At what point does what we've seen so far this season supersede what we expected from a player coming into the season? For some, that point is already here: If you're not viewing Mike Williams as a must-start Fantasy WR by now, you're just being stubborn. His role has changed for the better, and that's important. That should change your expectations.
But what about less obvious situations? What about Robert Woods, who has been a huge disappointment, but hasn't necessarily seen a significant change in his usage. Woods still has a 21% target share and he's still playing nearly every snap for the Rams; he's also seeing more downfield targets, just like we hoped he would. Should you cut bait on Woods because he isn't playing well, despite those promising signs?
We're at the point where you do have to start making some adjustments to how you view players and teams moving forward, but figuring out which ones to do it with is the trickier question. Of course, that's what we're here for, and it's those questions Heath Cummings is trying to tackle every week with his Believe It or Not column and I'm trying to answer with my weekly recaps.
I've gone through every game from Sunday, picking out winners and losers and giving you some noteworthy numbers/performances/plays that you might have missed while everything was going on around the league. But, before we get to that, Heath Cummings' Believe It or Not column is here to help you try to make sense of the biggest storylines from Week 3.
He addressed five of the biggest storylines from Week 3 to try to help you identify what was real and what was just a mirage. Here are some of the questions he's answering today:
- Should you drop Justin Fields after his disastrous start?
- Is Saquon Barkley back to must-start status?
- Does Jonathan Taylor have a Nyheim Hines problem?
Also, if you missed it last night, I wrote an early look at the Week 3 waiver wire here. We'll have Jamey Eisenberg's full breakdown of the top options tomorrow morning, but here's a first glimpse at my top priorities:
- Chuba Hubbard, RB, CAR 44%
- Emmanuel Sanders, WR, BUF 59%
- Peyton Barber, RB, LV 7%
- Zack Moss, RB, BUF 71%
- A.J. Green, WR, ARI 26%
And now, here's my recap of every game from Sunday:
Week 3 Recap
Bills 43-Football Team 21
- Winner: Josh Allen. Through two games, Allen looked like he was taking a step back from his breakout season, posting his lowest on-target pass rate and highest bad-pass rate since his rookie season. That wasn't an issue Sunday as he completed 32 of 43 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns, while adding a rushing touchdown to his ledger. You could see the difference between how Allen played in Weeks 1 and 2 vs. how he played Sunday in his connection with Emmanuel Sanders. Allen missed a number of potential big plays to Sanders in the first two games, but the duo connected for five catches, 94 yards, and two touchdowns on six targets. And now he gets the Texans in Week 4.
- Loser: Devin Singletary. When Zack Moss was inactive for Week 1, it kind of looked like Singletary might actually have the kind of role that would make him a viable Fantasy starter. Moss saw a slightly larger role in Week 2, but Singletary was still the lead back; that wasn't the case Sunday. Moss led the Bills in carries and rushing yards and even had more targets (three) than Singletary (two). Moss played very well in Week 3, and though I would still expect this to be a committee moving forward, I'm no longer confident Singeltary will be the lead back. I'm not confident either will be a top-30 Fantasy RB, either.
- One more thing to know: Antonio Gibson. It was great to see Washington dial up a screen pass for Gibson, who took the second-quarter play 73 yards for an impressive run that highlighted his obvious gifts as a playmaker. His second target later in the quarter highlighted why he might not have the passing game role we all want from him, however, as he dropped what would have been a walk-in touchdown near the goal line. That screen pass really saved us from having to field a lot of questions about Gibson being a bust this week.
Browns 26-Bears 6
- Winner: Odell Beckham. I expected Beckham to be worked in pretty slowly and he certainly didn't play a full role in his first game back -- he played 49 of 78 snaps. However, that is a bit misleading, because he actually played 47 of 57 snaps before the fourth quarter, when the Browns had the game well in hand. Beckham led the team with 34 routes run on 40 pass plays, and was targeted nine times for 77 yards on five catches -- and he added 10 yards on a carry, too. Beckham hasn't exactly been a must-start Fantasy option in his time with the Browns, but a 29% target share in his first game without Jarvis Landry is hard to ignore. He'll likely be a top-30 WR for me in Week 4 against the Vikings.
- Loser: Justin Fields. Really, the whole Bears offense. The offensive line was completely overwhelmed and the Bears coaching staff didn't do much creatively to get Fields on the move -- which you would think would be his best attribute. I don't know how much we can really learn from a game that went this poorly, except to say that if you only have 1 net passing yard and 47 total yards of offense, you need a lot more than just one thing to get fixed. Hopefully, the Bears figure things out this week leading up to Week 4 against the Lions, but I'm not sure you could trust anyone except David Montgomery in your Fantasy lineup.
- One more thing to know: Kareem Hunt ended up having a huge game, with 155 yards, six catches, and a touchdown, which is interesting, because he was totally uninvolved in this one early on -- like, he didn't even see the field until there was 2:03 left in the first quarter. Demetric Felton was involved in the passing game early on, but Hunt matched Nick Chubb snap for snap from the start of the second quarter on.
Ravens 19-Lions 17
- Winner: Mark Andrews. Hope you got those buy-low offers in. Andrews had just eight catches for 77 yards on 10 targets through the Ravens first two games, leading some to wonder why the emergence of Marquise Brown plus the addition of Sammy Watkins might have pushed him below T.J. Hockenson in the tight end hierarchy. Well, while Hockenson had just 10 yards on two targets Sunday, Andrews caught five of seven for 109 yards. He's running more routes than in years past and remains arguably Lamar Jackson's top target. That makes him an elite tight end.
- Loser: Ty'Son Williams. I don't know what happened here. Williams, who had 13 carries in Week 2 and 22 through two games, had just five Sunday. The Ravens running backs didn't run the ball much, but Latavius Murray still had seven carries, and even Devonta Freeman had three. Williams was also targeted just once, despite playing 29 of 57 snaps, including 21 routes run. It's hard to make sense of how the Ravens used Williams, especially because there was no real sign that this was coming, but I'm not sure how you can view him as even a top-35 RB for Week 4 at Denver.
- One more thing to know: Marquise Brown's 53-yard game was a big disappointment, and it was even worse if you actually watched the game. Brown had three horrible drops in the first half, costing the Ravens at least two touchdowns. The first one probably should have been a 25-yard touchdown, though it does seem like the defender might have gotten the smallest sliver of a finger on the ball at the last second. He didn't have that excuse on the next two, one of which went right through his fingers and might have been a 76-yard touchdown with his speed; the next one saw Brown again ahead of two defenders down the field with Lamar Jackson hitting him in stride on the move just in front of the end zone. If you're looking for an explanation for why the Ravens needed Justin Tucker to hit an NFL-record 66-yard field goal to win, Brown leaving at least 14 points on the board is a pretty good one. Not to mention the 150 yards Brown cost Fantasy players.
Titans 25-Colts 16
- Winner: Ryan Tannehill. So, Tannehill didn't have his best game ever, I think it's fair to say, but this was a lot closer to what we've come to expect from Tannehill. He really only made one bad pass -- his first interception was bad, but the second one was tipped, so you can't blame him entirely. Other than those mistakes, Tannehill was great, throwing three touchdowns despite losing A.J. Brown early and playing most of the fourth quarter without Julio Jones. The Titans just haven't been able to get the passing game going just yet, so hopefully those injuries aren't a concern for Week 4 and beyond. However, it was still nice to see Tannehill put together a better passing performance.
- Another winner (really quickly): Derrick Henry. Henry caught three more passes in this one, giving him 12 through three games. His career high is 19. This seems like it's a real thing.
- Loser: Jonathan Taylor. The Colts offense looked dreadful in this one, and given that Carson Wentz was trying to play through injuries to both of his ankles, that's not terribly surprising. So, maybe we shouldn't take too much from this one. However, the offensive line also took another hit, as Quenton Nelson was forced out of the game with a leg injury, making it look like you may not be able to trust what was at one point this team's biggest strength. Taylor still isn't really seeing many targets (three in this one), either, so the path to superstar production is looking narrower than ever.
- One more thing to know: Julio Jones' production was disappointing Sunday, as he caught just three of four passes thrown his way for 47 yards. It's worth noting that he didn't play a snap in the fourth quarter, and coach Mike Vrabel didn't exactly say one way or another whether Jones was dealing with an injury when asked, saying, "Just trying to manage where he's at, and the type of game the end of the game would be." Is this something we're going to have to worry about moving forward?
Chargers 30-Chiefs 26
- Winner: Justin Herbert. I said all week that Herbert was playing a lot better than his Fantasy numbers, so it was good to see some confirmation of that Sunday. He's playing at an incredibly high level and it was only a matter of time before he had a game like this -- 281 yards, four touchdowns, 36.8 Fantasy points. It looks like he has two legitimate No. 1 wide receivers to lean on in Mike Williams (another seven catches, 122 yards, and two touchdowns) and Keenan Allen, plus arguably the best pass-catching back in the NFL in Austin Ekeler. He's going to be a superstar this season, and I'm sorry I doubted him in the offseason.
- Loser: Tyreek Hill. I'm not worried about him, to be clear. It's going to take a lot more than just two mediocre games for me to worry about someone with Hill's kind of track record, especially when there is no real reason to think there's something underlying to be concerned about. Still, it's frustrating to see Hill post just 12.7 points after his 14-yard performance in Week 2. He'll be absolutely fine moving forward, I promise. This is more of an indicator that nobody was really a "loser" in this one.
- One more thing to know: Clyde Edwards-Helaire finally had a big game, rushing for 100 yards and adding two catches for 9 yards, including a touchdown. What makes it even sweeter is that, despite his fumble in Week 2 that cost them the game as well as an early fumble in this one, they stayed with him. He nearly had another touchdown but got stood up at the 2 following an 8-yard run on first and goal -- that drive ended with a Jody Fortson receiving touchdown with Darrel Williams in for the snap. There are still plenty of reasons to be skeptical about Edwards-Helaire's upside given his limited target share and goal-line split with Williams, but he's not finished as a viable starter.
Saints 28-Patriots 13
- Winner: Alvin Kamara. His target numbers are still weirdly low -- only four in this one -- but for the season, he has a 21.9% target share, so that's more about how rarely the Saints are throwing the ball. That isn't ideal, but he caught his second touchdown Sunday and rushed for 89 yards on 24 carries. Two of Kamara's three career 20-carry games have come in the first three games of this season, and he'll have a big pass-catching game when the Saints are in a game script whey have to throw it. He's still an elite Fantasy option no matter the role.
- Loser: Damien Harris. And here, we see the downside for a player with a "safe" floor like Harris. He's safe when the Patriots aren't forced into throwing the ball, but when the game script goes against him, there's very little room for him to be a viable Fantasy option. Most weeks, Harris should get his 15 or so carries, and if he scores a touchdown on those carries, he'll be a solid RB2. However, can you trust him to get that kind of workload against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 4?
- One more thing to know: Mac Jones had his first bad game, but it's worth providing some context -- the pick-six came on a throw that Jonnu Smith bobbled, while an earlier interception came as he was hit. He wasn't great in a game where he was forced into throwing 51 times, but he wasn't as bad as the box score indicates. It's also worth adding that the Patriots tight ends had an awful game, with Smith and Hunter Henry both dropping multiple passes in addition to other mistakes. I'm pretty much giving up on either being much more than a touchdown-or-bust starter on a team that doesn't figure to throw a ton of touchdowns.
Falcons 17-Giants 14
- Winner: Saquon Barkley. I expected Week 3 to be the time when Barkley would be unleashed, and that's what we saw. He wasn't terribly efficient running the ball (51 yards on 16 carries) but found the end zone and added 43 yards on six receptions, finishing with 21.4 PPR points. Barkley may not be efficient in this offense, but as long as he's getting the kind of workload we saw Sunday, he's going to be a must-start Fantasy option moving forward.
- Loser: Kyle Pitts. I don't understand what is happening here. Pitts wasn't great in Week 1, but at least he had eight targets. He followed that up with a better performance in Week 2, though his target share fell to 12.5% in that one. On Sunday, it was just 8.3%, and he didn't even earn his first target until 11:20 left in the fourth quarter. He came up with some big plays, including a defensive pass interference drawn in the end zone, but this kind of usage is indefensible on a team that has struggled to put up points. I have to assume this will improve moving forward, but I'm less confident in Pitts than I was at the beginning of the season. The good news, he's still a must-start option because the position remains a disaster. Well … I guess that's good news?
- One more thing to know: If you want to go with the "cup half full" perspective, Mike Davis still played a larger role than Cordarrelle Patterson Sunday, playing 35 snaps to 25. However, that's really where the positive spin ends, as Patterson nearly matched him in routes run and out-gained him 102 to 70 despite fewer touches. Playing in a middling offense, Davis' best case for Fantasy was that he would dominate touches, and now he's in a 60-40 split with Patterson, who is especially cutting into the passing game work. Davis is looking like just a low-end starting option in PPR leagues in this role.
Bengals 24-Steelers 10
- Winner: Najee Harris. With Diontae Johnson sidelined by a knee injury, Harris essentially stepped up and filled his role as Ben Roethlisberger's primary fallback option, which means he was his primary target. Harris was targeted 19 times for 102 yards, and while that is at least partially a reflection of the dysfunction of the Steelers offense, it's also the natural end result of Harris' role so far. He's been playing nearly every snap for the Steelers this season, and it was inevitably going to lead to huge Fantasy production. He is a must-start player and a top-10 RB moving forward.
- Loser: If you want to see the Steelers offense in miniature, just look at their final play of Sunday's game. Facing a fourth and 10 from the Bengals 11-yard line, the Steelers lined up in the shotgun with Harris to Roethlisberger's right, with two receivers and the tight end to the same side of the formation and Chase Claypool isolated at the bottom of the screen. The receivers and tight end release toward the end zone, with the Steelers hoping that draws the defense out and gives Harris room to make a play in space against a linebacker. However, from the time the ball is snapped to the time Roethlisberger decides to dump it to Harris, 1.19 seconds elapsed -- I pulled out the stopwatch for this one, folks -- which gave the linebacker marking Harris as well as two of the three defensive backs on that side of the field plenty of time to close on Harris. He had to break a tackle and hurdle a defender just to lose half a yard. The Steelers simply don't trust Roethlisberger to make throws at all down the field, and defenses couldn't be less worried about that prospect. It's suffocating the offense, and it's beyond clear at this point that Roethlisberger isn't good enough to get the job done. It's hard to get excited about much in this offense until something changes.
- One more loser: I would be remiss if I didn't mention Joe Mixon's disappointing performance in consecutive weeks here. The problem with Sunday's was, it wasn't even a bad performance -- he rushed for 90 yards on five yards per carry! The problem is, he was targeted just once, catching it for just a 4-yard gain. Rookie Chris Evans was on the field for just five snaps, but four of them were on third down and he was targeted twice, while Mixon was on for just three third-down snaps. I was touting Mixon for the upside an increased role in the passing game would give him, but with just three targets over the last two games, I'm starting to get nervous. Not that Mixon won't be a must-start Fantasy running back, but that he won't have the elite upside I expected with Giovani Bernard gone.
- One more thing to know: As good as Harris was for Fantasy, he could have had an even better game -- he had three separate gains of 10-plus yards negated by penalties.
Cardinals 31-Jaguars 19
- Winner: James Robinson. Week 1 feels like an awfully long time ago. The Jaguars were able to keep this one relatively close, and we saw what Robinson's upside can still be in this role. He ran the ball 15 times for 88 yards and a touchdown and added six catches on six targets for 46 yards. Robinson isn't dominating touches to the same extent he did last season, but he's getting 60% of the RB carries and dominating the passing work, and he's now on pace for 176 carries and 85 targets. It won't be enough to make him a top-10 back like he was last season, but you should probably be starting Robinson more often than not moving forward.
- Loser: Rondale Moore. Honestly, I'm disappointed in myself for not being more skeptical about Moore's start -- I'll chalk it up to confirmation bias because of how much I liked him coming in. Despite how productive he's been, Moore has consistently been running fourth among the team's WR in snaps and routes, and that remains true in Week 3 -- he played just 22 out of 64 snaps, including 14 of 37 pass snaps. The Cardinals love getting the ball in his hands, but his pace wasn't sustainable without an increased role. The takeaway from his first two games is that you should bet on him eventually getting an increased role, but with A.J. Green (5-112 on six targets) and Christian Kirk (7-104 on eight) producing, it may not happen just yet. Moore has huge upside, but there will be weeks like this, too, especially if defenses start paying him more attention.
- One more thing to know: Chase Edmonds still hasn't scored a touchdown through three games, as he failed to convert from 2 yards out on a rare goal line carry. Despite that, he is averaging 13.9 PPR points per game, good for RB15 so far. In case you're wondering why I like pass-catching running backs so much.
Raiders 31-Dolphins 28
- Winner: Jaylen Waddle. This was sort of the wide receiver version of Harris' performance, where Waddle's usage represented how little Miami's offense was really working Sunday, as they had to rely on him over and over on short throws to try to move the ball. Still, 13 targets and 12 catches sort of speak for themselves, especially in PPR. Can that kind of usage stick? No, probably not to this extent, but the Dolphins clearly trust Waddle and believe in his ability to make plays with the ball in his hands, so I would expect he'll continue to lead the team in targets while the more downfield-oriented Will Fuller and DeVante Parker try to break open big plays. Waddle is an intriguing PPR option.
- Loser: Kenyan Drake. With Josh Jacobs out the last two weeks, I would have bet on Drake being an RB2 thanks to his passing game work, but he scraped out just 10.5 PPR points in Week 2 and had 8.7 Sunday. Peyton Barber has led the team in carries in each of the two games Jacobs has missed, which makes one wonder why they gave him $11 million guaranteed this offseason.
- One more thing to know: Will Fuller nearly scored a game-winning touchdown in overtime, but the officials missed what looked like a pretty obvious pass interference penalty on the play. To add insult to injury, Fuller suffered an injury on the play. He was able to walk off the field and it looked like it might have been a cramp, but given his track record, it's not what you want to see from his first game back.
Broncos 26-Jets 0
- Winner: Melvin Gordon. I've been pretty pleased with Javonte Williams' role to date, because I didn't expect him to be in such an even split with Gordon early on. However, when the Broncos have a lead to sit on, Gordon should continue to be heavily involved. He had 17 touches to Williams' 15, and he isn't just going away like you might be hoping. There's a Williams breakout coming at some point this season, but we'll need to be patient.
- Loser: Noah Fant. It's been a disappointing start to the season for Fant, despite circumstances that should have led to more production. The Broncos passing game has been very good, and, with Jerry Jeudy out, Fant is clearly the second-most talented pass catcher on the field most weeks. He had just 15 yards on two catches Sunday and has just 110 yards through three games -- just ahead of his rookie-year pace of 35.1 yards per game. He's too talented of a playmaker not to be producing more, but the Broncos had him run a route on just 20 of 29 pass plays Sunday. Hopefully they'll feature him more in what should be a more competitive game against the Ravens in Week 4.
- One more thing to know: Never say, "It can't get any worse!" when it comes to the Jets, because it always can. I have faith that Zach Wilson will figure things out eventually, mostly because I have to have faith. But it's been a disaster so far, and there isn't a single player on this offense you should be considering starting unless you are absolutely desperate. Even a potential bright spot like Michael Carter, who had 11 of the team's 15 RB touches, is clouded by the fact that he still played fewer snaps than Ty Johnson. Even against an easier matchup like the Titans in Week 4, steer clear.
Rams 34-Buccaneers 24
- Winner: Matthew Stafford. Stafford has the connection with Cooper Kupp -- two more touchdowns! -- but it was the emergence of DeSean Jackson that really opened things up for him today. Stafford targeted Jackson five times, completing three of them for 120 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown. This is the element we knew the Rams have been missing in recent years, and Jackson being a dangerous deep threat makes this offense especially scary.
- Loser: Leonard Fournette. When we got a report prior to the game that Fournette was going to start and see a larger role, we should have known that was the kiss of death in Bruce Arians' offense. In all seriousness, Fournette somehow received one fewer carry than Ronald Jones in this one, while Giovani Bernard out-targeted him 10 to three. It's been clear going back to last season, but it can't be said enough: You can't trust anyone in this backfield.
- One more thing to know: Robert Woods remains one of the most disappointing players in Fantasy this season, but I'm not giving up on him yet. He's still seeing a deeper average depth of target than he did last season while his target share is right in line with where it was. It hasn't led to big production yet, but I think he and Stafford have to get on the same page at some point. Buy low on Woods.
Vikings 30-Seahawks 17
- Winner: Alexander Mattison. Sometimes, we hang on to those handcuffs, only to watch them flop when they finally get the opportunity. But Mattison justified his entire draft price Sunday, getting an opportunity to start just three weeks into the season and putting up 23.1 PPR points. He ran the ball 26 times for 112 yards and caught six of eight passes for 59 yards. It's an overstatement to say you can just plug him in and expect Dalvin Cook-esque production whenever Cook is out, but he is averaging 106.7 yards per game with 10 catches in his three career starts. He's arguably the most valuable handcuff in the game.
- Loser: Russell Wilson. Wilson has been awesome to start the season, so this is all relative, but it's worth noting how little he has been doing as a runner through the first three games. He rushed for just 7 yards Sunday and has 32 through three games, his lowest total for a three-game stretch since the 2019 season. There's probably nothing to worry about there, but it's easier to live with a lack of running production when he's throwing for multiple touchdowns, which makes Sunday's game a disappointment.
- One more thing to know: Both DK Metcalf (head) and Tyler Lockett (knee) left Sunday's game in the fourth quarter. Both were also able to return to the game, so hopefully neither is a concern moving forward.
Packers 30-49ers 28
- Winner: George Kittle. On a night when Deebo Samuel had 10 targets and Brandon Aiyuk finally played a full share of snaps and had six targets of his own, Kittle still looked like the team's best player, catching seven of nine targets for 92 yards. You won't be able to count on the 49ers to throw the ball 40 times, and I think it's probably safe to say Kittle won't dominate targets the way he has when healthy over the last few years. However, there are few tight ends with his kind of playmaking skills, and he's still capable of being an elite one even with Samuel and Aiyuk around.
- Loser: Trey Sermon. With Sermon healthy and the rest of the team's running backs injured, this was the third-rounder's chance to potentially establish himself as the team's No. 1 back. Instead, Sermon needed a goal-line touchdown to salvage his Fantasy day and still finished with just 11.4 PPR points, good for RB24. I don't want to close the book on Sermon, who could get another chance to start in Week 4, but if he doesn't impress, it's hard to see him holding off Elijah Mitchell when he is able to play.
- One more thing to know: Davante Adams left the game for one play in the fourth quarter after taking a vicious shot to the upper body. After the game, Adams said he had the wind knocked out of him, but he did get hit in the head area, so it'll be worth keeping an eye out for the potential of concussion symptoms in the coming days. Hopefully, he avoids any lingering issues.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 4 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that has out-performed experts big-time.