Week 3 has come and gone and we have some big names to highlight this week. Fantasy owners are constantly looking for players that have the potential to carry you to the playoffs. A couple of players are nearing return that could do just that. Then there are players that owners are counting on that are consistently falling short of expectation, and owners are hoping they don’t tank their season.
Melvin Gordon (RB – LAC)
Week 3 line: DNP
This week we received some big news about the imminent return of Melvin Gordon, who’s decided to end his holdout and return to the team. Gordon won’t play this week, in a juicy match-up against Miami, but it won’t take the Chargers long to integrate Gordon back into the gameplan. Given the way that Austin Eckler and Justin Jackson have performed in his absence, there may be owners who are convinced that this is a three-headed backfield moving forward. It won’t be. Gordon will again be the workhorse back, handling the early-down usage and receiving plenty of work. If anything, Eckler will continue to serve as the passing situation back but thats a role Eckler has filled for two seasons now. Since 2017, Gordon has performed as an RB1 61% of the games he’s played in and failed at least flex numbers 100% of those games. That is the type of production owners look for in players and the Chargers have shown they can support a strong running game. Gordon is just more talented than any other back on this roster and he will come in and prove that. If you can acquire Gordon for players tat have over-performed, now is the time.
A.J. Green (WR – CIN)
Week 3 line: DNP
I received some questions on A.J. Green this week, is it time to move on from Green or should you hold and await his return? I firmly believe that Green is a hold, despite the uncertainty of his return. Green played in just nine games last season and finished with 46 catches for 694 yards, a clip of more than 1200 yards and he was the WR8 before being shut down for the season. Bottom line is when Green is on the field he is a fantasy stud, even at his advanced age. Green might be two weeks or more away from playing but when he returns, fantasy owners will reap the benefits. Throw out some buy-low offers and see if you can acquire him on the cheap.
Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE)
Week 3 line: 18/36, 195 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Baker Mayfield is off to an awful start to the 2019 season and it doesn’t look like the fix will be easy. Through three weeks Mayfield looks uncomfortable, he’s holding on to the ball for too long and he’s lost his swag. More concerning is the play of his offensive line and the playcalling of his rookie head coach Freddie Kitchens. Mayfield is just 5 for 13 on passes traveling more than 20 yards and is negative in fantasy points above expectation. Maybe we were a year too early on Mayfield. In 13 games played last season, Mayfield was a QB1 in just five games. Owners need to see him put up at least one strong performance before we can even begin to try and trust him and this week against Baltimore may not be the game. Keep Baker on your bench and look to stream the position until he wakes up.
Sony Michel (RB – NE)
Week 3 Line: 9 carries, 11 yards, 1 touchdown | 1 target, 0 receptions
For years the fantasy running back situation in New England has been an enigma. Early in 2018, it looked as if the Patriots had found their workhorse in Sony Michel. However, that was short-lived. Michel has performed as an RB1 just twice since Week 7 of 2018. Michael did explode in the post season but that numbers don’t count in the game we are playing. Michel looks to be part of a running committee with Rex Burkhead, and is a non -factor in the passing game. His production will come down to the weekly gameplan and only the Patriots know that each week. In his career Michel has been a startable fantasy running back in just 38% of games. He has flex value but owners should be seeking out players that have higher ceilings than him. Wait for Michel to have a strong game then shop him for an upgrade.
Stefon Diggs (WR – MIN)
Week 2 line: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 15 Yard
If there is a test case of how important a play-caller is for a player look no further than Stefon Diggs. Last season, in an offense run by former offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, Diggs received 149 targets or more than 9 per game. This season, under new conservative OC Kevin Stefanski, Diggs is seeing just 4 per game. Head coach Mike Zimmer wants to run the ball but no one could have predicted this. So far in 2019, Minnesota is last with just 71 passing attempts, 20 less than the next closest team. They have run the ball 101 times, good for third most. When the Vikings do pass the ball, the preferred target is Adam Thielen. There have been rumblings that Diggs is unhappy in his role and requested a trade. It’s hard to blame him. Historically to finish as a starting fantasy receiver, top 24, a player needs 120+ targets or double digit touchdowns. Diggs won’t come close to either mark in this offense. Try and move on from him.
(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire)
It’s Ekeler, not Eckler.