Thank you Chiefs and Buccaneers, two offenses that you can count on in this crazy fantasy football season.
Look for at least a couple of high draft picks (Dalvin Cook and Brandin Cooks) to finally get, well, coogkin.
And you should resist the lure of Josh Gordon in New England, at least for now.
Here are the starters, sitters and sleepers for Week 3. (Email me with “fantasy” in the subject line if you have a question about your lineup.)
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers vs. Bengals
Gone are the days when defenders could just tee off on big Cam, and the Bengals are tied for second with three roughing penalties, according to nflpenalties.com. Meanwhile, Cincinnati has given up the third most passing yards per game (332) and have yet to best tested by a mobile quarterback of his caliber.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings vs. Bills
Lost in the 24-hour streaming feed of James Conner accolades is the fact that Cook is eighth in the league (just ahead of Conner) in receiving yards per game, and he’s third behind Alvin Kamara and Melvin Gordon if you consider running backs who had at least 20 carries.
Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons vs. Saints
Toss out last season’s 44 total rushing yards in two games against New Orleans — he only had 15 carries (though he did catch a touchdown in one game). In the first game Coleman took over for injured Devonta Freeman, he rushed for 107 yards and averaged 6.7 per carry against the Panthers. And I wouldn’t put the first two backs the Saints have faced — Peyton Barber and Carlos Hyde — in Coleman’s class, though they did give up a rushing touchdown to Hyde.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Buccaneers vs. Steelers
If you have Jackson on your roster, pray that you never see Jameis Winston this season. Dating back to last season, Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken the majority of pass attempts in six games for the Bucs and he’s connected with Jackson on touchdowns in four of them — and in one of those games he failed to throw any touchdowns. That’s what you call favoritism, folks (that, and stealing your favorite receiver’s clothes for a postgame press conference).
Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams vs. Chargers
I can recall at least three occasions where Cooks got behind defenders and had to wait for Jared Goff’s deep ball to arrive. If that pair gets their timing right, look out.
Trey Burton, TE, Bears at Cardinals
The Cardinals have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in each of its two games. Mitch Trubisky clearly is more comfortable throwing underneath (1-for-7 beyond 10 yards of 34 total attempts) and that favors the versatile “U” receiver, as evidenced by the 3-yard shovel pass he caught for a first-quarter score Monday.
Dan Bailey, K, Vikings vs. Bills
After the Daniel Carlson experience, Kirk Cousins may purposely stall some drives just to test whether Bailey can make a field goal. All jokes aside, the Bengals have allowed the fourth-most points to kickers (Yahoo format) and Bailey is — all together now — the second most accurate kicker in NFL history.
Cowboys defense at Seahawks
Seattle has given up 12 sacks and three interceptions already, and Dallas’ front looks ferocious while the secondary has held up much better than expected.
Josh Allen, QB, Bills at Vikings
This Bills offense? Against that defense? In Minnesota? It should be against the law to throw the rookie in a situation like this. It’s debatable which is worse: his offensive line or his receiving corps. Oh, and did I mention LeSean McCoy has cracked rib cartilage and has been listed as questionable? Yeah.
Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks vs. Cowboys
The Cowboys defense has been underrated while Seattle’s rushing game has yet to get on track. Rashaad Penny vultured some of Carson’s production against the Bears — supposedly he was “gassed” — and the Seahawks don’t put up enough points for two backs to share.
Alex Collins, RB, Ravens vs. Broncos
Collins would’ve laid an egg against the Bengals (35 rushing yards) if not for his 55 receiving yards. The Broncos give up the eighth fewest points to backs and Buck Allen has been eating into Collins’ production. Start Collins only if you don’t have a better option.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals vs. Bears
Fitzgerald left Week 2’s contest against the Rams with a hamstring injury. He said he could’ve played if the playoffs were on the line, which indicates he may play against the Bears and try to extend his receptions streak to 214 games. Coach Steve Wilks plans to scale back the playbook and focus more on David Johnson. Between Fitzgerald’s gimpy leg, an emphasis on the running game, a possible quarterback change and the Bears defense coming to town, the veteran receiver is a fade for me.
Josh Gordon, WR, Patriots at Lions
If Gordon had gone to Philadelphia, he might have had a chance to contribute immediately to a team that’s hemorrhaging receivers, but it appears dubious he can make an immediate impact with the Patriots, who dealt a conditional fifth-round pick to the Browns for him. New England’s system is notorious for churning through wide receivers some who’ve had an offseason and camp to acclimate to it and still struggle to pick it up. I don’t care how desperate the Patriots might be to have a big target who can be an imposing red-zone presence and stretch the field (looking at you, Cordarrelle Patterson), I just don’t see it happening in less than a week’s time.
Virgil Green, TE, Chargers at Rams
Don’t be fooled by the Rams’ No. 1 ranking in fantasy points to tight end. Most of that can be attributed to one monster game by Jared Cook. The Rams secondary is formidable and Green has never been a focal point in an offense.
Jason Myers, K, Jets at Browns
The Browns have been sneaky stingy against kickers (third fewest) and they’ll be especially keyed up after two straight missed opportunities for wins.
49ers defense at Chiefs
The 49ers weren’t a big points generator anyway but you wouldn’t want to go near them against Patrick Mahomes.
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles vs. Colts
Wentz makes his first start of the season, and his fantasy owner’s may fret that he’s down yet another receiver (Mike Wallace). But don’t forget he’ll be reunited with his favorite target, Zach Ertz, who had 20 fantasy points against Tampa Bay (ESPN PPR format), and the Colts are 11th worst against tight ends. (Update: On Wednesday, the Eagles signed receiver Jordan Matthews, who spent three seasons in Philadelphia before being traded to the Bills. His arrival provides another familiar weapon for Wentz.)
Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers vs. Steelers
Despite having little competition in the backfield, Barber has gotten off to a sluggish start (9.8 total points, NFL.com format). But the Eagles and Saints are first (2.9 yards per attempt) and fourth (3.4, tie with Houston), respectively, in stifling running backs. The Steelers rank 28th (4.8) and likely will focus on red-hot quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, which should help open some lanes for Barber.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos at Ravens
You saw how Joe Mixon wove through the Ravens defense. I’m not saying Lindsay is Mixon, but the Ravens clearly had trouble with Mixon’s speed, something Lindsay has in abundance. I also foresee a lot of Case Keenum dump-offs to his backs.
Marquise Goodwin or Dante Pettis, WR, 49ers at Lions
The play here hinges on whether Goodwin has recovered from his thigh bruise and plays without limitations. Whoever starts, he should be able to get deep against a Chiefs defense that has allowed the most passing yards per game (430) and catches over 20 yards (14).
D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers vs. Bengals
While Devin Funchess is occupied with Dre Kirkpatrick, another Panthers receiver may find an easier matchup, and that could be Moore, who caught his first touchdown pass against the Falcons. Coach Ron Rivera wants to get the rookie playmaker more involved sooner rather than later. “I think we've got to put more on his plate,” Rivera said Monday via the team website. “Just looking at some of the things that we've done, things that we've done in practice, I think that we can stress him more and ask more of him.”
Eric Ebron, TE, Colts at Eagles
“They” keep saying Jack Doyle is the tight end to own in Indianapolis. I’m still waiting to see it. In this case, athleticism is winning out over snaps, and the Eagles just got lit up by O.J. Howard.
Jason Sanders, K, Dolphins vs. Raiders
The bend-but-don’t break Raiders defense (insert Khalil Mack joke here) has allowed the most fantasy points to kickers so far, which should help prop up Sanders pedestrian numbers.
Jets defense at Browns
The Jets have been more active than you’ve probably noticed. They sacked Ryan Tannehill four times in Week 2 (the Browns already have given up 10) and recovered two fumbles.