NFL Fantasy Football Week 3 Sleepers to Start

Adam Barone@ap_barone33Contributor IISeptember 20, 2012

NFL Fantasy Football Week 3 Sleepers to Start

0 of 5

    You've scoured the Internet, searched far and wide, but have not found much of anything helpful.

    You're tired of clicking exciting headlines that promise "sleepers" to fill your team's holes in Week 3, only to find more mentions of Michael Bush, Andre Brown and Mikel Leshoure. 

    It's like seeing previews for the original The Expendables and then actually seeing it in the theater—plenty of explosions and cheesy fight scenes, but overall the same pointless garbage you could've seen anywhere.

    Sly, if you're reading this, and I'm sure you are, I want my 10 bucks back.

    Real analysis, actual outside-the-box thinking is what you're looking for, not gutless bandwagon jumping just to create copy and waste your time.

    The NFL shocks us every week. Here's a group of players with "shock" potential.

Quarterback: Jake Locker, Titans

1 of 5

    The arrow is pointing in the right direction for Titans second-year quarterback Jake Locker.

    He's struggled some through his first two NFL starts, but the former first-round pick has received almost no support from celebrated running back Chris Johnson (21 total rushing yards), while dynamic receiver Kenny Britt was on the field for just 19 snaps in Week 2. Britt was being worked back into the offense after sitting out Week 1 due to suspension.

    Rumors of Locker's benching were squashed by head coach Mike Munchak, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, and he'll face a beatable Lions defense Sunday, which could be without as many as four key members of its secondary. They've allowed a generous 7.6 yards per attempt to opposing passers.

    The Titans figure to be trailing again—they've already allowed 71 points through two games—providing Locker with plenty of opportunities to show off both his big arm and his ability to scramble.

Running Back: Pierre Thomas, Saints

2 of 5

    The Saints' 0-2 record likely has them itching for redemption.

    They'll host a winless Chiefs team Sunday that's surrendered an average of 4.8 yards per carry to opposing rushers. Running back Pierre Thomas should be drooling over their submissive nature, as he's currently tearing through defenses at a staggering 9.8 yards per rush.

    Compare that to his backfield mate, Mark Ingram, who's stumbling to 3.1 yards per tote, and it's clear that Thomas should see plenty of carries and has monstrous potential in the coming week.

    Expect New Orleans, presumably the superior team, to attempt to control the ball, as these teams have allowed an identical 75 points on the young season.

Wide Receiver: Jon Baldwin, Chiefs

3 of 5

    Chiefs former first-round pick Jon Baldwin was targeted on five deep balls, hauling in a pair for 26 yards each and a third pass to total 62 yards on Sunday.

    Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll clearly worked Baldwin into the offense more in Week 2 after ignoring him in the opener against the Falcons, and should continue to increase his targets. 

    Kansas City has trailed for almost the entire two games of the season, and that's not likely to change in New Orleans. The Saints, however, have already surrendered big days to Pierre Garcon (four catches, 109 yards), Steve Smith (three catches, 104 yards) and Brandon LaFell (six catches, 90 yards).

    Overall, the "Who-Dats" have allowed an NFL-worst 461.0 yards per contest.

    Baldwin, 6'4", 230 pounds, could be in for a big day.

Tight End: Coby Fleener, Colts

4 of 5

    Colts tight end Coby Fleener opened the season against the Bears with an impressive, though surprising, six catches for 82 yards.

    The encore, two grabs for 16 yards, wasn't nearly as intriguing, but Fleener is still a trusted checkdown for rookie quarterback Andrew Luck.

    Sunday's opponent, the Jaguars, allowed opposing tight ends Kyle Rudolph and Owen Daniels to record five and six grabs in Weeks 1 and 2 respectively, and don't figure to exclude Fleener from the fun.

    The Jags defense is brutal, giving up a per-game average of 26.5 points and 400 total yards, though most of those yards have come on the ground. Similarly, the porous Colts "D" allows a horrifying 30.5 points per contest, suggesting that a shootout may be in the forecast.

    Luck won't sleep on Fleener when he needs someone he can count on, and neither should you.

Defense: Miami Dolphins

5 of 5

    The Miami Dolphins defense ranked sixth in the NFL in 2011, giving up only 19.6 points per game. It tied for 10th with 41 sacks and was third best in stifling the run, averaging just 95.6 rushing yards allowed.

    Suffocating the Raiders offense last weekend in Miami, the Fish looked surprisingly competitive. Carson Palmer was only able to complete exactly half of his 48 passes, while dynamic runner Darren McFadden racked up only 22 yards on the ground and Oakland managed a mere 13 points.

    This week's opponent, the Jets, shouldn't be much different. New York quarterback Mark Sanchez threw three interceptions in Miami last season and struggled last week against Pittsburgh, completing only 10 of 27 passes. 

    Miami is gaining confidence heading into a matchup with its most hated rival, and a big week could be in store.