Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Cleveland Browns Stadium
- Weather – Mostly Sunny Skies
- What Vegas is saying – Line (NO -3.5) & Over/Under 39.5
Identifying the Game Script
The Titans and Browns haven’t played each other since 2020. That game was a shootout, and the Browns would win 41-35. The Browns have lost three of the last five games against the Titans. The Titans are coming off a scrappy win over the Chargers. Their defense continues to bend but not break, as they had key stops. The offense looked better but was still a sloppy, non-entaining unit. The Browns are recovering from a bad loss and Nick Chubb’s injury. They will need to rebound in week three. Both teams sit at 1-1, so we’ll see who can step up.
Ryan Tannehill was a good play in week two, but he should be back on the bench in week three. The Browns are the second-best team against fantasy quarterbacks this season. The Brown’s front seven has consistently created pressure and disrupted the quarterback’s timing. I can’t expect Tannehill to get a rushing touchdown each week to make his fantasy points look great. He is likely to be pressured all game, and Tannehill has struggled with a 14.7% completion percentage when pressured. He is a sit for me in week three.
DeShaun Watson looked terrible in week two. He had three turnovers, which likely caused the Browns to lose in that matchup. Watson has a 55% completion rate over two games. He averages under 200 passing yards per game and has a 1:1 touchdown-interception ratio. The Titans’ secondary is beatable, but it’s not an easy matchup for Watson to blow up. Even if the matchup was favorable, he has not looked good as a passer this season. I wouldn’t start Watson in a 1QB league based on his performances. He should be a mid-range QB2 in a Superflex league for week three.
King Derrick Henry reclaimed his backfield. After seeing Tyjae Spears out-snapped him in week one, Henry returned as main snap leader with a 70/30 split. The Browns have been a top-10 team against fantasy running backs, but I don’t think a running back can’t produce against them. Henry continues to see a high carry share in the offense and sees at least three targets in each game. I expect the Titans to lean on their ground game, as they always do. Henry should be a borderline RB1 in this matchup. Tyjae Spears has looked decent over his first two games, but his workload is limited. He is a great buy-low or pick-up, but in this matchup, he is a sit.
I’m SO sad about Nick Chubb’s injury! It’s the next-man-up approach in Jerome Ford. He’s a player I liked coming out in the 2022 NFL draft. Ford should be in command of the majority of the backfield. He had a great game against the Steelers and almost had two touchdowns in the game. Pierre Strong will likely see a few touches, but he may split the backup role with Kareem Hunt.
Unfortunately, this backfield is coming into a terrible matchup for week three. The Titans allow the second-fewest fantasy points to running back this year and last. The last time they allowed a rusher over 60 yards was week three of 2022. Ford has a tough matchup but also saw work as a receiver to find some confidence that he should be an RB3 for this matchup. The Browns signed Kareem Hunt, which shouldn’t affect Ford’s value overall in week three. Hunt was the passing down in Cleveland for many years, but he didn’t look that good by the end of his first tenure there. Ford is the only Browns I’d consider playing if needed in week three.
The Titans pass catchers aren’t the ones you want in fantasy. The highest yardage leader is DeAndre Hopkins, with 104 yards over two games. The Browns have been the third-best team so far against fantasy wide receivers. Outside of George Picken’s 71-yard touchdown catch, the Browns have held opposing receivers to a minimum. I wouldn’t want to start any of these receivers if I didn’t have to. DeAndre Hopkins will likely be the closest to starting as a borderline WR3 in this matchup. Treylon Burks and Nick Westbrooke-Ikhine are both sits. Chig Okonkwo rebounded after a zero-catch game in week one, but he faces another tough matchup. The Browns have been the best team so far against fantasy tight ends. They have allowed a combined four receptions for 19 yards over two games. Okonkwo’s talent isn’t enough to make him anything more than a low-end TE2 in this matchup.
For the Browns’ pass catchers, Amari Cooper continues to be the only stand-out I want to be starting with confidence. The Titans are the third-worst team against fantasy receivers this season. They have allowed four receivers over 80 yards already. Amari Cooper is a WR2, even with his injury concerns. He continues to see a high target share in this offense. Donovan Peoples-Jones and Elijah Moore have been headaches this season. Peoples-Jones has two catches for 19 yards on the season. He can’t be trusted in lineups, even in a favorable matchup.
Elijah Moore is the receiver I would take a risk with as a high-end WR4 play in week three. Moore has seen 16 targets and three carries in these two games. His opportunities are encouraging, but he needs to produce. David Njoku leads this tight-end room but is not productive in fantasy. His matchup is decent, and hopefully, he will be used as a receiver more to see some production. He is a borderline TE1 in week three.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Ford Field
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (DET -3.0) & Over/Under 46
Identifying the Game Script
The Falcons and Lions last played one another back in 2021, with the Falcons picking up the win. The Falcons are 2-0 now after a win against the Packers. Their passing attack woke up this week with Desmond Ridder leading the way. The Falcons defense continues to be an underrated unit, too. The Lions lost a nailbiter in overtime to the Seahawks. The defense was shredded in the air. The offense continued to look amazing, but their defense couldn’t hold up.
Desmond Ridder looked much better than what he showed us in week one. He wasn’t as efficient but threw over 32 pass attempts and ran the ball better, too. Ridder still can’t be trusted since we know this is a run-first offense, and Ridder was decent in week two. The Lions give up the fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the first two weeks. If the Falcons get into a shootout with the Lions, Ridder could see another high-volume pass game in week three. Due to his matchup, Ridder is a borderline QB2 in Superflex if you believe he can have another game like this past week.
Jared Goff has been a QB1 over the first two weeks. Goff finally threw his first interception in 350 pass attempts dating back to last season. Goff’s matchup is more challenging than most folks think. The Falcons have kept opposing starting quarterbacks under 160 passing yards. Jordan Love finished as a QB1, thanks to his three passing touchdowns. David Montgomery seems likely to miss some time, especially for this game. This could force Goff to throw the ball even more, especially in this matchup. Goff has the weapons to produce, and the offense could look to rely on him. Goff offers borderline QB1 value in week three.
After two games, Bijan Robinson finally broke away from Tyler Allgeier in the backfield. In week two, the Falcons ran 46 run plays, double that in week one. Don’t expect the Falcons in this game to be able to replicate those numbers. The Lions have been better than expected against fantasy running backs, keeping rushing under 50 yards in each game this year.
The Falcons are the number-one rushing team in the league, so something has to give in this matchup. Robinson should continue to see most of the work, and he is playing in the essential downs like third downs and two-minute offense. Robinson should be locked and loaded RB1 in week three. Allgeier will be part of the early down offense and should continue to see between 12 to 15 carries in most games. He will likely be touchdown-dependent on week three, so if he gets one, it could be a solid day. Allgeier is a borderline RB3 here.
The Lions run game has a tough matchup as the Falcons are a top-ten team vs. fantasy running backs. You can still run on them, but they haven’t allowed many fantasy points. David Montgomery is likely out in this matchup. If he does play, he should be a low-end RB3 play with some risk. Jahmyr Gibbs started to see more work as the primary passing-down back before Montgomery went down, but he saw an increase in his role. Craig Reynolds only played four fewer snaps than Gibbs did once Montgomery left. You would have to assume that Gibbs sees more work, but that could be a fairy tale we’ll never get. Gibbs continues to be a low-end RB2, but don’t expect much in a tough matchup. Reynolds is likely an RB4 seeing more early down work, but he shouldn’t be trusted in this matchup.
Everyone is thankful for a Drake London comeback after doing nothing in week one. I don’t know how consistent that production will be. London plays the Lions, who are a decent matchup, but I wouldn’t say it is a great matchup. The Lions lost CJ Gardner-Johnson for potential the season, so the secondary is looking weaker now. Drake London hopefully will continue to see decent work moving forward and not return to that week one production. He is a WR3 in this game.
I’m not playing any other Falcons receiver in this game. Kyle Pitts has been a significant headache in fantasy. He has just eight fantasy points combined in two games. Pitts isn’t dominating the tight room, as Jonnu Smith is working in a lot and saw one more target than Pitts in week two. The Lions are decent, but it’s hard to trust Pitts. He is, at best, a borderline TE1 or even a high-end TE2 this week.
For the Lions, Amon-St. Brown continues to shine in his third season. He is dealing with a heel injury that should be monitored. St. Brown has a slightly tough matchup, as the Falcons haven’t allowed a receiver over 50 yards yet on the season. He is an elite talent and should continue to command a good target share. He should be a WR1 in this game.
Josh Reynolds has stepped up as the team WR2 and is playing over 70% of the offensive snaps in the first two weeks. In his first two games, Reynolds has nine receptions for 136 yards with two touchdowns. In this matchup, Reynolds should be considered a borderline WR3 that you could start in your flex. I’m not overly worried about the Falcons’ secondary that these receivers can’t produce. For the tight end position, Sam LaPorta looks like the real deal so far. He has at least five targets in both games and should continue as Jared Goff’s safety blanket in the offense. He is a borderline TE1 in week three.
New Orlean Saints vs. Green Bay Packers
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Lambeau Field
- Weather – Partly Cloudly
- What Vegas is saying – Line (GB -2.0) & Over/Under 42.5
Identifying the Game Script
The Saints and Packers look like different teams since they last played in 2021. The Saints would win in that week one shocker over the Packers 38-3. After another excellent outing for Jordan Love, the Packers lost a nailbiter to the Falcons. The defense and run game let down the offense as the Falcons would take a one-point win. The Saints took care of business on MNF against the Panthers and held strong on defense with decent offensive play. Both teams are looking to keep rolling in the NFC.
Derek Carr wasn’t great for us in fantasy for week two, especially since Tony Jones Jr. ran in two red zone touchdowns. Carr does seem to have a high passing volume, with over 30 attempts in both games. The Packers have played two mobile quarterbacks to start the season, so we have seen the secondary tested at much. The Packers’ secondary was a decent unit in 2022. Carr has done an excellent job airing the ball downfield, as he looks more like his 2021 version than the 2022 version. I’m interested in how this offense works with Jamaal Williams sidelined and Alvin Kamra not back until week four. Carr will get another chance to air the ball and have a solid outing. He should be looked at as a mid-range QB2 for week three.
Jordan Love has been on fire with six passing touchdowns this season. Unfortunately, he is only averaging about 26 pass attempts per game. The Saints have been the fourth-best team against fantasy quarterbacks this year. Jordan Love is probably the most talented quarterback to date this season. This will be a real test for him, as the Saints are a great defense. He has the weapons, and hopefully, Aaron Jones and Christian Watson can make things easier for him. He is mid-range QB2 in this matchup, as I’m torn about his potential for this game.
The Saints are without Kamara since he is suspended until week four. Williams is going to miss some time with his hamstring injury. That will leave Kendre Miller, who looks to be a full go this week at practice, and Tony Jones Jr. for week three. They face the Packers, who let up 170 rushing yards in their week two game. This is a very favorable matchup for these unknown backs.
Miller had some interesting potential coming into the league to dynasty owners. It seems like he is going to get his shot against the Saints. The usage is hard to judge since we’ve seen many teams work their rookies slowly. Miller is a desperate flex play in week three. He should see between 10 to 15 touches in the game but won’t see the full workload.
Tony Jones Jr. earned himself playing time after a solid week two. He is also a borderline RB3 with some upside. I expect him to see the goal line work and likely the two-minute offense. Neither is a great pass-catching back, but Miller should see the targets over Jones. They could be limited if Taysom Hill runs again since he has nine carries for 75 yards in week two.
For the Packers running backs, they have a tough matchup here. The Saints have been good against fantasy running backs this season. They haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown this year. Aaron Jones is returning in week three after missing game two. Jones had a plus 20 points in week one and just 11 touches, which isn’t expected in every game. Jones should be back as the RB1 for the team, and he should be a low-end RB2 in this matchup. AJ Dillion failed in his chance as the starter with a 2.6 YPC on the season. If Jones is back, DIllion should not be a start in week three. He would be a low-end RB4 in Jones’ plays. If Jones sits again, Dillion isn’t anything more than a low-end Rb3 with no upside.
Chris Olave and Michael Thomas remain the lead receivers regarding offensive snaps and routes run for the Saints. The Packers’ secondary has been solid against fantasy receivers this season. Not a single receiver has eclipsed over 70 receiving over the first two games. The Saints are a team that likes to air the ball deep downfield. Jaire Alexander is an elite corner and will likely cover Chris Olave in this game. Alexander dominated DJ Moore but failed to stop Drake London in week two. Olave could struggle if Alexander matches with him the whole game, but I’m not confident that Alexander would cover him. Olave has gotten off to slow starts in each game, so hopefully, he can find a way to make it work. He is more of a WR2 in this matchup than his average borderline WR1 upside for week three.
|Thomas – 1st Half||15||10||101||10.1||0|
|Thomas – 2nd Half||2||2||15||7.5||0|
|Olave – 1st Half||11||5||37||7.4||0|
|Olave – 2nd Half||10||9||161||17.9||0|
Michael Thomas could be the one receiver Alexander does cover in this game. Thomas has gotten off to a fast start but disappears in the second half of games. Thomas has been able to put up decent fantasy numbers but has not been consistent to start in week three. He is a low-end WR4 that you hope he can score in this matchup. Rashid Shaheed is also having a decent season and is the team’s deep threat. He is finding the targets but only playing half the offensive snaps for the team. He is a WR4 with an upside. I do like him better than Thomas in week three.
The Packers are decent against tight ends but have allowed 40 yards in both games. The fact the Saints have four tight ends playing is mind-blowing for fantasy. Juwan Johnson is the man, but he only averages three targets per game. Trusting him in lineups is hard, so he is a low-end TE2. Taysom Hill could be worth a play in week three, but it is risky. We saw the Saints turn to him after Jamaal Williams got hurt. Hill had 75 rushing yards in week two, and they may go back to him again in week three.
The Packers’ wide receivers are tough to judge in week three. For one, they have a tough matchup against the Saint’s secondary. They haven’t allowed a receiver over 70 yards this season. Honestly, a Packers receiver hasn’t gotten over 50 yards this season.
Christian Watson may return, but trusting him in his first game is hard. He would likely be a WR4 in this matchup. Romeo Doubs was playing as WR1 this season, but his play hasn’t been that great outside of his two touchdowns. Jayden Reed was targeted on 33% of his routes in week two, but again, his two touchdowns made his fantasy day great. I want to sit all these receivers in a tough matchup. Luke Musgrave is playing like a starting tight end but only sees a few targets on his routes run. The Saints are the second-best team against fantasy tight ends. He is outside my top 24 this week.
Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Hard Rock Stadium
- Weather – Mixed Clouds with potential thunderstorms
- What Vegas is saying – Line (MIA -6.5) & Over/Under 48.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time these two teams have played each other was back in 2020. The Broncos would win a close one, 20-3, over the Dolphins. The Broncos are coming into this game down 0-2, which is a surprise based on the arrival of Sean Payton. While the offense looks better, the defense is not up to par. This is a make-or-break game for Denver. The Dolphins are coming off an excellent divisional win against the Patriots. This offense is looking to return to their high-power attack while keeping their defense elite.
Russell Wilson sitting at 0-2 for these Broncos is not a great sign. While he has played much better than his 2022 season, things aren’t clicking on offense. His week two stats look much better because 60 yards hail-mary for a touchdown at the end of the game. We’d be looking at two games under 250 yards with at least two passing touchdowns. The Miami secondary is formidable, allowing just two passing touchdowns over the first two games. He offered a nice rushing floor in week two for 56 yards, but can that be consistent? Russell Wilson is putting up better numbers than expected, but I don’t think he is back on his form yet. Wilson isn’t a great start and should be a borderline QB2 for Superflex leagues.
Tua Tagovailoa came back down to earth from his week one performance. Tua has been very mediocre vs. the Patriot’s defense over his career. The Broncos defense has allowed opposing quarterbacks to finish as the QB12 in fantasy the last two weeks. Jimmy G and Sam Howell don’t have the same passing unit as the Dolphins. I expect Tua to bounce back in this matchup and finish as a QB1. This is the first game for the Dolphins at home, so expect them to excite the crowd with their passing attack. Tua should be in all starting lineups for week three.
This Broncos backfield continues to be a mess for fantasy. Javonte Williams leads the way with the early down work on the ground. Samaje Perine was held without a touch in the first half but managed to see three receptions in the second half. Perine led on snaps over Williams and ran twice as many routes as Williams did. The good news for this backfield is that they are playing a Dolphins team that has allowed the second most fantasy points per game to running backs. The Dolphins held strong against the Patriots, but Rhamondre Stevenson still managed 13 fantasy points. Both running backs should continue to be considered RB3 for week three. Williams gets touches on the ground, making him a safe play over Perine. Perine’s touch usage after week two is a concern. If he becomes only a third-down back, his value may drop from an RB3.
It’s a bit clearer for the Dolphins as Rasheem Mostert is showing off as the RB1 for this team. Mostert handled most of the work in the game, especially in the second half once Salvon Ahmed went down. In that first half, for every two snaps Mostert received, Ahmed got one snap. Ahmed is dealing with a groin injury, so his status for this game is up in the air right now. Rookie Devon Achane made his debut but only saw two touches in the game. His value will take some time, or an injury will have to occur. He is not close to being a player to put in lineups yet. The Broncos run defense has been in the bottom half of the league. Mostert has an excellent chance for a full workload with minimal competition in this matchup. In week three, he is likely a high-end RB2.
Like the running back room, the Broncos pass catchers are a mess. The top two receivers are Courtland Sutton and Jerry Juedy. Sutton has seen a healthy snap count and target share over the first two games. Granted, Juedy has been in and out over those two games. Juedy, coming off his first game, was brought along slowly early in the game. Even with Jalen Ramsey on the field, the Dolphins’ secondary is still a strong unit. They are better at coverage than making tackles, though. This is a Sutton game where a bigger-bodied receiver can get open and break out tackles. Sutton is a low-end WR3 for this matchup. Juedy should be looked at similarly, but more of a borderline WR3. I think he needs another game before you can trust him.
Don’t be fooled by Brandon Johnson or Marvin Mims just yet. Johnson had a good game, but his 60-yard reception at the end for a touchdown made it look really good. I like Mims, but he is being used on designed plays with just six routes run and caught two catches. His snap share has been under 30% in these first two games. Adam Trautman, who had been a sleeper, gave us a big fat zero in week two. I’ll return to him as a sleeper, but likely not as confident. Miami has been terrible against tight ends, and you’d expect the Broncos to use that to their advantage. He is a low-end TE2 that has some sleeper appeal.
Tyreek Hill should bounce back as a WR1 for this matchup. The Patriots have been an Achilles heel for Hill his whole career. Hill continues to see a high target share and should be back as WR1 in this matchup. Jaylen Waddle is in the concussion protocol and doesn’t look like he’ll be ready for this matchup. If Waddle plays, he is a WR2, but Miami will need someone to step up if he doesn’t. In deep leagues, River Cracraft could be a sleeper option. He took over for Waddle when he was off the field. Cracraft seems to be a player in the Miami organization likes and could have WR5 value. Braxton Berrios could see more targets, but it would be hard to trust anyone fully.
Durham Smythe could be an interesting deep-league tight end without Waddle. He has ten targets over two games, and we saw the Broncos get beat by the Commander’s tight ends. Smythe could have low-end TE2 numbers with some upside in week three.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ US Bank Stadium
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (MIN -1.0) & Over/Under 54
Identifying the Game Script
The Chargers and Vikings have high expectations coming into the season. The last time they played, the Vikings beat the Chargers 27-20 back in 2021. The Vikings are coming off a 0-2 start to the season. They need to clean up the turnovers on the offense. The Vikings have seven turnovers over their first two games. This is a big game for this team, as their season isn’t looking great. Another team is coming in off a 0-2 start after the Chargers lose a shocker to the Titans. These two had playoff expectations but are now on the wrong side of history. We’ll have to see which team wants it more on Sunday.
Justin Herbert has been great for fantasy the first two weeks of the season. He has averaged over 20 fantasy points in both games in easier matchups. The Vikings are nothing to brag about, as they are in the bottom ten against fantasy quarterbacks. Herbert continues to be solid in your fantasy lineups. Herbert has averaged close to 300 yards in Dome games and two touchdowns over 29 games. Herbert should be in for another QB1 week.
Kirk Cousins is just like Herbert, as in their teams aren’t doing good, but their fantasy production has been amazing. Cousins is on his best start of the season since his 2021 year. He already has over 700 yards and six touchdowns on the season. This offense continues to be one dimension as the passing attack has thrived against two solid defenses. The Chargers have given up the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the first two weeks. Cousins has always been a better quarterback at home. Expect a low-end QB1 performance from Cousins.
For the Chargers running backs, we are still waiting to see if Austin Ekeler is playing in week three. As of Thursday, it seems unlikely he will play. If he does play, he is still an RB1 in this matchup. The Vikings have allowed the second most rushing yards to backs in two weeks with 286 yards. Joshua Kelley is the starter again for week three. Kelley had a tough matchup in week two, but he was clearly the lead guy when Ekeler was out. The Chargers even played Kelley like a true workhorse in the offense, so he should be in line for a good outing. Kelley has high-end RB2 value and hopes to see some receptions in his outing.
The Vikings haven’t been able to run the ball well this year. Alexander Mattison has gotten off to a slow start in the first two games. He has 73 total yards and a terrible 3.3 yards per game. I’m not putting all the blame on Mattison, as the offensive line isn’t doing their job well. There are not many holes opening up to allow Mattison to do anything. Even after two games, Mattison still dominates in the running back touches over Ty Chandler.
Unless the Vikings decide to make a dramatic change in week three, Mattison should still carry most of the backfield. The Chargers are an average team against fantasy running backs, but they just let up 120 rushing yards to the Titans. It’s hard to trust Mattison as anything more than an RB3, and I hope he can be more efficient. I’m nervous these teams will turn into a passing shootout back-and-forward game. Yes, Cam Akers was just traded to the team, but I don’t expect him to be ready for week three.
The Chargers receivers have a solid matchup against the Vikings, who can’t try to stop anyone in the air. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have combined for 26 receptions, 316 yards, and two touchdowns in the first two games. They both should be considered WR2 in this matchup against the Vikings defense. Josh Palmer seems to have the third receiver spot locked down for now, but he is not producing much with his opportunities. Rookie first-round pick Quentin Johnston saw a decrease in his snaps from week one, but he has yet to spark this year. Neither one should be even close to fantasy lineups.
Gerald Everett is starting to lose his job in this offense. Having played 70% of the offensive snap in week one, he is down to 41%. Donald Parham even played more, and Stone Smartt, a 2022 undrafted rookie, is seeing close to the same number of snaps. The Vikings have been a top-ten unit against fantasy tight ends, only allowing 41 yards to the position on the season. Gerald Everett looked decent in limited work in week two, but it’s tough to trust that production weekly. He is a low-end TE2 and likely a sit in week three.
The Vikings formed their own big four in the offense. So far, the Chargers have allowed the most fantasy points to receivers this season. While some of that is because of Tyreek Hill, the Chargers also gave up points to the Titans receivers. Justin Jefferson has been a man of fire and dominating the fantasy world with 309 receiving yards. He still hasn’t scored a touchdown, yet he is that dominant. He is a WR1 in week three. KJ Osborn, snap-wise, is the WR2 for the team but is not making big plays like his rookie teammate. He only averaged 30 yards per game. It’s a good matchup because he is more of a WR5 with upside.
Jordan Addison has had a fantastic rookie season, with at least 60 yards and a touchdown over his first two games. Addison can be trusted as a high-end WR3 with an upside in this favorable matchup. TJ Hockenson has a slightly tougher matchup, but the Chargers haven’t played a tight end like Hockenson. Hockenson should be locked for another top-five tight-end finish.
New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Met Life Stadium
- Weather – OH, we got A LOT of Rain
- What Vegas is saying – Line (NE -2.5) & Over/Under 36.5
Identifying the Game Script
Our first divisional game of the weekend! The Patriots have won the last 14 matchups between the two teams. These teams have averaged 38.4 total points in the previous five games. Last year, they only averaged 27 combined points. The Cowboys were a tough matchup, but the Jets offense couldn’t run the ball, and Zach Wilson couldn’t move the offense. The Defense tried its best to bend, not break, but failed in week two. The Patriots are 0-2, looking to find some success. Their offense still looks mediocre, and they aim to get their first in 2023.
Mac Jones returned to earth in week two, as he only had 15 fantasy points. The Jets are a tough defense, but they let Dak Prescott have an excellent outing in week two. Jones hasn’t done that well against the Jets over his two seasons. He has averaged 233 yards and less than one touchdown per game. Mac Jones has thrown the ball over 40 times in both games. If Jones can continue to throw at a high rate, he may do enough to succeed in week three. Jones is likely a borderline QB2 in Superflex leagues with this tougher matchup.
Zach Wilson continues to look terrible on the offense. As part of the reason, the Jets decided to bring in Aaron Rodgers in the first place. He hasn’t broken 11 fantasy points yet over these first two games. Almost half his yards in the week two game came on a giant bomb to Garrett Wilson. The Patriots are a top-10 unit against fantasy quarterbacks. Wilson has averaged 173 yards in four games vs. the Patriots with only two passing touchdowns. Wilson should be a sit and not startable in Superflex leagues.
The Patriots backfield looks like a 70/30 split between Rhamondre Stevenson and Zeke Elliott over these two games. Stevenson has shown the ability to produce on the field, but he hasn’t put his rushing and receiving work together in a game. The Jets have been decent against fantasy running backs so far. Stevenson’s ground game continues to be a question mark with his efficiency. While he did great in the passing game in week two, he goes up against the Jets, who have given up the most receptions to running backs this season. Stevenson should be in for a solid, high-end RB2 game with upside if he can put it all together. Elliott saw his work decrease after promising in week one with seven targets. He may return to that in week three, but he is not startable and should likely be a low-end RB4.
The Jets’ backfield is a mess after week two. They all played under 20 snaps each, and Michael Carter led in third down and two-minute drills. That seems to be the worst-case scenario for those with Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook. The Patriots looked like they would be a tough run defense, but they allowed too many big runs in week two to trust that. This may be the defense this backfield could thrive against.
Michael Carter continues to be a roster clog to the backfield but isn’t producing, so he should be left off any starting radars. Dalvin Cook is turning into a touchdown-dependent running back that would need a touchdown to be fantasy-relevant for us. He should be an RB4 in this matchup, but I don’t trust him. Breece Hall fits the big play ability that could be successful against the Patriots. He needs more than six touches, and I expect that to change in week three. He is a RB3 with an upside this week.
The Patriots receivers only have one full-time receiver, it seems. In both games, only one receiver saw over 80% of the team’s offensive snaps in the offense. This week, it was Devante Parker, and last week, it was Kendrick Bourne. The Jets secondary was supposed to be nasty, but they can be beaten. The opposing team’s WR1 have both gotten over 100 receiving yards in games vs. the Jets. Parker is coming off a solid game with six receptions for 57 yards. Parker does well on the field when he is healthy, but his availability has been an issue. He can be a borderline WR3 in week three.
I don’t want to start any other Patriots receiver. JuJu Smith-Schuster is being limited in his offensive snaps to the slot. He only played half the snaps in week two. He is a sit and outside the top 50 receivers. Kendrick Bourne, as I said, will have big games. It could be this one or not; he is a Boom/Bust WR6.
The tight ends saw plenty of work in week two. They both were over 70% of the offensive snaps. Hunter Henry should be TE1 in week three. The Jets allow the fifth most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Mike Gesicki is a deep-league sleeper but can’t be trusted until we see more consistency.
The only Jets pass catcher I want to start is Garrett Wilson. While he got a lucky deep bomb, you have to assume the Jets will gameplan to give Wilson as many targets as possible. He is a borderline WR2 with upside if he can see more accuracy targets in the offense. The Patriots are banged up at the corner, but Good Old Bill knows how to take away a team’s top weapon. I give the advantage to Wilson here. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are outside the top 50 receivers for me. I don’t trust Zach Wilson enough to make them fantasy-relevant. Tyler Conklin was coming off a nice game with five receptions for 50 yards, but the Patriots are top two against fantasy tight ends. He is a TE3 in week three.
Buffalo Bills vs. Washington Commanders
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ FedEx Field
- Weather – Expect a few rain showers
- What Vegas is saying – Line (BUF -6.5) & Over/Under 43.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time these two teams played each other, the Bills won in big fashion, 43-21, over the Commanders. The Bills have won four of the last five games. After that shocking week one loss, the Bills returned quickly and took care of business against the Raiders. Josh Allen looked much better, and the offense had a big game. The defense continues to do its thing and be an elite unit. The 2-0 Commanders are coming in after a big win over the Denver Broncos. The offense looked sharper in week two. The defense held strong in the second half of that game. Let’s see who is a true contender or pretender.
Josh Allen had a big bounce-back game in week two with 274 passing yards and three touchdowns. Allens’ matchup against the Commanders is favorable for fantasy. Week two may have shown weakness in the Commander’s secondary as they let up 240 yards and two touchdowns to Russell Wilson. I’m not counting the 60-yard touchdown bomb at the end of the game. Josh Allen looks back on track after a poor week one. Allen should be in for another QB1 in week three, even on the road.
Sam Howell is an interesting one since he has finished as a top-14 quarterback in the first two weeks. He played the Commanders and Broncos, two mediocre defenses in the league. Howell looked much better on throws in week two than his sloppy mess in week one. He had a better completion rate and did not turn the ball over this past week. The Bills’ defense is a top-five unit against fantasy quarterbacks, in which they played Zach Wilson and Jimmy G. The Bills were a great unit last year, too. This is a big test for Howell, and he should be valued as a low-end QB2 for week three. If he can prove it, he may have high-end QB2 value for the rest of the season.
James Cook had his first 100 yards rushing game on 17 carries. He had another four-target game, which is a good direction because he can be a 60-target running back in fantasy. The one downside is that Cook likely won’t lead the goal line role, as Latavius Murray and Damien Harris seem to have control of that. The Commanders limited fantasy running backs to average production over their first two games. Cook should continue more of an RB2 in this matchup. Damien Harris and Latavius Murray take turns on the goalline and short yard work. They will likely be touchdown-dependent in this game to be relevant for our lineups, but I’d avoid both backups in week three.
The Commanders backfield will be very game-dependent on how much work these two running backs get. Brian Robinson is coming into his own in 2023. He has 200 all-purpose yards in the first two games. He is averaging a decent 4.1 YPC. This Bill’s team shut down Josh Jacobs last week, but the Bills have allowed 6.8 YPC on inside, the worst in the league. Robinson had 25 of the 33 inside runs for the Commanders this season. Robinson is seeing enough targets in games that he should be a low-end RB2 in this matchup. Robinson will likely see 55 to 60 % of the snaps because I expect Commanders to be behind in this game.
Antonio Gibson will benefit from a negative game script. He got most of these opportunities in week two’s second and third quarter with the Commanders behind. He caught a pass on the first play in the fourth quarter, but Robinson handled the work after that since they were ahead. Even though Gibson should see more work, he isn’t doing enough to trust as a flex option in week three. He is, at best, a high-end RB4 in a matchup that should get him more playing time.
This should be a favorable matchup for the Bills’ pass catchers, as the Commanders are in the bottom ten against fantasy receivers this season. Stefon Diggs will continue to get a WR1 play in week three. Gabriel Davis is tricky, as we know how inconsistent he can be. We saw in week two that the Commanders could get beat deep. Davis is a downfield threat who can make big plays in the air. Gabe Davis should be back as a boom or bust WR3 with a good upside if the weather holds up on Sunday. The rest of the Bills pass catchers are not consistent or productive enough to trust.
The Commanders have been a pretty good team against tight ends this year. They haven’t allowed over 30 yards or a touchdown on the season. The Bills have two outstanding tight ends, Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox. In week two, the Bills played fewer plays in 12 personnel, leading to Kincaid being left off the field more. Knox did catch that touchdown, but Kincaid, even with less time on the field, had five receptions for 43 yards. They are both playing a percentage of snaps in the offense. This is good for either of them to be TE2 in this matchup. I’m actively starting them, but they can get you decent production. Keep your eyes on Knox, as he has been limited in practice this week.
The Commander’s receivers don’t have a favorable matchup in week two, especially with the potential for rain. Terry McLaurin is the receiver you should start in this bunch, as he had a productive game in week two. The Bills are very good against receivers but have allowed an opposing team’s WR1 to produce. McLaurin should be considered more of a WR3 in this matchup with little upside. Jahan Dotson has disappointed. At the same time, it’s great that he has 12 targets in the first two weeks. He has eight catches for 62 yards, which is not the explosive playstyle we expected from him this year. He moves down to more of a low-end WR4 and hopes he can find the endzone in week three.
Curtis Samuel is a wild card, but his production will vary all season. The Commander’s tight ends are likely in a rotation for this offense. Logan Thomas could not play in week three and likely won’t. That would leave John Bates and Cole Turner as the starters. The Bills are in the top five against fantasy tight ends this year. They will likely split the work in the offense; it would be hard to trust one of them in week three.
Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ EverBank Stadium
- Weather – HOT Sunny Day
- What Vegas is saying – Line (JAX -9.0) & Over/Under 44.5
Identifying the Game Script
Our second divisional game of the weekend came in the AFC South. The Texans and Jaguars have averaged 41.8 points over the last five games. The Jaguars finally got a win late in 2022 after losing the prior nine games. The Texans are coming in 0-2 after a loss to the Colts. The Texan’s defense continues to look horrible. The offense played much better, led by rookie QB CJ Stroud, as he had three fantasy-relevant receivers last Sunday. The Jaguars’ offense fell apart in week two as they were held under 300 yards. This could be a trap game come Sunday.
CJ Stroud lit it up in week two with 380 passing yards and two touchdowns. He looked much better, especially with his downfield throws. It’s always hard to trust a rookie because we know that they will make mistakes that can hurt their fantasy values. Stroud has a good group of receivers that have stepped up this season. I expect the Jaguars will hold a close lead, forcing the Texans to rely on Stroud again. The Jaguars have started the season bottom ten vs. fantasy quarterback, so Stroud may have a chance. I like him enough to consider Stroud a low-end QB2 because you can start in Superflex.
Trevor Lawrence had a lousy home opener and looked terrible in week two. He was pressed all day, and he couldn’t handle it. He also had a 54% completion rate compared to his week one, 75%. Last season, Trevor Lawrence did not do well against that Houston secondary. He averaged 216 passing yards with zero touchdowns over his two contests in 2022. I know this is a different team, but after last week’s performance, it could be a trap game in week three. Lawrence is a borderline QB1 in what could be a risky start for your lineups in week three.
Through two games, Dameon Pierce is looking like a bust for fantasy. He has 69 rushing yards on 26 rushing attempts for a 2.1 YPC. Pierce is playing less than 50% of the offensive snaps, but he did have more carries in week two. Pierce isn’t getting the third down work despite having six targets. Devin Singletary took a more significant role in the third down and two-minute drill, limiting Pierce’s upside. The Jaguars let Isiah Pacheco rush for 70 yards, but they are still a top-three unit against fantasy running backs. If this game forces the Texans to throw more, it will leave Pierce in the dust. He is a borderline RB2 with a limited upside that I don’t want to start in week three.
For the Jaguars, Travis Etienne seems to have separated from Tank Bigsby. Etienne handled all the carries and targets for the backfield. Bigsby received zero carries and targets; it could have been his fumble in week one. Etienne has a great matchup as the Texans have been bottom ten against fantasy running backs this year. While they haven’t given up big yardage, they allow their opposing running backs to reach the endzone. Etienne should be a solid RB2 and have a strong chance to score.
I’m very excited about this Texans receiver group, as they have played well this year. The matchup is favorable against the Jaguars. Nico Collins is in line for a breakout season, putting up 146 yards in week two. Collins is performing at a high level. He is ranked third in air yards. There are concerns about him playing third in receiver snaps during week two. We’ve been praying for Collins’ break out, and I think it is coming. He should be a high-end WR3 in week two. Bob Woods moved into the slot with Noah Brown on IR. Woods is playing very well and having success this season. He could be in for a bounce-back year if his target share stays high. He should be looked at as a floor play as WR4 value.
Tank Dell, the little speedster, got a big opportunity with Noah Brown on IR. He played the second most offensive snaps and had the most targets on the team in week two. Tank Dell is looking like he could be a thing in 2023. Dell should be valued as a low-end WR4 in a favorable matchup with a significant upside in week three. Dalton Schultz is starting the season very slowly, as he has less than 40 yards over two games. Schultz has a decent matchup, but if his target share isn’t going to improve, it could be bad for his value. Schultz is a high-end TE2 in hopes he can score a touchdown.
The Jaguars receivers have a challenging task in week three. The Texans are a top 5 secondary against fantasy receivers. Last year, the Jaguars receivers were terrible against the Texans. Christian Kirk and Zay Jones never got over 30 receiving yards in games vs. Houston in 2022. In week three, this could be a big trap game for these Jaguars receivers. Calvin Ridley fell apart in week two as the Chief’s corners locked him down. Chrisitan Kirk exploded for a big game after a poor week one performance. Zay Jones got hurt in week two and could miss this game. I’m not confident that the Jaguars will turn things around in week three. Calvin Ridley and Christian Kirk are both high-end WR3 in this matchup.
In one of two games last year, Evan Engram had a good outing against the Texans. They have been in the bottom ten in stopping fantasy tight ends this year. If the receivers struggle, look to Engram to have a good game. Engram has started with a good season, having 100 yards after two weeks. He should be a low-end TE1 in week three.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Mt&T Bank Stadium
- Weather – Expect some rain showers
- What Vegas is saying – Line (BAL -8.0) & Over/Under 45
Identifying the Game Script
The last time we saw the Colts and Ravens play was an overtime thriller in 2021. The Ravens would win that matchup and have won four of the previous five games. The Colts get their first win of the season, but at what cost? Their rookie quarterback, Anthony Richarson, left the game with a concussion that could cause him to miss this game. The team would have to turn to Garnder Minshew. The Ravens’ offense got back on track after a closer week-two win over the Bengals. The defense continues to be an essential part of their success.
So, Anthony Richardson is ruled out for week three. The starting quarterback for the Colts in week three is Gardner Minshew. Over two games last year, Minshew was QB10 in fantasy football. He was also solid in week two, filling in for Richardson. He had 180 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Texans. The Ravens are a top-10 team against fantasy quarterbacks this year. Minshew could be in for a tough day, but he could be in a come-from-behind situation. Minshew is likely a borderline QB2 you could start in Superflex leagues.
Lamar Jackson gave us a fantastic rebound game in week two. He threw for over 30 pass attempts while still managing to run for 50 yards. Jackson having a player back like Mark Andrews is going to be a benefit for his fantasy value. The Colts have been bottom ten vs. fantasy quarterbacks this season. The Colts have given up 20-plus fantasy points to their first two opposing quarterbacks while they finished as top 13 options. Jackson should be a locked and loaded QB1 due to his favorable matchup, and of course, he can’t forget this rushing floor.
The Colts run game got some life in week two with Zack Moss returning to the starting lineup. Moss came back and played all but one of the offensive snaps in the game. He ran well in a favorable matchup last week. In week three, Moss has to play the Ravens, who are in the top five against fantasy running backs this year. They can be beaten, so it’s not as bad as it looks on paper. Moss should continue to see a significant workload, and if Richardson plays, then it helps with his runs. If Minshew plays, he could see five-plus targets in this matchup. While I expect the Colts to use a second running back in this game, Moss should hold the workload. Moss should be considered a borderline RB2, and I hope he can find the endzone on Sunday.
|Early Downs||Goaline||Short Yardage||Third Down||Two Min Drill.|
The matchup for the Ravens running backs isn’t great. I think the Colts can be run on. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill filled in for the injured JK Dobbins in week two., Regarding fantasy points, Gus Edwards was the lead but wasn’t in anything else. In every situation, Justice Hill played more snaps than Gus Edwards did. Justice Hill is dealing with a toe injury that may sideline in this game. The team just signed Kenyan Drake, and they also have Melvin Gordon. Gus Edwards should command most of the workload in this matchup, especially on the ground. At the same time, Kenyan Drake may be this game’s third-down back. Drake was with the team early last year. Edwards should be a low-end RB2 in a solid matchup. Don’t sleep on Drake from having a deep sleeper type of game.
Since Gardner Minshew will likely play in week three, this does boost the Colts pass catchers. The Ravens are bottom ten vs. fantasy receivers this season. They allowed good production to the Texans and Bengals this year. Michael Pittman should be in line for a low-end WR2, as Minshew will look to get him the ball. I don’t like Alec Pierce as much because the Raven’s secondary has been good at stopping downfield plays. Josh Downs could be fascinating as the slot receiver and has seen 12 targets in these first two games. Downs could have sleeper appeal in week three and finally have a breakout game. Kylen Granson scored his first-ever NFL touchdown, but the Ravens have been top-five against fantasy tight ends this year.
For the Ravens pass catchers, they have a fantastic matchup in week three. The Colts have allowed the second most fantasy points to receivers this season. They have allowed four receivers over 70 receiving yards in the first two games. Zay Flowers is a must-start and should be a borderline WR2 in this matchup. Odell Beckham is uncertain for this game. He could be a WR4 with some upside if he plays. If he misses, Nelson Agholor could step up like he did in week two and have similar value in this game. Rashod Bateman seems to have fallen out of favor, and I would not trust him starting in a very favorable matchup. Mark Andrews should be a TE1 in his matchup.
Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 4:05 pm @ Lumen Field
- Weather – Cloudy
- What Vegas is saying – Line (SEA -6.5) & Over/Under 42
Identifying the Game Script
Panthers and Seahawks get a rematch of their 2022 game. The Panthers would win that game over the Seahawks 30-24. The Panthers held the Seahawks down on multiple downs, giving short yards to their offense to get scoring opportunities, which was successful. The Panthers relied on their run game for over 223 rushing yards. Seattle would depend on their pass attack with three receivers over 60 yards, but Geno Smith’s two interceptions were their downfall. Seattle’s offense got back on track in week two as they won an overtime game over the Lions. Their defense still isn’t as strong as last year, but the offense is thriving. The Panthers have a strong defense, but the offense has been very vanilla.
Bryce Young is not playing in week three due to an ankle injury. Andy Dalton moves into the starting spot. He does have a favorable matchup in week three against the Seahawks. The Seattle secondary has let up a 300-yard passer in back-to-back games this year. Dalton may help open up this offense with more passing opportunities than they did with Young. Dalton has sleeper appeal as a borderline QB2 in Superflex leagues.
Geno Smith had a nice bounce-back game with 300 yards and two passing touchdowns in a win. This Seattle offense looks fantastic when they are getting good quarterback play. The Panthers are ranked as a top-five unit against fantasy quarterbacks. I’m not sure if that tells the whole story on this defense. It helps that they suck at the run, but they have faced Desmond Ridder and Derek Carr so far. I think this Seattle passing attack is significantly better than the Saints or Falcons, plus those are divisional games. Smith has the talent to do well, but if the running backs start to dominate, then there is a chance Smith doesn’t have to do that much in week three. I think he is QB2 in this game, with some upside for lineups. I’m not actively starting him in a 1QB league.
Miles Sanders continues to lead the Panthers backfield through two weeks. He has seen double-digit carries and at least 55% of offensive snaps. He is mostly playing the early down role of the offense. He has seen ten targets but is very inefficient with that production. Chuba Hubbard has a more significant role than we thought for this offense. He continues to be a third-down back for the offense and has as many fantasy points as Sanders. This looks like a split backfield after I thought Sanders would dominate the workload. The matchup is favorable as Seattle has been in the bottom ten vs. fantasy running backs. They are beatable on the ground, but the four rushing touchdowns make them worse. Sanders is a low-end RB2 in hopes he can cross the endzone this week, and Chuba is a high-end RB4 with some upside in his play.
Ken Walker is still the primary back in the backfield. He continues dominating the carries in the offense, with 17 in week two. He will have an upside to score touchdowns as he is still the short-yardage and goalline back. The Panthers have allowed the second most fantasy points to running back this season. They have also given up two rushing touchdowns in the first two games. Walker should be a solid high-end RB2 if he can return to being more efficient in week three.
Walker isn’t working as a third-down back right now. DeeJay Dallas and Zach Charbonnet are rotating as the passing backs. Dallas’s role seems to be dropping as he dominated passing downs and two-minute offense in week one but was only the third down back in week two. He will eventually fade off. Charbonnet saw an increase in playing time, so expect him to eventually become third down/passing down back in the offense. Even in a favorable matchup, Charbonnet isn’t seeing enough work to be trusted in the starting lineup. His role should continue to expand.
The Panthers receivers have a prime opportunity to be sleepers in week three. Seattle has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to receivers this season. They have allowed three 100-yard receivers already in two games. In week two, Jonathan Mingo and Adam Theilen look like the two top receivers in the offense. DJ Chark was coming off an injury, so his playing time could increase in week three as Terrace Marshall fell to fourth on the depth chart. If I plan to trust one of those receivers, it must be Thielen in his matchup. Now that Dalton is the quarterback, the Panthers could throw more. Theilen should be a WR4 in this matchup. It works since the Seahawks gave up those 100 yards to each team’s slot receiver. He has played the fourth-most slot snaps.
Rookie Jonathan Mingo saw a team-high nine targets but didn’t do anything with them. If you saw the game, he had a prime chance to score but didn’t see his surroundings, or he could have fought to cross the end zone. He has some sleeper appeal but is more of a WR5 with an upside. DJ Chark is likely to play more in week three. He also has deep sleeper value, but I’m less confident in him for this game. Hayden Hurst did not do badly against a top Saints defense that dominates tight ends. Hurst could be another sleeper as a high-end TE2 for this matchup.
The Seattle duo at receiver in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf have a slightly tough matchup. The Panthers allow the second-fewest fantasy points to receivers in the season. I’m not convinced that the defense is that good yet. Locket and Metcalf are seeing a 16% target share this year. They are both borderline WR2 in week three. Jaxson Smith-Njigba is seeing some opportunities with at least five targets in both games. He has less than 50 yards on eight receptions. He is a WR5 for this game since I can’t trust his production. The Seattle tight ends have a tough matchup that I don’t want to touch. They are rotating three players playing about 45% of the offensive snaps.
Chicago Bears vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 4:25 pm @ GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
- Weather – Mostly Cloudy – Thunderstorms in the AM
- What Vegas is saying – Line (KC -13.0) & Over/Under 48
Identifying the Game Script
The Bears and Chiefs last played each other in 2019. The Chiefs won 26-3. The Bears are another surprising team with a 0-2 to start this season. The offense continues to be inconsistent and not as explosive as we thought in 2023. The Bears defense has not been great, and they have not been able to stop any passing offense. The Chiefs finally got a win and are now 1-1. This team doesn’t look good. They have scored under 24 points in back-to-back games. At least the defense stepped up in his game. Let’s see how this game is off, as it could be bad for one of these teams.
Justin Fields has disappointed us in fantasy so far over two games. He has been held under 20 fantasy points in both games this year. Fields continues to look limited as a passer by not throwing downfield much. He is throwing many questionable balls, resulting in turnovers for the offense. The Chief’s defense has held strong against the fantasy quarterback. Jared Goff and Trevor Lawrence were under 17 fantasy points for their matchups against the Chiefs. The Bears have been in losing situations too much as Fields continues to get off to slow starts with very vanilla playcalling. He does his own thing in the second half of games and is a bit more effective but sloppy. Justin Fields is a borderline QB1 in this week three matchup.
Patrick Mahomes is doing all he can to keep the Chiefs’ offense flowing. The offense doesn’t look that pretty and seems out of sync. Mahomes finds a way to be QB1 each week and has put up 20-plus fantasy points in both matches. The Bears are a bottom-ten defense against fantasy quarterbacks. They’ve allowed Jordan Love and Baker Mayfield to do better than expected. Mahomes is easily a must-start QB1 in week three.
This is still Khalill Hebert’s backfield over Roschon Johnson for now. D’Onta Foreman was a healthy scratch, but he could be back in this matchup. He is a far-away RB3 on this team. The Chiefs have done well against fantasy running backs so far this season, and the return of Chris Jones helps. We can all hope Foreman remains a healthy scratch, but you never know.
Khalil Herbert should be a low-end RB3 in this matchup. He is handling most of the groundwork and goalline work in the backfield. If the Bears get behind, Hebert’s playing time could be cut short as they move to passing more. Roschon Johnson has an upside, but his time isn’t here yet, with his touches cut in half from week one. He is an RB4 with upside if he can get more essential reps in the offense. I’d rather stay away from this backfield for the time being.
The Chiefs backfield remains Isaiah Pacheco as the primary back on the ground. Pacheco has been handling the early down work for this offense. He saw 12 carries in week two, while the other two backs saw just two. The Bears give up the fourth most fantasy points per game to running backs, but they give up the most receiving yards to running backs. In a positive game script, Pacheco should see double-digit carries again, but seeing more than two targets would be nice. He should be a high-end RB3 and hopes a touchdown comes in week three.
Jerick McKinnon has been working as the third-down back. Receiving backs has done well against the Bears, but McKinnon isn’t seeing the same volume as in 2022. He is not a startable asset right now. Clyde Edwards-Helaire continues to see minimal work, but Pacheco has been limited at practice this week. It is something to monitor. If Pacheco were to miss, CEH would jump to a flex play.
The Bears receivers are tough to trust in fantasy. We’ve seen too much inconsistency from the pass catchers, and it partly has to do with Fields. They have a tough matchup against a Chiefs team that has been in the top ten vs. fantasy receivers. DJ Moore had a bounce-back game in week two but could be in trouble in week three. Moore isn’t playing in the slot often, and the Chiefs have been fantastic against outside receivers. If Moore isn’t getting slot work, he could be in for a poor game. Moore should be a WR3 in this matchup.
Darnell Mooney left week two early with a knee injury. Mooney has a sneak matchup against the Chiefs, as they have allowed the opposing slot receiver to produce in fantasy. Mooney has played the 3rd most slot snaps on the season. Mooney has sleeper appeal and is a high-end WR4 with upside in week three. If Mooney plays, I wouldn’t even consider Chase Claypool in lineups. If Mooney is out, that will move Moore to the slot more, which would be great. Claypool is likely outside the top 50 receivers either way.
Cole Kmet should be able to produce in a decent matchup. We need to watch Kmet, as he also got banged up in this game, but he seems fine. Kmet has seen 13 targets over his first two weeks of the season. He looks like a safe, low-end TE1 and will have more upside games when the touchdowns start coming.
It’s a favorable matchup for the Chiefs receivers, as the Bears have been in the bottom ten against receivers this season. Unfortunately, we have no idea who to start in that position. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is seeing the most snaps, but he has only produced four catches over the first two games. Skyy Moore saw his playing time cut down from week one but had a 57-yard catch and a touchdown to make his fantasy day. Justin Watson is just a guy, but he is the most consistent option on the field, but not enough to start. Rashee Rice and Richie James saw their playing time cut down. Kadarius Toney averages only 30% of the offensive snaps but has seen ten targets. It’s a headache, but I like just sitting all of them if possible. If I had to choose, it would be Skyy Moore or Kadarius Tony as WR4s at best.
Travis Kelce is the only pass catcher I want to play in week three. The Bears have allowed at least 40 yards of the tight end position in each game. Kelce didn’t look all that great in week one, but he caught a touchdown, and that is all that matters for fantasy. His playing time and efficiency should improve in week three. He is, of course, a top-three fantasy tight end in this matchup.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 4:25 pm @ State Farm Stadium
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (DAL -12.0) & Over/Under 43
Identifying the Game Script
The last time these teams played each other was at the end of the 2021 season, as the Cardinals won 25-22. The Cowboys have lost six of the last seven to the Cardinals, dating back to 2010. The Cardinals, who looked good in week two, gave up a 20-0 lead to the New York Giants. The offense looked like they were clicking, but they may have used up all their magic in week two. Despite losing Trevon Diggs, Dallas’s defense continues to be a dominant force. Their offense looked good as well. This could be another blowout in week three.
Dak Prescott played much better than I expected in week two. While he still finished QB17 on the week, it shows that Dak doesn’t have much upside if the defense shuts out opponents early on. Prescott has another fantastic matchup, as the Cardinals have allowed the third most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season. While the Cardinal’s defense plays tough, they are beatable. Dak could be looking for another 235 passing yards and a touchdown day. It’s not elite, but it’s good enough to be a high-end QB2 for week three. I would have said QB1, but I don’t think this game will be too competitive.
Joshua Dobbs was a big surprise in week two as he finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback. The part that was encouraging was the rushing he showed with 41 yards. Unfortunately, the Cowboys’ defense should prevent Dobbs from doing it in week three. The Cowboy’s defense is scary and will make things difficult for Dobbs. I don’t expect this to be a competitive game, so Dobbs should again be back off QB2 Superflex radars, but only as a QB3.
Tony Pollard is having a great season. He hasn’t had a big game yet because he isn’t needed late in games. Pollard’s usage drops by the fourth quarter of both games since they are blowing out their matchups. That could be the case this week, too. Pollard is the lead running back through three quarters and producing during them. He saw at least 70 yards and five receptions in both games. He is an RB1 in week three. Rico Dowdle and Deuce Vaughn remain the only late-in-game players who do not affect Pollard’s elite role.
James Conner was a great start in week two with 100 yards and a touchdown. In week three, that’s a different story. The Cowboys are ranked first against fantasy running backs and shut down the Jets’ backfield in week two. Conner will continue to see big workloads playing 70% of the offensive snaps. I’d like to see him get a few targets in week three since he didn’t have any in week two. He is a RB3 in this matchup and hopes to score a touchdown.
CeeDee Lamb is likely the only Dallas receiver you should have complete confidence in for week three. Lamb exploded for 140 yards in week two. The Cardinals’ secondary isn’t anything to fear for Lamb’s week three value. If he can see eight-plus targets, he should be a WR1 in this matchup. Brandin Cooks looks to be back in week three after missing week two. He wasn’t overly impressive in week one, but he didn’t need to be. Cooks should only be a start in a desperate situation where you need to start three receivers. He is a high-end WR4 in week three. I’m sitting with Michael Gallup. So far, he has two receptions for 13 yards in two games this season. They are both tough to trust at this time.
Jake Ferguson has a favorable matchup in week two. The Cardinals have given up at least 40 yards in both games to a tight end this season. Ferguson continued to lead this tight end room, but he saw a drop in snaps and routes run. This may be Ferguson’s last chance to perform before the Cowboys make a change. Ferguson is a sleeper in this matchup and likely a mid TE2 for week three.
The Cardinals pass catchers aren’t anything to brag about. They have a difficult matchup against the best team in the league against fantasy receivers. The Cowboys have allowed one receiver over 30 over the first two games. Garrett Wilson happened to catch a 68-yard touchdown bomb, so the Cowboys played well against receivers. Hollywood Brown bounced back with a double-digit performance in week two, but I don’t expect him to do well. He is a borderline WR3 or desperate flex option.
Rondale Moore fell back to being a bust, with just one target in the game. He can’t be trusted anywhere. Preseason hype Michael Wilson seems to be losing his starting job in favor of Zach Pascal, as Wilson saw a massive drop in his snap count in week two. Zach Ertz does have sleeper appeal in week three. He is the target leader on the team, and the Cowboys have allowed at least 40 yards to a tight end over both games. The Cowboys just let the tight ends be the only source of production. He is a mid-TE2 in this matchup.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Details of the Script
- SNF – 8:20 pm @ Allegiant Stadium
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (LV -2.5) & Over/Under 43
Identifying the Game Script
For Sunday Night Football, we have two teams looking to get back on track for their season. They last played in 2022, when the Steelers won a close one, 13-10. No one did well in this game, as Pat Freiermuth, with 66 yards, was the highest yardage leader. The Raiders team lost badly to a good Bills team. They were shut down on offense after an early touchdown. Their defense is not very good, either. The Steelers played some elite defense and shocked the Browns on MNF. Both teams are trying to find their identity for the 2023 season.
Kenny Pickett has been a disappointment through two games so far. The preseason hype looks like nothing we’ve seen in the regular season. He has yet to get over 13 fantasy points and hasn’t thrown a multi-touchdown game in his career yet. The loss of Diontae Johnson doesn’t help, but Pickett isn’t looking good. He has a decent matchup against the Raiders, who are in the bottom ten against fantasy quarterbacks. Those numbers are inflated due to Josh Allen’s big week two. His pass catchers aren’t looking that good either; they are 1st in dropped passes this season. I’m hopeful they can change this vanilla offense and shake things up heading into week three. Kenny Pickett is not a starter in Superflex leagues this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo is looking to return to fantasy lineups with a matchup against the Steelers. The Steelers have been on the better side of defense this year against fantasy quarterbacks. At least in week two, they were. The Steelers’ defense has nine sacks, an interception, and three lost fumbles against the opposing quarterbacks this year. It’s a good thing for Jimmy G he has gotten time in the pocket and hasn’t been sacked yet this year. The loss of Jakobi Meyers hurt Jimmy G in week two, but hopefully, he will be back for week three. Jimmy G has been decent this year and should be considered a borderline QB2 in this matchup.
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This Steelers backfield has become a two-person committee with Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. This is a matchup that the Steelers could get out to an early lead over the Raiders. The Raiders also allowed the fifth most fantasy points per game to running backs this season. They have allowed almost 100 rushing yards in back-to-back games now. If the Steelers can get the run game going, it will help open up the offense. Najee Harris is, at best, a low-end RB2 in this matchup. I’m hoping the running game will pick up in week three. Jaylen Warren should be more of a borderline RB3 with some upside.
Josh Jacobs was terrible in week two after finishing with negative rushing yards. He caught six passes for 50 yards to save his fantasy day. Jacobs should bounce back in a favorable matchup in week three. The Steelers have allowed the most points per game to fantasy running backs and given up a 100-yard rushing in both games. This offense can only be successful if they get the ground game going, and Jacobs should be back as RB1 in this matchup. He controls the offense, and there is no threat to his opportunity.
With Diontae Johnson out for four weeks, we weren’t sure who would step up as the WR1 for this team. Many thought the second-year receiver, Geroge Pickens, would, and he did. Pickens put up 127 yards on four catchers even though he had ten targets. Picken’s upside is what we liked in his talent, and it showed off nicely. The Raiders are a bottom-ten unit against fantasy receivers, so the receivers have a good matchup. We’ve seen the Raiders struggle against bigger/taller receivers in 2023. If Pickens can get another ten targets in this game, he could be in for another excellent performance. Pickens should fall into that high-end WR3 role, but it’s limited due to his quarterback.
Allen Robinson and Calvin Austin Jr. swapped outside and in the slot during week two. This matchup favors Pickens, so I’m not confident starting Robinson or Austin here. They are likely outside the top 50 receivers in week three. Pat Freiermuth also has a favorable matchup, as the Raiders are in the bottom ten against tight ends in fantasy. Freiermuth got shut down in week two, which makes sense. The Browns were good against tight ends. He has five targets over these last two games. It’s hard to trust Freiermuth as anything more than a TE2 here.
On the Raiders side of the ball, it’s all about Davante Adams, who had eight targets in week two. The next receiver was tied with just one target. Adams did suffer a concussion, but he seems on track to play in week three. If he plays, he is a WR1 in this matchup. Steelers give up fantasy points to opposing teams’ WR1 over the first two weeks.
Jakobi Meyers seems on track to be back in this game after missing week two. We last saw Meyers have a big week one fun with nine receptions for 80 yards. If Meyers plays, he is worth a flex/low-end WR3 value against the Steelers. Unless they both miss this game, Hunter Renfrow or Kristian Wilkerson would be intriguing deep sleepers, but outside of that, they are sits. The Steelers are a top-10 team against fantasy tight ends. I’m still not starting Austin Hooper or Michael Mayer until one starts out-snapping the other.
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