While Thursday Night Football was far from a fantasy bonanza (sorry, Matt Jones/Alfred Morris owners), Week 3 offers plenty of matchups with loads of fantasy potential. And with so many fantasy studs playing in the later games (Green Bay, Denver and Detroit all don't play until at least Sunday night), it looks as if plenty of fantasy matchups will come down to the wire. So to help you set the optimal lineup and dominate your opponent, we have some essential fantasy nuggets about your favorite players. Take a look, and get ready for some football.


• Derek Carr is coming off a game where he threw three touchdown passes and a career high 351 passing yards in a win against a Ravens defense that restricted Peyton Manning to just 175 pass yards and zero touchdowns one week prior. Carr showed poise in the pocket, made quick decisions and was accurate with his throws throughout the game and finished as the week's QB5 overall. Carr produced two 100-yard receivers against Baltimore, Amari Cooper (109) and Michael Crabtree (111), and now faces a Cleveland defense that just surrendered over 250 pass yards and two touchdowns to an ill equipped, Marcus Mariota-led Titans passing attack.

• Even in a blowout game where Carlos Hyde got banged up and struggled to get anything going, San Francisco still deposited 17 touches to their young runner ... in the first half (he was held out for most of the second half due to concussion concerns). Hyde has cemented himself as the lynchpin of the 49ers offense and will likely carry this team on his shoulders throughout the season. Although he faces a tough matchup against a Cardinals defense that has allowed just 137 rush yards against in two games, Hyde could bounce back in a big way for fantasy owners in Week 3.

• This week, Randall Cobb will enjoy a home game at Lambeau Field against a Kansas City secondary that has allowed more FPG to wide receivers this year than any other team. Through two games (and at less than 100 percent as he recovers from a preseason shoulder injury) Cobb is leading the Packers in receptions (13) and receiving yards (154). You can rest easy if you're waiting to unleash Cobb against your Week 3 opponent on Monday Night Football.

• So you're afraid of Amari Cooper's potential matchup against Joe Haden right? That's fair. But we saw Haden struggle against Brandon Marshall in Week 1. There's also a good chance that Haden's mission in this game is to shadow Michael Crabtree who saw five more targets and two more receptions than Cooper did for the Raiders last week. If that is the case, Cooper should be a main target for Derek Carr early and often in Week 3.

• They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Well if the days following the Seahawks Week 2 loss against the Packers are any indication, Jimmy Graham is overdue for a tune up. After being basically ignored by Russell Wilson last week, the play-making tight end is in line for a huge game against a Bears defense that's surrendered seven touchdowns to opposing pass-catchers through two games.

• There's a saying that cautions against "chasing the points" from the previous week, but when it comes to sheer talent and upside it's okay to simply ignore that warning. Johnson has proved he has a knack for getting into the end zone one way or another. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said that the rookie deserves to be, and will be, more involved in the offense going forward. Toss him into your flex spot and watch the magic happen.

• FINALLY. The day that fantasy owners who drafted Le'Veon Bell have been waiting for is upon us, as the dynamic running back has served his two-game suspension and will start against the Rams. St. Louis just got gashed by a pair of Washington runners for over 200 total yards and two touchdowns, which bodes well for Bell's return to the gridiron this week.

• DeAndre Hopkins cleared concussion protocol on Friday, which is terrific news for his owners as this is a great matchup for him. He saw double digit targets for the second consecutive week, but only caught 50 percent of them with Josh Norman in his hip pocket most of the day. The Tampa Bay corners can be had, and Hopkins should see favorable situations all day. There's a big week in store now that he should be the field.