Welcome back to the 2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Vampire League Starters article. I hope everyone walks away with a victory and a new player like myself. Thanks to the gallant efforts of Raheem Mostert, Kyren Williams, and Nico Collins, I now have DeVonta Smith on my team.
I don't usually give strategies for vampires on picking players after winning, but this season is going in such a weird direction I need to give you guys a heads up of what trends I'm seeing so far.
This is my fourth year writing the Vampire League Starters article, and I've never seen so many running back options for Vampires. This year is the first time I'm suggesting a running back in the flex two weeks in a row. Vampires should take advantage of this surplus of running backs and fill gaps elsewhere.
In fact, wide receivers are usually plentiful for vampires, but this season most wide receivers are underperforming (outside of Puka Nacua and Nico Collins). Most of them have been getting difficult matchups early in the season, or their offense needs to get them the ball.
So, vampires should look at filling wide receiver spots early rather than running backs. I had a difficult decision between Dovonta Smith and Derrick Henry, and I went with Smith because of this early trend.
Now that I'm done with the public service announcement, let's get down to the nitty-gritty and build another winning lineup for Week 3.
2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Vampire League Starters
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Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
Russell Wilson's start to the season has been a mixed bag of results. If you watch the games, it's very apparent that Wilson is struggling to regain his throwing skills and shake off everything from last season. But he is also showing flashes of his former self in his new offensive system and is hitting players for big plays. Big plays will be needed if they want to keep up with the Dolphins in Week 3.
The good news for Wilson is that the Dolphins are a fantastic matchup. The Dolphins have allowed 17.3 fantasy points, 230 yards, and one touchdown per game to quarterbacks this season. Those averages are close to what the Dolphins did last season, allowing 19.3 fantasy points, 250.5 yards, and 1.5 touchdowns per game.
Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins
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Mostert should be given an early season award for being a saving grace for vampires. Not only did he help me get Devonta Smith, but his averages looked great after two games. He averages 79 yards per game and has three touchdowns for the season.
I will assume that Mostert is a weekly starter for you, but if he isn't, you must put him in your lineup for Week 3 based on his matchup against the Broncos.
The Broncos can't stop the run so far this season, allowing 24 fantasy points, 73 yards, and one touchdown per game to running backs. Those numbers are close to Denver's averages from 2022; they allowed 21.7 fantasy points, 94.8 yards, and 0.5 touchdowns per game.
So, vampires should ride Mostert and his workhorse load. If you need another reason to start him, he has been the only Dolphins' running back to get touches inside the five-yard line in red-zone situations.
Matt Brieda, New York Giants
Despite Brian Daboll's comments about Saqoun Barkley being a quicker healer, this thing called science says that Barkley will likely miss Thursday's night game (and maybe longer). Matt Brieda will be the next man up and should receive most of the Giants' rushing workload.
Now, vampires shouldn't expect substantial rushing yards from Brieda because he is facing off against the Niners' defense, who are elite at stopping the run. The Niners have struggled this year at stopping passing-catching backs (38.5 yards per game), which Brieda has proven to be a capable passing catcher in the past. It's easy to see the Niners jumping to a huge lead early, forcing the Giants to pass more. Hopefully, Brieda will be the "go-to" check down back for Daniel Jones.
Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams
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Puka Nacua should also receive an early season reward from Vampires for being such a clutch wide receiver this season. He is averaging 17.5 targets, 12.5 receptions, and 133 yards this season. He is putting up numbers like his IR-bound teammate, Cooper Kupp, and should continue that success against the Bengals in Week 3.
The Bengals are not the elite secondary they were last season and are struggling significantly this season. They allow 29.2 fantasy points, 132 yards, and 0.5 touchdowns per game to wide receivers.
Elijah Moore, Cleveland Browns
Elijah Moore is starting to look like Nico Collins from last season; he has a decent target share but no yardage. Moore is averaging eight targets and 39.5 yards in his first two games with the Browns. I'm willing to take the risk that Moore explodes for a breakout game in Week 3 because his matchup against the Titans is too juicy to ignore.
The Titans' secondary is struggling again, like last season. The Titans allow 52 fantasy points, 238 yards, and 1.5 touchdowns per game to wide receivers this season. Last season, they averaged 37.7 fantasy points, 188.2 yards, and 1.2 touchdowns per game to wide receivers, so a big game should be coming for Moore in Week 3.
Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Let's get to our dart throw of the week… I mean tight end. Well, the dart landed on Cade Otton's picture this week. Even though Otton hasn't cracked the Top 15 (among TEs) in a single week this season, he has some positive stats that point towards him having a chance to succeed in Week 3. Otton has one of the higher averaged yards per route run (2.3 yards) and targeted-on-route percentage (35.6 percent).
His matchup against the Eagles is an excellent opportunity for him to crack the Top 10 among tight ends in Week 3. The Eagles allow the most fantasy points to tight ends this season, allowing 26.1 fantasy points, 85.5 yards, and 1.5 touchdowns per game to tight ends.
Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns
The Nick Chubb injury is devastating and adds to the flurry of running back injuries in Week 2. As of writing this article, the Browns have signed Kareem Hunt to a one-year deal but will need a few weeks to get into game shape. Jerome Ford will handle the rushing workload until Hunt gets up to speed. Even with a healthy Nick Chubb, Ford averages 15.5 attempts per game, so Ford could be a consistent part of the Browns' offense in the future.
It's hard to tell if Ford's matchup against the Titans is good or bad. The Titans are so bad at stopping the pass, so teams are throwing on them all day, and no one has tested their defensive line against the run. So keep that in mind when looking at the Titans' defense stats against running backs. They allow 7.9 fantasy points and 49 yards per game to running backs this season.
Defense/ Special Teams
New England Patriots
Here is why vampires should start the Patriots' defense in Week 3: Zach Wilson.
Wilson is not showing any signs of progress; apparently, watching and learning from Aaron Rodgers this offseason hasn't had any effect on Wilson.
He is currently on a four-game streak with an inception, and his history against the Patriots indicates that his streak will hit five weeks in a row. Wilson has seven interceptions and 11 sacks for his career against the Patriots.
Hope the 2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Vampire League Starters was helpful. Check out our other Fantasy Football content from our excellent staff of writers!