Detroit RB Mikel Leshoure makes his return this week against the Titans and could be a strong sleeper play. (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)
Welcome to Week 3 -- the week where, for many players, we decide which was the fluke: Week 1 or Week 2.
Let me explain. There are plenty of players who had Jekyll-and-Hyde opening weeks -- Kevin Ogletree, DeAngelo Williams, Cedric Benson, Jay Cutler, etc. -- but after Week 3, we have a better idea of what to expect from them for the rest of the season. Nothing is set in stone, but two good performances go a long way in outweighing one bad performance, and vice/versa.
Here are some key numbers to know about every game, plus a stud, sleeper, stumbler or injury concern to watch out for with a brief explanation why. Note that the “studs” are guys who are either better than most owners realize or established stars who owners might be foolishly thinking about sitting.
Rams at Bears
Stat to know: The Bears actually rank one spot higher than the Rams in fantasy points per game (FPPG) allowed to wide receivers. That's not necessarily a bad thing for Brandon Marshall, but it is a positive for
Stud: RB Michael Bush (Likely no Matt Forte, Bush averaging 4.8 yards per carry; Rams giving up a league-high 5.5 yards per carry).
Jaguars at Colts
Stat to know: The Jaguars have allowed a league-high five rushing touchdowns and the second-most rushing yards per game (169.5). The Colts should lean on Donald Brown early in this game, which might hurt some of Indy's secondary receivers like Coby Fleener and Donnie Avery.
Sleeper: WR Laurent Robinson (7.5 targets per game; Colts allow 24 completions per game).
Bills at Browns
Stat to know: The Bills and Browns are both allowing 7.0 FPPG to opposing D/STs, but the Bills are still a much better fantasy option. Buffalo is still yet to give up a sack while Cleveland has allowed four, and the Browns have also turned it over one more time. The Bills only rank so high because they gave up two return TDs in Week 1.
Stud: WR Stevie Johnson (Browns CB Joe Haden will be serving the second game of his four-game suspension).
Jets at Dolphins
Stat to know: Miami is allowing the fourth fewest rushing yards per game (53), so even if Shonn Greene is over his concussion problem from last week, he'll have a tough time against the Dolphins. Much like the Raiders did last week, expect more passing from the Jets.
Sleeper: K Nick Folk (Miami allowing three field-goal attempts per game).
Chiefs at Saints
Stat to know: Remarkably, Darren Sproles doesn't have a carry yet, but he is eighth in the league with 22 targets. The Chiefs are only giving up 30 receiving yards per game to RBs, but Sproles is still worth using in all formats because of his frequent looks.
Sleeper: RB Peyton Hillis (Just four fewer carries than Jamaal Charles; Saints allowing third-most FPPG to RBs).
Bengals at Redskins
Stat to know: The Redskins are allowing just 91.5 rushing yards per game, 10th best, but they're also allowing 4.9 yards per carry, tied for fourth worst. BenJarvus Green-Ellis should get enough touches to have another solid game.
Sleeper: QB Andy Dalton (Redskins allowing over 313 passing yards per game).
49ers at Vikings
Stat to know: Michael Crabtree has caught 13 of 16 targets this year and seems to be Alex Smith's go-to receiver in key situations. The Vikings are allowing the ninth-most FPPG to receivers (25.4), so Crabtree should have another solid game and be ranked even higher in PPR leagues.
Stumbler: RB Adrian Peterson (49ers allowing fewest FPPG to RBs).
Lions at Titans
Stat to know: The Titans have allowed five touchdowns to tight ends this season. Brandon Pettigrew has had at least 7.8 fantasy points in each of the first two games. With Tony Scheffler nursing a sore calf, Pettigrew is primed for a big week.
Sleeper: RB Mikel LeShoure (Titans allowing fourth-most FPPG to RBs).
Buccaneers at Cowboys
Stat to know: Miles Austin leads the Cowboys in targets with 14, but Jason Witten (13), Kevin Ogletree (12) and Dez Bryant (12) aren't far behind. It's anyone's guess as to who will lead the Cowboys in targets this week, but all four receivers are in play against Tampa's last-ranked pass defense.
Stumbler: WR Mike Williams (Cowboys allowing just 160 passing yards per game).
Falcons at Chargers
Stat to know: Even though Jacquizz Rodgers has just 12 touches this season, this could be his breakout game. Michael Turner has averaged just 2.7 yards per carry, and the Chargers are allowing the fourth-most receiving yards to RBs (58.5).
Injury: TE Antonio Gates, ribs (Ryan Mathews is expected to play, but Gates will once again be a game-time decision).
Eagles at Cardinals
Stat to know: The Cardinals D/ST is a borderline starting fantasy unit, and owners will want them in their lineups this week against an Eagles' team allowing a league-high 14 FPPG to D/STs. Even if the Eagles move the ball, the Cardinals should be able to cause a couple turnovers.
Injury: WR Jeremy Maclin, hip (Brent Celek will once again see more targets if Maclin is out).
Steelers at Raiders
Stat to know: Just like last year, Antonio Brown has had trouble finding the end zone, but also like last year, he's seeing more targets than Mike Wallace (18 to 11). It's only a matter of time before Brown scores, so stick with him.
Stumbler: QB Carson Palmer (Steelers allowing just 184.5 passing yards per game).
Texans at Broncos
Stat to know: Peyton Manning looked shaky on Monday against Atlanta, and this week he faces the league's top pass defense. Houston is giving up just 124 passing yards per game, and it features a much more aggressive pass rush than Atlanta. All signs point to another down game from Manning.
Sleeper: TE Owen Daniels (Denver allowing third-most FPPG to TEs).
Patriots at Ravens
Stat to know: Ravens' kicker Justin Tucker has hit three field goals in both games, including five from 40-plus yards. Patriots' kicker Stephen Gostkowski has hit six-of-seven field goals, including three from 40-plus yards. Both should continue to be elite kicking options going forward.
Stumbler: Ravens D/ST (Patriots giving up just 3.5 FPPG to D/STs).
Packers at Seahawks
Stat to know: Cedric Benson had nine touches in Week 1 and 24 touches in Week 2. It's no coincidence that the Packers were trailing in Week 1 and leading in Week 2. Benson's usage and subsequent fantasy value will likely depend on whether Green Bay is leading. The tough matchup this week doesn't help, but if you think Green Bay will win comfortably, Benson is worth using.
Sleeper: TE Anthony McCoy (Five catches and a TD last week; Packers have allowed a TE touchdown both weeks).
Matt Lutovsky is a fantasy football writer for Sporting News' Fantasy Source. You can read more of his work on the Fantasy Source football homepage at http://fantasysource.sportingnews.com/football/free?affiliate_code=sn_navigation