Week 3: Sleepers of the Week
If one of your normal starters is injured or facing a tough match-up, here are some players you might consider starting in their place. While these players may not be every week starters, they are good bets to perform well this week. Most of the players that will be listed are on fantasy rosters, but not normally starters.
Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears return home to take on the St. Louis Rams in week three. Cutler is coming off an awful game in which he threw for just 126 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions in a loss to the Green Bay Packers. Cutler was under constant pressure the entire game, and was sacked seven times by the Packers defense. The Bears' offensive line is going to have to step up their game if the team is going to live up to the high expectations they had before the season started. The offense should be able to bounce back this week against the Rams. The Rams allowed 206 passing yards to Robert Griffin III in week two, while only recording one sack. If Cutler is given more time to throw the ball this week, he should excel, making him a good start in fantasy leagues. Fantasy owners can start Jay Cutler and can expect at least 250 passing yards and one touchdown from the former Vanderbilt quarterback.
Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at home in week three. Luck is coming off an excellent game against the Minnesota Vikings in which he threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns in a close win. The top overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft should continue to improve upon his good start this week at home. Reggie Wayne stepped up in week two, and the sure handed former Miami Hurricane receiver will be able to beat the Jaguars secondary this week. The Jaguars allowed just 195 yards passing to Matt Schaub in week two, but they were trailing for the entire game and the Texans used the run to kill the game. The Colts are unlikely to jump out to a big early lead, meaning that Luck will need to throw the ball throughout the game. Fantasy owners in need of a starting quarterback this week can start Andrew Luck and can expect at least 225 passing yards and one touchdown from the rookie.
Michael Bush and the Chicago Bears return home to take on the St. Louis Rams in week three. Bush will get the start for the injured Matt Forte, who suffered an ankle injury in week two. The former Oakland Raider is one of the league's top backup running backs, and should provide the Bears with quality rushing until Forte is able to get back on the field. Bush rushed for just 54 yards on 14 carries after taking over in week two, but does have a history of filling in well for injured backs, going back to his days in Oakland. The Rams allowed more than 170 rushing yards last week against the Redskins, although half of this was due to Robert Griffin III breaking free from the pocket. They will struggle again this week to stop the run. Bush is a quality start as a high upside RB 2 this week and until Forte returns. Fantasy owners should get Michael Bush into their lineups this week and can expect 100 total yards and a touchdown.
Mikel Leshoure and the Detroit Lions travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans in week three. Leshoure missed his entire rookie season with an Achilles injury, and was suspended for the first two games this season following off-season indescretions. The Lions have already stated that Leshoure will take over the starting job this week, and they will ride him for as long as his legs will keep him on the field. The Titans allowed more than 150 rushing yards to a San Diego Chargers team that was led by Curtis Brinkley and Jackie Battle at running back. Leshoure should touch the ball close to 15 times this week, making it likely that he puts up good enough numbers to make him a sneaky Flex play option in fantasy leagues. Fantasy owners can start Mikel Leshoure this week and can expect at least 75 total yards and a touchdown in the rookie's first NFL game.
Kenny Britt and the Tennessee Titans return home to take on the Detroit Lions in week three. Britt returned from suspension in week two and caught just one pass for five yards. The troubled wide receiver played just 19 snaps in week two, but his workload should pick up to a near normal level this week. The Titans need Britt to be on the field as much as possible, as he is their offense's top playmaker. This weekend's game could be a high scoring one, as the Lions offense is likely to put up points on the Titans defense. Tennessee will likely have to throw the ball more than they would like, making it a good bet that Britt will produce good numbers this week. Fantasy owners can start Kenny Britt as a WR 3 and can expect 75 receiving yards and a touchdown from the former Rutgers wide receiver.