Week 3 fantasy football outlook

Gauntlet Editor-in-Chief Sully Maley gives you his advice on this week’s fantasy booms and busts (for PPR leagues).

Waiver Wire/Free Agency Pickups

Mike Davis, RB, CAR
Christian McCaffrey will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a high-ankle sprain. Davis scored 15.5 fantasy points on Sunday off eight receptions, a very attractive line for PPR leagues. He’s proven himself as a reliable pass-catching back in the past, and with CMC out, he could be a good pickup this week in the 99.2% of leagues where he is available.

Zach Pascal is a valuable pickup for any teams in need of a receiver. (Keith Allison)

Zach Pascal, WR, IND
Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich stated on Monday that Paris Campbell’s recent injury affected both his PCL and MCL, and that the receiver will miss multiple weeks. Pascal played 59 snaps in Sunday’s matchup with the Vikings, and should see an increased role in the next few weeks serving as Indy’s main receiver alongside Michael Pittman Jr.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, SF
With Tevin Coleman (knee) and Raheem Mostert (knee) both injured, McKinnon earned 13.7 fantasy points off just six touches in the 49ers win over the Jets. Jimmy Garropolo (ankle) is likely out for 2-3 weeks, so San Francisco will rely on their only healthy running back to lead the offense.

Drew Sample, TE, CIN
With CJ Uzomah (ankle) sidelined, Sample is now the #1 TE in Cincinnati. Sample put up 11.5 points in his first game in this role and will play the Eagles this week, who have averaged two touchdowns allowed per game to tight ends. Only rostered in 3.5% of leagues, Sample should be an easy pickup that could lead to big rewards.

Waiver Wire/Free Agency Cautions

Jordan Reed, TE, SF
George Kittle is expected to be back for week 3, so I wouldn’t put Reed at the top of your waiver list. His 24 points against the Jets will likely be a season-high.

Braxton Berrios, WR, NYJ
I was tempted to snag Berrios after I saw his 17.9 points against San Francisco, but given that he saw no production in Week 1 with Jamison Crowder healthy, Berrios seems like a one-hit-wonder with Crowder likely returning for week 3.


Week 3 Starts

Austin Ekeler, RB, LAC
Ekeler is averaging 14.3 fantasy points a game and hauled in four receptions Sunday in an 18.8 point performance against the chiefs. In week 3, he’ll play at home against a Carolina defense that has averaged 46 fantasy points allowed to running backs, giving up 27.6 to Leonard Fournette and 35.9 to Josh Jacobs.

Gardner Minshew, QB, JAC
Minshew is coming off of two straight 20+ point games against solid defenses to play Miami’s weak secondary at home. Expect a big game from the second-year QB.

Tyler Higbee, TE, LAR
Higbee comes off a three-touchdown game in Philadelphia on Sunday and heads off this week to play a Buffalo defense that’s struggled to contain tight ends in their first two weeks. Higbee should be poised for another great week after last week’s 28.4 point performance.

CeeDee Lamb, WR, DAL
Lamb has averaged 14.2 points in his first two NFL games and should have a field day Sunday against a Seattle defense that ranks 32nd in fantasy points allowed to receivers, giving up over 360 yards per game through the air.

Week 3 Cautions

Keenan Allen, WR, LAC
Allen has been a reliable fantasy scorer so far this year, but this week he faces a Carolina secondary that has yet to give up a touchdown to a wide receiver. Carolina’s run defense is very weak, and the Chargers are coming off a week 2 matchup with the chiefs which saw runningbacks Austin Ekeler and Joe Kelley combine for 32.1 points. Expect the Chargers to rely on the ground game this week.

Devonta Freeman/Dion Lewis, RB, NYG
Both of these guys were coveted waiver pickups this week with the announcement that Saquon Barkley (knee) would be out for the season. However, the Giants face a talented 49ers run defense, and the snap distribution for these two backs still has yet to be seen. If you’re in a pinch, Lewis is likely more reliable for week 3 given that Freeman will only have a few days of practice with his new squad. However, I’d wait another week or two before looking at the Giants backfield again.

Week 3 Sleepers

Mo-Alie Cox, TE, IND
Alie-Cox put up 16.1 points last week, hauling in 5 receptions for 111 yards. He did this against a Vikings defense that ranks in the top 10 for defending tight ends, and this week plays the Jets, who have already given up two touchdowns to the position.

Devin Singletary, RB, BUF
Singletary is averaging 10 points per game, and will play at home against the Rams, who are tenth in the league for fantasy points allowed to runningbacks. Singletary makes a solid flex candidate for week 3.

KJ Hamler, WR, DEN
Hamler has already averaged 8.7 points per game, and Denver’s beat-up WR corps should give him even more reps in week 3. Courtland Sutton has been ruled out for the season, and Jerry Jeudy was limited in practice yesterday due to a rib issue, so Hamler may end up in the WR1 role for the Broncos this week. He’s still available in about 97% of leagues, so picking him up for a possible flex role shouldn’t be difficult.