Coming off a 6 reception, 76-yard game, Darren Waller looks healthy
and dangerous. Yet, despite unsurprisingly leading the Giants
in targets through two weeks (13), he'll have his work cut out
for him against Niners team that has given up just 6 receptions
on 15 targets to tight ends through the first two games of the
season. Both Pat Freiermuth (1 reception for 3 yards) and Tyler
Higbee (3 receptions for 12 yards) - two respectable tight ends
- were smothered by the 49ers linebackers Dre Greenlaw and Fred
Warner. The 49ers weren’t kind to TE's in 2022, allowing the 8th
fewest points to the position, and just 9 yards per reception.
Warner was particularly prolific in that effort, allowing 0 TDs
in coverage and just a 73 passer rating against.
There are a couple of positives to cling to if you’re banking
on Waller. In Week 1, Freiermuth did at least salvage a TD against
the Niners, and the distinct possibility that the Giants will
be throwing a lot from behind - especially without Barkley - is
a plus. Waller, easily being Daniel Jones' most talented target,
could benefit from the negative game script. Still, a quiet day
for Waller would not be a shock.
The Giants started the season allowing 60 points before the offense
even got on the scoreboard, which makes the situation for Jones
even more unnerving. They did at least rally in historic fashion
to scrape out a W versus the rebuilding Cardinals. Jones turned
out a huge performance by the time the dust had cleared (327 yards
passing, 59 rushing, 3 TDs and 32.7 fantasy points) and is currently
No.8 in QB scoring through two weeks (with 20.6 FPts/G). That
should help ease long term concerns, but against a vicious 49er
defense this week, it might be best to turn to someone else.
Going out with a banged up and struggling offensive line versus
a 49ers defense that has registered 6 sacks (and had 44 last season),
mere survival might be a victory for Daniel Jones. But survival
won't earn him any fantasy points and the Niners aren't in the
habit of dishing them out either, allowing just 15 FPts/G thus
far and only 16.3 FPts/G last season.
Meanwhile, this might be shocking, but the 49ers are also difficult
to run against. They've allowed just 89 yards rushing on 23 carries
through two games. With Barkley out and a Gary Brightwell / Matt
Brieda split apparent, that means managers can’t bank on
either back to reach double-digit carries. And,cconsidering that
Brieda nor 6th rounder Brightwell are exceptional rushing talents,
we can’t expect high efficiency.
If there is an upshot, it is that the 49ers have surrendered
16 receptions to RB’s – largely due to a lot of garbage
time, which may happen again this week (though they’ve given
up just 4.8 yards per reception). Still, a lot of negative game
script, a split between two back up running backs, and a menacing
49er defense that allowed the least fantasy points to RB’s
last season makes this a hard pass for either Brieda or Brightwell.
With no Giants wide receiver having standout capabilities nor
seeing more than 11 targets through two games, all Giants receivers
are best sat, as well.
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
In a game where the Niners are possibly going to be without Brandon
Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel stands to be one of the considerable benefactors.
Additionally, Samuel's contributions in the run game (7 rushes
46 yards and a TD through two games) make him likely to produce
results even when the 49ers are in total control the of the game.
Samuel finished No.2 in WR scoring in 2021 with 1770 total yards
and 14 total touchdowns, before falling to No.34 last season (864
yards and 5 TD in 13 games). With reports out of camp that Samuel
was in better shape than ever, it seemed reasonable that he would
at least fall somewhere in between his 2021 and 2022 seasons,
and likely on the healthy side of it. Thus far, at No.15 through
two weeks, it appears to be the case. The Giants have talent on
defense, but have been disappointing thus far. They could start
to get in sync this week, but Samuel is likely going to be WR1
and he has a lot of ways to hurt a defense. He's an excellent
option this week with WR1 upside.
Brandon Aiyuk ranks No.8 among wide receivers and already had
2 touchdowns, after securing 8 while ranking No.14 last season.
The Niners could see a lot of the red zone this week, but as alluded
to above, Aiyuk appears to be a game time decision due to a shoulder
injured incurred last week, so he's as truly on the fence. Keep
a close eye on reports early on Thursday evening, and have a plan
B ready. It may even be wise to pass up on Aiyuk completely even
if he does play, as the 49ers may tread lightly with him if they
feel they can quickly get control in this game.
Brock Purdy has been very efficient to start 2023 (67% completion
rate, 7.9 yards per attempt, 3 total TDs and 0 Ints), but like
his predecessor Jimmy Garoppolo, lack of volume minimizes how
much good that'll do fantasy owners (just 27 pass attempts per
game in 2023 and under 26 per game thus far in Purdy's career).
Purdy is merely No.18 among QBs despite two nearly stainless games
for the 49ers.
Facing the Giants may not help, even if he has another statistically
efficient performance. Giants’ opponents have not had a
lot of volume (just 28 pass attempts and 2 rushes per game). New
York having given up just 14.8 fantasy points per game to QBs
and 6.6 yards per pass attempt; can Brock Purdy - especially if
he's down Brandin Aiyuk - provide starter value? Less than likely.
Meanwhile, Jauan Jennings made four starts last year (while Deebo
Samuel was out) and never finished with more than 6 targets or
8.2 fantasy points (both in Week 1 of 2022 against a relatively
poor Bears defense). Jennings amassed just 14 catches and 0 touchdowns
in his starts, despite seeing more than 80% of snaps in three
of them. With San Francisco able to feature Samuel, Kittle and
McCaffery in a limited passing volume attack, there's not a lot
of reason to overly involve Jennings. He's realistically little
more than an afterthought, even as a starter. CB Deonte Banks
is expected to line up across from Jennings, having allowed just
30 total receiving yards in his first two career games.
While Herbert is generally viewed among the upper tier of quarterbacks,
the numbers haven’t been there for a while now. Dating back
to last season, the Oregon product has accounted for more than
two TDs in a game just once in the past 17 games. Plus, after
averaging 268 yards and 4 TDs on the ground over his first two
years, Herbert has run for just 164 yards and 1 TD combined in
2022-23. He has a great matchup this week, though, as the Vikings
boast a shaky defense and a strong offense, setting up another
possible shootout like what we saw with Miami and LA in Week 1.
This is a good week to get Herbert in your lineup.
Coming off a strong effort in Week 1 alongside Ekeler, Kelley
didn’t have much success filling in for the talented back
last Sunday. His 13 carries went for just 39 yards, and he was
a nonfactor as a receiver. It’s unclear whether Ekeler will
return from his ankle injury in Week 3. If he does, that will
push Kelley back into a complementary role, and even though he
did well in that spot in the opener, there’s not enough
sample size to rely on a similar timeshare in Week 3. If he doesn’t,
Kelley just struggled in the top job, which should give you pause
even though the Vikings got run over by Philadelphia. He’s
a potential RB3/flex.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
With the Vikings absolutely unable to run the ball thus far,
the burden of moving the offense has fallen squarely on Cousins,
who has thrown for 300-plus yards and multiple TDs in both games
-- by comparison, the veteran hit that statistical combo only
twice all of last year. Los Angeles has been awful defending the
pass, getting shredded by Tua Tagovailoa and then making Ryan
Tannehill look competent. At home against a shaky defense, Cousins
is a mid-range No. 1 quarterback.
Over his first two NFL games, Addison has seven receptions, 133
yards, and two TDs. That’s not bad at all. It is worth noting,
however, that the rookie has touchdown grabs of 39 and 62 yards,
and outside of that his five catches have covered 32 yards total.
With so much of his value coming from one play each week, it creates
a scenario where he’s threading the needle in terms of fantasy
appeal. It’s a strong matchup, giving Addison WR3 potential,
but he’s not as reliable as his overall numbers suggest.
There’s no denying that Dalvin Cook’s play slipped last year.
Through two games, however, Mattison has looked woefully unprepared
to take over as a lead back. The long-time understudy has rushed
19 times for 62 yards to go with six receptions for 21 yards and
a touchdown. He also lost a fumble in Philly and would’ve lost
a second one had the Eagles not lined up offside. While newly
acquired Cam Akers may not play much this Sunday, relying on Mattison
as more than an RB3/flex is unwise.
We weren’t certain that James Cook’s Week 1 usage of 16 touches
would continue, but we got further clarification that Cook is
indeed the team’s top back when he saw 21 touches against the
Raiders in Week 2. Sure, it was disappointing that both Damien
Harris and Latavius Murray ended up scoring touchdowns while Cook
stood on the sidelines, but at least we can lean on the fact that
Cook has now caught four passes in each of his first two games.
The Bills have been one of the league’s most pass-heavy
offenses over the past few seasons, even when they’ve been
ahead in games, and we shouldn’t expect that they’re
suddenly going to become a run-first offense, but Cook’s
usage looks great so far. He’s currently a low-end RB1 and
even better fantasy says could very well be on the horizon.
This week he faces a Commanders defense that has done a fairly
good job of containing opposing running backs, but they’ve
also played against two offenses that are still struggling to
find consistency in the Cardinals and Broncos. The Bills haven’t
yet hit their stride, but they are certainly the best overall
offense the Commanders have faced thus far and that should give
Cook a good chance to see 15 or more touches again this week,
making him a borderline RB1/2.
Rookie tight ends in fantasy football are rarely productive so
it’s tough to recommend any of them, but one player who
has already begun to look the part of a future high-end fantasy
TE1 is Bills first-round draft pick Dalton Kincaid. Kincaid has
caught nine of the 10 targets that have come his way over his
first two professional outings and while he’s failed to
get into the end zone or have a truly productive fantasy day yet,
he might have his best opportunity to do so yet when he faces
the Commanders this week.
Fellow tight end Dawson Knox has been dealing with a back injury
and has not practiced this week as of Thursday, putting him in
serious question to play on Sunday. Even if he does suit up, there’s
a good chance that Knox won’t see his usual snap share, which
should mean more opportunities for Kincaid. Knox and Kincaid have
played on a fairly similar percentage of snaps thus far, with
Knox slightly ahead in that category, but look for Kincaid to
become an even better part of the offense if Knox is unable to
Snaps alone don’t always lead to targets, especially at tight
end, but the Bills have targeted this duo 19 times through two
games and their other tight end, Quintin Morris, has not yet seen
a pass come his way. There’s a real chance for Kincaid to push
for 10 targets in this game particularly if the Commanders are
able to keep up on the scoreboard, which would make Knox a strong
bet as a low-end TE1.
Gabe Davis’ Week 2 effort reminded us that he’s still
capable of delivering some very useful fantasy performances. His
six receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown on seven targets is
what fantasy managers would love to see more often, but unfortunately,
we just get stuck too often with games similar to what he did
in Week 1 when he caught two passes for 32 yards and no scores
on just four targets.
Davis is one of the biggest boom-or-bust players in the league.
He’s ideal for best ball formats where you don’t have
to try to guess when those big games are going to come, but he’s
extremely frustrating to try to predict in normal redraft leagues.
Leagues with deeper starting rosters could also consider starting
Davis because he does have the boom potential, but he’s
also very capable of dropping a complete dud so he’s tough
to start unless you’re in a league where you’re starting
three or more receivers.
BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Through three weeks, the top three running backs in total carries
are Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, and Tony Pollard. None
of that should be surprising, as all three of them were first
or second-round fantasy draft picks. But what could be surprising
to some is to hear that one of the players who’s tied for fourth
in carries at the moment is Commanders’ running back Brian Robinson
Jr. Robinson has already carried the ball 27 times, picking up
where he left off in 2022 when he established himself as the early-down
workhorse in this Washington offense. That strong usage has allowed
Robinson to get out to an extremely hot start and he’s a top-five
fantasy back in most formats so far.
His Week 3 matchup against the Bills looks scary at first glance.
The Bills could get out to an early lead and that’d make it tough
for the Commanders to stay true to their ground-and-pound offensive
scheme. We saw that happen when they played the Raiders in Week
2 and Josh Jacobs was held to nine carries for NEGATIVE-TWO yards!
But the Commanders have shown a willingness to continue to feed
Robinson even when they’ve been behind in games. He saw 12 or
more carries in seven straight games for the Commanders to end
the 2022 season and the Commanders were 3-3-1 in those seven contests.
In fact, they lost all of their final three games of the regular
season, by a total of 39 points, and Robinson still saw 58 carries
in those contests.
He still isn’t utilized much in the passing game so that’s
not fun, but there are very few backs in the league who have a
safer per-game carry workload right now than Robinson.
Howell has now thrown for 501 yards and three touchdowns with
only one interception, while also rushing for 24 yards and a touchdown
through two games. He’s been a quietly productive QB2 and
has even snuck into QB1 territory in some formats. Not only that,
but he looked better in Week 2 than he did in Week 1, so things
are actually looking up for both Howell himself and this Washington
offense as a whole.
But things get much more difficult in Week 2 when the Commanders
have to head to Buffalo to face the Bills and their excellent
pass defense. Buffalo has given up the third-fewest fantasy points
to opposing quarterbacks so far this season and while they’ve
compiled those numbers against the likes of Zach Wilson and Jimmy
Garoppolo, it’s also true that they were also quite good against
opposing quarterbacks in 2022 when they finished seventh-best
and 2021 when they were the best defense against the position.
Simply put, this is a difficult matchup against a team that likes
to scheme up pressure, particularly against inexperienced quarterbacks
and Sam Howell is just that.
There’s still a possibility that Howell ends up having
a decent game just due to pure volume and some potential scrambling
opportunities, but he’s a player who does not seem to do
well with pressure and he’s been holding onto the ball far
too long. This could be an ugly game if things go wrong. He’s
not a QB1 this week and is probably more of a low-end QB2.
The Commanders wide receiver duo might end up being one of the
more frustrating ones throughout the league this season. We’ve
seen both Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson look good at times,
but they have just one touchdown between them through two games
and neither player has reached even 100 receiving yards.
Those looking for a silver lining may find it in that tight end
Logan Thomas could be out due to a concussion that’s held him
out of practice throughout the week, but Thomas typically doesn’t
operate deep down the field anyway and that’s what we’re hoping
to get from both McLaurin and Dotson. If anything, Thomas being
out might lead to more work for Curtis Samuel or even Antonio
Gibson, both of whom have already been a thorn in the side of
those hoping to get production from this Washington Commanders
wide receiver duo.
Better days are ahead for McLaurin and Dotson, but this is a
week where you can feel okay about starting some of the other
players who’ve broken out early in the year over either
of the Washington wide receivers.
Green Bay’s defense has one primary goal: keep everything
in front of you. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising
to see Thomas get a lot of work on underneath routes. The veteran
has been busy in the early going, being targeted 17 times, and
catching a dozen of them for 116 yards, and he appears well positioned
to continue to be a popular outlet against the Packers. You could
pencil him in as a WR3.
With Alvin Kamara serving the final game of his suspension this
Sunday and Jamaal Williams (hamstring) likely to miss time with
a hamstring injury, the expectation is that the Saints will ask
Miller (hamstring) to make his NFL debut after sitting out the
first two games with an injury of his own. The Packers had no
answers for Atlanta’s ground attack in Week 2, which provides
plenty of upside for the rookie. On the flip side, Miller is unproven
at this level, so he’s more of a lottery ticket than a reliable
A week ago, the Packers saw a Falcons team built to take advantage
of how they want to play defense. Conversely, New Orleans plays
into Green Bay’s hands with an immobile quarterback that
they can get after and a desire to push the ball downfield. That
doesn’t mean Carr won’t make some plays, but applying
pressure and letting their cornerbacks hunt for wayward passes
is what the Packers want to do. Temper your expectations for Carr,
who has looked like a work in progress in the early going.
NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Jones and Christian Watson are Questionable.
With Jones out of action, the Packers turned to Dillon to be the
lead back in Week 2. It was a mostly disappointing showing as
the powerful back had trouble keeping his feet in critical moments
and ended the day with 63 yards on 16 touches. The hope here is
that Jones could return Sunday -- his hamstring injury was not
believed to be overly serious, and he was listed as questionable
in the lead up to the Falcons game -- with Dillon moving back
into a complementary role. With a young quarterback and a tough
defense, Green Bay might ask more than usual of its backs. In
that spirit, Dillon could overdeliver as a flex.
It hasn’t been flawless by any means, but it’s hard
to gripe too much about a first-year starter throwing six TD passes
without a pick in two road games without his No. 1 receiver. While
Love finally makes his Lambeau Field debut, he’ll do it
against the best defense he’s seen thus far while perhaps
missing the left side of his offensive line. Matt LaFleur knows
this as well, so don’t be surprised if we see a modified
approach this Sunday to take some of the pressure off Love. Despite
his solid start, Love is better left on your bench.
Make no mistake, Robinson is the home run hitter. The Falcons
don’t want to overwork their prized rookie, however, and that’s
been leaving plenty of touches for Allgeier, who has run 31 times
for 123 yards and 2 TDs over the first two games. Granted, that
has come with Cordarrelle Patterson (thigh) inactive with a thigh
injury, but the converted wideout isn’t particularly suited to
fill Allgeier’s role anyway. Heading into Detroit to face a dangerous
offensive team, the Falcons are likely to lean heavily on their
ground game to keep their defense off the field, much like they
did against Green Bay. You can deploy Allgeier as a solid RB3.
No matter how talented Pitts is, the Falcons seem unwilling (or
unable) to carve out a meaningful offensive role for the towering
tight end. Through two games he has just four receptions for 59
yards, and 34 of those yards came on a single catch. On paper,
the walking mismatch should be a top-five player at the position,
but he’s just not used enough to justify any level of TE1
value most weeks. Sure, the upside is always there for a big game,
but how many poor performances are you willing to absorb in hopes
that this will be the week he delivers?
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
While you can debate the wisdom of trading T.J. Hockenson last
season as he continues to shine with the Vikings, the Lions look
to have found a potentially worthy successor in LaPorta. The rookie
has caught 10 of 11 targeted balls through two games and averaged
a healthy 12.6 yards per catch in Week 2. As previously noted,
Detroit was inconsistent with their usage of Hockenson, which
creates some trepidation about plugging LaPorta into your lineup.
Given the state of the TE position in general, however, the former
Hawkeye is a borderline top-10 selection.
It’s still early, but thus far Reynolds has done much more than
Marvin Jones opposite St. Brown. Granted, neither player has much
of a long-term outlook with Jameson Williams set to return from
suspension in Week 7, but Reynolds has done some nice things to
start the season with nine catches, 146 yards, and two TDs. He
had a nice three-week run in 2022 before fading into obscurity,
so any endorsement of Reynolds comes with the caveat that he could
easily disappear on any given Sunday. Still, his fast start is
enough to make him worth the risk as a flex.
Tannehill bounced back from a dismal opener, completing 20 of
24 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown -- he also avoided interceptions
after throwing three in Week 1. The veteran added a 12-yard touchdown
run for a solid day. Don’t expect him to build on that performance
in Week 3. The Browns have a nasty defense, locking down Joe Burrow
and doing much the same to Kenny Pickett on Monday night outside
of a blown coverage on a 71-yard touchdown. Tannehill should be
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
With Nick Chubb (knee) lost for the season following a gruesome
knee injury, the Browns will turn to Ford as their lead back.
The former Bearcat stepped in after Chubb was lost Monday night
and turned 16 carries into 106 yards. He also caught three passes
for 25 yards and a touchdown. It’d be unrealistic to expect Ford
to be the equal of one of the NFL’s top backs, but you needn’t
go too far back to see what unheralded D’Ernest Johnson was able
to do for the Browns when pressed into action. Ford is a definite
RB3 with RB2 upside, even with the signing of Kareem Hunt.
Watson finds himself with an “on the fence” designation for a
second consecutive week after an uneven and sometimes frustrating
effort against the Steelers. He threw for 235 yards, rushed for
22 more, and had a TD pass while being sacked six times and turning
the ball over on three occasions. Only four teams have allowed
more passing yards on the young season than the Titans, so this
is a plus matchup for Watson. At the same time, he’s yet to put
up big numbers in eight starts with Cleveland. Consider him a
risk/reward play as a fringe QB1.
Houston’s high volume passing game so far in 2023 is born of
necessity because they are often trailing in games and have to
open up the offense to keep up. The team is third in the league
in pass attempts and fifth in passing yards. Nico Collins is a
player who has benefited mightily from not only the high volume,
but the efficiency of young signal caller C.J. Stroud. And although
Collins is essentially even with fellow wideout Robert Woods in
terms of receptions and yards, Collins is by far the more explosive
of the two. Collins averages 6 more yards per reception than Woods,
so Collins is the preferred choice. Plus, he’s coming off the
best game of his career, finishing Week 2’s performance with 7
catches for 146 yards (both career highs), and one score. Collins
should continue distinguishing himself as a low-end WR2/high-end
WR3 this season.
Pierce’s productivity is being hindered because the team
often plays catch-up, rendering the run game moot. But Pierce
hasn’t done much with his limited carries so far in 2023
anyway, having only 26 carries and 69 yards through two games.
His 2.7 yards per carry is eighth worst in the league and suggests
a lack of explosiveness. Still, I’d start Pierce as a flex
this week, but I’d keep my expectations in check.
Stroud has shown solid progress through the first two games of
his career. His 626 passing yards is 4th in the NFL, and he distributes
the ball nicely, with four players having between 11 and 20 targets.
That said, Stroud is not yet a consideration to start in one-QB
leagues. He’s played turnover-free football, and I would
imagine the Texans are happy with him. But he has just two TDs
and only 21 rushing yards in two games. He requires a spot on
the bench until further notice, despite his promising first two
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
Jacksonville’s offense is as Jeckyl and Hyde as any team in the
league. An offense that seemed to be humming right along in Week
1 hit a roadblock in Week 2 when many people expected a high-scoring
game against the Chiefs. Players that produced solid numbers in
Week 1 (Trevor Lawrence; Travis Etienne; Calvin Ridley) disappeared
in Week 2, and a player who was invisible in Week 1 (Christian
Kirk) showed up in Week 2. Kirk went from one catch in Week 1
to 11 receptions in Week 2. The up and down nature of this offense
makes it tough to figure out.
Perhaps no other example illustrates Jacksonville’s unpredictable
nature more than last year’s playoff game against the Chargers
when Lawrence tossed four first half interceptions. He rebounded
in the second half and led his team to victory, but the roller
coaster ride this team takes its fantasy owners on is dizzying.
Those who have Etienne and Ridley are starting them without question;
Lawrence as well, more than likely.
Tight end is the thinnest position in fantasy football, so if
you’re lucky enough to have a productive one, consider yourself
fortunate. Not many have done much through the first two games,
yet Engram is an exception. He’s been the most consistent receiving
threat for the Jags so far, and he’s third in the league in receiving
yards at the position. Engram is the perfect complement to the
receivers in Jacksonville, as his athleticism up the seam and
across the middle of the field allows him to take advantage of
slower defenders. As long as he continues his productivity, continue
As of Thursday evening, Jones has yet to practice this week with
a knee issue and appears to be headed toward inactive status.
Much like his teammates, Jones’ production in Week 2 fell
off the table, going from 5 receptions in Week 1 to zero receptions
last week. Even if Jones was fully healthy heading into this week’s
matchup, it would remain difficult to suggest him as a starting
option. Thankfully, his knee issue is making that decision for
Rhamondre Stevenson has gotten the job done for fantasy managers
through two games despite the Patriots starting off at 0-2. His
production hasn’t been excellent, but he’s seen exactly
18 touches in each contest, caught seven passes, and scored a
touchdown. The per-game rush numbers are ugly and he’ll
be facing a Jets defense that has been good thus far, so don’t
expect a monster performance in this one, but Stevenson is about
the only player in the offense who fantasy managers can expect
to be involved regardless of the game script or pace.
The tight end position remains hideous throughout the league
so even though Hunter Henry’s best days are probably behind him
from a fantasy standpoint, it’d be tough to sit a player who’s
scored in each of his first two games this season. Henry has also
caught all but two of the 13 targets that have come his way and
he should remain the team’s primary goal-line weapon in the passing
game. Yes, Mike Gesicki has been breaking into his potential upside,
but don’t overthink this - Henry is one of the better options
at the position throughout the league right now.
The Jets are near the league average in fantasy points given
up to opposing quarterbacks so far this season, but it’s worth
noting that they’ve played against Josh Allen and Dak Prescott
- two of the league’s more solidified and productive QBs. Now
they face Mac Jones, who has historically underperformed against
the Jets throughout his career. He’s averaging just 233 passing
yards and has only thrown three touchdowns in four career matchups
with the Jets. Given that this is highly unlikely to be a shootout,
there just aren’t a lot of ways for Jones to truly deliver for
fantasy managers in this game.
With Jones having a low ceiling, that also means bad things for
the wide receivers in New England. Despite probably being the
least exciting of the group, Kendrick Bourne is the one player
who’s stepped up so far and been utilized in a significant
fashion. He’s been targeted 20 times through two weeks,
including an 11-target game in Week 1 which resulted in a pair
of touchdowns. His usage remained strong in Week 2 when he was
targeted nine times, but the conversion rate was significantly
worse as he caught just four of those passes for 29 yards and
failed to get into the end zone, resulting in an ugly fantasy
day. JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Demario Douglas and
Kayshon Boutte have all factored into the passing game as well,
but none of these players have shown themselves to be anything
other than a cog in the wheel that is the middling New England
passing game. Stay away from them this week as they go on the
road to face a difficult matchup against a good Jets defense.
NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Fantasy managers who spent an early-round pick on Garrett Wilson
were understandably assuming that they’d see his name under the
“no-brainers” section each week, but we have to be honest and
admit Wilson is no longer a must-start in all formats. Sure, he’s
been able to scrape together some usable fantasy performances,
having scored in both games he’s played thus far, but his two
catches on eight targets this past week has to make fantasy managers
concerned. It’s not just that he and Zach Wilson aren’t on the
same page - it’s that Zach Wilson is flat-out bad. Not only that,
but he’s now playing against a good New England defense that held
Tyreek Hill to just 40 yards in Week 2.
Wilson should still be a solid mid-to-low-end WR2 in most games,
so this isn’t to say that he’s completely unusable,
but there’s a possibility that those in shallow leagues
might have multiple better options given this matchup.
Breece Hall’s explosive performance in Week 1 helped the Jets
shock the world by defeating the Bills even after they lost Aaron
Rodgers almost immediately. His impressive breakaway ability,
particularly in comparison to Dalvin Cook’s mediocre performance,
had most fantasy managers assuming that Hall would be unleashed
in Week 2. But that didn’t happen. In fact, it almost couldn’t
have been worse. Hall saw just four touches in the Jets’ Week
2 blowout loss to the Cowboys and fantasy managers - along with
Hall himself - were left scratching their heads as to why the
game was put on the shoulders of quarterback Zach Wilson who looked
lost out there.
Now we’re headed into Week 3 and Hall is facing a matchup against
a Patriots defense that just got done being lit up by Raheem Mostert
on Sunday Night Football. This should be a smash matchup for Hall,
but we just don’t have a good grasp on what this coaching staff
is planning to do. Dalvin Cook out-snapped Hall in each of the
first two games of the season and while the numbers were much
closer in Week 2, it was actually Michael Carter who saw his share
increase the most, essentially making things into an ugly three-headed
The running back position throughout the league has been devastated
by injuries and disappointing production so you might not have
a great option to replace him with, but Hall is certainly far
from a must-start at the moment.
The Jets’ most recent running back acquisition has led
the team in snap share and touches in each of the first two games,
but to say that his production has been underwhelming would be
an understatement. Cook has rushed for a pathetic 2.4 yards per
carry while contributing just 31 yards receiving and he hasn’t
been able to find the end zone. Meanwhile, second-year back Breece
Hall has looked significantly more explosive and has touched the
ball almost as much as Cook despite playing fewer snaps.
It looks unlikely that these coaches are suddenly going to completely
give up on Cook, who they paid handsomely upon acquisition, but
21 touches for only 71 yards over two weeks is just not going
to cut it for fantasy purposes. He’s a player to avoid until
this offense starts showing us that it’s good enough to
give multiple scoring opportunities per game, and that Cook himself
shows us that he still has something left in the tank.
Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson still doesn’t look like
his old self, but he’s certainly been significantly better
for fantasy purposes so far in 2023 than he was in 2022. Wilson
has thrown for 485 yards and five touchdowns with only one interception
and he also added 56 rushing yards in his Week 2 game against
The Dolphins’ high-powered passing attack may mean that
the Broncos will need to pass quite a bit in order to keep up
on the scoreboard. That would mean more opportunities for Wilson
and the passing game as a whole.
The Broncos finished 30th in the NFL in points per play in 2022,
but new head coach Sean Payton has them off to a hot start in
2023 and they’re currently 10th in that category. Most of the
production has come through the air, but there’s still plenty
of reason to be optimistic about running back Javonte Williams
in this offense. For starters, Williams has now touched the ball
31 times in his first two games - both of which were losses -
while backup Samaje Perine has just 16 total touches over the
same span. Despite the fact that Perine technically out-snapped
Williams in Week 2, the touch count was not close. Williams, in
fact, out-carried Perine by a 12-to-1 ratio against the Commanders.
Sure, we need to be worried that a passing game shootout with
the Dolphins could result in higher usage for Perine, but the
running back position has a ton of turmoil throughout the league
right now and he’s a player who’s shown lots of explosiveness.
He should see 12 or more touches in this game and he has the potential
for multiple scores if the Broncos get down near the goal line.
Sutton has been largely forgotten in fantasy circles, but he’s
been fairly solid this season and seems to be functioning as the
team’s top receiver - at least for now. His 12 targets aren’t
anything spectacular, but he’s made nine catches on those
targets, including a touchdown, and he’s been a double-digit
PPR scorer in each game thus far. With the Broncos likely needing
to be more pass-heavy than in previous weeks, look for Sutton
to push for his first 10-target game of the season.
Jeudy was the Broncos’ highest-drafted fantasy wide receiver
and Mims looks like the future, but unfortunately, we can’t
rely on them quite yet in traditional seasonal leagues. Jeudy
sat out in Week 1 before returning against the Commanders in Week
2, but he doesn’t yet look like his normal self. He commanded
just five targets, making three catches for 25 yards, and may
still need a week or two before he’s fully back.
Meanwhile, rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims has looked unbelievable
in his limited opportunities. He’s been targeted just four
times, but he’s made all four catches for a total of 122
yards and a touchdown, including a pair of huge plays this past
week against the Commanders. While Mims has looked great when
he’s been on the field, he’s currently fifth on the
team in total snaps played at wide receiver. We have to assume
that he’ll eventually get more playing time and his dynasty
stock is certainly up, but this isn’t a player we should
be counting on in redraft leagues until we see stronger usage.
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
With over 700 yards and four touchdowns, Dolphins quarterback
Tua Tagovailoa has become the Vegas front-runner for NFL MVP through
two weeks. The offense has been scheming ways to get the ball
into their receivers’ hands, focusing on moving Tyreek Hill
around the formation pre-snap and it has led to some serious mismatches
and big plays. Meanwhile, the Broncos have given up four passing
touchdowns and a total of 499 yards passing to quarterbacks Jimmy
Garoppolo and Sam Howell through two weeks. While those quarterbacks
both have some solid weapons, they themselves are not considered
strong fantasy plays but still delivered for managers against
the Broncos. Tagovailoa, red-hot through two games, should have
plenty of opportunities to make big plays against this struggling
defense and he’s a firm QB1.
The biggest concern about Raheem Mostert as a fantasy asset has
always been his health. When he’s on the field, he’s typically
delivering at least usable fantasy numbers, sometimes even surprising
us with a big game like the one he had this past week against
the Patriots when he ran for 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
He looks healthy and with Jeff Wilson still out, Salvon Ahmed
nursing a groin injury, and Devon Achane still getting acclimated
to the NFL, there’s plenty of reason to believe that this will
be another heavy usage game for Mostert. He’s always going to
be tough to put into the RB1 range because the Dolphins are so
pass-heavy with their offense, but Mostert is a solid RB2 who
could again deliver RB1 numbers depending on how the game script
ends up playing out.
We’re only two games in so relax on hitting the alarm button,
but Waddle has been a bit of a disappointment for fantasy managers
thus far. Waddle has delivered on a per-target basis, having caught
eight of the 11 total targets that have come his way for an impressive
164 yards, but the low target totals have meant that he’s
been unable to deliver a truly difference-making fantasy performance
yet and he’s sitting right around a low-end WR3.
Add in the fact that Waddle is dealing with a concussion that
has kept him out of practice as of Thursday and there’s
just a lot to be concerned about heading into this weekend’s
games. There are certainly rosters where he has to be in your
lineup and we do like his long-term outlook, but this just looks
like a potentially frustrating situation for fantasy managers
at the moment.
With Jonathan Taylor (ankle) confined to the Physically Unable
to Perform (PUP) list for at least two more games, the Colts will
again look to Moss to lead their backfield. The former Bills RB
returned from a one-game absence of his own in Week 2 to rack
up 107 yards of offense and a touchdown. Even with the Colts holding
a big lead, the team never looked to Week 1 starter Deon Jackson
to carry the ball, which tells you that Moss is the guy, pending
resolution of the Taylor situation. That gives him RB2/RB3 appeal
even against a tough Ravens defense.
Despite being removed early in the second quarter due to a concussion,
Richardson still ran for a pair of touchdowns on three carries.
He has a full week to clear protocol, which is no sure thing,
so obviously if he’s ruled out you can forget we ever said
anything. If the rookie does play, however, he has already shown
the type of dual-threat skills that could deliver nice value to
fantasy owners. Beyond his health, the other caveat here is that
Baltimore should be as well prepared for someone like Richardson
as anyone in the NFL given their time practicing against Lamar
Jackson. There’s a QB1 ceiling here, along with a fairly
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
With Mark Andrews back in action following a one-week absence,
Flowers’ targets dipped from 10 in Week 1 to five on Sunday. He
did more with less, though, ending the day with a 4-62-0 line,
which wasn’t far off his yardage output in the opener (9-78-0).
The rookie continues to work ahead of WRs Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle)
and Rashod Bateman, though Nelson Agholor saw more targets (6)
in Cincinnati. You can plug Flowers into your lineup as a low-end
WR3 or flex.
Life without J.K. Dobbins (Achilles) began last Sunday with Hill
turning 14 touches into 53 yards, and Edwards gaining 62 yards
and a touchdown on 10 carries. With no clear favorite among that
duo, their respective values remain low. Indianapolis has been
stout against the run as well, ranking seventh in the NFL at 78.5
yards per game. Both backs could be used as flex possibilities,
but there’s some downside baked into that as well. If Hill (toe)
is ruled out, then Edwards will vault into Flex range but if you’re
in a PPR league, be mindful that he doesn’t offer anything in
the passing game.
Sanders has 39 touches through two games (32 rushes and 7 receptions).
Whether he can maintain that kind of volume over the long haul
remains to be seen, but the Panthers should maintain a conservative
approach for the time being, whether it’s Bryce Young at quarterback
or veteran game manager Andy Dalton (this week’s starter). Sanders
hasn’t turned these opportunities into big production, ranking
No.27 in fantasy points at running back, but it’s encouraging
to see high floor potential and facing the Seahawks this week
could help him start to approach his ceiling. Crossing the goal
line for the first time as a Panther would be ideal, and Seattle’s
defense has already surrendered 4 rushing TDs in 2023 and gave
up 18 total touchdowns to RB’s last season.
But there’s more. Volume meets volume here, as no team
has surrendered more rushing attempts than the Seahawks (also
No.2 in rushing attempts against in 2022), meaning that fantasy
managers can both feel good about the Panthers RB1 approaching
or surpassing 20 touches and spiking the ball in the end zone.
As a side note, Sanders did get listed on the injury report after
picking up a pectoral injury in Week 2. None the less, he did
practice on Wednesday. There’s no indication he will miss
any time, but monitor the injury report.
While 2nd round rookie Jonathan Mingo hasn’t been particularly
productive during his first two games (just 5 receptions for 43
yards), he has been Bryce Young’s most targeted receiver
(13 targets). Young is out this week and it remains to be seen
who replacement Andy Dalton favors but Mingo leads Carolina wide
receivers with a 92% snap rate through two games. It may just
be a matter of time before production follows opportunity.
There’s certainly risk, but Mingo could get a boost with the
more experienced Andy Dalton tossing passes. And against a Seattle
secondary that looks to be thin this week – with top corner Riq
Woolen out and star safety Jamal Adams still working his way back
from a 2022 injury – Mingo could line up across from some very
beatable depth players and have his first booming day.
Bryce Young has been declared out for this Sunday due to an ankle
injury, meaning Andy Dalton will take over behind center. Dalton
was once a viable fantasy football starter, twice posting seasons
of over 20 points per game, but he hasn’t bested even 15
points per game since 2019 (18.1 Fpts/G in his last season with
the Bengals). More recently, he’s averaged between 12 and
14 points per game.
Dalton still has value on the actual football field, as his teams
have posted better winning percentages with him than with the
QB he replaced in each of the previous three seasons. It would
not be surprising if history repeats itself, especially should
Bryce Young miss extended time, but Dalton’s value at this point
is more of a game manager, rather than someone who makes big plays.
As such, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to produce enough against
Seattle to be worth a start in your league. Seattle has surrendered
300 yards passing to both Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff to start
the year but at 36 years of age, Dalton just doesn’t have close
to the arm talent of Stafford or Goff.
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
After a shockingly quiet Week 1 against the Rams, Geno Smith
and friends looked more like what was expected of them in Week
2. For his part, Smith finished with 328 yards passing and 2 TDs
(also adding 20 rush yards). The Panthers sans Jaycee Horn are
more beatable than their early numbers in 2023, and even with
Horn healthy for much of last year they still gave up the 13th
most points to opposing QB’s. Meanwhile, Smith has a 72% completion
percentage to start the year after leading the league with a 70%
completion percentage in 2022.
Smith’s prospects of an impactful, QB1 performance have
been aided by the news that struggling rookie Bryce Young is out
and Andy Dalton has been installed. The veteran is less likely
to make the costly mistakes that would lead Pete Carroll and the
Seahawks to sit on the ball, and we may see a competitive enough
game to keep Geno Smith throwing. As such, a top 10 finish for
Smith is well within grasp.
Metcalf is off to a respectable-but-hardly-blazing start (9 receptions
122 yards and a touchdown), and is dealing with rib injury coming
into Week 3, but he’s fully expected to be available this
weekend and the match up looks enticing for both him and Tyler
The Panthers have given up the 2nd fewest points to the receiver
position so far this year, but they faced the very anemic pass
attack of the Falcons Week 1, and then lost stellar cornerback
Jaycee Horn to injury (just a 62 passer rating allowed last season).
Last week against the Saints, Chris Olave and Michael Thomas enjoyed
a combined 20 targets, 13 receptions and 141 yards receiving.
The similarly formidable Metcalf and Lockett seem poised to enjoy
even better production while also reaching the end zone with a
more aggressive red zone quarterback (CAR surrendered 16 touchdowns
to receivers last season). Geno Smith has thrown 20 TD passes
on 81 red zone attempts since the start of last year, versus 12
TDs on 70 attempts for the Saints Derek Carr. Metcalf and Lockett
unsurprisingly own 41% of all Seahawks targets and should both
be no worse than WR2’s this weekend.
Smith-Njigba has managed to find his way to 11 targets through
the season’s first two weeks, but has only seen an average depth
of target of 2.3 yards and has 5.9 yards per reception. He may
break off a slant into a huge gain at some point, but right now
while playing 57% of snaps, he doesn’t appear to be getting utilized
in a full route tree yet. If the Seahawks don’t become run heavy,
he may find enough targets to make a big play and provide flex
value, but starting him remains a significant gamble.
The news out of Carolina about their quarterback situation stands
to have a positive impact on the production a lot of Seattle players,
but Zach Charbonnet is unlikely to be one of them. Charbonnet’s
snap count is moving in the right direction, with an increase
from 12 to 19 in Week 2 (though some of that was due to the Seahawks
having a much better share of the game clock than they had in
Week 1), and opposing running backs have already taken the Panthers
for 55 combined rushes and receptions, 240 yards and 5 touchdowns.
That doesn’t count Taysom Hill, who spend some time at running
back after Jamaal Williams was hurt for the Saints in Week 2.
During week 1, The Falcons enjoyed two RB1 performances against
the Panthers, and Tony Jones finished with 15.4 points (good for
RB15) in Week 2 after replacing an injured Jamaal Williams in
the 2nd quarter. There’s certainly a question as to whether Charbonnet
will see enough of a snap bump this week. There was greater potential
for this to happen with a turnover-prone rookie starting at quarterback
for the opposing Panthers than with the careful veteran Dalton.
It’s wise to hold onto Charbonnet, but starting him this week
is likely to be unfruitful.
Sam Howell and Daniel Jones both turned in top 10 fantasy production
against the Cardinals, and Dak Prescott is inferior to neither
of these two QB’s. Prescott has efficiently managed the Cowboys
first two games with a 71% completion percentage and no interceptions.
But he hasn’t produced much in fantasy football, opting to play
keep away from Jets and Giants secondaries that are very capable
of producing turnovers and allowing the Dallas defense to deliver.
Prescott even went so far as to tell Jets star cornerback Sauce
Gardner that he intentionally kept the ball away from him.
In Week 3, the Cowboys defense should again have it’s way facing
Joshua Dobbs and company. But Prescott is likely going to open
things up a bit and keep his receivers happy against a far less
threatening Cardinals defense. Arizona has given up the 3rd most
fantasy points to QBs through two weeks.
The Cardinals seem to make it a yearly passion to get torched
by opposing tight ends, and those yearly winds are already starting
to blow hot in 2023. Darren Waller hurt Arizona for 6 receptions
and 76 yards in Week 2, and opposing TE’s have led their team
in targets each of the first two weeks (Waller with 7 and Logan
Thomas with 8 in Week 1). This is a great spot for Ferguson, but
it’s mostly a question of whether he has enough physical ability
as a pass catcher to fully take advantage (8.2 career receiving
average in limited opportunities). On the upside, he did pick
up his 3rd career TD on just 33 targets. He’s probably more of
a play for those who don’t have a steady, reliable TE, in a spot
where he could pick up another TD and perhaps a bit better line
than the 3 receptions for 11 yards he had last week.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Conner came through for a team thin on offensive talent, posting
106 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Giants. Surprisingly,
he was held without a catch but he still finished 14th among running
backs with 16.6 points thanks to his big rushing day. It may be
asking too much this week against a Dallas defense that seems
on a mission to put itself among the all-time elite.
The Cowboys were not kind to running backs last year, giving
up just 16.6 points per game – good for 5th fewest. In 2023,
they’ve started out even more stingy, allowing just 7.6
points per game (2nd fewest). The Cowboys had the third most difficult
run defense in 2021, so this is a long running theme. To further
matters, they haven’t given up a receiving TD to a RB since
2021, and gave up just 6 rushing touchdowns last season. Conner’s
biggest bread-and-butter is red zone action as a runner and receiver,
and the Cowboys front is a brick wall between him and the goal
line. Volume and little else may somehow get Conner into flex
territory, but if he pulls it off, it won’t come easy and
it won’t be pretty. It may just be too much to bank on.
In the passing game, Ertz may be a constant parachute for Joshua
Dobbs, who has frequently turned to him 18 times through the first
two games, mostly as a check down option. Ertz recorded 12 receptions,
though he’s averaged just 6.4 yards after managing just
8.6 yards per reception last season. Dobbs has only been sacked
3 times through the first two games, and if he wants to keep it
that way, he’ll need to find the likes of Ertz near the
line of scrimmage, if not behind it. Whether the Cowboys will
allow Ertz to get enough yardage to make the targets at all meaningful
remains to be seen.
Fade: Everyone else
WR Marquise Brown has 15 targets through two weeks, but regardless
who’s in coverage, there’s not likely to be much space
for Brown and Dobbs doesn’t have the arm talent to make
frequent tight throws. Dobbs is also quite intent on not forcing
the issue. No other wide receiver on the Cardinals has been particularly
involved, with Michael Wilson a distant second at 7 total targets.
The Cowboys have given up the fewest fantasy points to receivers
(13.2) and that is unlikely to change this week.
After a quiet Week 1 that saw D.J. Moore enjoy only 2 targets,
Moore turned in a 104-yard performance on 7 targets in Week 2.
Justin Fields ranks 26th in completion rate and continues to take
sacks at an alarming rate (No.2 in times sacked after finishing
1st last year) means Moore’s opportunities may remain as inconsistent
as they were last year in Carolina. To make matters worse, Moore
faces a K.C. defense that erased Calvin Ridley last week (2-32-0
on 8 targets). Andy Reid and company may try to take away Moore
and count on Fields not going through his progressions.
In this situation, the spotlight may be on Darnell Mooney (knee).
Especially with Amon-ra St. Brown doing damage to the Chiefs out
of the slot in Week 1, and then Christian Kirk calming panicked
owners with an 11-catch performance against K.C. last week. But
while Mooney has gone for 1000 yards once in his career, he’s
not quite St. Brown and may not even be on the level of Christian
Kirk. The biggest issue is whether Fields can find him on the
field, as Mooney has just 7 targets and 53 yards in two games
this year, and had just 493 yards receiving in 12 games last season.
It’s a huge question mark, right now, and Mooney is no more
than a boom-or-bust candidate, as is arguably D.J. Moore.
Despite major investments in the offense around him (D.J. Moore,
Chase Claypool, 1st round pick Tackle Darnell Wright), Justin
Fields has definitely struggled through his first two games, though
he did manage to muster out a QB12 finish in Week 1 thanks to
some garbage time production (18.5 points). After finishing 18th
in Week 2 in a game where he struggled immensely after the opening
drive, things could start spiraling out of control, and he could
even see himself benched as both the coaching staff and the fans
in Chicago grow increasingly impatient with him. It’s best to
see if he can sort himself out, rather than risk him against a
guru such as Reid and what appears to be an improved Chiefs defense.
The Chiefs gave up just 14 points to Jared Goff and then just
11.2 to a more mobile Trevor Lawrence in Week 2. It’s easy to
imagine them doing similar harm to Fields in Week 3.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
An 0-2 Bears team coming to town. An opposing QB who has thrown
3 picks, fumbled 3 times and been sacked 10 times in his team’s
first two games. A Chiefs team that’s coming off of its
second Super Bowl title in the last half decade. We’re looking
at the recipe for a whole lot of positive game script for Isiah
Pacheco. To be sure, the Chiefs have no problem throwing all day
long, even with a lead, but Chicago’s turnover problems
coupled with the fact that they can’t stop the run - 5th
most fantasy points to RBs in 2023 after giving up the 2nd most
last season – have the stars aligning for Pacheco.
The Bears have been hurt by opponent wide receivers thus far
(32.1 fantasy points per game, ranked 8th most). That’s despite
the Packers being without Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs (2
TD) having no choice but to play through his own hamstring injury
in Week 1. In Week 2, Mike Evans 171-yard performance devastated
the Bears secondary. Is there a Chiefs receiver ready to stand
up? That’s the hard part of the equation.
Kadarius Toney rewarded Andy Reid taking bullets for him by coming
up with a perfect 5 reception, 5 target day in Week 2. The yardage
wasn’t sizable – 35 yards – but for the second
week in a row Toney saw 5 targets on less than 20 snaps, an incredible
rate. His snap total did increase a bit, from 16 to 19, but he’ll
probably need a big bump from his 27% snap rate to make a big
After producing cricket sounds week 1, Sky Moore made some serious
noise with a 9-yard touchdown and then a 54-yard reception in
Week 2, tallying 3 receptions in total for 70 yards and a score
on 4 targets. His snap rated dipped a bit, though, from 69% to
58% and he finished 4th in targets behind Kelce, Toney and Justin
Watson, but Kelce’s return may free up big play opportunities
for him and the Bears appear vulnerable to them. It’s hard
to say which, if any, of the Chiefs receivers will take advantage
of the match up, but there is some boom potential.
The rookie Rice wasn’t stellar in his first game, but scored
a touchdown on three receptions, for an at least somewhat intriguing
start. But he appeared to be the biggest victim of Travis Kelce’s
return (outside of Kelce’s fellow TE Noah Gray), seeing his snap
count dip from 31% to 18%. There was no apparent reward for his
Week 1 production, and it’s fair to say that he’s got a long climb
up the depth chart.
After allowing the 5th most points to running backs last season,
the Raiders have given up 27.7 points per game to RB’s through
the first two games of 2023 (3rd most). Neither the Broncos nor
Bills boast elite running games, but they combined to rush for
5.4 yards per carry against the Raiders.
With the Steelers making moves to improve their offensive line,
Najee Harris has averaged 4.6 yards per rush through the first
two games, but the opportunities just haven’t been there
with the Steelers struggling badly in the passing game. After
facing difficult defensive opponents in Buffalo and Cleveland,
all is poised to change against a vulnerable Las Vegas D. Look
for the Steelers to attempt to establish the run, trying to control
the tempo but also generate offense against a weak run defense
with Harris (3.0 yards after contact through two games), who is
still legitimately their best offensive player.
The Raiders gave up the 12th most points per game to TE’s
in 2022 (10.6 FPts/G), and in 2023 have surrendered 12.6 FPts/G
to tight ends thus far, good for 5th most. Mainly, they’ve
been allowing a lot of work underneath (16 receptions for 112
yards): Enter Pat Freiermuth. The Steelers third-year tight end
has been surprisingly quiet (2-5-1 on 5 targets), but he broke
the 60-reception mark in each of his first two years and has often
been a good security blanket. Look for the Pickett and the Steelers
coaching staff led by Mike Tomlin to try and re-establish that
connection in a welcoming matchup this week.
Versus both the Broncos and Bills, the Raiders defense was willing
to give up a lot of high percentage plays rather than risk allowing
a big play. Russell Wilson completed 27 of 34 passes, but for
only 177 yards, while Josh Allen completed over 80% of his passes,
but for just 8.8 yards per completion. Combined, the two QB’s
produced 5 passing TDs against no interceptions. Out of this,
Wilson was not able to turn out a top 12 performance – 15.2
points, finishing QB17 – but Josh Allen’s 23.7 points
landed him in the QB6 spot in Week 2.
Kenny Pickett has failed to break the top 20 in either of his
first two games, and barely squeezed inside the top 30 last week
with 12.3 points, but an opportunity to mentally get over the
hump by working a lot of pitch-and-catch underneath after two
really difficult opponents might lead to better results in Week
3. Pickett is by no means anywhere near a lock to break the top
12, but if you’re short-handed, he’s one of the guys
to consider this week.
Pickens may still need to expand his route tree, but his explosive,
breakaway ability showed up big in a 4 reception 127-yard 1 TD
performance in Week 2. Pickens has seen a total of 17 targets,
including being a bit force-fed to a tune of 10 targets in Week
2. The Raiders defense seems poised to focus on preventing guys
like Pickens from breaking off big plays, so with his limited
route running it could be an uneventful game for Pickens despite
being the de facto number 1 receiver sans Diontae Johnson (IR).
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24
Jacobs should be a No Brainer, but after producing negative rushing
yards against the Bills and carrying just a 1.6 average and a
mere 1.4 yards after contact through his first two weeks following
a hold out, there are understandably concerns. Jacobs has produced
7 receptions for 74 yards on 9 targets, which is where some encouragement
can be found. But the Steelers surrendering a whopping 333 yards
rushing, including two 100-yard rushers (McCaffery and Jerome
Ford) through two weeks offers far more encouragement and reason
to look for Jacobs to “get healthy” this week. Trust
him in a match up against a team that has given up more fantasy
points to RB’s through two weeks than any other team in
Meyers had a fine Week 1, finishing number 3 among receivers
with 9 receptions 81 yards and 2 touchdowns on 10 targets, before
going out with a concussion late in the game. After missing Week
2, Meyers returned to practice in a limited fashion on Wednesday,
but still has to clear protocol before he can be activated for
Week 3. Keep an eye on his status, but if he’s good to go, it’s
not a bad idea to get him in at flex and see what he might have
planned as an encore.
It’s hard to believe that Renfrow is only two years removed
from a 103-reception season. Through two weeks he’s had
just 1 target. Even with Jakobi Myers out in Week 2, and having
played 65% of targets, 1 reception for 23 yards was all Renfrow
could manage. Renfrow only played 22% of snaps when Myers was
active Week 1, but it probably doesn’t matter whether or
Myers ultimately takes the field this week. There’s no way
to expect Renfrow to see much involvement.
DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown have eerily similar numbers this
year, which continues the trend from last year when only seven
receptions separated the two at the end of the 2022 season. But
so far in 2023, Smith has shown explosiveness and the ability
to take advantage of Tampa 24th-ranked pass defense. I would imagine
Hurts will focus on getting Brown involved early in this game
since Brown seemingly expressed frustration during last week’s
game when he wasn’t getting the ball. With Tampa being one
of the toughest defenses to run on, we should expect a heavy dose
of passing from the Eagles in Week 3.
As I mentioned above, Tampa is third in the league against the
run, surrendering 34 yards on the ground to Alexander Mattison
in the opener and a combined 67 yards to Chicago’s Khalil Herbert
and Roschon Johnson last week. D’Andre Swift is coming off the
best rushing performance of his career, running for 175 yards
and a score last week against Minnesota. Tampa presents a whole
‘nother challenge though. The Eagles and Swift may find the sledding
a bit rough compared to Week 2’s contest, and with Kenneth Gainwell
expected to return to action after sitting out the Minnesota contest,
Swift’s snap share may be affected.
Before we get too high on Swift after his incredible performance
against Minnesota, we have to remember what his stat line looked
like in Week 1 when both he and Gainwell were healthy. Swift finished
with only one carry for 3 yards, with Gainwell outpacing both
Swift and Boston Scott. If Gainwell is healthy and plays his usual
percentage of snaps, that will certainly eat into Swift’s numbers.
How well Gainwell produces after dealing with his rib injury remains
to be seen.
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1
Chris Godwin is as solid a WR3 in fantasy as you will find this
year. Productive. Consistent. Reliable. Godwin is all those things,
despite the obvious drop-off at the QB position from last year.
That said, QB Baker Mayfield has been an asset to this offense,
and he seems to understand the importance of keeping Evans and
Godwin active and involved. Evans and Godwin account for 47 percent
of Mayfield’s targets, so they ARE the passing game. Start Godwin
The Eagles are the top defense in the league against the run,
surrendering only 104 yards on the ground through two games, and
they have yet to allow a rushing TD. Suffice it to say, teams
simply can’t run against them. Despite the tough matchup,
fantasy managers may be forced to put White in their lineup. If
so, expectations should be realistic regarding White’s prospects
As tough as the Eagles are against the run, they’re on
the opposite end when it comes to defending tight ends. Philly
is last in the league defending the position, and they just gave
up 7/62/2 to T.J. Hockenson last week and 5/56/1 to Hunter Henry
in Week 1. Cade Otton is a promising young player but too young
and inconsistent to rely on for fantasy production at this time.
With Cam Akers traded, Williams’ place as the team’s
lead back has been solidified. In that role last Sunday, he racked
up 100 combined yards and scored both of LA’s touchdowns
against a tough 49ers defense. Expect him to get the ball early
and often against Cincinnati, which has allowed a whopping 384
yards on the ground through two games -- only Pittsburgh (386)
has surrendered more. With no complement in the backfield, Williams
looks like a potential emerging force for fantasy owners. He’s
an easy recommendation as an RB2 this Monday with legitimate RB1
While Nacua has gotten the headlines for his record-setting start,
Atwell has quietly played the best football of his young career.
The former second-round pick followed up a six-catch, 119-yard
effort in Week 1 with a 7-77-0 line this past Sunday. He looks
to have leapfrogged Van Jefferson, who has just five receptions
this season, and is more of a vertical threat than the possession-oriented
Nacua. Cincy ranks 10th in pass defense, though, and given how
little he contributed during his first two years there’s still
some concern about regression. He’s a WR3/flex option.
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27
With Joe Burrow aggravating his calf injury in Week 2, we could
be in for one of two scenarios this Monday night: 1) Burrow sits
and Jake Browning makes his first NFL start, or 2) Burrow plays,
and the team adjusts to compensate for his balky calf. Either
of those could play to Boyd’s favor, as the veteran is a true
underneath target that’s adept at moving the chains. So, if the
ball needs to come out quickly, Boyd could be in line for increased
usage. That gives him some upside as a flex.
Typically, Burrow has found his name as a no brainer. Not this
week. As noted above, the star quarterback is again dealing with
a calf injury, and it’s unclear if he can play this week
-- and if he does, at what percentage he’ll be. While not
a huge part of his game, Burrow almost assuredly won’t do
any meaningful running, and through two weeks, his arm hasn’t
been carrying the load, either. It’s always tough to bench
a top-tier player, but if you have a capable QB2 or can find one
with a plus matchup this week you should give serious consideration
to benching Burrow, even if he starts for the Bengals.