Injuries are always going to play a big part in the weekly risers and fallers, and this is certainly true heading into week 3 of the NFL season. Players, teams, and fantasy owners, are licking their wounds after a brutal week of football which saw a number of devastating injuries as well as the most off-field issues the NFL has ever seen.
Touchy subjects like domestic and child abuse have been thrust into the spotlight of American debate, and while these issues are clearly more important that fantasy football, there’s no reason we can’t try to salvage what’s left of a season that seems to be lost in a sea of trouble.
So let’s make the most of it. Fantasy owners, here are your week 3 risers and fallers:
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
Cousins played fantastic last week against the Jags after Griffin dislocated his ankle. Even before RGIII’s latest devastating injury, questions were already starting to swirl about whether Cousins would be a better fit for the ‘Skins new offense. In a very small sample size, mind you, it appears as if that would be the case. Look for Cousins to build off of his 250 yards, two touchdowns performance heading into a week 3 matchup against the Eagles.
Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals running back’s stock probably isn’t rising enough to land him a steady spot on your starting roster, but it’s rising nonetheless. A week after offensive coordinator Hue Jackson vowed to get Hill more carries, he saw his total touches jump from four to 17. Hill’s 96 total yards and a TD in week 2, combined with Giovani Bernard’s current 3.4 YPC, make Hill worth a serious look.
Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams
Quick, one of my sleepers in week 2, had another solid game despite his team’s inability to put points on the board. In week 1, the Rams amassed a whole six points, but Quick still hauled in 99 receiving yards. In week 2, he was productive yet again with 7 catches for 74 yards in an offense that only managed to put up 19 points. In doesn’t even seem to matter who’s throwing him the ball as the Rams have had two different starting quarterbacks in the first two weeks of the season.
Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Sproles went off on Monday night against the Colts to the tune of 11 touches for 178 yards and a score. Even though he’s playing alongside arguably the best running back in the NFL in Shady McCoy, it’s clear there’s plenty of room for Sproles to run wild in Chip Kelly’s offense.
Bobby Rainey, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With starter Doug Martin out in week 2, Rainey proved he was more than up for the challenge of filling Martin’s hamster shoes. Rainy exploded for 144 yards on 22 carries (an average of 6.5 YPC). Martin is still listed as questionable for week 3, so look for Rainey to have another big game if Martin is indeed held out again.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
After sustaining a concussion in week 1, Lacy was back in action in week 2 but only managed 43 yards on 13 carries (3.3 YPC). In a vacuum, that certainly looks pretty bad and not what fantasy owners wanted to see from a guys they had pegged as a solid RB1. While it’s fair to say he’s currently falling, it’s also fair to point out that both the Jets and the Seahawks had top-five run defenses last season, so it’s not like Lacy’s been playing against bottom of the barrel teams.
Riley Cooper, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
After displaying some promising chemistry with Nick Foles last season, Cooper has fallen off the radar. He only saw three targets Monday night, and now has a paltry five catches for 37 yards on the season. This is certainly disappointing for fantasy owners who expecting him to put up similar numbers to his breakout 2013 campaign in which he hauled in 835 receiving yards and eight TDs. Especially after the Eagles parted ways with top wideout, DeSean Jackson.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
No one expected to Gerhart to be amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t think anyone expected him to be this bad. After a meager eight yards on seven carries against the Redskins on Sunday, Gerhart now has a total of 50 yards on 25 carries this season. It doesn’t take a football expert to tell you two yards per carry is pretty atrocious. Gerhart’s plodding nature is one contributing factor, no doubt about that, but what makes a turnaround very hard to see is watching the ineptitude of the Jag’s offensive line.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben hasn’t done much so far this season with just one touchdown and two interceptions in two games. His prospects heading into week 3 where he’ll play an elite Panther’s defense doesn’t do much of anything to spark confidence in a turnaround either. Unless you’re in a two starting QB league, chances are you weren’t starting Roethlisberger anyways, but he hasn’t even been playing to a QB2 level thus far.