For those of you fantasy football general managers who are looking for potential sleepers to start on your regular or daily fantasy sports teams this weekend, here are four of our favorite picks for Week 3 of the NFL season, who are somewhat “off the beaten path” from the usual names we’re accustomed to hearing.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco — There’s very likely a large swath of fantasy football players who bought into the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo went 5-0 to end the season with the San Francisco 49ers last year, and was thus primed for big things this year. Unfortunately, it’s been quite the opposite, with Garoppolo failing to throw for more than 300 yards in either game this year, and has only three touchdown passes. But in Sunday’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, Garoppolo could be primed for a breakout game. Kansas City’s passing defense is the worst in the NFL in terms of most yards allowed, and has allowed the second-most touchdowns in the NFL (six). If wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is back in the lineup for San Francisco, Garoppolo could be in for a big game, especially if the game turns into a shootout or the 49ers have to rally back from a 4th quarter deficit.
RB Sony Michel, New England — The second of New England’s two first round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, running back Sony Michel’s NFL career got off to something of a rocky start, with him suffering a knee injury in training camp, and missing a majority of camp as a result. But Michel not only made his NFL debut last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but looked quite impressive in the limited work he saw (go back and search the highlight of him trucking Jaguars’ safety Tashaun Gipson for more proof). More importantly for fantasy football owners, Michel started to cut into the snaps that would’ve otherwise gone to Rex Burkhead in the early-down situations. As the Patriots as Tom Brady to do a little less for them, especially given their depleted group of wide receivers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them go with a run-heavy approach against a Detroit Lions team that’s given up the most rushing yards and has the worst yards per carry by opposing teams this season.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh — In all fairness, there’s no reason you shouldn’t already be starting JuJu Smith-Schuster if you have him on your fantasy football team. Over the last five regular season games (dating back to last season), he’s been one of the most productive wide receivers in fantasy football. On Monday evening, he’ll be going up against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary that’s among the most inexperienced in the league, and has been an absolute sieve against wide receivers lined up in the slot for their opponents. Without the services of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, Tampa will likely roll their coverage to take away Antonio Brown, giving Smith-Schuster a lot of room with which to operate.
TE Trey Burton, Chicago — Another player whose early season production has yet to meet his preseason buzz, tight end Trey Burton has a grand total of 35 receiving yards through two games this season, which isn’t anything to write home about. Might this be the week where he gets things fixed? For starters, the Cardinals have allowed opposing tight ends to score a touchdown in each of the first two games of this year. And with a deceptively-talented secondary, led by All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson, Chicago Bears’ quarterback Mitch Trubisky will have a tough time delivering passes to his wide receivers. Burton could be in for a higher number of targets this Sunday than what we’ve seen so far this season.