Last week was a good week for “5 Up” as Frank Gore (21 points), Darren Sproles (18 points), Marvin Jones (20 points), and Travis Benjamin (13 points) all found double-digit fantasy points. The “5 Down” included Matt Forte (7 points), Torrey Smith (1 point) and Jordan Matthews (49 yards), who played less than stellar.
A reminder that this article presents two different groups. The first five are not about studs who will produce, but rather, lower-end players with high potential. The second five are solid players who won’t live up to the “stud” status for that particular week. Let’s dive in!
1) Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears – Chicago is a team heading towards a top-5 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and probably a quarterback to start over with, but that’s another issue in itself. I want to show a quick stat line of tight ends against Oakland this first three weeks:
Week 1 – Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati – 9 receptions, 104 yards, 2 TD
Week 2 – Crockett Gillmore, Baltimore – 5 receptions, 88 yards, 2 TD
Week 3 – Gary Barnidge, Cleveland – 6 receptions, 105 yards, TD
Oakland is really struggling to defend the tight end. Bennett should see plenty of opportunities against this struggling defense with this specific position.
2) Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo – Tyrod Taylor has been dynamite these past two weeks, throwing three touchdowns each in those games. When he leaves the pocket, he is a versatile weapon and defenses have to be prepared for him to take off. Clay has used this to his advantage and found his niche in the offense as a weapon down the middle as the relief to Taylor out of the pocket. Clay had five receptions, 82 yards and a touchdown this past week against Miami and will find that same success this week against a New York Giants team that has struggled against tight ends.
3) Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego
There are a lot of fantasy owners who have been waiting for Gordon to have his breakout game and really show why he was a first-round selection. That week is Week 4, as San Diego looks to bounce back from a smackdown given to them by Minnesota as they take on Cleveland. Cleveland has yet to figure out how to stop the run. Gordon will find plenty of holes to hit next week and we may finally see him hit a home run like in his days at Wisconsin.
4) Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay – He scored his first touchdown of the season and career, and it could be the beginning of more. Tampa Bay found more ways to get him the ball in its game against Houston and now faces a Carolina team in Week 4 that allows running backs to catch plenty of balls out of the backfield. Sims could have deep sleeper appeal next week and as a flex-play against Carolina.
5) Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets – The last few weeks I’ve been impressed by Marshall’s numbers and ability to still get it done after being shipped from Chicago. It is time for me to give him his due and put him on this list. He has put up 21, 23 and 24 points, respectively, in the first three weeks. He plays a struggling Miami team next week to continue his streak of receiving touchdowns. He has three through the first three games of the season, one in each game.