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FFL: Week 3 | NFL: Week 3

Bounce-back Candidates

Fri Aug 16 10:05am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Dalton could surprise this year


For the most part, winning your fantasy league means taking a few chances. You can win by playing it safe but playing it safe isn't going to work most of the time. So thinking outside the box a little is a good way to put your team over the top.

One way to think outside the box is to look at some bounce-back candidates. These are guys that underperformed last year or the previous few years, but seem primed for a better season. They are important players to grab because these players carry less value come draft day. Bounce-back players can become great values for fantasy teams as the season progresses. Here are a few of our favorite bounce-back candidates for the coming season. You might want to target some of them come draft day. 

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions. Stafford had a season to forget last year, finishing 20th overall in fantasy quarterback scoring. He was a top-10 fantasy quarterback three straight seasons before last year, though. The Lions had injury issues last year and made some trades for the future, so things were stacked against him as the season progressed. He can get back to his big ways this year and is a good buy-low candidate for fantasy teams. The track record of success is certainly there for Stafford.

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals. The Bengals were a bit of a mess last year, but Dalton was producing. He missed the five games because of injury but if he plays a full year, he has 31 touchdowns and nearly 4,000 yards. New head coach Zac Taylor is an offensive minded coach that should be a plus for the offense and Dalton. This offense could be a lot better with Taylor running the show. Don’t discount Dalton to have one of his better seasons as a pro.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans. Mariota struggled with injury last year, posting pretty poor numbers throughout the season. He did have a career best 69 percent completion percentage, though, which is encouraging. He is over his arm issues now and has some new weapons to work with offensively. The Titans have assembled a lot of talent at receiver, which is a big plus for Mariota. He also gets back a healthy Delanie Walker. Mariota has the potential to have a career season.

Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars. Fournette was a bust last year. Many had high hopes for him to be an elite No. 1 back but injury issues and ineffectiveness while on the field marred his season. He is back healthy this year, though, and seems to have a chip on his shoulder. Remember, he had nearly 1,400 total yards as a rookie. He also has little competition for touches, which bodes well for his production. Fournette is setup for a big year three in Jacksonville.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings. Cook has played 15 games in two seasons. He has been a disappointment to date but showed flashes last year. He had 920 yards in 11 games and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Cook just needs to stay healthy. If that happens, the sky is the limit for him, especially in this offense. He can be an elite fantasy back. His stock might never be this low again. Grab him while you can.

DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins. Parker had another disappointing season last year, getting just 309 yards in 11 games. He was in the dog house much of the year and didn’t get the playing time as expected. He is the most talented receiver on the roster, though, and a new coaching staff should be a plus for him. He can work his way into good graces with the new staff and be the top target in the passing game. Parker certainly has the talent to be a big-time NFL player. He is worth the risk at a very reasonable price. He could lead this offense in targets.

Ted Ginn, WR, Saints. Ginn missed most of last year with injury, playing just five games. He had three of five games with 50-plus yards, though, and caught six passes for 102 yards in the playoffs. Ginn has a chance to be the No. 2 receiver in this offense. And even if he isn't starting, he will have a role. He knows the offense and had three straight seasons with 700-plus yards before last year. 

DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles. Jackson was erratic last year with the Bucs. He started really fast but struggled most of the rest of the season. He even missed some time because of injury. He gets a fresh start with his old team this year, heading back to the Eagles. He will start in this offense and should be the top big-play threat for the team. Jackson had his best years with the Eagles, so don’t be surprised for a big rebound season. He is always capable of the big game. 

Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins. Reed didn’t play a full season once again, missing three games because of injury. He did have 54 receptions, though, which was a nice rebound from the previous year. He is a big part of this offense and should see plenty of targets. HIs big issue continues to be his health. But if on the field, Reed will produce. He could even lead this team in targets. The Redskins lack top options in the passing game. Reed will get plenty of work when he is on the field. 

Delanie Walker, TE, Titans. Walker broke his ankle last year, playing just a game. He had at least 800 yards four straight seasons before last year. He is going to be 35 years old before the start of the year, but the time off last year might help him have one more big season. He is a big part of this passing game and will get plenty of weekly looks. The Titans added more weapons at receiver this offseason, but Walker might remain Marcus Mariota’s favorite target. At a position that is weak, Walker has good potential for fantasy teams at a pretty good price tag. 

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
Marlon Mack Sep 19 11:30pm ET

Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack is his team's lead back. He's far and away the best player at his position on his team. In Week 2, he was stifled by the Tennessee Titans. In Week 3, he has a matchup that is advantageous for him to have a good outcome. The Atlanta Falcons got ran over by the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, and the Colts have an even better offensive line. With the speed to hit a big play at any time, Mack belongs in lineups this week with a good amount of confidence.

From RotoBaller

Jacoby Brissett Sep 19 11:20pm ET

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett has been quietly steady through the first two weeks. In the team's Week 3 matchup, he has another positive matchup. The Atlanta Falcons Defense has a lot of speed, but they haven't been shutting opponents out through the air. Unless Brissett gets an amazing matchup, he'll consistently be a QB2, but he has a lot of upside this week. This game has some shootout potential, and Brissett could benefit as a result.

From RotoBaller

Tavon Austin Sep 19 11:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Tavon Austin (concussion) remains in the concussion protocol, but head coach Jason Garrett said he is improving. Austin doesn't have a very good chance of being cleared for Sunday against the Dolphins at this rate. He's not much of a fantasy consideration as mainly a kick returner and gadget player on offense, although the Cowboys could use him a little more when he returns with Michael Gallup out two to four weeks.

From RotoBaller

Tre'Quan Smith Sep 19 10:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Smith injured his ankle late in the Week 2 loss and appears primed to miss Week 3 on the road against the Seahawks. With Drew Brees (thumb) out at least the next six weeks, Smith doesn't have much redraft value at the moment despite the injury. If he sits out, rookie Deonte Harris and Austin Carr will battle for work behind Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn. All Saints pass-catchers need to be downgraded with Brees on the shelf.

From RotoBaller

Damien Williams Sep 19 10:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (knee) has missed practice the last two days with a bruised knee and was limping considerably on Thursday. Meanwhile, LeSean McCoy (ankle) was limited on Thursday, so it's looking like Williams will sit out in Week 3 against the Ravens. If McCoy is active, he'll have RB2 upside in what will likely be a fast-paced and high-scoring game. Rookie Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams could step in behind McCoy for some touches. Thompson would have some flex appeal in deeper PPR leagues. If you own Damien Williams, you should prepare as if he won't play this Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Michael Badgley Sep 19 10:20pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers kicker Michael Badgley (groin) was a full participant in practice on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. After missing the first two games of the season, it looks like Badgley has a good chance to make his season debut in Week 3 against the Texans. He's trending upwards as a fantasy booter, but we'd recommend a wait-and-see approach until he proves his health. The Bolts are hoping he's back full time, as they can't afford anymore special teams miscues that cost them wins. When Badgley is healthy, he can be a decent streaming option in good matchups.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Sep 19 10:10pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (knee) and tight end Vance McDonald (back) were both full participants in practice on Thursday. Conner missed practice entirely on Wednesday, so it appears that he will play in Week 3 against the 49ers. Still, Conner could share more work with backup Jaylen Samuels with Mason Rudolph now at quarterback, making him more of a low-end RB2 against an improved 49ers Defense. McDonald had two touchdowns when Rudolph spelled Big Ben last week and could be a safety blanket for the second-year signal-caller. Consider McDonald a low-end TE1 on the rise.

From RotoBaller

Mason Crosby Sep 19 9:50pm ET

Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby is an effective starting option this week against the Denver Broncos. Crosby has been accurate all season, and in familiar surroundings there is no reason why that would change. The Denver Broncos have allowed just over an average number of field-goal attempts, giving up four so far this season. With the Packers expected to win the matchup, combining the field-goal opportunity with the expectation of extra-point conversions, Crosby should be a starter for fantasy owners this week.

From RotoBaller

Jared Cook Sep 19 9:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook has yet to show fantasy owners any uptick in production after joining a new team this past offseason. Through two games with the Saints, Cook has managed a disappointing 64 yards on four receptions. It's not surprising, but not what fantasy owners were hoping for. Cook is now without his starting quarterback for the next six weeks of the season and cannot be trusted as more than a middle-of-the-road TE2 going forward. Consider him a risky start in Week 3 in Seattle.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Sep 19 9:40pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling should be considered as a flex option with upside this week. Valdes-Scantling had some boom plays in the opening matchup against the Chicago Bears but struggled to make the same impact against the Minnesota Vikings last week. The Denver Broncos have only given up an average of 15.6 points to the position, but haven't faced a quarterback of significant talent yet this season. Given that Davante Adams is due to face a tough personal battle in the matchup, Valdes-Scantling has a great opportunity to bounce back with a few big plays this week.

From RotoBaller

Geronimo Allison Sep 19 9:40pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison has had a wildly inconsistent start to the season, making him a difficult player to trust in lineups this week. Allison wasn't given a single target in the Packers opening matchup and while he had four receptions last week, it was the touchdown that saved his fantasy value. Allison has been used primarily as a large slot player so far this season, but at the moment seems to be a touchdown-or-bust option. While that might change later in the season, fantasy owners should look elsewhere for wide receiver production this week, especially since the Denver Broncos have given up just 15.6 points to the position.

From RotoBaller

Green Bay Packers Sep 19 9:40pm ET

The Green Bay Packers Defenseis a good option for fantasy owners this week. In previous seasons, the defense has struggled to have a consistent impact. However, after multiple additions in the offseason, the Packers have been an effective fantasy option this season. The've only allowed 19 points so far this season, as well as totaling six sacks and five turnovers. The Denver Broncos have struggled to get their offense firing consistently and are on the road in a tough environment, making the Packers worth a start this week.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Sep 19 9:30pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will look to get on track in Buffalo on Sunday. After injuring his ankle during the Week 1 encounter with the 49ers, Mixon has undoubtedly not been at his best, racking up just 27 yards on 17 rushing attempts to go along with just five receptions. Things won't be easy for the 23-year-old, however, as he will be going up against an efficient Bills Defense that has allowed 23.05 fantasy points to opposing backs while allowing opponents to accumulate just 296.5 total yards this season. Nonetheless, Mixon is still a must-start in most fantasy leagues despite his dismal play this season.

From RotoBaller

Andy Dalton Sep 19 9:10pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will hit the road for a potentially rough Week 3 matchup against Buffalo. The Bills Defense has been one of the most effective units in the league this season, allowing opponents to net just 296.5 yards through the first two games of the season. Dalton has played well, however, throwing four touchdowns with only one interception to go along with a 65.6 completion percentage. With the veteran signal-caller getting some steady production from the likes of John Ross, Tyler Boyd, and Tyler Eifert, Dalton could be a decent streamer in all formats for those in need of a quarterback despite the tough matchup on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Jason Myers Sep 19 7:50pm ET

Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers probably didn't expect to be rolling into Week 3 with a field goal record of 0-for-1. Seattle made 22 field goals in 27 attempts last season, but after two weeks of 2019, they've attempted just one shot for three points. Even that attempt was a serious long shot as Myers was forced to kick at the end of the first half against Pittsburgh from 58 yards out. That would have tied his career-long, and no one is really upset that he missed that bomb. The good news is that he is 7-for-7 on extra points so far, and eventually, he'll get his chances on field goals.

From RotoBaller

Ted Ginn Jr. Sep 19 7:43pm ET

New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. (thigh) was limited during practice Thursday, Sept. 19..

Fantasy Spin: Ginn likely will lose some fantasy value because of the change at quarterback but is still a big play threat. He could be a flex option in some leagues but could be benched if better options are available.

From TheHuddle

Zach Line Sep 19 7:43pm ET

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (thumb) and WR Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 19. FB Zach Line (knee), OG Andrus Peat (ankle) and DT Sheldon Rankins (Achilles) were limited during practice.

From TheHuddle

D.K. Metcalf Sep 19 7:30pm ET

When the Seattle Seahawks drafted wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the second round of this year's draft, there was a ton of criticism about how Metcalf was nothing but a workout warrior. However, head coach Pete Carroll was enthralled by Metcalf's size and speed combination. He's been searching for that type of receiver for years, trying out the likes of Sidney Rice, Brandon Marshall, and others. None have been the right fit for long, but so far, Metcalf has been fantastic. Metcalf will get another chance to prove the doubters wrong when he faces a soft Saints secondary on Sunday. He should have no problem racking up some more points.

From RotoBaller

Hunter Renfrow Sep 19 7:30pm ET

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow has made a mark in the team's offense, leading the team with eight targets in Week 2. He'll look to follow that up this week as the squad travels to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in a game that will likely force more pass attempts from Derek Carr. With Tyrell Williams drawing coverage from All-Pro Xavier Rhodes, the field could open up more for Renfrow who's starting to become a weapon underneath the secondary. He's too risky to start in DFS and redraft leagues, but with another solid showing, he could be a sneaky option in PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

Will Dissly Sep 19 7:30pm ET

Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly caught his first touchdown of the season last Sunday, and it was quite the relief for him. Dissly doubted that he'd ever play in the NFL again after he tore his patellar tendon last September, and the concern jumped up again when he left the team's Week 1 game early due to banging knees with a teammate. Now, it looks like he might be able to find a regular spot in the rotation of the offense. Dissly ended up hauling in two touchdowns in the win against Pittsburgh, and suddenly, teams are going to have to start scheming for him. With Seattle looking like they'll have no problem reaching the red zone regularly, expect Dissly to be a big, attractive target for Russell Wilson.

From RotoBaller