Week Three Sleepers and Busts
Before we get to Week Three sleepers and busts, let’s talk about this season so far. If I had told you before the season started that Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the highest scoring fantasy quarterback after the first two weeks, would you have believed me? And if you did think that before the season started, I hope you won a lot of money off the Draft Kings week one slate.
I feel like this season has been the craziest year so far … but then again, I feel like I say that every season! Are the seasons getting wilder by the year, or do we lose our memories over the long and torturous offseason? Sometimes identifying sleepers and busts feels like a crapshoot. I know I whiffed on some last week … I said Mahomes would bust *laughing emojis* But we all do the best we can with our predictions – we look at the evidence before us and make a judgment call. And in the end, that’s all any of us can do. And on that note, let’s get to my Week Three sleepers and busts.
Week Three Sleepers and Busts
Corey Clement, Philadelphia Running Back vs. Colts
I like Clement this week for multiple reasons. First, Ajayi and Sproles are both out. Josh Adams has been called up from the practice squad as a result of Ajayi’s absence, but I still expect Clement to get the bulk of the work this week. Second, the Colts allowed 13 catches and 92 yards to Chris Thompson last week. Third, with Wentz coming back, he may be tentative and look to get rid of the ball quickly. This would benefit Clement as the primary pass-catching running back. Clement only had 5 carries and 0 targets in Week One. In Week Two, he saw 6 carries and 6 targets. (He caught 5 of those targets by the way and found the end zone.) Clement will have a nice Week Three, especially in PPR formats.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Tight End @ Vikings
I know… I can hear you now… really Becka? The Bills? Come on now. But hear me out! I know the Vikings are one of the top defenses in the league. But did you know they have allowed over 90 yards to tight ends in each game this year (90 yards to Kittle, 95 to Graham)? That’s 29 total fantasy points – good for 7th most allowed to tight ends. Another reason I like Clay this week – game script. The Bills almost certainly will be behind, so they will need to pass. A lot. And surprisingly, Clay can be a good fantasy asset. Let’s look at his career consistency data. As you can see, he has finished in the top 12 28 weeks in his career. Another 27 weeks he has finished between 13-24. Sure he has finished out of the top 36 25 times. But what this chart tells me is that he has the potential to finish top 12. That, combined with the Vikings defense being weak against tight ends, lead me to believe that Clay could produce in Week Three.
Jamison Crowder, Washington Wide Receiver vs. Packers
This is purely a matchup play. Green Bay allows the 6th most points to wide receivers. Crowder has a good matchup in the slot against rookie Jaire Alexander. The Packers allowed 12 catches and 131 yards to Adam Thielen last week. I expect the Redskins to pass a lot too, as Rodgers should get the Packers out to a lead. Alex Smith should be able to exploit Crowder’s matchup and Crowder should be able to capitalize and convert those targets into fantasy points in Week Three.
Amari Cooper, Oakland Wide Receiver @ Miami
I love when I get to put Raiders on my bust list. I’m putting Cooper on my list this week because the Dolphins pass defense is good. How good? They only allow a 51.2% reception percentage. Yes, basically half. That is third-best in the league. Cooper is also notoriously unreliable. Cooper saw double-digit targets last week (10) – but last year he only received double-digit targets three times. And he only had over 100 yards in two games last year. This game also has a super low over/under at 44. Between the expected low score, Miami’s defense, and Cooper’s track record of being unreliable, I predict him to be a bust in Week Three.
Alex Collins, Baltimore Running Back, vs. Denver
One problem with Collins is his usage. He only has 16 rushing attempts. Not last week – this year. Collins only has 4 catches so far, meaning he has touched the ball a grand total of 20 times in two games. The Ravens just don’t seem to be using him a lot. Denver is a tough matchup too – they allow the 9th fewest fantasy points to running backs. I want to show you Collins’ violin plot. The wider the purple goes, the more likely that outcome is to happen. You can see the violin plot is widest under 10. This means the most likely outcome for Collins this week is that he will get less than 10 points. I’m benching Collins in Week Three. (Full disclosure – I’m starting Bredia over him.)
Russell Wilson, Seattle Quarterback vs. Cowboys
Last but not least, Russell Wilson. Poor Russell Wilson. His offensive line is terrible. They don’t have a decent run game. His best wide receiver has two bad knees and isn’t playing. Wilson is already in a bad spot before considering the Dallas defense. My husband forces me to watch Cowboys games and I have watched them become a sneaky good defense over the past few years. (Side note: I love Demarcus Lawrence.) Dallas has allowed the 10th fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks so far this year, and they lead the league in sacks. In the past 8 games, Dallas has only allowed more than 20 points to quarterbacks once. I don’t expect Wilson to have a productive Week Three.