Jamie Kim / Gavel Media

Fantasy Football Winners and Losers Week Three

This week in fantasy football saw some disappointing injuries as well as continued success for breakout performers of the 2021-22 NFL season.

Big Winners:

1. Cooper Kupp

Cooper Kupp continues to surprise fantasy players as he has emerged as the highest scoring player following week three. Going into the season, Kupp was seen as more of a low-end WR2 due to uncertainty around whether he would work well with the Los Angeles Rams’ new quarterback, Matt Stafford. After this week, it seems fairly obvious that Stafford has picked Kupp as his number-one option. Kupp saw ten targets week one, eleven week two, and twelve week three. Robert Woods, on the other hand, hasn’t seen more than nine targets yet. Following the third week of football, it is evident that Kupp has secured his position as a top-tier wideout. 

2. Ezekiel Elliott

Going into week three, there was doubt that Elliott was still a top ten fantasy running back. Elliott had a tough start to the season. He only rushed for 33 yards on eleven attempts. Although he did bounce back in week two with 71 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts, he was outpaced by the Dallas Cowboys’ backup. Tony Pollard ran for 109 yards and a touchdown on only 13 attempts. It seemed as though Elliott and Pollard may begin to split carries if Pollard continued at this high level. However, Elliott turned it around week three against the Philadelphia Eagles. Elliott had an enormous impact on the game, while Pollard was largely a non-factor. Elliott ran for 95 yards on 17 attempts and ran in two touchdowns. It will be interesting to see if Pollard will continue to receive nearly as many snaps as Elliott, or if Elliott's week three performance is enough to reclaim his role as the workhorse. 

3. Josh Allen

The top scorer for week three of fantasy football was Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen. Allen threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown. Following a slightly disappointing start to the season, Allen found his stride against the Washington Football Team. Allen’s willingness to look beyond his top target, Stefon Diggs, may have contributed to his new found success on the season. Allen found veteran Emmanuel Sanders twice in the endzone and second-year running back Zach Moss once. Moss also seems to be moving up in the Bills’ running back ranks as he has emerged as a solid option both in the air and on the ground.

Other Big Winners This Week:

Mike Williams- 7 receptions, 9 targets, 122 yards, 2 touchdowns

Najee Harris- 14 attempts rushing, 40 yards rushing, 14 receptions, 102 yards receiving

Justin Herbert- 281 yards, 4 touchdowns

Davante Adams- 12 receptions, 18 targets, 132 yards receiving, 1 touchdown

 

Big Losers:

1. Christian McCaffrey

The number one overall pick for the majority of fantasy leagues this year, Christian McCaffrey, got injured this week. The Carolina Panthers say that he should be able to return in three to four weeks, which leaves backup running back Chuba Hubbard as the starting option. For CMC’s fantasy owners who are unable to pick up Hubbard off the waiver wire, it will be a tough couple of weeks as they hope to scrape by without their number one option. McCaffrey ran for only 31 yards on seven attempts before he left the game with a hamstring strain.

2. Robert Woods

It’s the Cooper Kupp show for the Rams right now, and Robert Woods has been left in the dust. As spoken of previously, it was fairly unknown who Matt Stafford would choose as his number one option, and Kupp seems to be it. While Woods had WR1 upside at the start of the season, he is now only a potential flex option. It is still very early in the season, so things could change in Los Angeles. For now, Woods does not seem to be a good WR2 start. He saw only six targets for three receptions and 33 yards in week three against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

3. A.J. Brown

A.J. Brown left early in the game against the Indianapolis Colts after gaining only three yards rushing and zero yards receiving. This is a tough loss for fantasy players who saw A.J. Brown as a high-level WR2. Although it looks like Brown will be back for week four, the Tennessee Titans will most likely be focusing on the run game in their outing against the New York Jets. The run-heavy game plan combined with the hamstring strain does not bode well for the potential of A.J. Brown as a solid option to start in fantasy in the future. It will also be interesting to see how the dynamic works out between A.J. Brown and Julio Jones as the main options for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. As of now, Brown is the first option. But that is subject to change if Jones is able to find his stride while Brown recovers from his injury. 

Other Big Losers This Week:

Dalvin Cook- still recovering from injury in week two, questionable for week four

James White- suffered a hip injury this week, expected to miss at least two weeks

Allen Robinson II- 2 receptions, 6 targets, 27 yards receiving

Deandre Hopkins- 3 receptions, 6 targets, 21 yards receiving

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