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Desmond Ridder, Atlanta (vs Detroit)
Everything is converging for Ridder to have a big Week 3. He came alive as a passer in the second half last week and scored on the ground to key a big comeback win vs. Green Bay. The Lions pass defense was already vulnerable, and they just lost Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. The Lions offense is good enough to get the Falcons to come out of their shell offensively, and without David Montgomery, they are less likely to grind out long drives. Ridder should be in over some quarterbacks we drafted as QB1s.
C.J. Stroud, Houston (at Jacksonville)
Stroud isn't shy about throwing downfield when the game is out of hand, so this could be a fun season to have him and pieces of this passing game in fantasy leagues even though the Texans are headed at least one, if not two (they have Arizona's first) top 10 picks. The Jaguars have limited scoring, but they have also been a bend, but don't break defense vs. the pass, and rookie Anthony Richardson was pretty comfortable throwing against them in his first NFL game.
Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis (at Baltimore)
As of this writing, Anthony Richardson is still in concussion protocol, so we should expect Minshew to start in Week 3. He was executing sharply in Shane Steichen's offense, which he should know from their time together in Philadelphia, and the Ravens secondary is banged up. The Colts defense will have a tough time slowing down Lamar Jackson, so expect whoever quarterbacks the Colts to have to open up the offense this week.
Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay (vs Philadelphia)
Mayfield has carried over his late-season momentum with the Rams to a 2-0 start with the Bucs. He'll be playing in front of a fired-up home crowd on Monday night and facing an Eagles defense that gave up a big game to Kirk Cousins in prime time last week and made Mac Jones look good in Week 1. Mayfield is riffing well with Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin is a sleeping giant. Mayfield has some utility in 2QB/Superflex leagues this week.
Zack Moss, Indianapolis (at Baltimore)
Was it just the Texans defense, or is Moss actually playing like a worthy lead back? It's worth seeing him in your lineup as a flex or RB2 by necessity, as he dominated the backfield last week, and the Colts offense looks viable with backup Gardner Minshew in under Shane Steichen's leadership. Moss should get at least 15-18 touches, and that's at least a good starting point for Week 3 value.
Joshua Kelley, LA Chargers (at Minnesota)
As of Thursday, Austin Ekeler hasn't practiced, and he's not exactly sounding optimistic about playing this week. Kelley was a dud against a tough Titans run defense, but this week, he will face a Vikings defense that allowed over 100 yards to D'Andre Swift *before* contact. Kellen Moore's running game was hot in Week 1 against the Dolphins, and even if Ekeler plays, Kelley should be successful as a big part of the game plan.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore (vs Indianapolis)
Edwards is set up to get most of the work in the backfield, with Justice Hill now battling a toe injury and Melvin Gordon called up from the practice squad. The Colts have been tough against the run, but they haven't had to face an offense like the Ravens yet, and Edwards should at least get a scoring opportunity or two.
Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh (at Las Vegas)
The Steelers are going to be stubborn about putting their 2022 UDFA back on the field over their 2021 first-round pick, but the Raiders offense is soft enough that Warren could still get his with half of the backfield work in a mediocre offense. The Bills backfield scored twice and put up over 200 total yards last week. If the Steelers backfield can post even half of that, Warren will be a good flex play.
Tyjae Spears, Tennessee (at Cleveland)
Derrick Henry missed practice on Thursday with a toe injury, and the Titans could scale back his workload, assuming he does play, as it's a long season and this team is very much in the mix in the weak AFC South. Spears has been explosive on his limited touches in the first two games but could get used more and make an impact in the passing game, where he almost had a long play in Week 1 if Ryan Tannehill had just thrown a better ball.
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