A Look at Fantasy Football – Week 3
For those of you who know me, I am a fantasy football nut. I first began playing in 1984 BEFORE there were fantasy football sites all over the internet. I thought it would be fun to look at each NFL game from a fantasy football angle – for just that week only, not for the season.
So let’s get started.
HOUSTON AT NEW ENGLAND
The Texans are at New England, who is down to their third-string QB, in a battle of two 2-0 teams.
Houston (2-0): Fantasy-wise, Houston has three offensive TDs in two games. RB Lamar Miller averages 95 yards a game (3.6 YPC average). DeAndre Hopkins caught a season-low 3 passes against the Pats last year.
New England (2-0): You knew Tom Brady wouldn’t be around, but did you know Jacoby Brissette will be starting at QB? He’s been sacked 8 times in 65 pass attempts (exhibition). Rob Gronkowski might play, while Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola are good, but whose is going to get them the ball. This game from a fantasy point of view comes down to LeGarrette Blount vs. the Texans’ defense.
ARIZONA AT BUFFALO
Arizona (1-1): The Cardinals scored at least 39 points in half their road games last year. Look for Carson Palmer to throw over 300 yards and at least 2 TDs. Ageless Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd have the best chance to catch them. Watch for Jaron Brown who is starting over John Brown. If Matt Forte had a field day last week, look for David Johnson to have a big game.
Buffalo (0-2): The Bills scored 7 points in their first game and had TDs passes of 88 and 71 yards and a defensive score in last week’s loss. Not a lot of consistency. LeGarrette Blount, Doug Martin and Charles Sims collectively averaged 3.1 yards per carry against them, so I don’t see LeSean McCoy breaking out. Add to that Arizona has only allowed 10 rushing scores in 18 games.
OAKLAND AT TENNESSEE
Raiders (1-1): Here’s a stat – 9 TDs in first two games (granted against New Orleans and Atlanta. Still impressive. Derek Carr (618, 4 TDs) is better than Shaun Hill (236 yds) and similar to Matthew Stafford (260, 1 TD, but 2 TDs called back) the Titans first foes this year. I like Tim Crabtree over Amari Cooper so far and Latavius Murray is in a timeshare, so he’s a gamble.
Tennessee (1-1): The Titans might have to play from behind again, even if they like running the ball. DeMarco Murray (5.2 YPC, 12 passes for 91 yards and 2 TDs). Marcus Mariota could have at least 2 TDs (Maybe one run) as the Raiders have struggled against the pass (7 TDs, 410 ave). Delanie Walker is the guy to look for on the other end since Oakland struggles against tight ends.
CLEVELAND AT MIAMI
Browns (0-2): Cody Kessler at QB – ugh. Isaiah Crowell is their best fantasy player with no QB to speak of. Corey Coleman looked good and fracture his hand. That’s it.
Miami (0-2): RBs Jay Ajayi, Isaiah Pead and Kenyan Drake (sleeper) don’t really scare any one. Ryan Tannehill looks like a top-10 quarterback this week. WR Jarvis Landry has a league 17 catches (stat of week). DeVante Parker caught 8 for 106 against New England, so watch for him.
BALTIMORE AT JACKSONVILLE
Ravens (2-0): The Ravens should score at least 24 points here, considering the Jags allowed 150 yards rushing at San Diego. QB Joe Flacco will toss at least two TDs, WR Mike Wallace and TE Dennis Pitta have been very good and watch and see if Steve Smith, Sr. can get all the rust off this week.
Jaguars (0-2): Won 22-20 last year with only 278 yards of offense. Brian Bortles has been good (300 yds, 3 TDs) and bad (3 picks, 5 sacks) and needs to straighten out or this team isn’t going anywhere. RB Chris Ivory needs to return because T.J. Yeldon has been terrible. Allen Robinson, one of the top WR in football, has caught only 9 of 20 passes; Allen Hurns has 9 of 15, so hopefully they will wake up against the Ravens.
DETROIT AT GREEN BAY
Lions (1-1): Matthew Stafford is off to a good start and he has tossed at least 2 TDs a game vs. Green Bay in his last 3 outings. Look for Theo Riddick doing a good job catching (his strength). A sleeper here is WR Anquan Boldin and I like Marvin Jones usually, but I think Golden Tate could score here. Eric Ebron is off to a good start and Packers struggle against TE’s.
Packers (1-1): I see Aaron Rodgers scoring 3 times, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson once and Eddie Lacy rushes for one. Either Richard Rodgers or Jared Cook will score. Also see Mason Crosby nailing at least 3 field goals.
DENVER AT CINCINNATI
Broncos (2-0): Brandon McManus is their biggest threat. RB CJ Anderson is assured of 20 touches, QB Trevor Siemian has one more TD pass than I do and WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders (10 rec, 137 yds, 3 TDs last 3 games vs Cincy) aren’t worth much until the kid QB comes around.
Bengals (1-1): Jets, Steelers and now Denver, who did the Cincy schedule! Andy Dalton (ankle) may be limited, but AJ Green is worth a TD. That’s it for WRs. Denver allowed 7 TDs to WR all last year. RB Jeremy Hill might sneak in for a short score. Should be a low-scoring game.
MINNESOTA AT CAROLINA
Vikings (2-0): Let’s see if this team is for real. Their defense better be good, because their offense won’t score 20 points. If a RB scores, my money is on Matt Asiata, the short yardage guy. QB Sam Bradford vs the Panthers’ defense – NOT. Stefon Diggs has to start. He will get yardage, but I think Kyle Rudolph scores the TD.
Panthers (2-0): I have the Vikings defense in my one league which has defense (I hate playing a defense). I do think it is a good defense, but the Panthers have the top offensive player in the league in Cam Newton, who can pass or throw for scores. Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin should get in the end zone as they both are off to a great start, but speedy Ted Ginn, Jr. and Devin Funchess are also threats. Graham Gano with this offense is a top PK.
WASHINGTON AT NEW YORK GIANTS
Redskins (0-2): Looking for their first win (2-0), QB Kirk Cousins (league-high 89 passes) must face a tough Giants defense, which has held them to 21 or less points in each of the last four games. DeSean Jackson, Jordan Reed, Pierre Garcon and my favorite Jamison Crowder are each getting their share. But the Redskins have no running game.
Giants (2-0): Which Eli Manning will show up? He has 11 TDs in last 4 games vs. Washington and ran in a fifth score. Odell Beckham, Jr., Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz give Eli some good targets. I’m looking for a 28-24 type game.
Here’s a look at the 3-3:30 p.m. games
LOS ANGELES AT TAMPA BAY
Rams (1-1): It’s amazing that fantasy owners are thinking of benching Todd Gurley, but that’s how bad their offense is (2 TDs or less in last 11 games). I see him scoring a TD, but not having a big yardage game. I see Case Keenum (4-3 as a starter) throwing a TD pass to Kenny Britt or Lance Kendricks.
Buccaneers (1-1): Charles Sim could score a TD as Doug Martin’s replacement, but I think Jameis Winston will have a bounce back game (2 TDs, may one’s rushing) and WR Mike Evans might have a big game (2 TDs, 80 yards).
SAN FRANCISCO AT SEATTLE
49ers (1-1): The 49ers haven’t scored more than 13 points in any of their last four games in the series, an average of under 7 points in those games. RB Carlos Hyde may hit the 60 yard mark and get in the end zone. Vance McDonald is the other 49er threat with Hyde in my book.
Seahawks (1-1): I have suffered with this team in fantasy. Russell Wilson needs to get healthy and I see him throwing 2 TDs here. Christian Michael will play a bigger role in the running game with Thomas Rawls being banged up. Ty Lockett had a better second game after being invisible in the first (He scored 3 times vs 49ers last year). But Doug Baldwin is banged up and must be healthy. TE Jimmy Graham is getting healthier and saw more action last week, but he didn’t do anything when he was healthy last season.
NEW YORK JETS AT KANSAS CITY
Jets (1-1): QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall (knee), Eric Decker (shoulder) and Quincy Enunwa (rib) are always a threat, although the Chiefs have a tougher defense than most. I’m predicting two TDs out of these three guys. Matt Forte is always a threat for yards, but I don’t see him scoring a TD.
Chiefs (1-1): Nothing exciting here, but both teams need a win. RB Spencer Ware, WR Jeremy Maclin and QB Alex Smith are solid – PERIOD. TE Travis Kelce needs to finally step up.
SAN DIEGO AT INDIANAPOLIS
Chargers (1-1): Despite the loss of key players (Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead), QB Phil Rivers has thrown for 463 yards and 5 TDs. RB Melvin Gordon should get in the end zone and look for WR Travis Benjamin to play well. My sleeper is WR Tyrell Williams.
Colts (0-2): QB Andrew Luck could throw 4 TDs this game, because the Colts have no running game right now and the offensive line is shaky. WRs T.Y. Hilton and Phil Dorsett (Donte Moncrief out 4-6 weeks broke scapula) should benefit. PK Adam Vinatieri is an option this week.
PITTSBURGH AT PHILADELPHIA
Steelers (2-0): With QB Ben Roethlisberger throwing to WRs Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton (shoulder), Eli Rogers and Sammie Coates and TE Jesse James, this could be a shootout. RB DeAngelo Williams should get in the end zone.
Eagles (2-0): Rookie QB Carson Wentz brings the Eagles into the game with top WR Jordan Matthews (13 rec, 185 yds, TD) leading the way. Watch for Dorial Green-Beckham in the red zone where he is most effective. In their last 18 games, the Steelers have allowed only 7 TD runs, not good for RB Ryan Mathews.
CHICAGO AT DALLAS
Bears (0-2): Positive – Alshon Jeffery has 9 catches for 201 yards on a bad team. RB Jeremy Langford has 2 TDs in 2 games and there is talk of him being replaced. Zach Miller is 7 for 47 receiving and is a solid TE. That’s it!
Cowboys (1-1): Look for QB Dak Prescott (should throw first TD), WR Dez Bryant and RB Ezekiel Elliott to have big days, with the latter two scoring. Jason Witten (12) and Cole Beasley (10) have 22 catches between them. PK Dan Bailey is perfect on FGs (6-for-6).
ATLANTA AT NEW ORLEANS
Falcons (1-1): QB Matt Ryan and WRs Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu and TE Jacob Tamme should get on the board. Either Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman will score, with the latter being used on the goal line.
Saints (0-2): Warning – The Saints have scored only 23, 17, 20 and 14 points in four of the last six encounters. QB Drew Brees has one TD and over 300 yards in each of the games the last two years. WRs Brandon Cooks and Willie Snead have played well and should again Monday night. RB Mark Ingram could have a big day.
Week 3 is here, let’s have some fun.