Daniel Jones (vs Atlanta)
Kenny Golladay is a little banged up and first-round pick Kadarius Toney has been a non-factor, but otherwise everything is set up perfectly for Jones to have a huge game against the feeble Falcons defense. It appears Jason Garrett has woken up to Jones value as a runner. Jones is finding Darius Slayton open deep. Evan Engram might be ready to return to the lineup. Saquon Barkley should look better than he has so far this year. It’s hard to picture a way Jones and the Giants can mess this up.
Justin Fields (at Cleveland)
Fields will have the element of surprise in his favor against a Browns defense that had a lot of trouble with Tyrod Taylor last week. He’s obviously dangerous as a runner and both Taysom Hill and Jalen Hurts have shown us that a running quarterback doesn’t need to be a proficient passer to make a splash in fantasy leagues. It won’t be shocking if Fields is a top ten quarterback play this week.
Jacoby Brissett (at Las Vegas)
The Dolphins pass offense didn’t fall off much when Brissett came in, if at all. Miami will also get Will Fuller V back this week, and they will need the passing game to come alive to keep pace with the red hot Derek Carr. Brissett might be the first option at the goal line to raise his ceiling. He’s a fine QB2/Superflex if you’re in a pinch.
Jimmy Garoppolo (vs Green Bay)
Garoppolo will face a Packers defense that has always had trouble with Kyle Shanahan’s offense, and one that seemed to have trouble with Jared Goff and the declawed Lions passing game on Monday night for at least half of the game. The 49ers backfield is a cross between a MASH unit and an NFL tryout pool, so the gameplan might put more on Garoppolo’s shoulders than usual. If Aaron Rodgers forces this into a high scoring game script, Garoppolo could be one of the cheapest hits at quarterback this week.
Ty’Son Williams, Latavius Murray (vs Detroit)
The Lions can hang for half of a game, but they have looked overmatched in their first two contests and should continue to be satisfied to just be competitive for a few quarters against the Ravens. Lamar Jackson won’t want to expose himself to more punishment than he took to create a stirring victory over the Chiefs, so expect the backfield to do the heavy lifting, especially in the second half. Williams is the more likely big play back, while Murray is more likely to score and get the carries to run out the clock.
James Robinson (vs Arizona)
The Jaguars players must be getting fed up with losing and being a laughingstock (again). Robinson was the one offensive player who stayed at a high level of play no matter what was going on around him, and Urban Meyer certainly wants to establish the run. Robinson is going to get a lead back role against a Cardinals defense that has to be weary from chasing Dalvin Cook last week. If the Jaguars dig down deep and find some pride, Robinson could help them and your fantasy team play spoiler this week.
James Conner (at Jacksonville)
One of these weeks Conner is going to hit, and why not this week? If the Jaguars aren’t competitive in the second half, Conner is going to get the boa constrictor carries, and he’s due for goal line opportunities. Opposing teams have averaged over 30 running back carries a game against the lowly Jaguars, which means Conner will have a large opportunity this week.
Every Running Back on the San Francisco Roster
Trey Sermon is practicing in a non-contact jersey as he tries to get cleared from concussion protocol. Elijah Mitchell has a shoulder injury that is keeping him out of practice, but the team hasn’t ruled him out. Trenton Cannon was signed last week and should be active, and Jacques Patrick could be active too (have you checked to see if Jeff Wilson is available on the waiver wire in your long bench league yet?). Did I mention Chris Thompson and Kerryon Johnson are on the practice squad? The 49ers always run the ball well against the Packers, so monitor this situation closely if you need a running back this week.
Alexander Mattison (vs Seattle)
Dalvin Cook hasn’t practiced as Thursday. Even though the team is acting like this is no big deal, you have to assume that Cook isn’t 100% and he’s not a sure thing to play Sunday. Mattison should be ready to step in and start, and the team doesn’t have much behind him. At least make sure he’s not on your waiver wire and we wait and see on Cook’s status.
Sterling Shepard (vs Atlanta)
Is Shepard still a sleeper? In PPR leagues, he’s a solid WR3/Flex through two weeks, although fantasy players may be slow to wake up to his value. It should peak this week against the Falcons defense who has already allowed five wide receiver touchdowns this year. Make sure he’s in your lineup if you have him, and liberally include him in DFS lineups.
Hunter Renfrow (vs Miami)
Renfrow is set up by converging factors of Derek Carr having an injured ankle and maybe needing to get the ball out earlier, the Dolphins strong outside corners likely nullifying Bryan Edwards and Henry Ruggs III outside, and the Raiders having to go pass heavy with Josh Jacobs still likely out. He’s a safe play in PPR leagues with a high floor this week and a source of cheap DFS production.
Darnell Mooney (at Cleveland)
Mooney could also benefit from the element of surprise as the Browns will have to be ready for more deep passing off of play action against Fields even though his running ability may make them feel inclined to bring a safety into the box. Mooney has been targeted as often as Allen Robinson and appears to be foundational in the passing game.
Darius Slayton (vs Atlanta)
Slayton almost had two long scores last week and it should be even easier to get free deep against the Falcons secondary. Kenny Golladay has been limited by a hip injury in practice this week, so he isn’t as much of a threat to take the deep targets. As mentioned above, the Falcons have already given up five scores to wide receivers in two games, so you’ll want to play any healthy starting wide receivers against them.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (at San Francisco)
Valdes-Scantling could have easily had multiple scores on Monday night if Aaron Rodgers had been a little more accurate on throws to him. The opportunity and air yards are there, the two just need to hook up, which shouldn’t take long considering Rodgers history as a passer. Valdes-Scantling is a viable GPP play in DFS and should be considered in redraft lineups if you need upside, especially in .5 and non-PPR scoring.
Jared Cook (at Kansas City)
Cook has at least five targets in both games this year, which are high value targets since they are from Justin Herbert. He had a touchdown wiped off of the board last week and Cook is facing a Kansas City defense that has allowed at least six catches and 66 yards to opposing tight ends in both games this year.
Dallas Goedert (at Dallas)
Zach Ertz is on the covid list of right now, so Goedert is set up for a bigger opportunity against a Cowboys linebacker group that might be missing Keanu Neal (who is also on the covid list), who is one of their best coverage linebackers due to his background as a safety. The Cowboys gave up two scores to Chargers tight ends last week, but both were called back due to penalties.
Pat Freiermuth (vs Cincinnati)
Freiermuth has already moved ahead of Eric Ebron in snaps and targets. Now he might be moving up the target pecking order because Diontae Johnson has a leg injury that is threatening his Week 3 availability. Ben Roethlisberger isn’t going to have a lot of time to throw, so he might be limited to short/intermediate targets, which is where Freiermuth does his damage. If the Steelers get in the red zone, Freiermuth and Roethlisberger hooked up for two scores in a very limited preseason work.
Blake Jarwin (vs Philadelphia)
Jarwin moved ahead of Dalton Schultz in targets last week, and he could be featured more this week if the Cowboys decide to not take the bull by the horns and avoid the Eagles run defense that put the clamps on the 49ers running game last week. Jarwin could also get a boost if Amari Cooper is limited or out, and the team is already down Michael Gallup in the passing game. Gallup’s replacement Cedrick Wilson only had two targets last week, so there are extra chances up for grabs if this game forces Dak Prescott to throw more.