Week 3: Super Sleepers
With several notable injuries, including Atlanta's Steven Jackson and Houston's Andre Johnson, plus a few expected studs performing more like duds, owners are already digging deep into the waiver wire and their starting options. Those that play in truly deep leagues are already there. For all those folks plus anyone on the hunt for future pickup ideas, here is your Week 3 Super Sleepers report.
(Editor - yes, Alex Smith made the "Sleeper" and "Super Sleeper" article this week. Depending on league size, he could be either, right? Right. Anyway...) Alex Smith looks mobile having rushed for 82 yards over two games and has been throwing fairly well. His completion percentage is at about 60% over two games and could use some work, but with a 2-0 record, 4 TDs and zero INTs over the same span I like Smith as a super sleeper QB given where he was drafted. It looks like he will see another 30-40 passing attempts this week against a Philadelphia defense that is giving up massive yardage to opposing passers. This is going to be a fast-paced game and I think Smith is worth a start.
Steven Jackson is out for Sunday's matchup with Miami following a thigh injury he suffered in Week 2, putting Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling into the Week 3 fantasy mix. Jackson's injury is being reported as short-term, but it makes you wonder about the severity if he has been declared ineligible for this weekend so early in the week. According to the FFToolbox rankings, Snelling is the slightly better play this week. Well...iIn my opinion, Rodgers has the potential to be a potent rusher as well as receiver out of the backfield. Rodgers was the primary back last week following Jackson's departure, though Snelling gained more yardage and grabbed a score. When Atlanta is in passing-game mode, "Quizz" will be the RB on the field. With Jackson out, expect the Falcons keep the ball in Matt Ryan's hands even more, meaning more snaps for Rodgers.
Da'Rel Scott injured his knee in practice this week, but the team reports he did not suffer any structural damage. As long as Scott can keep any swelling at bay, he should play this week. David Wilson's lackluster season to-date has been killing fantasy owners, including me. I still do not think that he is trusted by his coaches and team leadership, or else we would have seen him have greater opportunities in Week 2 when the rushing game was in shambles. I must also say that Brandon Jacobs is not going to be the saving grace for the NY running game. With these things said, I do feel that the New York running game is going to take shape this week vs. Carolina. If Scott once again receives the most snaps, he could be the back to surprise out of this mix this week. I am not saying that Scott should be your long-term solution, but simply suggesting that this week might be the week to take a flyer with him if you need to fill a roster spot in a deep league.
Aaron Dobson should be one of the lesser-known wide outs who has made his way onto fantasy rosters in deep leagues. His 10 targets last week likely caught your eye, but so did his propensity to drop the ball, as he only caught three passes. Dobson's hamstring injury seems to be behind him and his 56 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 make for appealing fantasy numbers. Danny Amendola is highly likely to sit out again with his nagging groin injury and that leaves Julian Edelman with the rookies Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins as Tom Brady's primary receivers. Edelman has been productive of late and I assume he will see most primary coverage in Week 3. Look for Dobson to take advantage of his opportunities this time around.
Atlanta's third wide receiver has taken on a larger role through two games. With Roddy White limited, Douglas has stepped up opposite Julio Jones and is an underrated threat in this high-powered offense. Douglas has amassed 136 receiving yards in two games, seen 17 targets, catching 12. There is also return yardage potential for those into such things. White's high ankle sprain should keep him limited again this week - he skipped Wednesday's practice -, making Douglas a no-brainer deep league receiver or Flex play.