Punt Pass Play – Week 3

By: Jarred David @ricco_3733
Punt Pass Play – Week 3

Welcome to Week 3’s edition of the Punt, Pass Play. Before delving into the fun, let’s reflect on Week 2’s edition. I told you to Punt John Ross, which seemed like the right call until he broke two tackles for a 65 yard touchdown. Even so, I’m standing my ground not trusting him. I said to pass or use John Brown as no more than a FLEX, where he put up decent PPR numbers but missed a score due to a Josh Allen overthrow. I told you to play Marquise Brown, who also performed really well, especially for PPR leagues. All in all, the receivers produced about the same. I’ll call it a push. On to week 3.

A reminder how this works: every week I will provide you with some fantasy advice on who to Punt (cut/trade/avoid starting), who to Pass (don’t sign/emergency or FLEX start only), and who to Play (start ‘em). The advice stems from what I find to be the three most important in fantasy football: opportunity, talent, and matchup. I also throw in dynasty advice for the dynasty extraordinaire. Week 3’s “Question at Quarterbacks” edition is on what were once elite wide receivers now with uncertainty around them, discussing Adam Thielen, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Michael Thomas, placing their elite production into question.

Punt – Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings

Chuck Cook / USA TODAY Sports

Honestly, this is so difficult to punt on someone who has an amazing story. But much like anywhere else, this is a business. Unfortunately, Kirk Cousins and his murky QB play has drastically hindered Adam Thielen’s production, rendering him to 8/118/1 over two games. The fact that Minnesota has passed the ball only 42 times in two games, and with Coach Zimmer wanting to go run heavy in the offense, it greatly minimizes what Thielen was able to do comparably to last year. Even with a nice matchup against the Raiders, I’ve got to pass on Thielen as an elite option. He should be a serviceable WR2 on your team at best.

Dynasty: Move him while you can. Yes, he will still provide a solid floor. He’s also already 29 years old. If he has another subpar game against the Raiders, it’ll be a tougher sell. Try to get younger and more upside for him if you can afford the exchange.

Pass – Juju Smith-Schuster – Pittsburgh Steelers

James Kenney/Associated Press

Looks like another week of the “wait-and-see” approach. Remember, this is for receivers who are supposed to put up ELITE numbers this year and haven’t yet. Partying on social media aside, Juju so far has produced only 11/162/0 on 16 targets. The Steelers seem unsure about Rudolph’s readiness as much as we are, so we will have to see if they focus on the run and limit Mason Rudolph’s attempts. Even with Ben, Juju seems to have yet to find the elite side when Antonio Brown was matching up against other team’s top cornerbacks. Speaking of that, Juju will be up against a somewhat rejuvenated Richard Sherman, creating more concerns for me counting on him for elite production. Downgrade Juju into high‑end WR2 territory this week.

Dynasty:  Don’t panic. Juju is young and capable of growing into the WR1 role in Pittsburgh. Giving Mason Rudolph some reps and building chemistry long-term will definitely help both of their dynasty values. Keep him or sell him extremely high… but I see you only getting low-end offers due to Roethlisberger’s injury. Speaking of which, if an owner is selling low, snag him while you can.

Play – Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints

Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Michael Thomas owners may feel “MT” after the long-term loss of Drew Brees. I get it. But let’s remember one thing: Drew Brees isn’t fully responsible for Michael Thomas producing how he has this season (20/212/1) on 26 targets and his past three seasons (92, 104, 125 receptions, respectively). Hint: It’s also because of Michael Thomas and his big play ability. The Seahawks have allowed the 7th most PYG. Even though it’s early and the numbers can be slightly skewed, it gives you a picture how the ‘hawks are doing as a team defensively under Pete Carroll. Trust me when I say the Saints will continue to pepper Thomas in targets while Alvin Kamara helps keep defenses honest. Even under Teddy Bridgewater or Taysom Hill, expect Michael Thomas to produce a WR1 fantasy floor with his elite upside remaining intact.

Dynasty: The man continues to be one of the greats. You keep him and ride out this situation as a pre-determined snapshot of how great a receiver MT actually is without Brees. If for some reason Thomas struggles mightily without Brees these next several weeks, I’d say consider moving him but only if you get an insane haul for him. In the meantime, keep enjoying the numbers he will put up. Teddy, Payton and all the fans know that Michael Thomas is the future of the offense and should be nearly quarterback proof as far as fantasy production is concerned.

To summarize this week’s Punt Pass Play, the Vikings offense is all-in on Dalvin Cook. Sell Thielen for a decent exchange as an elite receiver, using last season as potential leverage. Juju Smith-Schuster may produce based on volume alone, but cater your expectations if you’re expecting elite numbers until we see how he does with Mason Rudolph under center. Michael Thomas is Michael Thomas for a reason. Don’t get discouraged. Sean Payton and Teddy/Hill will find ways to get him the ball. Play away with confidence. For more fantasy advice, add me on Twitter (@ricco_3733) or ask via email at Riccadonna3733@hotmail.com. Until then, thank you for reading and I’ll see you for Week 4’s edition of Punt, Pass, and Play!

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