FANTASY PLAYS: Lots of offense means breakout performers
Week 3 of the NFL season offered a nice break from the injury-ravaged first two weeks. While some stars were banged up, Sunday's action was marked by big performances, lots of offense, and a healthy dose of inflated fantasy scores.
It's a new feeling for fantasy owners this week to hit the waiver wire to casually search for players they want, rather than frantically chasing for injury replacements.
DOWN GOES DEZ (AND OTHER INJURED STARS)
Of course, fantasy players weren't completely spared from having to wait for Monday MRI results. Despite scoring his first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter, Dez Bryant suffered a knee injury in a 31-17 win over the Bears.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was certain Bryant would be fine - and the Cowboys wideout has a history of playing through injury - but there's always a chance he could miss time. Terrance Williams had the thrid-most receiving yards of his four-year career on Sunday (four catches for 88 yards) and would be next up if Bryant is out.
Russell Wilson's leg was twisted as he was brought down by a 49ers defender during Seattle's win. While the Seahawks were calling it a knee injury (an MRI on Monday will reveal more), it could have easily been his ankle or calf. Wilson was already playing with a high ankle sprain. During Wilson's mid-game absence, Trevone Boykin threw for 65 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
In other injury news, Jeremy Langford was carted off the field with an ankle injury (backup running back Jordan Howard may be the top add in fantasy this week) and Steelers wideout Eli Rogers left with a toe issue.
MARVIN JONES, FANTASY STUD
There were plenty of words written in the preseason about how Marvin Jones would do well in the Detroit offense, but the general consensus was that he'd still be the No. 2 receiver for the Lions behind Golden Tate.
After three weeks, Jones has blown away expectations. On Sunday, he had six receptions on eight targets for 205 yards and two touchdowns. He has 408 total receiving yards on the season. In football, however, success means more eyeballs - one would expect Jones to get some more defensive attention going forward, which could lead to bigger games for Tate.
TERRELLE PRYOR, FANTASY STUD?
Thanks to injuries (Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown) and suspension (Josh Gordon), Terrelle Pryor became a jack-of-all-trades for the Browns on Sunday. What will stand out to most is Pryor's receiving day - eight receptions on 14 targets for 144 yards. But he also ran four times for 21 yards and completed three of five passes for 35 yards.
Pryor's coach, Hue Jackson, was on the Bengals coaching staff from 2012 to 2015. During that time, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (also a converted quarterback) ran the ball 26 times for 153 yards and two touchdowns and threw five passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns. And that was a team with a stable quarterback. Expect Pryor to continue shifting through positions and receive a big boost in value when Josh Gordon returns in Week 5. Pryor is available in 78 percent of Yahoo leagues.
- Don't be too eager to cut Lions running back Dwayne Washington. Despite running the ball just 10 times for 38 yards Sunday, he was playing a tough Green Bay defense and looked better as a true runner than Theo Riddick (10 attempts, nine yards). Washington's upside is limited, as Detroit is a pass-heavy offense, but an impending matchup against a porous Bears run defense should make Washington one of the more intriguing plays for Week 4.
- Carson Wentz hasn't thrown an interception in three games. And this is not a fluke, as his head coach is Doug Pederson, who groomed Alex Smith into one of the more mistake-free quarterbacks during Pederson's time as offensive coordinator in Kansas City.
- Bears wide receiver Kevin White, who finished with six catches for 62 yards, was targeted 14 times by Brian Hoyer - the third-most targets to any player in Week 3. Bucs wide receiver Adam Humphries has 20 targets in his last two games, with 167 receiving yards. And Dolphins wideout Kenny Stills managed eight targets (finishing with five catches for 76 yards), suggesting his back injury is behind him and he's ready for a possible breakout.
BEWARE THE BYE
Byes begin in Week 4. The Packers and Eagles are off.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com .