Fantasy Football: Projecting Top Performers at Each Position in Week 3

by Jake Ellenbogen
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Today is Sunday, September 22nd and that means we are very close to kicking off the rest of week three. I’ve compiled a list of players who I believe will be the top performers for the week at each position.


Dak Prescott vs. Miami Dolphins

I know what you are thinking, Dak Prescott? Really? Look, I’m not the biggest fan of Dak’s but there is no discounting how well he’s played to start the season. Albeit, it’s been against the Giants and Redskins but even still, Dak has an 82.3 completion percentage, seven passing touchdowns, one pick, 674 yards passing and a monster 142.9 passer rating. Of course, pepper in his 81 rushing yards and you can see why he would be considered valuable. Today, he plays the worst football team in the NFL. There really isn’t much else to say and even without young stud receiver Michael Gallup, Prescott will have plenty of weapons in his arsenal.

The emergence of 2015 second-round pick Devin Smith has been a breath of fresh air and he will likely have a big role today. Look for Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Jason Witten and of course, Ezekiel Elliott to be heavily involved in the passing game as well. I’m expecting five touchdown passes from Dak Prescott in a blowout win to send the Cowboys to a 3-0 record and take an early stranglehold of the NFC East division.

Projected Game: 30/36, 333 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs, 5 car, 40 rushing yards

Running back

Josh Jacobs vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings just gave up over 100 yards to Aaron Jones right after shutting down the run and holding Atlanta to a mere 50 yards in week one. I don’t think Devonta Freeman is very good and while I like Ito Smith, the Falcons don’t use him as the go-to back. For this reason, I’m selling the Vikings run defense in week one and believing they will be a lot more like the week two run defense moving forward. As for Josh Jacobs, he’s looked good, really good in his first two NFL games. The first game was an impressive two touchdown workhorse performance that led to a win and the second game he ran for 99 yards on 12 carries against the Chiefs. He averaged over eight yards per carry and could have kept going but the Raiders were getting thrown on all game by Patrick Mahomes and so it took the running game out of the equation with a large deficit early on.

In this game, I expect the Raiders to be in the contest all the way through and have a legitimate shot at upsetting the Vikings at home. I’m not sold on Minnesota at all and I do think the Raiders are an intriguing team that can win a couple of these underdog games. I expect a heavy dose of Josh Jacobs in this one and a performance so great that leaves people wondering if Jacobs can be the highest-scoring running back in fantasy this season. It’s worth mentioning that Jacobs is one of only 14 running backs that is averaging at least 18 touches per game. It’s early but I love the usage and believe Jacobs is in for a monster day in Minnesota.

Projected Game: 28 car, 155 yards, 2 TDs, 2 rec, 20 yards, TD

Wide receiver

Kenny Golladay vs. Philadelphia Eagles

How do you beat the Philadelphia Eagles? You pressure Carson Wentz and you throw on their secondary. The Lions can do both of those things but they can do the latter very well. Detroit has a passing attack led by Matthew Stafford that can take advantage of this but more so they have a physical freak in Kenny Golladay that is off to a great start early in his season. He truly went off last week with an eight catch, 117 yards and a touchdown performance in the win over the Chargers. The week prior he caught a touchdown. This is going to be a big game for Golladay and he’s going to be the highest-scoring wideout in the league in week three.

Golladay already has 19 targets through two games and this is a big game for the Lions who are 1-0-1 and will need to do everything in their power to attack the Philly defense. I believe the thing that makes Golladay such a problem is his size but also his speed. There isn’t a cornerback on the Eagles I would be worried about heading into this matchup if you are a fantasy owner of Golladay.

Projected Game: 12 rec, 189 yards, TD

Tight end

George Kittle vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Nothing is going right for the Steelers and they just lost their quarterback for the season. However, on the other side of the coin, the 49ers are threatening in the NFC West and are off to a 2-0 start with an offensive explosion last week that may have put the league on notice that they might be in for a season. The craziest thing about last week’s 500-plus yard explosion was how little George Kittle was part of that. Don’t expect that to be the case versus the Steelers. Despite his slow start, Kittle is outscoring his 2018 first two weeks. I expect this to be the game where Kittle breaks out and silences the worried crowd. The Steelers gave up a big game out of Will Dissly and while I think Dissly is the real deal when healthy, he’s not anywhere near the level of Kittle.

Kittle is going up against one the 19th ranked defense versus tight ends according to ESPN fantasy.  Kittle leads all pass catchers on the 49ers in targets and has had multiple touchdowns called back due to penalties. His time is coming and it’s coming today against a Pittsburgh defense that was destroyed by the Patriots and picked apart by the Seahawks.

Projected Game: 8 rec, 100 yards, 2 TDs


Packers vs. Denver Broncos

I’ve completely given up on the Denver Broncos as long as Joe Flacco is the quarterback. They just don’t look like a legit NFL offense to this point. Even more so, they play Mike Pettine’s defense that are one of the top-scoring defenses to this point. With playmakers like Jaire Alexander, Preston Smith, Kenny Clark and Adrian Amos featured on this defense, Flacco’s days aren’t getting easier. Week one, the Packers defense held the Bears offense to three points, forced an interception and sacked Mitch Trubisky five times. Last week versus the Vikings, the Packers only gave up 16 points, intercepted two of Kirk Cousins passes, recovered two fumbles, added a sack and a blocked punt to their resume as well. They are the fourth-ranked defense and I expect them to tee off on the Broncos today.

Projected Game: 3 PA, 3 INTs, 6 Sacks, TD


Joey Slye vs. Arizona Cardinals

Why not ride out the league’s highest-scoring fantasy kicker? Joey Slye already has 27 fantasy points through two games as a kicker. You can thank the accuracy of Slye but also the fact the Panthers offense likes to stall out right in field goal range and do it quite often. Slye is three-of-four from 50-plus yards out. The Cardinals aren’t a great defense by any means but the Panthers are starting Kyle Allen so I don’t expect them to punch the ball into the end zone much. This is going to be a close game, the Panthers are 0-2 and are in some early trouble on the season. Slye is likely looking at another double-digit scoring game as long as he does his part because the opportunities will likely be there all game versus Arizona.

Projected Game: 4 FGs (3 50+ yard & 1 40 yard), 1 XP

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