Three weeks in and things are getting murkier by the day. Teams that were supposed to be bad are winning games, super bowl bound teams are getting blown out and “thought to be” terrible defenses are shutting down big money QBs. All that is from one game, the game i chose as my lock for last weeks survivor. Yes the lowly Buffalo Bills were in disarray prior to week 3. At 0-2, getting run out of stadiums and players retiring at half time, the team looked to be on a one way trip to first overall pick land. Enter Josh Allen! Of course, Allen is not the only reason the Bills got their first win of the season and put me into early Survivor retirement. The defense got the team in great positions early in the game to take a big lead against the visiting Vikings. One interception and two fumbles later, the Bills D made it a long day for Kirk Cousins on the way to allowing 6 points. Playing defense is one thing, but scoring after turnovers is another and Allen made sure to make the Vikes pay for those turnovers. A TD through the air and another 2 with is feet, Allen looked like a confident vet out there and not a Rookie in his debut as a starter. I’m not here to crown the Bills for the rest of the season, but i will say keep an eye on their team. A spark at QB can trickle down to every position and suddenly make this team Fantasy relevant.
Speaking of sparks, there was no bigger spark this week than Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield on Thursday night. Entering the game late in the 2nd down 14-0, Baker looked confident and decisive on every throw. Keeping the defense honest led to a big game from Carlos Hyde on his birthday. The injection of Baker also fueled a big PPR performance from Jarvis Landry, who had his most catches to date, second most yards and also threw a 2-pt conversion to Mayfield. This is another team full of fantasy potential that everyone should be keeping their eye on.
Now to dig into week 4. By this time we usually have an idea of which players are for real and which players are prentenders. In this article I’m going to talk about players who are on that fringe between real and pretenders, and which ones I would start or sit this week. At the QB position someone’s name who is not usually on your mind as a starter has got to be Ryan Tannehill. So far this season the Dolphins are 3-0 and it can largely be attributed to Tannehill’s play so far. With 7 TDs and 3 turnovers through 3 games, Tannehill seems to be real and with a couple bye weeks this week I’d start him against New England. A big name we mentioned earlier is being paid like a real QB1 but this week I’m looking at other options to start ahead of Kirk Cousins. Maybe not necessarily a pretender, Cousins has had his ups and downs this year. A couple solid games were followed by a complete shalacking by a suddenly vicious Bills defense. Now he’ll be facing a known top defense in the Rams on a short week. I wouldn’t go out of my way to bench him, with the Rams top corners possibly missing the game, but if you have another option I’d take it. At RB the story is a little different. Sure there are players on the fringe just like every other position, but with not as many options on the market you usually have to start anyone on your team who gets touches, no matter what the match up is. That being said Kareem Hunt is someone I’m avoiding where I can. Don’t get me wrong, in PPR leagues he will definitely be serviceable, but in a standard league he will be TD dependent. Last season in his breakout year he had 81 yards on 23 carries in 2 games against Denver. With an improved run defense and a Chiefs offense that is flourishing through the air, I’m expecting an average game from Hunt. Someone I am looking to plug into all my lineups this week is Carlos Hyde. Coming off one of his best games and now getting a full game with Mayfield under center, I look for Hyde to really start climbing the RB rankings. Going against a Raiders team that has started the season in disarray, giving up 2 100 yard rushing performances in 3 games, Hyde is a solid start in any format.
Now, I stated before that I think I’m leaning towards “Survivor League” retirement, and after going 1-2 so far who would blame me? But momma didn’t raise no quitter, so this week the team I’m rolling with to get you moved on to the next week is the Detroit Lions. This week was a little tougher because having already picked the Saints and Chargers this season, i had to pick someone new. The Seahawks would have been an ok pick, but with Rosen possibly making his starter debut I’m not taking the chance. The Lions are coming off a big win against the Patriots, a game in which they finally had a 100 yard rusher. If they can ride the Stafford to Golladay connection to a lead, then run the clock with Kerryon Johnson, I think Detroit can come away 2-2.
It’s been a bumpy 3 weeks but I think we have the ball rolling now. Don’t forget to check your lineups and get your bye week players out. Good luck and hope you enjoyed Marcelino’s Deepest Fantasy.