Week 3 Fantasy Pick-ups – Young Quarterback Takeover

True, it’s early, but there are currently five rookie, or 2nd year starting QBs in the top-12 at their position in fantasy scoring thus far – with RGIII leading everyone, and Locker hovering around top-15 territory.  Now, starting Griffin and Newton is obvious, but Luck, Dalton, and Ponder are all making cases to join them in starting rosters – in that order.  Luck has looked really good since his 1-TD 3-INT game against the Bears in week 1.  The Colts are letting him throw it a ton, and they’re going to continue to be coming from behind in most games, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up finishing in the top-10 this year.

Dalton and Ponder on the other hand, I’m not sold just yet, but they could be nice bye-week fill-ins.  Dalton had another big game on Sunday, even without throwing the 80-yard TD bomb to AJ Green to start the game, but his overall numbers are inflated by big plays.  In the past two weeks, he’s averaged a whopping 11 yards per attempt.  Eli Manning, the leading passer in the NFL right now, averages 8.6 yards per attempt.  Look for Dalton to come crashing back to earth at some point.

And finally, Ponder is like an Alex Smith, in terms of fantasy.  He manages the game and takes his shots when they’re available.  The majority of his fantasy points will come from short passes that are turned into big gains, red-zone TDs, and a scramble here or there.  Nothing wrong with that in real-life football, but in fantasy, it’s hard to count on him.  Just look at Sunday’s game – Adrian Peterson could very well have scored all 3 of the TDs Ponder ended up with.  That being said, as a Viking fan, I love the way he’s playing right now.

QB – Carson Palmer – OAK – Averaging almost 300 yards and 2 TDs per game this year.  Could have another solid week against the Broncos this week, as well – a team that got scorched by Matt Schaub and the Texans on Sunday.

QB – Jake Locker – TEN – Like I mentioned, he’s a borderline top-15 guy right now, and finally broke out on Sunday after 2 less-than-great games to begin the season.

OTHER QB NOTES – If Stafford misses the game against the Vikings this week, Shaun Hill could be a viable fill-in.

WR – Ramses Barden – NYG – Went off against Carolina on Thursday, and the Giants have been searching for a 3rd WR.  If Nicks misses anytime, Barden is probably start-able, and even if he doesn’t, Manningham put up serviceable numbers as the 3rd option last year.

WR – Andrew Hawkins – CIN – He’s still reliant on big plays, but I guess all it takes is 1 big play to have a good fantasy day.

WR – Jerome Simpson – MIN – Comes off suspension this week.  Definitely worth a pick-up to see how the Vikings will use him.

OTHER WR NOTES – Not buying Golden Tate, Cecil Shorts, or Jeremy Kerley.  Flukey plays and blown coverages are hard to count on.

RB – Andre Brown – NYG – Mentioned him last week, and his game against Carolina will likely be his best of the season.  However, he may have just worked himself into a time-share, with an emphasis on goal-line carries.

RB – Mikel LeShoure – DET – Won’t get to play the porous Titans run defense every week, but still took over all the RB duties from Kevin Smith in just his 1st NFL game.  Likely won’t get 26 carries a game, but he’ll benefit from big running lanes in the Lions high powered offense.

RB – Jacquizz Rodgers – ATL – Michael Turner’s fantasy days are done.  The Falcons are a pass-first offense, and that fits Rodgers more than Turner.  Wouldn’t be surprised if Turner is relegated to short-yardage and goal-line duties sometime soon.

RB – Lamar Miller – MIA – Mentioned him last week, and boom, Bush gets hurt.  Daniel Thomas had the better day filling in for him, but Miller is the better RB.  Still struggles in blitz pickup, so 3rd down duties will likely belong to Thomas, but Miller is the guy I’d rather have if Bush misses more time.

RB – Tashard Choice – BUF – The last man standing in Buffalo.  Rumor has it Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller could still play this week, but odds are, one or both will sit out.  If that’s the case, Choice would get all the work against the Patriots.

RB – Daryl Richardson – STL – Don’t give up on my guy yet.  He had 4 carries for 16 yards, while Steven Jackson had 11 carries for just 29 yards.  Neither were great, but with Jackson struggling, Richardson will see more and more touches as the season goes on.

OTHER RB NOTES – Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight could be smart stashes right now.  Shonn Greene should lose that job at some point, it’s just unclear which of the two would step in.

TE – Heath Miller – PIT – Old reliable.  He’s scored a TD in every game this season and the Steelers are passing more than ever.

TE – Martellus Bennett – NYG – Seriously, this is the last week I’m going to mention him.  He’s going to have a big season.

TE – Kyle Rudolph – MIN – Won’t score 2 TDs every week, but should continue to put up serviceable numbers, with a few monster games here and there.

DEF –  Arizona vs. Miami – Baltimore vs. Cleveland – Seattle vs. St. Louis – Cincinnati vs. Jacksonville – Miami vs. Arizona – NYG vs. Philadelphia

DEF NOTES – Arizona and Atlanta are looking like match-up-proof defenses, definitely worth the add.  

Good luck to everyone this week!  If you have any other questions, feel free to ask us on Facebook or Twitter!

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