Week 3 NFL Predictions: Unheralded Players Who'll Break Out on Sunday
Predicting unheralded NFL players to have breakout games seemingly out of nowhere isn't an easy thing to do, but I've built up enough courage to provide three guys who should have big games in Week 3.
In Week 2, Donnie Avery exploded for nine receptions and 111 yards in an Indianapolis Colts victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Jackie Battle rushed for 69 yards with two scores in a San Diego Chargers rout over the Tennessee Titans.
On opening weekend, who saw Kevin Ogletree's eight-grab, 114-yard, two-touchdown performance coming?
Here are the overlooked players who'll be major contributors in this week's action.
Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams at Chicago Bears
The Bears' run defense is good, having allowed less than four yards per carry through two games, and they usually play well at home, but hear me out.
Steven Jackson will play this afternoon, although he's nursing a groin injury, and should be the Rams runner that will wear down Chicago's defense throughout.
Don't be shocked if the St. Louis coaching staff limits his carries and gives change-of-pace lightning bug Daryl Richardson a fair share of touches.
He accumulated 102 total yards on 17 touches last week against the Redskins.
Look for him to be the underrated key to the Rams' attack this afternoon.
He should be utilized on a few screen plays and outside pitches after using Jackson on between-the-tackles runs.
Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Moore is a veteran and has been productive in the Saints offense in the past. In 2008, he had 79 receptions, 928 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The problem with Moore has been, on occasion, he gets phased out of the high-volume passing attack in New Orleans. Drew Brees simply loves spreading it around so much that it's hard for Moore to be a reliable producer.
In Week 1, he caught six passes for 120 yards and a score. Last week against the Carolina Panthers, though, the slippery slot target was held in check, catching only two passes for 30 yards.
So, if Moore's up-and-down trend continues, he will have a big game today against a KC defense that's allowed 37.5 points and 377.5 total yards per contest through two games.
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
After a 2010 season in which he caught 10 touchdowns and accounted for 700 receiving yards, no one thought Lewis would ever be relegated to an "unheralded players" list.
However, he fell off the map in Jacksonville's abysmal offense with a 460-yard, zero-touchdown 2011 campaign.
Blaine Gabbert looks exceedingly more comfortable in the pocket, and in a crushing Week 1 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the 6'6", 270-pound monster tight end caught five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Against a stout Houston Texans defense in Week 2, Lewis wasn't even targeted, as Gabbert struggled, which didn't come as a surprise.
The Colts defense is improved, but Gabbert should have a much easier time throwing the football in a game that has the potential to be relatively high-scoring.
Maurice Jones-Drew will carry the load for Jacksonville, but Lewis will be a key facet of Jacksonville's offensive game plan.
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