Fantasy Football Sleepers and Creepers For Week Three

Junkyard JakeCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2009

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 11:  Pierre Thomas #23 of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball against CHarles Tillman #33 and Alex Brown #96 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 11, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)


Pierre Thomas, RB New Orleans

A fantasy outcast just one short week ago, Pierre Thomas will likely find himself thrust back into significant playing time as a result of Mike Bell's untimely knee injury. It's easy to have a short memory concerning Thomas, since he was sucked into the injury nebulous over the first couple weeks.

But remember, he was the guy who effectively replaced Reggie Bush down the stretch last season, with 909 total yards and nine touchdowns, mostly accumulated after Week 11.

Thomas has had a few weeks to recover from his own knee injury, and was ready to go in Week Two, so he's a decent guy to pickup for running back help if someone hastily dropped him in your league.


Donald Brown, RB Indianapolis

There is no doubt that the Miami defense had something to do with it, but Joseph Addai gave his 2009 fantasy owners some unpleasant flashbacks from 2008 when he stumbled along to a six-carrys, 32-yard performance this Monday night.

Meanwhile, Donald Brown gave a glimpse of his potential with a six and a half yards per carry, a 24-yard catch and one touchdown in his role as Addai's No. 2.

Even if Addai remains the starter, Brown should absolutely not be left on your waiver wire, and Addai owners may want to mobilize some trade offers if they can get something in return for the former fantasy star.


Torry Holt/Mike Sims-Walker, WR  Jacksonville

If you can't help yawning at the thought of picking up Torry Holt, you are not alone. There is really nothing exciting about a 33 year-old receiver in a dysfunctional passing offense.

However, Holt is still a savvy player and he represents the No. 1 option for Jacksonville, evidenced by the fact that David Garrard looked his way 11 times this past week.

Mike Sims-Walker is a more interesting, albeit risky prospect, with good size, great hands, decent speed, and solid instincts. Sims-Walker gets his chance as Jacksonville's No. 2 wide-out now that Troy Williamson is out for the season.


Laurent Robinson, WR St. Louis

It must be a lonely job as the only guy trying to help the Rams move the ball down the field in their passing game. But, as of right now, Laurent Robinson is that guy.

At 6-foot-2,  Robinson has good size, shows decent burst, and seems to have improved his route-running compared to his first couple seasons in the league.

We'll see if he can keep it up, but so far he is the Rams No. 1 receiver with 21 targets, including four red zone opportunities.


Justin Forsett, RB Seattle

Justin Forsett is quietly becoming a factor in the Seattle offense—this week he finished with five carries for 35 yards, along with six catches for 57 yards. Although Edgerrin James is technically the primary backup to Julius Jones, it may turn out that Forsett retains the most value.

Unfortunately, you can't teach size, and with Forsett at 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds, it will almost certainly preclude him from being a lead back in the NFL.

But he is definitely worth picking up as a contingency plan for Julius Jones, or even a possible flex option.



Donnie Avery, WR St. Louis

It's way too early to give up on Avery, but there were doubts about the second-year receiver being able to handle a No. 1 receiver role given his small stature.

Those doubts are starting to materialize a bit.

In fact, word is that his teammates voted him "Most likely Player to be Adversely Affected by a Strong Gust of Wind" and at 185 pounds, he is very susceptible to getting mugged at the line by larger cornerbacks.

He probably has nearly no trade value, but Avery is absolutely not startable right now.


Earl Bennett, WR Chicago

In just one week, Earl Bennett went from potential centerpiece of the Bears passing game with 16 targets, to the receiver who was sent to the bench and then convincingly outplayed by a rookie.

Truth is, rookie Johnny Knox has no business making a consistent impact this year, but he does have better speed and big-play ability compared to Bennett.

Nonetheless, both players should probably be banished from starting lineups until Jay Cutler figures out who he wants to throw to.


Ray Rice, RB Baltimore

One of the darlings of this year's preseason hype machine, Ray Rice is so far turning out to be the complementary player in the Ravens running game. It seems to be a logical fit given his diminutive physique and unique passing down skills.

So far, Rice's alleged backup Willis McGahee has received 25 carries to Rice's 28. Their yardage is almost identical, and McGahee has the clear touchdown advantage, four to zero.

It certainly would not be unreasonable to contemplate trading Rice if you can upgrade another position on your fantasy team.


Brandon Marshall, WR Denver

Aside from trying to prove he was more eccentric than Michael Crabtree, Marshall didn't accomplish much over the offseason, and he continues to do nothing but underachieve.

The new Broncos passing offense clearly does not rely on a featured pair of wideouts, so there is a fairly good chance that Marshall won't be a 1,200 yard guy this year.

However, he does represent decent trade bait if another owner in your league is seeking another flaky, overrated receiver to pair up with Terrell Owens on their roster.


Joey Galloway, WR New England

Given that the Jets bottled up Randy Moss pretty well and Wes Welker was apparently abducted by aliens two minutes before game time, Joey Galloway was Tom Brady's most popular target this past week with 13 looks.

Unfortunately, that seemed to be more than the 38 year-old receiver could handle at this point in his career, as he ended the day with only five catches for 53 yards.

When Welker returns, Galloway can go back to planning his retirement fishing trips.


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