Fantasy Football Week 3 Cheat Sheet: Deep Sleepers to Target

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2020

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) passes against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Experienced fantasy football managers know that the waiver wire is one of the greatest tools in their arsenals. While one should hope that its use doesn't become a necessity, even managers who don't need immediate replacements can find value by bolstering the back ends of their rosters.

Unfortunately, many managers will need to rely on roster depth, the waiver wire and deep sleepers to get through Week 3 of the 2020 season and beyond. Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Raheem Mostert and Courtland Sutton are just a few of the notable fantasy names who are injured.

Bye weeks are right around the corner, too, in Week 5.

Here, you'll find a cheat sheet for some of the best waiver-wire targets and deep sleepers for Week 3, based on their projected roles and matchups.

   

Deep Sleeper Cheat Sheet, Week 3

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Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville

Gardner Minshew II, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami

Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Carolina

Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers at NY Giants

Mike Davis, RB, Carolina Panthers at L.A. Chargers

Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo

Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons vs. Chicago

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Carolina

N'Keal Harry, WR, New England Patriots vs. Las Vegas

Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team at Cleveland

Jordan Reed, TE, San Francisco 49ers at NY Giants

    

Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Josie Lepe/Associated Press

Jerick McKinnon didn't see the field in his first two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers because of injuries. However, he made his debut in Week 1 of this season and has been a notable part of the offense.

Through two weeks, McKinnon has produced 101 rushing yards, three receptions, 20 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He's likely to see a significantly larger role in Week 3.

Starter Raheem Mostert is set to miss time with an MCL sprain, and backup Tevin Coleman is also expected to miss multiple weeks with his own knee injury, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter:

This means that McKinnon is likely to get the bulk of the backfield work against a New York Giants team that ranks just 24th against the run. That's a great mix of matchup and role for a player rostered in just 49 percent of Yahoo leagues and 27 percent of ESPN leagues.

    

Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Los Angeles Chargers rookie running back Joshua Kelley doesn't quite have the projected role boost that McKinnon is getting, but he has a tremendous home matchup that managers will want to exploit. The Chargers host the Carolina Panthers, who have allowed the sixth-most points in the NFL through two weeks.

Carolina also ranks 19th in rushing yards allowed and has surrendered a league-high six rushing touchdowns.

The latter statistic is the relevant one for Kelley managers. While Austin Ekeler remains the starter and the top receiving back in Los Angeles, Kelley has carved out a role as a hard-hitting rushing complement.

Kelley does have two receptions for 49 yards, but he has carried the ball 35 times for 124 yards and a touchdown.

Expect Kelley to see double-digit carries against Carolina and to put up respectable numbers in the process. He is rostered in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues and 40 percent of ESPN leagues.

    

N'Keal Harry, WR, New England Patriots

Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Injury and a lack of trust from quarterback Tom Brady made wide receiver N'Keal Harry a virtual afterthought in the New England Patriots offense last season. This year, though, Cam Newton is under center, and Harry is beginning to become a force.

Through two games, Harry has 13 receptions and 111 receiving yards. Eight of those catches and 72 yards came last week, when the Patriots went pass-happy against the Seattle Seahawks. It's clear that Harry is becoming one of Newton's favorite targets.

"It's good to have trust from my quarterback," Harry said, per Nick Goss of NBC Sports Boston. "It means a lot."

Harry has a solid matchup this week against the Las Vegas Raiders and their 29th-ranked pass defense. More importantly, though, he's a player who could go from waiver-wire sleeper to weekly must-start. Grab him now if you can.

Harry is rostered in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues and 45 percent of ESPN leagues.

   

Yahoo and ESPN roster percentages from FantasyPros.