Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
A new OC in Cincy last week meant an expanded role for Mixon. He left some yards on the table, but overall he was very impressive. The troubled rookie got an unexpected 21 touches in Week 3. Mixon ran for 62 yards on 18 carries and caught three passes for 39 yards. Though he didn’t find the end zone, the important thing here is that it looks as if Mixon is the clear back to own for the Bengals moving forward. He’s a high-end RB2 this weekend if he gets 20 touches against the Browns.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
Carr was supposed to light up the scoreboard against Washington last Sunday night, but the outcome was the complete opposite. He struggled on the road facing an average defense, throwing for 118 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Raiders offense couldn’t get anything going all night and I’d like to give them a pass, but now they head to Denver in Week 4. The Broncos defense has been a force as usual and I don’t recommend playing any Oakland players, including Carr.
Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
With Darren Sproles out for the season, Smallwood will see a larger role moving forward. He will take over the third down duties and should see an uptick in carries as well. LeGarrette Blount is still in the mix and is the goal line back, but Smallwood looks to be the one to own in fantasy. He turned 14 touches into 80 yards in Week 3 and has an OK matchup against the Chargers on Sunday. Treat him as a FLEX until we see how much volume he gets.
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
The Giants offensive line is still a huge problem, but at least the receivers are starting to show some life. Shepard had a huge effort last week against the Eagles, catching seven balls for 133 yards and a score. The majority of his damage was done on a 77-yard touchdown, but he got a healthy 10 targets and seems to be ahead of Brandon Marshall in terms of workload. Shepard has a great matchup this week against Tampa Bay, who allows the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers so far this season. He should be in line for his usual eight plus targets.
Lock of the Week
Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
It’s pretty evident that Carson is the starting running back in Seattle. Both Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls have mostly been confined to the bench and C.J. Prosise is out with an ankle injury. Twenty plus touches is a near certainty for Carson this weekend at home against the Colts. He has been the early down back the last two weeks, but now that Prosise is out, he should turn into a three down back. Carson already has a receiving touchdown on the season so he’s shown he has the ability. If he turns into a three down back then he could be flirting with RB1 status. For now, treat him as a solid RB2 with upside. He’s a must start in all formats.