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Unexpected Boom Performances: Fantasy Football Risers Include De'Von Achane, Sam LaPorta, Tank Dell, and more

Adam Thielen - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL DFS Picks

If you enjoy blowouts, Week 3 was the week for you. While there were some great close games that had entertaining endings, there were some truly spectacular blowouts that happened this week. One of those was actually the fourth game in NFL history where a team scored 70 points and the first instance of one since 1966.

Another interesting aspect of this week was that a lot of the young guys decided it was time to step up. If you had a team full of rookies in Week 3, there was a solid chance that you had a nice scoring output.

With so many blowouts and young players having their breakout performances, we were bound to have some astonishing outputs this week. With that being said, let’s get into the five most notable unexpected boom performances that occurred during a wild week of NFL football.

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Surprise Fantasy Football Performances

De'Von Achane, Miami Dolphins

In the mother of all blowouts came one of the first out-of-nowhere boom performances in a while. With most of the performances listed, there are usually some people out there who had an inkling that a player would have a big performance during a certain week. But in this case, nobody had any idea of what was coming from Miami Dolphins rookie running back De’Von Achane.

In a 70-20 Dolphins win over the hapless Denver Broncos, Achane had 18 carries for 203 yards and two touchdowns along with four receptions for 30 yards and two touchdowns. That insane performance resulted in a league-leading 49.3 half-PPR fantasy points.

What’s crazy about this performance, outside of the statistics, is that this is Achane’s first real action in an NFL game. He had one carry in Week 1 and was a healthy scratch in Week 2. Frankly, the only reason he was seeing this much action in the first place was because the usual No.2 running back, Salvon Ahmed, was inactive with a groin injury.

With this great game for the rookie, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Achane receive a larger workload from here on out. Just don’t expect this high of a point total every week because the Dolphins probably aren’t going to be scoring 70 points every week.


Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions

One of the popular narratives that surrounds fantasy football is to never trust rookie tight ends. With years of proven data, it’s not a bad piece of advice. However, one member of this year's rookie class appears to be bucking the trend.

Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta has started his career looking like a seasoned veteran. While his first couple of games were impressive, his Week 3 performance against the Atlanta Falcons appears to have been his coming out party.

LaPorta was a top weapon during Detroit’s win over the Falcons as he caught eight-of-11 targets for 84 yards and his first career touchdown. His efforts led him to 18.4 half-PPR fantasy points, the highest score by a tight end in Week 3.

The rookie tight end is likely rostered in most leagues as he has been solid for the first two weeks of the season. But due to this game, he should be valued much higher than he was just a week ago.


Tank Dell, Houston Texans

During a great fantasy week for rookies, it was only fitting that another got in on the fun. Although he had a solid Week 2, Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Tank Dell had himself a much more explosive outing in Week 3.

In the Texans’ 37-17 win over their division rival Jacksonville Jaguars, Dell caught five-of-seven targets for 145 yards and a touchdown. In a great outing for the bite-sized rookie, he was able to put up 23 half-PPR points. That total was good for the sixth-highest point total by a wide receiver in Week 3.

Throughout the offseason, it was clear that Tank Dell had a connection with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, especially considering Stroud personally requested the Texans pick him on draft night. Considering what they’ve shown so far, this might be just the beginning of what’s to come. If he’s on waivers, find a way to get him on your team.


Adam Thielen, Carolina Panthers

Now that we have the rookies out of the way, it’s time to give the old guys some love. There was plenty of joking and snickering about Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen in the offseason. While it was clear he had been losing a step in Minnesota, the guy clearly didn’t belong in a retirement home just yet.

However, on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, Thielen looked like a man reborn. With Andy Dalton at quarterback, the 33-year-old caught 11-of-14 targets for 145 yards and a touchdown. Those who started him were rewarded with 26 half-PPR fantasy points, the fourth-highest fantasy output by a wide receiver in Week 3.

Thielen has looked great so far this season. Whether it’s with Bryce Young or Andy Dalton, he appears to have his role solidified in this Carolina offense. Through three weeks, he’s looking like a major value for teams that drafted him.


Pharaoh Brown, New England Patriots

Every week, there is usually a player that everyone has zero expectations for who has a decent performance anyway. This week, it was New England Patriots tight end Pharaoh Brown.

While Brown wasn’t a game-breaker or a week-winner, his solid output this week was enough of a surprise to reserve him a spot on this list. In the Patriots’ ugly win over the New York Jets, Brown caught both of his targets for 71 yards and a touchdown. His efforts landed him 14.1 half-PPR fantasy points, making him the third-highest-scoring tight end in Week 3.

Pharaoh Brown is not a name you should be concerned with on the waiver wire. He is merely a fun inclusion on this list and it was close to a miracle that he was able to outrun the Jets’ defense on his long touchdown. It’s a performance to laugh about, not one to act upon in fantasy.

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