Right here at the top, I'll concede that very few fantasy owners actually need to take fliers in Week 3, before the byes. I get it. In a standard 10-teamer, you're not starting Celek or Smith this week. I can't give you a hard sell on this pair. These definitely aren't the buzziest names in the player pool.
However, deep league circumstances have forced me to start both of these dudes this week. I'm not proud of it, but there it is. So today's post is basically a pep talk for myself. Feel free to read on, if you're in the same predicament...
(Tip to young fantasy writers: When endorsing players for immediate use, you generally want to say NICE things about them in your introduction. Here, I'm doing it totally wrong.)
Brent Celek, TE, Phi (27 percent owned) — Celek delivered a perfectly acceptable performance in Philly's season-opening win (56 yards, TD), then he seemed strangely absent from the Week 2 gameplan. He saw just one target and didn't catch it. Not good. But we should note that Celek played 55 snaps against the Chargers, and he ran routes on 31 of those plays, per Pro Football Focus. Rookie Zach Ertz played just 13 snaps, running nine routes (and drawing two targets). Celek remains the Eagles' busiest tight end, by far. He's tied to an offense that scored 63 points and accumulated 631 passing yards over its first two games. Let's not write him off just yet.
Alex Smith, QB, KC (42 percent owned, 8 percent started) — The flip side to Philadelphia's high-scoring offense is a ridiculously generous defense. Two weeks are in the books, and the Eagles have already allowed 60 points and an absurd 921 total yards. Philip Rivers just shredded this D, throwing for 419 yards. Smith of course isn't the game's most aggressive passer; his fantasy ceiling is limited by his relative conservatism. But he's thrown two TD passes in each of his first two games this season, and he's only been picked 10 times in his last 733 attempts.
The Chiefs have also dropped a few option runs in the game script, which fantasy owners can't possibly mind. KC opened with this look last week...
...and Smith kept, running right and gaining four yards. On the team's second play from scrimmage, Smith ran left, picking up three. He finished with eight carries for 57 yards — not quite vintage Mike Vick, but not too shabby.
Smith finished as the seventh highest-scoring fantasy QB in Week 2, facing Dallas. His setup is at least as appealing tonight. If he can just get me, say, 18-20 standard points, I'm not gonna complain.