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Week 3 Breakouts

No season in recent memory has tested the panic meter on several high profile players like 2015. What can we expect going forward? Who should you target in trades? Should you keep starting players you drafted high and have underperformed thus far? Let’s dive in.

1) The Denver Broncos backfield will be decided Sunday Night. And I’m putting my money on C.J. Anderson. Anderson was a much more efficient runner a year ago, and still is on a different level talent wise when he actually gets some blocking up front.

RB_C.J._Anderson_DEN_2
Denver RB C.J. Anderson.

Denver has been in transition mode for the first two games of the year as far as a new system goes and happened to also draw two of most stout front-seven’s against the run. If you have both Anderson and Ronnie Hillman, you will find clarity this week after the Broncos finally have success running against a Detroit defense who was gashed by Adrian Peterson only a couple days ago.

2) Eric Ebron is a top-12 tight end. Not sure I’d ever type those words but he has quietly performed thus far and has stayed involved throughout the entire game each week. Ebron may take a hit on his value if Matthew Stafford misses some time but that might just be the bargaining chip you need that lets you land the second-year tight end for dirt cheap. He received 72 offensive snaps against Minnesota, has nine receptions and has been looked to in the red zone. Tight end is thin this year, so if you get the opportunity to land an every week player, do it without thinking twice.

3) Start James Jones everywhere this week. The Kansas City Chiefs have to be the only team in the league who predictably allows offensives to dictate matchups against their secondary on each and every play. Jamell Fleming has replaced Sean Smith on the right side of the Chiefs defense and as we all saw Thursday Night, he was the consistent target of Peyton Manning. Jones predominantly plays on the outside and it will be borderline shocking if Aaron Rodgers does not exploit him this week with one of his most trusted goal-line targets. Jones had only three targets against Seattle but got into the end zone for a third time already and had another very near touchdown that was overturned after review. Mike Tirico may believe it takes a Harvard education to target the defense’s weakest corner, but I have a hunch Aaron Rodgers knows this trick as well …

4) Christine Michael‘s chance is coming. Joseph Randle has actually showed himself pretty well through two weeks when considering his situation but the offense needs a spark now, a difference maker on a team missing its two biggest stars – and that guy COULD be Michael. Michael’s explosiveness really cannot be questioned when you put on the tape, but the Seattle Seahawks felt it was time to move on for whatever reason. The Dallas Cowboys also felt the need to trade for a running back for a reason as well and all it is going to take is Michael to bust a couple runs in Week 3, followed by coach Jason Garrett saying they will ride the hot hand in Week 4 followed by Michael getting the start by Week 6. His ceiling may be limited in this offense now, but if he sparks the running game and Tony Romo and Dez Bryant do come back at some point, he could pay big dividends when the fantasy playoffs roll around.

5) Le’Veon Bell is back. Shouldn’t have to remind many people, but hopefully you listened to my preseason article about difference makers and selected Bell very high in your draft. The Pittsburgh offensive line played excellent in Week 2 and the sky is the limit for this unit as a whole. Bell is the most elite player in all of fantasy football and you should at least put in a phone call/text message to the Bell owner if they are spooked by a slow start assuming he/she didn’t draft DeAngelo Williams to handcuff him for a couple weeks. The stars are aligned for Bell to still be the top scoring fantasy running back in 2015.

6) Todd Gurley will make his debut … soon enough. Not sure when this will be exactly, but the fantasy world will take notice. I feel like Gurley is the type of guy you could get as a ‘throw-in’ player in a trade currently. The St. Louis Rams have not run the ball well early in the season and that may be a blessing in disguise if you do go after Gurley. St. Louis struggled to move the line of scrimmage in the ground game against Seattle and Washington, as would anybody. Todd Gurley remains the most talented back to enter the league since Adrian Peterson and he will quickly remind people why once he hits the field and is so good he can’t be taken off of it.

Thanks again for reading and make sure to follow me @JohnnyLFootball. I have opened the young football season 7-4, 63 percent, against the spread (if you are into that kind of thing). Also feel free to ask me any questions you might have regarding trades or your starting lineup. You can also catch me on the Ticket Sports Talk radio at 8:45 a.m. Eastern/7:45 a.m. Central time on Friday mornings every week in the Florida area or on the www.theticketsportsnetwork.com. Have a great Week 3!

About John Lanfranca