on 6 targets for 94 yards and 2 TDs
WR Rank: 4

Analysis: Sanders didn’t do much in the way of scoring the first two weeks of the year, but Josh Allen had been throwing in his direction. The difference this week was that Sanders converted more of those targets into catches — and he scored two touchdowns in the process. His Air Yards are among the league leaders, so Allen is looking for him downfield. This renders him a bit of a boom-or-bust player, but he has major upside.

Heat Index: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Kendrick Bourne (WR – NE)
Stat line: 6 catches on 8 targets for 96 yards and a TD
WR Rank: 9

Analysis: Bourne has pretty clearly established himself as the Patriots’ third-string wide receiver behind Jakobi MeyersΒ and Nelson Agholor. During Weeks 1 and 2, Bourne was on the field for 33 and 30 snaps, respectively. But on Sunday, with the Patriots trailing for most of the game, he played on 55 as New England had to run more three-receiver sets. The Patriots probably don’t want to play this way, but when it does happen, Bourne has some deep league appeal by virtue of his talent. Next week the Pats will face the Bucs, so it could be another decent game for him.

Heat Index: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Hunter Renfrow (WR – LV)
Stat line: 5 catches on 6 targets for 77 yards and a TD
WR Rank:Β 12

Analysis: Like Bourne, Renfrow is the third wide receiver on his team. Unlike Bourne, Renfrow is regularly on the field and has been targeted at least six times in every game. He ranks second on the team in total targets this year behind Darren Waller. He scored Sunday, but that doesn’t happen too often, as his size doesn’t lend itself to plays near the goal line. He has decent flex appeal in PPR leagues as the Raiders are second in the league in passing attempts through three games.

Heat Index: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Running Backs

Peyton Barber (RB – LV)
Stat-line: 111 yards rushing on 23 attempts and a TD, 3 catches on 5 targets for 31 yards
RB Rank:Β 3

Analysis: With Josh Jacobs sidelined for the second straight week with an ankle injury, Barber stepped into his place and had the best game by a Raiders running back this season. Most people assumed Kenyan Drake would get most of the work with Jacobs sidelined, but that didn’t prove to be the case Sunday. Barber out-snapped Drake 57% to 43%. This didn’t happen last week against Pittsburgh, so Barber seems to have earned more of Jon Gruden’s favor.

Heat Index: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ while Josh Jacobs is sidelined, otherwise πŸ”₯

Zack Moss (RB – BUF)
Stat line: 60 yards rushing on 13 attempts, 3 catches on 3 targets for 31 yards and a TD
RB Rank: 12

Analysis: After being inactive for Week 1, Moss has strung together a pair of solid games. However, the Bills are alternating him with Devin Singletary, so the game script may determine who has the better day. What is encouraging for Moss is that he is getting a few more looks in the passing game. After getting only 18 targets in 13 games last year, he has five already. This trend will increase his value if it continues.

Heat Index: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Honorable mention: Alexander Mattison (RB – MIN) had a great game stepping in for the injured Dalvin Cook. But you already knew he was of the league’s best handcuffs…

Tight Ends

Tyler Conklin (TE – MIN)
Stat line: 7 catches on 8 targets for 70 yards and a TD
TE Rank: 1

Analysis: Conklin has worked as Minnesota’s primary tight end since Irv Smith went down. He was relatively quiet the first two weeks from a fantasy perspective, but he showed up in a big way in Week 3 with seven catches and a touchdown. He should remain the fourth or fifth option behind Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, the running backs, and sometimes K.J. Osborn. However, he is relevant enough for you to use him as a bye-week streamer in the right matchup.

Heat Index: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Monday Night Bonus: Dalton Schultz (TE – DAL)
Stat line: 6 catches on 7 targets for 80 yards and 2 TDs
TE Rank: Will overtake Conklin for the TE1 spot.

Analysis: After a solid Week 1, Schultz was quiet in Week 2 — along with most of Dallas’ pass-catchers. That said, Schultz just led the Cowboys’ passing attack in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns on Monday night. It seems safe to say that he has created some distance between himself and Blake Jarwin as the tight end to roster in Dallas. He has also played himself into the conversation as a potential starter in most leagues — he now ranks in the top-10 for receptions among all tight ends.

Heat Index: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

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Scott Youngson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Scott, check out his archiveΒ and follow himΒ @FantasyMutant.

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