FanNation weekly fantasy football: Best players to pick in Week 3

2:59 | The MMQB
Fantasy Check: Week 3
Thursday September 18th, 2014
Fantasy football Week 3 stat projections

Week 1 of our FanNation fantasy challenge was a decisive victory for you, the readers, over me, the temporary idiot. 

Week 2 was a blowout the other direction, as I walked away from the weekend with an undefeated mark, thanks to a three-man team of Andrew Luck, Giovani Bernard and Jordy Nelson. Thanks to brilliant work by Bernard and Nelson on Sunday, most of the fantasy head-to-head showdowns were decided before Luck took the field Monday.

• Fantasy Fact or Fiction: Evaluating early studs and duds through two weeks

Who will grab the upper hand again in Week 3? Take your best shot here on FanNation, or sign up and take part in one of the cash games offered each week. The unique roster/scoring format is unlike any other weekly fantasy football offering. 

This week's roster selections:


Drew Brees (projected points: 24)
Also considered: Matthew Stafford (23), Cam Newton (19), Kirk Cousins (14)

Played it rather safe here, in theory -- Brees is ranked No. 1 in projected points. He'll have to perform very well to make the investment in him worthwhile, but with the Saints sitting at 0-2 headed into their home opener, he will. Even if New Orleans runs away from the Vikings, Brees should lap Tom Brady's stats from New England's Week 2 blowout of Minnesota (149 yards, one touchdown). That is especially true with Mark Ingram out of the lineup.

Fantasy football Week 3 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

Stafford will have to throw to win most weeks, but Week 3 presents a king-of-the-hill challenge against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Detroit's run game has yet to find its footing, giving Stafford even more opportunities through the air.

Newton looked sharp in his 2014 debut, a win over Detroit. He draws Pittsburgh's highly suspect defense on Sunday night. And while Cousins has to venture out on the road for his first start of '14, the Eagles' up-tempo offense and average defense will give him a chance to score some points. 

Running back

Stevan Ridley (projected points: 7)
Also considered: LeSean McCoy (20), DeMarco Murray (17), Giovani Bernard (14)

Trade them now: Three running backs who won't be starting by Week 9

Ridley carried the ball 25 times for 101 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 31-7 win over Minnesota last Sunday. The Raiders do not give off the appearance of a team about to push New England any harder than that in Foxborough, so count on Ridley to have the ball in his hands often (provided his fumbling woes do not return). At a seven-point projection, even one touchdown would make him a sensational value.

• Week 3 Power Rankings | Sour Rankings | Rookie Watch

McCoy is going to score on a weekly basis. In two games against Washington last season, he rushed for a combined 261 yards and three touchdowns and added 78 yards receiving. Meanwhile, Murray has been the best back in football through two weeks and draws a thus-far disappointing St. Louis defense -- the Rams rank 30th against the run.

An A.J. Green-less passing attack will force the Bengals to the ground, which would be good news for Bernard, coming off 169 total yards in Week 2.

Wide receiver/tight end

Randall Cobb (projected points: 14)
Also considered: Jordy Nelson (18), Jimmy Graham (15), Larry Fitzgerald (11)

Week 2 Target Report: Breaking down pass catchers from every team

Almost went back to the well here with Nelson but settled on his teammate instead, mainly because Cobb's projected point total comes with a little more leeway in the FanNation scoring system. Both receivers are in line for strong days against Detroit's secondary, provided the Packers' O-line can keep Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and the rest of Detroit's pass-rushers off Aaron Rodgers.

Graham nearly carried New Orleans to victory in Week 2 with 10 catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Expect Brees to lean on him again as the Saints attempt to find their footing. Graham is a decent value at 15 points; Fitzgerald might be more of one at 11. After a quiet Week 1, he was targeted 10 times in Week 2 by Drew Stanton, who is in line to start against San Francisco this week. Fitzgerald caught six of those balls for 51 yards, falling inches shy of a touchdown on one occasion.

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