Frankel’s Fantasy Files: Week 3

Defending my namesake like Mike Evans defends Tom Brady, kind of.

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What didn’t the second week of NFL football have? There were historic comebacks, shocking upsets, breakout rookie performances — and that’s only a taste of the action.

After watching Aaron Rodgers once again confirm he indeed owns the Bears, we were gifted by the football gods with a Monday Night doubleheader in which the Bills and Eagles both made statements with convincing victories over high-caliber opponents.

Personally, I’d say my favorite moment of Week 2 was seeing a 0.1% win probability with 1:55 remaining in the fourth quarter and uttering the all too common, “same old Jets.”

Then, I witnessed the farthest thing from the same old Jets. I watched them defy the odds and pull off a miracle and bring their record back to .500. Yes, I know it’s only been two weeks, and I shouldn’t be bringing up winning percentages. Just let us Jets fans have this one.

We saw what happened on the gridiron. Why don’t we start discussing how all these events affect the virtual field of play?

Is it Time for Pitts Panic?

The short answer: probably not.

The long answer: Arthur Smith is well aware of the physical freak the Falcons nabbed with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Pitts is a 6-foot-6, 245-pound tight end whose sub 4.50-second 40-yard dash is more akin to a wideout. I don’t even think Atlanta can figure out a way to mess that up. Then again, they are the Falcons.

I’m optimistic, though, because the season script so far seems to resemble the start to his rookie campaign, when he averaged only 4.5 targets throughout his first two games and then went on to average nearly 6.75 targets for the rest of the season. Pitts also made good use of those opportunities, averaging 15.1 yards per reception, despite only finding the end zone once.

Do the lack of touchdowns last year and touches this year scare me? As a Kyle Pitts owner, I’d be lying if I said they didn’t. However, I do believe he can pick up pace like last year and put up better numbers.

Not to mention the recent statement from former Trojan Drake London could take some attention away from Pitts. If you have my fellow Kyle on your team, don’t freak out quite yet. You might want to grab another tight end, though — just in case.

Grab Garrett Wilson

That’s it. Get Garrett Wilson. Call me an overexcited Jets fan, but I am fully hopping on the Garrett Wilson bandwagon.

He was a stud at Ohio State, and he is absolutely still that guy. During the season opener against the Ravens, Wilson spent a lot of time on the sidelines. Along with many other Jets fans, I was curious about his lack of use. Despite not appearing to be a main focus, he was still targeted eight times. He snagged four receptions for 52 yards and showed flashes of his explosiveness.

His talents were on full display in the Jets’ 31-30 victory over the Browns this past Sunday, when he made a loud return to the state of Ohio. He received 14 targets for eight catches, 102 yards and two trips to the end zone, including the touchdown in the dwindling seconds of the fourth quarter to complete the Jets’ improbable comeback.

Wilson even showed some swagger, giving Browns fans the iconic O-H-I-O celebration after his first score.

The rookie put on a clinic, akin to Justin Jefferson’s breakout performance Week 3 of his rookie season in 2020, and will dominate New York’s target share, giving him league-winning upside.

Easy as (Shepard’s) Pie

Here’s a WR1 that should be rostered in all deep leagues but somehow is still available on waivers: Sterling Shepard of the New York Giants. Despite Kenny Golladay having the biggest contract, Shepard is clearly this team’s number one wide receiver after the first two weeks.

He’s garnered a team-leading 14 targets through the first two games, as well as notching some big plays and getting in the end zone. During the Giants early unbeaten streak, Shepard’s been able to put together a combined 24.4 PPR points for his owners.

Shepard has been a large part of the Giants’ early success, so I only expect them to keep involving him throughout the season. He’s currently available in 17.6% of ESPN leagues and could be the answer if you’re looking for some depth.

These are my highlights for the week, and you can use them to make some wise decisions about your roster. You shouldn’t need any more assurance about my credibility. Here’s some just in case, though.

I’m currently 2-0 after having survived the Trey Lance injury and subpar performances from another four of my starters. I am now a firm believer in the notion that “defense wins championships” after a dominant performance from the Buccaneers D/ST.

Everyone’s going to have down weeks. You need some depth, like the players listed here, who can pick up the slack when your stars aren’t at their best.

“Frankel’s Fantasy Files” runs every Thursday.