Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 3 (2022)

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 3 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Week 2 was jam-packed with wild comebacks and unexpected fantasy heroes. Some of these will be one-hit wonders while others are here to stay.

For those who are unfamiliar, each week we’ll be analyzing every game from the Sunday slate, helping you optimize your fantasy lineups and take down your opponent. Be sure to check back regularly for any updates on player injuries or other pertinent information.

I will be covering the entire Sunday slate of games plus the Monday Night Football games. There is also a separate article for the Thursday Night Football game each week, so be sure to read that as well. Hopefully, you had one or more of those fantasy heroes and came out ahead in Week 2, either way, let’s get a win this week. If you have any additional lineup questions, follow me on Twitter @JoshCon, and feel free to ask away. Let’s dive into the matchups.

Editor’s Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best NFL Series, MLB Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller!
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Matchups Analysis – 1:00 ET Games

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

Spread: Saints -3.0
Implied Total: Saints (22) vs. Panthers (19)
Pace: Saints (9th) vs. Panthers (3rd)
Saints Off. DVOA: -32.0% Pass (3oth), 23.7% Rush (5th)
Panthers Off. DVOA: -22.4% Pass (28th), 8.2% Rush (8th)
Saints Def. DVOA:
4.8% Pass (15th), -5.7% Rush (19th)
Panthers Def. DVOA: -3.2% Pass (12th), 0.0% Rush (24th)

Matchups We Love:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR)

Five targets is still not what we’ve seen previously for McCaffrey, thankfully his carries increased from 10 to 15, trending in the right direction. He has the third-highest PFF grade and should continue to become the focal point of the offense as a weekly must-start.

Saints WRs

The Saints have a talented trio of receivers who are sharing time on the field. Michael Thomas played 76% of offensive snaps, followed by Chris Olave at 75%, and then Jarvis Landry at 68%. The difference is the role and production. Olave saw 13 targets, which he turned into five receptions for 80 yards while Thomas turned his nine targets into six receptions for 65 yards and a score. Landry only saw five targets and averaged 6.3 yards per catch. Both Olave and Thomas can be started as top-30 options, with top-24 upside, especially for Olave if he continues to break out.

Matchups We Hate:

Baker Mayfield (QB, CAR)

Mayfield looks lost on the field and continues to elect to scramble for minimal yardage instead of dumping the ball off to McCaffrey. He’s off the radar again in this matchup.

Other Matchups:

Jameis Winston (QB, NO)

Winston struggled against the Buccaneers’ defense, which is to be expected. The Panthers have limited both quarterbacks and receivers for fantasy thus far but when you look at the personnel they’ve played it’s Jacoby Brissett and company in Week 1  and Daniel Jones and company last week. Winston is a streaming candidate in this matchup.

DJ Moore (WR, CAR)

Moore continues to see only six targets per game resulting in three receptions both weeks, although he tied for the team lead this week with Shi Smith. Fortunately, he found his way into the end zone but his usage is a bit concerning. He remains a top-24 option but is unlikely to crack the top 15 without a touchdown or increased volume.

Saints RBs

Alvin Kamara practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday and Thursday, which means he might play but that is certainly not a guarantee. If he suits up he’ll carry more risk given the injury as a top-24 option. If he’s out then Mark Ingram II would be next up and becomes a top-36 play.

Injuries:

Alvin Kamara (ribs)

 

Houston Texans at Chicago Bears

Spread: Texans -3.0
Implied Total: Texans (21.75) vs. Bears (18.75)
Pace: Texans (8th) vs. Bears (27th)
Texans Off. DVOA: 7.4% Pass (23rd), -18.0% Rush (25th)
Bears Off. DVOA: -50.0% Pass (32nd), 3.1% Rush (9th)
Texans Def. DVOA:
-2.9% Pass (13th), 7.0% Rush (25th)
Bears Def. DVOA: 8.0% Pass (17th), 19.3% Rush (27th)

Matchups We Love:

Brandin Cooks (WR, HOU)

Through two games Cooks has a 29.1% target share, resulting in 11 catches for 136 yards. The Bears faced Trey Lance in the bad weather game and the Packers last week, who did their damage with their backfield, so their passing defense may actually be worse than their DOVA reflects. Cooks remains the best weapon in the offense and a strong top-24 option.

Matchups We Hate:

Justin Fields (QB, CHI)

The Bear’s passing attack is abysmal, mostly hindered by a lack of trying. They’ve averaged 14 pass attempts per game, 12 fewer than the 31st-ranked 49ers. Fields athleticism, big arm, and unlocked potential will remain a moot point for fantasy until the Bears decide to pass more.

Bears Pass-Catchers

Cole Kmet and Darnell Mooney are unplayable as a result of their passing attack. Mooney boasts an 18% target share, which on any other team would be meaningful, however for the Bears that equates to five targets. Both need to remain out of your lineup with Mooney a possible stash and Kmet a cut candidate.

Davis Mills (QB, HOU)

Mills has yet to take the second-year leap some thought he might after a promising finish to his rookie season. The offense lacks sufficient weapons beyond Cooks and isn’t able to generate enough yards or scoring opportunities to make Mills a streaming candidate, keep him on the bench.

Other Matchups:

Texans RBs

After taking a backseat in Week 1, Dameon Pierce was clearly the lead back in Week 2. He out-snapped Rex Burkhead 39-to-23, out-carried him 15-to-zero, and only had two fewer targets. Unfortunately, because of the matchup and inability to move the ball, he only produced 77 scrimmage yards with one reception. Chicago is an easier matchup than Denver so he’ll be a top-36 volume-based play with a lower ceiling.

Bears RBs

David Montgomery had a nice game a game against the Packers but his final numbers are a bit deceiving. He entered the fourth quarter with 75 yards from scrimmage. The Packers were ahead by two scores and went into more of a prevent defense to close out the game, at which point the Bears continuously fed Montgomery to the tune of six touches for 61 yards. Houston is a beatable defense on the ground so he’s a top-24 play with limited upside.

Injuries:

Brevin Jordan (ankle)

Velus Jones Jr. (hamstring)

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts

Spread: Chiefs -5.5
Implied Total: Chiefs (28) vs. Colts (22.5)
Pace: Chiefs (24th) vs. Colts (5th)
Chiefs Off. DVOA: 56.6% Pass (3rd), -15.6% Rush (21st)
Colts Off. DVOA: -34.3% Pass (31st), -17.6% Rush (24th)
Chiefs Def. DVOA:
12.6% Pass (22nd), -24.2% Rush (6th)
Colts Def. DVOA: 41.6% Pass (29th), -34.7% Rush (2nd)

Matchups We Love:

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

Mahomes had a mediocre fantasy day against the Chargers finishing as the QB13. Fortunately, the Colts’ secondary is a much easier matchup that he’ll be able to exploit. I still wouldn’t anticipate a top-five finish because his receiving corps outside of Travis Kelce remains unproven but he’s a must-start.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Kelce played the most snaps of any receiving option but was frequently the focus of the Chargers’ defensive unit, resulting in a TE15 finish. While the Colts may deploy the same strategy, they lack sufficient personnel to have the same success so Kelce is in line for a better day and should return to the top 10 this week.

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR, IND)

Pittman Jr. missed their Week 2 contest after a huge performance in Week 1. He’s participated in practice Wednesday and Thursday, indicating he has a shot to suit up. The Colts desperately need him back and will immediately resume feeding him the ball once he’s active, making him a top-15 receiver in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Matt Ryan (QB, IND)

Ryan looks to be fading before our eyes and a matchup with the Kansas City defense is not the solution. He’s a player to bench.

Other Matchups:

Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND)

The Colts’ offense continues to look worse each week including getting shut out against the Jaguars in Week 2. Obviously, this means no touchdowns for Taylor and unfortunately meant he was less involved because he is not viewed by the team as an elite pass-catching back. This will again be a difficult matchup so he may finish in the RB10 to RB15 range instead of the top-five where he usually ends up.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB, KC)

Edwards-Helaire has been a surprise in the receiving game, catching seven passes for 76 yards over the first two weeks. His playing time in Week 2 is less encouraging, he was in on only 44% of offensive snaps behind Jerick McKinnon at 47%, but if he is he maintains this level of receiving work he’s very valuable in this heavy passing attack. The Colts have been beaten through the air so their rushing defense is ranked higher but Edwards-Helaire remains a top-24 option given his target share.

Chiefs WRs

The receiving corps as a whole had a poor performance against the Chargers. The problem for fantasy is the ball is being distributed among so many options, reducing the value of any one particular option. Through two games not one of these receivers ranks inside the top-50 in targets, with the current totals as Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster at 11, and Mecole Hardman right with them at 10. Each of them has a chance to crack the top 36 this week but selecting the correct option is a challenge.

Injuries:

Alec Pierce (concussion)

Michael Pittman Jr. (quadriceps)

UPDATE: Alec Pierce and Michael Pittman Jr. will both be active for Sunday’s game. Pittman Jr. is a top-15 option while Pierce is off-the-radar this week.

 

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins

Spread: Bills -5.5
Implied Total: Bills (29) vs. Dolphins (23.5)
Pace: Bills (25th) vs. Dolphins (32nd)
Bills Off. DVOA: 63.7% Pass (2nd), -36.0% Rush (30th)
Dolphins Off. DVOA: 50.7% Pass (4th), -0.9% Rush (12th)
Bills Def. DVOA:
-62.2% Pass (2nd), -32.1% Rush (3rd)
Dolphins Def. DVOA: 48.2% Pass (31st), -22.7% Rush (7th)

Matchups We Love:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

Allen followed up his awesome Week 1 outing with another fantastic game despite Gabe Davis being inactive, throwing for 317 yards and four touchdowns. He’s tied for the league lead in passing touchdowns and faces the Miami defense that gave up 38 points to the Ravens last week, he’s a top-five play again.

Bills WRs

The outside wide receivers are thriving in this offense. Stefon Diggs was one of the few wideouts to back up his Week 1 performance with an even better day, and with Davis out, it was Jake Kumerow who emerged instead of Jamison Crowder or Isaiah McKenzie. Diggs remains an elite start while Kumerow could be a flex play if Davis is out again. So long as Crowder and McKenize are sharing the slot role, neither is a great option.

Matchups We Hate:

Dolphins RBs

The split shifted from Chase Edmonds dominating the backfield with 16 touches (carries + receptions) versus six for Raheem Mostert in Week 1, to Mostert having 14 compared to only six for Edmonds in Week 2. Knowing that head coach Mike McDaniel comes from the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree this could be game plan dependent or a permanent change. In either case, neither is someone to play in this matchup.

Bills RBs

Buffalo has spent 11 minutes in a neutral game script and 109 minutes in a positive game script yet the running backs have 144 yards collectively. They’ve also generated zero touchdowns because Allen has the ability to rush it in himself and they prefer to pass in the red zone. Singletary remains the lead back but his value is depressed to the point he’s nearly unstartable.

Other Matchups:

Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA)

In the most impressive game of his young career, Tagovailoa made a statement on Sunday. The Buffalo defense has been a nightmare for quarterbacks so typically Tagovailoa would find himself in the matchups we hate, however, the Bills cornerback Dane Jackson and safety Micah Hyde are on the injury report, missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday. This moves him from a player that would be suited for your bench to a top-15 option given the weapons and what we saw against the Ravens.

Dolphins WRs

As referenced above, there is some key personnel in question for this game that make Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill very enticing options, especially considering they accounted for 22 of his 36 competitions (61%). The pass rush is still elite, which could limit the time required for downfield throws and huge splash plays but they remain top-24 options because of the injuries and concentration of volume.

Dawson Knox (TE, BUF)

Knox had a better game with Davis out, receiving six targets that he turned into four receptions for 41 yards. The game should remain competitive for longer so Knox is a streaming candidate, particularly if Davis misses.

Injuries:

Gabe Davis (ankle)

Dawson Knox (foot)

UPDATE: Gabe Davis and Dawson Knox both got in a limited practice on Friday, adding optimism they’ll be active on Sunday.

 

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

Spread: Vikings -6.0
Implied Total: Lions (23.5) vs. Vikings (29.5)
Pace: Lions (6th) vs. Vikings (10th)
Lions Off. DVOA: 18.5% Pass (13th), 34.2% Rush (2nd)
Vikings Off. DVOA: -7.6% Pass (24th), 20.9% Rush (6th)
Lions Def. DVOA:
8.2% Pass (19th), -0.7% Rush (23rd)
Vikings Def. DVOA: 14.1% Pass (23rd), 31.1% Rush (32nd)

Matchups We Love:

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

The entire Vikings offense was disappointing on Monday night including Cook. With the game out of hand early they were forced to air it out and play catchup. Fortunately, this resulted in six targets for Cook leading to four catches for 19 yards. Detroit is a much easier matchup and Minnesota is a heavy favorite, setting up a nice bounce-back game for Cook.

D’Andre Swift (RB, DET)

Swift only played on 51% of offensive snaps because of his ankle yet he still managed 87 scrimmage yards and a receiving touchdown. He is game script proof because of his receiving role and the Vikings defense is dead-last in rush DVOA, making him a must-start again in this matchup.

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

This game has one of the highest over/under’s of the week, which typically takes the fringe top-12 quarterbacks and pushes them into that range. Cousins struggled against the Eagles but the Lions have allowed the third-most points to fantasy quarterbacks, making him a top-12 play this week.

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)

He kept the streak of eight-plus reception games alive with an outrageous performance both in the receiving game with nine receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns and in the rushing game with a 58-yard carry. He’s the WR7 on the year and has earned weekly top-12 status, especially in this matchup. He’s a must-start.

Vikings WRs

Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen were both letdowns as well, although Thielen was more involved this week with seven targets. Jefferson remains a must-start and Thielen slots back in as a top-30 option.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET)

It was mostly a repeat of last week with another seven targets, unfortunately, the production was lower this week catching only three of those for 26 yards. He’s receiving the seventh-highest target share among all tight ends with 19.2% so it’s really difficult to bench him. Outside of the top six to eight tight ends, it’s impossible to find this level of reliable volume and production so he’s a start for most fantasy managers.

Jared Goff (QB, DET)

Tossing the ball for 256 yards and four touchdowns is very impressive. Goff has a history of supporting talented wide receivers from his time in Los Angeles while finishing as a top-15 quarterback himself. This appears to be the case in Detroit this year. Much like Cousins, he is a streaming candidate who benefits from the over/under and Minnesota pass defense.

Injuries:

None

 

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

Spread: Ravens -2.5
Implied Total: Ravens (23.5) vs. Patriots (21)
Pace: Ravens (19th) vs. Patriots (26th)
Ravens Off. DVOA: 103.8% Pass (1st), -43.5% Rush (32nd)
Patriots Off. DVOA: 12.0% Pass (16th), 20.9% Rush (7th)
Ravens Def. DVOA:
16.9% Pass (25th), -8.2% Rush (14th)
Patriots Def. DVOA: -4.6% Pass (11th), -6.3% Rush (17th)

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

Jackson exploded for 318 yards and three touchdowns through the air, adding 119 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He finished behind only Aaron Jones and David Montgomery in total rushing yards. As one of the only quarterbacks who has the ability to produce these numbers, he’s a top-five weekly option.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

After a slow start, Andrews found his form this week, finishing as the TE1. Andrews and Kelce along with maybe another name or two will rotate leading the position each week, making him a must-start tight end.

Matchups We Hate:

Ravens RBs

Another week of subpar play from the backfield despite the Ravens scoring 38 points and leading by 21 at the half. Like a broken record the recommendation remains the same, no one in this backfield is startable until J.K. Dobbins is back at full health.

Patriots WRs

This week featured more success for the receiving corps led by Nelson Agholor’s six grabs for 110 yards and one touchdown, followed by Jakobi Meyers’s consistent volume that resulted in nine catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. Agholor is their big-play receiver and Meyers is their reliable short-yardage option, which makes both intriguing but the Ravens are expected to get as many as three members of their injured secondary back for this game, limiting the excitement. Meyers is a flex option, especially in full-PPR formats with Agholor as more of a boom-bust type flex option.

Mac Jones (QB, NE)

Jones supported the statistical output referenced above but only finished with 252 yards and one touchdown himself. He remains a player to bench again in this matchup.

Other Matchups:

Patriots RBs

Rhamondre Stevenson played ahead of Damien Harris with both on the field at the same time as well. Stevenson played 62% of offensive snaps compared to 40% for Harris but it did not correlate to their touches. Harris out-carried Stevenson 15-9 and they both received two targets. The good news is that Pierre Strong played only three offensive snaps so this now appears to be a two-back committee. Harris also has maintained the goal-line role, making him more valuable. He’s a top-30 option with Stevenson more of a flex play.

Rashod Bateman (WR, BAL)

Bateman took a short pass to the house for a 75-yard touchdown in an otherwise unproductive outing. He caught three additional passes for 33 yards. He’s currently third in yards per route run, demonstrating this is something he has the ability to do at any time but he will struggle with volume in this offense. He’s a top-30 option with a top-20 upside.

Injuries:

Gus Edwards (knee)

Ty Montgomery (ankle)

J.K. Dobbins (knee)

Jakobi Meyers (knee)

UPDATE: Jaokbi Meyers returned to practice Friday, signaling he should play on Sunday.

 

Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets

Spread: Bengals -6.0
Implied Total: Bengals (25.5) vs. Jets (19.5)
Pace: Bengals (13th) vs. Jets (1st)
Bengals Off. DVOA: -26.6% Pass (29th), -35.0% Rush (29th)
Jets Off. DVOA: 13.9% Pass (15th), -10.2% Rush (18th)
Bengals Def. DVOA:
2.0% Pass (14th), -18.0% Rush (10th)
Jets Def. DVOA: 55.4% Pass (32nd), -1.8% Rush (21st)

Matchups We Love:

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

Mixon was one of the lone bright spots on the day totaling 83 yards from scrimmage and four targets. He remains involved as a pass-catcher and accounted for all by one running back carry. He’s a true workhorse back in a talented offense that plays the Jets. He’s a must-start in this matchup.

Bengals WRs

Tee Higgins was able to recover from his concussion and enter the game healthy. He led the receiving corps in targets receptions and yards on his way to a WR16 finish. He and Ja’Marr Chase are likely to rotate big games until their offensive line can hold up against defenses. That said, both receivers are top-15 options in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Jets RBs

Michael Carter dominated the snap count 43-19 over Breece Hall but it was Hall who had the better day. They each carried the ball seven times with Hall averaging more than double the yards per carry of Carter, and although Carter also had five targets compared to one for Hall, he was able to take that lone target to the end zone on a 10-yard reception. Until Hall is the primary back, both remain hard to trust, especially against the Bengals’ run defense. Both are flex options but Hall has more upside.

Joe Flacco (QB, NYJ)

Kudos to Flacco, who turned back the clock and led an impressive comeback win against Cleveland. Unfortunately, this figures to be an outlier performance. The passing attempts will be there again but it’s unlikely the production follows, making him a player to bench.

Other Matchups:

Jets WRs

Garrett Wilson had a breakout performance to the tune of eight receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He still played fewer snaps than Elijah Moore and Corey Davis but has the thirteen-highest PPF grade among receivers, illustrating why he was drafted so early. Cincinnati has an average passing defense that has faced backup-caliber quarterbacks thus far. You can expect one of these three to have another productive outing with Wilson as the best bet. He’s a top-36 option.

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

Burrow took six sacks again last week, constantly facing pressure against the Cowboys pass rush. His production also dropped to 199 passing yards and only one touchdown. The Jets are a much better matchup but he remains tough to trust after two disappointing weeks. He’s outside the top-12 but ahead of many of the quarterbacks recommended to bench.

Injuries:

Zach Wilson (knee)

Corey Davis (knee)

UPDATE: Corey Davis had another limited practice on Friday, likely indicating he’ll play on Sunday.

 

Las Vegas Raiders at Tennessee Titans

Spread: Raiders -2.0
Implied Total: Raiders (23.75) vs. Titans (21.75)
Pace: Raiders (15th) vs. Titans (30th)
Raiders Off. DVOA: -11.2% Pass (26th), -16.3% Rush (22nd)
Titans Off. DVOA: 10.7% Pass (17th), -36.6% Rush (31st)
Raiders Def. DVOA:
7.0% Pass (16th), -8.0% Rush (16th)
Titans Def. DVOA: 23.7% Pass (26th), 10.1% Rush (26th)

Matchups We Love:

Davante Adams (WR, LV)

Adams caught the first touchdown of the game and then completely disappeared, catching only one more pass the rest of the game. This is very disappointing for fantasy managers but the seven targets are still a lot. This was likely a one-off performance, especially now that Hunter Renfrow is expected to miss the game, so you can expect Derek Carr to get Adams more involved moving forward. He’s a must-start again in this matchup.

Derek Carr (QB, LV)

The Raiders fell apart in the second half last week and overtime, totaling only 31 passing yards. Carr was capitalizing on the juicy matchup in the first half, which is what you can expect against the Titans’ poor defense that has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. He’s a top-12 play.

Darren Waller (TE, LV)

Waller also found the end zone on his way to a TE2 finish. He has the fourth-most yards per route run at the position and the fifth-highest PPF grade among tight ends. He’s a must-start weekly tight end.

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Henry could get absolutely nothing going against Buffalo, salvaging his day with a first-quarter touchdown. Luckily, he finds himself in a much easier matchup against the Raiders this week. The Titans’ offense is second to last in offensive rush DVOA but Henry has far too much upside to fade in this matchup. He’s a top-12 back.

Matchups We Hate:

Titans WRs

Treylon Burks is already establishing himself as the best receiver in this offense. With the fifth-most yards per route run and the sixth-highest PFF grade among receivers, his breakout is inevitable. Unfortunately, Ryan Tannehill has yet to prove he can facilitate his breakout and Burks only played on 45% of snaps, so he’s an upside flex option in this matchup.

Ryan Tannehill (QB, TEN)

Tannehill will definitely have a better game this week against Las Vegas but he’s not yet viable for fantasy. He’s a player to bench while we wait to see how this offense evolves.

Other Matchups:

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

Jacobs played on 72% of offensive snaps and accounted for all but one running back carry. He totaled 81 yards from scrimmage but remains uninvolved in the passing game with only two targets on the year. The Tennessee defense is beatable on the ground and through the air so the matchup makes him a volume-based top-30 option with top-20 upside if he finds the end zone.

Injuries:

Hunter Renfrow (concussion)

Dontrell Hilliard (hamstring)

UPDATE: Hunter Renfrow is out. This boosts the value of Waller and Adams while lowering Carr a spot or two.

UPDATE: Josh Jacobs did not travel with the team and is now questionable to play Sunday. His absence would create opportunities for Zamir White and Ameer Abdullah, both would be flex options.

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Commanders

Spread: Eagles -6.5
Implied Total: Eagles (27) vs. Commanders (20.5)
Pace: Eagles (18th) vs. Commanders (12th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 40.6% Pass (6th), 33.7% Rush (3rd)
Commanders Off. DVOA: 18.2% Pass (14th), -29.9% Rush (27th)
Eagles Def. DVOA:
-26.7% Pass (4th), 23.1% Rush (29th)
Commanders Def. DVOA: 11.1% Pass (20th), 26.2% Rush (31st)

Matchups We Love:

Jalen Hurts (QB, PHI)

Hurts continues to deliver, with the fourth-highest fantasy points over expectation and a top-five finish. He scored twice on the ground proving the value of his dual-threat ability. He’s a top-five weekly option.

Eagles WRs

A.J. Brown came back down to earth with a modest five catches for 69 yards on eight targets. This correlated with DeVonta Smith resurfacing for fantasy, hauling in all seven of his targets for 80 yards. He also played on more snaps than Brown. Brown has the third-highest PFF grade and seventh-most yards per route run. Brown is a top-12 player while Smith is inside the top-36 with top-24 upside.

Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI)

Goedert was explosive, catching five passes for 82 yards on six targets. He remains a focal point in the offense with a 16.7% target share. He’ll be a top-10 tight end with top-five upside.

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

Sanders is finally being treated as a workhorse back, accounting for 17 of the 21 running back carries (81%) and three of the six (50%) running back targets. The touchdowns will vary from week to week but his role in this offense behind their elite O-line makes him a top-24 back with top-15 upside if he scores.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Carson Wentz (QB, WAS)

Wentz seems to be putting it all together in Washington producing prolific numbers including a league-tying seven passing touchdowns, and 650 passing yards, the second-most over the first two weeks. He’s utilizing his array of weapons and the defense is placing the team in negative game scripts that force them to throw the ball. The Eagles’ pass defense has been strong through two games but Wentz remains a strong streaming option in this matchup.

Commanders WRs

Another week of this trio producing for fantasy. Terry McLaurin had four receptions for 75 yards, while both Jahan Dotson (four for 59) and Curtis Samuel (seven for 78) found pay dirt. As long as Wentz continues the tear he’s been on all three receivers are top-36 players with top-24 upside.

Commanders RBs

Antonio Gibson ceded targets to J.D. McKissic this week and was fortunate to come through with a rushing touchdown. He’s still the lead back for this offense but this removes some of his ceiling.  The Eagles have been more susceptible on the ground but if McKissic is back in his usual receiving role and the Commanders fall behind, it’s hard to have full confidence in either back. Gibson is still inside the top-36 with McKissic as a flex option.

Injuries:

Brian Robinson (leg)

 

Matchups Analysis – 4:00 ET Games

Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers

Spread: Chargers -7.0
Implied Total: Jaguars (20) vs. Chargers (27)
Pace: Jaguars (21st) vs. Chargers (14th)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 43.6% Pass (5th), -3.8% Rush (15th)
Chargers Off. DVOA: 38.8% Pass (7th), -23.8% Rush (26th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA:
-29.9% Pass (3rd), -31.9% Rush (4th)
Chargers Def. DVOA: -16.7% Pass (8th), 8.9% Rush (13th)

Matchups We Love:

Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)

The Chargers seem to have finally found a combination of backups they feel comfortable playing behind Ekeler. He dropped to 63% of the offensive snaps and was not having a great day until the final quarter when they went into their two-minute offense and hyper-targeted him. He remains a top-12 back but sharing the backfield and goal-line work moves him outside the top five.

Mike Williams (WR, LAC)

Williams without Keenan Allen has been a recipe for blowup games, which is exactly what happened on Thursday. He constantly made contested catches, totaling eight of them for 113 yards and a touchdown. He’s a top-15 option if Allen misses and a top-24 option if he plays.

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

Heart of a champion is the way to describe his gutty performance on Thursday. Herbert was in severe pain and still managed to lead a scoring drive. Despite his injury and a costly pick-six, he still finished as the QB8 and has to be in your lineup if he plays.

Matchups We Hate:

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAX)

Lawrence has definitely taken a step forward on the NFL field and it is starting to translate for fantasy. He finished as the QB11 against the soft Colts defense but now takes on the Chargers who limited Patrick Mahomes on Thursday and caused problems for Derek Carr in Week 1. Lawrence is a fade in this matchup.

Other Matchups:

Christian Kirk (WR, JAX)

Kirk had a monster performance, hauling in both of Lawrence’s touchdown passes to accompany his six receptions and 78 yards. Despite the difficult matchup, Kirk is a top-24 player with top-15 upside if he scores again.

Jaguars RBs

James Robinson handled a larger workload on Sunday, finishing with 23 carries and two receptions compared to nine and three for Travis Etienne. Robinson has the 11th-most broken tackles and twelfth-most missed tackles forced, demonstrating his effectiveness as a rusher. The Chargers much like last year are easier to attack on the ground, which favors Robinson, making him a top-30 option.

Gerald Everett (TE, LAC)

Everett has been a top-six tight end in back-to-back weeks to open the season. He’s benefited from Allen’s absence and will be in the top-10 if he’s out again, remaining a top-12 option even if he plays.

Injuries:

Keenan Allen (hamstring)

Justin Herbert (ribs)

UPDATE: Justin Herbert and Keenan All are both questionable to play on Sunday. It is hard to know whether they’ll suit up so having a pivot option for each of them is a wise strategy.

 

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals

Spread: Rams -3.5
Implied Total: Rams (26) vs. Cardinals (22.5)
Pace: Rams (11th) vs. Cardinals (7th)
Rams Off. DVOA: -6.7% Pass (21st), -5.7% Rush (16th)
Cardinals Off. DVOA: -8.2% Pass (25th), -1.9% Rush (14th)
Rams Def. DVOA:
34.9% Pass (27th), -38.9% Rush (1st)
Cardinals Def. DVOA: 40.7% Pass (28th), -13.3% Rush (11th)

Matchups We Love:

Matthew Stafford (QB, LAR)

Stafford looked much better facing the Atlanta defense in Week 2. Luckily he’s facing another passing defense that has been easy to attack. The Cardinals have been the second-best matchup for fantasy quarterbacks, setting Stafford up as a top-10 quarterback in this matchup.

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

Murray is a rollercoaster for fantasy, leaving you worried for three quarters before finding a way to come through in the fourth quarter. He’s been inside the top nine both weeks and projects to land there again, largely thanks to his athleticism and rushing ability.

Rams WRs

Cooper Kupp received a league-leading 20 targets this week and now possesses a 38.7% target share through two weeks, the highest among all players. Allen Robinson II allowed many fantasy managers to take a deep breath after finding the end zone. Additionally, he had a second touchdown called back because of a strange whistle from the independent medical spotter. Nonetheless, he seems to have found a role, making him in play as a top-30 receiver with top-24 upside.

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

Higbee is commanding a 26.7% target share of his own behind only Mark Andrews. He’s a top-10 tight end on the season and will rank there again in this matchup.

Zach Ertz (TE, ARI)

Not to be outdone, Ertz had 11 targets of his own in Week 2 that he turned into eight receptions for 75 yards. Now at full health as one of the top-two targets in this offense, Ertz is a top-12 option against the Los Angeles passing defense.

Marquise Brown (WR, ARI)

Brown is the other top target referenced above and also received 11 targets. He did not find the end zone but managed six grabs for 68 yards. Much like Ertz, Brown should benefit from the matchup as a top-24 option.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Rams RBs

Cam Akers returned from his unanticipated hiatus in Week 1 to join Darrell Henderson Jr. in the backfield. Henderson Jr. had more offensive snaps 35-27 but was out-touched by Akers 17-10. This has the feel of a timeshare until Akers can overtake Henderson Jr., which may happen this week. The matchup is middle of the pack so both are in play as top-36 backs with Akers as the preferred player.

Cardinals RBs

James Conner suffered an ankle injury that ended his day early. He was again the clear lead back and figures to return to that role if he is able to suit up on Sunday. The Rams are the most difficult matchup according to their Rush DVOA so he’ll need to do his damage in the receiving game or by scoring. He’s a top-24 option with additional risk coming off the injury. If he misses then Eno Benjamin and Darrel Williams would split the role, limiting the fantasy value either would have.

Injuries:

James Conner (ankle)

Van Jefferson (knee)

Rondale Moore (hamstring)

UPDATE: James Conner will be a game-time decision. This means fantasy managers need to have a pivot option ready and may need to play that option in the 1pm games if we don’t know his status before kickoff.

UPDATE: Van Jefferson is out, meaning the Robinson and Kupp show will continue.

UPDATE: Rondale Moore is out, confirming Browns and Ertz will lead the way again as described above.

 

Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks

Spread: Pick em
Implied Total: Falcons (21) vs. Seahawks (21)
Pace: Falcons (17th) vs. Seahawks (28th)
Falcons Off. DVOA: 24.9% Pass (11th), -1.5% Rush (13th)
Seahawks Off. DVOA: 6.3% Pass (18th), -32.4% Rush (28th)
Falcons Def. DVOA:
8.0% Pass (18th), 22.5% Rush (28th)
Seahawks Def. DVOA: 47.2% Pass (30th), -19.5% Rush (9th)

Matchups We Love:

Drake London (WR, ATL)

London has five or more receptions and 70-plus receiving yards in each of his first two NFL career games. He has a 33.3% target share and is well on his way to leading all rookie receivers in 2022. The Seahawks are a great matchup, making London a top-24 player with top-20 upside.

Matchups We Hate:

Seahawks RBs

Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker III are now sharing the limited amount of carries this offense generates. Walker III had three targets but neither is a player to force into your lineup, despite the positive matchup.

Falcons RBs

Tyler Allgeier was active for Week 2 and immediately stole 10 carries from Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson had the only target but this will be a split backfield moving forward, reducing the excitement for either player. Patterson would be preferable because of his receiving skills but even he’s a risky flex option.

Both QBs

Marcus Mariota did not run the ball as often as he did in Week 1, which was mainly what made him an interesting quarterback for fantasy. He has a nice matchup here against Seattle but neither he nor Geno Smith are top-15 options this week.

Other Matchups:

Kyle Pitts (TE, ATL)

Pitts had another dud game and is being utilized poorly by the coaching staff. London is establishing himself as the primary option, which could take the focus of the defense off of Pitts. It’s hard to pivot away from Pitts because of his elite ceiling but he’s no longer locked in as a top-five weekly play, at least until something changes regarding his role.

Seahawks WRs

This week it was Tyler Lockett as the better receiver, finishing with nine catches for 107 yards. This left DK Metcalf with only six targets that he turned into four receptions for 35 yards. This is the ceiling for Lockett and it came at the expense of Metcalf, making it really hard to trust either receiver. Both have flex appeal given the matchup but also have a very low floor.

Injuries:

Damien Williams (ribs)

 

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Spread: Buccaneers -1.0
Implied Total: Packers (20.5) vs. Buccaneers (21.5)
Pace: Packers (31st) vs. Buccaneers (16th)
Packers Off. DVOA: 25.7% Pass (10th), 30.2% Rush (4th)
Buccaneers Off. DVOA: -4.5% Pass (20th), -17.1% Rush (23rd)
Packers Def. DVOA:
-4.7% Pass (10th), 24.1% Rush (30th)
Buccaneers Def. DVOA: -62.3% Pass (1st), -8.2% Rush (15th)

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

Rodgers enjoyed his outing against the Bears as he always does, however, the joy will be short-lived as he now travels to Tampa Bay to face an extremely difficult passing defense. Furthermore, his numbers were bolstered by a touch pass to Aaron Jones that he took the house. Add in that four of his receivers are dealing with injuries and he’s a bench in this matchup.

Tom Brady (QB, TB)

Much like Rodgers, Brady faces a difficult Packers passing defense and is expected to be short-handed on receivers as well. Mike Evans is suspended, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones both missed practice on Thursday, leaving Russell Gage, Breshad Perriman, and newly signed Cole Beasley as his primary weapons. He’s a player to leave out of your lineup.

Packers WRs

Allen Lazard caught a touchdown in his season debut but was otherwise limited to one catch. The Buccaneers have the best pass defense DVOA in the league, making all these receivers players to avoid. Additionally, four of them are currently dealing with injuries.

Buccaneers WRs

Whoever suits up for this one will have to rely on volume to survive because this offense is likely to struggle to move the ball again. None of Gage, Perriman, or Beasley have much upside.

Other Matchups:

Packers RBs

Jones comforted his fantasy managers with an impressive game against the Bears. He was the RB2 with 15 carries for 132 yards and a score on the ground plus another three catches for 38 yards and a score through the air. AJ Dillon still received 18 carries of his own and one reception but certainly disappointed compared to Week 1. These two will be the entire offense with so many receivers injured. They were also quoted by Rodgers earlier this week as needing to receive 15-plus touches each. Both backs are top-24 options in this matchup, mostly based on volume.

Robert Tonyan (TE, GB)

Tonyan still only played 40% of their offensive snaps, which was not enough to produce this week. What keeps him in consideration is the multitude of injuries to the receiving corps along with the hope he plays more snaps. He’s a streaming candidate with touchdown upside.

Leonard Fournette (RB, TB)

Fournette was inefficient and ineffective with his touches because the passing attack was inept. This figures to be the situation again in this matchup although the Packers’ defense is worse against the run and he’ll see a target bump with multiple receivers out. He’s a top-24 option with a lower ceiling.

Injuries:

Chris Godwin (hamstring)

Julio Jones (knee)

Randall Cobb (illness)

Allen Lazard (ankle)

Sammy Watkins (hamstring)

Christian Watson (hamstring)

UPDATE: Allen Lazard will play while Sammy Watkins is out and both Christian Watson and Randall Cobb are questionable. Lazard is a risky player that is still best avoided.

UPDATE: Chirs Godwin has been ruled out as expected. Julio Jones is questionable to play, meaning he or Gage will lead this depleted receiving corps.

 

San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos

Spread: 49ers -2.0
Implied Total: 49ers (23.25) vs. Broncos (21.25)
Pace: 49ers (29th) vs. Broncos (20th)
49ers Off. DVOA: 19.0% Pass (12th), -10.8% Rush (19th)
Broncos Off. DVOA: 26.7% Pass (9th), -7.2% Rush (17th)
49ers Def. DVOA:
-17.2% Pass (7th), -28.3% Rush (5th)
Broncos Def. DVOA: -21.3% Pass (6th), -20.9% Rush (8th)

Matchups We Love:

Courtland Sutton (WR, DEN)

After Jerry Jeudy left with an injury, Sutton saw his target share spike, resulting in seven grabs for 122 yards. All indications are that he will be the primary target again this week as a target hog. This is the only reason he finds himself as a matchup we love and a top-20 option.

Matchups We Hate:

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, SF)

Sadly Trey Lance broke his ankle ending his 2022 campaign, which leaves Garoppolo as the starter. He is a competent quarterback who can support the fantasy-relevant options in this offense but rarely cracks the top-15 himself. He’s off-the-radar against a strong Denver passing defense.

Russell Wilson (QB, DEN)

Wilson followed up his Week 1 struggles with a real letdown in Week 2, finishing with 219 yards and one touchdown. The two defenses he’s faced so far were easier than the 49ers so now is not the time to be bold and hope for a big game, especially with Jeudy expected to be out.

Other Matchups:

Broncos RBs

Javonte Williams was monopolizing touches for the majority of the game until the fourth quarter hit and Melvin Gordon got involved. He still finished ahead of Gordon but the final touches were much closer this week. This is a difficult matchup but because the offense is void of passing options, outside of Sutton, the backfield could see more work. Williams is a top-24 option and Gordon is a flex play.

49ers WRs

Deebo Samuel continues to thrive because he operates as both a receiver and running back but has lacked the massive output he had last year. Brandon Aiyuk benefits from the return of Garoppolo with increased passing volume and targets available. The matchup is quite difficult so their upside is reduced but Samuel is a top-20 receiver with Aiyuk as a flex option.

Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB, SF)

Wilson Jr. received sufficient volume to make him a decent fantasy option and although he did not find the end zone, he still finished as the RB14, which is impressive. Denver has limited running backs to the second-fewest fantasy points over the first two weeks so Wilson Jr. will be a riskier top-30 back.

Injuries:

Jerry Jeudy (chest)

Elijah Mitchell (knee)

Tyrion Davis-Price (ankle)

George Kittle (groin)

K.J. Hamler (knee, hip)

UPDATE: George Kittle has been removed from the injury report and will play. He’s a top-10 tight end. This lowers the excitement for Aiyuk and adds another weapon for Garoppolo.

UPDATE: Jerry Jeudy practiced for the first time on Friday and is questionable to play Sunday. He’ll be a top-30 receiver if he’s active and would drop Sutton to a similar range with a little more upside.

 

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

Spread: Giants -1.0
Implied Total: Cowboys (19) vs. Giants (20)
Pace: Cowboys (4th) vs. Giants (22nd)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: -14.5% Pass (27th), 0.7% Rush (10th)
Giants Off. DVOA: -3.5% Pass (19th), -0.2% Rush (11th)
Cowboys Def. DVOA:
-22.3% Pass (5th), -10.8% Rush (12th)
Giants Def. DVOA: 12.3% Pass (21st), -1.5% Rush (22nd)

Matchups We Love:

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

Lamb was able to find value with Cooper Rush at the helm, turning 11 targets into seven catches for 75 yards. He’s lost a lot of his ceiling without Dak Prescott but remains a strong top-20 option in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Giants WRs

How the Giants are undefeated remains a mystery but it is not because of a strong performance from their receiving corps. Richie James continues to lead the team in all categories, which is not an endorsement of the fantasy value of these receivers. None of these players are startable.

Both QBs

Neither Rush nor Daniel Jones has proven they can be fantasy starters. The matchup favors Rush, which is not ideal for fantasy. Both players need to be on the bench.

Other Matchups:

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

Barkley’s utilization remained elite in Week 2 but his production took a hit, finishing with 21 carries for 72 yards and three receptions for 16 yards. Dallas has a strong defense that will make it difficult on Barkley, dropping him outside the top-10 as more of a top-15 option.

Cowboys RBs

Tony Pollard is certainly the more explosive back, turning his 13 touches into 98 yards and a rushing touchdown. He’s talented and would be a great back if he received more work but Ezekiel Elliott remains the lead back, capping the ceiling of both. The Giants’ defense is one they should fare well against, making each a flex play with touchdown upside and Pollard the preferred option.

Injuries:

Wan’Dale Robinson (knee)

Dak Prescott (thumb)

Dalton Schultz (knee)

Michael Gallup (knee)

Kadarius Toney (hamstring)

UPDATE: Michael Gallup practiced in full but it’s unclear if he’ll play. He would be a risky start in his first game back and wouldn’t have much impact on Lamb.

UPDATE: Dalton Schultz missed practice Friday and is trending towards being out. This means more focus on Lamb both from the offense and defense, keeping him as a top-20 option.

UPDATE: Wan’Dale Robinson and Kadarius Toney both missed practice on Friday, so neither seems like they’ll play. Even if one or both suit up, they are best left on your bench.

 

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