- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
Broncos at Jets
- (Katz) Line: NYJ -1.0 Total: 40.5
Game Thoughts: In light of the upcoming battle between
Brett Rypien and Sam Darnold, I went back and looked at the worst
game ever played between Mark Sanchez/Greg McElroy and Ryan Lindley.
Woof. We can only hope this game is as entertaining.
Rypien is an undrafted free agent making his first (and possibly
only) career start in the most favorable circumstances he could
ask for in terms of opponent, but one of the least in terms of
supporting cast. There’s nothing we can glean from Rypien’s
garbage time debut in place of the ineffective Jeff Driskel last
week. It’s hard to imagine he’s much of an upgrade.
With Courtland Sutton lost for the season, Rypien’s top
targets will be a banged up Jerry Jeudy, fellow rookie K.J. Hamler,
and super talented tight end, Noah Fant. The Jets have already
allowed three touchdowns to tight ends and Fant is coming off
a 10 target game. He’s an every week must start even though
this game reeks of being an ugly, low scoring, defensive affair.
Jeudy saw nine targets last week and is the WR1 in this offense.
He’s also a viable fantasy starter. Hamler has splash play
upside, but there’s a good chance Rypien only attempts 25
passes. There just may not be enough volume to go around. It’s
worth noting that Tim Patrick caught all four of his targets last
week, but I can’t imagine you’re starting him.
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Running Game Thoughts: Melvin Gordon played
just 62% of the snaps last week, but that low number was due in
large part to the game being a blowout. In a more competitive
Week 2 game, Gordon played 79% of the snaps. We should expect
him to be in the 70-80% range. This game shapes up very well for
Gordon, who is averaging four targets a game, as the Jets have
seen opponents target their running backs 25% of the time. Especially
given the Broncos wide receiver situation, Gordon could be effective
in the passing game this week.
Opposing teams have run for 399 yards against the Jets as they’re
constantly in negative game script. While this game doesn’t
project to be extremely negative throughout, the Jets will never
be projected to have positive game script, which will always keep
the run in play for their opponents. Gordon is in an excellent
spot to produce on Thursday night as the Broncos try and hide
Rypien and win via clock control and defense.
Game Thoughts: While I opened this segment by comparing
this game to the Sanchez/McElroy-Lindley game, Sam Darnold is
nowhere near as bad as any of those quarterbacks. With that being
said, he is completely hopeless in 2020. I can’t recall
there ever being a quarterback in a worse situation than Darnold.
He has to contend with the worst head coach in NFL history and
as if that isn’t enough, he’s throwing to the likes
of Braxton Berrios, Chris Hogan, and Lawrence Cager. Out of the
eight Jets players that saw a target last week, at least half
of them do not belong in the NFL.
The Broncos’ defense isn’t as intimidating without
Von Miller, but it’s still capable of rushing the passer.
Darnold panics when he thinks pressure is coming regardless of
whether it is there. He has no confidence in his receivers (rightfully
so) and no real hope of anything. With the rash of injuries to
the Jets’ offense and Adam Gase doing whatever he does,
there is not a single Jet you can trust. Even Chris Herndon, a
popular sleeper tight end entering this season, and a guy that
has flashed talent in the past, is not worth it at fantasy’s
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Running Game Thoughts: The Jets have come up
with the worst three man committee I can remember, featuring 89
year-old Frank Gore, rookie La’Mical Perine, and Kalen Ballage.
Gore led the team with a 41% snap share last week. He continues
to dominate carries, but does nothing with them because he hasn’t
been an NFL caliber player in about five years. Ballage caught
five passes last week, which is something, I guess. If you have
to start Gore purely because you know he’ll get you about
five or six points, then things have gone horribly wrong. Not
a single Jet belongs on a fantasy roster, let alone in a lineup.
Colts @ Bears
- (Green) Line: IND -2.5 Total: 43.5
Game Thoughts: It's hard to know exactly what the Colts
passing attack will look like as the season unfolds. In Week 1,
Philip Rivers went 36-for-46 for 363 yards but threw two interceptions.
In the two weeks since, Rivers has combined to complete 36 of
46 passes for 431 yards, 2 TDs and an INT. Neither game was competitive,
so it's unclear if the team wanted to lean more heavily on the
run or if Rivers' game manager role was a result of large leads.
Either way, the Colts may be forced to use a more conservative
approach given injuries to young receivers Parris Campbell (knee)
and Michael Pittman (leg), both of whom are set to miss multiple
weeks. That leaves old standby T.Y. Hilton (3-52-0) as the clear
top receiver despite the veteran's slow start. Zach Pascal, who
had a handful of big games last year, should see a larger role
for the time being but isn't worth owning. There's not a lot of
value here with Hilton as a WR3 being the only playable option.
Probably the most interesting development thus far has been the
emergence of Mo Alie-Cox, who has tallied 161 yards and a touchdown
over the last two games and appears to have supplanted Jack Doyle
as the top pass-catching tight end. Rivers has a long history
of targeting TEs, so Alie-Cox is worth adding. Chicago has some
players on the backend, most notably Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson,
and currently ranks 17th in pass defense at 245 yards allowed
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
Running Game Thoughts: With Marlon Mack (Achilles) lost for the
year, Jonathan Taylor has stepped in as the primary back, rushing
39 times for 160 yards and two scores in his two games as the
starter. Holdovers Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines have fallen
into complementary roles, and barring injury it's where they're
likely to stay. While the Bears have traditionally fielded some
physical defenses they are an identical 17th against the run (119
yards per game). That gives the former Badger some RB2 appeal.
Game Thoughts: Well, it happened. Despite a 2-0 start,
the Bears pulled the plug on Mitchell Trubisky in the second half
last week and turned the keys over to journeyman Nick Foles. For
at least one week, it worked. Foles threw for 188 yards and three
TDs in a comeback win over the Falcons. Don't get too excited.
Foles' reputation comes almost entirely from two excellent postseason
games when in fact he's the same player that has never started
more than 11 games in a season. He also lost the starting job
in Jacksonville a year ago and lost out to Trubisky just a month
All that being said, Foles is a pocket passer, and that alone
might help the passing game since there's no desire to take off
and run. While Anthony Miller continues to tease, it's Allen Robinson
(10-123-1) that makes the aerial attack go. The veteran seems
to have tamped down his contract frustrations and should be a
solid WR1 with Foles, who isn't afraid to drive balls into coverage.
Jimmy Graham (6-60-2) has also seen an uptick in production. He's
not back to being a top-10 tight end, but you wouldn't be laughed
out of the room if he was in your lineup.
Whatever success Chicago has had in the passing game does come
with a significant caveat: they've played three teams that have
combined for one win on the season and much of their success has
come via a pair of improbable fourth-quarter comebacks. Sunday
should offer a stiffer test against the Colts, who have allowed
just 132 passing yards per game this season -- SF is second at
187.3. They also lead the NFL with six interceptions, two of which
they returned for touchdowns.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Running Game Thoughts: Somewhat lost in the euphoria of another
comeback win was the season-ending knee injury to Tarik Cohen,
who served as the team's third-down back and was one of their
more explosive playmakers. Without him, David Montgomery (14-45-0
in Week 3) stands to become the bell cow. While not as dangerous
as Cohen, he's a capable receiver and well suited to more work.
Indy is fourth in the NFL against the run (93.3 yards per game);
that makes Montgomery an RB3 this week.
Saints @ Lions
- (Green) Line: NO -4.5 Total: 54.5
Game Thoughts: Efficiency has been the name of the game
this season with Drew Brees, who completed 29 of 36 passes (80.6
percent) for 288 yards and three TDs in a Sunday night loss to
Green Bay. The numbers paint a rosier picture than reality, though,
as Brees never pushed the ball downfield, and the team's lone
pass play of more than 20 yards came when Alvin Kamara caught
a swing pass at the line of scrimmage and turned it into a 52-yard
score by breaking a ton of tackles.
Out for the last two games due to a high ankle sprain, Michael
Thomas has returned to practice in a limited capacity this week
and could return Sunday. That would be a big help for the Saints
given his status as one of the league's toughest covers. If he
returns, Thomas is an immediate WR1. Newcomer Emmanuel Sanders
(4-56-1) is off to a slow start though he was a bit more involved
against the Packers. If Thomas is up, Sanders should remain benched.
If Thomas can't go, Sanders would be a WR3.
Jared Cook bowed out of last week's game with a groin injury
and is looking iffy for the matchup with the Lions. Monitor his
status and prepare alternatives in the event Cook is inactive.
Detroit hasn't been bad in terms of passing yardage allowed (237
per game; 13th) but only four teams have allowed more TDs via
the air. Injuries are an issue as well with neither Desmond Trufant
(hamstring) nor Justin Coleman (hamstring) suiting up since Week
1. Coleman is on IR, but Trufant has a chance to play.
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
Running Game Thoughts: In a game that featured future Hall of
Famers under center, Alvin Kamara looked like the best player
on the field in a 197-yard, two-touchdown performance against
the Packers. Kamara's blend of elusiveness and strength were on
full display as he took check downs and turned them into big plays.
He's probably the No. 1 overall player in all of fantasy right
now. Latavius Murray (12-58-0) actually led the team in carries
but has never managed to match Mark Ingram's productivity. Expect
to see plenty of both against a defense allowing 172.3 yards rushing
per game and 5.7 yards per carry on the season.
Game Thoughts: Detroit got its first W since Oct. 27,
2019, last week, via an upset win over previously unbeaten Arizona.
And while Matthew Stafford didn't have a huge game, he played
error-free football while passing for 270 yards and two scores.
He'll likely need to do more this Sunday because there's no way
the Saints are going to gift the Lions with three extra possessions
the way Kyler Murray did. While Stafford has the talent and weapons
to give the Saints problems, he's still more of a QB2.
Although his numbers weren't huge, Kenny Golladay (6-57-1) had
a positive impact on the offense in his return. The talented wideout
commands defensive attention that allows the likes of Marvin Jones
(3-51-0) and T.J. Hockenson (4-53-0) to slide into the kind of
complementary roles they're better suited for. Golladay can certainly
perform like a No. 1 fantasy wideout in any given week, but he's
more safely viewed as a WR2. Jones is a shaky WR3 or flex play
That leaves Hockenson. Most weeks I'd consider him a risky, low-end
start at best. Against the Saints, though, Hockenson has major
upside when you consider what Darren Waller (12-105-1) and Green
Bay's trio of TEs (9-104-2) did against the Saints. Overall, New
Orleans ranks 20th in pass defense (252 yards/game) and CBs Marshon
Lattimore (hamstring) and Janoris Jenkins (shoulder) are both
NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1
Running Game Thoughts: There may not be a more Lions move than
spending a pair of second-round draft picks on Kerryon Johnson
(2018) and D'Andre Swift (2020) only to end up with Adrian Peterson
as the primary back. Even at 35, Peterson can function as an early-down
bruiser, but his burst is largely gone and his contributions in
the passing game as a receiver or blocker are minimal. View him
as an RB3 for the time being with Swift likely to function as
a third-down back. The Saints are sixth against the run this season,
allowing exactly 100 yards per game on the ground.
Cardinals @ Panthers
- (Swanson) Line: ARI -3.5 Total: 51.5
Game Thoughts: Kyler Murray enters Week 4 against the
Panthers as the No.4 ranked quarterback in fantasy football. His
187 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns are tops for the
position, and he is on pace to throw for nearly 4200 yards and
Unfortunately, Murray posted arguably the worst passing game
of his career last week with three interceptions against the Lions
secondary devoid of talented players. Murray salvaged his three-interception
day for fantasy owners with his fourth rushing touchdown of the
season, but his costly turnovers eventually led to a disappointing
loss for the Cardinals.
DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) continues to impress in his first season
with the team and is clearly the No.1 target for Murray in the
passing game. Hopkins leads the league in receiving yards (356),
receptions (32), and targets (32). The narrative street that Nuk
would not get enough volume in Arizona led his naysayers down
the wrong path while rewarding those who bet on talent over the
change in scenery. Hopkins status is in question after missing
practice Thursday with an ankle injury.
The Panthers were thought to have the worst defense in the league
based on the number of changes to their depth chart and the influx
of young defensive starters in the draft. Through three weeks
of the season, the run defense does appear to be a sieve, with
Carolina leading the league in rushing touchdowns allowed and
the second-most points to opposing defenses.
The Carolina pass defense has not been as terrible as advertised.
Only the Colts and the Bears have given up fewer points to opposing
quarterbacks, with Derek Carr, Tom Brady, and Justin Herbert each
failing to throw more than one passing touchdown in their respective
The success of the Panther pass defense compared to their ability
to stop the run suggests that Kenyon Drake and Murray will have
ample success running the ball. If Keenan Allen can torch the
Panthers for 13 catches for 132 yards and a score on a whopping
19 targets, Hopkins should be able to also have a monster day.
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Running Game Thoughts: Kenyon Drake was a league-winning player
for many last season with six rushing touchdowns and 303 rushing
yards in the Weeks 15 and 16. His stellar finish and subsequent
trade of David Johnson to the Texans vaulted Drake to a late first,
early second-round pick in most drafts this summer.
With 29 total fantasy points in his first three games and just
one total touchdown, Drake’s shine might have rubbed off,
leaving fantasy managers wondering if Drake is this year’s
CJ Anderson or Alex Collins.
If you drafted Drake hoping he would be a game-changing player,
this might be the week that you have been waiting for, as the
only the Raiders have allowed more fantasy points to running backs
The Panther defensive front is one of the worst in the league,
and run-stopping linebacker Luke Kuehckly retired. I will be shocked
if Drake fails to top 100 total yards and a score in this game,
although it would not surprise me to see Kyler Murray post impressive
rushing stats too.
Game Thoughts: The Panthers passing game has been somewhat
of a head-scratcher after three weeks of play. The wide receiving
group of D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel, and Seth Roberts
ranks 15th in the league in combined fantasy points among wide
receivers, and Teddy Bridgewater ranked 24th in fantasy points.
We all expected Anderson to come in and be the field stretching
guy for Teddy, with Moore being the high-volume No.1 with huge
PPR upside. Instead, Moore’s yard per target jumped from
9.23 in 2019 to 16.25 in 2020, and his target share is just 34%,
while Robby Anderson has the lowest Y/Tgt average of his career
at 9.17. The two players have apparently switched roles, and they
both have nearly the same target share.
The difference is owners paid a pretty hefty price for Moore
in drafts, and Anderson has proven to be a late-round steal.
The fantasy matchup against the Cardinals is not the greatest
for quarterbacks and wide receivers. Only five teams have given
up fewer points to opposing QBs through three games, while only
the Chiefs have given up fewer points to pass catchers.
Only one wide receiver, Terry McLaurin of the Washington Football
Team, has posted more than 11 points against the Cardinals, although
Kenny Golladay did manage 6/57/1 last week. Tight ends have not
fared much better, and pass-catching backs have just 13 receptions
for 69 yards in three games against Arizona.
Stud safety Buddha Baker will miss this game due to a hand injury,
which should open the middle of the field for passes to Moore
and Anderson. Another thing to watch will be running back Mike
Davis catching passes, as Baker is a talented pass defending safety
who matches up well with RBs.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Running Game Thoughts: Mike Davis filled in for the injured Christian
McCaffrey fairly admirably last week, with 91 total yards and
a score against the Chargers. Perhaps the most attractive thing
about Davis is his pass-catching ability and the fact that the
Panthers will likely be chasing points in this game.
Davis has 16 receptions for 119 yards and a score in his last
two games, making him a PPR stud. If, for some reason, he is still
available in your league, you should pick him up and start him
this week at home against the Cardinals.
Game Thoughts: Minshew Mania was gaining some steam after
the second-year pro threw for six touchdowns in his first two
games, but the Dolphins cooled him off considerably last Thursday
night. In a blowout loss to Miami, Gardner Minshew passed for
275 yards on 30 completions, which paints a pretty accurate picture
of an offense that dinked and dunked all night long. He also turned
the ball over twice.
Of course, not all of the blame falls on Minshew. The Jags played
Week 3 without the services of No. 1 receiver D.J. Chark (chest),
who offers an element of speed and ability to stretch the field
that was sorely lacking with him on the sidelines. Without Chark,
nominal No. 2 wideout Chris Conley did nothing to fill the void,
dropping a couple of key passes and drawing an offensive pass
interference to stall a drive. Chark is likely to return this
Sunday and holds WR3 value while Minshew could be a risky QB1.
Former Bengal Tyler Eifert has remained healthy but hasn't done
much while rookie Laviska Shenault remains mostly a curiosity
at this point, though his upside makes him someone to consider
carrying on your reserve roster. Cincinnati currently ranks sixth
against the pass this year (210.7 yards per game), but that speaks
more to their inability to stop the run than anything else.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Running Game Thoughts: On a night when the Jags offense looked
generally inept, James Robinson was a diamond in the rough. The
rookie piled up 129 total yards on 17 touches and scored both
of the team's touchdowns. He also looked elusive and strong, making
something out of nothing on more than one occasion. Robinson is
an easy start as an RB2 with RB1 upside against the Bengals, who
have allowed 181.7 rushing yards per game, the second-most in
Game Thoughts: If you ever wanted to turn someone off
to the idea of watching professional football you might consider
showing them the overtime period between the Bengals and Eagles
last Sunday. It was, in a word, dreadful. One bright spot, though,
was the play of Joe Burrow, who shook off eight sacks (along with
some vicious hits) to pass for 312 yards and a pair of scores.
He also played turnover-free football for the first time and continued
to show poise beyond his years or experience level suggest.
Through three games, Tyler Boyd (10-125-0 in Week 3) has shown
the most chemistry with Burrow. As such, Boyd currently carries
more value than veteran A.J. Green (5-36-0), who hasn't been on
the same page at times -- Green has 13 receptions on 28 targets
this season. Rookie Tee Higgins has also entered the picture,
hauling in five passes for 40 yards and both of Burrows' touchdown
strikes against the Eagles.
While Higgins is still too much of an unknown to trust in your
lineup, his involvement in what has been a pass-heavy offense
should be enough to grab him off of waivers. As for Boyd and Green,
the former is a WR2 this week while Green is more of a WR3 or
flex. The Jags sit 19th in pass defense, surrendering 248 yards
per game, and while that isn't terrible they looked like helpless
bystanders in allowing Ryan Fitzpatrick to complete 90 percent
of his passes in Week 3.
JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5
Running Game Thoughts: After three games in 2019, Joe Mixon had
rushed 32 times for 87 yards and fantasy owners panicked. This
year, over the same time period, Mixon has rushed for 164 yards
on 52 carries. Don't panic. Teams have been taking the measure
of Burrow and stacking the line against Mixon. The more that the
rookie proves he can hurt them the more they'll back off and give
Mixon room to run. He's an RB2 against a Jacksonville D that has
given up 116.3 rushing yards per game on the year.
Browns at Cowboys
- (Katz) Line: DAL -5.0 Total: 56.0
Game Thoughts: Baker Mayfield has not been good this
year, but he does have back-to-back games with two touchdown passes
on exactly 16 of 23 from the field. Mayfield is averaging just
188 yards per game, but you have to think he smashes that number
on the road against a banged up defense in a game he should have
to throw a lot.
The Cowboys have allowed a league high seven touchdowns to wide
receivers. That bodes well for Odell Beckham Jr., who knows the
Cowboys quite well from his time with the Giants, and Jarvis Landry,
whose streak of 80 reception seasons looks very much in doubt.
Beckham still looks disinterested in football and is the same
unreliable WR3 he was last season. Landry looks fine, but the
targets aren’t there. Austin Hooper was never going to be
what he was last year in Atlanta, but it was hard to expect he’d
be completely useless. The Cowboys have already allowed two touchdowns
to tight ends and every Cowboys game might shoot out this year
so if Hooper can’t do it this week, it’s never happening.
The same would apply for the rest of this passing attack. With
the Cowboys missing multiple defensive starters, specifically
in their secondary, the Browns should be able to move the ball.
Mayfield is a viable streamer and you should feel as good as you
ever will about starting Beckham and Landry.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10
Running Game Thoughts: Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are in a straight
up timeshare. This has been about 55-45 and that looks to be the
plan going forward. Three games is by no means a large sample
size, but it’s all we’ve got, and through three games,
Chubb has dominated in the two games the Browns won and disappeared
in the game they lost. With the Browns likely having to throw
to keep up with the Cowboys’ offense, Chubb is not going
to get the opportunity he needs on the ground. Since Chubb is
averaging just a single target a game, he will need to score to
produce this week.
Hunt, on the other hand, could see increased work. Unlike in
Week 1, where the Browns faced negative game script against a
good defense, this game is negative game script against a bad
defense. Hunt could rack up the receptions, but it is worth noting
that likely due to the Cowboys inability to cover wide receivers,
teams don’t target running backs very often against them,
doing so just 13.7% of the time. Even so, Hunt looks like a superior
play to Chubb this week. *Note: Hunt did not practice Wednesday
or Thursday. If Hunt is unable to play, Chubb becomes a high end
Game Thoughts: Dak Prescott is going to lead the league
in passing yards. He’s at 1188 through just three games
and with the depletion of both the Cowboys’ offensive line
and the entire defense, he will have to continue to pass for the
Cowboys to win games. Projected positive game script will help
reduce his workload a bit this week, but the Cowboys are a passing
offense and Prescott is an elite fantasy quarterback.
There was some concern about the health of Prescott’s receivers
following CeeDee Lamb’s strangely low snap count and Amari
Cooper’s disappearance for a large portion of the game,
but both are practicing in full this week. Cooper is averaging
11 targets a game and the only reason he’s not being discussed
as an elite fantasy receiver is because he has yet to find the
Last week, Michael Gallup became the first fantasy relevant Cowboys
receiver to catch a touchdown (Cedrick Wilson had two, but no
one is starting him). Gallup had a couple near misses in the first
two weeks, but finally splashed against the Falcons. He should
be much better going forward. The Browns have allowed five touchdowns
to wide receivers this season and three touchdowns to tight ends.
Dalton Schultz is very much in play this week. He’s playing
about 70% of the snaps and has 16 targets since taking over for
Blake Jarwin in Week 2. You want Cowboys in your lineup.
CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3
Running Game Thoughts: Ezekiel Elliott has struggled mightily
to start the season. It’s just very difficult for running
backs to produce behind bad offensive lines. For Elliott to total
just 58 rushing and receiving yards in a game where the Cowboys
scored 31 points is just something you wouldn’t expect to
see. The good news is the Browns are easily the weakest opponent
the Cowboys have faced thus far and the first time they can expect
truly positive game script. Elliott can expect 25 touches in this
one as Mike McCarthy tries to give Prescott at least a small break
from having to carry the offense. The Browns have allowed three
rushing scores in three games. I’d be surprised if Zeke
didn’t find his way into the end zone in this one.
Game Thoughts: Week 3 proved to be the coming-out party
for rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson. The first-round pick
from LSU caught seven passes for 175 yards and a touchdown on
nine targets in a home loss to the Titans. Jefferson posted just
five catches in his first two games after entering the year No.2
on the depth chart behind Olabisi Johnson.
The Vikings defensive struggles appear to have forced the offense
to pass more heavily than head coach Mike Zimmer would have liked.
Only the Falcons have given up more points to opposing teams through
the first three games, which has forced the team to throw the
Minnesota boasts two talented pass-catching tight ends in Kyle
Rudolph and Irv Smith, yet they have not been used much this season
with a combined six catches for 53 yards and one touchdown.
No. 1 wide receiver Adam Thielen ranks 9th overall at the position
with 12 catches for 170 yards and three touchdowns. While those
season-long stats look impressive, Thielen has seen a sharp decrease
in volume over the past two games, with six catches for 60 yards
and one touchdown combined against the Colts and Titans.
Although the Texans are 0-3 to start the year, the defense has
not been as bad as you may think. They have given up the 11th-fewest
points to opposing wide receivers despite playing against three
potent offenses in the Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers. No opposing
WR has topped 100 yards, and only three wide receivers have topped
double digits in fantasy points.
You are starting Thielen for sure, and Jefferson is an excellent
flex option, but don’t be surprised if the Texans don’t
give up a ton of fantasy points to wide receivers. It would make
more sense for the Vikings to lean on Dalvin Cook and Alexander
Mattison in this game, as the Texans are far more susceptible
to the run than the pass.
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
Running Game Thoughts: Dalvin Cook has lived up to his draft
capital with 55.8 fantasy points in his first three games. The
consensus first-round pick enters Week 4 as the No.3 ranked running
back in fantasy behind only Alvin Kamara and Aaron Jones.
Cook’s 6.1 yard per carry average is off the charts, and
he is on pace to set a career-best in rushing touchdowns. The
one knock is his lack of production in the passing game. His five
receptions for 24 yards is well off his career average.
Through three games, the Texans have shown they are far more
giving to opposing defenses on the ground than through the air.
While this may be a result of who they played, it is clear that
you can run against the Texans, with 502 yards and three rushing
touchdowns given up to opposing running backs in three games.
Look for Mike Zimmer to run the ball early and often in this
game with Cook and Mattison. It will shorten the game and help
his beleaguered defense while keeping Deshaun Watson off the field.
Game Thoughts: The Texans started off the 2020 season
with three of the most challenging matchups possible, against
the Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers. Not surprisingly, Deshaun Watson
did not produce well for his fantasy managers during that stretch,
with 734 passing yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions.
The former Clemson star enters Week 4 as the No. 17-ranked QB
in fantasy, well behind where he was drafted this summer.
Watson owners who endured the lows of the first three weeks of
the season should be happy to see the Vikings come to Houston.
Minnesota’s defense is nowhere near the unit they have been
in previous seasons under head coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings
give up the fourth-most points to opposing wide receivers, the
ninth-most points to opposing running backs, and two of the three
quarterbacks who have faced Minnesota have thrown for over 300
passing yards. Philip Rivers managed just 214 passing yards, primarily
due to the fact that the Colt’s ground game dominated.
Watson is in line for his best performance of the week and should
be considered a strong QB1 play. Both Will Fuller and Randall
Cobb reached the end zone against the Steelers, with the former
putting up a solid 4/51/1 game one week after goosing fantasy
owners against the Ravens.
Fuller is the consummate boom/bust wide receiver who has the
ability to win a week while simultaneously possessing the ability
to strain a hamstring and kill your roster. The matchup dictates
that all of the wide receivers on Houston are above-average play,
including Cobb, who is widely available in most leagues.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Running Game Thoughts: David Johnson has not been flashy. He
is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry, and the Texans have not
really incorporated him into the passing game to the extent his
fantasy managers would like. Despite these negatives, Johnson
has more fantasy points than Kenyon Drake and Todd Gurley, and
he should see more carries this week against the Vikings than
in any game up to this point with Houston.
Game scripts and formidable run defenses limited the number of
touches for Johnson through three weeks of action. The Vikings
rank 9th in fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs, with Derrick
Henry and Jonathan Taylor posting 100-yard games in the past two
An ankle injury to Duke Johnson week one forced the pass-catching
back to miss the last two matchups. If he is able to return to
the field, look for the Texans to use Duke on passing downs, but
leaving David Johnson in as the primary first and second down
Seahawks at Dolphins
- (Katz) Line: SEA -6.5 Total: 54.0
Game Thoughts: Chef Russell Wilson has been earning his
keep at his five-star restaurant he calls the Seahawks offense.
There aren’t enough superlatives to effectively describe
how good Wilson has been to start this season. He has enjoyed
facing excellent offenses with horrendous defenses so it will
be interesting to see what happens in a game the Seahawks should
A head chef can’t serve a restaurant alone, so Wilson has
employed sous chefs Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. Lockett has
yet to catch fewer than seven passes in a game and had three touchdowns
last week, while Metcalf has at least four catches for 92 yards
and a touchdown in every game. Dolphins’ opponents have
targeted the wide receiver position 66% of the time, the fourth
highest rate in the league. Lockett and Metcalf combined have
a 52% target share. It’s safe to assume the usual volume
may not be there as the Seahawks should be playing with a lead,
but on the path to acquiring that lead, Lockett and Metcalf will
be targeted heavily.
Greg Olsen plays tight end for the Seahawks, but he’s not
very good at football anymore. Olsen ended up with a useful 5-61
day last week as Wilson attempted 40 passes, but in a game where
he is unlikely to reach 30, Olsen’s line may look a lot
more like it did in Week 2 when he was targeted just one time.
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25
Running Game Thoughts: With this being the first game the Seahawks
are facing a truly bad team, it would’ve been a great spot
for Chris Carson to have a big game. Unfortunately, Carson’s
knee was twisted on a dirty play by the Cowboys last week and
may miss this week’s game. He was limited in practice on
Thursday. Carlos Hyde (shoulder) will operate as the primary early
down and goal line back while Travis Homer mixes in on passing
downs. Hyde is a legitimate starting option this week. He’s
not the player he once was, but he’s the perfect backup
in the sense that he can get what’s blocked and not make
The Dolphins have allowed 401 rushing yards against them in three
games and five rushing touchdowns. If the Seahawks get a lead
early, despite Russ cooking, the second half could be heavy on
Hyde with him seeing 20+ carries in putting the game away. There’s
a real chance for a surprise strong outing from Hyde. As for Homer,
there’s some value there for as long as Carson is out, but
more so in games where the Seahawks will have to shootout. This
is not one of those games.
Game Thoughts: Tua Tagovailoa is not far off as the Dolphins
lose games, but coming off a road win last week, it’s definitely
Ryan Fitzpatrick for at least one more week. Fitzpatrick hasn’t
been bad since his opening week stinker against the Patriots.
He exploited a bad Jaguars defense last week and was hyper efficient,
completing 18 of 20 passes for just 160 yards and two touchdowns
while rushing for a third. In Week 2, he showed he could produce
on volume with 328 yards and two touchdowns.
The Seahawks may score on every possession so Fitzpatrick may
have to attempt 50 passes. He doesn’t even have to play
well to produce for fantasy. He’s this week’s top
streamer and a legitimate QB1. The Seahawks have faced three really
good offenses and the trend has been the same – opponents
target the wide receiver position heavily. No team has given up
a higher percentage of receiving yards to wide receivers than
the Seahawks’ 86%. DeVante Parker was clearly hampered by
his hamstring last week, but with 10 days to recover and no setback,
he should be close to 100%. Parker has caught an impressive 82.4%
of targets thus far and while he has yet to have a big game, this
sure looks like the week.
Preston Williams is still the No.2, but Fitzpatrick seems quite
disinterested in throwing him the ball. He did have a red zone
score last week, but saw just two targets, down from five the
previous week, which was down from seven in Week 1. Williams has
five receptions on the season. He’s off the fantasy radar.
Isaiah Ford has been a name that’s popped up a bit recently,
likely due to his nine target game in Week 2. Ford saw just two
targets last week and is not someone you are starting either.
Mike Gesicki had a monster Week 2, but has been a no show in
the other two games. He did have a nice touchdown grab last week,
but with the Seahawks allowing just 8% of receiving yards against
them to the tight end position, Gesicki is just a hopeful start
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Running Game Thoughts: The Dolphins keep increasing Myles Gaskin’s
snap share with each passing week. It was up to 75% last week
and he’s the clear lead back. Gaskin is a legitimate fantasy
option based on volume, but his upside is capped by Jordan “Jerome
Bettis” Howard. Gaskin’s 22 carries from last week
are something you love to see, as well as his five targets. Gaskin
is averaging five targets a game. With negative game script expected,
there won’t be much Howard or Matt Breida so Gaskin has
a great shot at a strong PPR performance buoyed by receptions,
but he’s very unlikely to score with Howard operating as
the goal line back.
The Seahawks have allowed a league low 5.9% of receiving yards
against them to go to running backs, but teams target the running
back position 20.5% of the time against them. The opportunity
does not match the results. Either the Seahawks are extremely
adept at defending passes to running backs or this is just random
variance that will regress to the mean. I think it’s the
Game Thoughts: It may come as a surprise to many that
rookie Justin Herbert is averaging more fantasy points per game
this season in two starts than Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Drew Brees,
Deshaun Watson, and even reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.
The first-round pick from Oregon is completing just under 70%
of his passes, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He is
pretty mobile for a player his size, adding seven rushing attempts
for 33 yards and a score.
As you would expect, he has made some pretty glaring mistakes
that most rookies do, by throwing into heavy coverage and missing
players down the field. One huge development for fantasy owners
is his penchant to heavily target Keenan Allen. Allen is tied
with DeAndre Hopkins for first in the league with 37 targets,
including a whopping 19 targets last week against the Panthers.
Fellow wide receiver Mike Williams suffered a hamstring injury
last week in the team’s loss to the Panthers. Based on what
we have seen from other players dealing with similar injuries,
Williams will likely miss this week against the Bucs.
The Bucs boast a young and upcoming secondary that ranks 22nd
in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. Although D.J. Moore
and Robby Anderson each posted 100-yard games two weeks ago, the
Bucs did a solid job of shutting down Saints and Broncos receivers
in Weeks 1 and 3, respectively.
The Bucs are one of eight teams who have yet to give up a tight
end touchdown. Jared Cook managed 80 yards and five catches on
seven targets Week 1, but Noah Fant was limited to just 46 yards
on five catches.
With Mike Williams likely out, it would not surprise us to see
Herbert use Hunter Henry more against the Bucs, but don’t
expect a huge game as Tampa boasts arguably the best inside linebacker
tandem in Devin White and Lavonte David.
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
Running Game Thoughts: Josh Kelley’s 5.2 points last week
against the Panthers was one of the more disappointing performances
in the early season. Although the rookie did average 5.4 yards
per attempt on eight carries, a costly fumble limited his workload
after logging 23 carries against the Chiefs the week prior.
Austin Ekeler did not disappoint his fantasy managers with 143
total yards and a score, including a whopping 11 receptions out
of the backfield. Of the two backs, Ekeler is by far the best
option this week against a defensive front that gave up the fewest
yards on the ground last year.
Although Tampa Bay has given up four total touchdowns in three
games to start the year, they have given up a mere 2.63 yards
per carry to opposing running backs, which includes Alvin Kamara,
Christian McCaffrey, and Melvin Gordon.
Game Thoughts: Tom Brady ranks just inside QB1 ranking
after three games with the Buccaneers. He has completed 65% of
his passes, for 753 yards and six touchdowns, while adding a patented
Tom Brady QB sneak touchdown.
This week’s matchup against the Chargers will be difficult
for two reasons. First, wide receiver Chris Godwin suffered a
hamstring injury that will likely force him to miss multiple weeks.
Second, the Chargers boast a solid pass defense.
Los Angeles ranks 21st and 25th respectively in points allowed
to quarterbacks and wide receivers. No wide receiver has topped
100 yards (Tyreek Hill came just one yard short), and only one
receiver has reached the end zone.
No quarterback has tossed more than two touchdowns in a game,
and two of the three quarterbacks faced this year failed to top
240 passing yards.
Wide Receiver Mike Evans is tied for the league lead with four
receiving touchdowns through three games. An impressive feat when
you consider he has just 10 catches for 108 yards. His work on
the goal line has given Brady a reliable target close to the goal
line on fades to the pylon.
Look for Evans to get more work with Godwin out, but don’t
be surprised to see Scotty Miller lead the team in targets, assuming
Miller can play through groin and hip ailments.
An interesting development occurred last week at the tight end
position. Rob Gronkowski played on 93% of snaps and saw a season-high
seven targets. If this trend continues, Gronk could be a nice
play against a defense that gave up 50 yards to Bengal tight ends
and 9/90/1 to Travis Kelce.
The Chargers will be without cornerback Chris Harris for the
next few weeks. Look for Casey Hayward to cover Mike Evans extensively,
leaving Miller to line up against Michael Davis or Desmond King.
If you need a sneaky high volume play, Miller might be a great
option this week.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Running Game Thoughts: The Bucs continue to use a three-headed
approach at running back that all-but negates the value of each
player for fantasy purposes. Ronald Jones is technically the started
and continues to get around 10 carries, with Leonard Fournette
also being worked in the second half and change of pace. The team
also throws in LeSean McCoy on passing downs, taking away receptions
from Jones and Fournette. A mid-week injury to Leonard Fournette
may add some much-needed clarity to this backfield. Fournette
has an ankle injury that could keep him out of this game, effectively
making Ronald Jones a strong No.2 RB start.
Only the 49ers and Steelers have given up fewer points to opposing
running backs than the Chargers. Both Joe Mixon and Clyde Edwards-Helaire
failed to top eight fantasy points against the Bolts, and Mike
Davis salvaged his day with a receiving touchdown.
Ravens at Football
Team - (Katz) Line: BAL -13.5 Total: 45.0
Game Thoughts: A home loss is never something you want,
but a loss to the Chiefs isn’t something to lament over.
Nevertheless, after an awful performance from Lamar Jackson, I
expect the Ravens to come out angry and to take their frustrations
out on the Football Team. Simply put, this game is going to be
Jackson is the best dual threat quarterback in the league, averaging
60.7 rushing yards per game. The only thing that could tank his
performance this week is if the running backs steal the touchdowns.
I don’t need to tell you why you’re starting Jackson
or Mark Andrews, but it’s worth mentioning that the Football
Team has allowed three tight end touchdowns and allows 28% of
targets against them to go to tight ends. After an embarrassing,
drop laden game on Monday night, Andrews will be looking to bounce
back as well.
The only other pass catcher worth discussing is Hollywood Brown.
He played his highest snap share last week at 79%, but I expect
that was largely due to game script. In the first two games, Brown
hovered around 65% of the snaps, which is nowhere near what you
expect from team’s WR1. That’s because Brown is miscast
as an X receiver when, in reality, he profiles as a stretch Z.
Brown’s game last week should’ve been much better,
but Jackson badly underthrew him on an easy long touchdown. With
that being said, Brown has seen exactly six targets in all three
games and has very little to show for it. With the game plan likely
to be running the ball and attacking up the seam with Andrews,
Hollywood is an easy fade not just this week, but until he actually
puts something up in the box score.
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Running Game Thoughts: The Ravens running game was a disaster
last week (not counting Jackson). That should be much different
this week against a team allowing 125 rushing yards per game.
However, the distribution of snaps and touches in this backfield
is a fantasy nightmare. J.K. Dobbins’ 43% snap share last
week is the largest any running back has seen this season. The
split has been around 35-35-30 between Ingram, Dobbins, and Edwards,
with one of Ingram or Dobbins usually pushing 40% and the other
30%. With Jackson better off running himself than dumping it to
a running back, Dobbins and Ingram have combined to see just nine
targets through three games (Edwards has zero). Dobbins looks
to be the preferred passing game back, but that means very little
on the Ravens. The Football Team has also allowed just 10% of
its total receiving yards against to go to running backs. If you
start either Ingram or Dobbins, you are purely hoping to guess
the one that gets the goal line carries and for that guy to find
his way into the end zone.
Game Thoughts: I usually open these sections by talking
about the quarterback first, but Terry McLaurin deserves top billing
here. McLaurin’s true catch rate is literally 100%. He has
not dropped a single catchable ball. Unfortunately, his productivity
has suffered because Dwayne Haskins is the worst starting quarterback
in the NFL. McLaurin’s catchable target rate is 64%, which
is 98th in the league.
The Ravens completely shut down the Browns and the Texans before
getting lit up by the greatest quarterback of all time. No shame
there. It would not surprise me if the Football Team didn’t
score any points this week. The good news for McLaurin is the
volume will be there in negative game script so even without a
touchdown, he can compile some numbers. The bad news is he’s
probably not going to score.
Logan Thomas is so close to being a reliable weekly starter at
tight end. He’s averaging eight targets a game and has four
receptions in each game this season. We may be one week away from
salvation as it would shock me if Dwayne Haskins made it through
this game as the starter. I could rattle off a bunch of metrics
illustrating how terrible Haskins is, but to save your eyes from
excess stats, just think of any metric and assume Haskins is at
the bottom of the league.
Dontrelle Inman appears to have wrestled control of the WR2 spot
away from Steven Sims, who saw his snap count drop from 91% in
Week 2 to 35% in Week 3. Inman could emerge as a deep league option
once the Football Team changes quarterbacks.
BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Running Game Thoughts: Antonio Gibson is technically the lead
back, but the constant negative game script has J.D. McKissic
leading the backfield in snaps. He played 52% last week and was
targeted four times. You can rely on him to get you about a 5-7
points in PPR leagues and nothing more. Gibson is averaging 12
touches a game, which is enough to be useful, but not against
the Ravens. Gibson is unlikely to find his way into the end zone
as he has the past two weeks. The Ravens allow just 12.6% of receiving
yards against them to go to the running back position, so even
if Gibson is used more in the passing game, don’t expect
a spike in production. This is not the week to start members of
the Football Team.
Giants at Rams
- (Caron) Line: LAR -12.5 Total: 48.0
Game Thoughts: The Giants offense continues to struggle
and those who were banking on a breakout season from Daniel Jones
have been disappointed. While Jones’ 92 rushing yards through
three games aren’t bad, he’s fumbled twice and thrown
four interceptions and he hasn’t thrown a touchdown since
Week 1. Week 3 was a dismal performance for Jones who failed to
reach even 10 fantasy points for the second straight week, this
time home against an injury-depleted 49ers defense.
This week, Jones will face a Rams defense that got absolutely
torched by Josh Allen in Week 3 after giving up 20.3 and 18.8
fantasy days respectively to Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz in
Weeks 1 and 2. While players like Aaron Donald are always scary
for any offensive line, especially one that has struggled to protect
its quarterback like the Giants have, the reality is that there’s
a good chance that Jones will have plenty of opportunities to
throw the ball this week. He’s already attempted 113 passes
through three games and against a Rams offense that is capable
of putting up points themselves, Jones’ receiving weapons
should be in line for plenty of volume.
The top receiver on the team thus far has been wide receiver Darius
Slayton whose 102-yard, two-touchdown game in Week 1 had fantasy
owners excited. He’s been a disappointment since then, catching
just six passes for 88 yards with no touchdowns in his past two
games. Slayton might end up seeing quite a bit of coverage from
Jalen Ramsey, however, which is not exactly exciting for fantasy
purposes. Ramsey hasn’t been particularly great so far this
season, but he’s still capable of shutting down a player
who isn’t a premier talent, like a Slayton.
Fellow wide receiver Golden Tate should find himself with a bit
better of a matchup, as he’ll likely continue to operate
primarily out of the slot, where he’ll be able to avoid
Ramsey. That should mean a higher-than-usual target share for
Tate, who already saw five and seven targets in Weeks 2 and 3.
Tight end Evan Engram is now finding himself on the waiver wire
in some leagues as he has simply not lived up to expectations,
catching just 11 passes for 96 yards and no scores through three
contests. He’s been targeted 20 times thus far which is
a decent enough number, but he just hasn’t been able to
connect with Jones, particularly in the red zone. He does have
an intriguing matchup here in Week 4, however, as he’ll
be up against a Rams defense that got exposed for three touchdowns
by the Buffalo tight end duo of Tyler Kroft and Lee Smith in Week
3. Engram isn’t a strong play in really any matchup at this
point, but if you’ve still got him on your roster, this
is about as good of an opportunity as you’re going to find.
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11
Running Game Thoughts: The Giants running game was a huge waiver
wire conundrum in Week 3, but it turns out that the entire group
was pretty worthless, at least in their first game together. Dion
Lewis, Wayne Gallman and the newly-acquired Devonta Freeman all
saw at least 25 percent of the snaps, but none of them exceeded
40 percent. Those numbers are just not going to be enough in an
offense that Saquon Barkley was even struggling in. What’s
worse yet is that none of them seemed to stand out with the opportunities
they were given. Now facing a Rams defense that has been relatively
stout against opposing rushing attacks, the Giants backfield just
isn’t much of a fantasy option. Dion Lewis is seemingly
the primary passing down back, so he could be useful for those
in truly desperate PPR situations, but otherwise this is probably
a backfield to avoid this week.
Game Thoughts: The 2020 season didn’t start off
strong in the fantasy department for Jared Goff, but he’s
turned things around over the past two weeks, throwing for five
touchdowns and 588 yards with only one interception while also
rushing for a score. He’ll now face a Giants defense that
just gave up 343 passing yards to Nick Mullens in Week 3.
Goff is a borderline QB1 this week despite the fact that he gives
us practically nothing in the running game and hasn’t thrown
more than 32 passes in any game this season. He probably doesn’t
have the ceiling to be a high-end QB1, though, given that the
Giants aren’t likely to force a shootout in this game. Still,
Goff is good enough that he can be started if you’re missing
a QB this week or if you’re in a two-QB/superflex league.
Top wide receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp continue to produce
WR2 fantasy numbers fairly consistently, utilizing their high
target shares to dominate in what has admittedly been a low-volume
passing game. Cornerback James Bradberry hasn’t had the
greatest start to 2020, but he’s still an above average
cornerback and that could mean a tougher-than-usual day for Woods.
That could also clear the way for Kupp to pick up where he left
off in Week 3 when he punished the Bills defense for nine catches
for 107 yards and a touchdown. It’s worth noting, however,
that Woods was still productive even despite playing against some
very good outside corners in Buffalo, as he caught five of the
six targets that came his way for 74 yards and a score. In addition,
Woods has continued to see some work as a runner, which has helped
boost his fantasy points a bit each week.
Tight end Tyler Higbee had a huge Week 2 performance in which
he caught three touchdowns, but he’s been mostly useless
other than that so far in 2020. His five total catches for 80
yards in Weeks 1 and 3 combined are just not enough to be excited
about. He’s still a decent bet to score in any given week
so he’s probably still a low-end TE1, but don’t expect
him to get back to being the dominant force that he was to close
out the 2019 season.
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27
Running Game Thoughts: With Cam Akers still sidelined, the Rams
backfield has been a two-act show with veteran Malcolm Brown and
second-year back Darrell Henderson. While it was Brown who started
the season off hot with a 110-total yard, two-touchdown day back
in Week 1, it’s been Henderson who’s looked like the
vastly superior talent over the past two weeks, as he’s
rushed for 195 yards on just 32 carries, including two touchdowns.
He also added 46 receiving yards in those two games.
It’s too small of a sample size for us to start anointing
Henderson as the new feature back in this offense, but the signs
seem to be signaling that we’re headed in that direction.
Henderson was highly touted by many scouts prior to being drafted
in 2019 so the talent profile is there and he’s now getting
an opportunity to face a Giants defense that gave up a 113 total
yard day to Benny Snell in Week 1, a 127 total yard day to David
Montgomery in Week 2, and then a three touchdown day to the combination
of Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson in Week 3 -- and that one could’ve
been even worse if there weren’t some questionable penalties
that took points off the board for the 49ers.
Henderson would probably be an RB1 this week if it weren’t
for the questions about the status of this backfield as a whole.
We just don’t know, yet, whether or not Malcolm Brown has
been fully usurped, or if he’s still going to maintain a
near 50-50 split. Nevertheless, Henderson can be deployed as an
RB2 this week and Brown himself could find himself in a few lineups
as a low-end Flex play, especially now that the COVID-19 bug has
bitten a few teams and forced some late-week lineup changes.
Bills vs Raiders
- (Caron) Line: BUF -3.0 Total: 52.5
Game Thoughts: Early MVP candidate Josh Allen has the
Bills offense firing on all cylinders and this week they’ll
face what should again be a not-so-difficult matchup against the
Allen’s 10 passing touchdowns are second-most in the league
thus far, trailing only Russell Wilson’s historic pace,
and Allen has also contributed a pair of scores as a runner. The
entire offense seems to be coming together and if Allen can simply
maintain a decent level of passing accuracy, there’s very
little reason to believe that he won’t finish as a top five
fantasy quarterback this season. The Raiders have actually done
a decent enough job at limiting opposing quarterbacks this season,
including holding Cam Newton to under 15 fantasy points for the
first time this season, but the Bills offense is truly running
through Allen at this point and there’s little reason to
believe that he won’t again be a strong play here in Week
From a receiver standpoint, Stefon Diggs continues to prove that
he was an incredible acquisition for this team as he has now scored
in back-to-back weeks. His 288 receiving yards puts him on pace
for over 1,500 yards on the season and he’s already seen
28 targets. He’s quickly established himself as Allen’s
favorite weapon - and rightfully so - so continue to roll with
him in your lineup as a low-end WR1.
Slot receiver Cole Beasley has also been cooking as of late, and
he even reached 100 yards receiving this past week in the Bills’
victory over the Rams. He’s catching nearly every target
that’s coming his way and while he doesn’t have huge
target volume, he seems to be a solid enough play to warrant being
placed as a PPR Flex here in Week 4.
John Brown’s Week 3 goose egg will have fantasy owners tilting,
but the reality is that Brown has never been a particularly reliable
fantasy option and there’s little reason to believe that
he’ll start becoming that now. Brown is a complementary
piece in this offense and he’ll have big weeks, but he’ll
also have some stinkers. That’s just who he is. There’s
a good chance that the Bills will need Brown this week as the
Raiders offense has been scoring at a surprisingly high rate,
but don’t be surprised if Brown turns in another disappointing
fantasy performance. He’s someone who’s probably more
of a Flex play in non-PPR leagues, almost the opposite of his
A two-touchdown performance from Tyler Kroft and a score from
Lee Smith might have some fantasy owners considering these guys
as fill-ins, but this is just way too low of a volume passing
game to be trusting any depth pieces to produce within. Dawson
Knox missed last week’s game with a concussion, but he’s
back to practice this week, so if you absolutely need to start
a Buffalo tight end, make it him. It’s probably best to
avoid this unit altogether, though.
LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Running Game Thoughts: Zack Moss missed Week 3 which led to a
heavier-than-usual workload for second-year back Devin Singletary,
who touched the ball 17 times and produced 121 total yards against
the Rams. Singletary continues to be pretty effective on a per-touch
basis this season, much like he was as a rookie in 2019, but Singletary
is still yet to find the end zone. That doesn’t seem likely
to change, either, as Moss could be back on the field as early
as this week.
Keep an eye on Moss’ status, however, as his absence would
clear the way for Singletary to see another heavy workload day,
this time against the Raiders who got completely decimated by
the Patriots backfield just a week ago. That’d make Singletary
a strong RB2 play with upside to reach RB1 numbers if he can finally
sneak into the end zone. If Moss is back, however, Singletary
is more of a low-end RB2, while Moss could potentially be used
as a Flex play in standard scoring or touchdown-heavy leagues.
Game Thoughts: The Raiders passing game continues to
impress with its efficiency and this past week they did it against
a very solid New England defense. Quarterback Derek Carr completed
75 percent of his throws for 261 yards and two scores, and he’s
now thrown six touchdowns without an interception so far this
Perhaps more importantly, however, is that Carr has really begun
to consolidate his targets down to just a few primary pass catches,
namely tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow.
That has really helped boost those players’ fantasy values,
especially now that rookie Henry Ruggs remains sidelined.
Waller was a bit of a dud in Week 3 as he caught just two passes
for nine yards, but he’s still a top five tight end right
now primarily due to the gigantic Week 2 game he had against the
Saints. Waller isn’t quite at the Kelce or Kittle level
where he’s locked in to be an elite producer practically
every week, but he’s at the top of that next tier of tight
ends and really should be in fantasy lineups against practically
Renfrow is an interesting one because it appeared as though the
Raiders were looking to replace him when they drafted multiple
receivers this offseason, but he seems to be re-emerging as perhaps
the team’s most reliable wide receiver. Renfrow was targeted
nine times this past week in the matchup against the Patriots
and that was likely due to the team wanting to avoid throwing
outside at elite cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The Raiders’
outside receivers are quite depleted and they face another elite
outside cornerback again in Week 4, this time Tre'Davious White,
so it would make sense that they would again look to attack the
slot. Watch for Renfrow to lead all Raiders wide receivers in
targets again this week and that should make him fantasy relevant
BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
Running Game Thoughts: He hasn’t yet met the 100-yard rushing
mark in 2020 and he hasn’t scored seen the end zone since
his huge three touchdown game in Week 1, but Josh Jacobs continues
to be one of the most high-upside backs in fantasy football. He
hasn’t produced elite numbers in Weeks 2 or 3, but Jacobs
is seeing an absolutely massive workload and it’s only a
matter of time before he has another monster performance like
he had in Week 1.
This week he’ll face a Bills defense that gave up 114 rushing
yards to Darrell Henderson in Week 3, so there’s a good
possibility that Jacobs reaches that 100 yard mark, or scores
a touchdown - if not both - this week.
Game Thoughts: Week 3 saw what we hope will be Cam Newton’s
floor as the Patriots mopped the floor with the Raiders, rendering
Newton mostly useless from a fantasy standpoint. He still threw
for 162 yards and a score while adding 27 yards on the ground,
but the Pats just didn’t need him to put the team on his
back like he did in Weeks 1 and 2.
In Week 4, however, we should be back to seeing the Cam Newton
show as the Patriots head on the road to face the undefeated Super
Bowl champion-defending Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs just got
done holding the high-powered Ravens offense in check on Monday
Night Football so there’s some concern that the Patriots
might not be well equipped to go in and score with them, but New
England just isn’t a team that gets blown out very often.
They typically either humiliate their opponents or at least keep
up pace with them on the offensive side of the ball.
With that said, Newton needs to be back in lineups as a QB1 this
week. It’s easy to be worried, and we shouldn’t have
complete confidence yet, but Newton has looked quite good this
season when he’s been called upon. There’s no reason
to believe that he’ll suddenly crumble against the Chiefs.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman is really the only pass catching
weapon that we should have much confidence in here, as he’s
the only Patriot who’s exceeded 100 receiving yards in a
game thus far in 2020 when he did so back in Week 2 with an eight-catch,
179-yard torching of the Seahawks. The Chiefs defense is substantially
better than the Seahawks, but Edelman has proven that he’s
mostly matchup-proof, so feel free to drop him in your lineup
in PPR leagues as usual.
Second-year receiver N’Keal Harry might find himself in
some lineups again in Week 4 after a disappointing Week 3. While
we would’ve liked to have seen more from Harry this past
week after his eight-catch performance in Week 2, it’s worth
considering that the Patriots just didn’t need to pass the
ball much in order to beat the Raiders, especially down the field.
The opposite will almost certainly be true here in Week 4, however,
so Harry might not be a terrible Flex option for those in need.
KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
Running Game Thoughts: The Patriots backfield is almost comically
unpredictable each season, but Week 2 was chaos even for this
unit. Sony Michel had what many are calling the most impressive
performance of his young career against the Raiders as he rushed
for 117 total yards on just nine carries, but it was J.J. Taylor
who led the team with 11 carries and Rex Burkhead who resurrected
his fantasy career by scoring three total touchdowns in the game.
Of course, we know that things would probably look different right
now if James White were back on the field and that looks like
it’ll be the case after the veteran returned to practice
earlier this week. White should resume his role as the team’s
primary passing down back, which should again relegate Burkhead
to the bench, but we still don’t have a great grasp on what’s
going to happen from a carry standpoint. Most seem to believe
that it’ll be Michel who regains the role as the early down
back, but there’s a strong likelihood that we’ll see
Michel and Taylor split most of the rushing work while White plays
passing downs and Burkhead gets sprinkled in here and there to
keep everyone else fresh.
In other words, this is a backfield that you’ll probably
want to avoid for the time being, at least until we get more clarity.
Game Thoughts: What can we say about Patrick Mahomes
that hasn’t already been said? This guy is an absolute fantasy
football juggernaut and may very well go down as the very best
to ever do it, not just from a fantasy standpoint, but from an
NFL standpoint as well.
Mahomes absolutely slaughtered a very good Ravens defense on Monday
night by throwing for 385 yards and four touchdowns, while also
adding 26 yards and a touchdown as a runner. The 2018 NFL MVP
has now scored a total of 10 touchdowns without turning the ball
over a single time. There’s really no question that he’s
an every-week locked-in high-end QB1 in any matchup.
The same can pretty much be said for tight end Travis Kelce, who
has caught 21 passes already this season, including six for 87
yards this past week. Kelce is an unquestioned top-two in fantasy
football and he’ll again be one of the top plays on the
board this week, even against a New England defense that has only
given up 73 receiving yards to opposing tight ends so far this
Top wide receiver Tyreek Hill continues to dominate as well, as
he’s now scored in all three games this season. There is
a little bit of concern this week as he will be facing off against
the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Stephon Gilmore, who
was primarily responsible for holding Hill to just six catches
for 62 yards when these teams squared off in Week 13 of the 2019
season. Still, despite the tough matchup, Hill is a player who
absolutely must be started in all formats. He’s perhaps
the league’s most explosive player and can be a fantasy
week winner in just about any matchup.
The question for the Chiefs pass catchers continues to be the
players beyond Kelce and Hill, more specifically Sammy Watkins
and Mecole Hardman. While Hardman got into the end zone for the
first time this past week, that box score won’t tell the
true story that he continues to operate as the WR4 in this offense,
behind Hill and Watkins, and even Demarcus Robinson. Robinson
hasn’t done much this season, but he’s still playing
more snaps than Hardman and it’s just tough to trust a wide
receiver in your fantasy lineup who pretty much has to catch a
long touchdown to be useful whatsoever. Watkins, on the other
hand, has two seven-catch games already this season and while
he has fallen out of favor for many fantasy owners, he’s
still operating as the clear-cut WR2 in this offense. In a game
in which Hill might be less useful than usual, Watkins could see
a bit of a spike in targets and might even be a sneaky Flex play
NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28
Running Game Thoughts: A hot start to his rookie season has Clyde
Edwards-Helaire producing as an RB1, at least in PPR formats,
already this season. The Chiefs back has already rushed for 240
yards while adding 11 catches for 102 yards as a receiver. What’s
a bit surprising is that, despite being in one of the league’s
best offenses, he’s only scored once. That could easily
change, however, as the team could end up relying more heavily
on him as early as even this week.
Like some of the other true bell cow backs in the league, Edwards-Helaire’s
three-down skill set allows him to stay on the field regardless
of the game script, which makes him one of the safest bets in
the league to continue to produce at or above the level that he
currently has been. He does have a relatively difficult matchup
this week against an always-stout Patriots defense, but Edwards-Helaire
is someone who fantasy owners can be confident placing in their
lineups as a strong RB1.
Eagles at 49ers
- (Caron) Line: SF -7.0 Total: 46.0
Game Thoughts: It’s been an absolutely horrible
start to season for Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and the only
thing that’s really kept it from being a total disaster
from a fantasy standpoint is that he’s been able to find
his way into the end zone as a runner in each of the past two
weeks. While Wentz is more mobile than many would give him credit
for, no one’s going to mistake him for Lamar Jackson back
there, and the reality is that he’s going to need to find
his passing game again if he’s going to get back to being
a fantasy QB1.
Unfortunately this week the Eagles are again expected to be without
wide receivers Jalen Reagor, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, J.J.
Arcega-Whiteside and now tight end Dallas Goedert. That pretty
much leaves him with two reliable pass catching weapons: veteran
tight end Zach Ertz and running back Miles Sanders. Expect those
to players to see an uptick in their already high target shares.
Ertz himself has to be considered one of the top three or four
tight ends available this week, as he was targeted 10 times this
past week in a game that fellow tight end Goedert left midway
through with an injury. Ertz turned those 10 targets into seven
catches for 70 yards - his best fantasy performance thus far in
2020. It hasn’t been a great start to the season for Ertz,
but look for him to get back on track in this one as he’s
really the only healthy pass catching weapon in Philadelphia who
has much rapport with Wentz.
At wide receiver, we’ll likely be looking at some sort of
combination of Greg Ward, John Hightower and perhaps even the
newly-acquired Hakeem Butler. Butler is a 6’5” former
wide receiver who the Eagles have reportedly brought in to play
tight end, but he’s listed as a WR and TE eligible on a
lot of platforms. That does make him an interesting name to watch
in TE-premium leagues, but he’s unlikely to contribute much
this early in the season. Instead, it should be Ward who finds
himself leading the team in targets at the wide receiver position,
if for no other reason than that he’s the last healthy body
standing. Ward did catch eight passes for 72 yards and a touchdown
against the Bengals in Week 3, and he was targeted 11 times, so
it’s not as though he’s completely useless. In fact,
if you’re in a tough spot and looking for some help in a
PPR league, Ward is probably available and could be someone who
could fill in for you as a WR3/Flex.
SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Running Game Thoughts: With the passing game struggling as much
as it has been, it should come as no surprise that Miles Sanders
hasn’t yet had one of the gigantic performances that made
him a late-first or early-second round pick in most fantasy drafts
this offseason. While Sanders missed Week 1 with an injury, he
stepped right back into a bell cow role in Weeks 2 and 3, touching
the ball 23 and 22 times respectively. He’s only found the
end zone once, but he should have scored again this past week
if Wentz wouldn’t have missed him on an easy big play touchdown
in the passing game.
Sanders may not be delivering the huge games that a few others
have, but he’s given his fantasy owners respectable numbers
in both of his starts and that should continue this week against
the 49ers. San Francisco is a good defense even when banged up,
but they are indeed banged up, and that could be all that Sanders
needs to find some room both as a runner and as a pass catcher.
Few backs in the league are seeing the type of volume that he
does and his involvement both as a runner and a receiver makes
him a valued fantasy asset regardless of the game script that
the Eagles find themselves in. Lock in Sanders as an RB1 this
week and for the foreseeable future as long as he stays healthy.
Game Thoughts: The name isn’t very exciting, but
Nick Mullens was actually pretty effective in his first start
of the 2020 season this past week, as he threw for 343 yards and
a touchdown against a terrible Giants defense. Of course, the
Eagles’ secondary isn’t much better than the Giants’,
but Philadelphia does at least have a pretty good front seven
that is capable of getting after the opposing quarterback and
that alone should mean that Mullens is on the bench other than
for those in desperate situations in two-QB/Superflex leagues.
The 49ers are expected to get tight end George Kittle back this
week, which should be a huge boost to their depleted pass catching
group. Kittle’s health is of course a concern, but he’s
such a good player at a weak position that there’s really
no reason to bench him this week. If he’s on the field,
Kittle needs to be in your fantasy lineup.
Wide receiver Deebo Samuel could be back as soon as next week,
but for now the only wide receiver in San Francisco who fantasy
owners should be paying much attention to is rookie Brandon Aiyuk.
Aiyuk broke out a bit in Week 3, catching five of the eight targets
that came his way for 70 yards. He also carried the ball three
times for an additional 31 yards and a beautiful touchdown on
an end-around. Aiyuk is a playmaker not unlike Samuel and he’s
likely going to operate again as the team’s top outside
pass catching weapon this week. That makes him fantasy-viable
against a bad Philadelphia secondary.
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13
Running Game Thoughts: With Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman
sidelined, Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson split the backfield
touches in Week 2 as the duo pummeled the Giants with three scores
While it was Wilson who actually scored more fantasy points in
most leagues due to his two scores, savvy fantasy owners will
pay attention to where, when, and how those points were scored.
Wilson mostly operated as a backup throughout the game and he
really only started to see significant playing time once the 49ers
had put the game out of reach. Up until that point, it was McKinnon
who dominated the playing time, the carries, the passing game
work, and even the red zone work.
It’s always possible that the 49ers get out to another lead
this week against what appears to be a pretty mediocre Eagles
team, but relying on that - and goal line work in garbage time
- just is not something that fantasy owners should be doing this
early in the season. Keep Wilson on your bench for now, but McKinnon
should be good to go as a fantasy RB2 this week. He’s dealing
with a bit of a rib injury, but he’s practicing in full
this week so don’t be too worried. McKinnon is an explosive
playmaker who has the capability of turning in some truly big
fantasy numbers if he’s given the opportunity. The opportunity
is certainly there this week.
Game Thoughts: With Julio Jones (hamstring) inactive
and Russell Gage (head) knocked from the game with a concussion,
Matt Ryan completed just half of his 38 passes for 238 yards,
a touchdown and an interception. It was a disappointing showing
after the former MVP had passed for 723 yards and a half-dozen
TDs combined in the season's first two games. He could have both
Jones and Gage back Monday night, and he'll need all hands on
deck to combat the NFL's top-scoring offense.
With Jones and Gage sidelined, Calvin Ridley (ankle) was the
primary target in Week 3, catching five passes for 110 yards.
He didn't practice on Thursday, though, while both Gage and Jones
were limited, so it'll be critical to check their statuses in
the lead up to this weekend. It's here that having a Monday night
game will present a problem as you can't count on someone that
might be inactive. If everyone can go you can pencil Ryan, Jones
and Ridley in as surefire starters with Gage as a flex, but if
things remain uncertain come Sunday be prepared to pivot to alternatives.
Green Bay has run hot and cold defensively in each of its three
games, locking down teams at some times and looking utterly hapless
at others. The Packers rank 18th in pass defense overall, ceding
247 yards per game, and have a defense that has had issues with
veteran quarterbacks of Ryan's pedigree over the years. The key
might be getting their pass rush going, particularly Preston Smith,
who has just one-half sack thus after posting a dozen in 2019.
GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24
Running Game Thoughts: Todd Gurley enjoyed the best game of his
brief Falcons tenure last Sunday when he ran for 80 yards and
a score on 14 carries. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the veteran
get more carries this weekend in an effort to keep the ball away
from Aaron Rodgers and protect a defense that's struggled badly
thus far. The Packers have taken their lumps against the run,
but they're currently a respectable 14th in the NFL with 115 yards
allowed per game -- their 5.5 yards per carry allowed, however,
is a much less impressive 29th.
Game Thoughts: To borrow the phrase of head coach Matt
LaFleur, Aaron Rodgers has been "all gas, no brake"
through three games. Even without Davante Adams last Sunday night,
Rodgers threw for 283 yards and three TDs in a road win over the
Saints. Green Bay's offensive line has done a tremendous job protecting
No. 12, and his rediscovered accuracy combined with his decision
making is a lethal combo. Much like Ryan, though, there are questions
about who exactly Rodgers will be throwing to.
Adams returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday after
sitting out Week 3 with a hamstring issue. He appears to be on
track, though with the Packers staring at a Week 5 bye there has
to be some temptation to sit Adams and give him more time to heal.
In Adams' absence, Allen Lazard (core) stepped up with 146 yards
on six receptions and a touchdown, but he reportedly underwent
core muscle surgery and won't play.
After those two you're looking at Marquez Valdes-Scantling (8-165-1
this season) and then probably Darrius Shepherd to go with the
tight end group, led by Robert Tonyan, who has scored in each
of the last two games. At full strength, this has all the makings
of a mismatch with the Falcons ranking 31st in the NFL with 463.3
passing yards allowed per game this season. Now there's uncertainty
aplenty, especially if Adams can't go and MVS is elevated to the
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
Running Game Thoughts: Aaron Jones (16-69-1) was solid in Week
3, though it was a far cry from his monster Week 2. While the
production hasn't been consistent, the chances have with Jones
logging 18, 22 and 20 touches, respectively, in the team's three
games. It's clear the Packers don't want to overload Jones early
on. Jamaal Williams is off to a quiet start but could be asked
to do more with the receiving corps beset by injuries. On defense,
the Falcons are 13th in the league, allowing 113 yards on 4.5
yards per tote.