Fantasy Football: Wild-card starts who could win you Week 3

·Yahoo Fantasy Contributor
·4-min read

The fantasy football gods have put on quite a show for us these first few weeks, with some players performing as expected and a myriad of others either underwhelming or shocking us with stellar outings. 

If you’ve been on the other side of Kyler Murray’s 33+ fantasy points in either matchup or Derrick Henry’s 44.7 in Week 2, it’s time to get back in the game with a high-scoring bounce back this week. Here are some boom-or-bust players who may get you those wins this weekend — or not. 

It’s wild-card time. 

Zach Pascal, WR - Colts 

The Indy WR quietly has three touchdowns through two weeks and is averaging an impressive 15.3 half-PPR points per game. Pascal’s volume isn’t super high as his 11 total targets this season are one fewer than Michael Pittman’s from just last week, but he has made up for it in efficiency. 

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This week the fourth-year wideout gets a Tennessee defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to his position so far in 2021, with an average of 55.9 half-PPR points to opposing WR corps. The one caveat here is the health of Carson Wentz who is dealing with an ankle injury. If Wentz can’t play, Jacob Eason is considered a downgrade but Pascal could still be that shot in the arm. 

Sam Darnold, QB - Panthers 

No one wanted anything to do with Sam Darnold heading into this season, as evidenced by his 193 ADP as QB30. Don’t look now but the former Jet is QB14 in both total fantasy points and fantasy points per game, with 19 scored in each tilt so far. Darnold’s completion percentage is a respectable 68.5, he’s thrown for 584 yards (11th), and only has one interception in 73 attempts, which wasn’t really even a pick but more of a blind toss on a botched play. 

On tap this week for Darnold are the Texans, who allowed Trevor Lawrence to post 19.1 fantasy points in his maiden voyage in the NFL and followed that up with 17.5 from Baker Mayfield last week. With the caliber of talent he has to work with in Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Robbie Anderson, and rookie Terrace Marshall, Darnold should light it up this week. He's sitting on 85% of Yahoo Waiver wires as I type this.  

Quintez Cephus, WR - Lions 

He’s not the sexiest wideout and is certainly not in an exciting offense, but fantasy points are fantasy points and Cephus has been scoring them. The NFL sophomore found the end zone in both contests so far this season and seems to be a goal-line favorite for QB Jared Goff. He gets a Ravens defense this week that allowed the trio of Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards, and Zay Jones to all post double-digit half-PPR points in Week 1, while also yielding over 12 half-PPR points to both Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson last week. 

Quintez Cephus #87 of the Detroit Lions
Quintez Cephus already has a strong rapport with his new quarterback, Jared Goff. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Cephus has been targeted seven times in each game which is certainly encouraging to see. It’s apparent that Goff trusts the 23-year-old, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see an uptick in usage this week at home against Baltimore, which bodes well for his WR4/5 or flex appeal. 

David Njoku, TE - Browns

The Browns TE situation is anything but clear, but we do know that the position is being heavily targeted by Baker Mayfield so far in 2021. With Odell Beckham still out and Jarvis Landry now dealing with an MCL sprain, Mayfield sent the ball in the direction of his TEs in 12-of-21 pass attempts in Week 2, after peppering the TE room with 10 balls in the first contest. 

Njoku is the most explosive of the Browns TE trio and is a mismatch for secondaries around the NFL. He has 94 receiving yards on five catches after two games, and the athletic TE has the capability to beat his opponents in coverage to bust out a big play in Week 3 — if given the opportunity. 

Taysom Hill, QB-ish - Saints 

Starting Hill requires massive cojones, but it could pay off. Jameis Winston struggled in a big way last week against Carolina and will line up against a stout Patriots defense in Week 3. As a unit, they’ve only allowed 12 fantasy points per game to QBs this season, the third-lowest in the league.  

If Winston stalls again on Sunday, we could see Hill’s number called, whether he’s throwing or catching, for some gadgetry. If you’re in a bind and need a miracle, consider throwing a dart in Hill’s direction. 

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