Week 3 Fantasy Football Sleepersby Christopher Gallagher September 24, 2021 1 comment
Already nearing the end of September, Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season is here. With chaos throughout the league during the opening two weeks, seven teams remain undefeated. Most shockingly, Jon Gruden’s Las Vegas Raiders sit atop the AFC West after their 26-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. Backed by stellar performances from their young defense, the Carolina Panthers continue to impress after dominating wins over the New Orleans Saints and last night’s Thursday Night Football victory in Houston.
We are back with our sleeper picks once again, after our selections delivered a week ago. Teddy Bridgewater passed for 328 yards and two scores, helping lead the Denver Broncos to a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Furthermore, JuJu Smith-Schuster hauled in six passes for 41 yards while adding a rushing score.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Quietly playing good football over the first two games of the season, Cousins has finished with at least 22 fantasy points in each week. He has finished as QB10 and QB6, respectively. Narrowly losing to the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, the 33-year-old signal-caller threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns in defeat. The former fourth-round pick also added in two carries for 35 yards.
Reverting back to their 2020 form after holding the Indianapolis Colts to just 16 points in Week 1, the Seahawks defense could not slow down Ryan Tannehill and company a week ago. The veteran signal-caller amassed 320 yards through the air, as the Seattle defense gave up over 530 total yards. With both teams passing attacks clicking on all cylinders to begin the season, start Cousins as a QB1 with the game looking to become a shootout early.
James Conner, Arizona Cardinals
Carving out carries in the Cardinals backfield through two weeks, Conner has amassed 24 attempts on the ground. Struggling to break away from opposing defenders, the 26-year-old has just 79 yards total while averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Additionally, after finding the end zone six times in 2020, the University of Pittsburgh alum has also failed to score a touchdown.
However, with a road matchup on deck in Week 3 against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, play him as a RB3 with upside. One of the worst defensive units in football, the Jaguars have allowed 128 yards per game to opposing running backs while allowing over 3.6 yards per attempt. Likely to become a blowout; look for Conner to get the bulk of the carries late in a positive game script.
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
Shepard has become the go-to guy for Daniel Jones in the Giants offense through the early part of the season. He leads all players on the team with 19 targets through two games. The 28-year-old has eclipsed the 90-yard receiving mark in both contests while averaging more than 13 yards per catch. Furthermore, he has also added two touchdowns.
With a game against the Atlanta Falcons coming on Sunday, look for Shepard to enjoy another strong contest. One of the worst pass defenses across the NFL, the Falcons have given up 260 yards per game through the air. In addition, they surrendered more than 28 fantasy points per game on average to opposing wide receivers. Currently rostered in 76% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues, Shepard has WR3 upside.
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns
Slow starting out of the gate to kick off his 2021 campaign, Hooper has hauled in just eight targets for 67 yards. Finishing as TE21 a year ago in PPR leagues, the veteran has begun to see his target share go towards David Njoku. Hoping to turn the corner this week against the Chicago Bears, we’re gonna take a gamble with this pick and say play Hooper as a TE2.
Placing wide receiver Jarvis Landry on the IR with an MCL sprain, the Browns pass-catchers remain banged up. The team remains the league leader in tight end target percentage, with over 45 percent of their snaps going towards the position. Even with Odell Beckham Jr returning after ACL surgery, the volume will be there for the 26-year-old to have a big week.
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
One of the season’s best stories to date for fantasy managers, Moore currently leads all rookie wideouts with 182 receiving yards. Along with this, the 2021 second-round pick has averaged over 13.9 yards per target. Ranked as WR19, the former Boilermaker trails only Deebo Samuel in yards after the catch with 155. In a Week 3 matchup with the Jaguars, stream him as a Flex/WR4 option.
Currently ranked 27th in the league in passing yards against, the Jaguars have allowed more than 295 yards through the air on average. Fresh off a 23-13 loss to the Broncos, the team saw nine different players haul in a pass against them, with star wideout Courtland Sutton leading the way with 159 yards. Rostered in just 65% of Yahoo and 64% of ESPN leagues, Moore is the perfect compliment to Deandre Hopkins in Kliff Kingsbury‘s Air Raid offense. This makes him a must-add option for this week.
Follow Chris Gallagher on Twitter @ChrisGally06
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images