Week 3 Pickups

It's a long season filled with injuries.  When it comes down to the wire, your pickups will make or break your season.  Without further delay, game on:



Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins (Currently owned in 15.8% of all ESPN leagues):
He's big, he's fast, and, at 6'2" and 231lbs, this bruising back is tough to bring down.  Why yes, for those of you in PPR leagues, he can catch the ball too.  The rookie out of Florida made a name for himself against a supposedly stout St. Louis Rams defense, and will look to make a name for himself (again) this week against a Giants front that doesn't include Jason Pierre Paul and can be run on.  With QB Kirk, the Redskins will look to do exactly that.  At the very least, he will split carries with Alfred Morris consisting of a timeshare in a heavy workload to keep Eli and the Giants' offense off the field.  Snag him now!

Travis Benjamin, WR, Cleveland Browns (currently owned in 6.3% of all ESPN leagues): There's a saying: 1 is an anomaly, 2 is coincidence, and 3 is a trend.  Benjamin is 2 for 2 for 2.  2nd week of the NFL season, scoring TD's 2 weeks in a row, with 2 TD's this week, totaling 3 all season.  In other words, he's reached pay dirt more than Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Megatron, and A.J. Green.  To top it off, he did it against the Jets' big-name secondary.  Yes, I know it's the Browns.  Yes, I know they have some ugly match ups coming up.  Yes, his performance is highly dependent on the big play.  If this kid can do it against Revis, Cromartie, Pryor, and Williams, and scorch a mediocre Titans secondary for 30 fantasy points in standard scoring, what else is he capable of? 

Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions (currently owned in 20% of all ESPN leagues):
Ebron has excelled in the 2 weeks Pettigrew has been inactive.  There's a decent chance here that the Lions TE's of 2015 season turn into the Chief's TE's of 2014 where Pettigrew becomes Fasano, and Ebron transforms into Travis Kelce.  Stafford was under siege against the Vikings.  If these cats need to go through the air and Stafford needs a quick outlet pass, he'll look for his TE.  The elusive Ebron is versatile and can line up anywhere on the field.  If you had Jordan Cameron or Delanie Walker, Ebron might be worth a look.  After all, he already has more fantasy points than Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen, or Martellus Bennett.  Stash Ebron - he'll have the Broncos, Seahawks, and Cardinals over the next 3 weeks, but it could be smooth sailing after that if Pettigrew and Tate are still out.

D/ST, Kansas City Chiefs (currently owned in 20.7% all ESPN leagues):
In 2014, the Chiefs Defense was decimated with injuries, so they're a bit off the radar.  This year, with the return of "household" names like Husain Abdullah, Justin Houston, and Tamba Hali, they're looking strong, even without NT Dontari Poe who is out for most and possibly all of the 2015 the season.  Totaling 8 sacks through the first 2 games (mind you, one of those games was against a high-powered Broncos offense), this front 7 can get into the backfield, get to the qb, wreak havoc, and force mistakes.  Most people also forget about special teams coordinator Dave Toub, who was responsible for Devin Hester's return record.  With pick-6 and big-play ability, this D/ST might be worth a look. 

Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills (currently owned in 17.5% all ESPN leagues): 
Shady was one of last year's fantasy busts, and history is one pull of a hamstring away from repeating itself.  At the very least, the Bills will use Williams to manage McCoy's game time, which means Williams will have opportunities.  Williams is a fast, physical runner who has great vision, hits the hole hard but also makes cutbacks, & can catch the ball out of the backfield.  If he holds up in pass protection against strong AFC East pass rushes, he is the complete back.  He has some decent match ups coming up & running the ball is critical in the cold AFC East later this season.  He's worth stashing. 

i's (injuries) and R's (replacements) for week 3:

i - QB's - Tony Romo (shoulder, out 8 weeks), Drew Brees (shoulder, out ? weeks) Jay Cutler (hamstring, out 2-4 weeks) Sam Bradford (ego/confidence)
R - Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs - Whether it's a screen to McCluster or a toss to Kelce or Maclin, Smith takes care of the ball relatively well.  He has deep threats he can connect with, a running game to back him up, and a relatively soft schedule over the next 5 weeks.  Owned in only 30.1% of all ESPN leagues, use him as the best of the it-could-be-worse until your starter is up and throwing again.
R - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills - he'll hurt you with his arm and his feet.  Although he threw 3 picks, he also threw for 242 yards & 3 TD's, and rushed 5 times for 43 yards and a TD, and scored 26 fantasy points against a decent Patriots defense.  He plays the Dolphins, Giants, Titans, Bengals, and Jaguars, and has a bye in week 8.

Atlanta Falcons
i - Tevin Coleman (RB) - Fractured rib, could be out at least 2 weeks
R - Devonta Freeman (RB) - With Coleman out, Jackson retired, and Rogers now in Chicago, Freeman is your starter
Green Bay Packers
i - Eddie Lacy (RB) - Ankle, Questionable to return week 3
R - James Starks (RB) - Lacy's x-rays came back negative on Monday, so pick up Starks if you're desperate, and in case Lacy's ankle doesn't hold up

Indianapolis Colts
i - T.Y. Hilton (WR) - Knee, Questionable to return week 3
R - Donte Moncrief (WR) - In a pass-happy offense, he's Hilton's handcuff.  He'll see his share of targets every week

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