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Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 3

Curtis Samuel - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season is officially in the books. Overreactions will undoubtedly continue to be made, but there's also a lot of good information we can use to help make decisions as we head into Week 3 and beyond.

In this weekly column, we'll be looking at players whose arrows may be pointing up, and players whose arrows may be pointing down based on the previous week's games. We'll try not to overreact, but instead, use relevant data to make informed decisions about certain players.

Here are the key risers and fallers coming out of Week 2 of the NFL season.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best NFL Series, MLB Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Week 3 Fantasy Football Risers

Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

Garrett Wilson is a certified baller. After garnering eight targets on just a 49% snap share in Week 1, the rookie saw 14 targets on a 61% snap share in Week 2. He turned those 14 targets into eight catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns. His target share increased from 14% in Week 1 to 32.6% in Week 2.

Many thought second-year man Elijah Moore would be the de facto WR1 for the Jets, but Wilson has taken the league by storm in just two games. He’s commanding targets at an extremely high rate and clearly has the trust of veteran quarterback Joe Flacco. He’s out-targeting Moore 22 to 12 through the first two weeks of the season.

It also doesn’t hurt that the Jets have a subpar defense and find themselves trailing much of the time, leading to lots of pass attempts. To that end, Flacco has averaged nearly 52 pass attempts per game in the first two games. Next up is a matchup against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. Look for Wilson’s snap share to increase even more in Week 3 as Robert Saleh finds it difficult to take his newest alpha WR1 off the field.

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders

Speaking of commanding targets, Curtis Samuel has done just that in his first fully healthy season with the Washington Commanders. He signed a big contract to play in Washington ahead of the 2021 season, but injuries derailed him, and he ended up appearing in just five games as a part-time player a season ago.

Samuel, just 26 years old, is only a year removed from being given a three-year, $34.5 million contract from Ron Rivera and the Washington Commanders. Remember, Rivera coached Samuel back in 2019 in Carolina when he set a career-high with 105 targets. Now Washington, much like Carolina, is finding ways to get the ball in their playmakers’ hands.

Through two games, Samuel is averaging 10 targets per game. He’s turned those 20 targets into 15 catches for 133 yards and two scores. He’s got eight more targets than Terry McLaurin and 10 more than rookie Jahan Dotson. Samuel is the low average depth of target (aDoT) receiver for Washington, but that just means he’s more likely to see a higher volume of targets, which is especially good in PPR leagues.

He’s just so good with the ball in his hands that the Commanders continue to draw up quick passes to simply get him the ball. Oh, and check out just how good this guy has been when healthy in his last 13 games.

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

Guess who leads all tight ends in targets through two weeks? It's not Travis Kelce, it's not Mark Andrews, it's not everyone's favorite, Kyle Pitts. You got it, it's Tyler Higbee. Not only is he averaging 10 targets per game through two games, but he's got a 26.3% target share and a 29.9% target rate (per PlayerProfiler).

Meanwhile, Allen Robinson, the Rams' prized free agent acquisition, has just seven total targets on the season, good for a measly 9.2% target share and a 9.6% target rate. It's very clear Higbee is the second option in the passing game for Matthew Stafford right now behind Cooper Kupp.

We've seen Higbee do this before. Not for an extended period of time, but he's strung together productive weeks in the past. This season, he's second amongst all tight ends in snap share (94.7%) and fourth in routes run (33.5) per game.

Don't sleep on Higbee just because he hasn't sustained this kind of production for an entire season before. He looks to have developed a nice chemistry with Stafford over the years and it's finally coming to fruition in 2022.

Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders

I think everyone, including myself, was low on Carson Wentz coming into this season after a mediocre fantasy season with the Indianapolis Colts in 2021. He’s done it before but just wasn’t asked to do a whole lot last season as the Colts rode Jonathan Taylor into the sunset.

In fact, Wentz averaged just 30.4 pass attempts per game in Indy. Through two games with the Commanders, he’s averaging 43.5 pass attempts per game. He’s turned that into an average of 325 yards and 3.5 touchdowns per game. Washington is likely to be in another high-scoring affair in Week 3 when they play host to the Philadelphia Eagles, the team that drafted Wentz, of course.

That should be another game where the Commanders are forced to score a lot of points to keep up with their opponent. And once again, that will benefit Carson Wentz. With a plethora of pass-catching options (McLaurin, Samuel, Dotson, Logan Thomas, Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic) at his disposal, it would behoove Washington to lean on Wentz and the passing game moving forward.

Treat Commander Carson as a top-12 quarterback option until further notice.

Drake London, Atlanta Falcons

London is a total alpha. Through two games, he has a target share of 33.3% and a target rate of 41.3%. Sure, it's a small sample size, but those are truly elite percentages, especially for a rookie in his first two career NFL games.

He's been so good that it's negatively impacted the target share of a generational talent at the tight-end position in Kyle Pitts. Now that's impressive.

Thus far, the Falcons have been relatively run-heavy, running 51.2% of the time. That likely won't continue as they play catch-up in most games. Through the first two weeks of the season, the Falcons have given up an average of 29 points per game, yet have attempted just 29.5 passing plays per game.

With that type of target share and target rate, London's production is bound to take a jump up with a higher passing rate. Don't miss this opportunity to buy Drake London before it's too late.

Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans

You might be wondering how Treylon Burks could be a riser after posting a line of 4-47-0 on just six targets in Week 2. It's not the production to date, but the incredible efficiency of the opportunities given.

In Week 1, Burks played just 36.7% of the snaps but was targeted on five of his 12 routes, good for a 41.7% target rate. In Week 2, his snap share increased to nearly 50% (which would have been even higher if not for the 41-7 blowout loss to the Bills). His target rate was still at 35.3%, as he was targeted six times on 17 routes run.

The Titans won't get blown out every week, and it's only a matter of time (probably Week 3 to be honest) before Burks posts a 75% snap share and sees 10+ targets as Ryan Tannehill's new favorite receiver.

Other Risers: Evan Engram, Rhamondre Stevenson, Raheem Mostert, Zach Ertz, Chris Olave

Week 3 Fantasy Football Fallers

Allen Robinson, Los Angeles Rams

See Tyler Higbee's "riser" write-up. Long story short, there's reason to be concerned with the 29-year-old wide receiver's opportunity through two games. Sure, he found the end zone in Week 2, but A Rob has garnered just seven total targets thus far.

He wasn't good last season in Chicago, and many chalked it up to him being disgruntled and playing on a bad Bears team. But now it seems like last season may not have been a facade. It's possible Robinson has lost a step. He can still be decent, but there's no way he's coming anywhere close to Cooper Kupp's level of production.

Many (including myself) pegged Robinson as a top-15 receiver in 2022 as he was getting to play with the best quarterback of his entire career and people saw Stafford support two top-20 wide receivers at any given time in Kupp, Robert Woods, and Odell Beckham Jr. However, it doesn't look like that's going to happen again in 2022 with Kupp and Robinson.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Zeke just isn't getting it done right now. Through two games, he's averaging just 49 total yards on 14.5 opportunities (12.5 rush attempts and two targets) per game. He's currently 51st amongst all running backs in yards created per touch (1.41). He wasn't very efficient last season either but still managed to create over 2.2 yards per touch.

To make matters worse, it appears Tony Pollard will be the primary pass-catching back for the Cowboys. In Week 2, Pollard saw a 23.3% target share while Elliott saw just a 6.7% target share in a game that remained close throughout.

Zeke's fantasy value has historically come from a high-volume workload. Without that workload, and with an offense struggling to put up points right now (averaging just 11.5 per game through two games), there's not much to be hopeful about in the near term.

Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

Talk about a guy that needs a massive workload to return top-level fantasy value. Najee Harris is exactly that. As a rookie, he led all running backs in both opportunity share and snap share. He was only able to turn that into an RB7 season.

Now, in 2022, Harris is playing on an average of just 65% of the snaps. He's still averaging 16.5 opportunities per game but compared to last season, that's next to nothing. Recall, he averaged a whopping 23.6 opportunities as a rookie and still couldn't crack the top-six running backs on a points-per-game basis.

To make matters worse, this Mitch Trubisky-led Steelers offense doesn't look very good right now. Maybe Kenny Pickett takes over sooner rather than later and things start to click, leading to more high-value opportunities for Najee, but that's probably wishful thinking.

The hidden foot injury, combined with the lower snap share, lower opportunity share, and a below-average offensive line make Najee a very tough first-round pill to swallow should you have gone that route this season.

Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are the slowest-paced team in the NFL, running only 48 plays per game through the first two weeks of the season. The Bears are the next-slowest, running just 48.5 plays per game. Both teams lack many fantasy-viable options right now, and that includes Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny.

I was very adamantly avoiding Penny this season in the first place, and things are very much so looking grim after Week 2 in which he played just 41% of the snaps, handled just six rush attempts, and didn't see a single target (after three in Week 1). In fact, due to the game script, Travis Homer played on more snaps and got just as many touches (six), albeit in the form of four targets and two rush attempts. He outscored Penny by 6.7 PPR points.

Through two weeks, we've seen Penny's value when he's not trampling over mediocre defenses and scoring lots of touchdowns. He's currently averaging just 5.1 PPR points per game through two games. And with rookie Kenneth Walker now back in the fold, don't expect Penny to all of a sudden be the league-winner he was at the tail end of the 2022 season.

Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

For the first few years of his career, Terry McLaurin has been "the only guy in town." Even still, he has never finished inside the top-20 wide receivers. Now it looks like he'll have to fend off arguably the best and most well-rounded receiving corps he's ever played with. Guys like Curtis Samuel, Jahan Dotson, Logan Thomas, Antonio Gibson, and J.D. McKissic are all in the fold when it comes to siphoning valuable targets from Scary Terry.

His target share has hovered between 23-25% to start his career, but things could be different in 2022. Currently, McLaurin is averaging just six targets per game through two games, giving him a 14.1% target share. He's running lots of routes (44 per game) but isn't being targeted nearly as much as fellow receiver Curtis Samuel, who has a target share of 23.5%.

With other talented receivers in the mix, it looks like McLaurin was probably a bit over-drafted this season. He could still finish as a top-30 receiver, but he's going to have to fight for every target with good football players around him. That's unlike previous seasons when he was the clear go-to go in the passing game.

Other Fallers: DK Metcalf, Hunter Henry, D.J. Chark, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tyler Boyd



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Garrett Wilson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups - icon rotoballer

Wide Receiver Matchups to Target in Week 3: Curtis Samuel, Mack Hollins, Garrett Wilson

Last week was a big week for the Wide Receiver Matchups series, as there were quite a few hits. Greg Dortch had four receptions, 55 yards, and one touchdown against the Raiders. Christian Kirk had six receptions, 78 yards, and two touchdowns against the Colts. Amon-Ra St. Brown had a massive game against the Commanders... Read More


Joe Burrow - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News - icon rotoballer

NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 3) - Targets and Avoids

Comeback Sunday. The Jets, Dolphins, and Cardinals pulling off improbable wins. Other games going down to the wire. Through two weeks, 12 games have been decided by three or fewer, a record. As for survivor, both Ohio teams, the Browns and Bengals, knocked out about 20 percent of the entrants. About 75 percent of entrants... Read More


Dallas Cowboys Defense, Trevon Diggs - Fantasy Football Rankings, IDP Targets, Draft Sleepers

Week 3 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2022 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

We're into Week 3 of the NFL season, and we're starting to see some defensive units stand out among the pack. However, it's still too early to fully give ourselves over to the data we're collecting for some of these teams. Are the Jaguars really this good? Are the Colts really this bad? Only time... Read More


Chris Olave - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Week 3 FLEX Rankings for Fantasy Football: Chris Olave, Adam Thielen, Jarvis Landry, Jeff Wilson Jr., Michael Carter, Chase Edmonds

Trying to figure out your FLEX plays for this week's fantasy football lineups? Not to worry, we're here to help with our team's updated Week 3 fantasy football FLEX rankings, as of September 24th. Our goal is to help you set those winning lineups, so let's see where key FLEX options like Chris Olave, Adam... Read More


Ravens Defense - Fantasy Football DST Rankings, Draft Sleepers, IDP Targets

Week 3 Team Defense Rankings for Fantasy Football: Cowboys DST, Bengals DST, Ravens DST, Broncos DST, Chiefs DST, Packers DST

Every position and every point counts when setting optimal fantasy football lineups, especially team defenses. And as always we are here to guide your winning ways with our updated Week 3 fantasy football defense (D/ST) rankings, as of September 24th. Our goal is to help you set those winning lineups, so let's see where key... Read More


Justin Herbert - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Week 3 Quarterback Rankings for Fantasy Football: Kirk Cousins, Carson Wentz, Tua Tagovailoa, Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers

Howdy RotoBallers, and welcome to Week 3 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In the article below you'll see our team's updated Week 3 fantasy football quarterback rankings, as of September 24th. Our goal is to help you set those winning lineups, so let's see where key quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Carson Wentz, Tua... Read More


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A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who are overvalued while finding gems buried down the ADP leaderboard. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. The perfect steal can give you a magnificent advantage. Today, let's talk about some players whose ADPs makes little sense given their projections--for the good... Read More


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A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who are overvalued while finding gems buried down the ADP leaderboard. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. The perfect steal can give you a magnificent advantage. Today, let's talk about some players whose ADPs makes little sense given their projections--for the good... Read More


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Ask anybody that plays a fantasy sport what the best part of the season really is, and most of them will say it's the draft itself. Almost all of us know why too. Not unlike when you were a kid and got to be a captain for dodgeball on the playground, picking your own team... Read More


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It's funny that every year at the NBA Draft, once the end of the guaranteed money and live appearances arrives at the end of the first round, everybody tunes out and refers to the 60th pick as "Mr. Irrelevant." That's not very accurate though, is it? Speaking historically, the title of "Mr. Irrelevant" could just... Read More


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