Let’s take a look at how wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., running back Justin Forsett and quarterback Joe Flacco fared and what it all means moving forward for your fantasy team. All fantasy point values are courtesy of ESPN.com.
It looked like Baltimore was not going to mess around with Cincinnati’s run defense. But this was the second consecutive week in which Flacco has attempted more than 45 passes.
It was also the second straight game in which he has put up over 360 yards.
Flacco is racking up the yards, yet he ranked only sixth among starting quarterbacks in fantasy points during Week 3. Fantasy owners are hoping that Flacco can cut down on the interceptions, as he has four picks to go with his four touchdowns this season.
But he is putting up big enough numbers to warrant a starting spot if he’s on your roster—unless you have one of the top three or four elite quarterbacks ahead of him.
Steve Smith Sr.
Smith has effectively silenced all of the doubters over the past two weeks.
Smith was the third-highest point scorer Sunday, racking up 30 points. He’s become Flacco’s go-to guy, getting 33 targets over the past two weeks—and 17 in Week 3 alone.
Finding his way into the end zone this week was an added bonus, as Smith caught his first two touchdown passes of the season. The NFL showed his first touchdown of the game, a 50-yard catch and run:
Running like that after the catch helps not only Smith’s owners but also Flacco’s, as simple short routes could develop into huge gains and big-time points.
With Flacco throwing at this kind of volume, Smith is going to get plenty of looks throughout the season. It’s an easy decision to slot him into one of your wide receiver spots and focus on the rest of your team.
It’s almost time for fantasy owners to start panicking over Forsett. Over the past three weeks, he has put up five, seven and two points, respectively. That output isn’t expected for a running back who had an average draft position of 37th overall.
Forsett owners can blame this week’s performance on the league’s fifth-best rushing defense in the Bengals, but Oakland and Denver have proved this season that teams can effectively run against them, ranking 14th and 19th, respectively.
Playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have allowed over 87 rushing yards per game through three games, could be Forsett’s last chance to impress fantasy owners. But a weak Pittsburgh secondary might see Flacco pass early and often.
Forsett’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield might be his saving grace for one more game, as he was targeted seven times Sunday. Try to put Forsett in the flex spot, and if he doesn’t produce next week, it might be time to introduce him to the bench.
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com.
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