Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Heroes and Zeroes - Week 3 Fantasy Football Picks

I was wrong. There, now that's out of the way and we can move on to Week 3. See, the point of being an "expert" ranker, analyst, writer, editor, yadda yadda is that you are professing your knowledge and dedication to a topic in order to help others. As much as I enjoying writing and ranking and explaining my completely unfounded obsession with John Brown (I was right!), it serves no purpose to do all this for my own sake because I already know how I feel about players and matchups. I do it to help you, the loyal reader.

So, when I call Andrew Luck a Hero and he only throws for 179 yards with two TD and two INT, that's disappointing. When I say Mike Wallace is going to this the breakout sleeper play of Week 2 and he instead breaks his ankle in the first quarter, that's heartbreaking. When I tell everyone not to start Tyler Lockett because the matchup is too tough and he won't be as productive as expected and then he catches a garbage-time fourth-quarter toss in the end zone, that's borderline infuriating. But that's fantasy football. It's why we have start/sit tools, rankings, and even amazing podcasts to help us with those tough calls. So I guarantee all these calls won't be correct, but I can guarantee that I put all my effort into trying to get it right because I want to help you win. You are giving me a cut of your championship winnings in exchange for all this free advice, aren't you?

Now, here are my fantasy "heroes" and "zeroes" at each position for Week 3 of the NFL season. These are under-the-radar players that I believe will perform unexpectedly well or big names that might fare poorly relative to expectations in this week's matchups. To see how our staff feels about all the players you might possibly care about, look no further than our very own RotoBaller consensus weekly rankings.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!


Week 3 Lineup Heroes


Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

Before diving into matchup data, it must first be declared that Jared Goff wins over Jimmy Garoppolo every time. I don't mean that the Rams will beat out the Niners for the division (duh, of course they will), I'm talking best-looking QB in the league. Everyone calls Jimmy GQ the best-looking man in the NFL, but riddle me this: if Jared Goff is a doppelganger for Ryan Gosling, who is one of the best-looking actors in Hollywood, how could he not win out? Judge for yourself:

Now, let me explain why will he'll be the hottest fantasy QB on your roster in the way that's far sexier to us: statistically.

Goff hasn't really had the training wheels taken off this year, since Todd Gurley has done all the heavy lifting in relatively easy bouts with Oakland and Arizona. There was simply no need to rear back and pass the ball when the opposition barely resisted and could mount no offensive threat to counter. Enter the Chargers. Philip Rivers and friends have put up 890 yards (third-most) and 59 points (eighth-most) in two games so far and that was with their foot off the gas pedal in the fourth quarter of last week's mercy slaying of the Bills. Aside from the Chargers' potent offense, they also come in with a stumbling defense that has looked far different without Joey Bosa. They applied no pressure to Pat Mahomes, sacking him just once while allowing him to toss four TD. The fact they even allowed Josh Allen to reach the end zone should be a mark of shame.

Goff isn't necessarily due for a huge performance, but in a world where four touchdowns for a barely-owned player like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton or Blake Bortles is now a regular occurrence, I feel pretty good about his chances to be "hot" this week.


Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles

It goes without saying that Jay Ajayi's status on Sunday will affect Clement quite a bit, but even if Ajayi does play I'd still put Clement in my lineup as a PPR flex. The Colts have been surprisingly stout against the run so far, allowing the fifth-fewest rushing yards to RBs on 3.4 yards per carry. They have not found a way to stop pass-catching backs though, allowing Joe Mixon to catch five balls for 54 yards before Chris Thompson gashed them for 13 and 92. Even if he doesn't see more than 10 carries, Clement is still handling the load that Darren Sproles leaves behind, as he is suffering through another injury. Add in a decimated wide receiver corps and a gameplan that figures to be conservative in Carson Wentz's first game since ACL surgery and you have the makings of a heavy workload for the underrated Clement.

Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings

I promise I won't recommend every backup running back who faces the Bills (just most), but in this case there's an extra good reason to like Murray. Dalvin Cook has missed practice twice already, despite his contention that it was just a cramp that forced him to leave last week's game. That must be one nasty cramp. If it is indeed a hamstring issue, he may miss Week 3 altogether or be limited. In a game that should be a walk in the park for the Vikes, Murray could easily see 20 touches. He's no burner, but a trip to the end zone seems likely - he scored six TD in his last four home games of 2017.


Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears

Forget trying to find more touches for Jordan Howard - how about targeting someone other than Allen Robinson? The Bears have not yet delivered on the promise of a dynamic young offense led by a pure X's and O's head coach and a second-year QB. Their defense is so good that they could probably average 17 points each week and still find a way to win 11 games, but that's neither here nor there. The offense needs to diversify, as A-Rob has a 30% target share and only two other WRs have more than one target. Miller was taken in the second round to be an immediate impact player, so Mitch Trubisky will need to start putting more trust in him sooner than later. Hauling in his first NFL touchdown is a step in the right direction but he'll need to gain more than 11 yards to be fantasy-relevant. Here's a good spot, as the Bears face the hapless Cardinals. Miller will square off against second-year pro Budda Baker, who has been limited with an ankle injury and struggled to a 61.7 rating on coverage according to PFF. He's merely a flex consideration, but one that has more promise than fellow rookies Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore, who gained attention last week for their own debut scores.


Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers

In his first NFL start, Thomas came away with a meager two catches on 10 yards and dropped what should have been a touchdown pass in the end zone. The good news is that Cam Newton is looking his already. In eight quarters of football, Thomas has seen three red zone targets and brought in two of them. As a low-end TE2, all you need is that one that goes for six points. Thomas and the Panthers face off against the Bengals, who have already given up 20 receptions to tight ends in two games. Ouch. While Jesse James and Will Dissly are surely better choices if you're streaming the position, Thomas is more likely to be available in your league and give you a much-needed boost if you're still trying to replace Greg Olsen or Delanie Walker.


Week 3 Lineup Zeroes


Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

The "Aints" ain't exactly back. See, New Orleans gave up 48 points and nearly 500 yards of offense to Tampa Bay and its backup QB in Week 1, but after this weekend that might be the low point for the Bucs offense. They clamped down on Cleveland last week by allowing 275 yards and 18 points, much of which came on a last-minute heave-and-catch by the famed Tyrod Taylor-Antonio Callaway connection (get used to it). The Falcons aren't the Browns, obviously, but they aren't Saint-killers either. Thank god, because that would be sacrilegious. Divisional games tend to be closer because teams are so familiar with each other and this definitely won't be an easy contest for the Falcons. Although he's put up huge numbers against New Orleans in the past, this is clearly a very different defensive unit. Last season, Ryan averaged 254 yards and posted a 2/4 TD/INT rate against these Saints. Playing in the oversized Mercedes-Benz dome isn't a plus in his favor either - Ryan threw for 15 fewer yards per game and averaged just one TD in eight home games last year (8/7 TD/INT vs 12/5 on the road). All told, this could be a dynamic, high-scoring game between two potent offenses, but it won't be. Ryan's matchup is far less enticing on paper than it appears, so stick with Fitzmagic or, better yet, Jared Goff.


Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens

There is growing sentiment that Alex Collins could, in fact, be a draft day bust. Don't say we didn't try to warn you. He did miss Wednesday's practice with an illness, but that isn't expected to keep him out of action on Sunday. What could keep him out of action is the fact his team might be playing from behind. The Ravens looked like a much worse defense without CJ Mosley, who is expected to miss this game too. Collins is already in a strict timeshare with Javorius Allen, as they matched each other with 50% of the offensive snaps in Week 2 after Allen outsnapped Collins 30-27 in Week 1. If the precious touches that Collins receives are in a negative game script, he'll need to break a big gain or find paydirt in order to come through for your fantasy team. Collins is averaging 3.0 Y/A against one mediocre and one bad defense thus far - this might not be the week to hope for a breakthrough. If you're the handcuffing type (still talking fantasy football here, don't get any ideas) then you should opt for the Buck this weekend.


Randall Cobb / Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers

Last year Allison had exactly one big game in Week 3 but was a non-factor the rest of the way. With Cobb, first it's 142 yards, then it's 30. He didn't even reach the century mark once last year. Without Aaron Rodgers most of the year, it was excusable. That output could be blamed on a very tough defense and a somewhat gimpy Rodgers. As of right now, Rodgers is still gimpy and predicts pain a la Clubber Lang; meanwhile, the matchup is actually tougher according to the numbers. The Redskins have allowed the fewest passing yards over the first two weeks of 2018. Sure, they played Arizona Week 1, who I just spent much time mercilessly shredding above, but they followed it up by holding Andrew Luck under 200 yards passing. (I just had to remind myself...)

Allison has the displeasure of being matched by Josh Norman, who although he gets less press these days without Dez Bryant to keep his name in circulation, is still a premier corner. If he receives another steady diet of targets, he could enter regular WR3 status, but I'd like another week of evidence before I'm a believer. Cobb has a very favorable matchup against slot corner Fabian "Island of Dr." Moreau but has been so boom or bust over the last couple of years, it's hard to roll him out with great confidence.


Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts

Does the streak end here? Two games with a touchdown isn't much of a streak, but remember that he finished 2017 with a TD in two of the last three games and technically has never not scored a touchdown when he's played as a Colt. Marinate on that for a second...

Ebron's target share is just fifth on the team but he's converted two scores on his seven catches to reward fantasy owners.  He's a big play waiting to happen, but like any tight end outside the top handful of reliable options, he'll need to keep scoring to be worth starting. I expect this game to be a low-scoring slugfest and would not count on him to continue his run of good luck with Andrew Luck.

More Start/Sit Advice

More Recent Articles


Tight End VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More

Biggest Surprises of 2019: Running Back

The 2019 NFL season was an interesting year for the running back position. Christian McCaffrey was the overall RB1, but some of the other top players fell below expectations. That led to some interesting final results when the final season standings came around. And while some of those -- Dalvin Cook as the RB3, Leonard... Read More

Quarterback VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More

2019 RotoBaller NFL Challenge - And The @Fleaflicker Winner Is...

What a season, RotoBallers. Fantasy football is always a fun, interesting, and long season - filled with injuries, breakout players, and different strategies. It takes stamina and endurance to win the marathon, and we're here today to recognize those who pulled it off. With 343 teams - across two divisions - competing to be crowned champ... Read More

Introducing the 2020 Rookie Tight End Class

Out of all the skill positions, tight end is the one where rookies have the most issue making an immediate impact. But there's still always some value at every position in every NFL Draft, and the 2020 one is no exception, even if people are very down on this year's crop of tight ends. Let's... Read More

Can a New Coach Fix Baker Mayfield in 2020?

Another season has passed and another disappointment by Browns fans has been realized. Baker Mayfield got the head coach he wanted in Freddie Kitchens in 2019. In 2020, hopefully he's got the one he needs in Kevin Stefanski. Last season, under Kitchens, Mayfield had a coach he could control and manipulate. He did just that... Read More

Wide Receiver VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The one (and only) good thing about fantasy football season ending is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few months and put performances into context to prepare for next season. As football is an ever-evolving game, though, it makes sense to assess how good players were in fantasy... Read More

The King's Keeper Corner: NFL Postseason Impacts on Player Outlooks

With a break in the postseason NFL action, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the playoffs so far and how certain performances will affect fantasy football outlooks in keeper and dynasty formats. How players respond and what they deliver at the most intense and critical times of the season can... Read More

Introducing Value Over Starter Football Metrics

When it comes to fantasy sports, we're always looking for the highest possible Return On Investment or ROI. This concept is easy to understand: in both Daily Fantasy and re-draft/fantasy leagues, ROI would come down to how many points a player returns relative to his salary, or the price you paid (given his ADP on... Read More

Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More

Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More

Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More

Biggest Busts of 2019: Tight End

2019 was not the record-breaking season for tight ends 2018 was. San Francisco’s George Kittle (most receiving yards for a TE in a season) and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz (most receptions for a TE in a season) did not break the records they set last season, although both were fine for fantasy players. Kansas City’s Travis... Read More

Rushing Quarterbacks Are Becoming Necessary

The 2019 fantasy season is over. We are all thinking about what to do come 2020 draft day. So let me ask you something. What if I offer you the chance of drafting a quarterback who is a lock to finish the season with 270 fantasy points? Would you take him and make him your... Read More

Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More