Week 3: Fantasy Football Pickups
There's currently only three options for your team; undefeated, winless, or .500. That's not a bad thing. No one's season is over after two weeks, but you're starting to see trends and weaknesses on your team. This is the time to pay attention and make some pickups. Here are some hot grabs for this week.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Has "Johnny Football" figured out how to play at an NFL level? That is still undetermined, as he had some success while still not being very efficient. Manziel is going to be the hot quarterback pickup of the week. In two QB leagues, unlimited roster leagues and even dynasty leagues, he makes sense as a waiver wire grab.
Despite two straight consistent performances where he threw for nearly 200 yards (172 and 182 respectively) and has only thrown one INT thus far, Manziel still has some numbers to be alarmed about. In Week 1 he completed only 54 percent of his passes and only 53 percent in Week 2. So his numbers and "success" are somewhat of a mirage. Also, his first two opponents had the 24th and 20th-ranked pass defenses, respectively. So, while I condone grabbing Manziel in some situations and leagues, I do not condone starting him unless you have absolutely have to.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
A changing of the guard is slowly under way in Washington. The Redskins, on the backs of a surprisingly tough defense (add them to your waiver wire queue as well), have found a way to be competitive. They have a two-headed rushing attack with steady Alfred Morris and emerging rookie Matt Jones. Morris is the picture of steady (but uninspiring) production with a three-year average of 1,320 rushing yards and nine TDs. His output has been slowly declining over the last three years, but not to the point where he's not considered an every week starter.
However, after Week 2 that may be changing. Jones saw more touches than Morris and had a monster performance. Jones is the guy to target should he still reside on your waiver wire. In Week 2, he had 19 carries, 123 yards and two TDs. Redskins' head coach Jay Gruden specifically mentioned his yards-after-contact as a key to Washington winning the game. Yards-after-contact is a very distinguishing aspect of a solid running back in the NFL. In college last year at Florida, Jones led the team with 23 broken tackles and 245 yards after contact.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
The writing was on the wall for McCluster to step into a bigger role if you truly watched what was going on in Tennessee. Although no one could've predicted his 10-rush, 98-yard performance in Week 2. Despite a big week from Bishop Sankey last week, his coaching staff has never truly believed in him. Sankey ran 12 times for 42 yards in Week 2, for a pedestrian 3.5 YPC. He also dropped both passes thrown his way, while McCluster added 4 catches for 26 yards. The backfield of the Titans is a mess. Terrance West who was acquired before the start of the season had a key fumble (something he has the history of doing) and likely is in the dog house because of it. While Sankey may still be the starter, McCluster could be a decent stash in PPR formats, but is certainly not someone to go all in on, or drop a major player to get.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Okay, Travis, the Fantasy world is now paying attention. When you record stats that are uttered in the same breath as Jim Brown's, that warrants some head turning. Benjamin is the first NFL player, since Jim Brown, to score four TDs of 50 yards or more in the first two games of a season. Note, Benjamin is not without flaws. Boom or bust guys like Benjamin can really disappoint at times.
He only has seven total receptions on the year and two of his TDs have come on special teams, so if your league does not reward individual special teams stats, then Benjamin has less value. However, I'm confident in saying that Benjamin should now be owned in every league and in every format after two huge games, showing off the 25-year-old's amazing, and to this point, untapped talent. The Josh Gordon comparisons are legitimate and if he's only part of what Gordon was, then all Fantasy owners should take notice.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Paying close attention to our experts at SCOUT can pay huge dividends. Since early September, we've told you that Matthews, not Kenny Stills would be the starter alongside Jarvis Landry. We also noted that once DeVante Parker is fully healthy, Matthews would move to the Dolphins' third wide receiver spot.
In two weeks, Matthews has been targeted 13 times, has a 100-yard receiving game and a red zone TD. Look for more about Matthews in my Stockwatch column later this week, as I'll address his current and long-term value. Here's a hint: his short-term value is good. Long-term, we will see if Matthews can keep it up. He's never had more than 41 catches or more than two TDs in a season, so he may be over performing. Or now that the Dolphins are finally giving him the opportunities, and the targets, he could just be shining.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Our own Dr. Roto has been hyping Gillmore as a sleeper since before the season started. Dr. Roto was not buying the Maxx Williams hype and instead saw the value of the six-foot-six Gillmore as the impact tight end on the Ravens. Gilmore has 10 targets already, and in Week 2, he pulled in two TDs against the Raiders. Gilmore may not be the down-the-road solution for the Ravens (Williams still has decent long-term value), but for now, he should be owned in most leagues, at least as a backup. In tight end heavy leagues, Gillmore makes for a sneaky play in Week 3 against the Bengals, whose linebackers are the weakest part of their defense.
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