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Week 3 breakout

(David Berding/Getty Images)

2022 Fantasy Football Breakout Players: Week 3

Week 3 breakout
Thielen tops our list for potential Week 3 breakout candidates. (David Berding/Getty Images)

2022 Fantasy Football Breakout Players: Week 3

Tonight, Week 3 of the 2022 NFL season kicks off Thursday with AFC North rivals Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. While you qualm with your lineups and waiver wire transactions heading into the weekend, I — yes, me! — will try to provide you with some potential fantasy breakout options! But first, how’d we do in Week 2?

  • Jeff Wilson, RB, 49ers: 18 car., 84 yards; 2 rec., 19 yards
  • DeVonta Smith, WR, Eagles: 7 rec., 80 yards
  • Allen Robinson, WR, Rams: 4 rec., 53 yards, 1 TD
  • Robert Tonyan, TE, Packers: 2 rec., 11 yards
  • Jamaal Williams, RB, Lions: 12 car., 53 yards; 1 rec., 7 yards

Not bad — but there’s always room for improvement!

Now let’s throw some darts at possible Week 3 candidates!

Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota’s offense was quickly humbled in Week 2 against the Eagles, but will be up against a porous Lions secondary in Week 3. Thielen has totaled just seven catches – 16 fewer than Vikings top receiver Justin Jefferson – for 88 yards without a touchdown. Thielen, their presumptive No. 2 target, is due for a breakout performance.

Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Coming off a significant lower body injury, the Rams’ usage of Akers was always going to be murky. But after failing to record a yard on three carries in the season-opener against Buffalo, Akers averaged just 2.9 yards per attempt on 15 carries against the Falcons last week. The Rams will be up against Division rival Arizona Week 3 – who possess the worst run-stop win rate in the entire NFL – so Akers is bound to have a productive week, right? Right?!?!

Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Through two games, Claypool – who was expected to be one of Pittsburgh’s top targets entering 2022 – has totaled just eight catches for 44 yards through two games this season. Although, a bulk of his production will be reliant on the performance of Mitch Trubisky, which isn’t the safest bet to make. Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth have received the lion’s share of targets through two games. With Cleveland’s questionable secondary, it’s possible to foresee Claypool breaking out and garnering more fantasy production Thursday night.

T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions

As Garrett talked about in our Week 2 overreactions, the Lions offense has been very good over the first two weeks! Although, T.J. Hockenson hasn’t been involved very much, logging just seven receptions for 64 yards without a touchdown. In what could be a high-scoring Week 3 shootout Sunday between the Lions and the Vikings, Hockenson’s production has the potential to skyrocket.

Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears

Weirdest stat line you’ll see from Week 2: Justin Fields threw 11 passes against Green Bay Sunday night. Yes, only 11. No more, no less. Through two games, he’s completed 15 of his 28 attempts for 191 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Maybe Chicago’s identity will be to heavily rely on the run game? But, at some point, I expect Chicago to get their more ancillary weapons involved, starting with Fields. Why not Week 3 against Houston at home?

A Few Honorable Mentions: Cole Kmet, TE, Bears; J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ravens (if he plays!); Chris Olave, WR, Saints; Scottie Miller, WR, Buccaneers

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