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Rank's 11 Week 3 fantasy sleepers: It's Stafford time

Just prior to the start of the football season, I got antsy when I heard The Office was going to be leaving Netflix, so I watched the entire series from the beginning. And besides, it made much more sense than suffering through the commercial ads on Comedy Central when you could just stream it with no muss. And while I wouldn't say the final season(s) of the show were that great (but Robert California was underrated). The finale was pretty solid. I mean, it wasn't the final episode of The Shield good or anything like that. But solid. Easily the best line of the finale was when Andy Bernard said, "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them."

I bring this up because many of us fantasy enthusiasts have waited years (or so it seems) for John Ross to finally breakout for the Bengals. We loved him at Washington. Were like, "What are the Bengals doing" when they selected him ninth overall. But we do love the talent and want to see him succeed. Now he's out there crushing it in the middle of his breakout and a lot of you want to trade him or don't believe its really happening. I'm here to tell you that it is a thing. It is happening. And he needs to be on your roster.

For starters this isn't the Marvin Lewis Bengals. This is the Zac Tayler Bengals. It's like that hometown spot you used to go to when you were a child. It was charming, if not a bit dated. Maybe even a little dank. You still loved it, though. But now you walk in for like the first time in 20 years and hipsters have taken it over. There is ample sunlight. Billie Eilish is playing over the loud speaker. They added a patio and free WIFI. You almost hardly recognize it at all. Same with the Bengals.

Andy Dalton is on pace to throw more than 700 passes this season. That's not my usual hyperbole. He's literally (not figuratively) on pace to throw 700ish passes and I'm here for it. Ross has been one of the biggest benefactors. He has averaged 28 fantasy points per game this year, that's second in the league. He's averaged 135 receiving yards per game, tops in the league. He's getting 10 targets-per-game as well. What more do you want?

I say this because Ross has a tough matchup this week with Tre'Davious White and/or Levi Wallace. That's not going to be easy. So your mileage may vary. But the disrespect put out on Ross been staggering and it needs to be stopped.

Here are 10 more sleepers who can help you, if not this week, then moving forward. There is going to be a lot of quarterbacks given the injuries to Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger. And yet, there's Ryan Fitzpatrick still rolling around starting for the Dolphins. Like is Brian Flores that stubborn or is Josh Rosen not an NFL QB? Can't wait to watch this 30 for 30 someday.

And for the record, I'm convinced Josh Allen is now solidly in the QB1 mix for here on out, so I'm not going to list him.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

The Eagles have allowed 277.1 passing yards per game since 2018, the most in the NFL. This figures to be a tough game for Kerryon Johnson to get going. But Stafford who is currently the QB6 should find a lot of success here.

The Giants have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2019. And I understand that starting Winston gives you that uneasy feeling like you have to make an emergency stop at a gas station restroom, but sometimes you just have to push through it.

I was (am) skeptical of the 49ers this season. But they are winning and putting up points by the bunches (36 per game, and it wasn't all Jameis throwing pick-sixes). The Steelers have had trouble stopping teams through the air as evidenced by a desperation trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick -- who is great -- but I don't think he comes in and solves this in four days for the Steelers. The Steelers have allowed an average of 24.92 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

We've been waiting. It's taken a long time, but it seems like Freeman is ready to be the man. This week he has the Packers who have allowed the fifth-most points to fantasy running backs this year. It would have been more had Matt Nagy not ignored David Montgomery in Week 1.

Stafford (who I mentioned above) had 229 yards and two touchdowns to slot targets in Week 1. This week, the Lions will face Philadelphia's Avonte Maddox, the Eagles' primary slot defender who has allowed the most receiving yards (124) and a 123.3 passer rating as a slot corner, according to Pro Football Focus. This also means T.J. Hockenson is a great play as well. Because he also lines up in the slot.

Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

He is your team leader in targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns. He's also the team leader in end zone targets (2) as well. There is a chance that George Kittle could end up getting more involved this year, but the 49ers' offense has been rolling.

Devin Smith, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Michael Gallup was really on the verge of a breakout before his injury. But that opens it up for Smith who will face Dolphins cornerback Eric Rowe this week. Pro Football Focus has this matchup listed as the most-lopsided in Week 3.

I might be playing fast-and-loose with sleeper designations when I include Brown on this list, but I've received enough questions about him that I feel justified to mention here. Brown, along with TE Mark Andrews, have been the go-to-guys on the Ravens' offense. The one I called the best in this week's Unpopular Opinions column. Brown also has a great matchup with Charvarius Ward.

Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears

Obviously, Allen Robinson II is the G.O.A.T. And he needs to be started in all formats. But I'm feeling a Tony Miller breakout this week. He's got a great expected matchup against Jimmy Moreland. And the Redskins have allowed the most fantasy points to receivers this year. I know, we're trusting Mitch Trubisky to have his own breakout. But it's like the first time I tried Portillo's. It didn't look like the kind of place I'd hang out at. Now I eat there at least once a day every time I'm back in Chicago.

I don't care who is coaching the Cardinals, they are going to end up giving up a lot of fantasy points to tight ends. In fact, they have allowed the most this year. Fantasy tight ends getting a lot of points in Arizona is about as inevitable as some local telling you, "at least it's a dry heat" as you're melting away walking down Mill Avenue in early September.

You want one more? Fine, here's one more.

The Cowboys are long gone; you've got to be like three weeks ahead on your streams against the Dolphins (see if the Chargers are available now). But the Packers have played well to start the season.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank

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