Photo: Ron Chenoy, USA Today Sports
Dominate Your League
A Footballguys Premium Subscription will give you the edge with lineup and waiver wire advice tailored to your league.
Save Time, Win More with Footballguys.Join Now
- Christian McCaffrey went down with a hamstring injury that will likely cost him another game or two despite the long week of rest. Chuba Hubbard looked capable as the backup and should be added in all leagues, while Royce Freeman was relegated to backup to the backup duty.
- Tommy Tremble should get more opportunity after Dan Arnold got dealt this week, but he should only be on your waiver wire watch list. The team likes his versatility and he has already scored and had a big play so far in his rookie season.
- If Robby Anderson can’t improve his fantasy numbers while Christian McCaffrey sits, we can probably move on in fantasy leagues. So much for the reunion with Sam Darnold and big preseason extension.
- Brandin Cooks fantasy value and cockroaches will be the two things to survive the apocalypse. Next we’ll test this theory against Buffalo as he has somehow been a solid fantasy WR2, well outproducing a modest draft cost for a team’s #1 receiver.
- Anthony Miller still has a pulse for fantasy and scored in this one. Keep him on your deep dynasty watch list.
- Justin Herbert is over his early red zone woes, making him safe for fantasy starts again, but we should also take note that Kansas City has one of the worst defenses in the league. We’ll see if Jalen Hurts can get right against them this week.
- Not only is Mike Williams role going to stay large, he was the player that Herbert targeted with the game on the line and he came through with his second score of the game. He’s a top five fantasy receiver through three weeks.
- Brandon Staley is going to lead coaching decision matrices out of the wilderness. He went for it on 4th and 9 from the Chiefs 35, even after a false start knocked them out of 4th and 4. There was under a minute left. Playing for overtime or trying a long field goal was the wrong decision, but few NFL coaches would be willing to go for it on 4th and 9 in that situation because if the conversion failed and they lost, they would be afraid of the blame in the media. It was the right decision whether it was successful or not and hopefully more coaches will be like Staley going forward.
- Patrick Mahomes II is not bulletproof. An unnecessary no look pass in the red zone was intercepted and an overaggressive throw in the fourth quarter opened the door for the Chargers to win.
- The Chiefs stuck with Clyde Edwards-Helaire after a fumble and key penalty, and he obliged with a 100 yard game and receiving touchdown. The takeaway here might be start your running backs against the Chargers more than Edwards-Helaire getting back into our good graces.
- James Conner finally got a couple of short scores, and he was the running back on the field for Kyler Murray’s short bootleg run touchdown. He showed the boom in his boom/bust profile.
- DeAndre Hopkins was a game time decision with a rib injury. He played, but Christian Kirk and A.J. Green were more prominent targets. Injury or no injury, Hopkins isn’t going to be the massive target share receiver he was last year.
- Rondale Moore did get stopped at the goal line on a carry in some solace, but a week after the biggest game of his career, his snap count and role did not grow. He’s probably still a mere bench stash with weekly blow up potential.
- Kliff Kingsbury won’t be trying a 68-yard field goal again. Jamal Agnew turned the Matt Prater miss at the end of the first half into a 109-yard return touchdown, tying Antonio Cromartie and Cordarrelle Patterson for the longest play in NFL history.
- James Robinson was back, ripping off runs, scoring, and contributing a lot more in the passing game. He’s at least worth a flex start on Thursday night against the Bengals.
- Marvin Jones Jr has been steady despite a crumbling offense around him, and D.J. Chark Jr at least has two meaningless scores, but we aren’t ready to trust any of these receivers as every week starts if we can help it.
- Justin Fields was left out to dry in his first start, taking nine sacks, including 4.5 from Myles Garrett, who seemed amused that Matt Nagy did nothing in the game plan to make the Browns defense’s job more difficult by leveraging Fields mobility.
- This week will be vexing as the Lions matchup will make you want to play your Bears, but last week’s performance will make you want to drop them. No one was untouched in this 47 total yards offensive performance
- Kareem Hunt looked like prime Chiefs Hunt, and it didn’t take a full workload for him to be fantasy RB1. He reminded us why we want to keep him in as a flex or even PPR RB2 despite the occasional floor game.
- Odell Beckham Jr was back and making typical Odell Beckham Jr plays, even if one of them didn’t count. He’s safe to put back in lineups against Minnesota this week, but his return means that none of the peripheral pieces of the passing game have any value now.
- Antonio Gibson finally reminded fantasy teams why they took him in the second round with a catch and run 73-yard score where he was clearly the fastest player on the field. Sadly it was really the only bright spot on the day for the offense.
- Taylor Heinicke wasn’t as effective this week and the Washington defense had trouble getting off of the day, but Heinicke was still productive for fantasy in what might be a common theme of garbage time for the Washington quarterback.
- Josh Allen is back and then some, accounting for five scores in the blowout win. He should remain hot against the Texans this week, with Kansas City and Tennessee to come in Weeks 5 and 6.
- Zack Moss scored again this week and he is clearly the back the team prefers in scoring situations, putting his value squarely above Devin Singletary’s despite his Week 1 scratch and Singletary’s hot start.
- Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders were fantasy WR1’s in PPR leagues on the back of a 2020-esque performance for Allen. Stefon Diggs results were middling again, but his day is sure to come soon.
- Dawson Knox scored again on an impressive hands/concentration/body control play, and he’ll continue to be a starting fantasy tight end consideration during this stretch of weak defenses. Make sure he’s not on your waiver wire.
- Carson Wentz played in a bit of surprise, but he was limited and couldn’t consistently move the ball against the limited Titans defense. Until we see him regain his mobility, we can’t expect this offense to overperform.
- Nyheim Hines actually got more snaps than Jonathan Taylor, and as long as this offense isn’t able to stay on schedule and this team is playing from behind, he might be more valuable in PPR leagues.
- Michael Pittman Jr had a solid 6-68 line, but Wentz missed him on what should have been a touchdown. Unfortunately for Pittman and his fantasy teams, he may see a lot of Xavien Howard this week in Miami.
- A.J. Brown left this game with a hamstring injury, but Julio Jones didn’t fill the void. Instead Nick Westbrook-Ikhene, Jeremy McNichols, and Chester Rogers caught touchdown passes.
- Derrick Henry’s involvement in the passing game wasn’t just a product of game script. He had three catches, bringing him to 12 on the year.
- Jameis Winston is going to remain a low volume passer who is of no interest to us in fantasy leagues despite his flawless Week 1. His two scores this week were a blind attempted throwaway that Marquez Callaway somehow caught (Winston gave thanks to God), and a short pass where Alvin Kamara did the rest. Don’t let go of Taysom Hill in 2QB/Superflex yet.
- Jonnu Smith had a drop that turned into a pick six and he played less than half of the snaps as the Patriots went to more three wide receiver sets. We’ll get to watch if this trend continues against the Bucs on Sunday night.
- James White went down, leaving Brandon Bolden as the passing down back because the team doesn’t trust anyone to be an adequate pass blocker.
- Jakobi Meyers is going to be Mac Jones favorite target as he works through his conservative nature to challenge defenses more downfield. Kendrick Bourne also got more opportunities in the first play from way behind game script for Jones, including the play of the day on Bourne’s touchdown.
- There were chances to hit Nelson Agholor deep again this week, but Jones isn’t looking downfield enough. Against the depleted Bucs secondary, Agholor could come through this week.
- Matt Ryan somehow won but it’s clear that he’s not going to threaten defenses downfield any more, which is bad news for Calvin Ridley, who isn’t really a big run after catch threat. The volume and PPR points will be there to keep Ridley in your lineup, but we’re not getting the blowup games we’ve seen in the past from him.
- Kyle Pitts wasn’t targeted until the final drive. Don’t ask me, I don’t know why. He even drew a pass interference in the end zone and the touchdown ended up going to quasi-tackle Lee Smith.
- Cordarrelle Patterson isn’t going away and his RB/WR usage will keep him in RB2/WR3/Flex consideration in PPR leagues. Sorry if you took Mike Davis, but this is a full-blown timeshare backfield.
- Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton left in the first half due to hamstring injuries, so we can’t put the disappointment fully on Daniel Jones, but we all expected more against the woeful Falcons defense.
- Saquon Barkley got his usual workload after being eased in the first two weeks. He’s back to being a safe play, although this could be a floor game week against New Orleans in the Superdome.
- Joe Burrow got over an early interception and led a balanced Bengals offense to the rare win in Pittsburgh. He isn’t going to fill the air with footballs like he did last year, but it will be good for the team even if it isn’t good for his fantasy value.
- The Bengals have scored 8 of their 9 scores through the air, so expect a blowup game for Joe Mixon soon. Maybe against the Jaguars this week, which was the opponent when he scored three times last year.
- Ja’Marr Chase scored his third and fourth touchdowns of the year, breaking Randy Moss’s record for youngest receiver to score at least three times in his first three games.
- Ben Roethlisberger was the laughingstock of the league in a return to the dink and dunk, no running game blueprint that failed last year. It may lead to big volume for his top targets to help in PPR leagues, but this offense is going to be easy to defense.
- Juju Smith-Schuster left with a rib injury, leaving Najee Harris and Chase Claypool as the clear top targets, which shouldn’t change against the Packers this week unless Smith-Schuster or Diontae Johnson can play at Green Bay.
- The Ravens curiously abandoned the run in this one and it almost cost them the game, expect more of a commitment to Ty’Son Williams and Latavius Murray at Denver.
- Marquise Brown dropped two easy scores and a third was slightly deflected, which was enough to throw him. Lamar Jackson should try to restore confidence next week, but this could be an opening for Rashod Bateman, who should return to practice this week.
- Mark Andrews was getting open downfield easily against the Lions, which should help us feel good about putting him in as your fantasy tight end going forward.
- Jared Goff and T.J. Hockenson were quiet in this game because the Lions were in the contest throughout and didn’t have to lean on the passing game. We’ll see if that situation reproduces itself against the Bears hibernating offense this week.
- D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams are going to be most of the offense. Swift is a PPR RB1 with the quality of his opportunities and Williams a flex with RB2 upside.
- Poor Lions Fans. They had to see a 66-yard record setting field goal that hit the front of the crossbar somehow bounce forward and over the crossbar, after a delay of game penalty that would have made it a basically unmakeable 71-yard attempt was missed by officials.
- Zach Wilson continues to operate under nearly impossible conditions for success. We can’t say how he is progressing or if he is progressing.
- Corey Davis is getting targets, but he’s just a what the heck flex at best until this offense generates some momentum.
- K.J. Hamler went down with a torn ACL which should allow safeties to play closer to the line going forward. Tim Patrick looked good and should be the main fantasy beneficiary of any freed up targets with the Noah Fant/Teddy Bridgewater connection still a work in progress.
- Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III both scored, so Teddy Bridgewater was the fantasy dud, and Courtland Sutton came back to earth as the pass offense wasn’t the focus of the game plan. The pass offense might have to shoulder more this week against the Ravens.
- Giovani Bernard finally played a big role in the passing game because the Bucs trailed big in the second half, but he got hurt on his garbage time score and the team is unlikely to be behind big against the Patriots this week.
- Rob Gronkowski got banged up and didn’t score for the first time this year, but he’s still an elite fantasy tight end going forward.
- Tyler Johnson showed a lot more in place of Antonio Brown (covid) than Scott Miller, in part because Miller is battling turf toe. Johnson is worth an add in dynasty leagues.
- The NFC is wide open if this game is any indication. The Bucs pass defense is very vulnerable and their pass heavy offense is stoppable.
- Matthew Stafford to Desean Jackson was in effect and could have resulted in three scores if Stafford had a chance to step into his deep throws. Jackson will be a what the heck flex against the Cardinals this week.
- Robert Woods is still on the outside looking in in this passing game, while Cooper Kupp is on track to be the most valuable fantasy receiver this year. Don’t drop Woods, but let’s wait for him to go off on our bench before trusting him.
- Sony Michel didn’t do much against the stout Bucs run defense, but he was still dependable and may force the Rams to rethink the workload split when Darrell Henderson returns from his rib injury - perhaps as early as this week.
- Tyler Higbee was involved early and scored. The ups and downs are worth enduring because of the quality of the player and offense.
- Jacoby Brissett wasn’t bad and he led a game-tying drive in both the late fourth quarter and overtime. He’s clearly going to rely on Mike Gesicki and Jaylen Waddle, so their values are up in PPR leagues.
- Will Fuller V’s return didn’t do much to make this pass offense more dangerous. He also got a little banged up late in the game. He’s not worth carrying in typical leagues.
- Derek Carr remained hot and spread the ball around against a good Dolphins cornerback group. He’s not just relying Darren Waller and both Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards are making plays. There isn’t a clear everyweek start among the receivers, but all are solid what the heck flexes against the Chargers this week.
- Peyton Barber was a straight ahead banger against the Dolphins and it was effective. If Josh Jacobs can’t go this week, Barber is set up for a nice game against the wilting Chargers run defense.
- Russell Wilson was only lukewarm in this game as both Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf got a little banged up.
- We’re getting closer to Gerald Everett, who moved well ahead of Will Dissly in snaps and caught five balls, being a primary target in this pass offense.
- Chris Carson had a nice 30 yard touchdown run and then the team went away from the run.
- The Vikings defense looked like one of the worst in the league in the first two games, but bounced back in this one to complicate the matchup quality against the Browns this week.
- Alexander Mattison did his best Dalvin Cook impression, cementing him as a must start if Cook is out in Week 4. With the quality of Mattison’s performance, the team won’t rush Cook back.
- Kirk Cousins is playing the best football of his career right now and will remain a solid low ceiling fantasy QB1 even when the Vikings are projected to win.
- K.J. Osborn took a back seat to Tyler Conklin, who was involved early. He’s among the leaders in snaps among tight ends, so you could do worse if you’re looking for a play at the position this week.
- Aaron Rodgers was sharp and too good to defeat when the 49ers gave him 37 seconds to move the team into field goal range. The Steelers defense is weakened with a limited or out T.J. Watt, so don’t be afraid of playing Rodgers this week.
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling had a skillful touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone and should continue to get high value targets as the #2 player in the passing game behind Davante Adams.
- Robert Tonyan Jr is going to be too risky to play as your tight end if he is only going to top out a 3-4 targets a game. In this one, he got one, bringing him to eight in three games. The emergence of Valdes-Scantling is increasing the margin of error on playing Tonyan
- Trey Sermon was barely trusted by Kyle Shanahan but did score. We’ll have to assume that Elijah Mitchell will get the job back when he’s healthy. Jeff Wilson could be the eventual lead back but Shanahan hedged when he settled on November as an answer to when Wilson was expected back.
- Brandon Aiyuk is back in the circle of trust, with over 80% snap participation and a touchdown. He’s what the heck flex against the Seahawks this week.
- Jimmy Garoppolo moved the doomsday clock back to 11:45 with a good performance. We might be waiting a while for Trey Lance.
- Jalen Hurts continues to be good for fantasy, but not good enough to establish himself as a franchise quarterback when you look at the team results and his lack of comfort behind a disintegrating offensive line.
- Miles Sanders was barely used as the Eagles called a run less than 10% of the time, which is absurd.
- Zach Ertz caught the touchdown and led the Eagles in catches, so this is going to be a difficult offense to harvest any passing game value from, and that includes rookie DeVonta Smith who is blending in instead of standing out.
- The Cowboys defense is for real under Dan Quinn and Trevon Diggs might be turning into a shutdown corner, or at least a scary corner to throw at.
- The Cowboys are going to be balanced on offense as long as the defense is good, which is bad news for CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper because Dak Prescott is spreading the ball around on limited attempts and Cedrick Wilson looks like a viable third wideout while Michael Gallup is out.
- Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard are still splitting touches more than anticipated when the season began, but Elliott got the scoring opportunities and converted two of them. He was stopped the goal line on a reception or could have had a third. Pollard still looks as or more explosive, but he didn’t break any big plays, so he was a disappointing flex play.
- Dalton Schultz moved back ahead of Blake Jarwin and had the most impressive game of his career to date, showing increased burst through the second level of the defense. He’s worth a pickup yet again on the merry go round of tight end options outside of the top 5.