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Into the deep for Week 3

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Every week I'll dive into some sleepers beyond what we write in our Start 'Em and Sit 'Em column to help some of you in deeper leagues. Some weeks will have more guys than others, but this should be helpful for those owners in 14- and 16-team leagues.

Quarterback

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Joe Flacco (at STL): Flacco had a difficult day in Week 2 at Tennessee with 197 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, but he should rebound this week. The Rams don't have a good secondary, and they have allowed four passing touchdowns in two games against Michael Vick and Eli Manning. Flacco is capable of 250 passing yards and two touchdowns this week, and he should be a useful replacement if Michael Vick (concussion) or Tony Romo (ribs) are out.
Andy Dalton (vs. SF): It's only two weeks, but the 49ers have allowed three quarterbacks to throw five touchdowns against them with Tarvaris Jackson (two), Romo (two) and Jon Kitna (one). Look for Dalton to add to that total, and he's coming off an impressive game at Denver with 332 passing yards and two touchdowns. You're not going to start Dalton over a lot of quarterbacks this week, but this is a good matchup. If Jackson can throw for multiple touchdowns against this defense, Dalton should be able to match him.
Colt McCoy (vs. MIA): The Dolphins are banged up on defense with linebacker Karlos Dansby (groin), cornerback Vontae Davis (hamstring), safety Chris Clemons (hamstring) and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (hand) all dealing with injuries. That's not good for a defense that has played bad so far this season. The Dolphins have allowed 747 passing yards, six touchdowns and one interception in two games. Granted, 517 yards were against Tom Brady in Week 1, but McCoy could make plays in this matchup. He could have similar production to his Week 1 outing against Cincinnati when he had 213 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception with 11 rushing yards. That's 19 Fantasy points in a standard league, which is realistic given the matchup.

Running back

Daniel Thomas (at CLE): You know I was all in on Thomas prior to the season, and he looked great in Week 2 against Houston with 18 carries for 107 yards and a fumble in his NFL debut. This week, I expect the Dolphins to rely on Thomas again since Cleveland's run defense is a weakness. The Browns have allowed Cedric Benson and Joseph Addai to each gain 100 total yards in their two games this season, and Thomas should definitely outplay Reggie Bush this week. He is a great flex option in the majority of leagues.
Isaac Redman (at IND): The Colts run defense is among the worst in the NFL, especially with linebacker Gary Brackett (shoulder) injured. Indianapolis has already allowed four rushing touchdowns on the season against Ben Tate, Derrick Ward and Peyton Hillis (twice). Redman scored last week against Seattle, and he should get some opportunities this week once Rashard Mendenhall shreds this defense. In deeper formats you can consider Redman as a flex option.
Jonathan Stewart (vs. JAC): I have a feeling DeAngelo Williams bounces back this week against the Jaguars, but I could also see Stewart playing well. He was fantastic as a receiver in Week 2 against Green Bay with eight catches for 100 yards, and he appears to be the running back who will work near the goal line. Jacksonville's run defense has done well this year in limiting Chris Johnson (49 total yards) and Shonn Greene (49 rushing yards), but Stewart could find the end zone this week in what should be a Carolina victory.
Danny Woodhead (at BUF): Woodhead has a good history against the Bills with two touchdowns in two meetings last year, and he had 13 carries for 93 yards and three catches for 32 yards at Buffalo in December. With Aaron Hernandez (hip) out, the Patriots might feature Woodhead more in the passing game even though he has just three catches for 21 yards on the season. Keep in mind that game at Buffalo last year came with Hernandez out with a hip injury, and Woodhead was able to step up in his place.
DeMarco Murray (vs. WAS): There are two reasons to like Murray this week. He could see an increase in carries if Felix Jones (shoulder) is limited or out, and the Cowboys could also use him as a receiver with Miles Austin (hamstring) and Dez Bryant (quad) banged up. If Jones doesn't play I would expect the Cowboys to lean on Tashard Choice more than Murray as a rusher, but Dallas could be in need of playmakers this week, which is why Murray makes this list.

Wide receiver

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Chad Ochocinco (at BUF): Ochocinco has been miserable so far this year with three catches for 59 yards, but his playing time and targets should increase with Hernandez out. That's the only reason to even consider him this week is because he should see more action, and hopefully that will lead to some quality production. The Bills have done a good job in coverage so far this season, but they haven't exactly faced stellar passing attacks in Kansas City and Oakland. That should change this week against the Patriots.
Mike Sims-Walker (vs. BAL): I like what I saw from Sims-Walker in Week 2 at the Giants with six catches for 92 yards. He stepped up with Danny Amendola (elbow) out, and he should be relied upon again this week against a Ravens secondary that has struggled this year. Baltimore has already allowed two receivers to gain 100 yards with Mike Wallace in Week 1 and Kenny Britt in Week 2, and Nate Washington fell one yard short last week at 99 yards. The Ravens are dealing with injuries to their secondary with Jimmy Smith (ankle), and the Rams might be forced to throw all game. Consider Sims-Walker a solid No. 3 Fantasy option this week.
David Nelson (vs. NE): Nelson was great last week against Oakland with 10 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, and he has 14 catches for 149 yards on the season. With Roscoe Parrish (ankle) out for the season, Nelson's chances to produce should increase, and the Patriots secondary is a mess right now. New England has allowed 29 catches for 515 yards and three touchdowns to wide receivers, with Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess and Vincent Jackson each gaining over 90 yards. Nelson can be considered a No. 2 Fantasy option in point per reception leagues.
Dexter McCluster (at SD): We'll find out this week if McCluster can help Fantasy owners replace the injured Jamaal Charles (knee), and he should get the chance for plenty of playing time with Kansas City likely chasing points. McCluster has done well as a receiver so far with 12 catches for 93 yards in two games, but his carries should increase as well. He has to hold onto the ball with two fumbles, but Fantasy owners who added McCluster can consider him as a flex option in deeper formats. And hopefully he can help replace Charles since Fantasy owners are desperate now that his season is over.
Julio Jones (at TB): At some point this guy is going to find the end zone, and it could happen this week against the Bucs. Jones played well in Week 1 at Chicago with five catches for 71 yards before being stifled last week by Philadelphia's secondary for two catches and 29 yards. The Bucs have allowed three receivers to catch at least five passes in two games with Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and Percy Harvin, and while Roddy White is clearly the go-to guy, I think this is the week Jones scores his first NFL touchdown. Consider him a No. 3 option in deeper formats.

Tight end

Jermaine Gresham (vs. SF): With Jordan Shipley (knee) out for the season, Gresham's value should rise as the main target over the middle for Dalton. Gresham played well in Week 1 at Cleveland with six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown before doing nothing last week at Denver with two catches for 8 yards. The 49ers just allowed Jason Witten to catch seven passes for 102 yards, and their secondary is not very good. Gresham is worth using as a starter in deeper leagues or even as a flex option in PPR formats.
Tony Scheffler (at MIN): Scheffler has been the best Fantasy tight end for the Lions so far this season with two catches for 47 yards and two touchdowns, while Brandon Pettigrew has been held to five catches for 64 yards and no scores. Pettigrew is dealing with a shoulder injury, but Scheffler also has a good history against the Vikings. In two meetings last year, Scheffler had 13 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. And in three career matchups, Scheffler has 20 catches for 162 yards and two scores.
Greg Olsen (vs. JAC): The Jaguars were abused by Dustin Keller last week for six catches, 101 yards and a touchdown, and Olsen is looking for a rebound game after struggling last week against Green Bay. He was held to one catch for 34 yards and four targets, but I expect that to improve dramatically. Look for Olsen to score his first touchdown this season, and this should be the breakout game we've all been waiting for after drafting him as a starter.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Texans' Louis Nix 'trying to move forward' in sophomore season
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Texans nose tackle Louis Nix spoke about his lost rookie season this week in OTAs, the Houston Chronicle reports.

"A lot went on my first year here. It was a lot to deal with," said Nix, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery during the preseason and eventually was placed on season-ending injured reserve. "It was difficult to maintain it with all the issues. But I'm happy about now, and that's what I'm worried about. I'm just trying to move forward and do the best I can."

Coach Bill O'Brien expressed frustration with Nix earlier this offseason.

"Bill is Bill. He challenges everybody," Nix said. "Sometimes you guys make it more than what it is. … He wants guys to be better. I take no offense to it. I know he just wants me to be the best player that I can be. He sees potential, and I see it in myself. I'm starting to get back in a groove of things. I'm just going to keep trying to do the best I can."

Nix is finally healthy and working his way into game shape.

"Make it through a practice, man," Nix said. "That's my goal."


Eagles' Earl Wolff, Marcus Smith limited in OTAs with injuries
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Eagles safety Earl Wolff and linebacker Marcus Smith were limited in OTAs with injuries, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Wolff is recovering from knee surgery. Coach Chip Kelly said the safety has been cleared to return, and the team is waiting for him to reach full participation in OTAs. Smith has been dealing with a pulled leg muscle.


Packers' Casey Hayward dealing with foot injury
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Packers cornerback Casey Hayward is dealing with a foot injury and doesn't expect to return to action until training camp, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

"I’ll probably take it easy into camp right now," Hayward said. "I have a minor foot thing right now. We’ll probably take it easy into camp."

Hayward said the foot "flared up" on him earlier in the offseason. He finished with 42 tackles and three interceptions last season.


Ravens' Terrence Brooks running, 'doing really well'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Ravens free safety Terrence Brooks is running after suffering ACL and MCL tears in his right knee in December, the Baltimore Sun reports.

"Terrence Brooks is doing really well," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "No predictions right now, but he looks good. He has worked hard."

Brooks is expected to open the season on the PUP list and could make his return this season.

"We're just hoping for the best, trying to get back as soon as possible," Brooks said. "We're taking precautious. We definitely don't want to rush back too fast. If you do get cleared, playing this year is definitely a goal. You don't want to rush it. For the most part, you have to be cautious and take it easy. After we get off of the PUP list, we'll see where we're at. I definitely want to get back into it, but we're taking our time. I have high hopes of being ready."


Report: OT Jake Long visits Giants Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Free-agent offensive tackle Jake Long visited the Giants on Thursday, ESPN reports.

The Giants are having to shuffle their offensive line with Will Beatty expected to miss the first part of the season with a pec injury. Long was scheduled to make $9.25 million in 2015 but was released by the Rams in March.


Saints CB Brandon Browner impressing teammates, coach
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) New Saints cornerback Brandon Browner is having a positive impact on not just the secondary, but the entire defense. At least that's the view of defensive backfield mate Kenny Vaccaro.

"Browner's a good dude, leads by example, talks when he needs to talk," Vaccaro told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "He's real serious, kind of keeps everybody level headed and knows what we've got to work for. He's won two Super Bowls, so he knows what to do."

Sean Payton echoed those sentiments.

"He's competitive," he said. "He's driven and certainly one of the things we talked about this offseason through the draft, through the acquisition of players is the makeup and making sure that this is something we felt like was a plus and certainly with him we feel that that is a strength of his."

The Saints are Browner's fourth team in six seasons in the NFL.


Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans working way back from injury
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) There was a bit of a discrepancy Thursday in regard to the practice participation of Eagles inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans.

Chip Kelly said before the session that Ryans would be a full-go despite him being just seven months removed from rupturing his Achilles tendon. Ryans did practice, but he told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he was not a full participant.

Ryans missed half of the 2014 season with the injury, but contributed to 45 tackles in eight games before going down.


Eagles QB Mark Sanchez optimistic as offseason rolls on
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) A stronger arm, greater familiarity with the offense and more confidence has Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez feeling quite good these days.

Sanchez underwent shoulder surgery two years ago that affected him early last season. He expects to be better in 2015, especially if given an opportunity to play over newcomer Sam Bradford.

"First thing, physically, I feel so much better," he told the team website. "The farther it gets away from surgery and all the reps I've had, all the rehab on through, it can only get better and stronger. So this is definitely the best I've ever felt. And then as far as the scheme, every rep, every time we sit down and watch film, every meeting, that can only help with my growth as well."

The chance to play is one reason why Sanchez chose to return this offseason to the Eagles.

"Were there other opportunitites? Absolutely," he said. "Did they look potentially good, better, similar, maybe worse? Potentially, yeah, there was some stuff out there. But when I factored it all in, I just felt this was the best spot for me. I enjoy playing for coach Kelly, I love this system, I love the tempo, I love the pace."

Sanchez also expressed a desire to remain on the team for which he threw his highest completition percentage of his career in 2014. He hit on 64.1 percent, by far a personal best.

Chip Kelly has seen a difference in Sanchez.

"I think you can see it in how he's performing out there now," he said. "He's also not learning an offense again. ... He is really comfortable in terms of the scheme."


Ravens waive/injured Julian Wilson
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) The Ravens waived/injured cornerback Julian Wilson on Thursday, the Baltimore Sun reports. Wilson suffered a broken leg on the first day of rookie camp and will miss the season.

Saints' Anthony Spencer works ahead of Junior Galette Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Saints linebacker Anthony Spencer worked ahead of Junior Galette in the team's base 4-3 defense, a run-heavy look that featured just three linebackers, ESPN.com reports.

"However it came out, we’re not worried about depth chart now," defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. "We’re putting in a defense, we’re all working hard together and getting to know each other, our teammates and what we got. But I know both those guys can play, so we’re excited about 'em."

Spencer had a career-high 11 sacks in 2012 but has managed just 24 total tackles and a half-sack in 14 games over the last two years while dealing with a major knee injury.

"I think sometimes there are tougher positions to evaluate at this time of year," coach Sean Payton said, when asked to give his early thoughts on Spencer. "But I think, No. 1, he can affect the passer. ... He’s an edge player, I think he’s very good at fitting the run, and I think he can affect the passer."


 
 
 
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