Fantasy Football Week 3: Top Sleepers Worth Starting at Each Position

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Quarterback Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass down field against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half on September 15, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Fantasy football is a tricky game. During the first few weeks, the right course of action is almost always sticking by your top draft picks. You invested heavily in them and should give those stars a chance to shine, but patience can wear thin.

Compared to the other major sports, the football season is extremely short. Therefore, fantasy owners don't have the luxury of waiting a month or two for their top players to step up.

At some point, a quick hook becomes essential to avoid falling too far behind.

With that in mind, let's examine some sleepers owners should consider if they are beginning to get concerned about a couple of their starters.

The list is followed by a closer look at the top options available for Week 3.


Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Smith didn't leave the San Francisco 49ers due to poor play. They just found a young quarterback in Colin Kaepernick with more upside. That's important to note because the veteran has a shaky reputation even though he had quarterback rating of 104 in 10 games last season.

Now, he's in Andy Reid's offense with the Chiefs and it seems like a perfect fit.

He's asked to throw more—averaging 35 attempts per game—but it's still an overall conservative approach that allows him to lean heavily on his short-throw accuracy to make plays.

The result has been a very solid start. Smith is averaging 18.5 fantasy points per game, ahead of Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Tom Brady and Kaepernick.

Add in the fact that he gets to face a shaky Philadelphia Eagles secondary and he should continue to thrive.


Stephen Hill, WR, New York Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 14:  Stephen Hill #84 of the New York Jets celebrates his touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium on October 14, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Yes, the Jets offense is going to struggle until it finds more consistency under center. That said, the quarterback struggles don't mean nobody on the team possesses fantasy value.

In fact, Hill continues to emerge as a solid flex option.

There are a couple of things working in his favor. Firstly, he's the most dynamic threat in an otherwise lackluster receiving group, so he's going to get looks. Secondly, the Jets are often playing from behind, which equals plenty of garbage-time points. In the fantasy world, those are just as valuable.

Through two weeks, he has 10 catches for 125 yards and has been targeted a total of 17 times.

He should find space to operate against a banged-up Buffalo Bills secondary and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him find the end zone for the first time in 2013.


Charles Clay, TE, Miami Dolphins

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 04: Charles Clay #42 of the Miami Dolphins runs toward the end zone on a 31-yard touchdown reception ahead of Pat Angerer #51 of the Indianapolis Colts during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, I
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Clay is an intriguing player with more fantasy points through two weeks than Jason Witten, Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez.

Since the tight end position is very weak overall this season, there's no reason to leave him on the waiver wire.

The third-year player out of Tulsa caught five passes for 109 yards last week. That alone is enough to draw attention for a tight end, but what makes him interesting is that he also plunged in from one yard out for a rushing touchdown.

It could bring another layer to his value if he sees more carries around the goal line. Even if he doesn't, he's a big enough factor in the passing game to warrant a start.

Facing an Atlanta Falcons defense that's giving up nearly 350 passing yards per game helps as well.