5 Fantasy Football Stars to Watch in Week 3

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2012

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 10:  The NFL Shield logo is shown on the field before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Atlanta Falcons on December 10, 2006 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Falcons defeated the Bucs 17-6. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

With Week 3 of the fantasy football season approaching fast, it’s time to adjust your lineup accordingly and find the NFL studs that will steal the show.

Two weeks of football have given us very different fantasy results each time, so no matter what your fantasy record is so far, there is always time to get your team going in the right direction.

However your league is formatted, all of the following players will either be bouncing back from a bad game or continuing their hot streaks in Week 3.

If you have a chance to start any of these players in any style fantasy league, you must do it.

Quarterback: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

There aren’t too many football fans who can say they saw the New Orleans Saints 0-2 start to the season coming, and there are even fewer soothsayers that were able to predict the struggles for star quarterback Drew Brees.

With four interceptions in two games, Brees hasn’t looked sharp for whatever reason. Whether it’s the loss of head coach Sean Payton or a lack of communication with the receivers, the problems will be solved for Week 3’s matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City’s secondary has been banged up to start the season, and they have allowed 40 and 35 points respectively through the first two weeks of year. Brees must capitalize on that weakness and lead his team to a win.

Projected Stat Line: 30-of-41 for 330 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Running Back: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles are the biggest surprise team at 2-0 in the NFL, but they have star running back LeSean McCoy to thank for their success.

The young back has become a star in the NFL and in fantasy leagues.

While the Arizona Cardinals have been tough against the run to end the 2011 season and to start the 2012 campaign, Shady McCoy can be a threat in the rushing attack and through the air.

Head coach Andy Reid’s new commitment to the run will see McCoy get a heavy dosage of rushes throughout the game, but it will be his reception yards that put you over the fantasy edge.

Projected Stat Line: 20 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown, six receptions for 70 yards and a receiving touchdown.

Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears

After two games, fantasy owners are unsure about what to expect from Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall. While a nine-catch, 119-yard performance made him one of the hottest commodities in Week 1, two catches in his followup has killed all momentum.

Lucky for everyone in the fantasy football world that the St. Louis Rams are the next team on the schedule, so Marshall should see bigger numbers. As good as Cortland Finnegan is, Marshall will return to the Week 1 form that made him a fantasy stud.

Bears QB Jay Cutler will look to rebound from one of his worst performances in a long time, so expect him to lean on his favorite receiver early and often.

Projected Stat Line: 10 receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown.

Flex (WR/RB): Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts

One of the biggest surprises of the 2012 season so far has been the budding relationship between Indianapolis Colts No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck and veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne.

With 15 receptions, over 200 yards receiving and a touchdown in their first two games together, the tandem has formed a strong bond. As good as Luck is already, he is still learning and looks to his top receiver often; that’s great news for fantasy owners.

The Colts face off against the Jaguars in Week 3—a team that has given up 26 and 27 points in the first two weeks of the season respectively—and Wayne will have a huge day against the mediocre Jacksonville secondary.

Projected Stat Line: Eight receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons

While there were many questions about whether NFL veteran Tony Gonzalez would still have the ability to make an impact with all the weapons in Atlanta, the first two weeks of the season have answered those questions emphatically.

Through two games, Gonzalez has 12 receptions for over 120 yards and a touchdown in each game so far.

Good news for fantasy owners is that the Falcons have no plans to stop their attacks, either.

While the Chargers have been stingy defensively so far in 2012, Gonzalez can beat any linebacker in the NFL and will help pick apart San Diego in Week 3.

Projected Stat Line: Seven receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown.

Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NFL page to get your fill of all things football.