Fantasy Outlook: Week 3

Jordy Nelson looks to continue his fantasy success against the Lions on Sunday.
Jordy Nelson looks to continue his fantasy success against the Lions on Sunday.

We're only going into Week 3 of the NFL season, and already there are so many questions around the league thanks to recent injuries.

On team Badonka Gronk (my personal team), I have the fun task of trying to decide who to start as my RB2 between Bernard Pierce, Terrence West, Shane Vereen, Lamar Miller and Jonathan Stewart.

All these guys -with the exception of Vereen - are backup running backs who have now been thrust into starting roles as a result of suspensions or injuries. And it's always a crap shoot trying to guess who will have the big week. But since I drafted Vereen as my RB2 I'm going to start him this week - especially since the Patriots are playing the measly Raiders.

Ah, the frustrations of fantasy football... Thanks for letting me vent.

Looking ahead to the Packers' matchup this week at Detroit, I see Jordy Nelson having another productive week, with Randall Cobb not far behind him. The final fantasy point leader between the two will most likely come down to who catches the touchdowns - yes, plural - but look for Jordy to top 100 yards once again.

The Lions ranked third worst against wide receivers in 2013, but have had favorable matchups so far in 2014 against the Giants and Panthers. As a result, I would take their early-season success against the pass with a grain of salt. (Extra Nugget: I predict a Packers tight end will catch a touchdown this week.)

Aaron Rodgers will look to repeat his Week 2 performance as well. Eli Manning (6.4) and Cam Newton (19.1) had opposite outcomes against the Lions defense so far this season, but look for Rodgers to top the 20-point mark once again. Since this game usually has the potential to be a shoot-out, you're in a good spot if #12 is your starting, fantasy quarterback.

Eddie Lacy may find himself with another tough time this week against the Lions run defense. So far this season, they've surrendered only 57 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs, but have allowed touchdowns in each of their games.

If the Pack can do most of their offensive damage with the pass game, I see Lacy picking up a short-yardage touchdown or two to salvage a below-average rushing total.

The Packers defense hasn't shown much this year that would warrant a start - especially against an offense that involves Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. Kicker Mason Crosby got off to a slow start against Seattle in Week 1, but had plenty of opportunities against the Jets in Week 2 - including a 55-yarder. With dome conditions this week, look for Crosby to have a few long-range opportunities. He's a Top 10 kicker for me this week.

Around the rest of the league, we certainly have some interesting matchups including a rematch of Super Bowl XLVIII. Let's look at some players that could make or break your fantasy team this week.

With Jamaal Charles sideline with a high ankle sprain, look for Knile Davis to step up this week against the Dolphins. In their last nine games at home, Miami has surrendered nine rushing touchdowns, and backs have rushed for 130+ yards in six of those games. If Davis is still (somehow) on the waiver wire in your league, grab him!

After Antonio Gates lit up the Seahawks defense for three touchdowns this past week, it seems that tight end is the only receiving position capable of scoring on the Legion of Boom so far this year. Look for Peyton Manning to continue his touchdown love affair with Julius Thomas this week, as the duo has the potential to hook up for another score this week.

However, keep in mind that the Seattle defense is still stellar at home against elite quarterbacks. (Remember back to Week 1?)  You're obviously still starting Manning this week, but don't expect MVP numbers from the old man.

After a lackluster performance last week against the Patriots, Minnesota receiver Cordarrelle Patterson should bounce back against the Saints on Sunday. Even though this is the Saints' home opener, their defense has been a sieve against wide receivers this year, allowing the most yards in the league. And with Adrian Peterson out for the foreseeable future, look for Patterson to maybe split some carries with backup Matt Asiata.

Given his track record against the Eagles, don't expect much out of Washington receiver Pierre Garcon this week. While backup quarterback Kirk Cousins is more than capable of getting him the ball, Garcon has never scored a touchdown against their division rivals. His total of 1.2 fantasy points last week (even with the injury to DeSean Jackson), is discouraging as well. Depending on your roster situation, I wouldn't start him any higher than flex, if you can help it.

After what Aaron Rodgers and the Packers did to the Jets defense last week, I wouldn't be confident starting them in Week 3 versus Jay Cutler and the Bears offense. With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb totaling 45 fantasy points last week against then, I don't see Gang Green containing Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jefferey with any more success.

Best of luck this week! I'll be shooting to start 3-0! How about you?