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NFL Draft

Fantasy Football: 20 Thoughts Recapping Week 3

  • The Draft Network
  • September 28, 2020
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Another wild week of NFL action is almost in the books. Before we turn the page to Monday Night Football and then the start of Week 4, here are my 20 fantasy football takeaways from Sunday, ranked in no particular order. Please note, this article will be updated with a new note after Sunday Night Football.

  1. DIONTAE JOHNSON/RUSSELL GAGE/JOHN BROWN: These three receivers all went down with injuries and missed most of their respective games. You’ll be quite upset with their final fantasy point totals but just be aware of the context. All three are solid WR3/flex options moving forward, health permitting. Don’t do anything rash just because they suffered first-half injuries—assuming none are long-term ailments.
  2. MITCHELL TRUBISKY: After an interception that helped the Falcons take a 26-10 lead in the third quarter, Bears head coach Matt Nagy benched Trubisky in favor of Nick Foles. Trubisky was 13-of-22 for 128 yards, one touchdown, and one interception (he also had a 45-yard run). The pick before the benching was brutal, but Trubisky was missing receivers earlier in the game as well. We’ll see if this ends up being a permanent change, but this is probably a boost in value to Anthony Miller, who caught the game-winning touchdown. However, it remains to be seen if a non-Allen Robinson pass-catching option emerges for Foles as a semi-reliable option.
  3. CALVIN RIDLEY: Although it wasn’t quite the same kind of monstrous performance he had in his first two games of the season, Ridley had a unique challenge in his matchup with the Bears. With no Julio Jones, Ridley had to face the entire attention of a defense. That challenge became even more difficult after Gage left early with an injury. Ridley passed with flying colors, finishing with five catches for 110 yards. If there was any doubt he’s a weekly fantasy WR1 moving forward, it’s gone now.
  4. JUSTIN JEFFERSON: We witnessed the Jefferson breakout game against the Titans, as the rookie caught seven of his nine targets for 175 yards and a touchdown. He led all Vikings in targets and quarterback Kirk Cousins finally trusted a player not named Adam Thielen this season. The Texans present a good matchup for Jefferson next week, so he’ll be in a lot of lineups as a flex. Honestly, he should be, even if I’d feel a little more comfortable after seeing him do this again. 
  5. DALVIN COOK: The hype seems to be a bit more subdued this season compared to last year for Cook, but that might come to an end after his 181-rushing-yard day on Sunday. His high volume of touchdowns—he has four rushing scores through three games—gives him an elite floor and he still hasn’t come close to unlocking his full potential in the receiving game yet this season. He’s got a really good shot at being the RB1 this season. He’d be my pick for that crown right now.
  6. JERICK MCKINNON/JEFF WILSON: I was asked all week about which 49ers running back fantasy managers should start. It turns out that both had nice fantasy days against a brutal Giants defense. Neither was effective on the ground, but they combined for three total touchdowns. While Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman are out, both McKinnon and Wilson are flex plays. However, I lean toward McKinnon over Wilson going forward because he’s more versatile.
  7. DION LEWIS: Two touches. Two. Freakin’. Touches. That’s what Lewis got in place of Saquon Barkley in this game. He was a complete non-factor in regard to anything that wasn’t pass-blocking. Both Devonta Freeman and Wayne Gallman got more work than Lewis. This and next week were the times where Lewis should’ve shined in garbage time before Freeman gets up to speed. After this performance, you’re not starting any Giants running back against the Rams next week.
  8. DARRELL HENDERSON: I’ll eat a whole lot of crow on this one. I wasn’t a Henderson believer coming in, but he absolutely proved me wrong. Now healthy, he looks like a perfect fit for this Rams running scheme and carved up the Bills’ defense. He had 20 carries for 114 yards and a score, with no run greater than 14 yards. Malcolm Brown will still get some work, and Cam Akers will come back to be part of the committee, but Henderson is the top Rams back that you want.
  9. COOPER KUPP: There’s not much to say here aside from reciting the old adage of always play your studs and don’t give up on them too quickly. Kupp’s name came up a bunch in the fantasy community this week in regard to trades, being disappointed, start/sit, etc. Kupp was drafted as a low-end WR1 and should still be in that range now. His 9/107/1 performance on 10 targets should make everyone rostering him feel a little better.
  10. A.J. GREEN: Green is nothing more than mid-level flex play going forward. We all saw the issue he had in Week 2 in prime time, and he was close to a non-factor in Week 3. Green was third on the team in targets with six, but at least he caught five of them—he also needed overtime to get that much work. Still, it’s not worth playing him anymore on reputation alone. I wouldn’t drop him, especially with bye weeks coming up, but he’s not a top-30 WR right now. 
  11. CARSON WENTZ: Droppable. That’s the one word to describe Wentz right now. There’s absolutely no reason to continue playing him going forward. He looks as bad as his stat lines indicate. There are too many quality options in single-QB leagues to continue to have Wentz on the roster.
  12. SONY MICHEL/REX BURKHEAD: I never thought we’d see a day in 2020 where Michel had a 100-yard game on fewer than 10 carries but here we are. I don’t buy it long-term, but it highlights the frustration of rostering any Patriots running back. As for Burkhead, he found the end zone three times in his expanded role because of James White’s absence. If White is ruled out fairly early next week, Burkhead could be an interesting flex play, but significantly temper expectations.
  13. ANTONIO GIBSON: He got in the end zone so many will notice his final point total, but he’s finally starting to look more comfortable in this Washington offense for the second straight week. His upside will be limited by a poor overall offense, but he can prove to be a solid flex during bye weeks with increased usage. I’m very encouraged by his low-key strong performance.
  14. MO ALIE-COX: Aside from confirming the fact that the Jets are absolutely awful, it was nice to see Alie-Cox have another nice game. His 3/50/1 performance was his second big game in a row. He's more athletic than Jack Doyle and may (should) continue to get passing game work as Philip Rivers' top tight end option.
  15. ROBBY ANDERSON: If you're still holding out on Anderson for some reason... STOP. This is not a fluke. Frequent listeners of the TDN Fantasy Podcast know that Jake Arians has explained that Anderson is being used differently compared to his time in New York. He's being used over the middle of the field on intermediate routes often as is finding a ton of work from Teddy Bridgewater. He's still available in about 25% of leagues.
  16. AUSTIN EKELER/KEENAN ALLEN: Take a look at the Week 3 box score for both of these guys. That's more like it, right? It looks a lot like it did in the previous two seasons with Philip Rivers. I don't know if Justin Herbert will be the starter for the rest of the season or not, but the fantasy success of Ekeler and Allen to this extent is because of Herbert. Hopefully you weren't one of the few who panicked and traded one or both of these players after Week 1 or 2.
  17. KENYAN DRAKE: While you may be frustrated right now, just hold steady with Drake. He may only have a lone touchdown from back in Week 1, but he's running the ball fairly well and is averaging nearly 20 touches per game. Once the touchdowns start coming more consistently, you'll have a top-15 RB.
  18. MICHAEL GALLUP: Welcome back! Just when everyone benched you, you had a HUGE game against the Seahawks on Sunday. Gallup finished with six catches for 138 yards and a touchdown, reminding us that there's room for all three of the Cowboys' top receivers to succeed. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb had double-digit fantasy days as well, but Gallup led the way and has a handful of favorable matchups coming up in October.
  19. RONALD JONES/LEONARD FOURNETTE: This simply looks like a situation you just want to avoid at all costs moving forward. There will be "Jones games" and "Fournette games" and we'll never be sure when they're coming. If there's an injury in the backfield that clears up the picture, that's one thing. Otherwise, neither is more than a flex flier moving forward.
  20. ALLEN LAZARD: Aaron Rodgers had to play Sunday night without top wide receiver Davante Adams and he relied heavily on Lazard. Lazard led the team with eight targets, six catches, and 146 receiving yards—he also scored. He had a far better night than Marquez Valdes-Scantling, which should cement him as the Packers' No. 2 wide receiver, even if Valdes-Scantling has flashier plays.

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