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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
Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart (rib) cleared to return vs. Titans
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:33 pm ET) Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart has been cleared to return to Thursday's game against the Titans, the Associated Press reports. He was ruled questionable to return by the team due to a rib contusion but appears to be ready to resume his regular role.

Gerhart reached the end zone on a one-yard score in the third quarter and picked up one carry on the following drive before the injury was announced. He racked up 42 yards on nine carries in addition to the touchdown while also adding a seven-yard reception.


Chargers' McCoy: Philip Rivers had 'outstanding' practice Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:44 pm ET) Chargers coach Mike McCoy indicated that quarterback Philip Rivers (back, chest) "had an "oustanding day" in Thursday's practice, NFL.com reports.

"A ball did not hit the ground in all the throws he made today," McCoy added. "Philip was Philip, so he'll be ready to roll."

Rivers was a full participant in Thursday's practice after sitting out Tuesday and Wednesday. He should be ready to roll for Saturday's matchup with the 49ers.


Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald progresses to full practice Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:34 pm ET) Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was a full participant in Thursday's practice after being limited Wednesday, the team announced.

Fitzgerald has racked up 11 receptions in two games since his two-game absence but has managed just 64 yards and no touchdowns during that stretch. He's on track to resume his regular role in his team's Week 16 matchup with the Seahawks.


Cardinals' Kerwynn Williams limited Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:31 pm ET) Cardinals running back Kerwynn Williams (knee) was limited in Thursday's practice, the team announced.

Williams has shared touches with Stepfan Taylor with Andre Ellington out for the season but has amassed 175 rushing yards on 34 carries over the last two weeks. If his knee issue keeps him out Sunday, Taylor and Marion Grice would likely handle most of the touches at the position.


Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) limited in practice Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:27 pm ET) Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (knee) was a limited participant in practice Thursday, the team announced.

Stanton hurt the knee Sunday against the Rams and appeared destined to miss Week 16's matchup with the Seahawks, but coach Bruce Arians indicated Wednesday that Stanton could play this Sunday in a best-case scenario. Arians did say Wednesday that Ryan Lindley would start against the Seahawks, and he's still the favorite to line up under center, but Stanton's absence isn't a foregone conclusion at this point.


Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch doesn't practice Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:18 pm ET) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (back) did not practice Thursday, the team announced.

Last week, Lynch was able to take part in practice in a limited fashion Thursday after taking his customary day off Wednesday. This week, he's looking at two DNPs heading into Friday. Lynch was listed as probable in Week 15 but could be facing a questionable tag (or worse) in Week 16. If Lynch isn't able to play Sunday, the Seahawks would likely expand the roles of Robert Turbin and Christine Michael.

Joining Lynch on the sidelines for Thursday's practice were tackle Russel Okung (chest), guard J.R. Sweezy (ankle), center Max Unger (knee/ankle), tight end Tony Moeaki (shoulder), wide receiver Paul Richardson (hamstring) and defensive end Demarcus Dobbs (ankle).


Kendall Wright, Delanie Walker good to go for Titans
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:11 pm ET) The Titans will have both Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker Week 16 against the Jaguars.

Both players came into the game listed as questionable. Wright is dealing with a hand injury. Walker has a knee issue. Both players will attempt to play through their injuries.

The team will also have Byron Stingily and Kamerion Wimbley. Both Stingily and Wimbley were listed as questionable. Daimion Stafford, who came into the contest listed as probable, will also be available. 


Titans list inactives for Week 16
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:07 pm ET) The Titans have listed QB Zach Mettenberger, DB Jemea Thomas, LB Zaviar Gooden, LB Dontay Moch, OT Terren Jones, OT Taylor Lewan and DL Mike Martin as inactive Week 16 against the Jaguars.

Both Mettenberger and Lewan were listed as doubtful heading into the contest. Neither was expected to take the field. Gooden was listed as questionable due to a hamstring injury. The other four players listed are healthy scratches. 


Jaguars' Blake Bortles, Marqise Lee active vs. Titans Week 16
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:02 pm ET) Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (foot) and wide receiver Marqise Lee (elbow) are active for Thursday night's Week 16 matchup with the Titans.

Bortles was listed as questionable to play on the team's final injury report but was reported to be starting earlier Thursday. Lee was listed as probable to play after catching four of his 10 targets for 14 yards in Week 15.

Players who were on the team's final Week 16 injury report who are also active include defensive end Ryan Davis (hip) and safety Josh Evans (foot), both of whom were questionable to suit up Thursday.


Jaguars list Week 16 inactives vs. Titans
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:01 pm ET) The Jaguars listed the following players as inactive for Thursday night's week 16 battle with the Titans: wide receiver Tommy Streeter (abdomen), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee), defensive end Andre Branch (groin), cornerbacks Teddy Williams and Jeremy Harris, safety Matt Daniels and guard Tyler Shatley.

Streeter and Miller were listed as questionable to play Thursday on the team's final injury report, while Branch was previously ruled out. The Jaguars have three quarterbacks active for the game, including first-stringer Blake Bortles (foot), who was listed as questionable to play.


 
 
 
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