Fantasy football Week 3 sleeper picks: Joshua Kelley could feast on Panthers

Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley celebrates with teammates after scoring a rushing touchdown on Sunday, Sept. 13. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

Has everybody’s heart rate recovered from last Sunday’s disastrous run of injuries? Let’s hope for a healthier Week 3 and look at my five not-so-obvious sleeper plays for your fantasy lineup!

As always, hit me up with any fantasy football questions on Twitter @AndyMc81 using #AskAndy.

Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears

Yahoo! League ownership: 9%
Draft Kings salary: $5,700

Who would’ve thought that Mitchell Trubisky would be the Bears starting quarterback, never mind fantasy relevant, after the club brought in Nick Foles as his essential replacement? It’s 2020, though, so why not!

Surprisingly, the 2017 second-overall pick has Chicago undefeated and trots into Week 3 with a five-to-two TD/INT ratio and a QB rating of 92.7. His passing-yard totals haven’t been huge, but there’s a great opportunity for a spike on Sunday. Atlanta’s allowed eight touchdowns to quarterbacks over two games, and have given up the most fantasy points to the position group.

Trubisky makes for an enticing DFS steaming option and spot start in season-long leagues.

Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Yahoo! League ownership: 62%
Draft Kings salary: $5,000

With the rush to grab handcuffs to injured star running backs, don’t forget about Joshua Kelley. The Chargers rookie isn’t a panic add, but a smart flex choice for a dual-threat asset carving out a consistent role in Los Angeles.

In these difficult RB times, Kelley offers high-floor, low-ceiling, double-digit FPTs in any format. This Sunday’s matchup is extra appealing as the Panthers are dead last in the NFL when it comes to defending running backs for fantasy purposes.

Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts

Yahoo! League ownership: 18%
Draft Kings salary: $4,000

The injury to Parris Campbell opens the door for increased opportunities to rookie Michael Pittman Jr. The elite 6’4”, 223-pound pass catcher has to be a tantalizing target for Phil Rivers, who tossed the rock his way four more times last Sunday than he did on the opening weekend.

Someone like a Zach Pascal could cut into targets, and of course there’s T.Y. Hilton, but there should be plenty of chances against a laughably bad New York Jets team. The only issue could be if the Colts get an early lead and just run the ball in the second half. But I still like Pittman as a flier in DFS contests and flex play in deeper leagues.

Jordan Akins, TE, Houston Texans

Yahoo! League ownership: 4%
Draft Kings salary: $3,400

I waited to see how the Texans offence developed over the first couple of weeks before including one of my off-season sleepers at tight end in this article. But the wait is over as the younger and more athletic Jordan Akins has supplanted the veteran Darren Fells.

Most valuable in PPR, Akins lines up pretty well with someone like Jared Cook. Think multiple receptions per game for low yardage and a red-zone threat to score. He’s currently TE12 in fantasy (excluding Mike Gesicki’s top ranking due to his extra Thursday night action for Miami) with double-digit FPTs in each of his two outings.

I’m bullish on the third-year pro versus a tough Steelers defence as a safety-net checkdown alongside David Johnson for Deshaun Watson. Pittsburgh’s front seven are quarterback disruptors, and that means Watson will need to get the ball out quickly if he doesn’t want to be running for his life all afternoon. Akins is a nice high-floor TE option who’s widely available and a bargain in DFS.

KJ Hamler, WR, Denver Broncos

Yahoo! League ownership: 6%
Draft Kings salary: $3,000

This is certainly my riskiest sleeper for Week 3. Making his second NFL start, K.J. Hamler is a zippy slot receiver with quick feet who’s largely been an afterthought next to his fellow Broncos draft mate Jerry Jeudy. Lots of potential here.

The positive is that Hamler was immediately made a part of the Broncos offensive strategy with seven targets. He caught only three, but that type of volume is encouraging. The negative, of course, is the injury to QB Drew Lock and what that means against a stingy Tampa Bay pass defence. Backup Jeff Driskel has proven to be tough and serviceable, and isn’t afraid to chuck the pigskin. Could Hamler be that first-read dumpoff on short crossing routes?

At low ownership, the rookie makes for a nice stash and could provide some fantastic contrarian points in DFS if he pops this weekend.

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