Game Thoughts: A year ago, the likes of Justin Herbert
and Joe Burrow made the transition from college to the pros look
like no big deal. So far this season four first-round QBs have
started games with a combined record of 1-9 -- that one win belongs
to Mac Jones, who beat fellow rookie Zach Wilson. Lawrence, the
consensus top prospect in this year’s draft, is winless
in three tries and is tied with Wilson for the NFL-lead in picks
with seven. For the season, Lawrence is averaging 223 yards, 1.7
TDs and 2.3 INTs per game under first-time NFL head coach Urban
Despite the presence of young wideouts D.J. Chark (3-49-1) and
Laviska Shenault (4-48-0), veteran Marvin Jones (6-62-0) has been
Lawrence’s go-to receiver thus far. The 31-year-old Jones
leads the team in targets (28), receptions (17), yardage (194)
and TDs (2). He also carries the most fantasy appeal in J-Ville’s
passing attack as a strong WR3. Chark is next, offering risky
upside as a downfield threat that’s averaging 22.0 yards
on seven catches with a pair of touchdowns. Shenault ranks second
on the club in receptions with 13, but he’s averaging just
7.3 yards per grab and hasn’t scored.
Cincinnati is currently 14th against the pass this year, allowing
238.7 yards per game. Their pass rush has been potent with only
three teams logging more sacks than the Bengals, and their 4:3
TD-to-INT ratio is rock solid. There’s a ton of long-term
upside associated with Lawrence, but right now he’s experiencing
the type of growing pains most quarterbacks do learning the NFL
game. Keep him benched.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28
Running Game Thoughts: Used sparingly in the first two weeks,
James Robinson posted 21 combined touches for 134 yards and a
touchdown against the Cardinals in Week 3. He emerged as a top
offensive weapon as a rookie, and there’s no good reason
he only has 12 more carries than Carlos Hyde on the year. Regardless
of how the Jags deploy their backs, the Bengals pose a challenge.
They’re allowing 78.3 rushing yards per game (8th) and 3.3
yards per carry (5th). Let’s assume Meyer learned something
last week and give Robinson the nod as an RB2 here.
Game Thoughts: Joe Burrow absorbed 10 sacks in his first
two games, which likely had something to do with him passing just
18 times last Sunday. He hit on 14 of them for 172 yards, 3 TDs
and 1 INT, which maximized his fantasy impact. Burrow also did
a little running in Week 3, so perhaps he’s starting to
feel more comfortable on his surgically repaired knee. In a battle
of the last two No. 1 overall picks, Burrow holds fringe value
as a risk/reward QB1.
A big reason for Burrow’s borderline status is the expected
absence of Tee Higgins (shoulder), who didn’t play in Week
3 due to a shoulder injury. Higgins has already been ruled out
of this Thursday night contest which means rookie Ja’Marr
Chase (4-65-2) and veteran Tyler Boyd (4-36-1) will be counted
on once again. Chase has quelled all the preseason talk about
dropped passes by scoring four TDs in his first three NFL games,
while Boyd is a steady possession option.
It's been a struggle for Jacksonville to stop the pass as they
are one of just five clubs allowing 300-plus yards per game through
the air. They’ve done a better job of keeping receivers
out of the end zone, though that may have more to do with game
situation than their actual strengths. Don’t hesitate to
plug Chase into your lineup as a WR2 with Boyd checking in as
a low-end No. 3 fantasy wideout or strong flex play.
JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Running Game Thoughts: Joe Mixon is the Bengals running game.
Thus far, Mixon has 67 of the team’s 73 runs by backs, a
whopping 92 percent. His 4.3 YPC average is solid, though he’s
managed just one touchdown on the year. Perhaps he can add another
one or two Thursday. Only KC and Baltimore have yielded more scoring
runs than the Jags, though to their credit they’ve allowed
just 3.4 YPC despite being one of only three teams to have faced
more than 100 rushing attempts. Mixon is playable as a solid RB1.
Game Thoughts: You know what to do with the KC trio so
let’s talk macro for minute. The highest total on the board
this week is a good bet to produce some fantasy fireworks. As
if the Chiefs offense needs any help, the KC-D is doing their
part in allowing the opposition to rack up the points (29, 36,
30 the last three games) keeping Patrick Mahomes involved until
the bitter end. Mahomes has tossed 3 TDs in every game this season,
posting fantasy finishes of QB2, QB5 and QB5. Not to be outdone,
Travis Kelce lives near the top of the tight end list each week
(TE3, TE1, TE4). The same can’t be said for Tyreek Hill
(WR2, WR68, WR42) who seemed to be bothered by a rib injury last
week against the Chargers. Mecole Hardman is a big-play threat
but it appears he’s not cutout for a traditional WR2 role.
Perhaps Josh Gordon will fulfill that spot in weeks to come, but
I wouldn’t hold my breath.
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8
Running Game Thoughts: Defenses are electing to play two safties
deep taking away deep shots to Hill, allowing underneath routes
to Kelce and daring the Chiefs to run the ball. Will the Eagles
follow suit? If so, we could see another solid outing from Clyde
Edwards-Helaire who finally found the endzone and rushed for 100
yards last week against the Chargers. The lack of involvement
in the passing game for CEH is concerning and puts a damper on
his fantasy value but if the Eagles choose to defense KC the way
they did Dallas last week allow running lanes for Ezekiel Elliott
(17-95-2), CEH will return RB2 value.
Game Thoughts: Jalen Hurts is providing that rushing
boost we expected, averaging 8.7 rushing attempts per game. His
26 rushes are second only to Lamar Jackson among quarterbacks
and keep him firmly in the QB top 10. Some offensive line woes
and injuries are a concern but I’d expect another solid
fantasy outing as the Eagles attempt to keep pace with the Chiefs
offense. KC is allowing the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks
and has already been throttled by Lamar Jackson on the ground,
something well within Hurts’ range to mimic.
Rookie DeVonta Smith is the lone wideout with fantasy appeal
but has topped out at 71 yards, 1 TD (Wk1) to go along with two
duds (WR86, WR70). He’s on the field for just about every
play (98% last week) and capable of WR2 upside in this matchup
given the weakness of the Kansas City corners.
Dallas Goedert and Zack Ertz both have 11 targets on the season
which doesn’t help fantasy owners. One of them is capable
of low-end TE1 numbers this week but it’s a guessing game.
I’ll side with the younger Goedert.
KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
Running Game Thoughts: I don’t know if you heard, but Miles
Sanders got two Eli-Manning double-bird rushing attempts last
week… count ’em one, two… and the Eagles gave
their running backs three total carries in the entire game. I’d
expect that number to be slightly higher this week against the
Chiefs who have a difficult time stopping RBs, allowing the 4th
most fantasy points to the position. The Eagles can employ the
Ravens strategy and simply chew up the clock running option plays
with Hurts and Sanders if they choose. Sanders high-water mark
for carries is 15 (Wk1) but I would expect him to equal that total
in this matchup and should push for 20 total touches. This is
a nice bounce-back spot for Sanders.
Giants @ Saints- (Swanson) Line: NO -7.0 Total: 42.0
Game Thoughts: What do Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott,
Aaron Rodgers, and Ryan Tannehill have in common? They all are
averaging fewer fantasy points per game than Daniel Jones, the
much-maligned third year quarterback for the Giants. Jones has
yet to throw an interception, has more passing yards than Rodgers
and Tannehill, and has more rushing yards and touchdowns than
Jones is a sneaky fantasy weapon in the right matchup because
of his rushing ability. But not this week on the road against
a Saints defense that has shut down both the Packers and the Patriots.
Only the Bills, Broncos, Panthers, and Jets have given up fewer
points to opposing quarterbacks through three weeks of the season,
and Jones did struggle at home against a Falcons defense that
is one of the worst in the league.
Injuries will also limit the effectiveness of the Giants passing
offense this week, with Sterling Shepard likely out with a hamstring
injury and Kenny Golladay continues to be limited with a hip ailment.
Darius Slayton is also limited with a hamstring injury and did
not practice on Thursday.
If you are feeling lucky, you could pick up and start rookie
Kadarius Toney as a boom or bust play with Shepard and Slayton
likely out, as he should see an increase is snaps. Perhaps this
is more of a DFS play, but the talent is there and so is the opportunity.
On a positive note, TE Evan Engram returned last week and is
not listed on the injury report. If you are in need of a tight
end option, Engram could be a decent play in PPR, as the Giants
will have trouble running the ball against the Saints and quick
throws to Engram with Shepard out will be plentiful.
The Saints do have top corner Marshon Lattimore practicing in
full on Wednesday and Thursday and should play this week. His
return to the lineup is a negative factor that should be weighed
when considering starts of Golladay or Toney.
NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24
Running Game Thoughts: With 94 total yards and a score last week
against the Falcons, Saquon Barkley provided his first top-10
performance in quite some time. His snap counts continue to increase
as the team eases him back from his knee injury in 2020, with
86% of the snaps last week compared to 48% in Week 1.
You are starting Barkley based on his usage and he could be a
threat to score, but expecting a big game against the Saints may
be a mistake. The Saints have given up the seventh-fewest points
on the season to opposing running backs and did an excellent job
shutting down both Aaron Jones and Damien Harris.
Look for around 20-25 touches for Barkley, with more of his production
coming in the passing game than in rushing yards. Jason Garrett
should design a quick passing game to help negate the pass rush
of the Saints and target both Engram and Barkley.
Game Thoughts: 2021 has been a roller coaster ride for
Jameis Winston fantasy managers, with the former Tampa Bay Buc
first overall pick throwing five touchdown passes on just 20 attempts
against the Packers to start the season, only to post 111 passing
yards and no passing touchdowns the next week against the Panthers.
Winston bounced back with a pair of touchdown passes against
the Patriots in what turned out to be a lopsided game script created
by the New Orleans defense.
We are still gathering information on how the Saints offense
will run in 2021, but we have enough data so far to know that
Winston is not going to be a volume passer based on his average
attempts of just 21 passes each game. We also know he is not going
to be a yardage monster based on the fact that he has yet to top
150 passing yards in a game.
The Saints are a defense and run first team and the passing game
This game projects to have a similar game script as the game
against the Patriots, with the Saints defense giving Daniel Jones
fits in coverage and with pressure. The Vegas odds makers do not
see this as a high scoring game with an over/under of 41 points.
After a rough start to the season, breakout candidate Marquez
Callaway finally scored a touchdown with 41 receiving yards against
the Pats in Week 3. While you may want to continue playing Callaway
after his solid game, he may be in a tough position this week
with James Bradberry lined up against him. It would make sense
for a skilled offensive mind like Sean Payton to avoid that matchup
and focus on the run and other pass options.
An injury of note that will help both the passing and running
game of the Saints is the unfortunate knee injury to stud middle
linebacker Blake Martinez. Martinez is a tackling machine who’s
absence will be a huge boost for Alvin Kamara in both the passing
and running game.
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Running Game Thoughts: Three games is not a
large enough sample size to gauge the effectiveness of Kamara
in his first season without Drew Brees under center. The team
is still looking for their identity without the future hall of
famer as their signal caller, and Michael Thomas has been out,
effectively limiting Jameis Winston to no more than 150 passing
yards in any game.
You are starting Kamara in all formats, even though he is averaging
a career-low 3.4 yards per carry and has yet to get a rushing
touchdown. Luckily, he continues to be a large part of the passing
game has hit pay dirt twice this season on receptions.
The Giants rank in the middle of the pack in points allowed to
opposing running backs. If you take out one long touchdown run
Melvin Gordon, they would be in the top ten in fewest points allowed.
However, that was with their best run stopping linebacker in the
game, and with Martinez out for the year, the Giants are no longer
a team you should worry about in fantasy matchups.
Game Thoughts: Houston ranks in the bottom third in just
about every passing category and with rookie Davis Mills making
his 2nd career start, this isn’t the time to get cute and
insert him into your starting lineup… even in two-QB leagues.
Considering the Texans’ lack of outside weapons and poor
offensive execution, it’s difficult to see Mills throwing
for more than 1 TD in this game. Buffalo has given up a total
of 3 passing TDs in three games and only one quarterback (Taylor
Heinicke) has thrown for more than 200 yards against this defense.
The only fantasy viable option in the Texans passing attack is
Brandin Cooks who’s been the WR23, WR9 and WR11 in PPR leagues
the first three weeks. Chris Conley and Anthony Miller are starters
in three wide receiver sets but aren’t viable due to lack
BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22
Running Game Thoughts: If you think Houston’s passing attack
stinks, get ready to hold your nose because the running game is
just as bad. Mark Ingram is checking in as the RB44 in PPR leagues,
thanks mostly to his 26-carry performance in Week 1 that netted
him 85 yards and a rushing TD. It’s been slim pickings ever
since and that includes David Johnson (RB48) and Phillip Lindsay
(RB51). The Bills have given up the 5th fewest fantasy points
to the running back position. Safe to say, avoid the Texans running
game this week.
Game Thoughts: Josh Allen shrugged off his mediocre start
to the season and erupted to lead all quarterbacks in fantasy
points last week (358-4, 9-1). It was only a matter of time and
the Washington defense was the victim. Allen is capable of supporting
two fantasy wideouts on a weekly basis so choose wisely between
Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders. Diggs (32) and
Beasley (30) are leading the team in targets and are safer bets
in PPR leagues with Sanders taking on higher aDOT throws.
Tight end Dawson Knox has found the endzone twice which is why
you see him inside the top 10 but his 12 targets are tied for
17th at the position. He is playing a very high percentage of
snaps (78% last week) and Houston has given up the fifth most
points to tight ends which makes Knox a viable option this week.
It’s difficult to see the Bills passing offense reaching
a ceiling game given the 16.5 point spread, although Houston has
given up a couple of 300-yard games to Trevor Lawrence and Sam
Darnold. If Buffalo races out to a sizeable lead in the first
half, we could see more ground game from the Bills in the second
half which would put a cap on Allen and the pass-catching trio.
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5
Running Game Thoughts: Remember when Zack Moss was left for fantasy
dead after landing on the Inactive list in Week 1? Not so fast.
Moss was back in the mix as a complementary piece in Week 2 then
got more involved in Week 3 out-touching Devin Singletary 16-12
while Matt Breida was made Inactive. This situation seems fluid
and will be tough to digest on a weekly basis but it if I had
to guess, I’d say Moss would be the beneficiary during clock-killing
time in the fourth quarter.
Panthers @ Cowboys
- (Krueger) Line: DAL -4.5 Total: 52.0
Game Thoughts: The entire Panthers’ offense suffered
a major blow last week when Christian McCaffrey injured his hamstring.
During the time he will miss (a couple weeks?) don’t be
surprised to see a little more reliance on the passing attack
keeping Sam Darnold (68.2% competition) in the high-end QB2 conversation.
D.J. Moore (the WR12 in PPR leagues) has been the clear WR1 for
Darnold, dwarfing Robby Anderson in targets (31-11) through three
games and remains an easy start. Anderson and Terrace Marshall
Jr. (14 targets) could see their usage increase this week as Carolina
tries to keep pace with the Cowboys offense, making them sneaky
stack considerations in DFS. For what it’s worth, HC Matt
Rhule noted this week that Robby Anderson needs to get more involved.
Attacking Dallas through the air has been a good idea thus far
as they’ve given up the 6th most fantasy points to WRs,
the 4th most fantasy points to QBs and the 2nd most fantasy points
to tight ends. Speaking of TEs, Carolina doesn’t have a
viable one to consider. Dan Arnold has been traded (JAX) with
the assumption the team would like to get rookie Tommy Tremble
more involved but neither Tremble or Ian Thomas are fantasy worthy
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
Running Game Thoughts: Rookie Chuba Hubbard will get his first
crack at a lead role and while we can’t expect McCaffrey-like
usage, he is a viable RB2 in a game with a 50-point total. Royce
Freeman will be involved as well, capping Hubbard’s upside.
Dallas has yet to yield a rushing touchdown but did give up 9
catches to Austin Ekeler in Week 2 if the Panthers want to take
advantage of Hubbard’s receiving chops. Hubbard is a RB2
volume play in Week 4.
Game Thoughts: Dak Prescott is sitting at QB14 (FPts/G)
after three weeks. It’s safe to assume we’re not going
to see the rushing production (19 yds) we’ve come to expect
from him given his ankle injury last season. That means fantasy
owners need to come to terms with the fact that Dak is more of
a low-end QB1 with a slightly lower ceiling than you may like.
According to Fantasy Pts Allowed data, Carolina has been stingy
against the QB position (2nd fewest FPts/Allowed) but don’t
be fooled. Games against low quality producers (Zach Wilson, Jameis
Winston and Davis Mills) are responsible for that ranking. As
a result, it’s hard to get a read on how good/bad the Panthers
defense is against the pass. This will be their real first test
against a legitimate aerial attack. To make matters worse, Carolina
lost CB Jaycee Horn to a broken foot last week.
With Amari Cooper playing, but nursing a rib injury, it’s
CeeDee Lamb (WR18) who currently has the most juice in this passing
offense and the preferred play among the two. With only 1 TD on
the season, I’d be shocked if Lamb doesn’t find the
endzone after being tackled at the one-yard line last week against
Philadelphia. Tight end Dalton Schultz is currently seeing more
snaps than Blake Jarwin and also has the target lead (15-10) through
three weeks but both ran the same number of routes (20) last week.
Schultz is worth a look as a TE2 if you’re needy at the
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27
Running Game Thoughts: Zeke has yet to garner 20 rushing attempts
in a game (11, 16, 17) and the reason is Tony Pollard. The backup
running back has been very efficient with his touches (6.8 ypc)
and is deserving of a significant role in this offense. Zeke’s
been on the field roughly 70% of the time and his use around the
endzone (3 TDs) still demands he be ranked as a low-end RB1. Pollard
has seen 16 and 12 touches the last two weeks and is a worthy
Flex option given his efficiency.
The Panthers stifled the Saints and Alvin Kamara in Week 2 (8
carries, 5 yds; 4 rec, 25 yds) in their only real test of the
season and much like their passing stats, will look good defensively
on paper heading into this game but don't let that deter you from
starting Zeke or deploying Pollard in your Flex spot.
Game Thoughts: Last Sunday was the usual blueprint for
Cleveland’s offense as the team leaned on the run and let
Baker Mayfield pick his spots. The numbers were on brand for Mayfield
as he completed 19 of 31 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown.
He was sacked five times, but that may be a bit deceptive as it
was apparent early on that the Bears couldn’t move the ball,
so Mayfield avoided taking chances. He’ll likely need to
do more in Week 4, but he’s still not a starting option
in standard leagues.
For the first time since Oct. 25, 2020, Odell Beckham Jr. was
back in uniform, catching five passes for a team-high 77 yards
and adding 10 more as a runner. It was a solid effort from OBJ
and a needed one after Jarvis Landry (knee) wound up on IR with
a knee injury of his own, albeit a far less severe one. Still,
without Landry, Beckham steps in as a WR3 with upside and the
only receiving option of note for the Browns. Austin Hooper caught
a touchdown last week, but the presence of David Njoku and Harrison
Bryant make it unlikely that he’ll ever regain the fantasy
acclaim he enjoyed in Atlanta.
Minnesota’s offseason effort to improve their secondary
remains a work in progress with the pass defense currently ranked
27th at 290.3 yards per game. The Vikings are also the only team
in the NFL allowing a completion percentage above 70 percent along
with 10-plus yards per attempt. The Browns will focus on the run,
but if it comes to it there should be opportunities for the passing
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Running Game Thoughts: It’s difficult to make much of a
case for a better one-two punch among NFL backfields than Nick
Chubb (22-84-0) and Kareem Hunt (10-81-1), who also doubles as
arguably the club’s most reliable receiver -- he had six
catches for 74 yards last Sunday. Minnesota has been nominally
better against the run (119.3 yards per game; T-20th), but just
three teams have allowed more yards per carry (4.8). Chubb is
a solid RB1 with Hunt as an RB2 with the potential for more.
Game Thoughts: Is it possible we’re seeing Kirk
Cousins taking his game to another level in his 10th NFL season?
A year ago, defenses wanted to force the ball into Cousins’
hands because he was prone to big mistakes. This year, the veteran
has yet to turn the ball over. Through three games he’s
seventh in the NFL in pass yardage (918) and fourth in touchdowns
(eight). This Sunday represents his biggest test to date, however,
in part because of Cleveland’s defensive talent, but also
because his former OC Kevin Stefanski is the Browns’ head
coach. If anyone would have added insight on how to unnerve Cousins,
it just might be Stefanski.
Justin Jefferson (9-118-1) and Adam Thielen (6-50-1) remain one
of the top receiving duos in the NFL, though what exactly they
have behind them is still unclear. After two strong games to open
the season, K.J. Osborn (2-26-0) did little last week, while Tyler
Conklin (7-70-1) stepped up and appears well ahead of Chris Herndon,
who some thought could be a factor when he was acquired from the
Jets. Cousins has also done a nice job utilizing his RBs in the
passing game. Still, Jefferson and Thielen are the names to know
with the former a borderline WR1/WR2 and the latter a steady WR2.
If defensive momentum from one week to the next is a thing, Cleveland
comes into Minnesota riding the highest of highs. Last Sunday,
the Browns held the Bears to one net yard of passing offense,
battering first-time starter Justin Fields for nine sacks in a
one-sided win. A performance like that skews the numbers this
early in the season, so it’s debatable if the Browns are
really the NFL’s fifth-best pass defense or possess the
second-best pass rush. Still, it’s best to view Cousins
as a borderline starting option.
CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Running Game Thoughts: With Dalvin Cook (ankle) inactive due
to an ankle injury, Alexander Mattison stepped in and contributed
171 yards of total offense on 32 touches (26 runs, six receptions).
Cook is back at practice this week and optimistic about his chances
to return in Week 4. If he starts, Cook is an RB1. Mattison, meanwhile,
would be an RB2 if Cook misses another game. Otherwise, he should
remain benched as the Vikings have never shown interest in featuring
more than one back. On the other side of the ledger, the Browns
are fifth in the NFL at just 67 yards rushing per game allowed.
This is a strength-on-strength matchup.
Colts @ Dolphins
- (Krueger) Line: MIA -2.0 Total: 42.5
Game Thoughts: Carson Wentz (QB27) left Week 2 with a
couple of sprained ankles and gutted through Week 3 on his way
to a 19-37, 194-0-0 line with zero rushing yards. Yuck. Without
his mobility, Wentz is unplayable in fantasy.
It’s hard to get excited about this passing offense with
no difference makers on the outside and with a gimpy QB. Michael
Pittman Jr. (WR34) has back-to-back games with 12 targets but
has yet to find the endzone. Zach Pascal (WR33) is the other receiver
worth mentioning, has found the endzone 3 times but is trailing
Pittman in targets 28-18. Pittman is the play as we hope for some
TD regression in the near future. The tight ends are getting lost
in the mix with only Jack Doyle registering as a low-end TE2 option.
Doyle missed practice on Thursday with a back injury. You can
find better options.
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13
Running Game Thoughts: Marlon Mack was a surprise Inactive in
Week 3 and we eventually found out why. Adam Schefter reported
earlier this week that the team is exploring trade options for
Mack. He seems disgruntled as he plays behind Jonathon Taylor
and pass-catching guru Nyheim Hines. With the potential of a three-headed
RBBC narrowed, the value of both Taylor and Hines gets a boost.
Taylor has had a disappointing start after solid usage in Week
1 (17 carries, 7 targets). He’s topped out at 64 rushing
yards and has a grand total of 10 yards receiving the last two
weeks. The Dolphins have already given up a couple of 100-yard
rushing performances this young season (Damien Harris, Peyton
Barber), signaling this could be the Taylor breakout game in 2021.
Hines is T-7th among RBs with 16 targets and is a good bet for
at least 4 receptions as Wentz looks to dump the ball off instead
of take off with his legs. With Wentz likely to be hobbling around
in the pocket, it would make sense for the Colts to employ a run-heavy
approach making both backs viable options in Week 4.
Game Thoughts: In two games this season subbing in for
the injured Tua Tagovailoa, Jacoby Brissett has yet to throw a
touchdown pass on 56 attempts. His low yards per attempt (4.3)
isn’t inspiring either. The Colts have given up 9 passing
TDs in three games so perhaps there’s some light at the
end of this tunnel for Brissett if the coaches can game plan a
more downfield approach.
Jaylen Waddle (WR27) and DeVante Parker (WR60) lead to the team
with 27 and 23 targets respectively and are the only fantasy viable
options at receiver. Waddle is the preferred choice until this
offense demonstrates it can throw the ball downfield. Will Fuller
returned to the field in Week 3 but isn’t a good fit with
Brissett’s short field throws. Also, Fuller missed practice
on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury.
The Dolphins had been rotating their tight ends the first two
weeks making Mike Gesicki unplayable. That changed in Week 3 as
Gesicki saw 12 targets on his way to a 10-86-0 line with a 24%
target share. That kind of usage is TE1 worthy and could stick
if Brissett keeps up his short passing game trend.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
Running Game Thoughts: Myles Gaskin (RB33) is getting the most
work out of this RBBC but is still only on the field about half
of the time. As a result, his upside capped and can’t be
trusted as anything more than a Flex option in PPR leagues. Salvon
Ahmed could be phased out of the offense as he is playing behind
Gaskin and Malcolm Brown. Brown is not catching passes (2 targets
on the season) and averaging 6 rushes per game. With the Colts
being somewhat stingy to opposing RBs, this isn’t the best
setup for the Dolphins running attack. Deploy Gaskin as you typically
do and don’t expect any fireworks.
Titans @ Jets
- (Krueger) Line: TEN -7.0 Total: 44.5
Game Thoughts: Ryan Tannehill underperformed expectation
the first two weeks of the season (QB19, QB21) before righting
the ship last week (QB9) against the Colts that included 56 yards
on the ground. Hopefully the rushing yardage continues this week
as both A.J. Brown (hamstring) and Julio Jones (hamstring) are
nursing injuries potentially leaving the receiving duties to Chester
Rogers and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.. Not good. We could see a couple
of deep shots off play-action but any kind of consistent passing
attack should not be expected. While this isn’t a bad matchup
on paper, the lack of weapons and the likelihood Tennessee can
just hand the ball to Henry 30 times a come out with a win, makes
Tannehill a very risky QB2.
The tight ends are afterthoughts in this offense but perhaps
Anthony Firkser (knee) could see more usage as he returns from
a knee issue that’s caused him to miss the last two games.
The Jets have given up the 2nd fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks
but that’s because their offense can’t score any points
leaving little for the opposing passing game to do, especially
in the fourth quarter. It’s probably best to avoid the Titans
passing game in Week 4.
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Running Game Thoughts: It’s nice to see Derrick Henry (13
targets) getting involved in the passing game. It took him until
Week 6 last year to see his 13th target. He’s been on a
workload tear with 65 rushing attempts the last two weeks and
it’s hard not to see that trend continuing given the injuries
Tennessee is facing in their wide receiver group. New York could
sellout to stop the run and if they are successful early, this
game could have a different flow than what’s expected. However
the Jets have given up the 3rd most fantasy points to running
backs so it should be another day at the office for King Henry
with a touch total near 30.
Game Thoughts: The Jets have looked lost on offense scoring
a grand total of 20 points in three games. Zach Wilson has thrown
2 TDs and 7 INTs, which isn’t the kind of TD-to-INT ratio
you’d like to see. He’s also not providing any value
with his legs either with only 4 rushing attempts for 21 yards
and has been sacked 15 times. Corey Davis leads the team in targets
is the only fantasy consideration among the pass catchers unless
you want to get unique with Braxton Berrios who has been working
out of the slot while Jamison Crowder (groin) has been out. The
only ray of sunshine is that Tennessee is not the best defense
and does like to play man-to-man which could lead to some successful
deep shots if Wilson is afforded time in the pocket. Still, this
is an obvious avoid situation for the entire Jets passing game.
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Running Game Thoughts: Same can be said for the running game.
It appears that Tevin Coleman (illness) has been demoted to third
string in the Jets three-man committee which leaves Michael Carter
and Ty Johnson as fantasy considerations. The team’s offensive
woes leave them both as desperation plays at best with Carter
showing slightly more usage in the running game and Johnson more
in the passing game. Tennessee it middle of the pack against opposing
RBs but your fantasy team is probably in a world of hurt if you’re
contemplating a piece of the Jets running game which has yet to
score a TD.
Lions @ Bears
- (Green) Line: CHI -3.0 Total: 42.0
Game Thoughts: For the third time in as many weeks, the
Lions put together one good half of football, and once again it
wasn’t enough. Granted, it took an NFL-record 66-yard field
goal from Justin Tucker as time expired, but Detroit has yet to
play four quality quarters in the same game. Jared Goff looked
scaled back. After throwing 93 times in the first two games with
5 TDs and 3 turnovers, Goff went 22-for-30 for 217 yards, no scores
and no INTs. It was mostly underneath and intermediate stuff,
too, with no completions of beyond 25 yards.
That’s not a surprise since his most reliable options are
T.J. Hockenson (2-10-0), D’Andre Swift (7-60-0) and Jamaal
Williams (2-25-0). None of whom are downfield threats. The receiver
position remains in flux with Kalif Raymond (6-68-0) leading the
way last week after Quintez Cephus (1-8-0) had done the most damage
in Week 2. Unless or until someone emerges as a steady option,
none of Detroit’s WRs are playable. That leaves Hockenson,
who remains a solid TE1 even though he’s coming off a quiet
performance against Baltimore.
Chicago has been uneven against the pass this season, getting
torched in Week 1 and then picking off Joe Burrow on three straight
passes in Week 2. Last Sunday split the difference. They put some
heat on Baker Mayfield, sacking him five times, but never took
the ball away. While this version of the Bears defense isn’t
great, they’re not bad enough to get Goff off your fantasy
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25
Running Game Thoughts: Swift (14-47-1) and Williams (12-42-1)
are the focal points of Detroit’s offense, both in the running
and passing games. Swift is dealing with a bit of a groin injury
this week, being limited in practice, so that’s something
to keep an eye on. Assuming good health for both backs, Swift
is a solid RB2 while Williams operates as more of an RB3 or flex
type. If Swift can’t go, Williams would ascend to RB2 status.
The Bears sit in the bottom half of the league against the run,
allowing 119.3 yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry.
Game Thoughts: If you ever wondered what 1920s football
probably looked like go ahead and fire up last week’s Bears-Browns
tape and watch as Justin Fields (hand) completes 30 percent of
his passes, gets sacked nine times and nets one yard through the
air. It’d be grossly unfair to pin all of that on Fields,
but Matt Nagy has said all three QBs (Fields, Andy Dalton and
Nick Foles) are under consideration to start in Week 4. It’s
unclear if Dalton will be sufficiently recovered from his knee
injury to play, so at this point we’re guessing Foles gets
the nod with Fields appearing in specific packages, assuming his
hand is alright.
Chicago’s passing woes have neutered Allen Robinson (2-27-0)
so far, sending him from legitimate WR1 status to a fringe WR2/WR3
play. Even that designation is based more on his talent and reputation
that anything that’s happened this season in terms of production.
Theoretical up-and-comers Darnell Mooney (1-9-0) and Cole Kmet
(1-11-0) entered 2021 with a little buzz, but they’re not
even worth owning outside of deeper leagues any longer. It’s
a mess, and Robinson is the only one worth playing.
Had Week 3 not been a toxic dumpster fire, Chicago’s skill
players may well have been in for a bump against the Lions, which
rank 23rd in pass defense and are likely worse than that following
a spate of early injuries to the secondary. Week 3 happened, however,
and it’s impossible to rely on anything related to the Bears
passing game right now.
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11
Running Game Thoughts: When your offense averages 1.1 yards per
play for a full game you can safely assume there were no standout
performances. David Montgomery was the best of the bench, though,
turning 12 touches into 45 yards. He has trended down ever since
his strong effort in the opener, but he remains the focal point
of the offense and thus retains RB2 value. The Lions are 15th
against the run at 114.3 yards per game, which is pretty respectable
considering they’ve faced traditional top-tier running teams
Baltimore and San Francisco sandwiched around a meeting with Aaron
@ Falcons - (Swanson) Line: WAS -1.5 Total: 47.5
Game Thoughts: Tyler Heinicke and the Washington Football
Team head south to Atlanta this Sunday to take on a Falcons defense
that has given up the third-most points to opposing quarterbacks
through three weeks of play. Jalen Hurts and Tom Brady combined
to throw eight touchdown passes in the first two weeks, while
Daniel Jones struggled a bit last week, with 266 passing yards
but zero touchdowns.
The Falcons are a plus matchup and a unit that Heinicke should
have little trouble attacking through the air. When the Falcons
struggle to get pressure on the quarterback their subpar and injured
secondary struggles in coverage. Through three games, the Falcons
rank 22nd in sacks per game
Dante Fowler leads the team with two sacks, Grady Jerrett is
still one of the best interior lineman in the league, and Deion
Jones leads the team with three TFLs in three games.
Outside of those three players, especially if starting corner
AJ Terrell is out again with a concussion, there are few playmakers
on the defensive side of the ball for the Falcons.
As a unit, the wide receiving corps for the Football Team have
somewhat disappointed this season, with Terry McLaurin, Adam Humphries,
Dyami Brown, and Cam Sims combining to score the fourth-fewest
points as a group, with only the Bears, Saints, and Browns scoring
fewer fantasy points at the position.
McLaurin is currently the No. 25-ranked WR with 12.9 fantasy
points per game in Half-Point PPR scoring. He has one solid game
sandwiched between two mediocre performances. On one hand, you
are happy that he has an average of nearly nine targets per game.
Yet on the other, he has scored just once and Washington ranks
25th out of 32 teams in pass attempts, and they continue to be
a run-heavy team.
One of the biggest surprises of the season has been the ineptness
of the Washington defense. They have given up the most points
to opposing quarterbacks and the vaunted defensive front is not
getting sacks. This bodes well for the offensive players on the
Football Team, as the defense has yet to create a negative game
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Running Game Thoughts: Antonio Gibson ranks 19th in average fantasy
points per game over the first three games of the season. He has
not exactly lived up to his top-15 ADP, but he has outscored Saquon
Barkley and Jonathan Taylor.
Gibson’s yard per carry average is down .5 from last year
and he has yet to score a rushing touchdown. Despite this frustrating
fact, he is on pace for 68 receptions and did score on a long
pass play against the Bills last week.
A troubling trend for Gibson managers has been the steady decline
in snap percentage for Gibson and the correlating increase for
J.D. McKissic. Gibson is down from 65% in Week 1 to 57% last week,
while McKissic has jumped from 36% to 46%.
Both players are worthy starts this week, with Gibson as a high-end
No.2 RB and McKissic as a solid flex.
Game Thoughts: Matt Ryan is currently ranked 26th at
quarterback with 707 passing yards and four passing touchdowns
in three games, along with three interceptions and no added value
in the running game.
We did not expect Ryan to be a fantasy star with Julio Jones
leaving and new head coach Arthur Smith brining in his run-heavy
scheme from Tennessee. But we did expect for Calvin Ridley to
still perform as a top-tier WR 1, and we hoped the Falcons would
make the most of their new weapon in tight end Kyle Pitts.
Unfortunately, Ridley has not been heavily targeted and currently
sits with just 24.8% of the team’s targets through three
games, which is barely above Jakobi Myers and Cole Beasley. Not
only are the Falcons not throwing the ball as much, Ridley is
not getting the 28% to 30% share we had hoped as a fantasy industry.
Even more troubling is the fact that Matt Ryan is not targeting
his wide receivers downfield, which is where Ridley has excelled
as one of the best route runners in the league. Ryan’s 6.0
yards per attempt is near the bottom of the lease, just ahead
of Davis Mills, Trevor Lawrence, and Andy Dalton.
From a matchup perspective, Washington has been playing poor
football on the defensive side of the ball and has been lit up
by two great offenses and a long touchdown run by Daniel Jones.
Ryan is no threat to run and the Falcons pass blocking is dreadful.
It would not surprise us to see the Football Team bounce back
in a big way this week.
You are starting Ridley with the hope that he scores. Ryan should
only be a consideration in super flex leagues.
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
Running Game Thoughts: Starting running back Mike Davis has not
topped 50 using yards in any game this season, and the Falcons
are using converted WR Cordarrelle Patterson as a flex player
who lines up as a WR and a running back. Patterson does have a
rushing touchdown, but he has been just as ineffective running
the ball as Davis, with 85 yards on 21 carries.
Neither option is great in this matchup against a defense that
has given up the 9th-fewest points to running backs. As bad as
Washington has been at stopping the pass and opposing quarterbacks,
they continue to be one of the better run defenses. When you consider
the Falcons are one of the worst run blocking offensive lines
in the league, this does not bode well for Davis or Patterson.
Cardinals at Rams
- (Caron) Line: LAR -4.5 Total: 55.0
Game Thoughts: Murray remains one of the best running
quarterbacks in the league and he added his third rushing touchdown
of the year last week. While his rushing yardage hasn’t
been what we’ve come to expect, Murray remains a threat
to go for 50-plus yards on the ground. Until that changes, he
remains one of the highest floor quarterbacks while also giving
fantasy owners the benefit of a massive, week-winning ceiling
in just about any matchup.
A banged up DeAndre Hopkins gutted through Week 3 but didn’t
deliver for fantasy owners as he caught just three passes for
21 yards. Unfortunately things get tougher this week as he’ll
likely see star cornerback Jalen Ramsey lined up across from him
throughout much of the game on Sunday afternoon. After missing
more practices with a rib injury, it’s not hard to say that
both Hopkins’ ceiling and his floor are limited here in
Week 4. While he’s still a must-start for most fantasy owners,
if there’s ever been a week to bench one of the league’s
top pass catchers, it has to be this one. Hopkins is currently
listed as questionable and is expected to play, but Ramsey could
end up being lined up against another veteran receiver, A.J. Green,
if Hopkins does end up being out.
Green has been a pleasant surprise, having scored a touchdown
in Week 2 before catching five passes for 112 yards and a touchdown
in Week 3. His age and lack of production in recent years has
meant that he’s still rostered in a very small percentage
of leagues, but he’s now been targeted six times in three
straight games and he’s played the second-most snaps of
any Cardinals receiver, behind only Hopkins.
Another player who struggled to do much this past week against
Jacksonville was rookie wide receiver Rondale Moore. Moore was
coming off of a breakout game in Week 2 wherein he delivered his
first 100-yard receiving performance as a pro and that likely
incentivized a lot of fantasy owners to start him in what we thought
would be a good matchup against Jacksonville. Two catches for
one yard later, and we were all left scratching our heads. Moore
played just the fourth-most snaps for the Cardinals in that contest
and hasn’t yet shown us that he’s going to see significant
opportunities each week. He’s a bench-worthy player in most
formats, but someone we need to keep an eye on, especially if
Hopkins ends up missing any sort of time.
Certainly other players in the Arizona offense have been more
exciting than Christian Kirk, but few have been more productive.
Kirk has now caught 15 passes in three games to go along with
239 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He’s playing out of
the slot on almost two thirds of his snaps which is a big step
up from what he had to do in recent years when Larry Fitzgerald
was on the roster. Kirk is now playing a much more natural position
for his skill set and he’s proving a lot of his doubters
wrong. He’s not an every week must-start yet, but he’s
Tight end Maxx Williams saw a big boost in ownership following
his Week 2 blowup game against Minnesota in which he caught seven
passes for 94 yards, but things came back down to reality in Week
3 when he was targeted just three times. Williams is not an every
week starter by any means and he’s a borderline rosterable
player in even deep leagues.
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10
Running Game Thoughts: While Chase Edmonds continues to out-snap
James Conner by about a three-to-two ratio, the fantasy production
has remained somewhat close, especially in non-PPR formats. Conner’s
two close-range rushing touchdowns this past week helped solidify
the reality that this backfield is likely going to be a frustrating
one for fantasy owners all year long.
Conner had only scored 5.3 and 2.6 fantasy points over his first
two games, but he was taking enough work away from Edmonds that
neither of them was turning in great fantasy performances. Edmonds
has been buoyed in PPR formats by his 16 catches through three
games and he’s playing on most passing downs, but he’s
failed to exceed 12 carries in a single game this season. It is
worth noting that he was in near the goal line and got a carry
in Week 3, but he fell just short of the goal line and the subsequent
goal line carries throughout the afternoon all went to Conner.
For now, Edmonds is a PPR RB2 and probably more of a Flex play
in non-PPR formats. Conner will remain a non-starter in most leagues
just due to his lack of overall usage, but he will almost certainly
continue to see goal line carries going forward which will in
turn lead to some useful weeks. Don’t expect that to happen
much against the Rams, however, who have one of the league’s
most talented defenses.
Game Thoughts: Another big week from Matthew Stafford
helped propel the Rams to a huge win over the defending Super
Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Stafford threw for 343 yards
and a season-high four touchdowns in the victory and he’s
now sitting firmly as a QB1 for fantasy.
This week Stafford and the Rams get to face a Cardinals defense
that is devoid of any sort of talent in their secondary. While
Arizona has held all three quarterbacks they’ve faced to
under 250 yards, they did allow Kirk Cousins to throw three touchdowns
against them and they haven’t yet faced another pass-heavy
team. The Rams will certainly put pressure on this Cardinals defense
and it’d be surprising if they end up being up to the task.
As things stand right now, the top-scoring PPR fantasy wide receiver
is Los Angeles’ Cooper Kupp. Certainly we’ve seen
him get off to hot starts and have hot streaks throughout his
career, but this one just feels different. Kupp has been targeted
at least 10 times in all three games and he’s now exceeded
95 yards in each game while scoring a total of five touchdowns.
Of course we can’t expect this type of production to continue,
but even a step back would keep Kupp firmly entrenched as a must-start
WR1 right now. This is a player who is truly making an impact
for fantasy owners.
Robert Woods hasn’t been nearly as productive, but it does
seem likely that he will get things going soon. Woods does have
two 12-point PPR days so it hasn’t been a disaster, but
he did give fantasy owners a dud this past week. It’s obvious
that Kupp is the priority target leader in Los Angeles, but there’s
still plenty to go around for Woods to be a quality low-end WR2,
which is about what he was drafted to be anyway.
The third wide receiver spot in Los Angeles has been interesting
to follow because it’s second-year receiver Van Jefferson
who is playing by far the most snaps, but it’s actually
been veteran DeSean Jackson who’s had the only usable fantasy
day. A long highlight reel touchdown caught the eye of many fantasy
owners and he’s now likely being thrown into DFS lineups
because of that, but it’s important to be careful. Jackson
played less than half as many snaps as Jefferson in Week 3 and
he only played three snaps to Jefferson’s 54 in Week 2.
It’s possible that Jackson ends up taking over as the team’s
third option, especially if he continues to produce splash plays
like he did this past week, but don’t trust him in your
lineups for now.
Tight end Tyler Higbee has now delivered two solid fantasy days
and he looks like a pretty solid TE1 for fantasy, especially given
how weak the position is overall this season. His Week 2 dud against
the Colts is something that we can’t forget, but Higbee
is in a good situation to continue to produce as likely the third-best
option in this high-powered Rams passing game.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Running Game Thoughts: Darrell Henderson missed Week 3 with a
rib injury which led to former Patriots running back Sony Michel
dominating the running back snaps for the Rams. Unfortunately,
even in a double-digit victory which saw the Rams up multiple
scores over the Buccaneers for much of the game, Michel still
finished with just 67 yards. He did see 20 carries and three receptions,
which tells us that the Rams are likely to lean heavily on their
running game when they do get into significant positive game scripts,
but Michel simply doesn’t seem like a player any of us should
be particularly excited about for fantasy, especially now that
Henderson is expected to be back on the field.
Henderson delivered two quality fantasy performances in Weeks
1 and 2 against the Bears and Colts and he should again take over
as the team’s lead back here in Week 4 against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals did contain Derrick Henry in Week 1, in what was
a very weird game script, but they’ve since given up a 148
total yard day to Dalvin Cook and a 132 total yard day to James
Robinson in back-to-back games.
If he’s able to get back to the significant snap share advantage
that he had over Michel in those first two weeks then Henderson
should again be a useful fantasy asset in this contest. If Henderson
is unable to play, Michel’s usage would indicate that he
should again be a low-end RB2 or Flex play.
Seahawks at 49ers
- (Caron) Line: SF -3.0 Total: 52.0
Game Thoughts: The early fantasy season has been decent
for Russell Wilson thus far, but we did see a bit of a disappointing
performance from him this past week in what should’ve been
a more pass-heavy game against the Vikings. Wilson remains a QB1
and he’ll almost certainly continue to be one of the most
efficient quarterbacks in the league, but he’s now 26th
in the NFL in pass attempts. He’s actually thrown one fewer
pass than Lamar Jackson and he’s even behind Jacoby Brissett
who’s only started one game.
Add that to the problem that he’s only rushed for 32 yards
so far this season and it’s easy to see why Wilson is only
barely hanging on as a QB1 for fantasy.
Now this week Wilson will face a 49ers defense that has been good
against opposing quarterbacks. They did allow Jalen Hurts to rush
for 82 yards and Jared Goff actually had a 338-yard, three touchdown
game against them in large part due to garbage time points, but
they’ve been very good when the game script has been relatively
With Wilson being a low volume passer, we’re still limited
to really only his top two pass catchers, DK Metcalf and Tyler
Lockett, being every week starters. Lockett got off to the hot
start this season with back-to-back 100-yard games and three scores
in his first two games, but he was hampered this past week by
a hip injury and struggled to get things going against the Vikings.
He’s been practicing, albeit in limited fashion, this week
and he’s expected to play, so he should be back in fantasy
lineups against the 49ers.
San Francisco has really only played one true alpha receiver this
year, that being Davante Adams, and he lit them up for 12 catches
for 132 yards and a touchdown this past week. Now they face another
premium outside receiver in Metcalf and that could mean another
nice game for the third-year receiver who is coming off of his
best game of the season. Metcalf caught six passes for 107 yards
and a touchdown against Minnesota and could be in line for an
even bigger target share with Lockett a bit banged up.
The only other pass catcher of any interest in this offense is
tight end Gerald Everett, who was placed on the COVID-IR list
on Wednesday, making him unlikely to suit up on Sunday. Backup
tight end Will Dissly should see an increase in playing time and
becomes a potential DFS option if you’re punting at tight
end, but he otherwise should remain outside of starting fantasy
SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Running Game Thoughts: The low volume of the Seahawks passing
game continues to affect just about everyone in the offense, but
running back Chris Carson remains one of the league’s most
consistent producers due to his rushing workload. Carson has carried
the ball at least 11 times in nine straight games going back to
2020 and it would’ve been an even longer streak if he hadn’t
been injured midway through that season. He’s only caught
five passes and remains a low volume option in that regard, but
Seattle is a good offense and he gets regular goal line work.
He won’t often contribute the huge ceiling games and his
floor can sometimes be relatively low given the lack of passing
game work, but he’s a consistent 10-to-15-point producer,
which makes him a solid RB2 in just about any matchup.
This week he’ll face a 49ers defense that has mostly contained
opposing running backs on the ground, but they’re giving
up about four yards per carry and that should be enough to allow
Carson to contribute about his usual point totals, assuming he
gets into the end zone and/or catches a couple of passes.
Game Thoughts: Jimmy Garoppolo continues to play just
well enough to avoid any real push for the 49ers to move on to
rookie Trey Lance, but fantasy owners have to be chomping at the
bit to see the first round pick in some real action. Garoppolo
has been fine from a fantasy standpoint as he currently ranks
as about a mid-level QB2 which is what we expected, but there’s
always the concern that he struggles in a game and gets benched.
For now, we’ll have to assume that it’ll be Garoppolo
behind center and that might be a good thing for the top pass
catchers in the San Francisco offense. Deebo Samuel has now seen
a whopping 30 targets in his first three games, catching 20 of
those for 334 yards and a touchdown. Samuel was not even the top
wide receiver being selected on his team, let alone did we expect
him to be outperforming tight end George Kittle, but that’s
where we’re at right now. Samuel’s volume has made
him a safe option and while we’ll still only be ranking
him as a WR2, there’s a real possibility that he squeaks
on into the WR1 rankings if he sees another 10 target game here
in Week 4.
Speaking of Kittle (calf), the superstar tight end finally got
things going this past week when he caught seven of the nine passes
that came his way for 92 yards. He failed to get into the end
zone for the third straight game, but a nine target game should
have fantasy owners confident again in him for fantasy. He’s
a must-start in all formats but monitor his injury situation over
The other wide receiver in this offense, who we’ve been
incredibly disappointed with thus far, is Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk
didn’t see a single target in Week 1 and only saw two targets
in Week 2, but he finally seemed to be out of the dog house -
at least to some extent - in Week 3, when he was targeted six
times. He caught four of those passes for just 37 yards but did
get into the end zone with one of them, which should give fantasy
owners some hope this week. He’ll be up against a Seattle
defense that just gave up double-digit fantasy points to both
Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson a week ago, so there’s
some hope that Aiyuk can make it two straight solid fantasy games.
He’s a low-end Flex or bench player for now, but all hope
is not lost.
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Running Game Thoughts: The 49ers running back situation continues
to be a complete crapshoot on a week to week basis. We thought
things might be more clear this past week with so many injuries
leading to rookie Trey Sermon being the only viable running back
on the roster, but even that didn’t lead to much. Sermon
was the only 49ers “running back” who even saw a snap
in Week 3, but he carried the ball just 10 times, adding just
two receptions. Meanwhile, fullback Kyle Juszczyk carried the
ball an additional five yards and added four receptions of his
own. Needless to say, this was not the kind of performance from
Sermon that should be instilling confidence in fantasy owners,
especially now other running backs are expected back on the field.
If Kyle Shanahan can’t trust Sermon to carry the ball more
than 10 times in a game when no other backs are even seeing the
field, then it’s hard to believe that he has any value at
Instead, we should be looking to Elijah Mitchell to return to
his role as the top back on the roster. Mitchell missed Week 3
with a shoulder injury and has been practicing in limited fashion
throughout the week. It’ll be a situation to monitor as
he could again miss the game or even be severely limited, but
Mitchell saw 38 touches over the 49ers’ first two games
and it would seem likely that he’ll return to a role of
seeing a significant touch number if he’s able to suit up
The Seahawks have given up a total of 524 total yards (rushing
and receiving) through three games to the top running backs they’ve
faced on opposing offenses, so this is a potentially big opportunity
for whoever is starting for the 49ers.
Game Thoughts: A Week 1 upset win in Buffalo feels like
a long time ago now as the Steelers have dropped two straight
games in which they looked an awful lot like the team that lost
five of their final six last year. Ben Roethlisberger (pectoral)
has been sacked eight times already and is playing though an injured
pec. He threw 58 passes last Sunday, completing 38 of them for
318 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. On the surface those aren’t
terrible numbers, but it led to just 10 points.
It didn’t help that Diontae Johnson (knee) missed last
Sunday’s game or that JuJu Smith-Schuster departed early
on with a rib injury. Chase Claypool played the whole game, posting
a 9-96-0 line, but was added to the injury report this week with
a hamstring issue. Of the three, Smith-Schuster appears the most
likely to miss Sunday’s game, though you’ll want to
track them all leading up to kickoff. Keep in mind, though, that
it appears none of them will be fully healthy even if they suit
10/2: Update: Claypool
has been downgraded to Out.
While the Packers are ninth against the pass (206 yards per game),
they’ve allowed nine TD passes, which is tied for most in
the NFL. Five of those came in their Week 1 disaster against the
Saints, and they’ve been much better over the past game
and a half. Kevin King (concussion) missed Week 3 and is TBD for
Sunday, but Eric Stokes has played well opposite Jaire Alexander.
It’s tough to project value based on all the injuries, but
assume Johnson is a WR2/WR3 if he can play with the others baselining
GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3
Running Game Thoughts: First-round pick Najee Harris has rushed
40 times this year for 123 yards, a meager 3.1 yards per carry.
He’s picked up the slack the past two weeks in the receiving
department but be careful not to read too much into his 14-catch
outing in Week 3 as that’s a telltale sign of playing from
behind against soft coverage. Although the Packers have been a
middling run defense this season, they looked much improved Sunday
night in San Francisco, holding the 49ers to 3.2 yards per carry.
Game Thoughts: Even without Pro Bowl OLs David Bakhtiari
(knee) and Elgton Jenkins (ankle), Aaron Rodgers never looked
rattled Sunday night, completing 22 of his 33 attempts for 261
yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was the reigning MVP’s
second straight efficient performance coming off the Week 1 meltdown
to seemingly right the ship. Despite that, we haven’t seen
huge numbers for Rodgers thus far, especially in the yardage department
where he ranks 26th in the NFL with 649.
With that number so low, it’s not surprising that Green
Bay’s dangerous offense has produced only one fantasy-worthy
pass catcher this year. That, of course, is Davante Adams, who
was targeted on 18 of Rodgers’ 33 passes on SNF with a dozen
receptions, 132 yards and a touchdown as a result. Adams survived
a nasty hit and came out none the worse for wear, and he remains
an elite WR1. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hamstring) enjoyed his
best game of 2021 Sunday night with 59 yards and a score on three
grabs, but he tweaked his hammy late and looks unlikely to play
in Week 4.
Minus MVS, Allen Lazard (1-42-0) and Randall Cobb could see more
work, though neither figure to mean much to fantasy owners. Robert
Tonyan, who had 11 TDs last season, was used to chip and help
the offensive line last Sunday. He may be called upon in that
role again if T.J. Watt (groin) returns from a groin injury, though
if you’re in need you could at least try Tonyan as a low-end
TE1. Pittsburgh is 20th against the pass this season (266.3 yards
per game) and allowed three TDs in 14 completions last week.
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
Running Game Thoughts: After he scored four times in Week 2,
Aaron Jones (ankle) was due for a quieter night this past Sunday.
Given the level of competition, however, Jones’ 21-touch,
96-yard, 1-TD effort was arguably more impressive. The Packers
offense runs its best when Jones is the centerpiece, and despite
being limited in practice by an ankle issue this week he should
function as an RB1 come Sunday. The Steelers seem to always have
a formidable run D, and so far in 2021 they rank 10th at 88.3
yards per game. If Jones is a surprise inactive, AJ Dillon (back)
should step in as an RB2.
Ravens at Broncos
- (Caron) Line: DEN -1.0 Total: 45.0
Game Thoughts: Lamar Jackson continues to be an every
week QB1 for fantasy, largely due to his incredible rushing upside.
He has now rushed for 251 yards and a pair of touchdowns, putting
him on pace to rush for a ridiculous 1,422 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Normally we’d be saying something like, “that pace
is unsustainable,” but with a guy like Lamar Jackson - no,
it really isn’t.
Jackson hasn’t yet thrown for 300 yards in a game, but he’s
also on pace to throw for a career high in yards. The one main
problem thus far is that Jackson has only thrown three touchdown
passes, along with three interceptions, so the efficiency in those
two categories has limited his fantasy point total. We know that
Jackson isn’t the most accurate passer, but he’s typically
been fairly good at avoiding turnovers so this shouldn’t
be something that we expect to continue.
His top wide receiver, Marquise Brown, has exceeded all expectations
thus far and is on pace to shatter any previous career season
bests that he’s had. Brown has seen at least six targets
in every game and he’s typically seeing passes down the
field so he always has the potential to make big plays and produce
nice fantasy days. With that said, we know that he’s a streaky
player and he’s had a few costly drops, so there will certainly
be times when he’s difficult to own, but that’s why
he shouldn’t be in your lineup as anything more than a Flex.
Fellow wide receiver Sammy Watkins has also been productive thus
far, having caught four passes and been targeted at least seven
times in each game, which is interesting to see given that he
was never this involved in the Chiefs offense. This week, the
Ravens face an excellent Broncos defense that has been completely
shutting down opposing offenses thus far. Now is not the time
to be dropping Watkins into your lineup.
Tight end Mark Andrews is really the only Ravens pass catcher
who we should be very confident in most weeks, and especially
this week. Andrews obviously has the benefit of playing a position
that is largely devoid of much fantasy production to begin with
so the measuring stick isn’t nearly as high, but he’s
produced back-to-back double-digit PPR fantasy days, including
a 100-yard game against the Lions this past week. With the Broncos’
pass rush being among the best in the league, look for Jackson
to target passes closer to the line of scrimmage this week which
should make for more opportunities than usual for Andrews.
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Running Game Thoughts: The first two weeks of the season had most
of us thinking that Ty’Son Williams was going to be the
primary back in the Ravens’ committee, but things got a
little cloudy in Week 3 when Williams saw just five carries. He
was out-touched by veteran Latavius Murray, who carried the ball
seven times, and even Devonta Freeman got involved with three
While Williams still dominated the total snap count, it should
be concerning to fantasy owners that this backfield appears to
be melting into a full blown committee, with none of them being
particularly useful in the passing game. Worse yet, Murray appears
to be the primary goal line back, having scored close touchdowns
in both Weeks 1 and 2.
Against a Broncos defense that has been lights out against opposing
offenses, it’s just too difficult to trust any of these
Ravens backs here in Week 4. Let’s use this week as a “show
me” week and hopefully one of the backs will emerge for
us to use next week in what should be a less difficult matchup
against the Colts.
Game Thoughts: Teddy Bridgewater was a strong fantasy
option in each of the Broncos’ first two games, but they
really didn’t need him to do much in what was a blowout
win over the Jets. New York was held scoreless on the day while
the Broncos easily cruised to victory, leading to just 25 pass
attempts from Bridgewater on the afternoon.
We should expect a much more competitive contest here in Week
4 as the Broncos host the Ravens and that should lead to a much
higher passing volume day for Bridgewater and the entire Denver
passing game. We’re still not looking at Teddy as being
anything more than a QB2, but he’s proven to be much more
efficient than most of us expected that he would be, albeit against
fairly weak defenses. Baltimore’s pass defense should be
the best he’s faced thus far, but they have given up big
fantasy days to both Derek Carr and Patrick Mahomes.
Bridgewater’s top pass catcher, Courtland Sutton, is someone
to watch closely this week. The Broncos lost KJ Hamler so that
should in theory funnel even more targets to the remaining proven
pass catchers, and that’s a great thing for potential fantasy
production. We’ve seen Sutton have a 159-yard game already
this season and if Denver falls behind on the scoreboard then
he could be in line for another double-digit target day.
Tim Patrick has probably been picked up and dropped more than
almost any player in fantasy this season as he’s had plenty
of opportunities to produce but hasn’t been able to do it
quite yet. He’s been targeted four, four and five times
in the three games he’s played thus far, but he did catch
all five passes that came his way for 98 yards this past week.
He’s a reliable pass catcher for the Broncos, but not someone
who has a huge ceiling for fantasy. With that said, he’s
someone who could be a low-end Flex in PPR this week if you’re
Tight end Noah Fant is really the player we should be paying closest
attention to this week, as he produced decent games in both Weeks
1 and 2 before dropping a complete dud in Week 3. Of course, the
game script certainly didn’t help given that he wasn’t
going out for many passes in a blowout win, but three targets
was a real disappointment. The Ravens have had an absurdly difficult
schedule against opposing tight ends this season that has included
Darren Waller, Travis Kelce and T.J. Hockenson so their stats
are definitely skewed, but they’re a defense that is beatable
over the middle. Fant should be a TE1 this week.
BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1
Running Game Thoughts: The touch split between Melvin Gordon and
Javonte Williams continued this past week and once again it was
Gordon who emerged as the more productive player. Still, both
backs got into the end zone against the Jets in what was a heavy
rushing attack game for the Broncos, so it ended up being a decent
fantasy day for both players.
Gordon continues to get a bit more playing time than Williams,
but this is about a 60/40 split at the moment, which is enough
to make it tough to trust either player against a good Baltimore
defense. They haven’t faced particularly good rushing offenses,
but the Ravens haven’t allowed any running back to even
reach 50 yards on the ground against them this season. They have
allowed five rushing touchdowns, so it’s not a complete
disaster matchup, but there’s not much to be excited about
for Gordon or Williams in this one.
Game Thoughts: Antonio Brown has been activated off the
Covid-19 list and is expected to play this week. His presence
will give Brady another weapon in the passing game to go along
with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. All three have weekly WR1 ceilings
given how dynamic this passing offense has been. Brady leads the
league in passing TDs (10), is 2nd in yards (1087) and first in
attempts (141). Play these guys where you can. Rob Gronkowski
took a shot to the ribs last week and has missed practice time
but I doubt he’s going to miss the contest against his former
team on Sunday Night Football. Gronk is second among fantasy tight
ends behind only Travis Kelce and is a threat to score a TD anytime
he’s on the field.
10/2: Update: Gronk
has been downgraded to Out.
It’s been a few years since these teams have faced off
so it’s difficult to judge which skill player Bill Belichick
will focus on stopping. The Patriots represent a negative matchup
on paper but considering they’ve faced the likes of Tua
Tagovailoa, Zach Wilson and Jameis Winston, I wouldn’t put
too much stock in their FPTs Allowed to QB data. Tom Brady should
be just fine and I’d expect one of his pass catchers to
post a WR1 finish.
NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Running Game Thoughts: Ronald Jones can be left on your bench
until further notice. His carry totals through three weeks are
4-6-5 and he’s barely noticeable in the passing game. When
the Bucs get down on the scoreboard it’s going to be Giovani
Bernard racking up the catches as we saw last week (9-51-1). Bernard
is nursing a knee injury and missed practice on Thursday. That
leaves Leonard Fournette to soak up the majority of early-down
work in an offense that favors the pass. Uncle Len has topped
out at 15 touches (Wk 2) which doesn’t do much for his fantasy
ceiling but makes him a middling Flex option in likely game scenarios
as we have here in Week 4, especially if Bernard sits with his
Game Thoughts: Mac Jones (QB28) currently sits near the
bottom of the QB ranks with only 2 TDs and 3 INTs on the season.
Those kind of quarterback numbers lead to undesirable wide receiver
production with Jakobi Meyers checking in at WR44 (FPts/G) in
PPR leagues. Meyers did receive 14 targets last week as the Patriots
were in catchup mode most of the game against the Saints. A similar
game flow could take place this week and with the Bucs having
allowed over 300 yards passing in their first three games (DAL,
ATL, LAR), Meyers could be a somewhat sneaky WR3 play in Week
The tight end usage and production continues to be puzzling and
lacks any clarity. Hunter Henry was in on 72 percent of the snaps
last week posting a 5-36 line on six targets and seems to be the
preferred option at the moment over Jonnu Smith who isn’t
running nearly as many routes. Don’t expect anything more
than TE2 production from either of these tight ends until the
passing offense becomes more proficient.
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
Running Game Thoughts: With James White (hip) out for the season
the Patriots are searching for someone to fill the pass-catching
RB role in the offense. Brandon Bolden is typically a special
teamer but did get some run after White went down in Week 3. The
team doesn’t trust Damien Harris in pass protection which
limits his third-down usage so perhaps we’ll see J.J. Taylor
or Rhamondre Stevenson mixed into this role against the Bucs?
Harris is the primary early-down option but how useful he’ll
be in this game is questionable. The Bucs have been stout against
the run in recent memory and as a result, most opponents have
opted for a pass-heavy approach. The Rams did run Sony Michel
20 times last week against this defense but they were leading
much of game. That scenario is unlikely here, making Harris more
of a Flex option than a solid RB2.
Raiders at Chargers
- (Caron) Line: LAC -3.0 Total: 51.5
Game Thoughts: The NFL’s leading passer through
three is probably a surprise to most -- it’s Derek Carr.
Carr’s 1,203 yards through the air are over 100 more than
the next-closest quarterback. It helps that the Raiders have already
been in two overtime games, but it’s not completely unreasonable
to think that Carr and the Las Vegas passing game might be much
better than many of us expected.
Carr now faces his toughest matchup as he heads to Los Angeles
to face a Chargers defense that has been excellent against opposing
quarterbacks. Despite facing two of the league’s most high-powered
offenses led by Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott, the Chargers
have only given up a total of four passing touchdowns along with
forcing three interceptions. Carr has been playing like a QB1,
but he’s really a borderline QB1/QB2 in this game, given
the difficulty of the matchup.
Second year wide receiver Henry Ruggs III has stepped up in a
big way and currently leads the team with 237 receiving yards.
He followed up his big Week 2 explosion with a solid fantasy day
in Week 3, and has to be considered at least a Flex option this
week against the Chargers.
Fellow second-year wideout Bryan Edwards hasn’t had quite
as hot of a start as Ruggs, but he’s been someone to keep
an eye on as well. The Raiders have been trusting him late in
games, particularly in game-winning drives, which bodes well for
his opportunities going forward. He’s not someone who should
be in your lineup until we see him getting more targets coming
his way, but he should be owned in just about every league.
Hunter Renfrow is actually the highest-scoring Raiders receiver
in PPR formats, but obviously he is not as flashy as Ruggs and
Edwards. Still, he’s caught 16 passes already this season
and he did get into the end zone. He’s a much more reliable
option if you need 10 to 15 PPR points in a given week, but he’s
not someone who has much upside in really any matchup. He’s
a situational PPR Flex option.
Tight end Darren Waller had the monster Week 1 performance that
had many believing that he might unseat Travis Kelce as the TE1
for fantasy this season. He hasn’t had quite that type of
success since, but Waller remains the best fantasy option on the
Raiders roster. He’s been targeted at least seven times
in every game which is almost unheard of for a tight end and he’s
a must-start as usual.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Running Game Thoughts: Raiders running back Josh Jacobs returned
to practice on Thursday and there’s a decent chance that
he suits up to play on Monday night. Unfortunately, because it
is a Monday game, fantasy owners need to make sure that they have
a contingency plan in place, as we likely won’t have verification
on his status until a few hours before the game.
If Jacobs is ready to go, he’ll get to face a Chargers defense
that has struggled mightily to contain opposing running backs
this season. They’ve given up over 100 rushing yards to
opposing backs in every game this season, including this past
week to the struggling Clyde Edwards-Helaire, as well as 180 total
rushing yards to Cowboys the duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.
Assuming he plays, Jacobs should be looked at as an RB2, given
the matchup and his previous usage in the Las Vegas offense. However,
if he’s unable to go, look for the Raiders to again utilize
a backfield split with Peyton Barber handling the majority of
the rushing work and Kenyan Drake handling the pass catching work.
Barber turned in a shockingly impressive performance this past
week when he carried the ball 23 times for 111 yards and a touchdown
while adding three receptions for 31 yards as well. If he ends
up in the same role, he should be viewed as an RB2.
Either way, Drake’s role doesn’t appear to be changing
much. We expected that he’d see an uptick in carries with
Jacobs out, but that hasn’t really been the case in either
game. He’s carried the ball just 15 times over the past
two weeks, totaling just 33 yards on the ground with those carries,
while Barber has been the clear best runner on the team. Drake
has, however, already caught 13 passes this season, so he’s
turned in some decent fantasy performances despite his lack of
rushing production, but he’s not someone we should be particularly
excited about in any scenario this week.
Game Thoughts: Justin Herbert got out to a slow start
in his second season, but a gigantic four-touchdown performance
in the win over the Chiefs this past week should have fantasy
owners excited again as we head into a potential shootout in Week
4 against the Raiders. Herbert now sits fourth in the NFL in passing
yardage through three weeks and he’ll face a Raiders defense
that gave up a near-300 yard game to Ben Roethlisberger - who
looks terrible - as well as productive fantasy days (albeit largely
due to rushing) to both Lamar Jackson and Jacoby Brissett. The
Chargers passing offense is by far the best that the Raiders have
faced thus far and it could be another big week for Herbert and
Wide receiver Mike Williams has been a surprising breakout this
season and it’s now come to the point where it’s no
longer fluky. Williams has produced big in all three weeks and
currently sits as the No.2 PPR fantasy wide receiver on the season.
He’s been targeted a whopping 31 times thus far, catching
22 of those passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns. It’d
be shocking if he was able to keep up this type of production,
but even if he regresses a bit, he can continue to be a borderline
WR1 if he’s seeing anywhere near this kind of volume.
Keenan Allen has taken a back seat to Williams’ huge production
thus far, but he’s been as steady and reliable as ever,
providing three great PPR fantasy days in a row. He’s been
a borderline WR1 as well and should be looked at as nothing short
of a high-end WR2 in this matchup. He’s an excellent floor
play with upside - exactly what we want in fantasy football.
The only other pass catcher of note in Los Angeles is tight end
Jared Cook, who has turned in back-to-back junk performances.
We know that almost all of the targets are going to Williams and
Allen, so until that changes, don’t look for Cook to be
anything more than a bust tight end who has occasional boom games
due to touchdowns.
LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
Running Game Thoughts: With 15 targets over his
past two games, it’s now safe to say that Austin Ekeler’s
catchless Week 1 performance was something that we shouldn’t
be worried about going forward. Ekeler has since been back to
his PPR studly ways, contributing enough on the ground to add
with his 15 catches in Weeks 2 and 3 to give him back-to-back
Ekeler now gets to face a Raiders defense that gave up five catches
to Najee Harris and has already given up four touchdowns to the
running back position as a whole on the year. The Raiders haven’t
faced particularly scary running backs thus far, so this will
be a test, but Ekeler should be up to the test. He’s a very
safe option, especially in PPR, and should be a locked in RB1.