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In going through all of my league scores last night, I was struck by something: It felt like every team I thought was good struggled this week. I'm not sure what it says about the state of my teams that I'm tracking to go at least 10-4 this week among my leagues, but I just won't think too hard about it.

Look, things are kind of weird right now. There are a ton of significant injuries around the NFL, and we got more of them Sunday, so things aren't going to get any less weird moving forward. Many offenses around the league have been weirdly stagnant -- the Packers, Buccaneers, Broncos, and 49ers combined for 47 points yesterday, and it wasn't necessarily the worst offensive showing for any of those teams so far. Scoring as a whole across the league was down from 24.0 per team per game in Weeks 1 and 2 last season to 21.41 this season, and we're entering Monday Night Football with the league as a whole averaging 20.37 points so far in Week 3. 

I don't have a good explanation for it. It can't all be Matt Rhule, Ben McAdoo and Baker Mayfield's faults, can it? I try to make some sense of it in today's newsletter, as I go through every game on the schedule, looking for winners and losers and some interesting notes from the box score and beyond for you to learn about it. If you missed it last night, I've also got an early look at the Week 4 waiver wire here, with the injuries you need to know about wrapped up here

We'll move on to Week 4 for good tomorrow morning, but here's your look back at Week 3 so far. 

Week 3 Recap


Bears 23, Texans 20

  • Injuries: David Montgomery (knee/ankle) -- It sounds like Montgomery avoided a serious injury here, which is the good news. We'll learn more after he has testing done Monday, presumably. 
  • Winner: Khalil Herbert. Those whispers about Herbert being the Bears best back? They're about to turn into shouts. Herbert was incredible Sunday, rushing for 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 20 carries in a 23-20 win over the Texans. It was the Texans, but still, Herbert has looked good in every chance he's gotten ripping off big chunks of yards in every game this season. If Montgomery is out, Herbert will be a top-12 RB for Week 4 against the Giants
  • Loser: Darnell Mooney. At least Mooney got a target share over 30% this week. Of course, when that comes from a pool of just 17 pass attempts, it's still hard to get excited. There have now been three games where a team has thrown fewer than 20 passes in a game this season, and they've all been by the Bears. They're winning, so they'll probably just keep on doing this, but it's going to be next to impossible for Mooney to be Fantasy relevant in an offense like this. I'm not dropping Mooney, but I can't start him until I see the Bears actually trust Justin Fields to throw. 
  • One more thing: In fairness, it's not like the Bears only called 17 passes in this game. Between Fields scrambles and sacks, they had 26 pass plays, per TruMedia's stats. Which was still just 42% of their 62 plays. They're going to throw more than they have moving forward, but it seems fair to assume this will be, if not the lowest volume pass offense, bottom three in the league. 

Titans 24, Raiders 22

  • Winner: Derrick Henry. The Titans made a point of getting Henry the ball in space this week, a welcome change from Week 2, when he was hit in the backfield on seemingly every play. We're still waiting for Henry to hit one of those signature big plays, but six targets on 27 pass attempts represented a career-high 22.2% target share for Henry. It was good to see the Titans get him going -- I was concerned, admittedly!
  • Loser: Treylon Burks. The good news for Burks is he led the Titans in routes, running 27 on 28 pass plays. He was earning targets at a huge rate the first two weeks, with 13 targets on 57 routes run, so two on 27 is definitely a disappointment. He'll be better moving forward, but here's a little reminder that progress isn't always linear. You're not ready to trust Burks yet, but he deserves to be rostered in all leagues at this point. 
  • One more thing: This was another weirdly quiet game from Davante Adams, who has now caught just half of the passes thrown his way through three games. I'm not particularly worried about that -- he's got 34 targets and three touchdowns through three games -- but it is surprising to see how much trouble he and Derek Carr have had connecting so far. I would have said maybe it was because Adams is garnering downfield looks more frequently than Carr is used to throwing, but he was just 5 for 10 despite an average depth of target of 7.6 yards Sunday, which is right around Carr's average. I'll just chalk it up to one part flukiness, one part them still getting used to playing with each other again. I'm not too worried about it. 

Colts 20, Chiefs 17

  • Winner: Michael Pittman. I don't want to say Pittman is the only WR who matters here, because I do think Alec Pierce can continue to develop into a useful player. But Pittman is the clear No. 1 here, and there is no close No. 2 -- he has a 25% target share through two games and ran pretty much every route Sunday. This offense still doesn't look great, but as long as Pittman keeps dominating looks, it's not going to matter for him. 
  • Loser: Clyde Edwards-Helaire. I called Edwards-Helaire a sell-high candidate last week, and I'll stand by that if anyone is buying. The Chiefs have no real interest in establishing the run, as he has just seven or eight carries in each game so far. The receiving role (12 targets in three games) is decent, but not enough to overcome his limited usage elsewhere. Edwards-Helaire has been bailed out by touchdowns in the early going, and that is not something I want to bet on continuing. He's an RB3 moving forward for me. 
  • One more thing: This game was defined by two drops for the Chiefs. The first came on an attempted punt return by Skyy Moore less than a minute into the game -- it led to the Colts taking over at the 4-yard line and probably doesn't bode well for Moore's chances of garnering a bigger role. The latter was arguably even more consequential -- Travis Kelce dropped a touchdown with 8:53 left in the fourth quarter that would have given the Chiefs a two-touchdown lead in a game they ultimately lost by a field goal. They would miss a field goal to cap off that drive.  

Dolphins 21, Bills 19

  • Injuries: Tua Tagovailoa (head) -- Tagovailoa got up dazed after a hit in the second quarter and stumbled upon trying to get back to the sidelines. He was taken to the locker room, where he was cleared to return after halftime. The NFLPA requested an investigation into the circumstances of Tagovailoa being cleared, and it'll be worth keeping an eye out for reports in the coming days of late-onset symptoms. The Dolphins have cleared up that he actually injured his back.
  • Winner: Isaiah McKenzie. This was a weird game where two high-octane offenses didn't really do a whole lot -- the Bills needed 90 plays to get to just under 500 yards of offense. But McKenzie was a bright spot, as he led the team in catches (seven) and was second in yards (76) and targets (nine) while scoring a touchdown. Miami's blitz-heavy scheme leads to a lot of man coverage, and McKenzie has been talked about as the Bills "man-beater," with Jamison Crowder more likely to be deployed against zone coverages. It's something to keep in mind moving forward with McKenzie if you're studying matchups. 
  • Loser: All of the running backs, except maybe Devin Singletary. These two teams look pretty messy in their backfields right now. Devin Singletary at least got a bunch of targets -- the Bills countered Miami's blitzing with a bunch of short, quick targets to vacated spaces to Singletary, most notably on his early touchdown -- and he played 67 of 90 total snaps, a pretty massive total. If he had that role every week, he'd be a solid RB2, I just can't trust it. but I trust it more than I do with Miami's backs. Chase Edmonds bailed you out with a couple of touchdowns, but he had fewer carries and snaps than Raheem Mostert. As things stand, I'd prefer to avoid both, though Edmonds playing four of five goal-to-go snaps does make me lean in his direction if I have to pick one of them. 
  • One more thing: One other reason why I'm not super excited about Isaiah McKenzie's production Sunday is that it came during a game where many of the Bills most important offensive players were struggling to keep up with the pace of play and heat in Miami. Stefon Diggs came out of the game due to cramping, and Gabe Davis was the only wide receiver to play more than 70% of the snaps. This was just a weird game. For what it's worth, Davis had a drop that probably should have been a touchdown. 

Vikings 28, Lions 24

  • Injuries: Dalvin Cook (shoulder) -- Cook dislocated the shoulder, something that seems to happen at least once every year at this point. It never seems to be as bad as we think it will be, but it's a constantly recurring issue that carries significant risk, not only for the season but for each game. Alexander Mattison will be a top-12 RB in Week 4 if Cook is out. 
  • Winner: Jamaal Williams. D'Andre Swift continues to have trouble holding up to a full-time workload, and he left this game at some point with a seeming recurrence of his lingering ankle injury. And Williams just keeps on getting opportunities near the goal line. The Lions clearly value what he brings to the table, and they trust him in those short-yardage situations. Swift is going to get his work, and his pass-catching and big-play abilities will make him a must-start running back as long as he's healthy, but Williams' role isn't going away, and as long as Swift is less than 100%, Williams is going to be a viable starter. 
  • Loser: Justin Jefferson. I mean, look, I'm not worried about Jefferson, but this is two bad games in a row. Darius Slay locked him down in Week 2, and Jeff Okudah seemed to do a pretty good job with Jefferson this week too. However, he also drew a defensive pass interference in the end zone -- Adam Thielen scored on the next play -- and will certainly benefit from Thielen and K.J. Osborn proving they can be more of a threat. 
  • One more thing: Amon-Ra St. Brown didn't play quite his typical role in this one, logging 56 of 76 snaps after playing at least 85% in each of the previous two games. That's probably because he suffered a right ankle injury during the game. He got it taped up and was able to play through it, but St. Brown wasn't his typically dominant self -- he only had six catches for 73 yards on nine targets. As long as this injury doesn't limit him moving forward, he remains a must-start elite Fantasy option.  

Ravens 37, Patriots 26

  • Injuries: Mac Jones (ankle) -- Jones got rolled up on, and the concern is he suffered a high-ankle sprain. We don't know more than that, but that's the kind of injury that typically costs players multiple weeks, at least. You should expect Brian Hoyer to start in Week 4 against the Packers. 
  • Winner: Rhamondre Stevenson. I was skeptical about the idea that Stevenson was going to take on the "James White" role many hoped he would have this season, but that's just what we saw Sunday against the Ravens, more or less. He played 27 of 40 pass plays and out-snapped Damien Harris 39-24. He got 12 carries to Harris' 11 and was targeted five times, good for second on the team. Stevenson ran more routes than Harris in Week 2, though he only got two targets in that one, so I don't want to assume there is a trend here. But if this is something we can expect moving forward from Stevenson, he's going to be a viable starting option at RB. 
  • Loser: Rashod Bateman. And this was what I was worried was coming. Not that 59 yards is a bad game, but Bateman's production in the first three games now has been incredibly big-play dependent, because he weirdly is not a full-time player yet. He played just 37 of 59 snaps Sunday, with a decent route participation of 79%. Bateman is going to have plenty of chances for big plays in this offense, obviously, but when he doesn't hit on them, there are going to be some disappointing days. For what it's worth, he very nearly caught what could have been another long touchdown in this one -- he had one glance off the tips of his fingers in the third quarter. 
  • One more thing: J.K. Dobbins. Dobbins' role should not have come as a surprise in his first game back from a significant knee injury. He played fewer than half the snaps, actually logging two fewer than Justice Hill. Dobbins did still run more routes than Hill, and in time he'll likely get to 12-15 carries most weeks, too. But it's going to be tough to trust him until we see it. 

Bengals 27, Jets 12

  • Injuries: Tee Higgins (head) -- Higgins took a shot to the head but returned to the game after being evaluated. He wasn't targeted in the second half but ran just one fewer route than Ja'Marr Chase, so it doesn't seem like it was an issue. I'm only noting it because Higgins suffered a concussion in Week 1. 
  • Winner: Breece Hall. Hall is still very much splitting work with Michael Carter, but Sunday's usage was pretty encouraging. He ran more routes than Carter, 28 to 21, and earned 11 targets to just two for Carter. If he can be in a 60-40 split for the rushing work but flip that in passing situations, Hall is going to be the back to have for the Jets. 
  • Loser: Joe Mixon. The Bengals did a better job keeping Joe Burrow upright in this one, but they still haven't figured out how to get Mixon going on the ground. Through three games now, he is averaging just 2.81 yards per carry, with nearly one-fifth of his yards on the ground coming from one 31-yard carry in Week 1. He's still getting a bunch of targets -- seven more today -- which is helping overcome the lack of rushing production, and I can't say I'm too worried about that -- he'll find the end zone before long, too. But this has been a frustrating start from a guy many had as a first-round pick.
  • One more thing: Ja'Marr Chase had gains of 3, 5, 5, 10, 2, and 4 yards in this one, and he's now averaging 10.1 yards per catch. That's a far cry from the guy who averaged 18.0 as a rookie. Opposing defenses are playing a lot of two-high coverage against this Bengals defense, dropping two safeties back and focusing on taking away the deep ball. It's working, though obviously, it's fair to question how long they can keep Chase at bay. He did have two targets of 20-plus air yards Sunday, so they're trying. He remains an elite Fantasy option, and I'm more than a few weeks away from worrying about him. 

Eagles 24, Commanders 8

  • Winner: Devonta Smith. Smith broke out a little bit in Week 2, but Week 3 was his coming out party. He was huge in this one, catching eight of 12 passes thrown his way for 169 yards and a touchdown, and he feasted on one-on-one opportunities. And what are defenses supposed to do, shift coverage to Smith when A.J. Brown is also out there? Or what about Dallas Goedert, who seems to have two wide-open 20-plus yard gains every week? This was what the Eagles were planning on when they acquired Brown, and they just threw 35 times to 30 rushes in a game they lead for three quarters. This offense looks special, and Smith looks like he still very much matters for Fantasy.  
  • Loser: Antonio Gibson. Fooled you! I bought into Gibson's Week 1 passing game usage, and now I feel a bit silly because it looks like things are more or less back to where they were last year. Gibson ran just 16 routes compared to 31 for J.D. McKissic, and his lone target Sunday traveled all of one yard past the line of scrimmage. He salvaged his game with a touchdown, but if Brian Robinson comes back and eats into the short-yardage work, Gibson is going to need to be more involved in the passing game to be worth using. I have no real reason to believe he will now. 
  • One more thing: If this was a revenge game for anyone, it was for Carson Wentz's former teammates. He was sacked on three of his first five dropbacks, four times in the first quarter alone, and nine times overall. Wentz has been more down than up this season, and I think that was true even before this game -- there had been a heavy element of garbage time to his production through the first two games. I still don't trust him, and this proved why. 

Panthers 22, Saints 14

  • Injuries: Michael Thomas (foot) and Jarvis Landry (ankle) -- Both left the game due to their injuries, and it's not clear if they might have comeback had the game been a little closer -- neither was ruled out prior to the end of the game, officially. 
  • Winner: Chris Olave. Week 2 for Olave was defined by What Ifs. What if Jameis Winston had been a little more on target on those deep balls? Well, we found out in Week 3, as he turned all those air yards and all that potential into massive production, catching nine passes for 147 yards. His 164 targeted air yards were less than half of last week's total, but still an impressive mark for a young receiver. That he did it with Thomas and Landry missing much of the game makes the actual production from Olave even more impressive. He's showing signs that he might just be the best rookie WR in a stacked class. He's a must-roster player. 
  • Loser: D.J. Moore. I just ... I dunno. Moore is a good player. I know that for sure. I thought Baker Mayfield was an upgrade on Sam Darnold and the rest of the guys Moore has caught passes for in his career. So far, that clearly hasn't been the case. I don't want to give up on Moore, but one catch for 2 yards is hard to defend. He still led the team in targets, but if Mayfield can't get him the ball, who cares? I'm bummed out by what is happening here, and I can't in good conscience tell you to trust Moore -- even if I'll likely still rank him as a top-30 WR. 
  • One more thing: The Panthers gave Christian McCaffrey 25 carries ad he rushed for 108 yards, because he's a very good player. However, he's arguably the best pass-catching running back of all time and they had him running routes on just 19 of 28 pass plays. Fire this offense into the sun, and then fire Matt Rhule.
  • And on the other side: Kamara's route participation wasn't much better -- he was at 62% of 42 pass plays. There's at least the rib injury here to point to, plus the fact that no other running back out there for even 15% of the pass plays. It was frustrating to see Kamara lose a fumble and then cede a Green Zone (inside the 10-yard line) touchdown to Mark Ingram, but he also had seven targets, including at least one downfield one that could have been a touchdown with a better throw, so there are still some positives here. Hopefully, as he gets healthy his utility increases. I'm trying to buy. 

Jaguars 38, Chargers 10

  • Winner: James Robinson. I keep doubting him, and he keeps on ripping off long runs. This week, it was a 50-yarder for a score. The Jaguars offense looks a lot better than it has in the previous couple of seasons, and while I still don't know if Robinson is going to hold up coming off that ruptured Achilles, he's now had touchdown runs of 22, 37, and 50 yards, one in each game. He's the clear lead rusher for the Jaguars, and he has enough of a pass-catching role that he's not a zero there. I would still be trying to sell Robinson, but he might just be a high-end RB2 moving forward. 
  • Loser: Mike Williams. This has been a frustrating start to the season for Williams, who has been a dud in two of three games -- even with a touchdown Sunday, he had 8.5 PPR points. The Chargers just aren't treating him like a No. 1 WR even with Keenan Allen out, as he was targeted six times on 45 pass attempts, a 13.3% target share. His average depth of target in Week 3 was 18.2 yards down the field, much more in line with the frustrating, boom-or-bust guy he was prior to last season when his ADoT was 11.6 yards. I still have faith in him, but I'd like to see them mix in more intermediate stuff next week. He's at his best when he isn't just being used as a one-trick deep-ball pony. 
  • One more thing: The Chargers had just one carry from inside the 10-yard line Sunday, and it went to Joshua Kelley. That's frustrating for Austin Ekeler, who saw Sony Michel get a goal-line carry last week. A lot of Ekeler's emergence as a first-round caliber player was tied to the Chargers trusting him as a goal-line back, but they just haven't had many opportunities down there this season, and he's split which ones they have had. 

Rams 20, Cardinals 12

  • Winner: Marquise Brown. I'll admit, when I did my projections for this week, I moved Brown down from where he was initially projected -- he was WR18 and I downgraded him to WR24. That's not a huge downgrade, but it was enough to note my skepticism with Brown's chances of living up to his ceiling in this offense. This game made me look a little bit foolish, but I'll take looking foolish if it means I can feel a little more confident in one of my favorite players. He's getting a ton of targets, including downfield stuff, and he did a good job of converting it Sunday. A very welcome site from a guy who has been too up and down overall. 
  • Loser: Darrell Henderson. The good news is, Henderson split snaps in half with Cam Akers, so it's not like he was totally sidelined. However, he was used almost exclusively in pass-catching situations, with just four carries. That wouldn't be such a bad thing, except he was also targeted just once while running routes on 15 of 27 pass plays. With Akers re-establishing himself as the lead runner, Henderson is on the small side of a platoon with a team that doesn't necessarily throw to their running backs a ton. He's barely an RB3 at this rate. 
  • One more thing: Akers looked pretty good in this one, rushing for 61 yards on 12 carries, and he would've likely had even more opportunities except the Rams ran just 47 offensive snaps in this one. Akers shoulders some of the blame for that -- he had a fumble on the goal-line in the fourth quarter. He got the only two carries from inside the 10-yard line that the Rams created, but it's not clear if the fumble will change that. He's the better Rams RB to start for Week 4, at least. 

Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

  • Winner: Cordarrelle Patterson. I admit, I find the Falcons usage of Patterson pretty confusing. He's a converted wide receiver who excels with the ball in his hands, so they use him almost exclusively as a running back? Well, maybe I'm the dumb one, because Patterson established a new career-high in rushing yards Sunday, two weeks after establishing his prior personal best. He rushed the ball 17 times for 141 yards and a touchdown while being targeted just once, for 12 yards -- he ran a route on just 11 of 25 snaps. The Falcons know they need to be careful with Patterson to avoid him breaking down like he did last season, so the concern here is he follows up this huge game with another dud like Week 2 when he had just 10 carries and one target for 41 total yards. Still, they're clearly willing to let him go when he's rolling, and Patterson looks like a solid RB2 -- one who would be even more trustworthy if they gave him more to do in the passing game. 
  • Loser: Rashaad Penny. I think we're seeing the limits of what this offense can do for Penny. He was still the clear lead back, rushing for 66 yards on 14 carries -- nobody else on the team had more than three carries. However, despite running 27 routes, Penny was just targeted one time for 3 yards, and he has yet to score a touchdown through three games. This is a bad offense that doesn't typically throw to the running backs much historically, and that leaves Penny with a pretty boring profile -- a between-the-20s rusher on a bad offense. 
  • One more thing: Okay, so it wasn't the massive game you were hoping for, but I think five catches for 87 yards on eight targets from Kyle Pitts should be enough to quiet the more panicky among us, especially in a game where the Falcons passed just 20 times. 14 of those 20 passes went to Pitts and Drake London, and this team should continue to funnel things their way. Both are worth starting moving forward. 

Packers 14, Buccaneers 12

  • Winner: Romeo Doubs. I overlooked Doubs in my early-waiver wire column last night, but I've updated that to reflect that he should be a high-priority WR target. He was involved early in this one, with three targets for 35 yards and a touchdown on the first drive. He finished with eight catches for 73 yards on eight targets, a solid 22.9% target share. Sure, he did it with the Packers missing multiple wide receivers, but the case for Doubs was always that he might just need one opportunity to get his foot in the door and prove what he can do. That's just what he did Sunday, and with Allen Lazard looking like a good red zone option and not much else, Doubs looks like he could be the first Packers WR to emerge from the pack. 
  • Loser: Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. And here, we see the downside of their split backfield. When the Packers offense is humming, there's plenty of room for both of them to succeed. However, with this looking pretty close to a 50-50 split -- it's actually more like 65-55 most weeks, as they do share the field pretty regularly -- and when they go up against especially tough matchups, they might take away enough from each other to frustrate you. 
  • One more thing: The Buccaneers pretty badly need their playmakers on offense. However, while Mike Evan will be back from his suspension in Week 4, the rest is a bit of an open question. Chris Godwin still has to prove he can get up to speed and stay healthy coming off his torn ACL and subsequent hamstring injury, while we learned Sunday morning that Julio Jones is dealing with a partially torn PCL. This offense may not ever look like the one we hoped we were going to get. 

Broncos 11, 49ers 10

  • Winner: Courtland Sutton. I was skeptical of reports that Sutton was going to be the clear No. 1 option in this offense, but this was the first time it really looked like it. With Jerry Jeudy active, Sutton was still targeted a team-high 10 times (30% share), with a whopping 49.7% of the team's intended air yards going his way. For the season, he has accounted for 47.7% of the Broncos air yards, the second-highest mark in the NFL. This offense isn't nearly as good as we expected, but Sutton does at least look like the must-start Fantasy WR we were hoping he would be. 
  • Loser: Javonte Williams. The Broncos are such a mess right now that I don't want this to come off as an endorsement, but: They do not care about your Fantasy team. Clearly. Every Melvin Gordon carry elicits thousands of anguished cries from Fantasy players, and yet there the Broncos were on Sunday night, giving Melvin Gordon a key goal-line carry late even after multiple fumbles. Williams ended up playing 44% of the snaps to 39% for Gordon, with Mike Boone somehow logging 13 offensive snaps. There was even one positive sign from the first two games that disappeared last night, as Gordon ran as many routes as Williams did. This just seems like it's going to continue to cause a lot of frustration until the Broncos decide to make some changes. I'm not sure I want to bet on this offense doing the logical thing. 
  • One more thing: We were reminded why the 49ers were willing to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, despite whatever concerns may exist about Trey Lance. He made several crushing mistakes, most notably when he pulled an Orlovsky and stepped out of the back of the end zone for a safety -- a pretty crushing mistake when you lose a game by one point. He's fine, but he doesn't elevate the offense enough to make up for his mistakes. He gets what Kyle Shanahan and the weapons around him get for him and not much else. That did lead to eight targets each for Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, with five for George Kittle -- if those three are going to get 20-ish targets every week, they'll probably all be useful.