Fantasy Football Week 3: Joe Flacco and Other Glorious Sleepers


Sleeper is of course a vague term. Use the definition that works for you. Likewise, this column is whatever you want. You may find it helpful to make a start/sit call or make a DFS decision this week. Perhaps you apply the information to an over/under prop. You may be adding a player to your fantasy bank as depth, but don’t bet this week. There is no wrong way to digest this piece

Last week wasn’t a legendary sleeper sheet, but we had some hits. Carson Wentz came inside. Greg Dortcho scored. Treylon Burks hasn’t left yet, but he’s still a decent depth-grab; the band is encouraging.

Let’s give a few winners for week 3.

We spent the summer telling how wonderful Elijah Moore is. And we’ve been googling about the rookie receiver for the past week Garrett Wilson.

With those soaring Jets in hand, shouldn’t we say some nice things about Flacco?

The Jets reception area — Corey Davis isn’t bad either – can drag Flacco into fantasy relevance. Flacco has been quietly the QB9 for two weeks, holding a ball as he navigates his AFC North revenge tour. And while volume determines a large part of that value, so what? The Jets defense is in last place in DVOA, so the New York attack will likely have to throw to keep up. The ball stays in the air for three hours.

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I approve of Flacco as a sneaky Superflex QB2 or a pay-down DFS option for $23. I could also hit some Flacco props this week.

[Week 3 Fantasy Rankings: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | FLEX | DST | Kickers]

As bad as the Colts were in Week 1, they hit a new low in the Week 2 loss at Jacksonville.

Matt Ryan’s not just on the back nine of his career, he could tee off at 18. Take Michael Pittman Jr. off the field and Indianapolis passing game looks toothless.

Maybe there’s a sneaky bite here after all. Dulin got off to a start last week and was believable in the loss, with a 5-79-0 line on seven goals. His snap share has nearly doubled from week 1; he was on the field in Jacksonville 64 percent of the time.

This role can remain or possibly expand. Parris Campbell shows no signs of a bona fide NFL receiver, and the Colts apparently don’t know how to unleash a tight end Mo-Alie Cox. Dulin earns an in-depth add-on for speculative value later in the season, and he is likely to return profits on his modest $11 tag in Yahoo DFS.

Travis Etienne, RB, Jaguars (at Chargers)

The James Robinson comeback is fun, inspiring and glorious. And Etienne made some mistakes in the first two weeks with young players. We can’t ignore the fact that Jacksonville is leaning against Robinson; he has 37 goals in two games, against just 18 for Etienne.

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But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Efficiency is also important. Etienne makes 6.6 yards per touch, compared to a modest 4.0 for Robinson. Ultimately, that kind of playability should force a more even timeshare, or perhaps an Etienne-led backfield.

The Jaguars are a brave bunch in 2022, but deserved underdogs in Los Angeles, with seven points in the spread. It is possible that Jacksonville will be in catch-up mode for most of the day. Sunday could be the game in which Etienne justifies why he was so hotly contested during the draft season. It’s a good time to say to a fellow countryman “you want a running back” and see if he suggests a move where you get his disappointing Etienne. See if you can time the market.

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. has disappointed fantasy managers so far, but that could change this week. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Irv Smith, TE, Vikings (vs. Detroit)

The Lions are currently the pinnacle of the NFL, an offense that scores and a defense that waves opponents through. You want points, you have them. If you want fantasy points, grab a calculator.

Smith could be an obvious decision after he scored a touchdown (and dropped a second, a long one) on Monday. But as he is only TE18 on the year, there may be room for growth. And Smith is the brick minimum in Yahoo DFS, $10. That’s a pretty square.

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i have been one Adam Thielen fan and even an apologist for years, but perhaps Thielen is finally in a phase of decline at age 32. That could be an accelerator for a possible breakthrough year from Smith.

[Play in Yahoo’s Week 3 $300K Sunday Baller DFS contest]

Eagles DST (in Washington)

Philadelphia is a hot team right now. The Jalen hurts MVP odds have come down far, far. AJ Brown beaten in the opener, DeVonta Smith flashed in the second game. Dallas Goedert cannot be stopped by conventional methods. Even Miles Sanders scores again.

You want exposure to this NFC East juggernaut but can’t add anyone from the paragraph above? Check for the Eagles DST. Even with some active movement this week, it’s still available in 50 percent of Yahoo competitions.

In week 3, the Eagles will face Carson Wentz. Washington’s attack has nice pieces, but Wentz will also make mistakes every week. And it is possible that you add the Eagles and hold on for a while. Philadelphia could be the preferred choice for the rest of its 2022 schedule, as ridiculous as that may sound. It’s the right year to sign the AFC South as your crossover division.

Whenever possible, you want daylight saving time that is expected to win. You want leverage, you want to play with an edge. More often than not, that will be the 2022 Eagles. Let it tear.


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