PANTHERS 24 TEXANS 9
The Carolina Panthers move to 3-0 over a lifeless Houston Texans team. Sam Darnold was an effective 23 of 34 for 304 yards passing. What propelled Darnold’s fantasy day was the two rushing scores. The breakout season for DJ Moore continues–Moore hauled in eight of twelve passes for 126 yards. Moore remains on the low-end WR1, high-end WR2 range. Robby Anderson continues to fade into obscurity. If you wanted to drop Anderson at this point, no one would hold it against you. The major news from this one is the hamstring injury to Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey will be sidelined a couple of weeks but has not been placed on injured reserve yet. Chuba Hubbard is next in line for the Panthers’ backfield duties and is worth the top pick-up of the week. Hubbard is not McCaffrey, but he can be a serviceable RB2. For the Texans, the only thing noteworthy is the performance of wide receiver Branin Cooks. Regardless of who is under center, Cooks is producing like a low-end WR1. Continue to fire him up while he’s hot.
BILLS 43 FOOTBALL TEAM 21
We recommended ‘buying low’ on Josh Allen last week–hopefully, you were able to swing a deal. Josh Allen lit up the Washington Football Team all afternoon long to a tune of 32 or 43 for 358 yards passing and four touchdowns. He found the endzone as a runner as well. Allen is back in the top fantasy quarterback conversation. Allen had it working with all of his weapons, particularly Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders caught five of six targets for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Cole Beasley was the most targeted receiver in this one–Beasley absorbed 11 of 13 targets for 98 yards. Sanders and Beasley remain firmly on the flex radar. Stefon Diggs had a quiet game for his standards–catching six of ten targets for 62 yards. Zach Moss out-touched Devin Singletary 16 to 12 and looked like the far superior player totaling 91 yards and scoring a touchdown. Moss is the better flex option for your fantasy team. Antonio Gibson was the only offense for WFT. Quiet day on the ground for Gibson with just 31 yards on 12 carries, but Gibson found the endzone on a 73-yard touchdown reception. Gibson remains a low-end RB1. Terry McLaurin caught four of seven passes for 62 yards. Status quo for McLaurin as he remains a solid WR2 in fantasy. Logan Thomas remains a reliable underneath target for Taylor Heinicke as Thomas reeled in all four of his targets for 42 yards and a touchdown. You could do worse than Logan Thomas as your streaming tight end.
BROWNS 26 BEARS 6
Baker Mayfield and the Browns rushing attack was in complete control of this one all afternoon. Mayfield completed 19 of 31 for 246 yards and a touchdown. Mayfield didn’t have to do much as the Browns running game was the story of the game. Nick Chubb ran for 84 yards on 22 carries, and his backfield mate Kareem Hunt ran for 81 yards on ten carries and scored a rushing touchdown. Hunt had the better fantasy day as he also caught six of his seven targets for an additional 74 yards. Nick Chubb remains the safer fantasy play as a rock-solid mid RB1, but this game reminds us how dynamic Hunt is, which keeps him in the RB2 chatter. Odell Beckham Jr. made his season debut and stepped right into the Browns WR1 role with five catches on nine targets for 77 yards. Beckham Jr. is a fantasy WR2 moving forward. Rough debut for rookie quarterback Justin Fields. The Browns’ defensive line feasted on the Bears’ offensive line all afternoon as they recorded nine sacks. Fields completed just six of 20 passes for 68 yards. Justin Fields offers fantasy appeal, but the Bears offensive line has to perform better than this to give him a shot. Take this game and throw it into the trash if you are a Bears fan or fantasy manager.
RAVENS 19 LIONS 17
The Baltimore Ravens left many points out on the field, and it almost cost them, but Justin Tucker swooped in with an NFL record 66-yard FG at the buzzer to lead the Ravens to victory. Lamar Jackson was the entire offense for the Ravens as he completed 16 of 31 passes for 287 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Jackson also led the team in rushing with seven carries for 58 yards. Jackson remains a top-five fantasy quarterback weekly. Mark Andrews was the most reliable pass-catcher for the Ravens as he caught five of seven passes for 109 yards. Marquise Brown had a shaky afternoon with several drops. Brown is a ‘boom or bust’ player, and sometimes he is going to bust. Ty’Som Williams only receiving five carries for 22 yards is a bit worrisome. The Ravens need to run the ball with more effectiveness. Jared Goff was pedestrian in this one completing 22 of 30 for 217 yards. The Lions’ backfield has been a source of fantasy goodness. D’Andre Swift rushed for 47 yards on 14 carries and found the endzone–Swift also caught a team-high seven passes for 60 yards. Jamaal Williams had 12 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown and hauled in two catches for 25 yards. Swift is a PPR darling, low-end RB1, and Williams remains a flex option. A quiet day for T.J. Hockenson, with only two catches for ten yards. Expect a squeaky-wheel game for Hockenson in week four.
TITANS 25 COLTS 16
We mentioned last week that some TD regression was coming Ryan Tannehill‘s way. Tannehill was 18 of 27 for 197 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Tannehill also chipped in with five carries for 56 yards. Tannehill has bounced back from a season-opening stumble and remains a top ten fantasy quarterback. Derrick Henry was again the bell cow for the Titans–rushing for 113 yards on 28 carries. Henry was involved as a pass-catcher once again with three receptions for 31 yards. Derrick Henry is the top back in fantasy football currently. Monitor the injury status of receiver A.J. Brown. Brown left this game with a hamstring injury and did not return. Hamstring injuries can be tricky, so plan to be without Brown in your fantasy lineup for a couple of weeks. Julio Jones should be the primary ball-catcher while Brown is out–Julio caught three of his four targets for 47 yards and will be a rock-solid WR2. The Colts’ game plan on Sunday didn’t make much sense. You have a quarterback who is nursing two sprained ankles in Carson Wentz. You also have a talented back in Jonathan Taylor. Instead of leaning on Taylor (just ten carries) let’s have Wentz drop back to throw 37 times. Taylor rushed for 64 yards, remaining a highly effective low-end RB1. Nyheim Hines got his touches in this one with six carries for 25 yards and a touchdown. Hines also caught five of six passes for 54 yards. In PPR leagues, Hines remains in flex consideration weekly. Michael Pittman Jr. is the only receiver worth rostering in fantasy. Pittman Jr. turned twelve targets into six catches for 68 yards. Given the volume that should continue to come his way, Pittman Jr. is a fringe low-end WR2.
CHARGERS 30 CHIEFS 24
The Chargers were the better team on Sunday, sending the Chiefs to their second straight loss. We mentioned that it was a perfect time to ‘buy low’ on Justin Herbert. Herbert was sensational against the Chiefs, completing 26 of 38 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns. Herbert’s connection with Mike Williams has been humming all season long, and Sunday was no different. Williams reeled in seven of nine passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Williams continues to elevate his game and fantasy stature into the high-end WR2 range. Keenan Allen remains the most targeted option in the passing game, turning twelve targets into eight catches, 50 yards, and a touchdown. We know what Keenan Allen is–a rock-solid high-end WR2. Austin Ekeler is back to his versatile, fantasy-friendly role in the Chargers offense. Ekeler rushed for 55 yards on 11 carries and caught all six of his targets for 52 yards and a touchdown. There are not many fantasy backs with a higher upside than Austin Ekeler. Patrick Mahomes was a bit out of sorts in this one, turning the ball over uncharacteristically. Mahomes completed 27 of 44 for 260 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Mahomes remains in the running for the top fantasy quarterback in the game. Clyde Edwards-Helaire bounced back nicely in this one, rushing for 100 yards on 17 carries, also finding the endzone as a receiver out of the backfield. The usual suspects–Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill were the most heavily targeted options in the passing game. Kelce caught seven of eleven targets for 104 yards. Hill caught five of seven targets for 56 yards. With the Chiefs–wash, rinse, reap–you start your studs.
SAINTS 28 PATRIOTS 13
The NFL’s version of Jekyll and Hyde continues their up and down ways in the New Orleans Saints. Two weeks after looking like the best team in the league and a week after looking abysmal, the Saints looked tremendous once more. Alvin Kamara once again was the engine for the Saints’ offense. Kamara carried the ball 24 times for 89 yards. Kamara also caught three of four passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. Marquez Callaway finally broke out in the regular season with four catches on five targets for 41 yards and a touchdown. Jameis Winston was just 13 of 21 for 128 yards and two touchdowns. The low volume passing will hurt Winston’s fantasy upside, but the Saints coaching staff seem content to rely on their running game and defense. Tough day at the office for rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Jones completed 30 of 51 for 270 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions. The Patriots could not get anything going on the ground as Jones was also the teams leading rusher. Jakobi Myers was the most-targeted pass catcher for the Patriots, hauling in nine of fourteen targets for 94 yards. Kendrick Bourne was good in this one–catching six of eight targets for 96 yards and a touchdown. Myers and Bourne remain in the desperate flex type of play.
FALCONS 17 GIANTS 14
The Falcons won a rather ugly game against the Giants. There is no more making excuses for Cordarelle Patterson. The athletic hybrid RB/WR continues to get more integrated into the Falcons offense. Patterson caught six of seven targets for 82 yards and added 20 yards on the ground. Calvin Ridley‘s role in the offense as the alpha pass-catcher remains secure. Ridley caught eight of eleven targets for 61 yards. Ridley hasn’t lit the world on fire to start the season but remains a mid-WR1. A rough game for rookie tight end Kyle Pitts–just two catches on three targets for 35 yards. If a fantasy manager is frustrated with Ridley or Pitts–swoop in and scoop them up for value. Mike Davis was solid in this one, rushing for 50 yards on 12 carries and catching all four of his targets for 20 yards. It’s not always pretty with Davis, but he remains a low-end RB2 based on volume alone. Saquon Barkley had his best fantasy performance in over a year. Barkley ran for 51 yards on 16 carries and found the endzone. Barkley was also the most targeted player in the passing game, catching six of seven targets for 43 yards. Barkley is on the fringe RB1/RB2 range for now. Keep an eye on the Giants’ receivers this week on the injury report. Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton both left this game with injuries. Kenny Golladay came in on a limited snap count. Right now, I don’t know how you can recommend starting any Giants receivers in fantasy.
BENGALS 24 STEELERS 10
The Cincinnati Bengals move to a surprising 2-1 on the back of efficient play from quarterback Joe Burrow and an improving defense. Burrow was 14 of 18 for 172 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Burrow has not thrown the ball with the volume that we expected, which limits his fantasy ceiling. Joe Mixon was once again solid–18 rushes for 90 yards. Mixon is a high-end RB2. In the absence of Tee Higgins, we anticipated more work for Tyler Boyd–and we got it. Boyd caught four of six passes for 36 yards and a touchdown. Boyd is back on the flex radar. Ja’Marr Chase continues to shine even with tepid volume. Chase reeled in four of five passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns. We hope the volume goes up for Chase because he is a fantasy stud. Ben Roethlisberger is washed and is hurting the Steelers’ offense. Big Ben completed 38 of 58 for 318 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. If you listen to Big Ben after the game, he sounds like a player who knows the end is near. Najee Harris rushed for 40 yards on 14 carries and caught FOURTEEN of NINETEEN targets for 102 yards. There were unique circumstances with Diontae Johnson out and JuJu Smith-Schuster going down in this one. Najee won’t see THIS type of volume, but his role in the passing game will grow. Harris is firmly in the RB1 mix. Chase Claypool was the last man standing as a receiver. Claypool caught nine of fifteen passes for 96 yards. Keep an eye on the injury report leading up to week four. Claypool is a solid WR2 with all the pieces around him injured.
CARDINALS 31 JAGUARS 19
Kyler Murray performed well in the game today. Unfortunately, Murray’s performance did not translate to fantasy production. Kyler was 28 of 34 for 316 yards and an interception, with a rushing touchdown. Don’t panic with Kyler Murray–he will be one of the top fantasy quarterbacks in the league all season. DeAndre Hopkins came into the game injured, and it showed. Hopkins caught three of six passes for 21 yards. Part of the issue with Hopkins is the injury, part of the issue is his role in the offense as they begin to spread the ball around more often–Hopkins is more of a high-end WR2 than a WR1. A.J. Green was the most prolific Cardinals receiver in this one–Green caught five of six passes for 112 yards. I have trouble buying in on Green, so I’ll wait and see if this production lasts another week. Christian Kirk received the most targets–turning eight targets into seven receptions for 104 yards. Kirk has been one of the more up and down receivers in the league in the early going. Rondale Moore didn’t receive much work in this one–disappointing many fantasy managers. If you can buy low on Rondale Moore, do it now. Chase Edmonds remains involved in the offensive game plan, don’t expect any touchdowns as James Conner has the goal-line role on lockdown. Edmonds rushed for 26 yards on 11 carries and caught seven of eight passes for 49 yards. Conner ran for 43 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and remains in flex consideration. You cannot start Trevor Lawrence outside of Super-Flex league formats. Lawrence was 22 of 34 for 219 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Marvin Jones Jr. remained the most involved pass-catcher for the Jaguars, with six catches on eight targets for 62 yards. Jones Jr. is a desperate flex play. D.J. Chark Jr. found the endzone for the second time this season with three catches on six targets for 49 yards. Given their consistency, I would still prefer Jones Jr. to Chark Jr. You are better off leaving Laviska Shenault Jr. on your waiver wire. Four catches on four targets for 48 yards receiving won’t get it done in fantasy. The lone bright spot for the Jaguars in this one was the re-emergence of James Robinson. Robinson rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, catching all six targets for an additional 46 yards. This game is the type of performance that should distance Robinson from Carlos Hyde in the Jaguars backfield pecking order–but the Jaguars have not shown us many sensible decisions so far in the early going–don’t hold your breath.
BRONCOS 26 JETS 0
Teddy Bridgewater is playing his role to perfection–keep the team on course and don’t make critical mistakes. Bridgewater completed 19 of 25 for 235 yards. Bridgewater is not a recommended fantasy play regardless of match-up. Tim Patrick continues to produce for fantasy managers daring enough to play him. Patrick reeled in all of his five targets for 98 yards. Patrick remains in play for a flex spot. Courtland Sutton was not good for fantasy in check in this one. Sutton caught all five of his targets for 37 yards. Buy into a Sutton bounce back next week. The Broncos backfield continues to be a point of frustration for fantasy managers. We have been anticipating Javonte Williams taking over the Broncos backfield, but Melvin Gordon received the most work in this one. Gordon had 19 touches to Williams’ 15. Fortunately, both players found the endzone providing their fantasy managers relief. Javonte Williams did fumble around the goal-line late in this one. Keep an eye out to see if the fumble has any negative ramifications moving forward. There is not much to say about the Jets in this one. Zach Wilson was predictably bad, completing 19 of 35 for 160 yards and two interceptions. Do not start Wilson in fantasy until further notice. If there is one glimmer of fantasy hope from this one, Wilson targeted Corey Davis ten times. Better match-ups will be on the horizon, and you may be able to pick Corey Davis up after a frustrated fantasy manager has dropped him.
RAIDERS 31 DOLPHINS 28
The Las Vegas Raiders fell into a 14-0 hole early in this one, but they fought back to upend the Dolphins 31-28. Derek Carr continues to make his best MVP case completing 26 of 43 for 386 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Carr is spreading the ball around and getting multiple receivers involved. Darren Waller and Henry Ruggs III were the most targeted options in the Raiders passing game. A quiet day for Waller as he hauled in five of his seven targets for 54 yards. Ruggs III was predictably a bit more explosive with seven targets into four catches and 78 yards receiving. Waller remains one of the top tight-end fantasy options in the game, while Ruggs III is a riskier flex play on any given week. Bryan Edwards continues to come up big in big moments–three catches on five targets for 89 yards. Edwards remains off the fantasy radar unless he receives more attention in the passing game. Peyton Barber looked sensational in this one. Barber ran for 111 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries–he also caught three of five targets for 31 yards. Until Josh Jacobs returns to the lineup, Peyton Barber is in the RB2 mix. Jacoby Brissett under center was a transition for the Dolphins offense. Brissett leaned heavily on Mike Gesicki and Jaylen Waddle. Gesicki was left for dead on the fantasy radar but was given a rebirth on Sunday with ten catches on twelve targets for 86 yards. If you are streaming the tight-end position, Mike Gesicki should be at the top of your list for a pick-up this week. An odd stat line for Jaylen Waddle as he caught twelve of thirteen targets for only 58 yards. Waddle–thought to be a big play waiting to happen. Curiously, the Dolphins are using him on the underneath stuff. DeVante Parker was also heavily involved with four catches on seven targets for 42 yards. Will Fuller V disappointed in his Dolphins debut with three catches on six targets for 20 yards. Difficult to gauge who to trust in this Dolphins’ offense. Best to stay clear until someone emerges as the lead option.
RAMS 34 BUCCANEERS 24
Billed as the game of the weekend, the Bucs/Rams lived up to expectations. The Rams continue the stellar performance and upend the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. Matthew Stafford completed 27 of 38 for 343 yards and four touchdowns–making an early-season MVP case. Stafford continued to lean on his main-man Cooper Kupp to a tune of nine catches on twelve targets for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Cooper Kupp may be the most valuable fantasy player three weeks into the season. Given his draft capital in fantasy drafts, Kupp is winning many fantasy players their weekly matches. The Rams were utilizing all of their weapons in this one–DeSean Jackson broke out for three catches on five targets for 120 yards and a score while Van Jefferson hauled in four of six targets for 42 yards. Tight end Tyler Higbee got in the act catching all of his five targets for 40 yards and a touchdown. Higbee remains a top ten tight-end option, while Jackson and Jefferson are too erratic to count on in anything other than best-ball leagues. The one concern from a fantasy perspective is Robert Woods continues to struggle. Woods caught three of six targets for 33 yards. I still believe long-term in Woods value to this Rams offense, so I would make an offer and attempt to ‘buy low’. If Tom Brady is the team-leading rusher, you are in trouble. The Buccaneers could not get anything going on the ground, eventually abandoning the run game altogether. Brady was great from a fantasy standpoint–completing 41 of 55 passes for 432 yards and a touchdown. With Antonio Brown out, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin predictably picked up the slack. Mike Evans caught eight of ten passes for 106 yards while Chris Godwin hauled in six of seven targets for 74 yards. Evans and Godwin remain low-end WR1/high-end WR2 fringe players–you know what they are. Rob Gronkowski was a bit banged up in this one but did eventually return. Gronk caught four of seven targets for 55 yards and remains in the top five tight-end conversation. The Buccaneers were in come-back mode, so don’t make too much of Gio Bernard‘s day. Bernard caught nine of ten targets for 51 yards and a touchdown. Bernard is a desperation flex play in PPR leagues only.
VIKINGS 30 SEAHAWKS 17
The Minnesota Vikings got a much-needed win over the Seahawks on Sunday 30-17. Kirk Cousins played his best ball of the season, completing 30 of 38 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns. Cousins has played well enough to be on the QB1 radar moving forward. Justin Jefferson was getting open at ease all afternoon long–catching nine of eleven targets for 118 yards and a touchdown. Jefferson remains a WR1 for fantasy. Adam Thielen was the second most targeted option in the passing game with six catches on nine targets for 50 yards and a score. Thielen slides in as a high-end WR2. Tyler Conklin performed well with seven catches on eight targets for 70 yards and a touchdown. We were waiting to see if Conklin would emerge this season, and he is now on the tight-end radar. Alexander Mattison was spectacular as a runner and receiver in this one. Mattison ran for 112 yards on 26 carries and caught six of eight targets for an additional 59 yards. Mattison showed that he could carry the load if Dalvin Cook were to miss any more time. Russell Wilson never got into a groove in this one. Wilson completed 23 of 32 passes for 298 and a touchdown. Wilson remains in the top five quarterback conversation, no need to worry about this performance. We expected DK Metcalf would bounce back from a slow start to his season, and he did. Metcalf hauled in six of nine targets for 107 yards and a touchdown. Metcalf is back in the WR1 mix from now on. His teammate Tyler Lockett was lucky to escape without a significant injury in this one. Lockett caught all four of his targets for 31 yards. Monitor his status this week. Gerald Everett remains on the backend of the TE1 landscape. Everett caught all five targets for 54 yards. Chris Carson looked spry in this one, running for 80 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Carson remains firm as an RB1.
PACKERS 30 49ERS 28
What a nightcap the Packers/49ers game was. Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to victory–completing 23 of 33 for 261 yards and two touchdowns. Davante Adams balled out in this one with twelve catches on EIGHTEEN targets for 132 yards and a touchdown. Adams remains the WR1 in fantasy football. Rodgers was going to hit it off with Marquez Valdes-Scantling sooner rather than later. MVS caught three of four passes for 59 yards and a receiving touchdown. Valdes-Scantling makes for a desperation flex play, albeit one with upside. Aaron Jones was amazing once more. Jones ran for 83 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries–staking his claim as a top-five running back in fantasy. Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t the sexiest option in fantasy football, but he does lean on his stud receivers. Garoppolo completed 25 of 40 for 267 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Garoppolo got it working with tight end George Kittle for seven catches on nine targets for 92 yards–Kittle remains a top-five option at the tight-end position despite a slow start to the season. Deebo Samuel made clutch catch after another on the way to five receptions for 52 yards. Samuel has been heavily targeted in each game this year and is a solid WR2 option. For the first time all season, we saw fantasy life out of Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk caught four of six targets for 37 yards and a touchdown. Keep Aiyuk on your bench, for now, to see if his role in the offense grows and becomes more consistent.
COWBOYS 41 EAGLES 21
The Dallas Cowboys were thoroughly dominant in this one from start to finish. Dak Prescott completed 21 of 26 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns. Prescott could have had a larger fantasy day as he was stuffed on a 4th and inches on the goal-line. Prescott is on the top-five fantasy quarterback radar. The receivers for the Cowboys had a quiet evening because the Cowboys were running the football with relative ease. Dalton Schutz led the team in targets, catching six of seven for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Schultz is still sharing snaps with Blake Jarwin, but if you are streaming the tight end position–Dalton Schultz should have your attention. CeeDee Lamb caught all three of his targets for 66 yards. Amari Cooper caught three of four targets for 26 yards. As a fantasy manager of these two, you were likely disappointed with the outcomes. Lamb and Cooper remain as high-end WR2. Nothing has changed. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 95 yards on 17 carries and scored two rushing touchdowns. Zeke also caught all three of his targets for 21 additional yards. The performance on Monday Night was always in the range of outcome given how prolific the Cowboys’ offense can be. Zeke remains a sturdy RB1. Tony Pollard looked explosive once more, turning 11 carries into 60 yards. Pollard remains a flex option for your fantasy team. The Eagles’ offense looks terrible. Jalen Hurts fantasy numbers look fine, but understand, Hurts had one of his worst performances ever in this one. Hurts could be on the way out as a starter in Philadelphia. I don’t have any additional long-term takeaways for the remainder of the Eagles’ offense outside of the fact that they need more competent quarterback play to unleash any of their remaining offensive weapons.