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Fantasy Football Rundown: Week 3

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Thoughts on every single NFL game and every single player that’s fantasy relevant for Week 3.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Every week Nic hosts his Fantasy Football Rundown on Twitter were he hits on every single NFL game and every single player that’s fantasy relevant. Tune in every Thursday at 3 PM EST to watch the Fantasy Football Rundown live and join the conversation.

Titans at Jaguars

The last time Derrick Henry and the Jaguars defense met was in Week 14 of the 2018 season. Henry produced 238 yards and 4 touchdowns on just 17 carries. 150 and 1-2 scores, on 20 carries, is well within his range of reasonable outcomes this week. Delanie Walker is a TE1 and AJ Brown is the only startle receiver, albeit as a flex in standard scoring. Marcus Mariota will only find himself on the streaming radar when he reigns in his errant throws.

Leonard Fournette drops to high-end RB2 territory this week, against the stout Titans defense. DJ Chark is a flex with WR2 upside, Chris Conley could produce as a flex in PPR formats. Dede Westbrook has seen a decrease in targets and now must face shutdown slot CB Logan Ryan. Ignore the tight ends. Gardner Minshew is a back-end QB2.

Bengals at Bills

Gotta push the Josh Allen hype train. The dude’s a legit QB1, dropping bombs and lowering shoulders. He’s matchup-proof but this one takes his ceiling even higher -- very slow linebackers. John Brown is a locked-in WR2. Devin Singletary, if active, is a low-end RB2 in a plus matchup. Use Gore and a floor flex-play. Beasley PPR floor play. Keep an eye on gadget-McKenzie.

John Ross is the overall WR1 through 2 weeks...Very tough matchup in Buffalo but he’s a Flex at worst. Fade Dalton this week but after that he gets @PIT, ARI, @BAL. That’s stream worthy. Tyler Boyd’s less sexy than Ross but he’s got double-digit targets in each game. Tyler Eifert’s a desperation TD-dependent play. Bad matchup and a bad year so far for Joe Mixon -- I told you not to draft him. Bad luck with O-line health has hurt him. Solid matchups against @PIT and ARI after this make him a good trade target though and he returned to practice as a full participant today.

Per JJ Zachariason, The Bengals are throwing the ball 4 (technically 3.93) times as much as they’re rushing when games are within 6 points -- No. 1 in the league. Jet’s are No. 2 at 2.5 times pass per rush.

Lions at Eagles

The release of CJ Anderson bodes well for Kerryon Johnson’s red zone usage. Afterthought Paul Perkins shouldn’t be an issue for him. Former No. 3-current No. 2 RB Ty Johnson likely gets a touch bump and could be added in deep formats, with an emphasis on PPR. Kenny Golladay has embarrassed me by attracting 9 and 10 targets, through Weeks 1 and 2, respectively. CJA’s release could add 3+ snaps to the passing game, solidifying Kenny G’s already-solidified WR2 status. Marvin’s droppable. TJ Hockenson’s established himself as an irritating Boom/Bust TE1/2. Matthew Stafford comes in as my QB12 on the week against a woeful Eagles secondary.

Carson Wentz is nursing multiple injuries as are his top two receivers Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey. Dallas Goedert is also hurt, leaving Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside as the only healthy non-backfield pass catchers. Miles Sanders retains premier running back usage marks in both snaps and touches, although the backfield box score production has been severely lacking through two games. Early this week, the coaching staff acknowledged frustration with Sanders’ tendency to bounce it outside, rather than hitting the open hole -- something that could lead to more Jordan Howard/Darren Sproles role-specific specialist work.

Incredibly, head coach Doug Pederson cancelled the padded practice on Wednesday.

Jets at Patriots

Luke Falk is expected to start at quarterback for the Jets in Week 3. The Patriots defense is one of the best in the Bill Belichick era -- avoid this passing game, outside of Jamison Crowder as a PPR flex, in Week 3. Le’Veon Bell will see a concerningly high workload -- likely 25+ touches, keeping him in the RB1 conversation and a high-level injury risk. If possible, move him for a comparable RB1. LT Kelvin Beachum was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice.

ILB CJ Mosley and DL Quinnen Williams did not participate in practice on Wednesday. DL Steve McLendon and FS Marcus Maye were limited participants. The smattering of DL/ILB/FS injuries creates a sieve in the middle of the field for RB Sony Michel to flow through. Tom Brady should have no issue working with James White in the flats, and Rex Burkhead may even see action in the 3rd and 4th-quarters. Antonio Brown may not face prosecution for his seemingly likely crimes and is a WR1, regardless of matchup. Josh Gordon has sadly slipped into zero-floor/high-ceiling WR2 range. Similarly, Julian Edelman has lost significant value. In last week’s blowout, he recorded just 4 targets. Per Rotoworld, that’s the lowest he’s seen since in roughly 3 years (Week 4 of 2016).

Raiders at Vikings

Darren Waller should lead the team in targets this week, if Tyrell Williams can’t go (hip pointer). Waller’s an athletic FREAK who’s built like a heavy Marques Colston. It’s a tough date with Harrison Smith inline though.The team clearly loves Tyrell Williams -- I can’t shake them tossing him a screen pass on 2nd or 3rd at 10 to close the game out in Week 1. He converted -- and they trusted him to. Manufacturing touches like that tips a coaching staffs hand as to what they think of a player. Josh Jacobs is a stud RB but is barred from RB1 consideration until he begins receiving the passing game usage that was promised in August. This matchup does not allow Carr to get past a low-end QB2 ceiling.

Ravens at Chiefs

Limited snaps be damned! Per JJ Zachariason, Mark Andrews owns the league’s highest tight end target share at 27.9% -- a figure that could top the league overall. Evan Silva has been wondering aloud whether Marquise Brown may be a “transcendental talent” a la Odell Beckham Jr. -- he’s been more bullish on that thought as of late and I’m inclined to agree. He’s a weekly WR2 and currently the overall WR3. Mark Ingram exited the game briefly last week, just a reminder that his workload, age, and inability to juice will likely limit his season-long availability. Both Gus Edwards and Justice Hill should be on fantasy rosters. Lamar 4 MVP 4 Ever

Both Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk crossed the century mark against Baltimore’s vulnerable secondary. Kyler Murray threw for over 300 yards. The entirety of the Kansas City offense is startable. Mahomes, Kelce, Watkins, Hardman, and Robinson will all eat. Closely monitor the backfield’s practice availability this week. D-Will did not practice Wednesday, McCoy was going to “try” to. Darwin Thompson needs to be owned everywhere.

Falcons at Colts

Indy played well against the pass last week but that was Tennessee. In Week 1, Keenan Allen handed it to them. Expect Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley to do their normal thing against them. Austin Hooper has out-targeted Mohamed Sanu this year and I like him as a back-end TE1. Matt Ryan still cleared 300 yards last week, despite being under constant duress from Philly’s pass rush. Devonta Freeman is not playing well and is losing time to Ito Smith. Freeman is a low-end RB2, Smith is getting reps but is still bad enough to only be a 2nd flex play.

Jacoby Brissett is a reliable high floor/low ceiling QB2. Jordan Wilkins needs to be added ASAP. Marlon Mack missed Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practices and Wilkins played well last week -- I actually thought he was going to win the RB job last year. Consider TY Hilton a WR2 -- hope that he scores and TRADE HIM. Ebron and Parris Campbell are also sell-highs, coming off touchdown performances.

Broncos at Packers

The Packers defense has looked surprisingly strong but only faced Mitchell Trubisky and a reigned-in Kirk Cousins. Dalvin Cook could not be contained though. I like both running backs as fringe RB2s/3s. Royce Freeman has soundly outplayed Phillip Lindsay, although Lindsay is being given the slight edge in touches. Freeman is being used frequently through the air, not just Lindsay. Fade Joe Flacco but trust Emmanuel Sanders, who has 20 targets through two games, as a WR2. We roll with him until he screws us at this point. Ignore the remaining receivers but consider adding Noah Fant if you are desperate at TE. He’s not yet producing in the box score but he’s running routes on 71% of his snaps, per JJ Zacahriason on today’s Matchup Podcast.

Aaron Rodgers is merely a QB2 this year, and he’s definitely not improving his stock against the Broncos defense. Aaron Jones quieted concerns last week with a dominant performance, solidifying himself as a RB1/2. Matt LeFluke asserted, this week, that he wants equal touches between Jones and Jamaal Williams which keeps Jones out of full-on RB1 discussion. Davante Adams remains his steady WR1 self while Geronimo Allison belongs on your bench or FA and MVS is a matchup-based deep threat -- this is not the matchup. Jimmy Graham missed practice today with a groin injury. Do not look for his replacement on this team.

Dolphins at Cowboys

Don’t start any Dolphins.

Ezekiel Elliot has the best chance of any RB1 to finish as Week 3’s RB1. Dak is the QB3. Amari Cooper is a WR1. Devon Smith is a fringe WR2/3. Randall Cobb is a 2nd PPR flex option. Look for Witten to catch a touchdown pass and only the yards he gains on said pass. Tony Pollard is ignorable outside of outrageously deep formats.

Giants at Buccaneers

The Bucs solid front-seven will be an excellent way to assess Daniel Jones’ capabilities. They should be able to put pressure on him, despite NY’s Top 5 pass blocking O-Line, Per Scott Barrett. Evan Engram and Barkley’s ceiling rises. Golden Tate should be rostered in PPR leagues with 2 games remaining on his suspension. Shepard’s concussion is being reviewed by the NFL. Sterling has returned to practice.

Panthers at Cardinals

Kyle Allen will be starting at QB.

Panthers have been getting hammered in the slot. Kupp: 5/9 120 Godwin: 8/9 121 and 1TD

Steelers at 49ers

PFD’s pod told us that Ben Roethlisberger’s injury wasn’t new -- indicating that the Steelers were prepared to roll with Mason Rudolph as a starter, especially since they traded Josh Dobbs in-season. Donte Moncrief should be dropped for James Washington #Showers. JuJu should see even more slot snaps while Vance McDonald immediately vaults into the TE1 discussion -- he has 2 TDs w/ Rudolph last week. James Conner is expected to be fine and is a high-end RB2. Jaylen Samuels is a MUST ADD. Mason Rudolph belongs on fantasy rosters.

Jimmy Garoppolo is in the streaming conversation against a vulnerable Steelers defense. Minkah Fitzpatrick helps but he’s likely slot-only. Deebo Samuel has asserted himself as the WR1 there and needs to be owned in all formats. Marquise Goodwin is a flex option after DK Metcalf hammered them deep. George Kittle popped as the No. 2 name on Josh Hermsmeyer’s Buy-Low Air Yards model -- get ready. Matt Breida is a 15-touch-or-fewer lead back. He’s a RB2. Jeff Wilson Jr. is the goal-line back and Raheem Mostert will get whatever surplus of touches is available -- he’s a Boom/Bust flex with a decent shot to Boom.

Saints at Seahawks

As discussed on the FT pod, we expect a narrowing of the touch-tree. Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara should see an uptick in looks as they become the focal points of the offense, however, the yardage-value of the touches will drop -- along with scoring opportunities. Deep threats Ted Ginn Jr. and Tre’Quan Smith are unlikely to produce however, Seattle’s safety play has been appalling -- if you’re gonna take the plunge, Ginn is the guy to do it with. Jared Cook’s stock likely increases. Expect Taysom Hill to be a gadget player with a good shot at 10 or so fantasy points. Teddy should be the starter.

If last week’s 2nd-half is an indication of things to come, this will be a career year for RW. It’s possible he drops a bit in the rankings as we gather more information about the Saints though. The installation of Teddy Bridgewater may lead to NO attempting to slow the pace of what would otherwise be a high-scoring affair.

Still expect Chris Carson to be an RB1 this week. Metcalf is on the rise. Lockett should maintain his fringe WR1/2 value. Will Dissly should be added by all TE-needy teams and started with as much confidence as anyone ever has about a TE.

Texans at Chargers

Will Fuller popped on the Buy-Low Air Yards model too -- he’s an upside WR2. DeAndre Hopkins is a rock-solid WR1. Kenny Stills and Keke Coutee are not only eating into each other’s slot workloads, they now have to face All-Pro slot corner Desmond King. Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr. are RB3s with Hyde getting so much rushing work. Ignore the tight ends.

Philip Rivers is a suped-up Jacoby Brissett in the box score -- a reliable QB2 every week. Keenan Allen is a WR1, especially with Hunter Henry out and Mike Williams banged up. Dontrell Inman and Travis Benjamin are not startable, outside of Benjamin’s a desperation boom/bust 2nd flex. Austin Ekeler is a locked-in Top 5 RB. Justin Jackson no more than a 2nd flex option.

Rams at Browns

Todd Gurley had an uptick in usage which is good for the short term, bad for the long term. Malcolm Brown has been relegated to a second flex option for now. Darrell Henderson is a high-upside bench stash. Trade Gurley for a comparable RB1 if possible. Cooper Kupp has 19 targets through two weeks, clearly the team’s No. 1 WR -- he’s a fantasy WR2. Brandin Cooks is a boom/bust WR2, Robert Woods is a low-end WR2. Gerald Everett is unplayable. Jared Goff is a QB2.

Baker Mayfield showed us his ceiling last week, connecting with Odell Beckham Jr. on a beautiful bomb. Mayfield is a back-end QB1, ODB a mid-tier WR1. Jarvis Landry’s value increases with David Njoku’s concussion/wrist injury. Rashard Higgins is unplayable, sadly. Don’t take the Taywan Taylor bait. D’Ernest Johnson played a heavy complement of snaps last week and could be added to deep benches. Freddie Kitchens did say he wants to get Nick Chubb more touches though. Chubb is an RB1. The Rams D-line will be a problem for CLE.

Bears at Washington

Rotoworld podcast listed David Montgomery as having one of the large team-based red zone carry shares, making him a low-end RB2. Allen Robinson is a matchup-proof high-end WR2. Mitchell Trubisky cannot be started and we’re ignoring Mike Davis, Trey Burton, Taylor Gabriel, and Adam Shaheen. Davis’ snaps dropped significantly last week. Tarik Cohen is playable as a PPR flex.

Terry McLaurin is a baller with WR2 upside. Outside of him, only Chris Thompson deserves PPR flex consideration. Adrian Peterson is a 2nd flex, standard scoring option-only. Vernon Davis is a desperation TE play. Do not start Case Keenum.

Tune in every Thursday on Twitter (@faketeams) at 3 PM EST to watch me cover the weekly matchups live and give me your questions!