10 WR sleepers to target for fantasy football week 3
As you make your final changes and put your finishing touches on your fantasy football lineup, check out these ten last-minute WR sleepers who are set up for success Week 3.
New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) is one of our WR sleepers for week 3. Here,he hauls in a third quarter pass against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
The fantasy football season rolls into Week 3 with a bunch of injuries, some stand performers, and some nice matchups for this Sunday and Monday. Hopefully, your season has gotten off to a good start whether you’re playing a season-long format prone of the many DFS competitions. One of the keys to success in any format is having the right lesser-known options or “sleepers.” To help you know where to start your search for good value, each Sunday morning FanSided brings you last-minute sleepers to target for the week. Today, we’ll start with a look at some of the best options if you need some last minute WR sleepers forweek 3.
FanSided has assembled some great tools to help you get your lineup set for fantasy football each week. You can find all our coverage by checking out (and bookmarking) the fantasy football hub where you’ll find the top 10 matchups to attack for the week as well as full Week 2 rankings. You can also get any specific lineup question answered by checking out the new start/sit tool.
The players on the following slides of last-minute WR sleepers won’t be right at the top of those rankings, though. Instead I’ll try to pinpoint some players in the mid-range who could be among the top performers and some players toward the bottom of the rankings who have serious potential to step up and give you startable production. You won’t find Odell Beckham, Antonio Brown, or even Brandin Cooks here (since they’re extremely well-known) but you will find options that get a little less buzz like Sterling Shepard and Willie Snead and even some deep-league sleepers who can be had very cheaply in DFS.
By definition, these WR sleepers do come with more risk than the top options. However, they can be used as cheap DFS plays or as plug-and-play options off of many league waiver wires. Overall, I expect each of them to exceed expectations in week 3.
One more quick reminder before we start–these are sleeper WRs so don’t go crazy and take a flier on one of them over a more established play. For example, I like Quincy Enunwa again this week, but I wouldn’t start him over Amari Cooper, Eric Decker, or even Willie Snead. The picks appear in order from most well-known to deepest sleeper.
With those preliminary ground rules established, let’s get rolling with this week’s version of my top ten last-minute sleeper WRs for week 3.
Sep 18, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Willie Snead (83) catches a touchdown pass during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Giants defeated the Saints 16-13. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Willie Snead-New Orleans Saints
The Saints have gotten off to a rough start and enter Monday Night Football 0-2 after dropping games to the Raiders and Giants. They’ll be back at home, where their offense was excellent Week 1, and Drew Brees will look to help the team bounce back against Atlanta.
One of Brees’s favorite targets so far this season has been the team’s second receiver and slot machine Willie Snead. Snead ranks second in the NFL behind Sterling Shepard of the Giants in catches and yards out of the slot with 164 yards on his 11 catches from that position. He has found the end zone as a slot receiver as well and started the year red hot wherever he lines up with 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns total.
Snead’s matchup in fantasy football Week 3 is a tasty one since he’ll face the Falcons on Monday Night in what could be shootout. Atlanta has been especially vulnerable against receivers in the slot as well. They have been given up 7 catches for125 yards and a touchdown from the left slot and 10 more catches and a second touchdown from the right slot (according to NFL’s Next Gen stats).
Snead is owned in just about every format, but I think he has potential to be a top-ten receiver this week and put up huge numbers. He’s one of our WR sleepers desigend to give you an idea of a player that shouldn’t be on your bench this week and will probably out-perform his pricing in DFS play.
Sep 18, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) hauls in a third quarter pass against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Sterling Shepard-New York Giants
The Giants offense struggled last week against Brees, Snead, and the Saints scoring no offensive touchdowns thanks to poorly timed turnovers and the inability to execute in the Red Zone. One player who has been executing effectively since the season started is rookie Sterling Shepard.
I admit, I wasn’t high on Shepard coming into the year after a rough preseason, but he’s started face and is one of the WR Sleepers who can be in any starting lineup. Shepard started his NFL career with three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 and hung 117 yards on the Saints last week while hauling in all eight of his targets.
He’s definitely not the no. 1 option in the Giants passing attack since Odell Beckham is still roaming the other side. However, Shepard is showing he can be a great complement and produce nice numbers working across from Beckham.
This week, Beckham renews his war of words with Josh Norman as Washington comes to New York in a nice NFC East matchup. Shepard and Beckham should be able to post solid numbers since so far this season the Washington ranks eighth in most fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers.
Sep 11, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (15) catches a pass while Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) defends in the second half of the game at Lucas Oil Stadium. the Detroit Lions beat the Indianapolis Colts by the score of 39-35. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Phillip Dorsett-Indianapolis Colts
The Colts lost to the Broncos last week in Denver and they also lost second WR Donte Moncrief to a broken shoulder blade. T.Y. Hilton is also dealing with a injury and was rested on Friday with a sore knee. Hilton is expected to play today against the Chargers, but if he’s less than 100% the Colts will need Phillip Dorsett to step up in a huge way this week.
Dorsett is one of the most intriguing of our WR sleepers since he hasn’t ever had this chance to work with Andrew Luck as on of the team’s top receivers. Dorsett is a speedy playmakers who can stretch the field, but he’ll be asked to be the no. 2 target on a full-time basis now that Moncrief is sidelined.
Dorsett only had one catch last week against the Broncos for 30 yards, but he looked much better Week 1 when he had 94 yards on his four catches. Andrew Luck will hope to use Dorsett this week as the team tries to get its first win of the season as they host the Chargers.
The Colts defense has put the offense in a place to play catch-up a lot already this season, so look for plenty of chances for Dorsett to step up. He’ll be one of the better WR sleepers in this week’s DFS play, and he should be owned in all formats. He can be a WR3 or flex starter this week in what could be a high-scoring game against the Chargers.
Sep 11, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Tajae Sharpe (19) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jabari Price (25) after catching a pass during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Minnesota won 25-16. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Tajae Sharpe-Tennessee Titans
Since the beginning of the preseason, Tajae Sharpe has been one of the recurring names on almost all my WR sleepers lists. The rookie from UMass has quickly become the Titans’ go-to option in their passing game and he could be in for a ton of work in a great matchup this week.
The Titans pulled off the upset last week against the Lions and come home 1-1 as they welcome in the Raiders. Sharpe played every single snap of the Titans’ win last week while Rishard Matthews was the second receiver with just 36 snaps. Sharpe only managed four catches for 33 yards after hauling in seven passes for 76 yards in Week 1. Sharpe hasn’t reached the end zone yet with the two passing TD’s going to Delanie Walker and Andre Johnson in last week’s win.
Sharpe is set up for success in fantasy football week 3, though, since Delanie Walker is dealing with an injury leaving him even more targets, and the Raiders have been horrible against the pass this season. Oakland allows more fantasy points to opposing WR than any other team in the NFL giving up 564 yards and five touchdowns to opposing WR in the first two weeks of the season.
Sharpe is a great DFS option if you can get him at the right price, and he should be started as a WR3 or flex play in almost all formats. He has big-time potential to go off, so I’ll stay Sharpe and go with Tajae as one of my WR sleepers again this wee.
Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16) runs with the ball while defended by Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) during the first quarter of the game at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Tyrell Williams-San Diego Chargers
Another young receiver getting a chance to step up due to a teammate’s injury is Tyrell Williams the Chargers second-year un-drafted free agent from Western Oregon. Keenan Allen’s crushing Week 1 injury opened up some nice opportunities for the other Chargers’ receivers to step up. The main short-term beneficiary was Travis Benjamin, but I also think Williams is one of the WR sleepers to watch this week and moving forward
Williams got into the end zone in Week 2 against Jacksonville finishing with 61 yards on three catches. Both Williams and Benjamin were targeted six times by Phillip Rivers showing it could be a pretty even distribution moving forward.
This week, Williams and Benjamin are both good plays against a shaky Colts’ defensive unit. While Indianaplis hasn’t given up a WR touchdown yet this season, their secondary is banged up and beatable in a good matchup for the Chargers’ pass-heavy attack in fantasy football week 3. Look for Williams to continue to deliver on his elite athleticism as one of my WR sleepers today in Indy.
Sep 18, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) runs the ball for a first down against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Ravens defeated the Browns 25-20. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Terrelle Pryor-Cleveland Browns
The Browns aren’t one of the most talent-loaded teams in the NFL, so the fact that they have been crushed by injuries this year has left them in a horrible place. The team has already lost its starting QB in back-to-back weeks leaving un-proven QB Cody Kessler as the starter. They also lost their top WR when Corey Coleman broke his hand in practice leaving Terrelle Pryor as the team’s top pass-catching option.
Pryor should be busy this week against the Dolphins, and he could be one of the better plays still available on many leagues’ waiver wires. Even before Coleman’s injury, Pryor was targeted ten times last week hauling in three passes for 32 yards.
He has a total of six catches for exactly 100 yards in his first two weeks of the season, but the Browns will need him to be more involved in an offense that needs all the playmakers it can get. Pryor is a risky option from our WR sleepers since he’s still adjusting to his new position, but he will get all the work he can handle against Miami.
Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) and New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) during the game at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Quincy Enunwa-New York Jets
It has been a strong start to the season for the third-year receiver out of Nebraska who has been the Jets no. 3 receiver this season. He could be in for a huge week this week if Brandon Marshall is forced to sit with his knee injury. Right now, Marshall is a game time decision, but either way you could take a flier on Enunwa after he has been very involved the first two weeks.
Enunwa started the season with seven catches for 54 yards and a touchdown in the Jets loss to Cincinnati. Just a few days later on Thursday Night Football, he had six catches for 92 yards as New York bounced back and beat the Bills.
If Marshall is out, Enunwa is definitely startable, but since the Chiefs and Jets are in the late slot we won’t know Marshall’s status until too late for the early games. Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets should be able to move the ball against Kansas City, so look for Enunwa to continue his strong start. He offers plenty of upside as one of our WR sleepers if he ends up in a bigger role.
Sep 18, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder (80) makes a reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half at FedEx Field. The Dallas Cowboys won 27 – 23. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Washington hasn’t looked good this season falling to 0-2 after last week’s loss to the Cowboys. Kirk Cousins has been under fire, but the offense has actually put up plenty of yards even though converting in the Red Zone has been an issue. One of Cousins emerging options is the next option in our WR sleepers–Jamison Crowder.
Crowder is a PPR machine out of the slot for Washington and he gets lots of short passes as Cousins checks down. He finished with exactly six catches in both Week 1 and Week 2. He totaled 58 yards against Pittsburgh and 39 yards and a touchdown last week against the Cowboys.
Crowder may not go for 100 yards anytime soon, but he does get enough catches to be a PPR consideration or a cheap DFS flier since he pays off when he gets into the end zone like he did last week. He seems to be stepping into Pierre Garcon’s territory as the team’s top possession receiver.
Sep 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) catches a pass against Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill (32) during a NFL game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler Lockett-Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are banged up just two games into the season with Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, and Thomas Rawls all ailing and limping into Week 3. Tyler Lockett is also hurting but could be asked to step up into a bigger role which is enough to near him this spot in our WR sleepers as a flier worth thinking about.t
Lockett had 99 yards last week against the Rams on four catches, but the Seahawks couldn’t get into the end zone all day as they lost on the road in LA. The team should be able to get back on track today as they take on the 49ers who were crushed by the Panthers last week.
Lockett is always a boom-or-bust play, but the likelihood of “boom” definitely goes up with Doug Baldwin dealing with an injury. Lockett is a playmaker when he gets the ball in his hands, so look for Wilson and coach Pete Carroll to give him chances to break out this week.
Sep 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt (18) runs the ball past Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) during the second half of a NFL game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Kenny Britt-Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ offense has been far from a thing of beauty, but they enter this week 1-1 despite still looking for their first touchdown of the season. They beat the Seahawks in a field goal competition last week, but they’ll probably need to get a touchdown or two if they want to win this week in Tampa.
The top offensive player for the Rams is still clearly Todd Gurley, but the sophomore phenom has been held in check so far this season. One of the skill players who has found some success is Kenny Britt who is one of our WR sleepers this week after a couple of solid performances.
In week 1, Britt caught four passes for 67 yards and followed that up with six more catches for 94 yards last week against Seattle. Posting almost 100 yards on the legion of boom is an impressive week for any receiver, and as a result I think you could start Britt if you’re desperate in deep leagues.
The Bucs were trashed last week by the Cardinals’ passing attack in the desert, and they could allow even Case Keenum to be enough to make Britt a playable option this week. He’s high risk, so stay away unless you have no other options, but in deep leagues Britt is starting to emerge.
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