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RISERS & FALLERS: Week 3

Is that what I think it is? Yup, it is. With the third week of the season upon us, we finally have the ability to see some real patterns develop. This is where the rubber meets the road. Risers and Fallers suddenly begins to take full shape. We’ve paid very close attention to practically every snap over the opening two weeks and we’re beginning to see some promising consistencies. We’ve also seen a few things that make us very nervous. Let’s dive into our RnF notes and what Week 3 could mean for some fantasy options. 

Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati

Holy Cats! We were absolutely in LOVE with Burrow as he moon walked straight into a stellar rookie situation, but last week was BANANAS. Sixty-one passing attempts? The way he moved away from the pass rush and back into the pocket? The way he overcame several drops and miscommunications with his primary receivers? The way he dealt with the loss of Ozumah? Kid is a boss. But is he QB1 ready? Philly has a lot of problems on defense and Burrow could cement himself as borderline weekly QB1 for the remainder of the season here. 

Cam Newton, QB, New England

If we have noticed anything special over the past two weeks, it’s how much zip Newton has on his passes. His stat sheet reflects all the rushing totals, but lost in the numbers is how clean and crisp the passing is. He’s doing a lot with a little in New England as Julian Edelman looks like the only option who would survive roster cuts on any other NFL team. If Newton keeps this new found throwing motion up, he’ll not only be a QB1 steal for the rest of the season, but a dynasty option as a long term contract will likely be on the way. 

Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota

Three interceptions are no joke. It’s a sure sign of awful quarterback play. Minnesota hasn’t been happy with Cousins since the ink dried on his monster contract. The last player that Minnesota wasn’t content with was Stefon Diggs and we all know how that story unfolded. Cousins is going to have to go big at home against a tough Titans’ defense or he’ll not only be off all fantasy radars but perhaps off his own teams’. 

Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta

Has Ridley supplanted Julio Jones as the Alpha Dog in Atlanta? The numbers certainly tell the tale and now, suddenly, Julio is dealing with an injury. Could this be the week where Ridley leap frogs Julio not only in fantasy but in Matt Ryan’s progressions? The young wide receiver has a world’s worth of value on the line against the Bears.

Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo

Since the early offseason, the only negative that we’ve heard that is keeping Singletary from elite status is Zach Moss. The fumble problems are an issue to keep tabs on, but at least the door is open for him this week to establish himself as a low end RB1. He’s going to need to capitalize on each and EVERY opportunity, especially in the red zone. If he can come through in a big way in both the passing game and inside the 20 yard line, he’ll have a chance to increase his workload percentage even when Moss is healthy. 

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis

Does he still have a fantasy pulse? Time is running out on a guy that we were once very much in love with. Is Hilton suddenly over the production hill or is Philip Rivers just that washed up? The clock is about to strike midnight on Hilton’s fantasy life. If he can’t go off in a big way against perhaps the worst defense in the league, being the Jets of course, it’ll be time to move on completely. 

Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia

Remember way back when Wentz and the Eagles were a fantasy marriage made in heaven? Well, how the mighty have fallen. Wentz has both of his stud tight ends but he’s still not able to get the work done at the end of the day. He has his elite running back in the fold and Philly did all that they could to bring in wide receiver help on the outside. It’s time to put up or shut up. If Wentz goes silent for three straight weeks, with this one going against the Bengals of all teams, it’ll be time for Wentz to hit the waiver wire. 

Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas

Is he a WR2? Is he a WR5? So far, he’s the third best wide receiver on his own team. Amari Cooper is leading the charge and rookie CeeDee Lamb has pulled ahead early. Gallup has the talent and physicality to get it done but he may have slipped too far in Dak Prescott’s progressions to be a real fantasy factor. This week, against the Seahawks in what should be a very high scoring affair, Gallup should be on everyone’s rosters. If he disappoints here, it may be time to toss him back into the lake. 

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver

With Courtland Sutton now out for the season with an ACL injury, it’ll be Jeudy leading the targets category. The kid is a purebred for certain, but can he mentally handle that kind of thing in his rookie season? Can he handle the additional defensive attention that is about to go his way? If he can, Jerry Jeudy could find himself in fantasy rookie of the year consideration. 

Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit

It’s not a typical thing to see your WR1 miss the first two weeks and then fully admit that he’s not 100% for his first start. The Kenny G situation is baffling and frustrating for certain. He needs to give us something right off the bat. Playing against the Cardinals in his opener is no treat but time keeps ticking, ticking, ticking…into the future. All lost opportunities count as massive negatives against Golladay given his draft day position. 

Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay

Remember when we all thought that Jones’ 2019 season was a massive fluke? Well, two games into 2020 he has over 300 total yards and 4 touchdowns. NOW, we’re getting news that Davante Adams is going to miss Week 3. Will this turn into an Alvin Kamara situation where the stud WR goes down and the stud running back picks up the slack? If so, Jones could find himself flirting with Top-5 running back territory, especially considering all of the running back injuries. 

Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo

The Bills’ quarterback has looked nothing short of impressive for the first two weeks. He’s running the ball well, he’s making good decisions, and his arms looks to be one of the strongest in the league. He’s looking like he may take the leap into elite territory and if he can keep it up against the Rams, his stock may never come down. 

Golden Tate, WR, NY Giants

Can he still get it done? Is a WR1 when healthy in the right offensive situation? It doesn’t get much better than here. Sterling Shepard is hurt, the passing game has a much larger burden with Barkley out, and San Fran is hurting all over the field. If Tate can’t go off in this exact situation then he shouldn’t be rostered at all. We fully expect him to go off here and anything less is unacceptable.

Mike Evans / Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay

A lot of us bought in very early on the Tampa hype train. Whether it was a second round price tag for Godwin or a third for Evans, no one is really happy. Bruce Arians just declared the tight end position as an extra offensive lineman so someone in the wide receiver group is going to have to separate themselves. Can one of these guy put up WR1 totals this week against the Broncos? The first one who does could find themselves as the undisputed top dog for the remainder of 2020. 

King of the Mountain Question

Would you rather have Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes? Who is the better option? Can Jackson beat up on the lesser defense or can Mahomes continue to be the best player in the world? Do matchups even matter when it comes to these elite QBs?

About Patrick White

Have been with Sharks for seven years. Been printed and published. Have been copied by, faced off against, and beaten some of the fiercest competition and abbreviated outlets in football. If you read RnF and live by the old "If you're not first, you're last" mentality, you'll be just fine.