Sep 15, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) rushes with the football as Washington Redskins cornerback David Amerson (39) defends during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 Fantasy Football Pickups


Between young guys stepping up and veterans finding new life, there are many good options for improving your fantasy football team this week. Here they are, listed by position:

Sam Bradford QB, St. Louis Rams

The Rams play the Cowboys this week and they’ve given up the third-most fantasy points to QBs over the last two weeks. TE Jared Cook and WR Tavon Austin have given the Rams passing offense the spark it needed to get points on the board. Expect Bradford to gain around 300 yds passing and three touchdowns.

Alex Smith QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith currently has more passing touchdowns than Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson. This week, the Chiefs are facing the Eagles who in the last two weeks have given up a total of 748 passing yds and 4 tds to opposing quarterbacks. Alex Smith can also be a great bye-week replacement.

Phillip Rivers QB, San Diego Chargers

Rivers has 614 yards and seven touchdowns in two games. He is a must-start in all leagues. If you can pick him up in your league then you need to get him now. If you picked him up in your draft as a backup and you already have a solid starting QB then you may be able to trade Rivers for a quality RB or WR.

Sep 15, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) is tackled by Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden (23) during the second half at M

Bernard Pierce RB, Baltimore Ravens

Ravens coach John Harbaugh says of Rice, “We’ll just be day-to-day with him”. This injury could linger for a while or it may get worse. Last season Pierce earned 532 yds as a backup to Rice. Pierce will certainly see a lot of action in the next few games and may split duties when Rice returns.

James Starks RB, Green Bay Pakers

Starks is starting this week. Last week he came into the game when Eddie Lacy left with an injury. Starks rushed for 132 yards and a TD. Lacy will most likely be the featured back when he returns but upon that return we may see Starks getting more carries as the backup than we had once anticipated.

Knowshon Moreno RB , Denver Broncos

Moreno gained 93 yards, two TDs on 13 carries. That is a good day for any running back but not enough to make him the only guy to carry the rock in Denver. The running back duties will still be shared with Hillman and Ball. Moreno will make a quality flex and a good replacement in bye weeks.

Sep 12, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrin Walls (30) attempts to intercept a ball intended for New England Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson (17)during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Dobson WR, New England Patriots

With Danny Amendola out someone needed to step up last week and that person was Dobson. He gained 56 yards and one touchdown on three receptions and ten looks. Second most receptions and targets on the team. This performance didn’t set any records but it is clear that Brady likes to throw to him and this is the best thing that can happen to any WR. For now, Dobson makes a good WR3 and a nice replacement during bye weeks.

Eddie Royal WR, San Diego

Eddie Royal’s two touchdown performance in week one was not a fluke. He followed up with three touchdowns in week two. It looks like Rivers has a lot of trust in Royal and should we expect this type of performance to continue. Since Danario Alexander and Michael Floyd are both out Rivers must throw to someone and it is going to be Royal. Antonio Gates and Vincent brown are still options for Rivers but Royal is clutch. He’ll make a nice WR3 on your team.

DeAndre Hopkins WR, Houston Texans

When Andre Johnson left the game with a concussion Hopkins stepped up for a total of 117 yards and one touchdown. Hopkins has arrived. He’s a solid WR3 and maybe a WR2. I would like to see him string together a few good games before calling him a WR2. He’ll still see a lot of action when Johnson returns.

Sep 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener (80) catches a pass for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Coby Fleener TE, Indianapolis

TE Dwayne Allen is out for the season and Fleener has replaced him as the starter. Last week Fleener gained four receptions, 69 yards, and one touchdown on eight targets. T.Y. Hilton has a groin injury and is questionable so Fleener should be getting even more looks this week.

Charles Clay TE, Miami Dolphins

Here’s a guy to pick up if you have room on your bench. Clay played both tight end and fullback last week. He gained one touchdown and over 100 yards receiving. We don’t know if this was a one-off or the beginning of a new trend for Clay. Get him on your bench and watch him closely.

Tags: Featured NFL Fantasy Football