- Patrick Mahomes (QB2)
This isn’t an original take but I am buying Patrick Mahomes as the real deal. He’s setting the world on fire, and while this hot start can’t possibly last forever, this is the upside that many imagined were the ceiling for Mahomes who is just showing off his cannon of an arm week after week. His ability to put touch on the ball when necessary and throwing on the run, this guy is out of his mind right now. He’s following in the footsteps of Deshaun Watson and leaving a trail of ashes in his dust and with such great talent around him, there is no reason to believe that he cannot be a regular top QB for years to come. The only issue is the guy is likely impossible to buy right now, but I would pay a lot to try and get a piece of Mahomes who can be your QB for the next 10+ years. After week 3 Mahomes is the QB2 with 13 passing touchdowns and only 46 rushing yards which I expect to go up on a per game basis going forward, he just hasn’t needed to run that much yet.
- Andy Dalton (QB12)
Dalton is having a surprisingly hot start to the season (despite the interceptions this week) for almost 300 yards a game and 8 total touchdowns. If you are in a Superflex league he would be my target and I would be buying his hot start. Dalton is having a much-improved season but after this week people may be starting to tilt on him. He should be an easy to attain asset and with the emergence of Tyler Boyd, still having AJ green and hopefully some emergence of John Ross, Dalton has the weapons to be a serviceable fantasy asset. He will also see the return of Joe Mixon in the coming weeks to add another dimension to their offense along with Gio Bernard. Long term there is no fear of competition behind him with the departure of AJ McCarron. Dalton has a big matchup against Atlanta and their depleted defense and will likely be much harder to attain if he throws for another 300 yards and 3 touchdowns this week. I am buying Andy Dalton in Superflex and those of you who are in those leagues need to take an extra look if you need some QB help. Currently QB12 in fantasy I would expect a rise over the coming weeks with a lot of good matchups down the pipeline(@ATL, MIA, PIT,@KC).
- Sleeper: Josh Allen
This comes down to one element of his game that some great fantasy QBs have a rushing floor. Allen is 5th in quarterback rushing yards, tied for 2nd in touchdowns and 2nd in rush attempts. He’s still completing only 56% of his passes, but there is always hope for a Trubisky type year 2 where the Bills go all in to build the talent around Allen. The key is his rushing floor I would buy in all formats.
- Kareem Hunt (RB21)
Am I buying Kareem Hunt after his slow start? Not in the slightest. I would still be selling Hunt if you can. It’s a long season and there is certainly room for improvement but for a guy playing in a high-flying offense it’s not very encouraging to see him average 3.2 YPC. There are encouraging signs (6th in rushing attempts) but the guy only has one catch (for a TD) on three targets. With all the weapons, they have outside and Mahomes slinging it like a hall of famer its shocking that Hunt hasn’t been able to take advantage. Even this past week Hunt had 18 carries for 44 yards, an awful 2.44 YPC, his day was only saved by 2 short touchdown runs. Hunt is going to be touchdown dependent and should be viewed similarly to Derrick Henry and Jordan Howard, then a stud running back. I would be selling Hunt for who can catch the ball more if an owner still views him as a top RB. For some perspective, here is a list of guys who Kareem Hunt is tied within targets: LaGarrette Blount, Doug Martin, C.J. Anderson, his teammate Damian Williams, C.J. Prosise and Leonard Fournette who hasn’t played since week 1. As I said it’s a long season and things could change for the better, just I don’t know how much I believe that they will.
- Austin Ekeler (RB16)
I am a big fan of Ekeler and would be trying to acquire him this season if you can. Coming off a “bad” game this past week he may still be attainable for a reasonable price. Ekeler has quickly taken over the role that used to be held by Danny Woodhead only a few years ago. He’s a low volume receiving back that if he can find that doesn’t need to find the end zone each week to be fantasy relevant. Ekeler is averaging 10 touches a game and is averaging 9.8 yards per touch which is insane. This is bolstered by his 8.15 yards per rush which are 2017 Alvin Kamara land and can’t possibly be kept up. Ekeler is the perfect complement to Melvin Gordon and has caught all 11 of his targets so far, this season. I would be looking to acquire Ekeler as a potential RB2 if you’re hurting or weekly flex option for years to come as the change of pace back for the high-flying Chargers offense. Even with Melvin Gordon getting a lot more receiving work this season Ekeler has remained fantasy relevant and continues to force his way onto the field.
- Sleeper: Dion Lewis (RB25)
Currently the RB25 in fantasy even while being attached to this anemic Titans offense that looked so bad this season and cannot pass the ball at all. Lewis should be a buy if you believe in his talent and can get him on the cheap. Derrick Henry is getting the bulk of the carries but has been inefficient again averaging barely over 3 YPC. Lewis, on the other hand, is averaging 3.7 YPC and is averaging 4 targets per game for a much safer floor. This offense has been bad and we have seen Lewis blow up for half a year and win people leagues. This could be another slow start and for a 2nd or a player, swap could be worth the gamble if an owner is frustrated with him.
- Calvin Ridley (WR10!)
Wow! did this guy ever have a breakout game! Anyone who knows my content knows I am a big believer in Calvin Ridley. This, of course, was against the horrible Saint’s secondary. The game plan was to go at the CB2 and Ridley delivered. After a disappointing showing in preseason Ridley really came through for Falcons this week and is the surefire WR2 in that offense. He is going to produce well this season especially if Matt Ryan continues to not heavily target Julio Jones. It was a big game but there may be some that are looking for a sell window and this is it. So definitely inquire about Ridley because it may not take much more than a 1st to get it done. Touchdown regression will be coming of course but I am still a buyer, as I have been all offseason, this breakout game is just bolstering my case for him. Oh and he’s 2nd in yards per route run.
- Kenny Golladay (WR12)
Man did I ever miss the boat with Kenny Golladay. I always liked his tape and you heard all the positive reports but nobody could have expected this level of a breakout. I’m just going to be bold and say it, he is the Lions Juju Smith-Schuster. He runs all the intermediate routes and in open all the time. Golladay is 2nd in targets only behind Golden Tate and is 2nd in snap percentage at 90%. Golladay could be the feature of the offense if Tate were to depart in the offseason. Golladay can do it all for the Lions and I only see his role expanding throughout this season. Much like Juju, it’s going to cost a lot to pull Golladay away from an owner but I think it would be worth it is given how consistent he has looked through 3 weeks. On top of that how bad the Lions defense has been increasing his chances to see a lot of targets week in and week out.
- Brandin Cooks (WR16)
Cooks has looked like a great fantasy play throughout the first 3 games of the season. He is 2nd on the team in targets and leading the team in receiving yards. So what’s the problem here, I just don’t believe in Brandin Cooks. He has no touchdowns which I am sure will change. He has a career-high catch percentage (76%) and is averaging 40 more yards per game than his career average. Does that mean he is going to regress badly, not necessarily but there is a lot of things going right for him? The rams do have an excellent offense but when you watch them play they don’t often look to cooks for tough yards and important situations. He’s not just a deep threat but he may still disappear from game to game, or draw a PI flag that counts for nothing in fantasy. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp both have 2 touchdowns because they get red zone looks that Cooks doesn’t and yet are both are significantly cheaper to buy in dynasty. Cooks is a fantastic talent in real life, but a little overrated in PPR leagues to where you should look to sell. The Rams are a better team but you compare their receivers to the Lions. You want Golladay and Tate, but Marvin Jones is tougher to own because he can be inconsistent. Cooks will have the season-long numbers but I would be looking to flip him for more consistent production if possible after a consistent start to the season (at least 5 catches, 87 yards and averaging 8 targets a game).
Will Fuller V, Quincy Enunwa, Keelen Cole, John Brown, Chris Godwin, Tyler Lockett, Mike Williams.
- Tyler Eifert (TE17)
Tyler Eifert has been the banged up and injured seemly forever and this season is finally healthy and making an impact for those who decided to keep around. The only issue is that he has yet to find the end zone. He’s caught 11 of his 15 targets this season for 141 yards. They are trying to keep him healthy which is why he’s only been in on 57% of snaps so far this season but is slowly getting more involved. This past week he had his first good game catching 6 passes for 74 yards and has been targeted on 20% of his routes this season. I would look to get Eifert before he has a 2-touchdown game and his value skyrockets. The tight end position is so bad this year you need to look for those values and Eifert is someone who comes with risk. I am still willing to take a gamble that he can continue to get more involved in the offense and get into the end zone consistently enough to make him a viable fantasy tight end. I would inquire about Eifert in all formats to try and see if you can buy a potential TE1 before he plays the seriously banged up Falcons defense.
- Eric Ebron (TE8)
I would be looking to get out from under Ebron now if you still have held onto him. Sell him while he’s still a TE1 and maybe holds some value. Ebron is 1 of 4 tight ends who has 2 touchdowns on the year and he has the 2nd fewest receptions and the lowest number of receiving yards. There is almost no way this production can keep up when his output is so low. He is a touchdown or bust like our old friend Jimmy Graham. If there are any takers he’s an easy sell candidate for me because I just can’t trust the guy with Jack Doyle in the mix, Ebron isn’t going to see the bulk of the snaps or targets. With Doyle out, he is going to see better opportunity as he did this week, but had his worst week statistically. For some reason when opportunity knocks Ebron just can’t seem to let her in, we saw it in Detroit and I would expect more of the same in Indy.
Thanks for checking out my article and always feel free to reach out to me on twitter if you have any questions @chaboyjrich, or just want to talk trash. I’ll be back for another installment in a few weeks as things begin to play themselves out.