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NFL Matchups - Week 3 Preview Close

Updated: Fri, Sep 11th 2020 12:00:01 am

Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Venue: EverBank Field(Jacksonville)Thu. 9-24 @ 8:20 pm EDTOver/Under: 48

   Weather

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars
Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 8:20pm
Line: Jaguars -3

Ryan Fitzpatrick – The schedule makers did him no favors by starting the season with New England and Buffalo, but he looked more like the guy we expected last week with 328 yards and two touchdowns. There should be even more Fitzmagic this week against the Jaguars, who have been playing teams tough, but their defense has been offering little resistance to teams. For the first time this season, Fitzpatrick comes into play in two quarterback or superflex leagues. He could come on the cusp of being  a top 12 fantasy quarterback this season, but in one quarterback leagues there is no reason to take the chance with him there.

Myles Gaskin – As stated before, the Dolphins have not been blessed with the easiest schedule to begin the year, and with that has not come many rushing yards. However, if you are going off who has been given the most opportunity, perhaps the guy to have on this roster is Gaskin. He has the most carries on the team through two games, and honestly, he has been the most productive with him. I hadn’t believed that he was an actual threat to the two bigger named guys, but this second game changed my mind. He averaged over six yards per carry, but the big part to me was the seven targets that turned into six catches for 36 yards. Matt Breida was brought in to be the pass catching back, and he is barely used. Gaskin should be on rosters now if he wasn’t already.  

Jordan Howard – This is now officially a concern. Howard didn’t do much with his carries in the first game, and although he has two touchdowns, you can’t be overly optimistic after five carries for four yards following a game of eight carries for seven yards in Week 1. If you drafted Howard you now have to sit back and hope that it was a case of two really tough matchups to start the year, but the way that Myles Gaskin has run, I feel like he will get the majority of carries in this one. Howard now becomes an almost emergency start where you just have to hope he scores a touchdown but is best served on your bench.  

DeVante Parker – It was nice to see him get through a game healthy, and although he was out-targeted by Isaiah Ford , Parker is still the obvious go-to when the Dolphins offense is right. He still had a respectable five catches for 53 yards and had that all-important touchdown. This should be a good game for Parker and one where he absolutely belongs in your lineups. 

Preston Williams – Ouch, one catch for 26 yards. Listen, don’t freak out over this game. The Bills secondary is really good, and even though he wasn’t targeted much in Week 2 he is a very talented receiver and is going to have a fine season. Williams is a flex play against a Jaguars defense that has had trouble stopping anyone yet. 

Mike Gesicki – After being listed as second on the depth chart before Week 1, it is obvious how ridiculous that was through two weeks. Gesicki was the team-leader with eight catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. The Jaguars have allowed 9.3 points to the tight end so far and were destroyed by Jonnu Smith last week. Gesicki is a must-start in seasonal leagues, and definitely enters the DFS discussion. 

Gardner Minshew – While he isn’t running as much as he did last season, Minshew still had a great statistical game in Week 2 against the Titans. I am not as big of a Minshew fan as some others, he will have his fair share of good games this season. Most of that is because the Jaguars are constantly behind because the defense is so bad. Minshew has kept them in both games so far, including a win in Week 1. The Dolphins are pretty poor defensively as well, so if you have Minshew on your roster he could make a viable start for Week 3. 

James Robinson – With 16 carries in each of the first two weeks, I think we can declare James Robinson to be the workhorse back for the Jaguars. He is going to have some tough games because he likely will be in some games with negative game scripts for the Jaguars to run, but at least for now it seems that Robinson has taken control of the Jaguar backfield. He is a strong start again for Week 3. 

D.J. Chark – His targets have not been where I expected them to be with just seven after two weeks, but Chark has kept the production up even with limited opportunities. He caught all four targets for 84 yards on Sunday but did not find the end zone. With Byron Jones almost definitely out for the Dolphins, Chark has a chance to have his best game so far this season. He is a must-start in seasonal leagues for this coming Thursday. 

Keelan Cole – I didn’t believe in Cole after he had five catches and a touchdown in Week 1, and then he went out again in Week 2 and had seven targets and another touchdown in Week 2. Are we supposed to believe in Cole after this one? I still don’t. There are going to be games where the Jaguars don’t have a lot of points or yards, and Cole has been around a few years and hasn’t had much of an impact. I still see D.J. Chark being the lead receiver, and now the team appears to have a commitment to getting Laviska Shenault more involved. You can pick up Cole if you’d like, but I feel like this early season production is just a mirage. 

Laviska Shenault – He certainly wasn’t the team leader in targets, but he found a new wrinkle in his season as he was given five carries in this one that he turned into 37 yards. He still had a respectable three catches for 35 yards and fell just short of a ten-point fantasy day for you. You can see the excitement that this kid brings, and you can tell that there are more big plays in him. He definitely has flex consideration against a spotty Dolphins defense for Thursday night

Summary: What a dog of a primetime game this is as it is the Battle For Florida of the teams that don’t have Tom Brady . Both defenses are terrible, and both offenses aren’t bad. Jacksonville has been competitive in both games this season, and their offense seems to be a little more in sync. They have found a competent runner in James Robinson, and Minshew does what he always does which is keep the game close. Jacksonville isn’t a very good team, but they have a few exciting young players and should pull this one out in a relatively close game. 

Pick: Jaguars 27, Dolphins 21

Houston Texans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Venue: Heinz Field(Pittsburgh)Sun. 9-27 @ 1:00 pm EDTOver/Under: 45

   Weather

Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 1:00pm
Line: Steelers -4

Deshaun Watson – Man, the Texans pissed someone off in the NFL scheduling office to have them go against the Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers in the first three weeks of the year. Not only are they the three top contenders for the AFC title, they all have pretty solid defenses. Watson struggled on Sunday with just one touchdown pass, and the sledding certainly won’t get easier against the Steelers who are allowing about 18 points a game. Watson is a dynamic player and can pull a rabbit out of a hat in any game, but if you do carry a second solid quarterback you might want to have Watson sit this one out for your fantasy team. 

David JohnsonMelvin Gordon fared much better against the Steelers than Saquon Barkley did, but it still wasn’t a great game. David Johnson was also decent against the Ravens, but those that started him likely came away unhappy. That is likely the scenario again this week for those who have Johnson. You can start him if you are in a pinch after the rash of Week 2 injuries, but if he finished with more than 100 total yards you should be surprised. Houston will likely be playing from behind and might have to abandon the run some in the second half. 

Will Fuller – He wasn’t even targeted in Week 2 and spent a lot of time on the sidelines. Raise your hand if you are shocked that something might be wrong with Fuller! It is now Wednesday, and we have not heard of any injury, so you head into Week 3 figuring that Fuller is ready to go. Unfortunately for him, he will face one of the better, and more physical secondaries in the league in Pittsburgh. He is tough to sit when he is healthy considering his injury history, but I can’t say I have the warm and fuzzies in this one for Fuller’s potential output. 

Brandin Cooks – He was widely kicked to the fantasy curb after the very disappointing opening game, but Cooks came back to lead the team in targets and had five catches for 95 yards on Sunday. However, what to expect from him this week against Joe Haden , Minkah Fitzpatrick , and the rest of the Steelers secondary is anyone’s guess. He will still warrant some flex consideration because he only needs a play or two to give you seven or eight fantasy points, but you should keep your expectations under wraps for Cook for Week 3. 

Randall Cobb – As expected, the Texans wide receiver group has been a headache to start the year. Cooks was awful in Week 1 and then followed up with a better game, and Will Fuller disappeared last week. He ended up with a better showing last week with five catches for 59 yards, but barring one of the top two guys being out against such a good defense, Cobb will belong on your bench in this one. 

Ben Roethlisberger – If you had any concerns about Roethlisberger’s elbow coming into the season, hopefully they are now all dashed. He threw the ball 41 times on Sunday for 311 yards and two touchdowns. He now has five scoring throws on the season. He hasn’t exactly played the toughest defenses, but it doesn’t get any harder in Week 3 as they face the Texans who have given up 67 points in the first two weeks. Big Ben is a great start in seasonal leagues, and in GPPs could be a nice difference maker on your roster.  

James Conner – Head Coach Mike Tomlin has told you, when Conner is healthy, he is the guy. He proved that on Sunday when Conner had 16 carries, and waiver wire darling Benny Snell had just three. The issue with Conner is the chance of getting injured again and being pulled from a game. However, when he is healthy, Conner is a difference maker. He comes into Week 3 against a Texans defense that was gashed by Clyde-Edwards Helaire in the opener, and then run through for 230 yards by four Ravens players. Conner is a great start again in Week 3. 

JuJu Smith-Schuster – After a great first game, Smith-Schuster had a healthy eight targets last Sunday which he turned into seven catches for 48 yards. In standard leagues that isn’t a great day, but why the heck are you using standard scoring anyway? The point of this is that the volume is there for Smith-Schuster and it is just a matter of when he will pop off in a week. This game certainly seems like it could be one of those as the Texans secondary has really had their struggles to start the year. Start Juju confidently on Sunday. 

Diontae Johnson – We might see a budding star forming in Pittsburgh. Johnson is becoming a larger focus of the pass game, and led the team in targets with 13, with the next closest receiver having eight. He also scored his first touchdown of the season, and it is becoming very obvious who the number two receiver for the Steelers is. He has had double digit targets in each of the first two games, and Johnson looks like a guy you just plug into your lineups and leave him there, especially against the Texans. 

James Washington – I am starting to view Washington as a touchdown dependent receiver, as the targets just haven’t been there for him in the first two weeks. He had just three catches for 22 yards, and right now appears to only have value if you have suffered a rash of injuries (which is possible) or when bye weeks come along. It isn’t a terrible idea to start him against the Texans, but you likely have better options. 

Chase Claypool – This exciting rookie had an 84-yard bomb of a touchdown reception, but then finished the game with 88 yards. If you want to stash him on your bench you can, but he will need at least one injury to become a bigger part of the game plan. He has not entered fantasy relevance as of yet. 

Summary: The Texans just don’t seem ready to beat good defenses yet. The addition of David Johnson has helped the running game, but they have just had a nightmare run of opposing defenses to start the year. On the other side, Big Ben looks totally back and is throwing like the old days and James Conner looks like 2018 Conner when he is healthy. Houston will get on track this season, but it won’t be this week. 

Pick: Steelers 27, Texans 20

Tennessee Titans vs. Minnesota Vikings

Venue: U.S. Bank Stadium(Minneapolis)Sun. 9-27 @ 1:00 pm EDTOver/Under: 49

   Weather

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 1:00pm
Line: Vikings +2.5

Ryan Tannehill – He hasn’t been running quite as much as last year, but Tannehill has been amazing through two weeks. His yardage totals haven’t been eye popping, but six touchdowns through two weeks is pretty good, even if it wasn’t against the best defenses, you love to see the production. Even without his top receiver, Tannehill still threw four touchdowns against the Jaguars. The Vikings secondary has been pretty bad through two weeks, and Tannehill remains a good fantasy start for Week 3. 

Derrick Henry – It was a surprisingly off day for Henry against the Jaguars, but he still ended up with 84 rushing yards. The Titans appear to be looking to run the ball a little more with A.J. Brown sidelined, and the Vikings have allowed a rushing touchdown in each of the first two games. Henry still had 25 carries last week, so the lack of the 100-yard game wasn’t from low usage. Expect him to pop off for at least a hundred yards and a score for Week 3. 

Corey Davis – He was a very popular waiver wire add with A.J. Brown going down, but he still only came through with three catches on five targets for 35 yards. Thankfully for those of you who used him he had a touchdown to save the day. He is a very streaky and often unreliable receiver. He should stand to have some fantasy value for as long as Brown is out, but he isn’t a difference maker in the long haul. You can keep him on your roster and maybe even flex him against the Vikings, but he also could be a drop candidate for the long haul if someone exciting hits the waiver wire. 

Adam Humphries – Through two weeks he has 11 catches for 95 yards and a score. It isn’t often that The Titans will have four passing touchdowns, but as long as A.J. Brown is out, Humphries will have some value in PPR leagues. Tennessee isn’t exactly loaded with impactful receivers, so Ryan Tannehill will continue to look to his reliable slot guy for six to eight targets a game. Against lesser defenses, he should still do enough to stay on your fantasy roster. That includes this week against the Vikings, but Humphries probably won’t be on your fantasy roster for the entire year. 

Jonnu Smith – He isn’t exactly filling up the stat sheet, but Ryan Tannehill and Smith are clearly forming a chemistry here. He has eight catches and three touchdowns on the young season. With A.J. Brown out, Smith should see an increase in targets, and considering that he has scored in both games and the Vikings just gave up over 100 yards to freaking Mo Alie-Cox , Smith looks like a great start in both seasonal and DFS games for Week 3. 

Kirk Cousins – Yikes! I mean the Colts secondary is pretty good, but Cousins made them look like All-Pros as he finished with just 113 yards and three interceptions. The Vikings might be kicking themselves for all of the guaranteed money that they owe this guy. The Titans secondary is far from great, but Cousins is still a low end superflex option, and if you have a third quarterback like Ryan Fitzpatrick , Cousins could belong on your bench until he shows some sort of flash. 

Dalvin Cook – He certainly hasn’t gotten the volume of work that we expected, but thankfully Cook keeps finding the end zone and saving his fantasy day. He performed fairly well at 4.5 yards per carry, but the team is just playing from behind so much that he can’t get in a rhythm. The Titans gave up 100 yards to James Robinson last week and 100 to the combo of Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay in Week 1. There is no doubt that you absolutely play Cook, but at least for now expectations have to be tempered a little bit. 

Adam Thielen – He clearly led the team with eight targets but caught just three for 31 yards. This pass game is just an absolute mess right now, and Thielen is the only receiver you can even think of using. You have to hope that this is just a slow start to the season for the Vikings pass game like last year and they pull it together eventually. Thielen is a low-end starter for the game against the Titans and in no way a DFS target. 

Summary: Even at home right now, I can’t trust the Vikings pass game to get it going enough to win a game. Dalvin Cook can’t do it all (well maybe he can), and Ryan Tannehill and the Titans offense has been better than expected to start the season. Derrick Henry can’t be stopped, and Tennessee could get A.J. Brown back for this one. It might not be pretty, which is the norm for the Titans, but they will go into the Twin Cities and pull out the win. 

Pick: Titans 27, Vikings 20

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Venue: Lincoln Financial Field(Philadelphia)Sun. 9-27 @ 1:00 pm EDTOver/Under: 46.5

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This preview will be available on Wednesday.

Chicago Bears vs. Atlanta Falcons

Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium(Atlanta)Sun. 9-27 @ 1:00 pm EDTOver/Under: 47.5

   Weather

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 1:00pm
Line: Falcons -4

Mitchell Trubisky – The schedule makers must have worked with Trubisky’s therapist to try to build up his self-esteem since he got cupcake matchups against the Lions and Giants to start the season. He was great the opening week but looked a little more “Trubisky-like” last week. He failed to throw for even 200 yards but at least had two touchdowns. He gets a third great matchup against the Falcons in Week 3, and you have to believe he will throw a minimum of two touchdown passes against this joke of a defense. Trubisky is a mid-range superflex option for Week 3. 

David Montgomery – The first week was a little disappointing, but Montgomery came back with over 125 total yards and had a receiving touchdown against the Giants. He did leave the game shortly but was able to return and succeed. Monty is looking solid as of now, and he is getting a little better each week. The Falcons can’t stop anyone in the air or on the ground, and he should be a big part of the team’s game plan again on Sunday. He is a mid-range RB2 for Week 3 and could be used in some DFS contests. 

Tarik Cohen – He just got a contract extension, so you would have thought they would use him more than six touches, including just one target. Cohen isn’t getting the ball enough to be fantasy relevant, even against a poor Falcons defense. If there is something that excites you on the waiver wire, you could move on from him at this point. 

Allen Robinson – He is certainly getting plenty of looks since he has had nine targets in each of the first two games, but he just isn’t connecting with Trubisky to this point. There won’t be a better matchup for him than with Atlanta, and if he isn’t good this week then I have some real concerns. My biggest concern would be to want Nick Foles out there. Robinson might not be your best DFS option, but he absolutely is a season long league play. 

Anthony Miller – He didn’t even have a catch in a game against the pathetic Giants. He had three targets, but so did rookie Darnell Mooney who actually caught his and had a touchdown. I am not ready to call Mooney more valuable than Miller at this point, but it is getting close. I still believe in Miller and in an absolute plus matchup he has to produce. If he fails to have a catch for a second straight week, or even has less than four catches, he will clearly be out of the receiving rotation in Chicago. 

Jimmy Graham – A week after having seven targets and a short touchdown, Graham had just one target in the game. Somehow against a terrible Giants defense, the Bears pass game did very little. I guess the answer there is the quarterback. The only reason to consider him is because the Falcons are so bad and just gave up a big game to Dalton Schultz of all people! He had nine catches on Sunday, and 13 catches in his previous two seasons combined. If you need a cheap tight end, Graham could possibly be your guy. 

Matt Ryan – There isn’t much to consider here. Ryan is a great statistical quarterback, even though some of it is because his defense is so bad that they just have to keep throwing to stay in the game. He has a 450-yard game, and six touchdowns in two weeks. It will be a little tougher road this week against the Bears, but the Chicago defense hasn’t been quite as good as it has been in years passed. He might not be the best DFS choice, but Ryan is still a must-start in your seasonal leagues. 

Todd Gurley – The good news is that Gurley was given 21 carries. The bad news is that he only totaled 61 yards and wasn’t even targeted in the pass game. That is actually two more touches than he had last week, but Gurley was held in check by the Cowboys all game long. You love to see the volume he is getting, and that definitely keeps him as a easy RB2 start in any seasonal league. He isn’t making enough happen to be useful for DFS purposes now and might not fall into that range against a bad defense like Carolina. 

Julio Jones – Ewwwww, Julio! A week after nine catches and 157 yards, Jones only had four targets and caught two for 24 yards in a game where his team scored 39 points. How is this possible? Matt Ryan spread the ball around a lot, and the Cowboys made a point to take Julio away. He can’t have ten catches for 100 yards every week, so he got this stinker out of his system and can move on to the next game. Jones gets another tough defense with the Bears, but he is always someone you can go to in seasonal and DFS formats. 

Calvin Ridley – Daaaaaaaaamn! Ridley now has four touchdowns to go with 16 catches and 239 yards through two games. He is clearly benefitting from the defense having to pay extra attention to Julio Jones and the emergence of Russell Gage . This amazing streak has to end some time but keep riding the hot hand while it is incredibly scorching hot. 

Russell Gage – He must be the most valuable third receiver on any team, as Gage now has 15 targets in two games. He had six catches for 46 yards and a touchdown in this one, and the Falcons even had him throw a pass that Julio Jones should have caught. Atlanta should constantly have to throw to try to stay in games because their defense is just so bad, so even being the third receiver on a team with a solid tight end as well doesn’t hurt Gage’s value. He won’t have a game like this every week, but he at least belongs on fantasy rosters, and if either of the big two were to get hurt he could be a real difference maker.  

Hayden Hurst – Many were really disappointed when Hurst laid an egg in Week 1, but he was left alone on a 42-yard touchdown on Sunday and finished with five catches for 72 yards. The Falcons offense is so dynamic, although asking four players to be fantasy relevant every week is a bit much. Hurst should be good most weeks, and is an every week starter for your fantasy team. He gets the Bears who just allowed a pretty good game from Evan Engram , and were sliced and diced by T.J. Hockenson in Week 1. 

Summary: The Falcons can put up a ton of points, but their defense is just awful. The Bears offense is very hard to predict, mostly because of the inconsistent play of their quarterback. However, even Trubisky should be able to drop two or three touchdowns against this rag tag group of corners. The question will be if the Bears defense can control Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley . I am going to give the edge to Matt Ryan and the Falcons here and figure Trubisky does something stupid to cost his team the game.  

Pick: Falcons 31, Bears 26

Washington Football Team vs. Cleveland Browns

Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium(Cleveland)Sun. 9-27 @ 1:00 pm EDTOver/Under: 45

   Weather

Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 1:00pm
Line: Browns -7

Dwayne Haskins – I know his stat line wasn’t embarrassing, but it still wasn’t good. Haskins isn’t even completing 60 percent of his passes and has just two touchdowns through two weeks. He also isn’t running much to help his fantasy production out that way. The Browns defense is beatable, but likely not by Haskins. He is a low end superflex or two quarterback league option. 

Peyton Barber – One touch. No, I’m not talking about your action at your Senior Prom, that is the production that Peyton Barber received last Sunday. We knew his two-touchdown performance was not to be trusted, but I thought it would last longer than this. J.D. McKissic had more work, although he isn’t a long-term answer either. However, if you were rostering Barber, you probably want to make the switch to McKissic although neither option is very good. 

Antonio Gibson – He saw a nice little uptick in usage from nine to thirteen carries in Week 2 and found the end zone for the first time. I am still concerned that he is only getting two targets a week, but it is still nice to see Gibson becoming a little bigger part of the offense. Considering the rash of injuries that hit the NFL this week, it seems that Gibson will be a decent flex play option against a Browns defense that is coming off a nice break after playing last Thursday. 

Terry McLaurin – Many shied away from McLaurin from a combination of bad quarterback play and the fact that he was going to see a lot of Patrick Peterson . However, we have seen from McLaurin’s short career that he can beat even the best corners once or twice a game. He had seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown last week and will face another good corner in Denzel Ward this week. This doesn’t make him an attractive DFS play, but right now McLaurin should be your WR2 every week regardless of matchup.  

Steven Sims – He had three catches for the second consecutive week, and now had 103 receiving yards on the season. With the emergence of Logan Thomas , that looks to push Sims to third in the target hierarchy in Washington. That typically won’t be a place that yields great fantasy production. He does have eight fantasy points in each of his first two games which won’t be bad when bye weeks come along. He belongs at the end of your roster, but not in your lineups for the time being. 

Logan Thomas – It is becoming apparent that Thomas is the second option in this passing game. He had a great nine targets on Sunday, although he only caught four of them for 26 yards. Washington seemingly is always behind in games, which means that they will often be throwing more in the second half. If Thomas and Haskins can form a little better rapport, he could find his way into the TE1 discussion. The Browns were torched by Mark Andrews in Week 1 and gave up a touchdown and a pretty good game to C.J. Uzomah of the Bengals last Thursday before his injury. This looks like a week that it is safe to but Thomas in your lineups unless you have a really good option at tight end already. 

Baker Mayfield – Last Thursday was a better game for Mayfield, but I am not ready to say that he is trustworthy yet. He completed nearly 70 percent of his passes en route to 219 yards and two touchdowns. He was regularly beating the Bengals defense in a variety of ways. Football team was crushed by Kyler Murray last week, but their defense still had three sacks on the day. Mayfield isn’t nearly as elusive as Murray and should be under decent pressure in this game. He is a fairly solid superflex option but does not come into starting consideration in DFS or single quarterback leagues. 

Nick Chubb – A week after having just ten rushes, the Browns remembered that they have this awesome running back named Chubb and fed him the rock 22 times. He turned that into 124 yards and two touchdowns. It was an impressive performance where he showed nice burst as well as speed. The Browns extended Kareem Hunt ’s contract, so he isn’t going anywhere, but when the Browns give him the ball, Chubb succeeds. Washington allowed 160 yards on the ground last week, and Chubb is a solid Week 3 starter. 

Kareem Hunt – Hunt got more action in the second half, and he was great when given the opportunity. He had a nice touchdown catch late in the second quarter, and then clinched the game with a touchdown late in the fourth. He is a weapon for sure, but still does take a back seat to Chubb. He has not been getting the targets that we thought he might when they were talking about possibly using him as a wide receiver some. Hunt still belongs on every roster and will be a nice flex play against Washington. 

Odell Beckham – Beckham got his big play on Thursday in prime-time, although I still think he was down at the one-inch line. Beckham supporters will say he was held on what would have been another touchdown, so I guess it all evens out. He definitely showed his dynamic talent, even if it wasn’t against the best defense. Washington’s secondary is about average, and they don’t have a shutdown corner who should keep Beckham in check all night. He might not be the best DFS play in case Baker decides to suck that day, but he absolutely is a starter in seasonal leagues. 

Jarvis Landry – Perhaps his hip injury is still a concern as he had just three targets and three catches for 46 yards against the Bengals. He will now have ten days to rest before having to suit up again, so you would think the injury concerns should lessen. With Beckham getting plenty of attention, you would think that would open up the defense for Landry to succeed. He is a great flex play against a Football Team defense that has been susceptible to the slot receiver through two games. 

Austin Hooper – Four catches for 37 yards. That would be disappointing for one game for Austin Hooper , but that is his stat line through TWO games. In fact, he only has six targets through two games. I didn’t like him landing in Cleveland, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad. At this point, he really isn’t someone you can trust to have in your lineup, even against an average defensive team like Washington. He might not be a drop candidate yet, but one more stinker like the last two and he could be banished to a lot of waiver wires. 

Summary: The Browns were feeling their mojo after scoring a bunch of points on the Bengals last Thursday, and now they have a nice break before facing another team they should beat. The Football Team doesn’t have a corner that can shut Beckham down, and the two running backs are hard to control. Washington’s run game is a bit of a mess right now, and Dwayne Haskins isn’t looking any better in 2020. Unless Antonio Gibson can pull off a couple of huge plays, Washington won’t have enough offense to keep it close enough. 

Pick: Browns 27, Football Team 17

Las Vegas Raiders vs. New England Patriots

Venue: Gillette Stadium(Foxborough)Sun. 9-27 @ 1:00 pm EDTOver/Under: 47.5

   Weather

Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 1:00pm
Line: Patriots -6

Derek Carr – He was great on Monday night and the Patriots were beaten up pretty good by the Seahawks last week. However, the Raiders pass game is not the Seahawks by any stretch. Carr is a nice story to begin the year, but the story will be a horror movie this weekend. The only hope that Carr has to have even a decent fantasy day is if the team is behind in the second half and he has to try to throw a lot. He should be avoided unless you are in a tough situation in a superflex league. 

Josh Jacobs – He had a hard time getting going against the Saints last week, and it won’t be any easier this week against the Patriots. However, like Chris Carson last week, Jacobs is on a level that you can still use him even against the best defenses. He is more of an RB2 than his usual RB1 but is still a must-start in seasonal leagues even if he is a fade in DFS contests. 

Henry Ruggs – It is hard to trust any of the Raiders pass catchers this week considering they are so young and the Patriots secondary is so good. If you are going to go with any, I would trust Ruggs, but even that would be a low-level flex play. He has speed to burn and if he can get behind a defender once or twice, that would be enough to give him a good fantasy day. 

Darren Waller – He showed on Monday night what he is capable of when he was unstoppable against the Saints. The Patriots haven’t given up much to the tight end this year, although Waller will be the best one they have faced so far. He has gotten to the point where you don’t sit him in seasonal leagues, but you can find better options in any kind of DFS contest. 

Cam Newton – It was obvious that the Patriots were going to have to throw more last week to keep up with the Seahawks offense, and Newton did it with great efficiency. He completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for just under 400 yards with a touchdown. He was great running the ball again with 47 rushing yards. Newton certainly appears that he is fully healthy right now and is a threat with his arm and his legs. The Raiders are far from a great team, and Cam is a great start in seasonal leagues, and definitely enters the DFS discussion as well. 

Sony Michel – If he doesn’t score a touchdown, Michel gives you a great chance of very few fantasy points in a week. Even without James White , Michel still led the running backs with just seven carries. Cam Newton is going to lead the team in rushes most weeks, and that is seriously cutting into Michel’s already minimal chances of success. He is looking like a bye week replacement, and if his production doesn’t turn soon, he could be a drop. 

James White – Sadly, White’s parents were in a bad car accident before last Sunday’s game, and he understandably didn’t play. I hate to make this a fantasy football discussion, but that is what we are here for. Watch for news updates for this one going forward. If White is set to play, which I assume he will, I could see putting him in your flex spot against a porous Raiders defense. He is far from a must-play though, so be sure to hit us up in a chat room or on Twitter with questions if you don’t know what to do with White. 

Julian Edelman – If there were any concerns about Edelman after the first week of the season, you should feel much better after his eight catch, 179-yard outburst on Sunday night. The Patriots surely won’t throw 41 times a game, but it is obvious that Cam knows where to go when he needs a big catch. Obviously, there is always concern with a quarterback change, but Newton seems to be comfortable with Edelman, so he remains a weekly starter on your seasonal league rosters. 

N’Keal Harry – What a difference a week makes. While Harry had a solid number of targets in Week 1, he led the team with a dozen on Sunday night, catching eight for 72 yards. He looked very confident, ran great routes, and showed solid hands. Harry isn’t going to blaze down the field for a 60-yard bomb, but he will be a reliable receiver whenever called up and great at moving the chains. He seems like he is ready to take the next step in his career, and perhaps start to live up to that first round draft capital. I am not calling Harry a league winner here by any stretch, but he looks to be a reliable option that you can keep in your lineups most weeks. He could be a GPP difference maker in DFS against a soft Raiders secondary. 

Damiere Byrd – After not having a single target in the opener, Byrd saw nine looks, caught six of them, and had 72 yards on the day. This will likely be an outlier performance, and the Patriots threw the ball more than they would have liked to. Byrd has some talent and flashed it a little when he played for Arizona, but he is not worth picking up based on this performance. Leave him on the wire where he belongs. 

Summary: The Raiders shocked the NFL a little with their win over the Saints on Monday night, and with the Patriots coming off the loss to the Seahawks many might not be sure who is going to win this one. The answer for me is easily the Patriots. The Vegas defense isn’t as good as they played on Monday, and Cam Newton is really settling in as the Pats quarterback. New England doesn’t have much of a running game after Newton, but he will run and throw enough for them to win the game. 

Pick: Patriots 31, Raiders 21

Los Angeles Rams vs. Buffalo Bills

Venue: Ralph Wilson Stadium(Orchard Park)Sun. 9-27 @ 1:00 pm EDTOver/Under: 47

   Weather

Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 1:00pm
Line: Bills -2.5

Jared Goff – He didn’t do anything overly special, but Goff completed nearly 75 percent of his passes against a soft Philly defense for 267 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles have one good cornerback, so Goff just went to the rest of the field, especially to his tight end. Goff’s value will likely fluctuate with the matchups, as he is especially prone to being fooled by great defenses but can crush bad defenses. Next week he faces the Bills who are a really good defense. He won’t be so bad that I would take him out of your superflex lineups, but he won’t be worthy of a look in single quarterback leagues. 

Darrell Henderson – With Cam Akers not at 100 percent and Malcolm Brown slowed by a finger injury, Henderson showed why the Rams drafted him in the third round in 2019 as he ripped off 81 yards on the ground with a touchdown and two catches for 40 more yards. Henderson was viewed as the heir apparent to Todd Gurley before injuries derailed his rookie year and then the team drafted Cam Akers. If Akers is forced to miss time, Henderson could have grabbed himself a bigger role this season. Keep an eye on the news, but this won’t be a great matchup against the Bills. 

Malcolm Brown – Last week’s two-touchdown performance seemed fluky, especially with two more talented backs on the roster. Brown was supposedly dealing with a finger issue late in the game, but Darrell Henderson was the more explosive runner. Brown is a nice piece on a team if you have some injuries, but he lacks explosion and isn’t a full season, three down back. He will still hold a role of 10-12 carries a game for a little while longer, but he will be fully passed by Darrell Henderson and/or Cam Akers. It is a tough game against the Bills anyway, and Brown is not really fantasy relevant in Week 3. 

 Robert Woods – As stated earlier, the Eagles have one solid corner, and Woods was the only Ram receiver that was really held in check. He had two catches for 14 yards, and thankfully for his fantasy players he had three rushes for 19 yards and a touchdown. Woods will be great most weeks, but he does have a really iffy matchup this week against the Bills. He will likely see a lot of Tre’Davious White this weekend, and even if he doesn’t, the Bills have several good corners. I still can’t say I would sit Woods, but you definitely shouldn’t expect a big game. 

Cooper Kupp – Kupp was able to run free a little more this weekend against Philadelphia and finished with five catches for 81 yards. It was a good outing to see after he got his contract extended last week. He hasn’t had an explosive game yet, but we know that it is coming from Kupp. The Rams offense has been a little weird and hard to predict through two weeks, but Kupp’s time will come. He shouldn’t be expected to rock and roll this week against the Bills though. 

Van Jefferson – After just one catch in his first game, Jefferson had four catches on five targets for 45 yards. He had more targets than Josh Reynolds and keep an eye on this kid. I have a feeling that his role might expand as the season goes along. He certainly doesn’t need to be added right away, especially with this matchup coming, but monitor his targets in the next couple weeks. 

Tyler Higbee – With Gerald Everett playing through a back injury, the entire tight end focus was on Higbee. His production will stand out with three touchdowns, although the five catches for 54 yards aren’t overly exciting. For now, he is absolutely the man, and caught a great matchup against a bad defense. The Bills are a great defense, but they just allowed 130 yards receiving and a touchdown to Mike Gesicki , so there is no reason to have concern about Higbee if he is your starter. 

Josh Allen – This guy is making his case for MVP through two weeks. Now, neither game were against good defenses, but 729 yards passing and seven total touchdowns is amazing. Allen has been great with his arm, and with his legs as well. Right now, few players are performing at a higher level. The Rams defense has been pretty solid after two games, holding two NFC East teams under wraps. There is no way to sit Allen right now, and he is certainly a consideration for DFS as well. 

Devin Singletary – As of now he is still holding the rookie off, and Singletary was decent with ten carries for 56 yards and another two catches for 20 yards. He hasn’t found the end zone yet, but he at least did get some red zone work this week. The Rams have been allowing more on the ground than through the air this year, and Singletary isn’t a terrible flex option for Week 3. He will have to continue to play well though to keep getting the amount of work he is at the moment. 

Zach Moss – He was efficient again with over 4.5 yards per carry, but right now Moss isn’t getting enough usage to be a good fantasy asset. He also did not see a target this week after having four in the opening game. He is still getting decent red zone but doesn’t have a rushing touchdown yet this year. It might be only two games, but he has been given a number of chances. The Rams defense will allow some yards, but right now Moss fantasy value completely is reliant on getting a touchdown. If you had injuries this week he might be able to be your flex, but it would be hard to use him until we see his touches increase. 

Stefon Diggs – With the Dolphins losing their top corner, Diggs had a coming out party in Miami with eight catches for 153 yards and a touchdown. With the Vikings pass offense in shambles and he having 16 catches for almost 240 yards already must make Diggs smile from ear to ear. What won’t make Diggs smile is a certain matchup with Rams corner Jalen Ramsey . He is an elite defender who can shut players down. It might not be enough to sit Diggs, especially with the rash of injuries this week, but you shouldn’t expect him to top more than 65-70 yards. 

John Brown – He had become an afterthought coming into this season, but Brown is showing that he is not going away that easily. He had another solid came with four catches for 82 yards and a touchdown for the second week in a row. With the top corners now paying attention to Diggs, Brown is having a much better time getting open, and his rapport with Josh Allen is well-known. The Bills are throwing with even more success than last year and at least for now Brown is a solid WR3. 

Summary: It was a nice offensive show for the Rams last week as they dropped 37 on the Eagles, but that show is coming to an end this week against the Bills. Josh Allen is looking like an MVP through two weeks, and the Bills defense looks tough again. The Rams running backs are all over the injury report, and the Buffalo secondary is good enough to keep the receivers in check. This one should be close, but in the end the better overall team will prevail. 

Pick: Bills 28, Rams 23

San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants

Venue: MetLife Stadium(East Rutherford)Sun. 9-27 @ 1:00 pm EDTOver/Under: 41.5

   Weather

San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 1:00pm
Line: Giants +4

Nick Mullens – They haven’t ruled Jimmy Garoppolo out yet, but it would be stupid to play him. Mullens is good enough. He completed eight of eleven passes in the second half when he came in for Garoppolo, and while he won’t be fantasy relevant on his own unless you need a plug and play guy in superflex, he is good enough to keep the Niners limited weapons fantasy relevant. 

Jerick McKinnon - With both Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert out this weekend, this leaves McKinnon in the driver’s seat in the Niners backfield. He has shown great burst as well as great hands in his return season to the NFL. The Niners will likely split some carries with him with Jeff Wilson due to McKinnon’s injury history, but he absolutely is a great play in seasonal leagues and a great dart throw in DFS against a weak Giants defense. 

Brandon Aiyuk – The rookie finally played and had two catches in his debut. He is clearly still not 100 percent, and at this point not really relevant for the coming week. The Giants secondary is pretty poor, but unless you are in real fantasy trouble it would be hard to trust a spot in your starting lineup to a guy who is hampered who has a couple of catches under his belt. Aiyuk will have some good games before the season ends, but you shouldn’t count on him this week. 

Kendrick Bourne – If you were to go for a Niners wide receiver, which I don’t really endorse, it should be Bourne. He had four catches for 67 yards in the game against the Jets, and the Giants secondary is equally pathetic. He should be the most targeted receiver, for whatever that is worth. George Kittle ’s return could mean that the defense has to focus on him, and Bourne could get open in the red zone for a sneaky score. He is a longshot play in the flex if you are really in a pinch. 

George Kittle – He should return this week, but how much will the Niners play him? They dealt with a ridiculous number of injuries last Sunday, and why push their franchise player if he isn’t 100 percent? Jordan Reed was great last Sunday with Kittle on the bench and can do an admirable job against a weak Giants defense. If he is practicing in full by Thursday I would consider using him, but if he is limited at all I would think the 49ers would not play him in his normal role and could be best benched for one more week. 

Daniel Jones – With the loss of Saquon Barkley , more focus is going to be placed on Jones to step up and lead this team. He has had a really tough start with the opposing defenses to begin the year as he is set to face his third straight elite defense. He gets a really nice boost considering the 49ers won’t have Nick Bosa , Soloman Thomas or Richard Sherman this Sunday, which gives Jones a chance to succeed. The fact that he will have basically no running game he remains a solid superflex option against a compromised San Francisco defense. 

Devonta Freeman – Word came down on Tuesday that Freeman would sign with the Giants in a move that makes total sense. This was Freeman’s one chance to have a full role on a team for the season, and the Giants aren’t ready to throw in the towel on the season after losing their stud running back in Week 2. He is definitely a waiver wire add but keep your expectations in check. Freeman hasn’t looked good his last two seasons in the league, and the Giants don’t exactly have a great offensive line. He still should catch some passes out of the backfield though, and Freeman has a chance to be a weekly flex play for your fantasy squad. He might come out of the gate a little slow considering the opponent and only being on the team for five days, so if he stinks on Sunday don’t just lose all faith. 

Darius Slay ton – It wasn’t quite as great of a game in Week 2 for Slayton as he finished with three catches for 33 yards. He still had a healthy six targets and remains a very popular target for Daniel Jones. The loss of a reliable running game means the Giants will be forced to throw more, which is good for Slayton. However, even without Richard Sherman the 49ers secondary is still pretty formidable. Slayton is a start if you’ve lost several receivers due to injury but would be better served on the bench this week. 

Golden Tate – He returned to action and then Sterling Shepard left the game with a toe injury. That led Tate to more fantasy relevance and caught all five of his targets for 47 yards. If Shepard is out, which seems likely, that keeps Tate on the edge of fantasy relevance. The Niners defense still didn’t allow much to the Jets even with all of their injuries, and while the Giants offense is better, Tate might not be a great fantasy start after all. 

Evan Engram – While he has just eight catches for 74 yards in the first two weeks, you have to feel good about the 15 targets that he has thus far. It is obvious that the Giants are going to have to throw more going forward. The 49ers have barely given up anything to the tight end yet, but they also played two teams without very good tight ends. Engram should again lead the team in targets and is someone you can start if he is on your roster. He is not a sure thing so if you do carry two tight ends, definitely give your second guy real consideration. 

Summary: No Garoppolo, no Mostert, no Coleman, compromised Kittle, no Bosa, no Ford, no Thomas, no Sherman. Even after typing all of that, I still expect the 49ers to win this one. Nick Mullens is a decent enough quarterback and the weapons they have left on offense still should be able to beat the Giants crappy defense. The Giants also clearly lost a huge piece in Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard won’t play either. This one could have been a lot more fun if both teams were healthy, but the Niners should still have enough defense to win this one. 

Pick: 49ers 23, Giants 17

New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts

Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium(Indianapolis)Sun. 9-27 @ 4:05 pm EDTOver/Under: 43.5

   Weather

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 4:05pm
Line: Colts -10.5

Sam Darnold – I’m not sure he is much better with his full complement of weapons, but Darnold doesn’t look like an NFL quarterback right now. The 49ers suffered injury after injury, and the Jets still couldn’t move the ball until the game was well out of hand. He has two touchdowns in two weeks, and if he is forced to go through another game with Braxton Berrios and Chris Hogan as his primary weapons, there is no way that Darnold will be fantasy relevant for Week 3. 

Frank Gore – He did run the ball 21 times, but it was for just 63 yards against his former team. Gore will be decent while Le’Veon Bell is out, but he isn’t going to win you any matchups. He is a depth piece at best as long as he is the Jets starter. 

Jamison Crowder – He missed last week with a hamstring injury, but it has already been determined to be not long term and the Jets really, really need him back. They might be without Breshad Perriman , and they can’t hope to have success with Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios . Both of those men had decent games as the two top receivers left for the Jets, but none carry any fantasy relevance when the Jets are healthy other than Crowder. Hope to the fantasy football gods that he finds his way to the field this week. 

Chris Herndon – It might have been against a good defense, but the Jets were down to basically no weapons and Herndon still had just one catch for five yards. The Colts aren’t as good of a defense, but the New York offense is a disaster, and Herndon can be let go for a better option. 

Philip Rivers – I really expected more from him against the Vikings. He completed 76 percent of his passes but was intercepted again. He now has three picks on the year against two touchdowns. T.Y. Hilton has not been all that he is capable of, and that is holding Rivers back. Losing Parris Campbell also hurts his production. The Jets secondary is so bad though, that he is a great superflex start for Week 3. 

Jonathan Taylor – He surely was everything we thought he might be once Marlon Mack went down and had 26 rushes for 101 yards and a score to go with two catches. He dominated the touches as Nyheim Hines barely touched the ball. It won’t be like that every week, but Taylor certainly has a stranglehold on this job. The Jets run defense is typically solid, but Raheem Mostert burned them for an 80-yard run on Sunday, so they are beatable. There is basically no week right now where Taylor isn’t at least a flex play. 

T.Y. Hilton – I’m not sure what is going on here, but Hilton has had to plus plus plus matchups to start the season and has finished with just seven catches for 81 yards and no scores through two weeks. The quarterback play hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t been terrible either, and against these two defenses Hilton should have been better. Are there still lingering effects from the preseason hamstring injury? That would make sense, and it is worrisome. The loss of Parris Campbell should mean there are less threats to Hilton getting the ball more. He is still a start in seasonal leagues, but my confidence has waned on him in DFS games. 

Michael Pittman – He hasn’t found the end zone yet, but the rookie’s production took a nice step forward in Week 2 with four catches on six targets for 37 yards. I know that still isn’t a lot, but it is building blocks, ya know? With Parris Campbell gone for the foreseeable future, Pittman has to become a bigger part of this offense. And with T.Y. Hilton not quite being what we know he is capable of being, perhaps Pittman becomes a player soon. He might not be startable, but he should certainly be on rosters in any 12 team or larger league. 

Summary: Boy does the Jets offense suck. They were completely unable to move the ball against a 49ers defense that was losing pieces left and right. Sure, they were without some receivers too, but man it wasn’t even close to a professional team. The Colts defense isn’t that great, but hell they can stop that garbage group the Jets are throwing out. Jonathan Taylor will do enough to beat the Jets alone, and I don’t anticipate this one being all that close. 

Pick: Colts 23, Jets 13

Carolina Panthers vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Venue: SoFi Stadium(Inglewood)Sun. 9-27 @ 4:05 pm EDTOver/Under: 43.5

   Weather

Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 4:05pm
Line: Chargers -6.5

Teddy Bridgewater – The defense is so bad that the Panthers are having to through the ball a lot, and so far, Bridgewater is doing fairly well. He had 367 yards in Week 2, although he failed to throw a touchdown and had three turnovers. The loss of Christian McCaffrey means he is going to have to throw more than they want, and this could even help his fantasy numbers. However, the Chargers just kept the Chiefs from scoring a ton of points, so you might want to look somewhere else in your superflex leagues this week than Teddy. 

Mike Davis – With Christian McCaffrey now gone for a month, it seems that Davis will do his best to fill that void. He had one carry for one yard, but the intriguing part was he had eight catches for 74 yards in limited work. He certainly won’t be a fraction of what McCaffrey was, but he is the best bet to get the lion’s share of the opportunity. Davis is a good guy to grab off of waivers considering the ridiculous number of injuries in the league and bye weeks coming soon. 

D.J. Moore – That exhaling you heard was people who had Moore on their rosters after his Week 2 performance. He had double the catches and more than double the yards from the first game of the season and looked like the star that he is. Despite the fact that Robby Anderson is clearly improving, Moore is still the star of this team. He will be facing a great cornerback this week against the Chargers, so the chance of him having another 100 yard game isn’t very good. 

Robby Anderson – Two weeks, two 100-yard games for Anderson on this short season. He has 18 targets in those games and has caught 15 of them. He clearly has formed a nice relationship with Teddy Bridgewater , and while we can’t expect 100 yards every week, he clearly is turning out to be a much more valuable receiver than I thought back in August. He gets a really tough matchup against a very good Chargers defense, but he is still a flex play in seasonal leagues. 

Curtis Samuel – He was a bigger part of the game plan last week, but he saw just two targets in Week 2. Again, the team tried to get him involved with four rushing attempts, but he just failed to make an impact. Samuel is a decent player, but he is not good enough, or on a good enough team to be fantasy relevant right now. You can keep him on your bench and hope he makes something happen, but barring injury he is just an average player at best. 

Ian Thomas – He was on the field for 40 snaps last week and wasn’t targeted. He had two catches for 16 yards in Week 1. I thought Thomas had a chance this year, but we can all move on from him now. 

Justin Herbert – There should be no surprise that the rumblings are that Herbert will be the starter after the way he played against the Super Bowl champs last week. He had poise, he made all of the throws, and he almost pulled out a win. I know the coach said that Taylor is the starter “if fully healthy” but let’s face it Herbert is the future. He is a must-add if he is out there in your superflex leagues.  **Update** Herbert officially announced the starter. 

Austin Ekeler – If the exhale you heard wasn’t from D.J. Moore owners, it may have been from those with Ekeler on their team. He as far better in the second week and had four targets for 55 yards to go with his 93 on the ground. He gets a great matchup against one of the weaker defenses in football in Carolina for him to further solidify himself of worthy of that second round pick you spend on him. Look for Ekeler to top 150 total yards and finally find the end zone this week. 

Joshua Kelley – This rookie is here to stay. A week after having 12 carries and a touchdown against the Bengals, Kelley ran the ball 23 times and had three targets as well. He will be the “thunder” to Austin Ekeler ’s “lightning”. He is the better short yardage and goal line back, but also proved he can be used in any situation on the field. He will likely have games where he doesn’t handle the ball as much, but he has worked himself into every week flex consideration. He is a great flex and possibly a cheaper DFS play against one of the worst defenses in the league. 

Keenan Allen – He was much better under Justin Herbert as well with seven catches on ten targets for 96 yards. He didn’t have a touchdown, but this is the kind of volume you were looking for from potentially your top receiver. Hopefully the Chargers keep Herbert in there as the entire offense just performs better. Allen gets an absolute gift of a matchup against the Panthers and is a great start in both seasonal and DFS formats. 

Mike Williams – Somehow Williams actually did better with weak armed TyRod Taylor than strong armed Justin Herbert. The truth is that Williams is just always a boom or bust candidate. You would think he would be set to boom against the terrible Panthers no matter who the quarterback is. 

Hunter Henry – I was not really into Henry before the season started and only drafted him in a couple places where I waited too long on tight end. He has had eight targets in each game and has 156 yards through two starts. He doesn’t have a touchdown yet, but that is certainly coming for him. The Panthers have just been giving up fantasy production to every position this year, and tight end is no different. If you have Henry on your roster, you should roll with him in Week 3. 

Summary: This won’t be the prettiest game on Sunday that’s for sure as we have two less than stellar offenses. The Panthers will have a hard time without Christian McCaffrey , and that isn’t breaking news. The Chargers have a conundrum at quarterback, and after last week I think Herbert should be the guy. While the Panthers have been scoring a decent number of points, their defense has just been so terrible. Without their All-World running back, I can’t see the Panthers winning this one. 

Pick: Chargers 23, Panthers 16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Denver Broncos

Venue: Sports Authority Field at Mile High(Denver)Sun. 9-27 @ 4:25 pm EDTOver/Under: 43.5

   Weather

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 4:25pm
Line: Broncos +6

Tom Brady – It sure hasn’t been overly pretty for Brady through two weeks, especially with all of the hype in the preseason, but he got it done against the Panthers. But to have just 220 yards and one touchdown against such a terrible defense is concerning. I am starting to think that we aren’t going to get the big statistical year that we thought we would from Brady, and that guy we saw at the end of 2019 might be who he is. Of course, they were without Chris Godwin too. It is too soon to think about benching him, but it is a stretch to expect 300 yards and three touchdowns maybe all season. 

Leonard Fournette – After a disappointing opening week where he wasn’t used much, Fournette burst on the scene in the second half and finished with a 100-yard game. Brady and Ronald Jones also weren’t on the same page in this one. This could be the crack that Fournette needed to start to take the main job of the backfield away from Jones. He is the vastly talented runner, and while he is a bit risky this week because of the unknown way that carries will be spread, it feels like momentum is in his favor. He is a risky flex with major upside against the Broncos. 

Ronald Jones – He got off to a solid start and even had a touchdown but was barely involved in the second half. Jones owners should have been making backup plans the minute that the Bucs signed Fournette. He hasn’t lost the job for sure yet, but the writing is certainly on the wall. You might be able to put him in your flex against the Broncos, but it seems like the arrow for Jones is pointing in the wrong direction. 

Chris Godwin – He is officially out of the league’s concussion protocol as of Monday, and there is no reason that he shouldn’t be out there this weekend. The team badly missed Godwin’s explosiveness, even if they did win their game. The Broncos are dealing with injuries on their front line, and their secondary is only average at best. Godwin will only be limited on Tom Brady ’s ability to deliver the ball on time. He is still an absolute great play for Week 3, and barring any other problems, will be a must-start for the rest of the year. 

Mike Evans – Considering the Bucs pass game didn’t have to do much in the second half, Evans had a great game with seven catches, 104 yards, and a touchdown. It was a much needed outburst from a guy who was banged up in Week 1 and barely showed anything. We can now feel comfortable using him in Week 3 and the coming weeks. I still worry a bit about him being a top-15 receiver this season without a strong-armed quarterback, but Evans is great and will still be a top 20-25 kind of guy. 

Scotty Miller – Yikes, what a dud against an awful defense. Maybe we trusted him too much, too quickly. He probably should be on your bench this week 

Jeff Driskel – Here is what I will say on Driskel…..he isn’t horrible. He played ok for the Lions last year with Matthew Stafford injured, and he won’t be so bad that he takes the weapons on the team out of fantasy consideration. However, after losing their quarterback and star receiver, you can’t expect the Broncos to score too many points this week. Driskel is only an add in superflex leagues if you lost Drew Lock

Melvin Gordon – Considering how good the Steelers defense looked in Week 1, 84 total yards and a score for Gordon last week is a huge win. He hasn’t been bad so far to start the year. I don’t think anyone expected him to be Zeke Elliott, but he is at least paying off for his mid-range RB2 value. The Bucs run defense isn’t as good as it was last year, but the problem for Gordon will be the game script. With a backup quarterback his team probably won’t score many points, while the Bucs offense is pretty solid. He will remain a low end RB2 for Week 3, and one that you will really hope and pray on. 

Jerry Jeudy – He didn’t play the whole game because of a big hit he took in the first half, but he finished with four catches on seven targets for 62 yards. The positive to come out of this game is that backup quarterback Jeff Driskel looked Jeudy’s way a lot, and he could end up being the one guy who comes out ok from the loss of their signal called. The Bucs don’t have a shut down corner, and with Courtland Sutton gone and the Broncos likely playing from behind, Jeudy becomes a very interesting play for Week 3. 

K.J. Hamler – The rookie saw his first game action and did have a healthy seven targets, although just three catches and 48 yards came out of it. The loss of Courtland Sutton means that someone has to step up, and the fact that Hamler was looked to so many times was a bright spot. He is likely best left on your waiver wire for now considering the quarterback mess, but he is certainly someone to monitor in Week 3. 

Noah Fant – Another week, another touchdown for Fant who is looking like a rising star in the making. He has nine catches and 138 yards through two weeks, so he isn’t Travis Kelce , but you have to be starting to feel more comfortable about putting him into your lineups. The Bucs haven’t faced a team with a good tight end yet, so it is hard to say how they will handle the position, but if you have Fant on your roster and don’t have one of the top five tight ends to go with him, you can feel good about starting him again versus the Buccaneers. 

Summary: The Broncos are in flux without their quarterback or their star receiver and they will struggle to move the ball. And although Tom Brady hasn’t been overly impressive yet, the Bucs can score some points. At full strength this would have been a fun game, but this is going to be a tough one for Denver to pull out. Jeff Driskel gets a full week of practice as the starter, but the Broncos don’t have the offensive firepower to win this one. 

Pick: Buccaneers 28, Broncos 20

Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals

Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium(Glendale)Sun. 9-27 @ 4:25 pm EDTOver/Under: 54.5

   Weather

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 4:25pm
Line: Cardinals -5.5

Matthew Stafford – Considering he has started the year against two pretty solid defenses and hasn’t had his top receiver for a single down yet, you have to say that Stafford is off to a pretty good start. Neither game has been exciting from a fantasy standpoint, but he hasn’t been bad at all. He faces a Cardinals defense that has been pretty good, although they faced a banged up Niners team and the Football Team. This will be a good litmus test for both teams. With Golladay set to return, Stafford should be able to top 275 passing yards and two scores. 

Adrian Peterson – This situation just sucks all the way around. If you want to trust Kerryon Johnson after he scored last week, be my guest. I have a few invitations for leagues I am in for you for next year. Rookie D’Andre Swift is getting some good pass catching chances, but not enough to be consistent from week to week. Then we have Peterson who is getting the most rushes but is trying to run behind a bad offensive line and plays for a team that will be behind on the scoreboard more often than not. Peterson is only semi-reliable guy to trust right now, and even that is a low-end flex. 

Kenny Golladay – He has missed the first two games with a hamstring injury but appears set to return this week. Welcome back Kenny, meet Patrick Peterson ! The Cards best corner isn’t the stud he once was (see what Terry McLaurin did last week), but he is still pretty good. If you are in good shape after missing Golladay the last two games you might want to sit him one more time, but with the rash of injuries and the fact that you probably aren’t ok with him out he probably is someone you have to play and hope he really is ready. 

Marvin Jones – Considering he was the “number one receiver” on the team the last couple weeks, you have to be disappointed with the eight catches and 78 yards you’ve gotten from Jones so far. However, in reality it is a good thing for him that Golladay is coming back. Jones is more the “find the whole in the defense” guy more than the alpha male number one receiver. Golladay’s return also means that the opposing team’s best corner isn’t spending time with Jones. I drafted Jones in several leagues and with Golladay’s return I actually feel much better about his fantasy outlook for Week 3. 

T.J. Hockenson – He has been pretty good through two weeks with nine catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. For a tight end that was drafted in double-digit rounds, I will take that. He is showing that he is not only healthy, but he is showing that playmaking burst again. The Cardinals haven’t been as bad against the tight end in 2020 as they were last year, but they are still vulnerable to a big guy with lots of athleticism and decent hands. Keep rolling with Hockenson in Week 3 because I still think the best is yet to come from him. 

Kyler Murray – This kid is taking the next step in his maturation that we thought he would in 2020 and frankly he is scary good. We knew he was a good runner in space, but he has 158 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns through just two games. He sliced up the 49ers again and ran through the Football team too. The schedule makers were really nice to him as he gets a three-game stretch where he will face the Lions, Panthers, and Jets. Murray should be DFS gold for much of the next month. 

Kenyan Drake – While he hasn’t had a really big game yet, Drake has done enough to keep a full hold on this job. He garnered 20 carries last week, while Chase Edmonds had less than five. That was a welcome sight for those with Drake on their roster considering Edmonds usage in Week 1. The other concern is his lack of use in the passing game, but keep the faith, that will come. Drake could be an underused option in DFS games this week considering his mildly slow start, but if you watch what Aaron Jones did to the Lions “run defense” last week, you will know that this guy should be in lineups all over the place for you this weekend. 

DeAndre Hopkins – As a Hopkins fan since his rookie season it is doing my heart well to see him be so successful on his new team. A week after dropping 29 fantasy points he laid down another 20 on Washington with eight catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. This guy is so damn good, and the Lions don’t have anyone with a hope of guarding him. He will be a chalky DFS cash game play, and I hope you don’t need me to tell you to play him in seasonal leagues. 

Larry Fitzgerald Christian Kirk did peel off a 49-yard catch, but he finished the game with just 57 yards on two catches. After two weeks, it is Larry Fitz who has been the next best receiver on this team. The wily veteran caught all seven of his targets for 50 yards against Washington, and while he isn’t putting up anything that resembles gaudy numbers, he can be a nice guy who you can count on for about ten fantasy points on average a week. He could sneak into your flex spot against the Lions, and with bye weeks coming, could provide you some value there as well. 

Summary: The Lions keep starting games well, but in true Lion fashion they continue to blow it by the end of the game, crushing the hearts of their fans. At least last week they were out of it fairly quickly so there was no false hope for a win. This one is pretty easy for me the Lions defense won’t be able to stop Kyler Murray . Whether he is running or throwing this kid is looking spectacular to begin the year and should have no trouble carving up what Detroit tries to pass for defense. Detroit’s fans will be let off the hook early again, as this one should be decided by mid-way through the third quarter. 

Pick: Cardinals 34, Lions 20

Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks

Venue: CenturyLink Field(Seattle)Sun. 9-27 @ 4:25 pm EDTOver/Under: 56

   Weather

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 4:25pm
Line: Seahawks -5

Dak Prescott – This one is going to be lots of fun, and mostly because I don’t anticipate a whole lot of defense. Prescott did it with his arm and his legs last week against the Falcons, and while the Seahawks defense isn’t quite as bad as Atlanta’s, it has been getting torched pretty regularly. Dak was great last week with 450 yards and while he might not reach that plateau, 300 seems right in his wheelhouse with a couple passing touchdowns and perhaps one on the ground as well. 

Ezekiel Elliott – Neither of his first two games were monsters, but Zeke is plugging away giving you solid stats and living up to his reputation. Seattle hasn’t been giving up too much on the ground so far, but they did also only face Todd Gurley and Cam Newton . They have yet to face anyone of Elliott’s caliber. They are a better run defense than they are a pass defense, but that isn’t really saying much. Look for Zeke to top that 100-yard rushing barrier for the first time this season, along with three catches and a touchdown of some variety. 

Amari Cooper – It is hard to complain about 16 catches for 181 yards for Cooper through two weeks, although you really want to see him find the end zone. The way the Dallas offense has been throwing the ball through two weeks, you know the touchdowns are coming for Cooper. As stated earlier, the Seattle secondary hasn’t been offering much in the way of defense, and Cam Newton threw for over 400 yards against them. Look for Cooper to finally find that end zone and have another seven or eight catches to go with it. 

Michael Gallup – This will be a big week for Gallup, because right now he is the one Cowboys receiver who you can say isn’t getting it done. He had just two catches for 58 yards against the lowly Falcons and was fifth in the hierarchy of targets on the team. This is unacceptable for a guy who had 1,100 yards last season. If he falls behind several of his teammates on targets again this week, we have to really re-evaluate what we expect from Gallup for the rest of the season. Considering how bad the Seahawks defense has been and how great Dak Prescott has been, I feel comfortable giving Gallup another shot in Week 3. 

CeeDee Lamb – After six targets in Week 1, Lamb saw his usage increase even more and he had six catches on nine targets for 106 yards. He has yet to find the end zone, but you have to love everything that you are seeing from this kid. As of right now, he is in front of Michael Gallup when it comes to targets in this offense, and you have to be crazy stoked if you drafted Lamb. Against a Seattle secondary that has been crushed twice this season, there is no reason not to have Lamb in your starting lineup and he could be a nice DFS play in GPPs as well. 

Dalton Schultz – Ehhhhhh, I am not ready to jump on this bandwagon just yet. Obviously, the Cowboys tight end targets are up for grabs with Blake Jarwin out, but his nine catches on Sunday were just five less than he had in the previous 28 games in his career. Schultz isn’t athletic, he isn’t fast, and we can have questions about his hands. I am still taking a watch and see attitude here that this might be a one-game wonder. 

Russell Wilson – The guy is just other worldly. Even the vaunted Patriots defense couldn’t keep him down as the Seahawks won the game 35-30. He has nine touchdown passes in two weeks and is averaging just over 300 passing yards and 34 rushing yards. Do you think you should use him this week? Ah, yeah you should. 

Chris Carson – Fantasy players were concerned after he had just six rushes in Week 1, but Carson was great with 108 total yards and his third receiving touchdown against the Patriots. He crushed Carlos Hyde who had just five carries to Carson’s 17. There is still no doubt who is the man in this backfield, and you should continue to use Carson with great confidence. Dallas hasn’t been bad against the run so far this season, but Carson just always produces. 

Tyler Lockett – He has had eight targets in each of the first two games and has totaled 159 yards and a score to this point. The Seahawks pass offense is firing on all cylinders right now, and there is no reason to think that it will slow up this week against the Cowboys who haven’t played great defense to this point. Lockett appears to be taking a backseat to Metcalf this year, but he will still be a great, consistent producer and there is zero reason not to have him in your lineups this week and expect at least six catches for 75 yards in this one. 

D.K. Metcalf – We are watching a guy we thought was a star becoming an even bigger star. Even playing most of the night against one of the top corners in football, Metcalf still had four catches for 92 yards and a score. It is getting to the point that he is becoming matchup proof, and his ability to find the end zone is among the best at the position. The Cowboys secondary is very exploitable, and Metcalf should do just that on Sunday. He is a must-start every week in seasonal leagues, but I also really like him as a DFS play for Week 3. 

Summary: This could be a repeat of last week’s game with the Cowboys and Falcons. Well, not that awful onside kick part, but there should be a ton of scoring. Neither the Cowboys or the Seahawks will likely be able to stop each other, and the scoreboard should light up like the Fourth of July. Right now it is just impossible to pick against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, even against a team that is on their same level. 

Pick: Seahawks 38, Cowboys 34

Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints

Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome(New Orleans)Sun. 9-27 @ 8:20 pm EDTOver/Under: 52.5

   Weather

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints
Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 8:20pm
Line: Saints -3

Aaron Rodgers – It has been a great start for Rodgers but getting games against the Lions and Vikings to begin the season will help you for sure. In fact, I was a little disappointed by his output in Week 2, but the team got so far ahead they just pounded the run. It will be a much different story this week against a Saints offense that can score points and a Saints defense that is typically pretty solid and can rush the quarterback. The way he has started it would be tough to not play Rodgers, but I am not expecting a top five fantasy quarterback kind of game from him. 

Aaron Jones – He might not get 19 touchdowns again this season, but Jones is on a great roll to start 2020 for sure. He decimated the Lions on Sunday and has scored in both games so far. He will find it to be a tough one this week against the Saints who did hold Josh Jacobs to under 100 yards despite 27 carries. It isn’t a reason to sit Jones because the Packers offense is firing on all cylinders right now, but I would find better options for your DFS games. 

Davante Adams – He missed time in the last one due to a hamstring injury, but all signs are pointing to Adams playing without restriction this weekend. He would certainly draw the blanket coverage of Marshon Lattimore , but even one of the best corners can’t hold this guy down for an entire game. Adams might not have one of his big explosion games, but there is no reason that he can’t top 75-80 yards and perhaps find the end zone. 

Allen Lazard – Even with Adams not playing the whole game, Lazard still only had three catches for 45 yards. He is some nice bye week insurance and belongs on the end of rosters, but he isn’t someone that you should be excited about playing week to week, especially with Marquez Valdes-Scantling playing well at the moment. Again, it isn’t time to drop Lazard unless someone unexpected is on your bench, but he is a flex play at best, and even that might be a stretch. 

Marques Valdez-Scantling – He continues to make a couple of big plays a game that make him fantasy relevant, but I remind you again the level of competition that Green Bay has been facing has been very low. Valdes-Scantling did have two more targets than any other receiver (remember Adams didn’t play the whole game) but still had 41 of his 64 yards on one catch. He needs to have a bomb in each one or he will come up near empty. He is a low-level flex play in a game that will likely be lower scoring than the first couple the Pack have played. 

Drew Brees – He and the Saints offense are obviously missing Michael Thomas (d’uh), and it showed on Monday against the Raiders. He still threw for 312 yards, but a good deal of that was trying to have a passing charge to get back into the game. Brees had just one touchdown, and clearly has to come down a peg. He should be about the same against a Packers defense that hasn’t been bad through two weeks. They have a couple good corners, and while Brees might pile up the yards again, I wouldn’t be shocked if he had just one touchdown again. 

Alvin Kamara – This guy is just ridiculously good, and with Thomas out, look for them to run a bit more. It also helps that they are going against the Packers who are far from a good run defense. I mean they just let Kerryon Johnson have a running touchdown against them. This is a home run week to play Kamara not only in your seasonal leagues, but he will also be a great guy to roster in DFS games. 

Emmanuel Sanders – I expected him to be the main beneficiary of the Thomas injury, but instead he had just one catch for 18 yards on three targets. There will be better days ahead for Sanders but predicting them might be difficult. The Packers secondary is fairly stout, so if you have options that you feel better about over Sanders, feel free to let him ride the pine this week. 

Tre’Quan Smith – He surprisingly led the receivers in catches and yards, even if he didn’t have the touchdown. Smith is a very curious player. He has great skills and play making ability, but he is inconsistent, and his hands aren’t always reliable. He isn’t likely to hit his five catches for 85-yard production that he had Monday night, but he is at least worth a flex play for Week 3. 

Jared Cook – He did have a touchdown and he did have five targets, but he had just two catches for 13 yards. He was another guy that I thought would get more looks with Thomas out. And not that five targets is bad, but I expected more after his solid Week 1 performance. I am chalking this one up to the offense having to change gears completely without their top weapon and the whole team will perform better this week against Green Bay. 

Summary: The Saints are coming off a tough loss on Monday night and stay in prime time with a tougher opponent. The offense clearly wasn’t the same without their star receiver, and the Packers may be without theirs as well. I still think that Davante Adams plays in a game as important as this one, and as good as the Saints defense is, it can’t hold Green Bay down forever. This one should be a lot of fun but Green Bay takes it.

Pick: Packers 31, Saints 27

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens

Venue: M&T Bank Stadium(Baltimore)Mon. 9-28 @ 8:15 pm EDTOver/Under: 54

   Weather

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
Monday, September 28, 2020 at 8:15pm
Line: Ravens -3.5

Patrick Mahomes – It wasn’t pretty, and the team didn’t score a ton of points, but Mahomes still had a good stat line when all was said and done. The Chargers have a nice front line and a pretty stout secondary and Mahomes still had 302 yards and two touchdowns. There is just never a reason not to start him. 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Well they apparently stopped making his Hall of Fame plaque for at least one week as Edwards-Helaire was mortal last week with just 38 yards rushing and six catches for another 32 yards through the air. The six catches saved his fantasy day, but it was still just 12 points. He gets another tough matchup against the physical Ravens defense who have held Nick Chubb and David Johnson relatively in check through two weeks. You still start Edwards-Helaire in seasonal leagues. 

Tyreek Hill – It was impressive to see Hill come up just a yard short of 100 against a good secondary like the Chargers who have two really impressive corners. Half of it did come on the touchdown, but it was still a great day with 11 targets. He faces another really rough defense with the Ravens on Monday night. Hill is a guy that I can’t sit no matter the defense, because he is so fast that it only takes maybe one or two plays for him to turn out a great fantasy day. 

Travis Kelce – I use the word matchup proof for a decent number of players, and Kelce is certainly one of them. He will have a down game here and there, but all in all defenses can’t tend to hold him down all game. He had nine catches for 90 yards and a score on Sunday against the Chargers, and although he faces the Ravens, they aren’t unbeatable. Kelce had seven catches for 89 yards against them last year, and last week Jordan Akins , who isn’t exactly fantasy relevant ripped off a good game against them. Three words. Always. Start. Kelce. 

Lamar Jackson – While the Ravens easily dispatched with the Texans as a team, it would have to be deemed a disappointing fantasy day for Jackson. He threw for just 204 yards and one touchdown while running for just 54 yards. It is still a 17-point day, but by his standards that’s a little low. This one will be huge as the two top teams in the AFC face off. Jackson didn’t have a huge game last year against the Chiefs, but if Kansas City plays like they did last week against rookie Justin Herbert, Jackson could shine. 

Mark Ingram /J.K. Dobbins – This is a “throw your hands up” kind of situation, as it is impossible to know what to do. Everyone was successful against the Texans, and as a team the Ravens rushed for 6.2 yards per carry. However, it was Gus Edwards who had the most carries after Jackson with ten and he ran for 72 yards. Ingram outplayed Dobbins this week, which his fantasy players have to be breathing a small sigh of relief. Who will be the guy that will have success this week? Who knows! Ingram and Dobbins are both low end flex plays for Week 3. 

Marquise Brown – It wasn’t a big passing day for the Ravens as they whipped the Texans around all day Sunday. Brown still ed the team in targets, receptions, and yards. It was nice to see him be efficient with five catches on six targets, but the 42 receiving yards left plenty to be desired. He is still a dynamic playmaker who can take any catch the distance. The Chiefs defense has been pretty solid, but not unbeatable, and Brown fits in the WR3 discussion for sure in Week 3. 

Mark Andrews – That thud you heard was the jaws of those that played Andrews this week when they saw he had just three targets and one catch for 29 yards. The Ravens simply didn’t have to run the ball much, and Jackson spread his passes around, something he normally does not do. Hunter Henry had six catches for 83 yards against the Chiefs last week so it would seem very possible that Andrews has a great bounce back game in Week 3. 

Summary: The Chiefs found a way to win against an inferior team last week, and it was the first sign in a while that they are mortal. The Ravens haven’t had a competitive game yet. This one should be a preview of the AFC Championship game and will likely come down to the wire, Right now I just think the Ravens are a tad bit better, and we will see if the Chiefs defense can come up with a way to stop Lamar Jackson . Baltimore is also at home, and even with no fans that is a little bit of a bump. This one could go either way. 

Pick: Ravens 34, Chiefs 31

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NFL DFS Watch List: Week 3
Howard Bender
Published Yesterday 8:43 am (EST)
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