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FFL: Week 3 | NFL: Week 3

Fantasy Question Marks

Fri Aug 23 11:10am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Not sure about you, but I feel like this year is filled with a lot more draft day question marks compared to the last few seasons. There are plenty of players with injury concerns and holdout issues, making for some tough decisions come draft day. I thought it would be a good idea to let you know how I am handling these players on draft day, letting you know my strategy when it comes to players with question marks. 

Rams running back Todd Gurley is the first draft-day headache. He missed time down the stretch because of a sore knee. Gurley has endured numerous knee surgeries as well, which is cause for concern. You just aren’t sure how much he has left in the tank, but when on the field and right, he is as good as any fantasy back in the game. For me, I will take a chance on Gurley in the second round if I have a top-four pick and am able to grab an elite, sure-thing running back. I also will take a look at Gurley if he falls to the third round, depending on how I already have on my roster. 

There are a couple running backs holding out, including Ezekiel Elliott. I have fewer concerns about Elliott because I can’t see the Cowboys going into the season without their star back. They need Elliott if the team hopes to make the playoffs and a run towards the Super Bowl. He is a huge part of the offense. So for now, I am still taking Elliott if he is there with the fourth pick in the draft. And if he falls later, I will be more than happy to get him any spot in the first round after pick three. But if I take Elliott, I am more than likely getting a back with my second pick to make sure I have a backup plan if Elliott misses any time because of his holdout. I will go back-to-back running backs with Elliott on my roster. 

Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is the other back that is holding out. Gordon has me a lot more scared then Elliott. The Chargers don't have a good track record of caving when it comes contract demands. I could see this situation dragging out into the season, which is a concern for anyone that drafts Gordon. But with that said, if Gordon falls into like the fourth round, I would grab him. I’m not sure I would take him in the third, though. I just think he carries too much risk at this point and his backups could end up splitting work, which is another concern as well if you want a handcuff. 

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is battling injury once again. He has an ankle injury this time and might not be ready for the start of the year. But if he misses any time, he is likely out just a game or two. Luck won’t miss much time. With the quarterback position so deep this year, I have no problem still taking Luck as my No. 1 quarterback. You can still get a solid backup if you draft Luck and he ends up missing a game or two. I still think the upside is great enough with Luck that he is worth grabbing after the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. This Colts offense could be really special when Luck is starting at quarterback. 

The league just re-instated Patriots receiver Josh Gordon. He is back and ready to play a big role in an offense that lacks playmakers at receiver. Gordon carries huge risk, though. He is another strike away from a long suspension and played just one full season his entire NFL career. Plus, he has just one 1,000-yard season. He played much of last year with the Patriots and if he makes it the whole season, Gordon has 58 receptions for 1,047 yards and four touchdowns. I’m not taking Gordon as anything more than a No. 3 fantasy receiver. I will not reach for him sooner than that, making him like a seventh or eighth round pick for me.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Antonio Brown Sep 21 9:03pm ET

Free-agent WR Antonio Brown has had communication 'with a few teams that are interested,' according to agent Drew Rosenhaus Saturday, Sept. 21. Rosenhaus adds those teams 'want information regarding his legal situation and the NFL investigation.' A deal isn't likely to happen until the league's investigation is resolved, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

From TheHuddle

Sep 21 7:53pm ET

New England Patriots S Nate Ebner (groin) was added to the injury report Saturday, Sept. 21, and is considered questionable for Sunday.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Peterson Sep 21 7:03pm ET

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson won't be traded, according to general manager Steve Keim Friday, Sept. 20. 'We're not trading Pat and that's something we've been very consistent with, from (team President) Michael (Bidwill) to myself to coach (Kliff Kingsbury),' Keim said. 'When you look at the kind of player Pat is, and I think arguably the best corner in the National Football League, all you have to do is say, 'Does this make your team better or worse?' And I think to lose someone like Pat Peterson would make us worse.' Peterson remains under contract with the Cardinals through the end of next season when he'll carry a $13.2 million cap hit.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Sep 21 6:13pm ET

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion) could be 'weeks' away from a return to the field, according to a source Saturday, Sept. 21. Reed hasn't played yet this season and has already been ruled out for Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears.

Fantasy Spin: Reed is free to drop in all formats with fantasy managers best off streaming the position based on weekly matchups.

From TheHuddle

Da'Shawn Hand Sep 21 4:33pm ET

Detroit Lions DE Da'Shawn Hand (elbow) was ruled out for Week 3 Saturday, Sept. 21. Hand had been considered questionable.

From TheHuddle

Marvin Hall Sep 21 4:23pm ET

Detroit Lions WR Marvin Hall was added to the active roster from the practice squad Saturday, Sept. 21. WR Chris Lacy was released from the active roster and DE Jonathan Wynn was signed to the practice squad.

From TheHuddle

Quinton Dunbar Sep 21 4:23pm ET

Washington Redskins DL Jonathan Allen (knee), CB Fabian Moreau (ankle), OT Morgan Moses (knee), S Montae Nicholson (foot) and WR Robert Davis (knee) were all full participants in practice Saturday, Sept. 21. CB Quinton Dunbar (knee), QB Colt McCoy (fibula) and LB Cassanova McKinzy (hip) didn't participate. Allen and Dunbar are considered questionable for Monday against the Chicago Bears. McCoy and McKinzy have been ruled out.

From TheHuddle

Ezekiel Ansah Sep 21 4:13pm ET

Seattle Seahawks DE Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) will make his season debut Sunday, Sept. 22, against the New Orleans Saints. 'Ziggy's ready to play,' Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Sept. 20. 'Ready to play football. We're excited to see that. It has been a really good process to get him to this where he's in good shape too. He's worked hard and long, so he's in better shape than sometimes when a guy is just coming back. We'll be able to get him a bunch of plays here in this game, and we're looking forward to his participation with us.'

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Sep 21 4:03pm ET

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion) was ruled out for Week 3 Saturday, Sept. 21. He'll miss Washington's game against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football.

Fantasy Spin: Backup Vernon Davis has seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown through two games in place of Reed this season. Fantasy managers should be moving on from Reed at this point with Davis just one of the viable replacements available on the waiver wire.

From TheHuddle

Adam Thielen Sep 21 3:50pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen has seen his production capped by Kirk Cousins' rough start, though he secured 5-of-8 targets for 75 yards in Week 2. He has a golden opportunity to break out in Week 3's tilt as the Vikings will face the Raiders and their tissue-soft secondary at home. Thielen lines up everywhere, but he should see Daryl Worley (4.64 40-yard dash) the most in coverage on Sunday. Advantage - Adam Thielen. The Vikings are big favorites (-8.5), which will likely lead to featuring Dalvin Cook and the rushing attack. However, Thielen should still be started as a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 as his 26% target share leads the team and he should be able to torch the Raiders even on limited opportunities. He's also a sneaky tournament play in daily formats as he could go under-owned and has a high ceiling.

From RotoBaller

Stefon Diggs Sep 21 3:10pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs is coming off a Week 2 performance where he caught just 1-of-7 targets, but the catch resulted in a 49-yard touchdown that saved his fantasy day. He had another touchdown called back in the contest. Diggs has been a victim of Cousins' erratic play and low passing volume, but his Week 3 matchup against the Oakland Raiders is enticing. He'll square off against Gareon Conley and the rest of the Oakland defensive backfield, a group that has gotten absolutely ripped by receivers this season. They've allowed a combined 104.9 PPR points to wide receivers through Week 2 (vs. DEN, vs. KC). Start Diggs as a mid-range WR2 in this beatable matchup. His high target share in this offense gives him a decent floor and a high ceiling, which also puts him in play for daily tournaments as a reduced-ownership play.

From RotoBaller

Trey Burton Sep 21 3:03pm ET

Chicago Bears DT Bilal Nichols (hand) did not participate in practice Saturday, Sept. 21 and has been ruled out for the team's Week 3 game Monday, Sept. 23. OG Kyle Long (hip) also did not practice Saturday and is listed as questionable. TE Trey Burton (groin), S Eddie Jackson (shoulder) and PK Eddy Pineiro (knee) were limited as are listed as questionable. DT Eddie Goldman (oblique) fully participated in practice and was removed from the Week 3 injury report.

From TheHuddle

Antonio Brown Sep 21 2:53pm ET

Free-agent WR Antonio Brown (Patriots) attracted interest from the Seattle Seahawks after his release from the Oakland Raiders, but that no longer appears to be the case after he was released Friday, Sept. 20, by the New England Patriots. 'We're pretty well set (at wide receiver) right now,' Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said when asked about Brown at a Friday news conference. 'We kind of know where we're going with that.'

Fantasy Spin: With the issues surrounding Brown morphing from bizarre to decidedly more serious, don't expect to see him in the league for the rest of the season.

From TheHuddle

Dalvin Cook Sep 21 2:30pm ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is leading the league in rushing through two weeks, carrying 41 times for 265 yards (6.5 YPC) and three touchdowns. His 20.5 attempts/game only trails Marlon Mack, and his three runs of 20 or more yards also lead the NFL. Minnesota has run the highest percentage of run plays in the NFL and that is unlikely to change this week as they are 8.5-point favorites at home. The Oakland Raiders have only allowed 98 rushing yards (vs. DEN) and 31 rushing yards (vs. KC) through Week 2, but they haven't faced a running back like Dalvin Cook and the likelihood of seeing 20+ touches yet again pushes him way up the rankings. Consider "Chef" Dalvin a top-tier RB1 in this delicious matchup at home.

From RotoBaller

Demarcus Robinson Sep 21 2:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson had a huge game versus the Oakland Raiders in Week 2. He caught all six of his targets for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Robinson was one of the most popular pickups throughout the week, but fantasy owners should get ready for disappointment. Robinson will once again be involved in the offense, but Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman will see targets as well. It was rare that Robinson caught all of his targets, and one of them being a 44 yard touchdown due to blown coverage. The Baltimore Ravens secondary isn't much better, but fantasy owners shouldn't expect the same result twice. Robinson is someone to be looked at as a shaky WR2 or a reliable WR3 for Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Sep 21 2:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce came to play in the Week 2 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Kelce caught seven of his nine targets for 107 yards and one touchdown. The Chiefs offense doesn't seem to ever slow down and that should be the case again in Week 3. The Baltimore Ravens Defense is coming off a game where they gave up 349 passing yards to rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. Earl Thomas should be able to slow down Kelce somewhat, but fantasy owners should expect a TE1 type of performance from him once again.

From RotoBaller

Mecole Hardman Sep 21 2:00pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman was able to make some noise for the team in the victory over the Oakland Raiders in Week 2. Hardman caught four passes for 61 yards and a touchdown in that contest. Tyreek Hill (shoulder) remains sidelined, so Hardman will continue to have decent fantasy value. Demarcus Robinson outplayed Hardman last week, but who knows if that will happen again. The Baltimore Ravens secondary is shaky, so the Chiefs should have no issues on offense. Hardman has WR2 upside, but at worst he's a solid WR3 for Week 3 against Baltimore.

From RotoBaller

Sammy Watkins Sep 21 1:50pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins saw a team-high 13 targets in the victory over the Oakland Raiders in Week 2. However, Watkins hauled in just six of those balls for 49 yards and didn't find the end zone. It was a disappointing game for fantasy owners as Watkins was expected to be much better with Tyreek Hill (shoulder) sidelined. Watkins will get a chance to rebound here against a Baltimore Ravens Defense in Week 3. The same defense that just got carved up by rookie quarterback Kyler Murray last week for 349 passing yards. Fantasy owners can hope that Watkins will fulfill his WR1 potential in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Cordarrelle Patterson Sep 21 1:43pm ET

Chicago Bears WR Cordarrelle Patterson has a fan in Bears head coach Matt Nagy, who is trying to find the best way to utilize Patterson's speed and play-making ability on offense. 'Now what he's morphed into as a player throughout his (NFL) career, it's pretty unique,' Nagy said. 'As a play-caller it allowed you to be flexible with what you can do. You saw (against the Broncos) we were able to get him on the edge. He's a big dude that's flying around there with a lot of speed.'

Fantasy Spin: Courtesy of a big 46-yard run in Week 2, Patterson only has 51 yards on four touches, including a 3-yard reception, this season, meaning he's most likely to play the role of fantasy vulture -- as he did a season ago in New England -- stealing valuable touches and points from the rest of the Bears' already fringe fantasy cast.

From TheHuddle

LeSean McCoy Sep 21 1:40pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy should be looking at a heavier workload for Sunday's Week 3 contest versus the Baltimore Ravens. Lead back Damien Williams (knee) has already been ruled out for this one. McCoy has been battling an ankle issue, so the Chiefs will be cautious about that. Darwin Thompson is going to see some snaps as well, so McCoy isn't overloaded. McCoy is a low-end RB2 for Week 3, but he could have more upside. It all depends on how McCoy's ankle is feeling on Sunday.

From RotoBaller