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Week 2 of the NFL season answered some of our questions regarding the storylines to watch for the weekend. However, there was one area that has become cloudier than ever as we head towards the Week 3 Storylines to watch.

The Cowboys offense force-fed Dez Bryant to start the game and he ended up with seven catches for 102 yards. Ezekiel Elliott still was not strong, but did score. We will just have to see about his fumbling issues.

As far as the Steelers’ second option goes, I was wrong on thinking it was Eli Rogers leading the pack. Moreover, it seems like it will rotate between the weapons on Ben Roethlisberger’s disposal. Samme Coates was the winner of the roulette wheel against Cincinnati, finishing with 97 yards receiving.

The last storyline that really cleared up was the San Diego offense. Without Keenan Allen it looked to be the Danny Woodhead show… then he tore his knee apart in the first half. Travis Benjamin is the clear number one option now and will be a Top-15 WR going forward.

The last storyline that I featured has not cleared up and will lead us off this weekend.

NFL Week 3 Storylines

Running Backs

That’s really all there is to say. SEVEN of the first 33 running backs off draft boards in August had some sort of injury this past weekend. Throw in a couple more already hurt or missing because of suspension and you are talking about nearly 30% of start-able running backs not playing this weekend.

First off, anyone that said the Zero-RB Strategy was reactionary and wouldn’t work should take a seat. It’s becoming quite clear that the safest draft route is stocking elite options at other positions, then just taking as many RB lottery tickets you can get your hands on.

What to watch for with these storylines is which back ups will step up. Who will be this year’s Devonta Freeman, David Johnson or Thomas Rawls?

Adrian Peterson leaves the biggest hole. Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata look to be in a timeshare in Minnesota now. McKinnon should see more touches, but Asiata will probably get the goal line work. I am out on both of them as of now, but this weekend could show us the way.

Doug Martin and Jonathan Stewart could both miss a few games. Tampa seems to have Charles Sims in place as the lead back, but it is uncertain if he can handle the workload. Carolina looks to be a jumbled mess with Fozzy Whitaker, Cameron Artis-Payne and Mike Tolbert. I’m staying away from that situation.

Thomas Rawls should play, but who knows how much. Christine Michael seems to be the Fantasy Option there, but this is still a situation worth monitoring.

Keep an eye on these different backfields for acquisition purposes.

Indianapolis Passing Offense

Another one of these Week 3 Storylines to keep an eye on Sunday will be who Andrew Luck is throwing the ball to. After two games, no Colt has more than 10 catches, while seven players have 5 or more receptions.

T.Y. Hilton leads in targets by far, but then the other six are all clustered together. With Donte Moncrief out for the time being, Phillip Dorsett would be the obvious choice to pick up a higher target share. However, I think the backs and tight ends will pick up some looks. When throwing to backs and tight ends, Andrew Luck is 30-39 for 265 yards and four touchdowns. That will be his bread and butter going forward, in between deep shots to Hilton.

Cleveland Offense

Just as it was starting to look like the Browns would be relevant for Fantasy purposes, the injury bug hits them hard. With Josh McCown missing time, rookie Cody Kessler takes over behind center.

Corey Coleman was having his breakout game that was then dampened by a broken hand. Isaiah Crowell was taking advantage of the running lanes developing from Coleman’s downfield threat, but that will be taken away.

I think Crowell will still be worth starting. The Browns will have to force feed the run, because I doubt they will let Kessler sling it around. Will this open up some opportunity for pre-season darling Duke Johnson? That is what you need to watch among this weekend’s Week 3 Storylines.

Quick Hits

    • With Danny Woodhead out for the season, the Chargers signed Dexter McCluster. At this point I think Melvin Gordon will absorb the majority of Woodhead’s touches, but keep an eye on it.
    • Will Russell Wilson finally get going? Or is his ankle bothering him more than we all think?
    • This will be the last week that Tevin Coleman is ranked lower than Devonta Freeman. If you can, pounce on him while his value is still lower.
    • Will Brian Hoyer be able keep Alshon Jeffery busy? Hoyer has done well with elite wide-outs previously (DeAndre Hopkins and Josh Gordon).

  • How will Matt Forte respond to the highest carry total of his career? The Chiefs still have a tough defense against the run so it could be rough sledding for him this week.
  • Dolphins backfield: there is not even a starter named yet. Arian Foster is out, and there is no telling how the split will be.

That’s it for the Week 3 Storylines for Fantasy Football! If you have any Start/Sit questions, consult our article on it, or shoot them to us on Twitter @Tomlin3 or @SoCalledFanEx .


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