Mark Ingram II, RB, NO - Adrian Peterson tweaked his knee, he has been marginalized despite glaring at Sean Payton, and the Saints offense is just now getting into gear. Ingram has managed at least 70 total yards in every game despite a time share at running back, but he also looks like the finished and most likely goal line back for a team that hasn’t generated at their usual high rate so far this year. If the Saints can control the game in London against the Dolphins with their extra prep time having flown there on Monday, then Ingram should be the main fantasy beneficiary.
Ryan Griffin, TE, HOU - Griffin doesn’t seem to be generating much buzz in fantasy leagues despite a strong game with Deshaun Watson against the Patriots. The somewhat limited athletically Jordan Leggett had seven scores and 16 yards per receptions on 46 catches with Watson at Clemson last year, and Griffin appeared to emerge as one of Watson’s favorite secondary targets last week. CJ Fiedorowicz had fantasy relevance with a healthy Griffin, so with Fiedorowicz out, Griffin should have even more value than Fiedorowicz did last year.
Keenan Allen, WR, LAC - Allen is still getting open at will, but Philip Rivers was more interested in testing the Chiefs secondary deep last week. That approach should go by the wayside and Rivers should focus on Allen in a quick passing approach that worked for Eli Manning last week in an effort to slow down a relentless Eagles pass rush. Manning was running for his life in the first two weeks, but he wasn’t sacked in Week 3. If the Chargers want to exploit what the Giants uncovered, they should target Allen frequent on short, early-breaking routes. Also, with Melvin Gordon III’s knee already an issue, it’s very possible that Allen is the centerpiece of the offense, returning to 2015 volume levels sooner than later.
Dion Lewis, RB, NE - It might be painful to keep spending a roster spot on Lewis in redraft leagues, but he’s worth your time in dynasty. He’s a free agent next year and ready made to be used in a Tarik Cohen/Chris Thompson fashion. The Patriots very well could use him like that eventually if James White gets dinged. Lewis hasn’t completely shown it yet, but reports from camp indicated that he was basically back to the burst and quickness that made him a fantasy RB1 in 2015. All he needs now is the opportunity.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, OAK - Latavius Murray turned this role into RB1 numbers last year, and Lynch has shown no dropoff in skills/ability to make us think he can’t be as good as Murray was in 2016. In Week 1, he didn’t get a chance to score, in Week 2, he was on the sidelines for the second half in a blowout win, and in Week 3, he was on the sidelines for the second half in a blowout loss. He’ll be fine, as the Raiders offense hasn’t shown any decline on the line. You might want to wait until after this week to make an offer for Lynch because he’s facing the suddenly shutdown Broncos run defense.
Marcus Mariota, QB, TEN - It was just about this time last year when Mariota when on an elite QB1 run that lasted eight games. The Titans offense is starting to click even without #5 overall pick Corey Davis, with some help from fellow rookies Jonnu Smith and Taywan Taylor. The Titans two toughest defensive matchups of the fantasy regular season - Jacksonville and Seattle - are behind them. He might be the best quarterback to own other than Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers.
Andre Ellington, RB, ARI - Forgive me for falling for Ellington again, but he showed off the smooth game as a receiver, burst, and creativity that made him a sensation as a rookie. The Cardinals don’t have a healthy #2 receiver right now, so that could be Ellington if he keeps up his strong play and stays healthy. Chris Johnson was a failure as the lead back in Week 3, so Ellington could also get more looks as a runner going forward.
Matt Ryan, QB, ATL - Ryan’s yards per attempt and completion percentage are both in line with his career 2016 stats, but the touchdowns have mainly gone to Devonta Freeman on the ground, and the team has settled for too many field goals. That touchdown pass numbers is going to progress soon, get in on Ryan while you can.
Wayne Gallman, RB, NYG - Why not Gallman? Paul Perkins has been an utter failure and both Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen are hurting. Gallman isn’t the prettiest runner, but he is high effort and underrated as a receiver. He also has a lot of experience running out of the shotgun with Deshaun Watson at Clemson. Defenses are going to have to adjust to the Giants quick passing game and Gallman could breathe life into the running game to keep them off-balance.
Ty Montgomery, RB, GB - Montgomery is not producing as a runner and the number of times he is seeing trainers on the sideline seems to indicate that he might have trouble holding up under this snap and touch workload over an entire season. If you can recoup RB1 value for him in dynasty or redraft, it’s time to pull the trigger.
Todd Gurley, RB, LAR - Don’t sell Gurley just because, but six touchdowns in three games is unsustainable. The Rams also have a run of Seattle, Jacksonville, Dallas, the Giants, Houston, and Minnesota coming up, which will be much less generous to the Rams newlook offense than the 49ers and Colts were in Weeks 1 and 3. If you can get elite RB1 prices for him in redraft, it’s worth your while.
Zach Ertz, TE, PHI - Ertz has been a fantastic producer and should remain a core piece of the Eagles pass offense, but his big play in Week 2 was a fluke, and every tight end seems to go off against the Giants. He’s still not a great red zone tight end, and the Eagles are showing an inclination to go more balanced on offense, which should bring down the passing game ceiling on a weekly basis. Darren Sproles being out for the year should only push the Eagles to go with even more balance, which will include more snaps for their blocking tight ends. If someone will pay a price close to Gronk/Kelce levels for Ertz, it’s time to take it.
Pierre Garcon, WR, SF - Garcon was a monster in Week 3, but he is facing a #1 corner schedule that includes Patrick Peterson twice, Vontae Davis, Josh Norman, Richard Sherman, and Janoris Jenkins between now and Week 12. Some of those teams may not choose to shadow Garcon with their #1 corner, but the 49ers don’t have any other credible passing game threat and you’re still counting on Brian Hoyer when you start Garcon.
Carson Wentz, QB, PHI - If Wentz isn’t your QB1, you might shop him to a team that needs one. His attempts might not get back to the level they were in the first two weeks (39-46) as the Eagles lost Darren Sproles and seemed to benefit from a more balanced approach against a tough Giants defense. He also got a boost from 55 rushing yards in Week 2, a total he probably won’t approach again this year.