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Inside the Matchup


Week 4

By: Andy Swanson | Jason Katz | Nick Caron | HC Green
10/2/20

Thursday:

DEN @ NYJ


Sunday Early:

IND @ CHI | NO @ DET | ARI @ CAR | JAX @ CIN

CLE @ DAL | MIN @ HOU | SEA @ MIA | LAC @ TB | BAL @ WAS


Sunday Late:

NYG @ LAR | BUF @ LV | NE @ KC | PHI @ SF

Monday:

ATL @ GB


Notes:
- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)

Broncos at Jets - (Katz)
Line: NYJ -1.0
Total: 40.5

Passing Game Thoughts: In light of the upcoming battle between Brett Rypien and Sam Darnold, I went back and looked at the worst game ever played between Mark Sanchez/Greg McElroy and Ryan Lindley. Woof. We can only hope this game is as entertaining.

Rypien is an undrafted free agent making his first (and possibly only) career start in the most favorable circumstances he could ask for in terms of opponent, but one of the least in terms of supporting cast. There’s nothing we can glean from Rypien’s garbage time debut in place of the ineffective Jeff Driskel last week. It’s hard to imagine he’s much of an upgrade. With Courtland Sutton lost for the season, Rypien’s top targets will be a banged up Jerry Jeudy, fellow rookie K.J. Hamler, and super talented tight end, Noah Fant. The Jets have already allowed three touchdowns to tight ends and Fant is coming off a 10 target game. He’s an every week must start even though this game reeks of being an ugly, low scoring, defensive affair. Jeudy saw nine targets last week and is the WR1 in this offense. He’s also a viable fantasy starter. Hamler has splash play upside, but there’s a good chance Rypien only attempts 25 passes. There just may not be enough volume to go around. It’s worth noting that Tim Patrick caught all four of his targets last week, but I can’t imagine you’re starting him.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: Melvin Gordon played just 62% of the snaps last week, but that low number was due in large part to the game being a blowout. In a more competitive Week 2 game, Gordon played 79% of the snaps. We should expect him to be in the 70-80% range. This game shapes up very well for Gordon, who is averaging four targets a game, as the Jets have seen opponents target their running backs 25% of the time. Especially given the Broncos wide receiver situation, Gordon could be effective in the passing game this week.

Opposing teams have run for 399 yards against the Jets as they’re constantly in negative game script. While this game doesn’t project to be extremely negative throughout, the Jets will never be projected to have positive game script, which will always keep the run in play for their opponents. Gordon is in an excellent spot to produce on Thursday night as the Broncos try and hide Rypien and win via clock control and defense.

Value Meter:
RB2: Melvin Gordon (high end)
WR3: Jerry Jeudy
TE1: Noah Fant (mid-range)
Bench: KJ Hamler, Brett Rypien, Royce Freeman

Passing Game Thoughts: While I opened this segment by comparing this game to the Sanchez/McElroy-Lindley game, Sam Darnold is nowhere near as bad as any of those quarterbacks. With that being said, he is completely hopeless in 2020. I can’t recall there ever being a quarterback in a worse situation than Darnold. He has to contend with the worst head coach in NFL history and as if that isn’t enough, he’s throwing to the likes of Braxton Berrios, Chris Hogan, and Lawrence Cager. Out of the eight Jets players that saw a target last week, at least half of them do not belong in the NFL.

The Broncos’ defense isn’t as intimidating without Von Miller, but it’s still capable of rushing the passer. Darnold panics when he thinks pressure is coming regardless of whether it is there. He has no confidence in his receivers (rightfully so) and no real hope of anything. With the rash of injuries to the Jets’ offense and Adam Gase doing whatever he does, there is not a single Jet you can trust. Even Chris Herndon, a popular sleeper tight end entering this season, and a guy that has flashed talent in the past, is not worth it at fantasy’s weakest position.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: The Jets have come up with the worst three man committee I can remember, featuring 89 year-old Frank Gore, rookie La’Mical Perine, and Kalen Ballage. Gore led the team with a 41% snap share last week. He continues to dominate carries, but does nothing with them because he hasn’t been an NFL caliber player in about five years. Ballage caught five passes last week, which is something, I guess. If you have to start Gore purely because you know he’ll get you about five or six points, then things have gone horribly wrong. Not a single Jet belongs on a fantasy roster, let alone in a lineup.

Value Meter:
Bench: Sam Darnold, Frank Gore, Jamison Crowder, Chris Herndon

Prediction: Broncos 13, Jets 12 ^ Top

Colts @ Bears - (Green)
Line: IND -2.5
Total: 43.5

Passing Game Thoughts: It's hard to know exactly what the Colts passing attack will look like as the season unfolds. In Week 1, Philip Rivers went 36-for-46 for 363 yards but threw two interceptions. In the two weeks since, Rivers has combined to complete 36 of 46 passes for 431 yards, 2 TDs and an INT. Neither game was competitive, so it's unclear if the team wanted to lean more heavily on the run or if Rivers' game manager role was a result of large leads.

Either way, the Colts may be forced to use a more conservative approach given injuries to young receivers Parris Campbell (knee) and Michael Pittman (leg), both of whom are set to miss multiple weeks. That leaves old standby T.Y. Hilton (3-52-0) as the clear top receiver despite the veteran's slow start. Zach Pascal, who had a handful of big games last year, should see a larger role for the time being but isn't worth owning. There's not a lot of value here with Hilton as a WR3 being the only playable option.

Probably the most interesting development thus far has been the emergence of Mo Alie-Cox, who has tallied 161 yards and a touchdown over the last two games and appears to have supplanted Jack Doyle as the top pass-catching tight end. Rivers has a long history of targeting TEs, so Alie-Cox is worth adding. Chicago has some players on the backend, most notably Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson, and currently ranks 17th in pass defense at 245 yards allowed per game.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Running Game Thoughts: With Marlon Mack (Achilles) lost for the year, Jonathan Taylor has stepped in as the primary back, rushing 39 times for 160 yards and two scores in his two games as the starter. Holdovers Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines have fallen into complementary roles, and barring injury it's where they're likely to stay. While the Bears have traditionally fielded some physical defenses they are an identical 17th against the run (119 yards per game). That gives the former Badger some RB2 appeal.

Value Meter:
RB2: Jonathan Taylor
WR3: T.Y. Hilton
Bench: Philip Rivers, Mo Alie-Cox

Passing Game Thoughts: Well, it happened. Despite a 2-0 start, the Bears pulled the plug on Mitchell Trubisky in the second half last week and turned the keys over to journeyman Nick Foles. For at least one week, it worked. Foles threw for 188 yards and three TDs in a comeback win over the Falcons. Don't get too excited. Foles' reputation comes almost entirely from two excellent postseason games when in fact he's the same player that has never started more than 11 games in a season. He also lost the starting job in Jacksonville a year ago and lost out to Trubisky just a month earlier.

All that being said, Foles is a pocket passer, and that alone might help the passing game since there's no desire to take off and run. While Anthony Miller continues to tease, it's Allen Robinson (10-123-1) that makes the aerial attack go. The veteran seems to have tamped down his contract frustrations and should be a solid WR1 with Foles, who isn't afraid to drive balls into coverage. Jimmy Graham (6-60-2) has also seen an uptick in production. He's not back to being a top-10 tight end, but you wouldn't be laughed out of the room if he was in your lineup.

Whatever success Chicago has had in the passing game does come with a significant caveat: they've played three teams that have combined for one win on the season and much of their success has come via a pair of improbable fourth-quarter comebacks. Sunday should offer a stiffer test against the Colts, who have allowed just 132 passing yards per game this season -- SF is second at 187.3. They also lead the NFL with six interceptions, two of which they returned for touchdowns.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

Running Game Thoughts: Somewhat lost in the euphoria of another comeback win was the season-ending knee injury to Tarik Cohen, who served as the team's third-down back and was one of their more explosive playmakers. Without him, David Montgomery (14-45-0 in Week 3) stands to become the bell cow. While not as dangerous as Cohen, he's a capable receiver and well suited to more work. Indy is fourth in the NFL against the run (93.3 yards per game); that makes Montgomery an RB3 this week.

Value Meter:
RB3: David Montgomery
WR1: Allen Robinson
Bench: Nick Foles, Anthony Miller, Jimmy Graham

Prediction: Colts 26, Bears 19

Saints @ Lions - (Green)
Line: NO -4.5
Total: 54.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Efficiency has been the name of the game this season with Drew Brees, who completed 29 of 36 passes (80.6 percent) for 288 yards and three TDs in a Sunday night loss to Green Bay. The numbers paint a rosier picture than reality, though, as Brees never pushed the ball downfield, and the team's lone pass play of more than 20 yards came when Alvin Kamara caught a swing pass at the line of scrimmage and turned it into a 52-yard score by breaking a ton of tackles.

Out for the last two games due to a high ankle sprain, Michael Thomas has returned to practice in a limited capacity this week and could return Sunday. That would be a big help for the Saints given his status as one of the league's toughest covers. If he returns, Thomas is an immediate WR1. Newcomer Emmanuel Sanders (4-56-1) is off to a slow start though he was a bit more involved against the Packers. If Thomas is up, Sanders should remain benched. If Thomas can't go, Sanders would be a WR3.

Jared Cook bowed out of last week's game with a groin injury and is looking iffy for the matchup with the Lions. Monitor his status and prepare alternatives in the event Cook is inactive. Detroit hasn't been bad in terms of passing yardage allowed (237 per game; 13th) but only four teams have allowed more TDs via the air. Injuries are an issue as well with neither Desmond Trufant (hamstring) nor Justin Coleman (hamstring) suiting up since Week 1. Coleman is on IR, but Trufant has a chance to play.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

Running Game Thoughts: In a game that featured future Hall of Famers under center, Alvin Kamara looked like the best player on the field in a 197-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Packers. Kamara's blend of elusiveness and strength were on full display as he took check downs and turned them into big plays. He's probably the No. 1 overall player in all of fantasy right now. Latavius Murray (12-58-0) actually led the team in carries but has never managed to match Mark Ingram's productivity. Expect to see plenty of both against a defense allowing 172.3 yards rushing per game and 5.7 yards per carry on the season.

Value Meter:
QB2: Drew Brees
RB1: Alvin Kamara
Flex: Latavius Murray
WR1: Michael Thomas
TE1: Jared Cook (low-end)
Bench: Emmanuel Sanders

Passing Game Thoughts: Detroit got its first W since Oct. 27, 2019, last week, via an upset win over previously unbeaten Arizona. And while Matthew Stafford didn't have a huge game, he played error-free football while passing for 270 yards and two scores. He'll likely need to do more this Sunday because there's no way the Saints are going to gift the Lions with three extra possessions the way Kyler Murray did. While Stafford has the talent and weapons to give the Saints problems, he's still more of a QB2.

Although his numbers weren't huge, Kenny Golladay (6-57-1) had a positive impact on the offense in his return. The talented wideout commands defensive attention that allows the likes of Marvin Jones (3-51-0) and T.J. Hockenson (4-53-0) to slide into the kind of complementary roles they're better suited for. Golladay can certainly perform like a No. 1 fantasy wideout in any given week, but he's more safely viewed as a WR2. Jones is a shaky WR3 or flex play with upside.

That leaves Hockenson. Most weeks I'd consider him a risky, low-end start at best. Against the Saints, though, Hockenson has major upside when you consider what Darren Waller (12-105-1) and Green Bay's trio of TEs (9-104-2) did against the Saints. Overall, New Orleans ranks 20th in pass defense (252 yards/game) and CBs Marshon Lattimore (hamstring) and Janoris Jenkins (shoulder) are both banged up.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: There may not be a more Lions move than spending a pair of second-round draft picks on Kerryon Johnson (2018) and D'Andre Swift (2020) only to end up with Adrian Peterson as the primary back. Even at 35, Peterson can function as an early-down bruiser, but his burst is largely gone and his contributions in the passing game as a receiver or blocker are minimal. View him as an RB3 for the time being with Swift likely to function as a third-down back. The Saints are sixth against the run this season, allowing exactly 100 yards per game on the ground.

Value Meter:
QB2: Matthew Stafford
RB3: Adrian Peterson
WR2: Kenny Golladay
WR3/Flex: Marvin Jones
TE1: T.J. Hockenson (low-end)
Bench: D'Andre Swift, Kerryon Johnson

Prediction: Saints 34, Lions 23

Cardinals @ Panthers - (Swanson)
Line: ARI -3.5
Total: 51.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Kyler Murray enters Week 4 against the Panthers as the No.4 ranked quarterback in fantasy football. His 187 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns are tops for the position, and he is on pace to throw for nearly 4200 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Unfortunately, Murray posted arguably the worst passing game of his career last week with three interceptions against the Lions secondary devoid of talented players. Murray salvaged his three-interception day for fantasy owners with his fourth rushing touchdown of the season, but his costly turnovers eventually led to a disappointing loss for the Cardinals.

DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) continues to impress in his first season with the team and is clearly the No.1 target for Murray in the passing game. Hopkins leads the league in receiving yards (356), receptions (32), and targets (32). The narrative street that Nuk would not get enough volume in Arizona led his naysayers down the wrong path while rewarding those who bet on talent over the change in scenery. Hopkins status is in question after missing practice Thursday with an ankle injury.

The Panthers were thought to have the worst defense in the league based on the number of changes to their depth chart and the influx of young defensive starters in the draft. Through three weeks of the season, the run defense does appear to be a sieve, with Carolina leading the league in rushing touchdowns allowed and the second-most points to opposing defenses.

The Carolina pass defense has not been as terrible as advertised. Only the Colts and the Bears have given up fewer points to opposing quarterbacks, with Derek Carr, Tom Brady, and Justin Herbert each failing to throw more than one passing touchdown in their respective matchup.

The success of the Panther pass defense compared to their ability to stop the run suggests that Kenyon Drake and Murray will have ample success running the ball. If Keenan Allen can torch the Panthers for 13 catches for 132 yards and a score on a whopping 19 targets, Hopkins should be able to also have a monster day.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

Running Game Thoughts: Kenyon Drake was a league-winning player for many last season with six rushing touchdowns and 303 rushing yards in the Weeks 15 and 16. His stellar finish and subsequent trade of David Johnson to the Texans vaulted Drake to a late first, early second-round pick in most drafts this summer.

With 29 total fantasy points in his first three games and just one total touchdown, Drake’s shine might have rubbed off, leaving fantasy managers wondering if Drake is this year’s CJ Anderson or Alex Collins.

If you drafted Drake hoping he would be a game-changing player, this might be the week that you have been waiting for, as the only the Raiders have allowed more fantasy points to running backs than Carolina.
The Panther defensive front is one of the worst in the league, and run-stopping linebacker Luke Kuehckly retired. I will be shocked if Drake fails to top 100 total yards and a score in this game, although it would not surprise me to see Kyler Murray post impressive rushing stats too.

Value Meter:
QB1: Kyler Murray (High-End)
RB1: Kenyan Drake (Low-End)
WR1: DeAndre Hopkins (Elite)
WR3: Andy Isabella (Low-End)
TE2: Dan Arnold (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Panthers passing game has been somewhat of a head-scratcher after three weeks of play. The wide receiving group of D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel, and Seth Roberts ranks 15th in the league in combined fantasy points among wide receivers, and Teddy Bridgewater ranked 24th in fantasy points.

We all expected Anderson to come in and be the field stretching guy for Teddy, with Moore being the high-volume No.1 with huge PPR upside. Instead, Moore’s yard per target jumped from 9.23 in 2019 to 16.25 in 2020, and his target share is just 34%, while Robby Anderson has the lowest Y/Tgt average of his career at 9.17. The two players have apparently switched roles, and they both have nearly the same target share.

The difference is owners paid a pretty hefty price for Moore in drafts, and Anderson has proven to be a late-round steal.

The fantasy matchup against the Cardinals is not the greatest for quarterbacks and wide receivers. Only five teams have given up fewer points to opposing QBs through three games, while only the Chiefs have given up fewer points to pass catchers.

Only one wide receiver, Terry McLaurin of the Washington Football Team, has posted more than 11 points against the Cardinals, although Kenny Golladay did manage 6/57/1 last week. Tight ends have not fared much better, and pass-catching backs have just 13 receptions for 69 yards in three games against Arizona.

Stud safety Buddha Baker will miss this game due to a hand injury, which should open the middle of the field for passes to Moore and Anderson. Another thing to watch will be running back Mike Davis catching passes, as Baker is a talented pass defending safety who matches up well with RBs.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: Mike Davis filled in for the injured Christian McCaffrey fairly admirably last week, with 91 total yards and a score against the Chargers. Perhaps the most attractive thing about Davis is his pass-catching ability and the fact that the Panthers will likely be chasing points in this game.

Davis has 16 receptions for 119 yards and a score in his last two games, making him a PPR stud. If, for some reason, he is still available in your league, you should pick him up and start him this week at home against the Cardinals.

Value Meter:
QB2: Teddy Bridgewater (High-End)
RB2: Mike Davis (Low-End)
WR2: D.J. Moore (Low-End)
WR2: Robby Anderson (Low-End)
WR4: Curtis Samuel (High-End)
TE2: Ian Thomas (Low-End)

Prediction: Arizona 30, Carolina 21

Jaguars @ Bengals - (Green)
Line: CIN -3.0
Total: 49.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Minshew Mania was gaining some steam after the second-year pro threw for six touchdowns in his first two games, but the Dolphins cooled him off considerably last Thursday night. In a blowout loss to Miami, Gardner Minshew passed for 275 yards on 30 completions, which paints a pretty accurate picture of an offense that dinked and dunked all night long. He also turned the ball over twice.

Of course, not all of the blame falls on Minshew. The Jags played Week 3 without the services of No. 1 receiver D.J. Chark (chest), who offers an element of speed and ability to stretch the field that was sorely lacking with him on the sidelines. Without Chark, nominal No. 2 wideout Chris Conley did nothing to fill the void, dropping a couple of key passes and drawing an offensive pass interference to stall a drive. Chark is likely to return this Sunday and holds WR3 value while Minshew could be a risky QB1.

Former Bengal Tyler Eifert has remained healthy but hasn't done much while rookie Laviska Shenault remains mostly a curiosity at this point, though his upside makes him someone to consider carrying on your reserve roster. Cincinnati currently ranks sixth against the pass this year (210.7 yards per game), but that speaks more to their inability to stop the run than anything else.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: On a night when the Jags offense looked generally inept, James Robinson was a diamond in the rough. The rookie piled up 129 total yards on 17 touches and scored both of the team's touchdowns. He also looked elusive and strong, making something out of nothing on more than one occasion. Robinson is an easy start as an RB2 with RB1 upside against the Bengals, who have allowed 181.7 rushing yards per game, the second-most in the NFL.

Value Meter:
QB1: Gardner Minshew (low-end)
RB2: James Robinson
WR3: D.J. Chark
Bench: Tyler Eifert, Laviska Shenault

Passing Game Thoughts: If you ever wanted to turn someone off to the idea of watching professional football you might consider showing them the overtime period between the Bengals and Eagles last Sunday. It was, in a word, dreadful. One bright spot, though, was the play of Joe Burrow, who shook off eight sacks (along with some vicious hits) to pass for 312 yards and a pair of scores. He also played turnover-free football for the first time and continued to show poise beyond his years or experience level suggest.

Through three games, Tyler Boyd (10-125-0 in Week 3) has shown the most chemistry with Burrow. As such, Boyd currently carries more value than veteran A.J. Green (5-36-0), who hasn't been on the same page at times -- Green has 13 receptions on 28 targets this season. Rookie Tee Higgins has also entered the picture, hauling in five passes for 40 yards and both of Burrows' touchdown strikes against the Eagles.

While Higgins is still too much of an unknown to trust in your lineup, his involvement in what has been a pass-heavy offense should be enough to grab him off of waivers. As for Boyd and Green, the former is a WR2 this week while Green is more of a WR3 or flex. The Jags sit 19th in pass defense, surrendering 248 yards per game, and while that isn't terrible they looked like helpless bystanders in allowing Ryan Fitzpatrick to complete 90 percent of his passes in Week 3.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Running Game Thoughts: After three games in 2019, Joe Mixon had rushed 32 times for 87 yards and fantasy owners panicked. This year, over the same time period, Mixon has rushed for 164 yards on 52 carries. Don't panic. Teams have been taking the measure of Burrow and stacking the line against Mixon. The more that the rookie proves he can hurt them the more they'll back off and give Mixon room to run. He's an RB2 against a Jacksonville D that has given up 116.3 rushing yards per game on the year.

Value Meter:
QB1: Joe Burrow (low-end)
RB2: Joe Mixon
WR2: Tyler Boyd
WR3/Flex: A.J. Green
Bench: Tee Higgins, Drew Sample

Prediction: Bengals 27, Jaguars 23

Browns at Cowboys - (Katz)
Line: DAL -5.0
Total: 56.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Baker Mayfield has not been good this year, but he does have back-to-back games with two touchdown passes on exactly 16 of 23 from the field. Mayfield is averaging just 188 yards per game, but you have to think he smashes that number on the road against a banged up defense in a game he should have to throw a lot.

The Cowboys have allowed a league high seven touchdowns to wide receivers. That bodes well for Odell Beckham Jr., who knows the Cowboys quite well from his time with the Giants, and Jarvis Landry, whose streak of 80 reception seasons looks very much in doubt. Beckham still looks disinterested in football and is the same unreliable WR3 he was last season. Landry looks fine, but the targets aren’t there. Austin Hooper was never going to be what he was last year in Atlanta, but it was hard to expect he’d be completely useless. The Cowboys have already allowed two touchdowns to tight ends and every Cowboys game might shoot out this year so if Hooper can’t do it this week, it’s never happening.

The same would apply for the rest of this passing attack. With the Cowboys missing multiple defensive starters, specifically in their secondary, the Browns should be able to move the ball. Mayfield is a viable streamer and you should feel as good as you ever will about starting Beckham and Landry.

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

Running Game Thoughts: Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are in a straight up timeshare. This has been about 55-45 and that looks to be the plan going forward. Three games is by no means a large sample size, but it’s all we’ve got, and through three games, Chubb has dominated in the two games the Browns won and disappeared in the game they lost. With the Browns likely having to throw to keep up with the Cowboys’ offense, Chubb is not going to get the opportunity he needs on the ground. Since Chubb is averaging just a single target a game, he will need to score to produce this week.

Hunt, on the other hand, could see increased work. Unlike in Week 1, where the Browns faced negative game script against a good defense, this game is negative game script against a bad defense. Hunt could rack up the receptions, but it is worth noting that likely due to the Cowboys inability to cover wide receivers, teams don’t target running backs very often against them, doing so just 13.7% of the time. Even so, Hunt looks like a superior play to Chubb this week. *Note: Hunt did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. If Hunt is unable to play, Chubb becomes a high end RB1.

Value Meter:
QB2: Baker Mayfield
RB2: Nick Chubb (mid-range)
RB2: Kareem Hunt (mid-range)
WR3: Odell Beckham Jr.
WR3: Jarvis Landry
TE2: Austin Hooper

Passing Game Thoughts: Dak Prescott is going to lead the league in passing yards. He’s at 1188 through just three games and with the depletion of both the Cowboys’ offensive line and the entire defense, he will have to continue to pass for the Cowboys to win games. Projected positive game script will help reduce his workload a bit this week, but the Cowboys are a passing offense and Prescott is an elite fantasy quarterback.

There was some concern about the health of Prescott’s receivers following CeeDee Lamb’s strangely low snap count and Amari Cooper’s disappearance for a large portion of the game, but both are practicing in full this week. Cooper is averaging 11 targets a game and the only reason he’s not being discussed as an elite fantasy receiver is because he has yet to find the end zone.

Last week, Michael Gallup became the first fantasy relevant Cowboys receiver to catch a touchdown (Cedrick Wilson had two, but no one is starting him). Gallup had a couple near misses in the first two weeks, but finally splashed against the Falcons. He should be much better going forward. The Browns have allowed five touchdowns to wide receivers this season and three touchdowns to tight ends. Dalton Schultz is very much in play this week. He’s playing about 70% of the snaps and has 16 targets since taking over for Blake Jarwin in Week 2. You want Cowboys in your lineup.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: Ezekiel Elliott has struggled mightily to start the season. It’s just very difficult for running backs to produce behind bad offensive lines. For Elliott to total just 58 rushing and receiving yards in a game where the Cowboys scored 31 points is just something you wouldn’t expect to see. The good news is the Browns are easily the weakest opponent the Cowboys have faced thus far and the first time they can expect truly positive game script. Elliott can expect 25 touches in this one as Mike McCarthy tries to give Prescott at least a small break from having to carry the offense. The Browns have allowed three rushing scores in three games. I’d be surprised if Zeke didn’t find his way into the end zone in this one.

Value Meter:
QB1: Dak Prescott (high end)
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott (high end)
WR1: Amari Cooper (low end)
WR2: Michael Gallup (low end)
WR3: CeeDee Lamb
TE1: Dalton Schultz (low end)

Prediction: Cowboys 34, Browns 24

Vikings @ Texans - (Swanson)
Line: HOU -4.0
Total: 54.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Week 3 proved to be the coming-out party for rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson. The first-round pick from LSU caught seven passes for 175 yards and a touchdown on nine targets in a home loss to the Titans. Jefferson posted just five catches in his first two games after entering the year No.2 on the depth chart behind Olabisi Johnson.

The Vikings defensive struggles appear to have forced the offense to pass more heavily than head coach Mike Zimmer would have liked. Only the Falcons have given up more points to opposing teams through the first three games, which has forced the team to throw the ball more.

Minnesota boasts two talented pass-catching tight ends in Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith, yet they have not been used much this season with a combined six catches for 53 yards and one touchdown.

No. 1 wide receiver Adam Thielen ranks 9th overall at the position with 12 catches for 170 yards and three touchdowns. While those season-long stats look impressive, Thielen has seen a sharp decrease in volume over the past two games, with six catches for 60 yards and one touchdown combined against the Colts and Titans.

Although the Texans are 0-3 to start the year, the defense has not been as bad as you may think. They have given up the 11th-fewest points to opposing wide receivers despite playing against three potent offenses in the Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers. No opposing WR has topped 100 yards, and only three wide receivers have topped double digits in fantasy points.

You are starting Thielen for sure, and Jefferson is an excellent flex option, but don’t be surprised if the Texans don’t give up a ton of fantasy points to wide receivers. It would make more sense for the Vikings to lean on Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison in this game, as the Texans are far more susceptible to the run than the pass.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

Running Game Thoughts: Dalvin Cook has lived up to his draft capital with 55.8 fantasy points in his first three games. The consensus first-round pick enters Week 4 as the No.3 ranked running back in fantasy behind only Alvin Kamara and Aaron Jones.

Cook’s 6.1 yard per carry average is off the charts, and he is on pace to set a career-best in rushing touchdowns. The one knock is his lack of production in the passing game. His five receptions for 24 yards is well off his career average.

Through three games, the Texans have shown they are far more giving to opposing defenses on the ground than through the air. While this may be a result of who they played, it is clear that you can run against the Texans, with 502 yards and three rushing touchdowns given up to opposing running backs in three games.

Look for Mike Zimmer to run the ball early and often in this game with Cook and Mattison. It will shorten the game and help his beleaguered defense while keeping Deshaun Watson off the field.

Value Meter:
QB2: Kirk Cousins (High-End)
RB1: Dalvin Cook (Elite)
RB3: Alexander Mattison (Low-End)
WR1: Adam Thielen (Low-End)
WR3: Justin Jefferson (Low-End)
TE2: Kyle Rudolph (Low -End)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Texans started off the 2020 season with three of the most challenging matchups possible, against the Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers. Not surprisingly, Deshaun Watson did not produce well for his fantasy managers during that stretch, with 734 passing yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions. The former Clemson star enters Week 4 as the No. 17-ranked QB in fantasy, well behind where he was drafted this summer.

Watson owners who endured the lows of the first three weeks of the season should be happy to see the Vikings come to Houston. Minnesota’s defense is nowhere near the unit they have been in previous seasons under head coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings give up the fourth-most points to opposing wide receivers, the ninth-most points to opposing running backs, and two of the three quarterbacks who have faced Minnesota have thrown for over 300 passing yards. Philip Rivers managed just 214 passing yards, primarily due to the fact that the Colt’s ground game dominated.

Watson is in line for his best performance of the week and should be considered a strong QB1 play. Both Will Fuller and Randall Cobb reached the end zone against the Steelers, with the former putting up a solid 4/51/1 game one week after goosing fantasy owners against the Ravens.

Fuller is the consummate boom/bust wide receiver who has the ability to win a week while simultaneously possessing the ability to strain a hamstring and kill your roster. The matchup dictates that all of the wide receivers on Houston are above-average play, including Cobb, who is widely available in most leagues.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

Running Game Thoughts: David Johnson has not been flashy. He is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry, and the Texans have not really incorporated him into the passing game to the extent his fantasy managers would like. Despite these negatives, Johnson has more fantasy points than Kenyon Drake and Todd Gurley, and he should see more carries this week against the Vikings than in any game up to this point with Houston.

Game scripts and formidable run defenses limited the number of touches for Johnson through three weeks of action. The Vikings rank 9th in fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs, with Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor posting 100-yard games in the past two weeks.

An ankle injury to Duke Johnson week one forced the pass-catching back to miss the last two matchups. If he is able to return to the field, look for the Texans to use Duke on passing downs, but leaving David Johnson in as the primary first and second down player.

Value Meter:
QB2: Deshaun Watson (High-End)
RB2: David Johnson (High-End)
WR2: Will Fuller (Low-End)
WR3: Brandin Cooks (Low-End)
WR3: Randall Cobb (Low-End)
TE2: Jordan Akins (Low-End)

Prediction: Houston 24, Minnesota 17

Seahawks at Dolphins - (Katz)
Line: SEA -6.5
Total: 54.0

Passing Game Thoughts: Chef Russell Wilson has been earning his keep at his five-star restaurant he calls the Seahawks offense. There aren’t enough superlatives to effectively describe how good Wilson has been to start this season. He has enjoyed facing excellent offenses with horrendous defenses so it will be interesting to see what happens in a game the Seahawks should win handily.

A head chef can’t serve a restaurant alone, so Wilson has employed sous chefs Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. Lockett has yet to catch fewer than seven passes in a game and had three touchdowns last week, while Metcalf has at least four catches for 92 yards and a touchdown in every game. Dolphins’ opponents have targeted the wide receiver position 66% of the time, the fourth highest rate in the league. Lockett and Metcalf combined have a 52% target share. It’s safe to assume the usual volume may not be there as the Seahawks should be playing with a lead, but on the path to acquiring that lead, Lockett and Metcalf will be targeted heavily.

Greg Olsen plays tight end for the Seahawks, but he’s not very good at football anymore. Olsen ended up with a useful 5-61 day last week as Wilson attempted 40 passes, but in a game where he is unlikely to reach 30, Olsen’s line may look a lot more like it did in Week 2 when he was targeted just one time.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: With this being the first game the Seahawks are facing a truly bad team, it would’ve been a great spot for Chris Carson to have a big game. Unfortunately, Carson’s knee was twisted on a dirty play by the Cowboys last week and may miss this week’s game. He was limited in practice on Thursday. Carlos Hyde (shoulder) will operate as the primary early down and goal line back while Travis Homer mixes in on passing downs. Hyde is a legitimate starting option this week. He’s not the player he once was, but he’s the perfect backup in the sense that he can get what’s blocked and not make mistakes.

The Dolphins have allowed 401 rushing yards against them in three games and five rushing touchdowns. If the Seahawks get a lead early, despite Russ cooking, the second half could be heavy on Hyde with him seeing 20+ carries in putting the game away. There’s a real chance for a surprise strong outing from Hyde. As for Homer, there’s some value there for as long as Carson is out, but more so in games where the Seahawks will have to shootout. This is not one of those games.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson (high end)
RB2: Carlos Hyde (low end)
WR1: Tyler Lockett (low end)
WR2: DK Metcalf (high end)
Bench: Chris Carson (knee), Travis Homer, Greg Olsen

Passing Game Thoughts: Tua Tagovailoa is not far off as the Dolphins lose games, but coming off a road win last week, it’s definitely Ryan Fitzpatrick for at least one more week. Fitzpatrick hasn’t been bad since his opening week stinker against the Patriots. He exploited a bad Jaguars defense last week and was hyper efficient, completing 18 of 20 passes for just 160 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a third. In Week 2, he showed he could produce on volume with 328 yards and two touchdowns.

The Seahawks may score on every possession so Fitzpatrick may have to attempt 50 passes. He doesn’t even have to play well to produce for fantasy. He’s this week’s top streamer and a legitimate QB1. The Seahawks have faced three really good offenses and the trend has been the same – opponents target the wide receiver position heavily. No team has given up a higher percentage of receiving yards to wide receivers than the Seahawks’ 86%. DeVante Parker was clearly hampered by his hamstring last week, but with 10 days to recover and no setback, he should be close to 100%. Parker has caught an impressive 82.4% of targets thus far and while he has yet to have a big game, this sure looks like the week.

Preston Williams is still the No.2, but Fitzpatrick seems quite disinterested in throwing him the ball. He did have a red zone score last week, but saw just two targets, down from five the previous week, which was down from seven in Week 1. Williams has five receptions on the season. He’s off the fantasy radar. Isaiah Ford has been a name that’s popped up a bit recently, likely due to his nine target game in Week 2. Ford saw just two targets last week and is not someone you are starting either.

Mike Gesicki had a monster Week 2, but has been a no show in the other two games. He did have a nice touchdown grab last week, but with the Seahawks allowing just 8% of receiving yards against them to the tight end position, Gesicki is just a hopeful start this week.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

Running Game Thoughts: The Dolphins keep increasing Myles Gaskin’s snap share with each passing week. It was up to 75% last week and he’s the clear lead back. Gaskin is a legitimate fantasy option based on volume, but his upside is capped by Jordan “Jerome Bettis” Howard. Gaskin’s 22 carries from last week are something you love to see, as well as his five targets. Gaskin is averaging five targets a game. With negative game script expected, there won’t be much Howard or Matt Breida so Gaskin has a great shot at a strong PPR performance buoyed by receptions, but he’s very unlikely to score with Howard operating as the goal line back.

The Seahawks have allowed a league low 5.9% of receiving yards against them to go to running backs, but teams target the running back position 20.5% of the time against them. The opportunity does not match the results. Either the Seahawks are extremely adept at defending passes to running backs or this is just random variance that will regress to the mean. I think it’s the latter.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ryan Fitzpatrick (low end)
RB2: Myles Gaskin (low end)
WR2: DeVante Parker (mid-range)
TE1: Mike Gesicki (low end)
Bench: Preston Williams, Isaiah Ford, Matt Breida, Jordan Howard

Prediction: Seahawks 35, Dolphins 24

Chargers @ Buccaneers - (Swanson)
Line: TB -7.0
Total: 43.5

Passing Game Thoughts: It may come as a surprise to many that rookie Justin Herbert is averaging more fantasy points per game this season in two starts than Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Deshaun Watson, and even reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.

The first-round pick from Oregon is completing just under 70% of his passes, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He is pretty mobile for a player his size, adding seven rushing attempts for 33 yards and a score.

As you would expect, he has made some pretty glaring mistakes that most rookies do, by throwing into heavy coverage and missing players down the field. One huge development for fantasy owners is his penchant to heavily target Keenan Allen. Allen is tied with DeAndre Hopkins for first in the league with 37 targets, including a whopping 19 targets last week against the Panthers.

Fellow wide receiver Mike Williams suffered a hamstring injury last week in the team’s loss to the Panthers. Based on what we have seen from other players dealing with similar injuries, Williams will likely miss this week against the Bucs.

The Bucs boast a young and upcoming secondary that ranks 22nd in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. Although D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson each posted 100-yard games two weeks ago, the Bucs did a solid job of shutting down Saints and Broncos receivers in Weeks 1 and 3, respectively.

The Bucs are one of eight teams who have yet to give up a tight end touchdown. Jared Cook managed 80 yards and five catches on seven targets Week 1, but Noah Fant was limited to just 46 yards on five catches.

With Mike Williams likely out, it would not surprise us to see Herbert use Hunter Henry more against the Bucs, but don’t expect a huge game as Tampa boasts arguably the best inside linebacker tandem in Devin White and Lavonte David.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: Josh Kelley’s 5.2 points last week against the Panthers was one of the more disappointing performances in the early season. Although the rookie did average 5.4 yards per attempt on eight carries, a costly fumble limited his workload after logging 23 carries against the Chiefs the week prior.

Austin Ekeler did not disappoint his fantasy managers with 143 total yards and a score, including a whopping 11 receptions out of the backfield. Of the two backs, Ekeler is by far the best option this week against a defensive front that gave up the fewest yards on the ground last year.

Although Tampa Bay has given up four total touchdowns in three games to start the year, they have given up a mere 2.63 yards per carry to opposing running backs, which includes Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey, and Melvin Gordon.

Value Meter:
QB2: Justin Herbert (High-End)
RB2: Austin Ekeler (High-End)
RB3: Joshua Kelley (Low-End)
WR1: Keenan Allen (High-End)
TE1: Hunter Henry (Low -End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Tom Brady ranks just inside QB1 ranking after three games with the Buccaneers. He has completed 65% of his passes, for 753 yards and six touchdowns, while adding a patented Tom Brady QB sneak touchdown.

This week’s matchup against the Chargers will be difficult for two reasons. First, wide receiver Chris Godwin suffered a hamstring injury that will likely force him to miss multiple weeks. Second, the Chargers boast a solid pass defense.

Los Angeles ranks 21st and 25th respectively in points allowed to quarterbacks and wide receivers. No wide receiver has topped 100 yards (Tyreek Hill came just one yard short), and only one receiver has reached the end zone.

No quarterback has tossed more than two touchdowns in a game, and two of the three quarterbacks faced this year failed to top 240 passing yards.

Wide Receiver Mike Evans is tied for the league lead with four receiving touchdowns through three games. An impressive feat when you consider he has just 10 catches for 108 yards. His work on the goal line has given Brady a reliable target close to the goal line on fades to the pylon.

Look for Evans to get more work with Godwin out, but don’t be surprised to see Scotty Miller lead the team in targets, assuming Miller can play through groin and hip ailments.

An interesting development occurred last week at the tight end position. Rob Gronkowski played on 93% of snaps and saw a season-high seven targets. If this trend continues, Gronk could be a nice play against a defense that gave up 50 yards to Bengal tight ends and 9/90/1 to Travis Kelce.

The Chargers will be without cornerback Chris Harris for the next few weeks. Look for Casey Hayward to cover Mike Evans extensively, leaving Miller to line up against Michael Davis or Desmond King. If you need a sneaky high volume play, Miller might be a great option this week.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

Running Game Thoughts: The Bucs continue to use a three-headed approach at running back that all-but negates the value of each player for fantasy purposes. Ronald Jones is technically the started and continues to get around 10 carries, with Leonard Fournette also being worked in the second half and change of pace. The team also throws in LeSean McCoy on passing downs, taking away receptions from Jones and Fournette. A mid-week injury to Leonard Fournette may add some much-needed clarity to this backfield. Fournette has an ankle injury that could keep him out of this game, effectively making Ronald Jones a strong No.2 RB start.

Only the 49ers and Steelers have given up fewer points to opposing running backs than the Chargers. Both Joe Mixon and Clyde Edwards-Helaire failed to top eight fantasy points against the Bolts, and Mike Davis salvaged his day with a receiving touchdown.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (Low-End)
RB2: Ronald Jones (Low-End)
RB3: Leonard Fournette (Low-End)
WR1: Mike Evans (Low-End)
TE2: Rob Gronkowski (High -End)

Prediction: Tampa Bay 24, LA Chargers 21

Ravens at Football Team - (Katz)
Line: BAL -13.5
Total: 45.0

Passing Game Thoughts: A home loss is never something you want, but a loss to the Chiefs isn’t something to lament over. Nevertheless, after an awful performance from Lamar Jackson, I expect the Ravens to come out angry and to take their frustrations out on the Football Team. Simply put, this game is going to be a demolition.

Jackson is the best dual threat quarterback in the league, averaging 60.7 rushing yards per game. The only thing that could tank his performance this week is if the running backs steal the touchdowns. I don’t need to tell you why you’re starting Jackson or Mark Andrews, but it’s worth mentioning that the Football Team has allowed three tight end touchdowns and allows 28% of targets against them to go to tight ends. After an embarrassing, drop laden game on Monday night, Andrews will be looking to bounce back as well.

The only other pass catcher worth discussing is Hollywood Brown. He played his highest snap share last week at 79%, but I expect that was largely due to game script. In the first two games, Brown hovered around 65% of the snaps, which is nowhere near what you expect from team’s WR1. That’s because Brown is miscast as an X receiver when, in reality, he profiles as a stretch Z. Brown’s game last week should’ve been much better, but Jackson badly underthrew him on an easy long touchdown. With that being said, Brown has seen exactly six targets in all three games and has very little to show for it. With the game plan likely to be running the ball and attacking up the seam with Andrews, Hollywood is an easy fade not just this week, but until he actually puts something up in the box score.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: The Ravens running game was a disaster last week (not counting Jackson). That should be much different this week against a team allowing 125 rushing yards per game. However, the distribution of snaps and touches in this backfield is a fantasy nightmare. J.K. Dobbins’ 43% snap share last week is the largest any running back has seen this season. The split has been around 35-35-30 between Ingram, Dobbins, and Edwards, with one of Ingram or Dobbins usually pushing 40% and the other 30%. With Jackson better off running himself than dumping it to a running back, Dobbins and Ingram have combined to see just nine targets through three games (Edwards has zero). Dobbins looks to be the preferred passing game back, but that means very little on the Ravens. The Football Team has also allowed just 10% of its total receiving yards against to go to running backs. If you start either Ingram or Dobbins, you are purely hoping to guess the one that gets the goal line carries and for that guy to find his way into the end zone.

Value Meter:
QB1: Lamar Jackson (high end)
TE1: Mark Andrews (high end)
Bench: Marquise Brown, Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins

Passing Game Thoughts: I usually open these sections by talking about the quarterback first, but Terry McLaurin deserves top billing here. McLaurin’s true catch rate is literally 100%. He has not dropped a single catchable ball. Unfortunately, his productivity has suffered because Dwayne Haskins is the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. McLaurin’s catchable target rate is 64%, which is 98th in the league.

The Ravens completely shut down the Browns and the Texans before getting lit up by the greatest quarterback of all time. No shame there. It would not surprise me if the Football Team didn’t score any points this week. The good news for McLaurin is the volume will be there in negative game script so even without a touchdown, he can compile some numbers. The bad news is he’s probably not going to score.

Logan Thomas is so close to being a reliable weekly starter at tight end. He’s averaging eight targets a game and has four receptions in each game this season. We may be one week away from salvation as it would shock me if Dwayne Haskins made it through this game as the starter. I could rattle off a bunch of metrics illustrating how terrible Haskins is, but to save your eyes from excess stats, just think of any metric and assume Haskins is at the bottom of the league.

Dontrelle Inman appears to have wrestled control of the WR2 spot away from Steven Sims, who saw his snap count drop from 91% in Week 2 to 35% in Week 3. Inman could emerge as a deep league option once the Football Team changes quarterbacks.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: Antonio Gibson is technically the lead back, but the constant negative game script has J.D. McKissic leading the backfield in snaps. He played 52% last week and was targeted four times. You can rely on him to get you about a 5-7 points in PPR leagues and nothing more. Gibson is averaging 12 touches a game, which is enough to be useful, but not against the Ravens. Gibson is unlikely to find his way into the end zone as he has the past two weeks. The Ravens allow just 12.6% of receiving yards against them to go to the running back position, so even if Gibson is used more in the passing game, don’t expect a spike in production. This is not the week to start members of the Football Team.

Value Meter:
WR3: Terry McLaurin
Bench: Dwayne Haskins, Antonio Gibson, Logan Thomas, J.D. McKissic

Prediction: Ravens 41, Football Team 10

Giants at Rams - (Caron)
Line: LAR -12.5
Total: 48.0

Passing Game Thoughts: The Giants offense continues to struggle and those who were banking on a breakout season from Daniel Jones have been disappointed. While Jones’ 92 rushing yards through three games aren’t bad, he’s fumbled twice and thrown four interceptions and he hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 1. Week 3 was a dismal performance for Jones who failed to reach even 10 fantasy points for the second straight week, this time home against an injury-depleted 49ers defense.

This week, Jones will face a Rams defense that got absolutely torched by Josh Allen in Week 3 after giving up 20.3 and 18.8 fantasy days respectively to Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz in Weeks 1 and 2. While players like Aaron Donald are always scary for any offensive line, especially one that has struggled to protect its quarterback like the Giants have, the reality is that there’s a good chance that Jones will have plenty of opportunities to throw the ball this week. He’s already attempted 113 passes through three games and against a Rams offense that is capable of putting up points themselves, Jones’ receiving weapons should be in line for plenty of volume.

The top receiver on the team thus far has been wide receiver Darius Slayton whose 102-yard, two-touchdown game in Week 1 had fantasy owners excited. He’s been a disappointment since then, catching just six passes for 88 yards with no touchdowns in his past two games. Slayton might end up seeing quite a bit of coverage from Jalen Ramsey, however, which is not exactly exciting for fantasy purposes. Ramsey hasn’t been particularly great so far this season, but he’s still capable of shutting down a player who isn’t a premier talent, like a Slayton.

Fellow wide receiver Golden Tate should find himself with a bit better of a matchup, as he’ll likely continue to operate primarily out of the slot, where he’ll be able to avoid Ramsey. That should mean a higher-than-usual target share for Tate, who already saw five and seven targets in Weeks 2 and 3.

Tight end Evan Engram is now finding himself on the waiver wire in some leagues as he has simply not lived up to expectations, catching just 11 passes for 96 yards and no scores through three contests. He’s been targeted 20 times thus far which is a decent enough number, but he just hasn’t been able to connect with Jones, particularly in the red zone. He does have an intriguing matchup here in Week 4, however, as he’ll be up against a Rams defense that got exposed for three touchdowns by the Buffalo tight end duo of Tyler Kroft and Lee Smith in Week 3. Engram isn’t a strong play in really any matchup at this point, but if you’ve still got him on your roster, this is about as good of an opportunity as you’re going to find.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: The Giants running game was a huge waiver wire conundrum in Week 3, but it turns out that the entire group was pretty worthless, at least in their first game together. Dion Lewis, Wayne Gallman and the newly-acquired Devonta Freeman all saw at least 25 percent of the snaps, but none of them exceeded 40 percent. Those numbers are just not going to be enough in an offense that Saquon Barkley was even struggling in. What’s worse yet is that none of them seemed to stand out with the opportunities they were given. Now facing a Rams defense that has been relatively stout against opposing rushing attacks, the Giants backfield just isn’t much of a fantasy option. Dion Lewis is seemingly the primary passing down back, so he could be useful for those in truly desperate PPR situations, but otherwise this is probably a backfield to avoid this week.

Value Meter:
TE1: Evan Engram (low-end)
Flex: Golden Tate, Dion Lewis (low-end, PPR only)
Bench: Daniel Jones, Devonta Freeman, Wayne Gallman, Darius Slayton

Passing Game Thoughts: The 2020 season didn’t start off strong in the fantasy department for Jared Goff, but he’s turned things around over the past two weeks, throwing for five touchdowns and 588 yards with only one interception while also rushing for a score. He’ll now face a Giants defense that just gave up 343 passing yards to Nick Mullens in Week 3.

Goff is a borderline QB1 this week despite the fact that he gives us practically nothing in the running game and hasn’t thrown more than 32 passes in any game this season. He probably doesn’t have the ceiling to be a high-end QB1, though, given that the Giants aren’t likely to force a shootout in this game. Still, Goff is good enough that he can be started if you’re missing a QB this week or if you’re in a two-QB/superflex league.

Top wide receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp continue to produce WR2 fantasy numbers fairly consistently, utilizing their high target shares to dominate in what has admittedly been a low-volume passing game. Cornerback James Bradberry hasn’t had the greatest start to 2020, but he’s still an above average cornerback and that could mean a tougher-than-usual day for Woods. That could also clear the way for Kupp to pick up where he left off in Week 3 when he punished the Bills defense for nine catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. It’s worth noting, however, that Woods was still productive even despite playing against some very good outside corners in Buffalo, as he caught five of the six targets that came his way for 74 yards and a score. In addition, Woods has continued to see some work as a runner, which has helped boost his fantasy points a bit each week.

Tight end Tyler Higbee had a huge Week 2 performance in which he caught three touchdowns, but he’s been mostly useless other than that so far in 2020. His five total catches for 80 yards in Weeks 1 and 3 combined are just not enough to be excited about. He’s still a decent bet to score in any given week so he’s probably still a low-end TE1, but don’t expect him to get back to being the dominant force that he was to close out the 2019 season.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: With Cam Akers still sidelined, the Rams backfield has been a two-act show with veteran Malcolm Brown and second-year back Darrell Henderson. While it was Brown who started the season off hot with a 110-total yard, two-touchdown day back in Week 1, it’s been Henderson who’s looked like the vastly superior talent over the past two weeks, as he’s rushed for 195 yards on just 32 carries, including two touchdowns. He also added 46 receiving yards in those two games.

It’s too small of a sample size for us to start anointing Henderson as the new feature back in this offense, but the signs seem to be signaling that we’re headed in that direction. Henderson was highly touted by many scouts prior to being drafted in 2019 so the talent profile is there and he’s now getting an opportunity to face a Giants defense that gave up a 113 total yard day to Benny Snell in Week 1, a 127 total yard day to David Montgomery in Week 2, and then a three touchdown day to the combination of Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson in Week 3 -- and that one could’ve been even worse if there weren’t some questionable penalties that took points off the board for the 49ers.

Henderson would probably be an RB1 this week if it weren’t for the questions about the status of this backfield as a whole. We just don’t know, yet, whether or not Malcolm Brown has been fully usurped, or if he’s still going to maintain a near 50-50 split. Nevertheless, Henderson can be deployed as an RB2 this week and Brown himself could find himself in a few lineups as a low-end Flex play, especially now that the COVID-19 bug has bitten a few teams and forced some late-week lineup changes.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jared Goff (low-end)
RB2: Darrell Henderson
WR1: Cooper Kupp (low-end)
WR2: Robert Woods
TE1: Tyler Higbee
Flex: Malcolm Brown (low-end)
Bench: Gerald Everett, Van Jefferson, Josh Reynolds

Prediction: Rams 28, Giants 17

Bills vs Raiders - (Caron)
Line: BUF -3.0
Total: 52.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Early MVP candidate Josh Allen has the Bills offense firing on all cylinders and this week they’ll face what should again be a not-so-difficult matchup against the Raiders.

Allen’s 10 passing touchdowns are second-most in the league thus far, trailing only Russell Wilson’s historic pace, and Allen has also contributed a pair of scores as a runner. The entire offense seems to be coming together and if Allen can simply maintain a decent level of passing accuracy, there’s very little reason to believe that he won’t finish as a top five fantasy quarterback this season. The Raiders have actually done a decent enough job at limiting opposing quarterbacks this season, including holding Cam Newton to under 15 fantasy points for the first time this season, but the Bills offense is truly running through Allen at this point and there’s little reason to believe that he won’t again be a strong play here in Week 4.

From a receiver standpoint, Stefon Diggs continues to prove that he was an incredible acquisition for this team as he has now scored in back-to-back weeks. His 288 receiving yards puts him on pace for over 1,500 yards on the season and he’s already seen 28 targets. He’s quickly established himself as Allen’s favorite weapon - and rightfully so - so continue to roll with him in your lineup as a low-end WR1.

Slot receiver Cole Beasley has also been cooking as of late, and he even reached 100 yards receiving this past week in the Bills’ victory over the Rams. He’s catching nearly every target that’s coming his way and while he doesn’t have huge target volume, he seems to be a solid enough play to warrant being placed as a PPR Flex here in Week 4.

John Brown’s Week 3 goose egg will have fantasy owners tilting, but the reality is that Brown has never been a particularly reliable fantasy option and there’s little reason to believe that he’ll start becoming that now. Brown is a complementary piece in this offense and he’ll have big weeks, but he’ll also have some stinkers. That’s just who he is. There’s a good chance that the Bills will need Brown this week as the Raiders offense has been scoring at a surprisingly high rate, but don’t be surprised if Brown turns in another disappointing fantasy performance. He’s someone who’s probably more of a Flex play in non-PPR leagues, almost the opposite of his teammate Beasley.

A two-touchdown performance from Tyler Kroft and a score from Lee Smith might have some fantasy owners considering these guys as fill-ins, but this is just way too low of a volume passing game to be trusting any depth pieces to produce within. Dawson Knox missed last week’s game with a concussion, but he’s back to practice this week, so if you absolutely need to start a Buffalo tight end, make it him. It’s probably best to avoid this unit altogether, though.

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: Zack Moss missed Week 3 which led to a heavier-than-usual workload for second-year back Devin Singletary, who touched the ball 17 times and produced 121 total yards against the Rams. Singletary continues to be pretty effective on a per-touch basis this season, much like he was as a rookie in 2019, but Singletary is still yet to find the end zone. That doesn’t seem likely to change, either, as Moss could be back on the field as early as this week.

Keep an eye on Moss’ status, however, as his absence would clear the way for Singletary to see another heavy workload day, this time against the Raiders who got completely decimated by the Patriots backfield just a week ago. That’d make Singletary a strong RB2 play with upside to reach RB1 numbers if he can finally sneak into the end zone. If Moss is back, however, Singletary is more of a low-end RB2, while Moss could potentially be used as a Flex play in standard scoring or touchdown-heavy leagues.

Value Meter:
QB1: Josh Allen
RB2: Devin Singletary
WR1: Stefon Diggs (low-end)
Flex: Cole Beasley (PPR only), John Brown (non-PPR), Zack Moss (non-PPR)
Bench: Zack Moss, Dawson Knox, Tyler Kroft, Lee Smith

Passing Game Thoughts: The Raiders passing game continues to impress with its efficiency and this past week they did it against a very solid New England defense. Quarterback Derek Carr completed 75 percent of his throws for 261 yards and two scores, and he’s now thrown six touchdowns without an interception so far this season.

Perhaps more importantly, however, is that Carr has really begun to consolidate his targets down to just a few primary pass catches, namely tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. That has really helped boost those players’ fantasy values, especially now that rookie Henry Ruggs remains sidelined.

Waller was a bit of a dud in Week 3 as he caught just two passes for nine yards, but he’s still a top five tight end right now primarily due to the gigantic Week 2 game he had against the Saints. Waller isn’t quite at the Kelce or Kittle level where he’s locked in to be an elite producer practically every week, but he’s at the top of that next tier of tight ends and really should be in fantasy lineups against practically any defense.

Renfrow is an interesting one because it appeared as though the Raiders were looking to replace him when they drafted multiple receivers this offseason, but he seems to be re-emerging as perhaps the team’s most reliable wide receiver. Renfrow was targeted nine times this past week in the matchup against the Patriots and that was likely due to the team wanting to avoid throwing outside at elite cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The Raiders’ outside receivers are quite depleted and they face another elite outside cornerback again in Week 4, this time Tre'Davious White, so it would make sense that they would again look to attack the slot. Watch for Renfrow to lead all Raiders wide receivers in targets again this week and that should make him fantasy relevant yet again.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: He hasn’t yet met the 100-yard rushing mark in 2020 and he hasn’t scored seen the end zone since his huge three touchdown game in Week 1, but Josh Jacobs continues to be one of the most high-upside backs in fantasy football. He hasn’t produced elite numbers in Weeks 2 or 3, but Jacobs is seeing an absolutely massive workload and it’s only a matter of time before he has another monster performance like he had in Week 1.

This week he’ll face a Bills defense that gave up 114 rushing yards to Darrell Henderson in Week 3, so there’s a good possibility that Jacobs reaches that 100 yard mark, or scores a touchdown - if not both - this week.

Value Meter:
RB1: Josh Jacobs
TE1: Darren Waller
Flex: Hunter Renfrow (PPR only)
Bench: Derek Carr, Jalen Richard, Devontae Booker, Nelson Agholor, Zay Jones, Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, Jason Witten

Prediction: Bills 27, Raiders 23

Patriots @ Chiefs - (Caron)
Line: KC -7.0
Total: 53.5

Passing Game Thoughts: Week 3 saw what we hope will be Cam Newton’s floor as the Patriots mopped the floor with the Raiders, rendering Newton mostly useless from a fantasy standpoint. He still threw for 162 yards and a score while adding 27 yards on the ground, but the Pats just didn’t need him to put the team on his back like he did in Weeks 1 and 2.

In Week 4, however, we should be back to seeing the Cam Newton show as the Patriots head on the road to face the undefeated Super Bowl champion-defending Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs just got done holding the high-powered Ravens offense in check on Monday Night Football so there’s some concern that the Patriots might not be well equipped to go in and score with them, but New England just isn’t a team that gets blown out very often. They typically either humiliate their opponents or at least keep up pace with them on the offensive side of the ball.

With that said, Newton needs to be back in lineups as a QB1 this week. It’s easy to be worried, and we shouldn’t have complete confidence yet, but Newton has looked quite good this season when he’s been called upon. There’s no reason to believe that he’ll suddenly crumble against the Chiefs.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman is really the only pass catching weapon that we should have much confidence in here, as he’s the only Patriot who’s exceeded 100 receiving yards in a game thus far in 2020 when he did so back in Week 2 with an eight-catch, 179-yard torching of the Seahawks. The Chiefs defense is substantially better than the Seahawks, but Edelman has proven that he’s mostly matchup-proof, so feel free to drop him in your lineup in PPR leagues as usual.

Second-year receiver N’Keal Harry might find himself in some lineups again in Week 4 after a disappointing Week 3. While we would’ve liked to have seen more from Harry this past week after his eight-catch performance in Week 2, it’s worth considering that the Patriots just didn’t need to pass the ball much in order to beat the Raiders, especially down the field. The opposite will almost certainly be true here in Week 4, however, so Harry might not be a terrible Flex option for those in need.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: The Patriots backfield is almost comically unpredictable each season, but Week 2 was chaos even for this unit. Sony Michel had what many are calling the most impressive performance of his young career against the Raiders as he rushed for 117 total yards on just nine carries, but it was J.J. Taylor who led the team with 11 carries and Rex Burkhead who resurrected his fantasy career by scoring three total touchdowns in the game.

Of course, we know that things would probably look different right now if James White were back on the field and that looks like it’ll be the case after the veteran returned to practice earlier this week. White should resume his role as the team’s primary passing down back, which should again relegate Burkhead to the bench, but we still don’t have a great grasp on what’s going to happen from a carry standpoint. Most seem to believe that it’ll be Michel who regains the role as the early down back, but there’s a strong likelihood that we’ll see Michel and Taylor split most of the rushing work while White plays passing downs and Burkhead gets sprinkled in here and there to keep everyone else fresh.

In other words, this is a backfield that you’ll probably want to avoid for the time being, at least until we get more clarity.

Value Meter:
QB1: Cam Newton
WR3: Julian Edelman
Flex: NíKeal Harry (low-end)
Bench: James White, Sony Michel, J.J. Taylor, Rex Burkhead, Damiere Byrd, Ryan Izzo

Passing Game Thoughts: What can we say about Patrick Mahomes that hasn’t already been said? This guy is an absolute fantasy football juggernaut and may very well go down as the very best to ever do it, not just from a fantasy standpoint, but from an NFL standpoint as well.

Mahomes absolutely slaughtered a very good Ravens defense on Monday night by throwing for 385 yards and four touchdowns, while also adding 26 yards and a touchdown as a runner. The 2018 NFL MVP has now scored a total of 10 touchdowns without turning the ball over a single time. There’s really no question that he’s an every-week locked-in high-end QB1 in any matchup.

The same can pretty much be said for tight end Travis Kelce, who has caught 21 passes already this season, including six for 87 yards this past week. Kelce is an unquestioned top-two in fantasy football and he’ll again be one of the top plays on the board this week, even against a New England defense that has only given up 73 receiving yards to opposing tight ends so far this season.

Top wide receiver Tyreek Hill continues to dominate as well, as he’s now scored in all three games this season. There is a little bit of concern this week as he will be facing off against the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Stephon Gilmore, who was primarily responsible for holding Hill to just six catches for 62 yards when these teams squared off in Week 13 of the 2019 season. Still, despite the tough matchup, Hill is a player who absolutely must be started in all formats. He’s perhaps the league’s most explosive player and can be a fantasy week winner in just about any matchup.

The question for the Chiefs pass catchers continues to be the players beyond Kelce and Hill, more specifically Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman. While Hardman got into the end zone for the first time this past week, that box score won’t tell the true story that he continues to operate as the WR4 in this offense, behind Hill and Watkins, and even Demarcus Robinson. Robinson hasn’t done much this season, but he’s still playing more snaps than Hardman and it’s just tough to trust a wide receiver in your fantasy lineup who pretty much has to catch a long touchdown to be useful whatsoever. Watkins, on the other hand, has two seven-catch games already this season and while he has fallen out of favor for many fantasy owners, he’s still operating as the clear-cut WR2 in this offense. In a game in which Hill might be less useful than usual, Watkins could see a bit of a spike in targets and might even be a sneaky Flex play himself.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

Running Game Thoughts: A hot start to his rookie season has Clyde Edwards-Helaire producing as an RB1, at least in PPR formats, already this season. The Chiefs back has already rushed for 240 yards while adding 11 catches for 102 yards as a receiver. What’s a bit surprising is that, despite being in one of the league’s best offenses, he’s only scored once. That could easily change, however, as the team could end up relying more heavily on him as early as even this week.

Like some of the other true bell cow backs in the league, Edwards-Helaire’s three-down skill set allows him to stay on the field regardless of the game script, which makes him one of the safest bets in the league to continue to produce at or above the level that he currently has been. He does have a relatively difficult matchup this week against an always-stout Patriots defense, but Edwards-Helaire is someone who fantasy owners can be confident placing in their lineups as a strong RB1.

Value Meter:
QB1: Patrick Mahomes (high-end)
RB1: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WR1: Tyreek Hill
TE1: Travis Kelce (high-end)
Flex: Sammy Watkins (low-end)
Bench: Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson

Prediction: Chiefs 34, Patriots 24

Eagles at 49ers - (Caron)
Line: SF -7.0
Total: 46.0

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s been an absolutely horrible start to season for Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and the only thing that’s really kept it from being a total disaster from a fantasy standpoint is that he’s been able to find his way into the end zone as a runner in each of the past two weeks. While Wentz is more mobile than many would give him credit for, no one’s going to mistake him for Lamar Jackson back there, and the reality is that he’s going to need to find his passing game again if he’s going to get back to being a fantasy QB1.

Unfortunately this week the Eagles are again expected to be without wide receivers Jalen Reagor, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and now tight end Dallas Goedert. That pretty much leaves him with two reliable pass catching weapons: veteran tight end Zach Ertz and running back Miles Sanders. Expect those to players to see an uptick in their already high target shares.

Ertz himself has to be considered one of the top three or four tight ends available this week, as he was targeted 10 times this past week in a game that fellow tight end Goedert left midway through with an injury. Ertz turned those 10 targets into seven catches for 70 yards - his best fantasy performance thus far in 2020. It hasn’t been a great start to the season for Ertz, but look for him to get back on track in this one as he’s really the only healthy pass catching weapon in Philadelphia who has much rapport with Wentz.

At wide receiver, we’ll likely be looking at some sort of combination of Greg Ward, John Hightower and perhaps even the newly-acquired Hakeem Butler. Butler is a 6’5” former wide receiver who the Eagles have reportedly brought in to play tight end, but he’s listed as a WR and TE eligible on a lot of platforms. That does make him an interesting name to watch in TE-premium leagues, but he’s unlikely to contribute much this early in the season. Instead, it should be Ward who finds himself leading the team in targets at the wide receiver position, if for no other reason than that he’s the last healthy body standing. Ward did catch eight passes for 72 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals in Week 3, and he was targeted 11 times, so it’s not as though he’s completely useless. In fact, if you’re in a tough spot and looking for some help in a PPR league, Ward is probably available and could be someone who could fill in for you as a WR3/Flex.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: With the passing game struggling as much as it has been, it should come as no surprise that Miles Sanders hasn’t yet had one of the gigantic performances that made him a late-first or early-second round pick in most fantasy drafts this offseason. While Sanders missed Week 1 with an injury, he stepped right back into a bell cow role in Weeks 2 and 3, touching the ball 23 and 22 times respectively. He’s only found the end zone once, but he should have scored again this past week if Wentz wouldn’t have missed him on an easy big play touchdown in the passing game.

Sanders may not be delivering the huge games that a few others have, but he’s given his fantasy owners respectable numbers in both of his starts and that should continue this week against the 49ers. San Francisco is a good defense even when banged up, but they are indeed banged up, and that could be all that Sanders needs to find some room both as a runner and as a pass catcher. Few backs in the league are seeing the type of volume that he does and his involvement both as a runner and a receiver makes him a valued fantasy asset regardless of the game script that the Eagles find themselves in. Lock in Sanders as an RB1 this week and for the foreseeable future as long as he stays healthy.

Value Meter:
QB2: Carson Wentz (low-end)
RB1: Miles Sanders
TE1: Zach Ertz
Flex: Greg Ward
Bench: Boston Scott, Corey Clement, John Hightower, Hakeem Butler

Passing Game Thoughts: The name isn’t very exciting, but Nick Mullens was actually pretty effective in his first start of the 2020 season this past week, as he threw for 343 yards and a touchdown against a terrible Giants defense. Of course, the Eagles’ secondary isn’t much better than the Giants’, but Philadelphia does at least have a pretty good front seven that is capable of getting after the opposing quarterback and that alone should mean that Mullens is on the bench other than for those in desperate situations in two-QB/Superflex leagues.

The 49ers are expected to get tight end George Kittle back this week, which should be a huge boost to their depleted pass catching group. Kittle’s health is of course a concern, but he’s such a good player at a weak position that there’s really no reason to bench him this week. If he’s on the field, Kittle needs to be in your fantasy lineup.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel could be back as soon as next week, but for now the only wide receiver in San Francisco who fantasy owners should be paying much attention to is rookie Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk broke out a bit in Week 3, catching five of the eight targets that came his way for 70 yards. He also carried the ball three times for an additional 31 yards and a beautiful touchdown on an end-around. Aiyuk is a playmaker not unlike Samuel and he’s likely going to operate again as the team’s top outside pass catching weapon this week. That makes him fantasy-viable against a bad Philadelphia secondary.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

Running Game Thoughts: With Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman sidelined, Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson split the backfield touches in Week 2 as the duo pummeled the Giants with three scores between them.

While it was Wilson who actually scored more fantasy points in most leagues due to his two scores, savvy fantasy owners will pay attention to where, when, and how those points were scored. Wilson mostly operated as a backup throughout the game and he really only started to see significant playing time once the 49ers had put the game out of reach. Up until that point, it was McKinnon who dominated the playing time, the carries, the passing game work, and even the red zone work.

It’s always possible that the 49ers get out to another lead this week against what appears to be a pretty mediocre Eagles team, but relying on that - and goal line work in garbage time - just is not something that fantasy owners should be doing this early in the season. Keep Wilson on your bench for now, but McKinnon should be good to go as a fantasy RB2 this week. He’s dealing with a bit of a rib injury, but he’s practicing in full this week so don’t be too worried. McKinnon is an explosive playmaker who has the capability of turning in some truly big fantasy numbers if he’s given the opportunity. The opportunity is certainly there this week.

Value Meter:
RB2: Jerick McKinnon
TE1: George Kittle
WR3: Brandon Aiyuk
Bench: Nick Mullens, Jeff Wilson, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor

Prediction: 49ers 24, Eagles 20

Falcons @ Packers - (Green)
Line: GB -7.0
Total: 57.0

Passing Game Thoughts: With Julio Jones (hamstring) inactive and Russell Gage (head) knocked from the game with a concussion, Matt Ryan completed just half of his 38 passes for 238 yards, a touchdown and an interception. It was a disappointing showing after the former MVP had passed for 723 yards and a half-dozen TDs combined in the season's first two games. He could have both Jones and Gage back Monday night, and he'll need all hands on deck to combat the NFL's top-scoring offense.

With Jones and Gage sidelined, Calvin Ridley (ankle) was the primary target in Week 3, catching five passes for 110 yards. He didn't practice on Thursday, though, while both Gage and Jones were limited, so it'll be critical to check their statuses in the lead up to this weekend. It's here that having a Monday night game will present a problem as you can't count on someone that might be inactive. If everyone can go you can pencil Ryan, Jones and Ridley in as surefire starters with Gage as a flex, but if things remain uncertain come Sunday be prepared to pivot to alternatives.

Green Bay has run hot and cold defensively in each of its three games, locking down teams at some times and looking utterly hapless at others. The Packers rank 18th in pass defense overall, ceding 247 yards per game, and have a defense that has had issues with veteran quarterbacks of Ryan's pedigree over the years. The key might be getting their pass rush going, particularly Preston Smith, who has just one-half sack thus after posting a dozen in 2019.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

Running Game Thoughts: Todd Gurley enjoyed the best game of his brief Falcons tenure last Sunday when he ran for 80 yards and a score on 14 carries. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the veteran get more carries this weekend in an effort to keep the ball away from Aaron Rodgers and protect a defense that's struggled badly thus far. The Packers have taken their lumps against the run, but they're currently a respectable 14th in the NFL with 115 yards allowed per game -- their 5.5 yards per carry allowed, however, is a much less impressive 29th.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matt Ryan
RB2/RB3: Todd Gurley
WR1: Julio Jones
WR1: Calvin Ridley
Flex: Russell Gage
Bench: Hayden Hurst

Passing Game Thoughts: To borrow the phrase of head coach Matt LaFleur, Aaron Rodgers has been "all gas, no brake" through three games. Even without Davante Adams last Sunday night, Rodgers threw for 283 yards and three TDs in a road win over the Saints. Green Bay's offensive line has done a tremendous job protecting No. 12, and his rediscovered accuracy combined with his decision making is a lethal combo. Much like Ryan, though, there are questions about who exactly Rodgers will be throwing to.

Adams returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out Week 3 with a hamstring issue. He appears to be on track, though with the Packers staring at a Week 5 bye there has to be some temptation to sit Adams and give him more time to heal. In Adams' absence, Allen Lazard (core) stepped up with 146 yards on six receptions and a touchdown, but he reportedly underwent core muscle surgery and won't play.

After those two you're looking at Marquez Valdes-Scantling (8-165-1 this season) and then probably Darrius Shepherd to go with the tight end group, led by Robert Tonyan, who has scored in each of the last two games. At full strength, this has all the makings of a mismatch with the Falcons ranking 31st in the NFL with 463.3 passing yards allowed per game this season. Now there's uncertainty aplenty, especially if Adams can't go and MVS is elevated to the top option.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

Running Game Thoughts: Aaron Jones (16-69-1) was solid in Week 3, though it was a far cry from his monster Week 2. While the production hasn't been consistent, the chances have with Jones logging 18, 22 and 20 touches, respectively, in the team's three games. It's clear the Packers don't want to overload Jones early on. Jamaal Williams is off to a quiet start but could be asked to do more with the receiving corps beset by injuries. On defense, the Falcons are 13th in the league, allowing 113 yards on 4.5 yards per tote.

Value Meter:
QB1: Aaron Rodgers
RB1: Aaron Jones
WR1: Davante Adams
WR3/Flex: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Bench: Jamaal Williams, A.J. Dillon, Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan

Prediction: Packers 38, Falcons 27