After hauling in just 3 receptions for 30 yards over his first two games, Chargers rookie WR Keenan Allen has gone off for 11 catches, 195 yards, and a TD in his last two. With Philip Rivers performing more like the Rivers from 2010 than 2012, Allen could develop a prominent role within a revamped offense. Since Eddie Royal’s blazing start, he hasn’t recorded more than 3 receptions or 42 yards in his last three games, which paves the way for Allen to get more targets.
A deep sleeper in fantasy drafts this year, Allen is a legitimate threat for back-end WR3 radars, as long as Rivers continues to prove his worth. Owned in just 1% of ESPN leagues and 7% of Yahoo! leagues, Allen is one of the best buys on the wire.
Everyone has bad habits. Some people try to quit smoking, others try not to drink and drive more than a couple times a week, but for the Baltimore Ravens, it’s all about trying to rid themselves of light workloads for Ray Rice. For whatever reason, this seems to come up every year. If you watch the Ravens on tape, you’ll see their passing-attack is most balanced and fluid when Rice is involved. Across three games, Rice has only touched the ball 41 times. Apparently, Head Coach John Harbaugh took notice.
Harbaugh told reporters on Wednesday that the team would do everything in its power to get the ball into Rice’s hands more often. Citing the need to create more plays for the passing-game, Harbaugh hinted that Rice would have more opportunities as a pass-catcher moving forward. While Rice attempts to fully recover from a hip injury that kept him out of Week 3, the Ravens would be advised to cut back some of Bernard Pierce’s touches and let their workhorse do his thing.
With Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland desperate to keep his job, he went on a lucrative spending spree this past off-season. One of his many additions was former Jets TE Dustin Keller. But Keller didn’t make it out of the pre-season. He suffered a torn ACL, PCL, and MCL at the expense of a malicious hit by Texans Safety D.J. Swearinger. The gruesome injury paved the way for one of fantasy’s biggest surprises thus far: third year TE Charles Clay.
With the lone exception of targeting Jimmy Graham in the 3rd round of fantasy drafts this year, which has paid off for me thus far, Clay has validated a stance I’ve always taken on the Tight End position; don’t pay for it. So far, Clay has been this year’s version of Brandon Myers. Tallying 20 receptions for 245 yards and a TD has landed Clay in the top seven amongst the position, ahead of guys like Vernon Davis and Jason Witten. While I don’t expect Clay to outlast the likes of those guys, he has proved himself as a reliable target in an offense that has struggled to get Mike Wallace the ball.
The Bottom Heist: Until he strings together multiple underwhelming performances, he should be owned in all 10+ team leagues. He is currently owned in just 53% of leagues.
Going into last season, Bears rookie WR Alshon Jeffery was a trendy sleeper pick across fantasy drafts. In his NFL debut, he posted an impressive 3/80/1 line vs. the Colts. Unfortunately, Jeffery couldn’t build off his debut, as his Week 1 performance wound up being his most productive. With another year of seasoning under his belt, the second year South Carolina product has already made considerable progress.
Coming off his best game as a pro, Jeffery hauled in 5 receptions for 107 yards and a TD in last week’s loss to the Lions. While a chunk of that production came in garbage time, Jeffery has already shown signs of being a more consistent target in Marc Trestman’s first-year offense. Through four weeks, Jeffery has tallied a solid 18/211/1 line.
The Bottom Heist: Playing opposite Brandon Marshall would get just about anybody looks in the passing game. But at 6’3-215, Jeffery is a big target who will continue to get his opportunities from Jay Cutler.
The Browns are a team that hinge on a glimmering ray of hope that this will be the year they overcome their carousel of basement finishes. With Norv Turner’s newly implemented vertical passing attack and Brandon Weeden looking improved in the pre-season, some thought this would be the year. Two weeks into the season and Browns fans were singing the familiar tune of 0-2. But, with Weeden out the past two weeks due to a thumb injury, backup QB Brian Hoyer has the Browns back to .500.
The Cleveland offense has been completely overhauled with Hoyer at the helm. Passing for 590 yards and 5 TDs across his first two starts, the former Michigan State Spartan has made Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon into fantasy assets. Hoyer has a favorable matchup at home on Thursday night against a Bills defense that ranks 22nd against the pass. With Trent Richardson in Indianapolis, this is Hoyer’s offense as long as he continues to mitigate the mistakes and execute Turner’s vertical assault.
With Christian Ponder held out of practice due to a rib injury, Matt Cassel will draw the start vs. the Steelers in London. Cassel will join Mike Glennon and quite possibly Matt Flynn, as QBs making their first starts of the season.
Inheriting an 0-3 team, Cassel will just have to prove he is a more viable option for the team going forward. Cassel was signed as insurance this past off-season for the inconsistent Ponder. Cassel comes off a season in which he largely struggled, passing for 1,796 yards, 6 TDs and 12 INTs in just 9 games last year with the Chiefs.
The Vikings have had a tough time replacing Percy Harvin, but for Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, and Cordarrelle Patterson, a change under center might just be the jump-start they need.
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