Scott Engel has Lineup Advice plus some betting and DFS nuggets for Week Three
Here are the King’s Week Three Fantasy Football Game Breakdowns, complete with non-obvious start/sit tips, and even some betting and DFS tidbits.
New Orleans at Atlanta: The Falcons have won three of the past four games against the Saints, which may sway you to go with Atlanta (-1.5) as the pick here. Add in the fact that the Saints are allowing 428 yards per game and you may also want to consider DFS Falcons stacks. Matt Ryan has 10 TD passes and four interceptions in his last four home games vs. New Orleans. Julio Jones has averaged 114.3 yards per game in his last three vs. NO, and he will be ready to go despite a calf injury. Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper are viable starts in what could be a shootout, although sometimes divisional games don’t always go according to the expected script. Drew Brees has 300-plus passing yards in six of his past eight games vs. Atlanta and is a prime start again vs. an injury-weakened Atlanta defense. Michael Thomas has 10-plus receptions, 100-plus receiving yards and a TD in each of his past two meetings with Atlanta.
Watch and Worry: I do not trust Ben Watson in any matchup.
Baltimore at Denver: The Case Keenum/Emmanuel Sanders hookup will click as the veteran WR gets frequent looks and cashes in from the slot. Baltimore allowed four TD passes last week to Cincinnati and is banged up in some key spots on defense, so the Broncos should be able to move the ball effectively. It will continue to be a time share between Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, and if C.J. Mosely (knee) misses the game, that can only help the outlook of Lindsay. The Broncos have allowed just over 75 rushing yards per game, so that does not bode well for the Baltimore time share of Alex Collins and Javorius Allen. This could be a lower-scoring affair and I would take the under (46.5). John Brown may be the only Ravens WR worthy of starting consideration this week.
Start and Smile: Emmanuel Sanders
Watch and Worry: Alex Collins
Cincinnati at Carolina: Andy Dalton’s 108.5 passer rating is third in the AFC, but the Panthers 442 passing yards allowed is fifth-best in the NFC so far. Giovani Bernard gets the start and is looking for his third consecutive game with a rush TD vs. an NFC team. The Panthers have allowed 227 rushing yards so far, third-most in the NFC. The Bengals have surrendered 695 passing yards, so expect another strong outing from Cam Newton. Devin Funchess should be locked in as a Fantasy WR3. Cincinnati has allowed 145 receiving yards to opposing RBs, so Christian McCaffrey will deliver strong PPR totals again.
Watch and Worry: The Bengals defense is plus-3 in takeaway/giveways, and Geno Atkins already has three sacks, but the unit may not do well in terms of points allowed this week.
New York Giants at Houston: It seems like this can be a really good bounce-back spot for Deshaun Watson, as he gets some relief against a Giants defense that has registered one sack in two games. Will Fuller is a must-start and will be a very popular DFS play as he gets CB B.W, Webb in coverage while Eli Apple sits out. Fuller has five TD catches in his past six home games. The Texans defense gets Jadeveon Clowney back and J.J. Watt gets matched up against Ereck Flowers, so the Houston defense is a strong play. The Giants will have to use Saquon Barkley to stem the pass rush, and Odell Beckham Jr. has a great matchup vs a very shaky Texans secondary, but his ceiling could be capped if Eli Manning Is hit and sacked consistently.
Watch and Worry: No Giants pass-catcher other than Beckham is looking like a good play.
Tennessee at Jacksonville: The Titans have won the past two games in this series, but that short streak seems destined to be halted this week. The Jaguars are favored by 10 and I believe they will cover. Dion Lewis has 100-plus scrimmage yards in three of his past four games and is the only Titan that should be in your starting lineup, as game flow should dictate a lot of work for him. In a divisional game, I am quite comfortable with taking the under of 40 here. I would not expect the Jaguars to overwork Leonard Fournette and you might actually see a lot of Corey Grant in this one, so he is worth a DFS punt or a desperation play in a seasonal league. Keelan Cole has 100-yard outings in three of his past five games, and he is a very strong WR3 start against a secondary that has underperformed so far. Donte Moncrief is also a sneaky play, as he may draw disappointing Titans CB Malcolm Butler in coverage.
San Francisco at Kansas City: The Chiefs have allowed an unreal 508 yards per game so far on defense, but that was against the likes of the Chargers and Steelers. This is obviously a friendly matchup for Jimmy Garoppolo, but he doesn’t have the weaponry of the Chiefs’ two previous opponents. Garoppolo is an obviously inviting start, but I would not use him over a more proven QB with a lesser draw, such as Aaron Rodgers, but I would take him over, say, Russell Wilson vs. Dallas. Matt Breida actually led the NFL with 184 rushing yards entering the week and the Chiefs have allowed an NFL-high 261 receiving yards to RBs after two games. The 49ers have allowed five TD passes so far and have already been making some changes in the secondary. Patrick Mahomes is set for at least three TD passes again, but the Niners have yet to allow a rush TD, not the most encouraging sign for Kareem Hunt, who still cannot be reserved.
Start and Smile: Matt Breida
Watch and Worry: Marquise Goodwin may try to tough it out in a return from a quad injury, but his effectiveness will be anything but a sure thing.
Oakland at Miami: The Dolphins may actually be 3-0 after this one, and I am very confident in them as a three-point favorite. Miami has six takeaways so far and is a solid defensive start. The Raiders have only two sacks and one takeaway, and have allowed 265 rushing yards so far, the third-highest total in the league. This is a good spot to trust Kenyan Drake, and his success should set up RPO and play-action for Ryan Tannehill to Kenny Stills. Miami has been the best team in the AFC so far against opposing QBs, having allowed 8.88 Fantasy Points Per Game. If you need a nifty Survivor Pick, the Dolphins are your choice.
Start and Smile: Kenyan Drake, Dolphins defense
Buffalo at Minnesota: This game seems simple for even the least experienced fan to analyze. The one burning question for Fantasy players is, what if Kirk Cousins does not play enough in the second half? The answer is, that is a good thing, because he will have piled up some good numbers to get his team to that point. If it’s a blowout, that means Cousins had a very good day all compressed into one half. Don’t overthink this one, and keep him active. It will also be interesting to see how Josh Allen distributes the ball in catch-up mode.
Watch and Worry: No one that you would realistically start
Indianapolis at Philadelphia: The Colts defense has not been as bad as expected, ranking 10th in yards allowed so far and Indianapolis held Washington under 10 points last week. Carson Wentz has won all three home games in his career vs. AFC teams, but is a very risky start in his first game back here. Corey Clement will work through a groin injury and his versatility will challenge the Colts LBs. He has three TDs in his past two games vs. AFC teams. The Colts have allowed a league-high 22 receptions to opposing running backs. Without Marlon Mack and Jack Doyle, Andrew Luck will feed many targets to T.Y. Hilton, and Eric Ebron becomes a TE1 play. I am certainly taking the under here (46.5).
Watch and Worry: Carson Wentz
Green Bay at Washington: Aaron Rodgers looked healthy enough last week that you have to start him vs. vs. a Redskins defense that leads the NFL in yards allowed per game so far (247). Washington surrendered a TE TD last week and Jimmy Graham is a good bet to score vs. the Redskins on Sunday. Randall Cobb is looking to score in his third consecutive road game but may find the challenge to be stiff. Green Bay has allowed 169 rushing yards so far, so there does not appear to be much of a ceiling for Adrian Peterson this week. Chris Thompson is a PPR must-start again. Jordan Reed has scored in three of his past four games and has already become a top target for Alex Smith.
Watch and Worry: Randall Cobb
L.A. Chargers at L.A. Rams: Philip Rivers is one of just three QBs with 600 passing yards and six TDs so far, but the Rams have allowed a league-low 3.91 FFPG to opposing QBs. Still, Keenan Allen can have at least a decent day working in the slot. The Rams have allowed one TD to RBs so far, so a score may not come easy to Melvin Gordon, but he’ll still stack up quality all-around totals. The Chargers have allowed 268 yards to opposing RBs so far, so Todd Gurley will obviously flourish. After watching Patrick Mahomes light up the Chargers pass defense in the opener, Jared Goff will like to work downfield to Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. Woods has averaged 126 yards in his past two home games with TDs in each contest.
Watch and Worry: Philip Rivers
Chicago at Arizona: The Cardinals are allowing 430 yards per game so far, but the Bears don’t really have the playmakers to take full advantage of he matchup. The Cardinals have yielded 256 rushing yards, 164 receiving yards and five TDs to opposing RBs, so Jordan Howard should have his best game of the young season. Arizona has yet to allow a receiving TD, though, so you can’t start any pass-catcher other than Allen Robinson. The Bears have allowed 111 rushing yards, the second-lowest mark in the league, but the Cardinals must find a way to get David Johnson untracked, so keep rolling with him despite what the numbers may indicate. I’ll take the under in this one (38.5).
Start and Smile: Jordan Howard
Watch and Worry: Trey Burton has yet to show he is much of a factor in a weak passing game.
Dallas at Seattle: Dak Prescott could have a decent day here vs. a thinned Seattle secondary. Cole Beasley is a sneaky play this week and deserves some DFS consideration in tournaments. Bobby Wagner will return, so Ezekiel Elliott may have to work hard for his yards early, but should find the end zone because of the passing game. The Seahawks will look to establish the run as well, possibly behind Rashaad Penny, so watch to see if Seattle utilizes him more this week. The Cowboys only have two takeaways, but Russell Wilson faces a sturdy front seven and don’t expect more than two TD passes. I will also take the under here (40.5).
Start and Smile: Dallas Defense
Watch and Worry: Any Seahawks other than Wilson, who will be adequate, but nothing more.
New England at Detroit: The Lions are minus-4 in takeaway/giveaways, but the Patriots have allowed 21.79 FFPG to opposing QBs, the fourth-highest mark in the AFC. Matthew Stafford, though, is only 19th overall in QB scoring so far with a pair of uneven outings. But his WR trio will prove to be too much for the New England secondary to handle. The Lions have allowed four TD passes in two games but only have two takeaways and may be without top CB Darius Slay. In his past eight games vs, the NFC, including the playoffs, Tom Brady has averaged 353.3 passing yards per game, and will rival Mahomes as the top QB play of the week. Chris Hogan has a TD catch in four of his past five games vs. the NFC. The Lions have allowed an NFL-high 363 rushing yards, so you may start to see Sony Michel emerge this week, but bet on James White for best all-around production from the New England RB crew.
Watch and Worry: It’s too soon to expect anything from Josh Gordon.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay: As obvious as Buffalo-Minnesota is for a blowout, this is the glaringly apparent shootout. Ben Roethlisberger is aiming for his third consecutive game vs, the AFC with 300-plus passing yards, and you can throw out the home/road splits. So far, James Conner’s 257 scrimmage yards lead the league. JuJu Smith-Schuster is gunning for his fourth consecutive 100-yard game and Jesse James will build off his career-high 138 receiving yards from last week. Peyton Barber has 60-plus scrimmage yards in three of his past four home games, but will soon give way to Ronald Jones. Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of only three QBs in league history with 400-plus passing yards and four TD passes in consecutive games. He looks like a surefire Top 7 Fantasy QB this week. Chris Godwin is aiming for his fourth consecutive game with a TD catch and should not be overlooked.
Watch and Worry: Peyton Barber