Week three was one in which the NFL actually woke up. We’re not just talking about from a freedom of speech perspective, but in fantasy, more than a dozen receivers went over 100-yards. If you were smart enough to have a few of these guys in your lineup, then you probably picked up a win.
There were the usual suspects in Antonio Brown and Doug Baldwin. However, even some of our favorites arose from the dead, including Larry Fitzgerald, A.J. Green, Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks and T.Y. Hilton.
We’ll take a look at some of the top fantasy Target Monsters throughout the NFL during week three. To be considered a ‘Target Monster,’ a player needs to be targeted more than seven times within the given week. Hopefully this breakdown will give you insight as to which players to gravitate toward while assembling or tweaking your own roster.
Larry Fitzgerald topped the list of Target Monsters while proving to defy father time. He was Carson Palmer’s go-to guy against the formidable Dallas Cowboys in Monday night’s matchup. Not only did Fitzgerald snag 13-of-15 targets, but he turned them into roughly 150-yards and a touchdown. While this could be the highlight of Fitzgerald’s season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Palmer continue to lean on him in the absence of David Johnson and John Brown.
Doug Baldwin, Antonio Brown and A.J. Green all notched a little over 100-yards and hit pay dirt. A.J. Green was the surprise on the bunch since Andy Dalton has been absolutely terrible early on. Hopefully this is the new trend for Green going forward. Odell Beckham Jr. also managed to prove that he’s still breathing in New York City by hauling in 69% of his targets for two touchdowns. If there was any doubt, Beckham is definitely back.
The man of the week was certainly Stefon Diggs, as he ran circles around the Buccaneers defense to the tune of 173-yards on eight catches. Two of those bad boys went for touchdowns. After the stinker Diggs had last week and the uncertainty with Case Keenum under center this week, many fantasy owners unfortunately benched the speedy Viking. Let it be known that the Vikings offense is quarterback agnostic and this team is the real deal. Not only did Diggs go over 100-yards, but Adam Thielen was two yards shy of the feat himself. All the while, the Vikings defense held Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans to only 67-yards on the day.
In the absence of Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton did a Stefon Diggs-like impression of his own to the tune of 153 receiving yards and a touchdown. Hilton caught 77% of the passes that backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw his way. We’re not ready to knock Andrew Luck off of his perch just yet, but Brissett is a quarterback to keep an eye on if you’re in need of a streaming option.
Perhaps the touchdown catch of the week was that of Brandin Cooks, a clothesline grab in the end zone provided by none other than Tom Brady. This catch was one for the ages and is sure to be played on highlight reels for years to come. Consider this a breakout game for Cooks, as he seemed to be on life support before he delivered this week’s 131-yard, two touchdown performance. Maybe we were wrong and it’s time to give Cooks the fantasy bump he deserves.
The receiver that likely sat on most every fantasy owner’s bench was Sammy Watkins. Not only did Sammy Watkins come alive, but he made some spectacular catches on 6-of-7 targets for 106-yards and a touchdown. Granted it was against the 49ers, but the Los Angeles Rams actually looked good as a unit, including Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Robert Woods (108-yards receiving).
While Todd Gurley managed 36-yards and a touchdown on his seven targets, Washington’s running back Chris Thompson turned those same seven targets into 150-yards and a touchdown. As for passing backs, Thompson’s been the best in the business during this early season. All in all, there wasn’t much we didn’t like about the receivers in week three. However, fantasy is a cruel game and these same receivers could sneak up and deliver us donuts next week. Be careful, and happy waiver-wire digging!