Game of Stats: Week 3

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Byline Name: Charlie Nash

We are now three weeks into the NFL season, and the early season standings are starting to take shape. Patrick Mahomes continued his early season tear, drawing comparisons to Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. Drew Brees completed his 6,301st career NFL pass while Baker Mayfield completed (and caught) his first. And let’s not forget about Josh Allen hurdling the Bills to a shocking win over the Vikings.

It’s been an exciting season thus far and an exciting fantasy season as well. So without further adieu, here is stock up, stock down, and waiver wire watch.

Stock Up:

Jarvis Landry, WR Cleveland Browns: Landry’s 8 reception, 103 yard game against the Jets displayed Landry’s upside for the rest of the season now that Baker Mayfield is under center.

Before Tyrod Taylor left the game with a concussion, Landry was targeted six times. However, most of Taylor’s throws were off target, limiting Landry to only one catch for 12 yards. The rest of Landry’s production occurred after Mayfield took over half way through the second quarter. He also achieved this off of only 9 targets from Mayfield.

Landry, the unquestioned go-to target in the Browns offense now that Josh Gordon is a member of the Patriots, will be Mayfield’s security blanket as he adjusts to the NFL, making him a top receiver in PPR formats.

Stock Down:

Andrew Luck QB, Indianapolis Colts: Colts fans, before you hate on this pick just hear me out. What we’ve seen from Luck so far this season has not been what we were used to before he got rotator cuff surgery on his throwing shoulder.

This is best represented through Luck’s yards per attempt. This season, Luck has put up a mere 5.34 yards per pass attempt, only besting the now benched Sam Bradford. In comparison to Luck’s last fully healthy season in 2016, Luck averaged 7.78 yards per pass attempt on his way to being the fourth best quarterback in fantasy.

The reason for the dip in yards per attempt may be because that shoulder surgery greatly hindered his throwing strength. Luck can no longer make the deep throws that made him successful in the past, and he has had to change his style of play to compensate for that. This should be of concern to Luck’s fantasy owners, and pushes Luck to the bottom of the QB1 tier.

Waiver Wire Watch:

Javorius Allen RB, Baltimore Ravens (Owned in 39.4% of leagues): The Ravens backfield is as confusing as any. Alex Collins appeared to be the bellcow going into the season, but he has since lost snaps to Allen, especially in the red zone. Although Allen only averaged 10 touches over weeks two and three to Collins’ 16.5, Allen has had four red zone touches to Collins’ one. Allen appears to be the Ravens’ preferred red zone option, which makes him worth a chance off the waivers.

New York Jets D/ST (Owned in 31.8% of leagues): Who would have guessed that the no.2 defense through Week 3 would be the Jets? This is because the Jets have been a turnover machine, collecting seven total turnovers so far this season. With favorable matchups upcoming against the Jaguars, Broncos, and Colts, the Jets defense is as startable as any.

Ryan Tannehill QB, Miami Dolphins (Owned in 7.8% of leagues): The Dolphins have been the NFL’s most surprising 3-0 team thus far this season, and Tannehill has been their orchestrator. Tannehill has shown great efficiency since an iffy Week 1 performance, and is worth an add for teams struggling at the quarterback position.