Fantasy Football Week 3 NFL Sunday Game Previews
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens 1 p.m. EST
The Colts’ fantasy fortunes rest on QB Anthony Richardson. He scored 17.7 fantasy points in a quarter of play and was on his way to breaking the DFS slate before suffering a concussion last week. Unfortunately, Richardson has been ruled out for this week. If you have WR Michael Pittman, then you should start him in Seasonal. RB Zack Moss will be riding the bench on my teams as the Ravens are very good against the run. Given Richardson is out, the Ravens’ defense has to be a top option to consider.
We are still waiting for the Ravens’ offense to come out and break the slate. They have a lot of names, and then you see WR Nelson Agholor lead the team in catches and score a TD last week. Say what? Well, WR Odell Beckham is dealing with an ankle injury, and WR Rashod Bateman has yet to step up. When it comes to the Raven players that I like outside of QB Lamar Jackson, only TE Mark Andrews and WR Zay Flowers are the guys I’ll be leaning on. Flowers is absolutely electric, and I am trying to acquire them in all my leagues. Unfortunately, people don’t like to trade me as they fear getting fleeced. Running back Gus Edwards may get more volume this week as Justice Hill is dealing with turf toe and could be very limited.
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns 1 p.m. EST
The Titans were able to sneak out an overtime win against the Chargers thanks to a couple of big plays. This week figures to be tough sledding against a very good Browns defense, and their offense offers very little fantasy appeal for DFS. You still should start RB Derrick Henry and WR DeAndre Hopkins but I don’t think their offensive line can create consistent running lanes and offer adequate pass protection for QB Ryan Tannehill. In fact, I really like the Browns’ defense to create some turnovers and be a good defense to start. I am interested to see how well WR Treylon Burks does, as I think he is a very good receiver who just doesn’t have the offense or QB play to put up big numbers.
The Browns lost RB Nick Chubb for the season and are turning to RB Jerome Ford. I think he will get the bulk of the work despite the Browns re-signing RB Kareem Hunt. Ford will have his work cut out for him against the tremendous run-stuffing front that Tennessee has, so I am not expecting a big game from him. What scares me is his DFS price because I will be fading and he can catch a ton of passes and fall into the end zone and break the slate at his price. The gem in this game, though, should be WR Amari Cooper. The Titans’ pass defense is abysmal, and he should surpass 100+ yards. Also, WR Elijah Moore could have a breakout game; I know he doesn’t have many catches, but he does have 16 targets. We just need QB Deshaun Watson to be more accurate. A passing Browns stack could be sneaky, but one of the receivers will round out most of my DFS lineups.
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions 1 p.m. EST
I mentioned last week that RB Bijan Robinson would get more touches. and he didn’t disappoint with 23 touches. Look for that volume to continue making Robinson a top-tier back in all formats. RB Tyler Allgeier still got 16 carries and will be in many of my Seasonal lineups that don’t have the RB depth. Unfortunately, QB Desmond Ridder is not accurate by any means, and this passing offense will struggle most of the season. It was nice to see WR Drake London get into the end zone, and he could again against a very suspect Lions’ secondary that is having some injury concerns. TE Kyle Pitts is becoming unplayable, but what do you do with him? The talent is there, but Ridder can’t get him the ball. I would give it another week, and if he still is limited then it may be time to place him on waivers.
Detroit looked unstoppable at times last week and I think they can look that way again this week. Atlanta gave up some big plays to Packer players nobody heard of. It is going to be difficult to contain their weapons. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown should have a big game, and TE Sam LaPorta has been consistent with five catches in each of his first two games. He could be a huge difference-maker if he finds the end zone. RB Jahmyr Gibbs is my candidate to get 20+ touches. RB David Montgomery is questionable and I have a feeling he will not play, leaving Gibbs with extra volume. RB Craig Reynolds will get some carries and most likely some goal-line work and could be a deep dive punt option at running back. Lion stacks could be sneaky in DFS, as most will point toward the Vikings/Chargers game as the top stacking option.
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers 1 p.m. EST
What an interesting game this will be. The Saints are 2-0, but have they really played anyone good? They have beat the Raiders and Panthers, which both appear to be sub-.500 teams. Meanwhile, the Packers are 1-1 and probably should be 2-0 after blowing a 12-point fourth-quarter lead to the Atlanta Falcons. On paper, this will be each team’s toughest opponent to date.
Let’s first talk about the Saints’ running game. RB Jamaal Williams is most likely going to be out with a hamstring injury. Who do the Saints turn to? Last Monday, it was RB Tony Jones who stepped up and scored two touchdowns. This week though, rookie RB Kendre Miller, who was not available Monday, is practicing in full. Are they going to be splitting time, or is one going to get more workload than the other? For that reason, I am staying away from both of them despite the Packers’ run-stopping woes. As far as the passing game is concerned, I am interested in receivers Michael Thomas and Rashid Shaheed. I think Packer corner Jaire Alexander travels with WR Chris Olave, giving Thomas the bulk of targets with Shaheed popping a couple of deep ones. All in all, the Saints’ offense isn’t very exciting for this week.
The Packers’ offense isn’t very exciting either. The Saints won’t give QB Jordan Love all he wants, and there won’t be wide-open receivers running around like they were last week against the Atlanta Falcons. Another problem with the Packers’ offense is who are they going to get involved? RB Aaron Jones still isn’t practicing, and WR Christian Watson is limited. I can’t trust Watson to make it through the game even if he does play. WR Romeo Doubs could be the go-to guy, and WR Jayden Reed is emerging, but there will be better spots later in the schedule to feel comfortable. I look for this to be a low-scoring, grind-it-out game.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars 1 p.m. EST
Did you ever think that the Houston Texans would be fantasy-viable in QB C.J. Stroud’s rookie season? They have the perfect combination to put up solid numbers as they have a good trio of receivers with an accurate QB. Plus, their defense isn’t very good, allowing them to play from behind and rack up big-time passing numbers. Unfortunately, their run game has been terrible. Don’t believe what you read or hear that RB Dameon Pierce is horrible; he is still a good back, it’s the Texans’ decimated offensive line that really isn’t giving him a chance. I don’t think I would start Pierce until some of his linemen come back from injury, but he looks to be a trade target on the cheap for bigger second-half-of-the-season numbers. Back to the game at hand, Stroud is limited with a shoulder injury but is expected to play. I think the Texans will be playing from behind, meaning Stroud should be able to put up some numbers to receivers Nico Collins and Tank Dell, who are nice third receiver/flex plays in both DFS and Seasonal leagues. TE Dalton Schultz is super sneaky, and I would not be surprised to see him reach double-digit fantasy points.
As for the Jaguars, they really shot themselves in the foot last week vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. Their red-zone offense was terrible, and they turned the ball over three times. Not to mention, they turned the ball over on downs from from the Chiefs’ 45-yard line, giving them great field position that led to a touchdown to close the second half. But this should be a get-right game for the offense, as they should have their way with the Texans. The only problem is figuring out who is going to get the volume. QB Trevor Lawrence should be a solid play in all formats and will be a good lower-owned DFS pivot. Receivers Calvin Ridley and/or Christian Kirk could have big games along with TE Evan Engram. RB Travis Etienne could push 20 touches and 20+ fantasy points if the Jaguars have the lead as expected.
Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins 1 p.m. EST
The Denver Broncos started out on fire only to blow an 18-point lead to the Washington Commanders. The game’s turning point was when QB Russell Wilson fumbled at midfield midway through the second quarter. After that, the big plays they were connecting on, like 2 bombs to WR Marvin Mims, disappeared. Denver abandoned the running game and Washington was able to get enough pass rush to disrupt the passing game until Denver scored a touchdown on a Hail Mary as time expired. Against Miami, they need to try and be more balanced, or the pass rush is going to get to Wilson. There really isn’t one Denver player who stands out. I think WR Jerry Jeudy and RB Javonte Williams are Seasonal starts, but do you really expect big games from either? I think all you can hope for is a steady performance and pray one scores a TD. I really like the Dolphins’ defense in all formats, as QB Russell Wilson can’t escape defenders like he once did and can turn the ball over. Ex-Bronco edge rusher Bradley Chubb will be all over the field vs. his old team.
The Commanders put up nearly 400 yards of offense vs. this Denver defense, and I would expect Miami to move the ball freely. We are just waiting to see if WR Jaylen Waddle can pass the concussion protocol. If he does, then I love him in this spot as WR Tyreek Hill will see corner Patrick Surtain. You still play Hill with confidence, but Waddle should excel. WR River Cracraft could be a sneaky DFS option if Waddle doesn’t play. RB Raheem Mostert is running hard and has three touchdowns on the season. Considering RB Brian Robinson rushed for two TDs vs. Denver last week, Mostert is a solid RB2 for this week.
Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings 1 p.m. EST
This is a matchup of two teams desperate for a win as the loser drops to 0-3, immensely hurting their playoff chances. This game figures to have the most points scored on the slate, as the total is set at 54. What is not to like? Both teams have high-flying offenses and bad defenses who like to give up a ton of yards both through the air on the ground. Unfortunately, for DFS purposes, this game will have players highly owned, but I think there are pieces that we must have.
For the Charger side, there are two players I like the most, and that is WR Mike Williams and RB Austin Ekeler. I do like WR Keenan Allen as well, but he will get CB Byron Murphy in coverage, who is the Vikings’ best cover corner. I think Williams can take full advantage of CB Akayleb Evans and will be lower-owned. RB Austin Ekeler would be in a smash spot, but he is dealing with an ankle injury and has yet to practice. RB Joshua Kelley is almost a free square if Ekeler is unable to go because of his price. WR Quentin Johnston has not been used much, but it still would not surprise me if he or WR Joshua Palmer found the end zone. TE Gerald Everett had a few nice grabs last week but just doesn’t get enough volume to be viable.
As for the Vikings, WR Justin Jefferson is my favorite play on the board, and it would not surprise me if he had another 150 yards receiving with a TD. I will have many lineups stacking him with QB Kirk Cousins, who should throw for 275 yards and two touchdowns minimum. WR Jordan Addison would be my second receiver of choice, and let’s not forget TE T.J. Hockenson, who can be the top tight end any given week. RB Alexander Mattison has been under a lot of scrutiny and could have a nice week. He should be fully focused and motivated as the team just traded for RB Cam Akers. I will have many lineups with Vikings, Chargers and Browns receivers, such as Jefferson, Williams, and Cooper.
New England Patriots at New York Jets 1 p.m. EST
This game preview will be quick and to the point. Both defenses figure to have the upper hand here and should be considered in all fantasy formats. The Patriot players that would make my lineups are TE Hunter Henry, as I can’t ignore his targets, and RB Rhamondre Stevenson. I think Stevenson is going to have to get more involved in the passing game. As for the Jets, Garrett Wilson is a must-start and hope for the best. RB Breece Hall could have a big game as Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert ran all over New England while scoring two touchdowns. Be aware, though, New Englands’ defense played pass first and desperately tried to keep WR Tyreek Hill and WR Jaylen Waddle in front of them, leading to six-man boxes. I would expect New England to stack it here and force QB Zach Wilson to beat them.
Buffalo Bills at Washington Commanders 1 p.m. EST
Buffalo came out as expected in Week 2 and took care of business by manhandling the Las Vegas Raiders on both sides of the ball. They had tremendous push and were able to both run and pass with ease. They won’t have it so easy vs. a tough Commanders front seven. Of course, you start all the regulars in Seasonal leagues, but I am a bit reserved playing them in DFS. I think maybe WR Gabe Davis could make a big play or two and be worth the relatively cheap price. We have to watch for TE Dawson Knox’s status. He has yet to practice this week, and if he does not play, then TE Dalton Kincaid shoots up my rankings and will be in a ton of DFS lineups and an auto-start in Seasonal unless you have one of the big three at tight end.
The Commanders’ offense was able to get it going in Denver. RB Brian Robinson led the charge with 87 yards rushing and two touchdowns. He has asserted himself as the lead back, phasing out RB Antonio Gibson, just as I predicted in my preseason running backs article. Buffalo did give up a ton of yards on the road to RB Breece Hall in Week 1, so there is a lot of optimism with Robinson again this week. As for the passing game, QB Sam Howell found a whopping ten different receivers who caught passes. Not one receiver is really standing out, even though WR Terry McLaurin caught a TD pass last week. WR Jahan Dotson looks good but isn’t getting that volume. Hopefully, that will change later and he will become a player we want to target as a buy-low guy.
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks 4:05 p.m. EST
This may be the week we can insert Panther players in our offense with some sort of confidence. QB Bryce Young is going to miss the game, leading QB Andy Dalton to take his place. I know it’s not flashy, but Dalton should be able to find the open man vs. an underwhelming Seattle defense. WR Adam Thielen is dirt cheap in DFS, and I think he will get open coming off a seven-catch one-TD performance Monday night. TE Hayden Hurst is viable, as Dalton likes to throw to the tight end. RB Miles Sanders is limited but could be in line for a solid game if he plays. RB Chuba Hubbard would be a DFS darling and Seasonal flex option if Sanders was unable to go. Don’t be surprised if Carolina scores into the 20s. Or am I undervaluing Seattle’s defense?
Seattle’s offense should also be solid, but my main play is going to be RB Kenneth Walker. Any thoughts of RB Zach Charbonnet taking away touches should now be put to rest. Walker has a burst of speed and nose for the end zone that should make him a top-10 back. Look for this to be a Tyler Lockett game, as D.K. Metcalf is nursing sore ribs but should be a go. My gut tells me that this game could be a surprise shootout, but part of me thinks this will be a lower-scoring game.
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals 4:25 p.m. EST
Who do you like more in this one, WR CeeDee Lamb or RB Tony Pollard? Both should have big games, and a Dallas stack could be a great way to play DFS. QB Dak Prescott could also have a big day, but I worry that the Cowboys will blow the Cardinals out and take the air out of the football early. TE Jake Ferguson is going to emerge even more as the season goes on, and maybe this is the game he adds a few more receptions and scores another touchdown.
Arizona has only one viable player for Seasonal fantasy, and that’s RB James Conner. He should get enough catches to get into double-digit points, and hopefully he can fall into the end zone. I am avoiding all passing game options, and that includes TE Zach Ertz, who many think will have a solid week as the check-down option. The Cowboys’ defense is ultra-expensive in DFS, but they are just so good that I have to find a way to fit them into a few lineups.
Chicago Bears at Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 p.m. EST
The Bears’ offense hasn’t been very good, but there were some improvements last week. WR D.J. Moore cracked 100 yards and should be solid vs. the Chiefs’ defense. We just have to hope that QB Justin Fields can get him the ball. Speaking of Fields, he needs to get his legs going to be fantasy-viable. Right now, I can’t play him, and in some leagues, I have waived him for C.J. Stroud. Nobody in the running game is worth playing, but we should watch and see if RB Roschon Johnson gets more work going forward.
The Chiefs’ offense should be full go and another DFS stacking option. QB Patrick Mahomes is the top-ranked passer and TE Travis Kelce could be in line for a huge game. WR Kadarius Toney was used early in Week 2, but then WR Skyy Moore got involved and was able to get into the end zone. That’s the difficulty with the Chiefs: knowing who is going to get the ball outside of Kelce. RB Isiah Pacheco did return to practice on Thursday, although he was limited. He becomes a nice RB option in all formats as Aaron Jones and Rachaad White had nice games against a bad Bears’ defense. Expect the Chiefs to score at least 30 points here.