Week 3 Fantasy Sleepers: Tarik takeover in full swing against Pittsburgh

Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute

Week 3 Fantasy Flames: Mixon to finally break away from pack

Each week the Noise highlights under-started names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week (Scoring thresholds – QB: 18 fpts, RB: 12 fpts, WR: 11 fpts: TE: 10 fpts; .5 PPR). If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 3 Flames in the comments section below.

DeShone Kizer, Cle, QB (1 percent started, $20 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at Ind (Game over/under: 40)

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“Yikes.” “Bad take.” “You’re dumber than Lloyd Christmas.” These were just a few prickly barbs chucked at yours truly when calling Kizer a “Poor man’s Cam Newton” just prior to Week 1. For all intents and purposes, the rookie, both in style of play and statistically, resembled the former MVP in his first regular season contest. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers he completed 20 of 30 attempts (66.7 cmp%) for 222 yards. He also extended plays with his legs and plunged into the end zone on a 1-yard dive. His surprising accuracy, resulting 7.4 yards per attempt and connections with eight different receivers were promising. His migraine-impacted Week 2 at Baltimore, however, bombed. These are typical inconsistencies of a rookie QB. Despite his rockiness and Corey Coleman’s absence (broken hand), the multidimensional passer is a recommended option this Sunday. Why? He faces an un-intimidating crop from Indianapolis. Sans Vontae Davis, the Colts have been more than forgiving. Against the Rams and Cardinals starting DBs Rashaan Melvin and Nate Hairston yielded a commendable 74.7 passer rating and 58.3 catch percentage. Collectively, though, the Colts have given up an absurd 10.4 pass yards per attempt. If wrinkly prune Carson Palmer can post top-15 numbers against you, Kizer is more than capable of profiting.

Fearless Forecast: 247 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 2 turnovers, 24 rushing yards, 18.4 fantasy points

[Watch on Yahoo: Ravens vs. Jaguars live from London Sept. 24]

Tarik Cohen, Chi, RB (37 percent started, $16 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. Pit (Over/Under: 45.5)

Last Sunday, the highly sought after waivers add didn’t quite match the hype he created post-Week 1. Skewered by the Buccaneers from start to finish, the Bears and Cohen struggled to register a pulse on offense. The ground game, which has sorely missed Kyle Long, sunk to extreme depths. Cohen and Jordan Howard combined for 20 yards on 16 carries. If not for his contributions as a receiver, the clangorous buzz he built just days ago would’ve reduced to a whimper. Still, Cohen must be heavily deployed whether in seasonlong or DFS in Week 3. Pint-sized, ultra-elusive, versatile and tough to wrangle, he’s Speedy Gonzalez in the flesh. If Howard, whose arm rested in a sling after the thumping received in Tampa, is again limited, Cohen logs 15-plus touches. Even if the loose “starter” is on the field most times, the Bears firecracker still explodes. So far, Cohen ranks No. 1 in YAC/att (6.6) and top-13 in total evaded tackles (8). Yes, Pittsburgh has yielded a mere 3.96 yards per touch to RBs early on, but I believe the powder keg ignites at home.

Fearless Forecast: 9 carries, 33 rushing yards, 7 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.2 fantasy points 

Joe Mixon, Cin, RB (29 percent started, $14 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at GB (Over/Under: 45)

When an alleged division contender falls completely flat to begin the season someone has to take the fall. Cincinnati, completely inept against Baltimore and Houston, decided to pin the blame on offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. His replacement, Bill Lazor, hopes to resuscitate the Bengals’ nearly deceased offense. Outside of forcing Andy Dalton to undergo a lobotomy, Lazor’s assignment is simple: 1) Feed A.J. Green, 2) Get Mixon more involved. Cincy’s offensive line, which currently ranks bottom-five in run blocking per Football Outsiders, remains a primary concern, but Mixon is an explosive playmaker who needs to touch the rock 15-plus times per game. His minimal usage to begin the season (39.3% opportunity share) is perplexing to say the least. When gifted touches, he’s gained solid yards after contact (2.4 YAC) and pressed the juke button (6 forced missed tackles). He’s light years better than Jeremy Hill who moves with the “grace” and “acceleration” of a parked bus. Fellow battery mate, Gio Bernard, has looked respectable, but Mixon’s power and versatility are unmatched. It’s time to showcase his skills. Green Bay, despite Mike Daniels’ exceptional play, has barely contained the run to begin the year. On the young season the Packers have allowed 4.47 yards per carry to RBs. Look for Lazor to lean on the rookie as a runner/receiver in a potential “get right” game for Cincinnati.

Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 52 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.3 fantasy points 

Tyrell Williams, LAC, WR (28 percent started, $15 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. KC (Over/Under: 46.5)

An unenthusiastic, sparse L.A. crowd, likely ticked off by a shrimpy venue and $100 parking charge, “welcomed” the Chargers last week against Miami. Your run-of-the-mill Texas high school game likely drew a larger audience. The lukewarm reaction to the Chargers was unfair. Though 0-2, they’re an exciting team with entertaining components, Williams being one of them. Overshadowed by Keenan Allen, the WR is off to an admirable start. In a pair of contests, against Denver and Miami, he lured 11 targets catching nine passes for 108 yards. That line doesn’t get fantasy owners lathered up, but he’s an obvious fixture and trusted downfield weapon of Philip Rivers (10.8 yards per target). More than just a streak runner akin to his predecessor Malcom Floyd, Williams is tough in traffic and displays multiple route-tree branches. Bank on him blowing up against visiting Kansas City. Marcus Peters, usually fixed to one side, is a hard-nosed corner who jams opponents at the line and rarely surrenders big plays. Compatriots Terrance Mitchell and Phillip Gaines, however, are far more forgiving. In total, the duo has allowed a 103.6 passer rating and 18.1 yards per catch to assignments. Given Williams’ field-stretching abilities, he gashes the Chiefs secondary repeatedly.

Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 79 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.9 fantasy points 

Kenny Golladay, Det, WR (23 percent started, $18 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. (Over/Under: 50)

In what’s quickly becoming the Year of the Rookie in many respects, Golladay, alongside Cooper Kupp, leads the wide receiver charge. His blend of size, leaping ability and speed has already vaulted him into the best “downfield playmaker” conversation. He abused Arizona DBs Week 1 hauling in four passes for 69 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Though he followed up with a clunker (3-1-8-0) in New York, he played on a majority of snaps (77.9 snap%) and remains an upside weekly WR3. Separating from defenders has been a chore (1.3 yards per route, WR69), but his 20.2 average depth of target (aDot) and 15.4 yards per route run indicate more future deep connections with Matthew Stafford are very likely. This week in a contest that will overwork the Ford Field scoreboard, Golladay is highly employable. When Jim Bob Cooter features three-WR sets, which he does roughly 75 percent of the time, the rookie is slated to line up outside against Robert Alford. Targeted 19 times through two games, the friendly Falcons DB has conceded 12 receptions for 135 yards and a TD. His resulting 101.9 passer rating allowed ranks as one of the league’s worst. Given the scrumptious setup, Golladay is due for a handsome rebound.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 66 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.6 fantasy points 

WEEK 3 SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)

Devin Funchess, Car, WR (2 percent started, $14 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. NO (Over/Under: 47)

When Newton lay motionless on the turf last Sunday, Carolina fans nervously chomped fingernails. Thankfully, the prized passer only suffered a temporary setback, but the loss of ironman Greg Olsen to a Jones fracture was much harder to swallow. Outside Kelvin Benjamin, someone in the Panthers’ slumbering offense is about to wake up. Christian McCaffrey is the most likely candidate, but don’t count out Funchess. Off an eyebrow-raising four receptions for 68 yards (on seven targets) against the Bills, the wide receiver demands your attention. He probably couldn’t out-sprint your portly uncle, but his length and improved routes label him a more than serviceable option. With Newton more pocket tied and blessed with a primo matchup, New Orleans, Funyuns is worth plug ‘n play consideration. The Saints, annihilated from start to finish by Tom Brady last week, have allowed an obscene 10.9 yards per attempt in two games. More promising evidence, DBs P.J. Williams and Marshon Lattimore have given up a combined 120.0 passer rating and 15-240-1 line to their assignments – pure catnip.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 73 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.3 fantasy points 



Each week one fortunate guest prognosticator will have a chance to silence the Noise. Following the rules stated above, participants are asked to submit their “Flames” (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

Fan Week 2 results: 3-4 (Season: 7-7)
My Week 2 results: (7-4; Season: 11-10; W: Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Tevin Coleman, Buck Allen, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jermaine Kearse, James White; L: Randall Cobb, Corey Davis, Cameron Brate, Cincinnati D/ST; DNP: John Brown)

Want to bull rush Brad? Follow him on Twitter @YahooNoise. Also check out his TV show, “The Fantasy Football Hour,” now available in 75 million households on Fox Sports Regional Networks, and his new podcast, “The Fantasy Spin.”

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