Sconnie Sports Talk

Favorable Fantasy Matchups – Week 3

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QB Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (@ Miami)

I picked the Miami Dolphins D/ST to have a big week against the Jags last week, and they did pretty much the opposite. Blake Bortles looked comfortable in his progressions and had time to make them, not really what I expected from the Dolphins. They weren’t able to apply the pressure needed to disrupt the pocket, causing them to accumulate a whopping ZERO fantasy points last week.

This week, the Dolphins square off against Tyrod Taylor and the Bills. Taylor, despite a relatively high number of turnovers, has looked solid thus far in 2015. He’s completing his passes at above a 75% clip, also dishing out four touchdowns in two games. Between Taylor’s ability to scramble and having LeSean McCoy in the backfield, the field should open up for him, especially if Ndamukong Suh continues to disappoint the way he has so far.

RB James Starks, Green Bay Packers (vs. Kansas City)

I think we all need to be comfortable saying that Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league when he plays at home. He hasn’t thrown an interception in over 500 attempts and is 15-2 in his last 17 starts. The last interception he threw at home was in 2012. So, how do those ridiculous statistics benefit James Starks?

Eddie Lacy went down with an ankle injury on Sunday night against the Seahawks, leaving his short term playing status in question. When Starks came in to fill the void, he did so admirably. He was hitting holes  and was able to cut the ball up field to create some plays against one of the best D’s in the league. If Rodgers can continue to open up the field and shred up the Chiefs, Starks is primed to play a lot this week even if Lacy plays.

WR Travis Benjamin, Cleveland Browns (vs. Oakland)

Just as I predicted, Steve Smith, Sr. had a phenomenal last week against none other than the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders pass defense is less than stellar, giving opposing wideouts the chance to open up their games. Smith, Sr. was able to haul in 10 grabs for 150 yards a week ago in Oakland after just two grabs the week prior. The Raiders were able to add to their secondary this week by claiming David Amerson off of waivers, but it’s unlikely Amerson will completely turn things around for the Raiders.

Benjamin is coming off a two touchdown performance against the Titans last week and his confidence couldn’t be higher. Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown now have a legitimate deep ball threat they can look to, allowing Benjamin the opportunity to make some big time plays. There’s no doubt in my mind that Benjamin will be able to keep his hot streak alive against a struggling Raiders’ pass defense.

TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (vs. San Diego)

Teddy Bridgewater is starting to look like a legitimate NFL quarterback. When he entered the league, it was obvious he would be able to do it from a mental standpoint, quickly demonstrating his ability to go through reads and progressions to make the right decision. The addition of Adrian Peterson to his repertoire has only helped. Last week, Bridgewater targeted tight ends on 10 of his 18 pass attempts, leaving Rudolph as one of his main choices.

Against the Lions at home last week, Rudolph brought in five grabs and was targeted seven times. Given Bridgewater’s strong intermediate passing game and Rudolph’s high level of efficiency last week, I look for them to continue their connection throughout the season. In both of their first two games, the Chargers have given up a touchdown to opposing tight ends; I look for that streak to continue into Week 3.

D/ST Atlanta Falcons (@ Dallas) 

I thought I could get away with going with the “anyone against the Jags” strategy for the duration of the season, but unfortunately they discounted that pretty quickly. This week, I’m going with a D that’s only owned in 2% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues: the Atlanta Falcons. Head coach Dan Quinn has completely changed the culture of the Falcons, bringing a tenacity they’d lacked previously.

Quinn’s experience with the Seahawks defense clearly gave him some incredibly valuable tools as a coach as the Falcons have started their season red hot. Given that the Cowboys are without both Dez Bryant and Tony Romo, their struggles offensively are highly likely, even though they have one of the best offensive lines in football. Brandon Weeden has thrown 28 interceptions in his career compared to only 27 touchdowns, and I don’t see that ratio getting flipped in the right direction this week.

K Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts (@ Tennessee)

Historically, Adam Vinatieri is one of the best kickers of all time. With well over 2,000 career points, Vinatieri is in an elite category of special teamers in the history of the game. With one more field goal, he’ll move into a tie for third all-time in the NFL’s all time leading scorers list. Last season may have been Vinatieri’s best to date, going 30/31 on field goal tries.

This season hasn’t been so friendly to Vinatieri and the Colts so far. The team is 0-2, Andrew Luck is looking lost, and the secondary is beyond depleted. Despite all of that, I don’t think the hard times will last in Indy. Andrew Luck is too good to let this team continue to slip, and if Luck gets hot, Vinatieri will have a chance to cap off some long drives. Assuming there’s no more Frank Gore fumbles at the goal line, the Colts should get things straightened out this week.


Image and statistics from CBS Sports.

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