Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire
Welcome to Week Three, dear reader, I am Brennen Gorman and I will be in charge of our weekly Wax (increase in value) & Wane (decrease in value) column. These articles will focus on bubble and bench players that could make an impact this week, even if they might not make an impact every week, and on bubble and bench players that might not make an impact this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers [ESPN Own: 68% / Start: 19%]: Alright, choo choo. Ryan Fitzpatrick dominated again posting a near repeat of his Week One success (minus 36 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown). This week he plays a Pittsburgh defense that was thoroughly trounced by Cleveland and Kansas City – this should be a good matchup for Fitzpatrick. While it is still foolish to chase his first two weeks, he could be in for another solid showing.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals [ESPN Own: 22% / Start: 4%]: Andy Dalton has posted two solid weeks back-to-back and looks to be on track to repeat his 2016 season than his step back of a 2017 season. Although the loss of Joe Mixon will hit their offense hard, Dalton has enough tools to find success in Week Three against a Tennessee defense that has been average so far in 2018.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers [ESPN Own: 99% / 72%]: To a degree, Aaron Rodgers has played on borrowed time this season. In Week One, his entire fantasy value came in a handful of plays in the fourth quarter. In Week Two, he was limited by a knee injury and ultimately produced an average week against a good defense. Week Three brings a tougher matchup against Washington and Rodgers is still nursing his knee injury – Rodger’s ceiling is capped and until he’s healthy or has a better matchup, I would sit Aaron Rodgers in Week Three.
Start: Running Backs
Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals [ESPN Own: 67% / Start: 14%]: With Joe Mixon‘s injury, Giovani Bernard once again takes the reigns as the team’s top back. Bernard has a so-so matchup against Carolina, but should be heavily involved and has virtually no competition for touches. Bernard is worth a stream in Week Three as he has a RB1 ceiling (although a RB3 floor) – perfect for a FLEX play.
Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins [ESPN Own: 90% / Start: 56%]: Prior to his season-ending injury in Week 11, Chris Thompson was averaging 10.8 points per game in standard leagues. Many of his weeks were boom or bust and included few carries – 2018 will likely shake out similarly. Thompson has been a wrecking ball through the first two weeks and should be situated to make that three consecutive weeks against Green Bay.
Sit: Running Backs
Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos [ESPN Own: 72% / Start: 27]: For back to back weeks Phillip Lindsay put up 100+ yards, but do not bite on these results in Week Three as he is still splitting carries with Royce Freeman and he won’t get a 50+ breakaway touchdown every week (and is even less likely to do so in Week Three against a stout Baltimore defense).
Start: Wide Receivers
Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles [ESPN Own: 86% / Start: 51%]: Carson Wentz is returning this week and Alshon Jeffrey is still out – paving the way for Nelson Agholor to feast in Week Three against a surprisingly tough Indianapolis secondary. Agholor is the eighth most targeted wide receiver and should continue to have sustained production from sheer volume alone.
Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets [ESPN Own: 62% / Start: 24%]: The clear top wideout in New York, Quincy Enuwa has brought in 13 of 21 targets (12th most targets to a WR this season). The rapport he has with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold is paying off and he should continue to have a high volume, pushing him higher than a FLEX consideration most weeks. Against Cleveland, he is an almost must-start in Week Three.
Sit: Wide Receivers
Chris Hogan, New England Patriots [ESPN Own: 94% / Start: 46%]: With Josh Gordon expected to debut in Week Three, Chris Hogan‘s already subpar 5 targets per week may see a dip. Hogan has done his best to retain value with two of his three receptions in Week Two going for touchdowns, but his usage is such that his risk is too high to play in Week Three.
Start: Tight Ends
Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks [ESPN Own: 30% / Start: 12%]: In back-to-back weeks, Willy Dissly found the end zone. Dissly has 5 targets in each of the first two weeks as a consistent target for Russell Wilson and should maintain a solid workload with Doug Baldwin still out. Dissly is in the realm of boom or bust tight ends, but has the upside to break for a few big plays a game against a poor Dallas defense.
Sit: Tight Ends
O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers [ESPN Ownership: 42% / Start: 12%]: Despite a huge Week Two and a lack of competition from Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard remains a risky fantasy play. Howard is averaging three targets a game and 75 of his 96 yards in Week Two came in one breakaway play that resulted in a touchdown. When on the field, Howard will be a block-first tight end – don’t go chasing his Week Two line.
Chicago Bears D/ST [ESPN Own: 75% / Start: 50%]: The Chicago Bears do not need to score a defensive touchdown every week to be a relevant unit. In Week Three Chicago will play a struggling Arizona offense, they should be able to contain Arizona and nab a few turnovers for another top-10 week.
New England Patriots D/ST [ESPN Own: 75% / Start: 55%]: To date, New England’s defense has not been particularly impressive and is not likely to fare much better against a Detroit offense that started that started to show signs of life in Week Two. This is a riskier play than it may let on given the decimation of Detroit’s offense in Week One is fresh in the minds of managers.