I did say in last week’s article that it could take three or four weeks to start getting a clearer picture of who these teams are this year. I feel justified in that statement after the absolute carnage of Week 3. We live in a world where the Miami Dolphins dropped 70 points on another professional football franchise. It was a world where the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Arizona Cardinals. In a much less surprising turn of events, a world where the Minnesota Vikings are now 0-3.
It’s a lot to take in! If your dynasty rosters are feeling the pain through three weeks, be encouraged; you are not alone! We will continue to navigate this minefield together, and dare I say, we shall overcome!
Let’s have a quick look back at last week’s picks and see how they fared.
Week 3 Hits
Tank Dell, WR HOU
The Tank Dell call felt good, really good. It was a bit risky, but boy, did it pay off! Tank picked up right where he left off in Week 2 and put in another top performance as the seeming WR1 of the Houston Texans. He surprisingly played slightly fewer snaps than Robert Woods, Nico Collins, or Dalton Schultz. However, he once again led the team in targets and hauled in 5 of them for 145 yards and a touchdown. A decent matchup in Week 4 will again put him on the flex radar!
Tony Jones Jr., RB NO
Sadly, I was more or less correct on Tony. I wasn’t overly keen on starting him unless you were very desperate. It was a very odd game for the Saints, and they saw what looked like an insurmountable lead simply melt away in the fourth quarter. Derek Carr got injured, and Kendre Miller saw his share of the workload. Tony had 8 rush attempts for a meager 31 yards and chipped in 4 receptions for 21 yards. A total of 9.20 fantasy points in a PPR league leaves him close to the magic number, but no cigar.
Jordan Addison, WR MIN
Another disgusting effort from my Minnesota Vikings led to a disastrous 0-3 start to the 2023 campaign. It felt like only we could “out-fail” the Los Angeles Chargers, and we rose to the challenge spectacularly! It wasn’t a massive game for Jordan, but he did manage 6 receptions on 8 targets for 52 yards. A solid 12.70 fantasy points isn’t anything too upsetting in your Flex.
Addison is still growing into his role and is 3rd in snap share at the minute behind Justin Jefferson and KJ Osborn. I am confident in his future, though, so if an Addison manager in your league is discouraged, I would look to buy low.
Tutu Atwell, WR LAR
I’m not going to lie. It felt pretty dang good hitting on a Tutu Atwell call in Week 3. I did not have that on my bingo card heading into the season. Atwell played 87% of snaps on Monday night and led the team in targets. He finished with 4 receptions for 50 yards and that all-important touchdown to secure his Week 3 stud status! As things stand, I think you can pretty safely flex Tutu most weeks. What a world we live in!
Week 3 Misses
Drake London, WR ATL
The curse of Arthur Smith struck once more! Honestly, it was a combination of factors, but I do like blaming Arthur Smith! London had 6 targets in this game but only managed to hold onto two of them. If they had both been touchdowns, it might have salvaged the day. Sadly, they were not.
It’s hard to decide how much of the fault is Arthur Smith, how much is Desmond Ridder, and how much is the fantasy gods. Ridder did NOT look good against a sub-par Detroit Lions defense, and Kyle Pitts finally managed to get involved in the passing game. At this point, London is a highly volatile weekly start with an extremely low floor. *sobs uncontrollably
All things considered, it was a pretty, PRETTY good week (as Larry David would say) for ye olde flex article in Week 3! Hitting on 4 out of my 5 predictions leaves me at 8 and 6 on the season. A solid 57% hit rate so far in 2023 is certainly trending in the right direction. I have set my sights on a 75% hit rate by season’s end. It will be a difficult task, but it will certainly be fun to attempt!
As a reminder, I use the FantasyPros Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR) as my weekly guidelines. I will pick wide receivers and running backs outside their top 24 to discuss. I will give a couple I like and maybe one or two I don’t and brief reasonings as to why. Hopefully, these studs give you more than 10 PPR points and will all end up in next week’s “hits” section!
Adam Thielen, WR CAR (WR28) ⬆️
As a lifelong Vikings fan, I have nothing but respect and admiration for Adam Thielen and what he achieved in his career with us. I do not doubt that Thielen will show up and show out against the Vikings and find a way to rub salt in the 0-3 wounds. There is nothing like a good revenge game narrative, and the Week 4 matchup between the Panthers and Vikings gives us just that!
Fresh off his best outing of 2023 and fueled by a need for vengeance, Thielen is a solid choice at Flex this week! Even before the Red Rifle took over in Week 3 for the Panthers, Thielen was showing a solid connection with rookie Bryce Young. Whoever is taking snaps for Carolina, Thielen will get a solid number of targets.
Dameon Pierce, RB HOU (RB28) ⬆️
It has been a rough start to 2023 for Dameon. He has only broken double-digit fantasy points once this season due to finally getting into the end zone in Week 3. Why on earth am I suggesting you start him, then? It’s partly down to the grossness of the running-back landscape. It is also down to the fact that Pittsburgh hasn’t been great at stopping the run, and the Texans are getting some momentum on the offensive side of the ball.
I still believe in Pierce’s talent. It’s just been tough sledding with a banged-up offensive line. He may fall into the end zone again in Week 4, but hey, all fantasy points count the same!
Courtland Sutton, WR DEN (WR33) ⬆️
After last week’s embarrassment at the hands of the Miami Dolphins, Sean Payton and the Broncos will want to make a statement. What better opportunity than against the hapless Chicago Bears? Even in a 70-20 drubbing, Sutton put up a decent stat line for his fantasy managers. With Jerry Jeudy seemingly hampered by a light knee issue, it should be wheels up for Sutton in Week 4.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR SF (WR26) ⬆️
This one is easy for me. If Aiyuk is fit to play, you start him. After a monster performance in Week 1, Aiyuk left in Week 2 with a shoulder injury in the 1st quarter of play. Before his exit, he had already racked up almost double-digit fantasy points in a PPR setting. It is clear that when he is on the field, he is a favorite of Purdy and Shanahan. Deebo Samuel has also been banged up this season and missed practice early in the week. The upside far outweighs the risk of starting Aiyuk if he is active against the Cardinals in Week 4.
Joshua Palmer, WR LAC (WR43) ⬆️
A bit of a deeper cut here for you bigger-league degenerates out there. With the unfortunate injury to Mike Williams, Palmer could be a benefactor in the short term.
Quentin Johnston appears to be taking a little while acclimating to the NFL, and Palmer has been useful in the past when injuries forced him into a starting role. The Chargers love to pass the ball, and the Raiders defense does not intimidate me. If needed, I would slide Palmer into my Flex in any 12-team or deeper league.
Tank Dell, WR HOU (WR32) ⬆️
I know it’s a bit cheeky having Tank on our list two weeks in a row, but if the rankers are going to put him at WR32, I don’t see what choice I have! I will not allow this disrespect of Mr. Dell to stand! I am plugging him in for a second week in a row, and you should as well! The Steelers defense has been fairly porous against wide receivers thus far, and the Texans are heating up under Stroud. It looks like it could be “Stroudy with a Chance of Deepballs” again this week (see what I did there?!)
I hope you enjoyed the article this week and it gave you some food for thought! Let’s go get some Week 4 wins!
If you want to chat fantasy football, you can always find me on X / Twitter @FFEvanlution. You can also check out my year-round dynasty fantasy football podcast (@DynastyDebates) on all major podcast listening platforms!