Not everybody can watch every game, so I want to give you some instant fantasy analysis and weekly impressions from every game. This is hard-hitting, quick analysis to help you make waiver decisions, find trade targets, and digest each week’s action. Let’s dive into my Weekly Impressions from Week 3. If you prefer this in video form, be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel for all future content!
Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Myles Gaskin received 27 touches and 75% of the snaps but still wasn’t terribly efficient. He’s clearly the only Dolphins running back worth rostering, but even with all this usage, he wasn’t great. Sure, he was fine, but this output on this usage leaves you disappointed. This honestly might be Gaskin’s ceiling game. Might be worth shopping him around – maybe somebody bites.
San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants
The story of this game was two dramatically reshuffled backfields. For the 49ers, they used a similar strategy with different names, as Jeff Wilson and Jerick McKinnon split time and carries (62% snaps and 18 opportunities for McKinnon – 30% snaps and 15 opportunities for Wilson), and both performed well because Kyle Shanahan is their coach. Notably, Jeff Wilson got far more work after the game was out of reach after a McKinnon injury. If McKinnon misses time, Wilson is a priority pickup. Otherwise, it seems McKinnon is leading this backfield until Mostert returns. Meanwhile, the Giants’ backfield was an even uglier split (Snaps: Dion Lewis 38%, Wayne Gallman 35%, Devonta Freeman 29%) behind an atrocious offensive line (the Giants’ line got beat up by mostly 49er backups). A lot of FAAB was spent on these two backfields, but those who spent big on a Giant are and will remain disappointed. Meanwhile, my weekly impression of McKinnon is that he looks dynamic.
Washington Football Team vs. Cleveland Browns
To me, Baker Mayfield looks like a below-average quarterback. In addition, the Kevin Stefanski system doesn’t call for much passing. Baker is a game manager. The result? Only Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are reliable fantasy options. Odell Beckham has and will remain frustrating on this team (only 6 targets). He will have ups and downs, and be annoying. I would try to move him.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Another week, another batch of injuries for the Eagles (is there something in the water?). They now have major injuries to their OL, TEs (Dallas Goedert), and WRs (Jeffery, Reagor, and now DeSean Jackson). Greg Ward Jr. is the last man standing, and his snaps reflected it (84%). He’s worth a pickup if he’s available.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. New England Patriots
Do not fall for the mirage of Sony Michel’s 9 carries for 117 yards. Sony is slow, and more importantly, Damien Harris and James White should return to the field soon. You will see some tweets about Sony averaging 8 yards after contact, but the “contact” I saw was nothing more than a little bump. I am not falling for this guy’s illusions anymore.
Chicago Bears vs. Atlanta Falcons
Chicago finally did what they should have done at the beginning of the season and benched Mitch Trubisky. Foles isn’t the best quarterback in the world, but he’s better than Trubs, which means that all Chicago pass-catchers get a bump in value.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Buffalo Bills
Devin Singletary played a ton in this game (89% snaps). The Bills were inside the 10-yard line five times, leading to four Buffalo touchdowns. Singletary got two carries inside the ten – both from the one-yard line during the first drive, and he was stuffed both times. In other words, Buffalo gave Singletary a chance to convert, he couldn’t, and they never trusted him again to punch it in, even though Buffalo’s other Green Zone trips ended at the Ram 3, 4, 3, and 1. Singletary is a rich man’s Myles Gaskin. Strong usage in a great offense, but isn’t outputting strong fantasy points. Worst of all, his leash for getting it done is very short around the goal line.
Houston Texans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Even in a game where Dionte Johnson left the game very early, JuJu Smith-Schuster still cannot lead the team in targets. Instead, both Eric Ebron and James Washington out-targeted JuJu (both receiving 7 targets to JuJu’s 5). Also, Chase Claypool out-snapped JuJu! JuJu continues to get it done by scoring touchdowns, but this has to be concerning. Remember, targets are a skill statistic, and I’ve never been terribly impressed with JuJu’s skill as a route runner.
Tennessee Titans vs. Minnesota Vikings
The story of this game is Justin Jefferson, who turned nine targets into 175 yards and a touchdown. This is no mirage – he was peppered with targets and was always wide open when they threw it to him. Most importantly, he finally got significant playing time (78% snaps) and appears to have finally passed Bisi Johnson on the depth chart, which is no surprise – Jefferson was a first-round pick. If the Vikings offense remains this concentrated (Theilen, Jefferson, Cook the only players with 5 or more targets), then Jefferson could be in for huge things. He’d be my number one waiver pickup this week.
Carolina Panthers vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert is no fool – he quickly found his safety blankets in Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler. Allen saw nineteen targets, and Ekeler had eleven. Herbert isn’t chucking it deep the way that Taylor was, which is great news for Allen in the middle and Ekeler for check-downs. Both Ekeler and Allen are top-12 options while Herbert remains QB, which is hopefully the rest of the season.
New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts
In a game Indianapolis dominated, Nyheim Hines oddly got seven carries, five targets, and 33% of the snaps (only 7% fewer than Jonathan Taylor received). This backfield is an enigma to me. Many guessed that game script would dictate Hines’ usage, yet Indy was in an even more positive game script in Week 3 than they were in week 2 when Hines barely played (Indy was never trailing on offense and only tied for one possession). Yet, Hines played more and got more opportunities in this sharply positive game script. I think you should continue to hold Hines, but you can’t play him until we see some consistency. Hopefully next week helps us untangle this mystery.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks
Chris Carson got hurt on what appeared to be a dirty play by the Cowboy’s defense. Carson’s injury occurred in the 4th quarter on Seattle’s last drive of the game, so we didn’t get to learn much in the game about who the preferred backup was. With the game winding down and Russ trying to win the game, it was Travis Homer on the field. Take that for what you will. My weekly impression is that Carson’s role will get split between Carlos Hyde (early downs back) and Travis Homer (3rd down and passing back). Neither is probably valuable as Seattle’s defense blows, and Russ has to cook to keep them in games.
Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Lions offense was healthy for the first time all season, and Kenny Golladay’s presence opened up a lot for other players. That bodes well for the entire offense. They still have some work to do in terms of Red Zone efficiency, but Golladay helps there too. Bonus weekly impression: a lot of fantasy analysts will tell you that Andy Isabella is a great waiver wire pick up, but I don’t see it. His opportunity only rose due to Christian Kirk’s injury, and the Lions defense is awful. This feels like fools gold, but he was a good athletic prospect. If you like him, don’t spend big FAAB.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Denver Broncos
Apparently, Ronald Jones got his job back, partially. He nearly doubled Fournette in carries and targets (13:7 caries, 4:2 targets). Playing time was closer to even though (51% to 37%). Nevertheless, it’s very surprising to see only 20 total carries in a game the Bucs won by 18.
Bonus Weekly Impression: only a few days after being called a “blocking tight end”, Gronk played 93% of the snaps and got seven targets. This is something to note, but Godwin did leave the game with a hamstring injury and Mike Evans still doesn’t look 100%. Maybe you can sell high to a tight end needy league mate who is dazzled by big names.
Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints
Lazard and MVS seemed to flip roles, as Lazard caught two very long passes. That bodes well moving forward when Adams returns from injury. If Lazard could become a deep threat sidekick to Adams, he could have serious value, albeit probably boom-bust value.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens
Check back tomorrow for weekly impressions from this game!