Week Three is nearly put to bed and it truly was a weird week. The Ravens “record breaking DVOA” defense was humiliated on the road, the Steelers lost the Bears, the Lions lost to the Falcons on a technicality, and Tom Brady had to dig deep to pull off an epic win against the Texans. Week Three was a bizarre trip to the Twilight Zone, but whether you won or lost there are plenty of takeaways from this past Sunday.


Target the Patriots Defense

This is sort of a bold call (pay attention to the next section). But as a Patriots fan you notice chinks in the armor. And there are PLENTY of chinks in the defense because it’s bad. There’s no pressure on the quarterback. There’s no stopping the run. The secondary hasn’t really lived up to the hype. In ESPN standard scoring they’ve accumulated a TOTAL of -3 points through three weeks. The defense alone has given up 89 points and an abundance of yards. The Patriots entered Sunday as 14-point favorites, DFS darlings, and obvious picks in survivor pools. They had to sweat it out against a tough Texans defense and a surprisingly strong performance from Deshaun Watson on the road. Do the Patriots likely still win the AFC East? Yeah, probably. But as far as fantasy gems are considered, if you have a player going against the Patriots defense consider that an absolute blessing.


Do NOT Start Cam Newton

This is being said with incredible difficulty. Newton had the Saints porous DST at home. He was ready to feast. Getting the Saints defense at home is typically a sure thing, right? WRONG! It was a massive disappointment! So much so that Cam was benched in garbage time. That’s right, you couldn’t even get garbage time points against the SAINTS! Derek Anderson relished in that moment! So why stick with Cam? Well if you read the above section he gets the Patriots next week in New England. The “road” matchup doesn’t necessarily benefit the Patriots considering a rookie with a less-than-average O-Line waltzed in and almost walked out with a win. This will be Newton’s last chance. He gets one last delicious matchup before fantasy judges, juries, and executioners determine his fate. After totaling just 167 passing yards and three interceptions Newton has a lot of making up to do for his owners. Next week IS his last chance.


Buy Low, Buy High, Whatever it is, Just Buy Joe Mixon

Prior to the 1:00 games starting earlier today news/rumblings starting floating around that Joe Mixon would get more work. This wasn’t too surprising considering the Bengals fired their offensive coordinator after their second embarrassing outing of the year and there was a renewed energy with the offense early Sunday in their matchup against the Packers. They came close to walking out of Green Bay with a victory, but the early morning reports did not lie; they certainly got Mixon involved. Does the offensive line still stink? Well, duh.  But you can’t deny volume, and the volume was there for the rookie. Mixon had 18 carries and hauled in all three of his targets for 21 total touches. Did he find the end zone? No. But the Bengals did total 24 points and for a team that scored all of nine points in their previous two games they’ll take this as a small victory. Everyone knew the passing of the torch for Mixon was coming at some point, and it appears that it has finally happened. If you own Mixon, get him in your starting lineup. If you don’t own Mixon, do whatever you can to jump on the bandwagon.


Quell the DeMarco Murray Concerns

Yours truly received a lot of questions Sunday morning regarding starting Derrick Henry over certain players (mostly Jordan Howard, believe it or not). Most of the news pointed to Murray being healthy and playing. Wasn’t sure why so many people were questioning starting Henry. Look if Murray is healthy then Henry gets buried on the depth chart. Last week was a mirage. Murray had a bit of a hamstring issue and they kept him on the sideline to avoid injuring him further. So that opened the door for Henry, but that was last week. You all saw earlier today what Murray is still capable of doing: 14 carries, 115 rushing yards and a score. And this was against one of the most respected defenses in the league. Imagine what he’ll do when he faces the Colts (twice), or the Browns, or the 49ers in the fantasy playoffs. If you own Henry, hang on to him. Murray has plenty of mileage on his legs where he could be worn down (like last year), but for now Henry is playing second fiddle to Murray.


Trade For Russell Wilson

The Russell Wilson we all know and love exploded Sunday. It’s not that nobody saw it coming it’s just nobody saw it happening this soon; in September, on the road. Wilson typically finishes as a Top Ten fantasy QB every year, but it’s mostly because he pads his numbers in November/December. That’s not a bad thing by any means, that’s great for fantasy owners in the playoffs. But Sunday saw December Wilson just days into Autumn as he threw for 373 yards with four touchdowns and he rushed for an additional 26 yards. This was mostly due to game script, but it certainly benefitted the Seahawks. Is there any concern this won’t continue? Hard to say, but Wilson gets an easy matchup next week against the Colts and then the Rams who ALWAYS play Seattle tough. The offensive line is bad, but this isn’t news to Wilson. He’s been running for his life since Seattle dealt away Max Unger for Jimmy Graham. With the Seahawks still in playoff contention, they’ll be leaning on Wilson’s playmaking abilities now more than ever before.


Ravens DST Might Be Overrated

This isn’t too outlandish of a statement. When you enter London with a record-breaking DVOA score after two weeks (after all they did play the Bengals and Browns) you have some lofty goals to live up to. And the Ravens flopped. And they didn’t just flop. They flopped to Blake Bortles and the Jaguars. Look, part of the concern heading into this matchup was the Ravens bleeding fantasy points to Bortles in garbage time. That wasn’t the case. The bleeding started early, and it didn’t stop. John Harbaugh probably wishes he could’ve thrown in the towel after the first quarter when Baltimore was down ten points and had given up over 150 yards of offense to the Jaguars. The Ravens draw the Steelers next week at home. Yes, the “Big Ben on the Road” narrative applies here, but do you really want to take on the Steelers after they just got upset by the Bears?

But overall, this is why you should be streaming defenses. This is the perfect example of why you don’t buy in to just one defense. Yes, the O/U on this game was perfect and the Ravens were favorites. But the Ravens offense might be the defense’s biggest weakness because they can’t stay on the field long enough to let the defense rest on the sideline. Stream defenses with research and monitor how Vegas views the games going forward and hopefully you avoid posting negative points from your DST again.


Pay Attention to the West Coast Teams Playing on the East Coast

This could have severe fantasy implications for your team. This has been looked at in the past but it was very relevant on Sunday. The lone bright spot for the Broncos was a blast from the past with a nice showing from Jamaal Charles who found the end zone. Other than that the Broncos struggled against the Bills. Trevor Siemian threw for just 259 yards with two interceptions. C.J. Anderson struggled. The vaunted Denver defense has problems trying to stop Tyrod Taylor. All in all it was a very uncharacteristic day for the Broncos as a team.

As of this writing (it’s nearing halftime) the Raiders are trailing Washington 14-0 (in D.C.) and Derek Carr has thrown a pair of interceptions and Amari Cooper has dropped a couple passes. Washington is taking their taking on offense and not allowing the Raiders to find any sort of rhythm on offense. West Coast teams travelling East don’t do well. Keep an eye on this going forward.