Week 2 was a nightmare for some Fantasy managers -- specifically those who saw their starting quarterbacks (in two-QB and Superflex formats) go down with injuries. We now turn the page to Week 3. There are glaring Week 3 examples of players you should start and sit. There are also examples of sleepers who could provide unexpected production and big names who could flop based on these Week 2 matchups. Every week we'll break down every game on the slate and pinpoint the players you need to know in every matchup.
All lines from Caesars Sportsbook.
The line wants us to believe: Atlanta's hopeless. The Falcons were within three points on the road at Tampa Bay last week when Matt Ryan threw two pick-sixes. That was good to see, but the reality is that the Falcons defense is just too weak. It has allowed 32-plus points in consecutive games and is now set to battle a rested Giants offense that should load up Saquon Barkley with plenty of touches. It's the scariest sentence I'll type today: The Giants should find a way to win.
Mike Davis RB
ATL Atlanta • #28
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Patterson dominated red-zone snaps for the Falcons last week, playing on 7 of 8 snaps with four touches. Davis played on two red-zone snaps and had zero touches. Was it a one-week blip or might Atlanta continue on this path? Patterson scored twice in the red zone on a very nice run and a right-place/right-time short catch from a pressured Matt Ryan, so his involvement probably isn't going away. Davis still gets moving quickly when he sees his blockers pave a way for him, but when he stops his feet he's toast. Save for a busted play late against the Broncos and a two-yard late-half run against Washington, New York's run defense hasn't been too bad. They especially have the meat up front to hamper the Falcons' inconsistent offensive line. In a perfect world, Fantasy managers would avoid both Atlanta running backs and see how their usage trends. Davis' touches (including 6.5 targets per game) makes him the safer bet in PPR, but they both have similar floors with Patterson carrying maybe a tad more potential overall if we knew for sure he'd keep working in the red zone. I'd chance it with Patterson in non-PPR if I had to.
The line wants us to believe: Jacksonville is competitive. The Jaguars have lost both games by at least 10 points -- why expect anything different now? Apparently, the oddsmakers think differently as they're begging you to take the Cardinals. Maybe they think this is a trap game for Arizona since they play the Rams in Week 4. Maybe they're laying the biggest trap of the season for bettors, but the fact is there are no compelling reasons to believe Jacksonville is close to being a good team on either side of the ball.
ARI Arizona • #2
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Jacksonville's run defense isn't that terrible -- they held the Broncos rushing duo to 95 yards on 26 carries last week and the Texans trio to 120 rush yards on 37 carries in Week 1. Through two weeks, Arizona's called running back rushes on just 34.6% of their plays, and Conner has more carries than Edmonds thanks to a blowout win at Tennessee. Another blowout might be on deck at Jacksonville. He's shown elusiveness and speed when given opportunities and he's currently rocking a 100% catch rate (4.5 targets per game). It's the fear that he'll max out at 15 touches and continue losing red-zone and clock-killing work to James Conner that keeps some doubt in mind when it comes to half- and non-PPR leagues.
ARI Arizona • #4
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
It doesn't take much to see Moore's appeal. Not only does he have tremendous speed but he also has incredibly nifty feet. His 17-yard reception last week saw him side-step several defenders after a short catch. He actually leads the Cardinals in targets, catches and yards through two games. Not bad for a guy who's played less than half of the snaps per game. Perhaps that changes as soon as this week as Jacksonville's secondary has been absolutely scorched -- multiple receivers have posted at least 12 PPR points in both games. I'd bet on Moore and his after-catch skills before A.J. Green or Christian Kirk.
JAC Jacksonville • #25
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
The Jaguars are starting to understand he's their best running back -- his snaps increased to 73%, his touches moved to 14 including three catches for the second straight week and he played every second-half snap for the Jaguars (Carlos Hyde had two first-half carries and zero second-half snaps). Robinson is also still showing some explosiveness in his runs; he was a bad block away from at least a 20-yard gain in Week 2 and finished his matchup versus Denver with 24 yards on his final three carries. That's all wonderful, but the worry is Jacksonville falls behind by the second half and Robinson's chances for over 15 touches shrink faster than Urban Meyer's reputation. A good player in a bad situation, Robinson shouldn't be trusted as much more than a flex option.
The line wants us to believe: L.A.'s mistake-filled ways will continue. Untimely drops by their top three receivers and really lame penalties have robbed them of at least four touchdowns this season. This is a good week to get their act together against a Chiefs squad Justin Herbert nearly beat in his first NFL game. Now he has better coaching, plus the Chiefs haven't looked like a team that could blow out anybody thus far. Expect the Bolts to keep it tight.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #10
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
No cold feet allowed here. Herbert has yet to crack 20 Fantasy points in a game, but that can all be blamed on bad luck. His pass-catchers have dropped six passes and his offense has been flagged for six penalties on pass plays -- if all of those things were to have gone Herbert's way, he'd have four more touchdowns and roughly 175 more yards. That's 31 more Fantasy points in his back pocket, double what he has in reality. It's insanely rotten luck for Herbert, who should remain a trustworthy staple in Fantasy lineups against a Chiefs pass defense that has seen the fourth-fewest pass attempts against them this year yet has allowed the 13th-most passing yards.
Jared Cook TE
LAC L.A. Chargers • #87
Age: 34 • Experience: 13 yrs.
I think there's juuust enough to buy into Cook as a little more than a touchdown-or-bust tight end. He put together 56 yards against Washington in Week 1, then would have had an acceptable Week 2 game if not for a touchdown called back. In what's expected to be one of the highest-scoring games of the weekend, Cook should figure to see a decent amount of work. The Chiefs have allowed an 81% catch rate to opposing tight ends and have given up a third-most 14.3 yards per catch. I do worry about Cook's target volume fresh off a game where he had only five and Austin Ekeler had nine. That's a big change from Week 1. But I like the potential game script for the Chargers and know Cook's size should help create appealing matchups in the red zone.
KC Kansas City • #25
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Week 2 couldn't have gone worse for Edwards-Helaire. Despite dominating rush attempts and an increase in routes run (68% of pass snaps), he didn't have a single red-zone carry, he didn't have a single target, and after averaging 3.5 yards per carry he effectively cost the Chiefs a win with a game-ending fumble. How in the world are we supposed to start him with confidence?! He's played just eight red-zone snaps and has two touches. He's played just eight third downs and has one carry. Meanwhile, Darrel Williams has played three more third-down snaps and has four red-zone snaps with a short-yardage touchdown. It's hard to straight-up bench Edwards-Helaire given the likelihood of a high-scoring game, but the Chiefs have posted over 30 points in consecutive weeks and the guy's totaled under double-digit Fantasy points both times.
The line wants us to believe: The Lions are a bad team. The reality is that the Ravens have played two close, competitive games where fumbles basically determined the winner. The oddsmakers seemingly knew they could get away with bloating the line because people would take the Ravens no matter what. Detroit has made plenty of mistakes but it has not played scared and has fought hard in every game. This is a spot for them to keep up with the Ravens
BAL Baltimore • #34
Age: 25 • Experience: 1 year
Williams isn't just a Fantasy starter this week -- he's got a shot to be one of this year's rags-to-riches Fantasy running backs if he can just cut down on his mistakes. The film proves he's the Ravens' most explosive rusher, ripping off seven runs of five-plus yards last week thanks to a good O-line. He also dominated valuable snaps in the red zone (eight with four touches), inside the 10 (four with one carry) and in the two-minute offense (all six snaps to end the first half). The fumble near the goal line, however, was the latest in a series of errors by Williams that the Ravens have to be worried about. At least he did better in pass protection. Detroit's run defense has allowed six touchdowns to running backs through two games. Count on Williams getting a nice amount of touches and potentially scoring -- and if you don't have Williams, trade for him!
Mark Andrews TE
BAL Baltimore • #89
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
The 18% target share has been brutal, but the matchup against Detroit's linebackers and safeties should yield some success. George Kittle and Robert Tonyan each posted at least 11 PPR points against them, which is considered a good game for a tight end. Sure seems like the right kind of matchup to give Andrews his first few red-zone targets of the season -- through two games he has just four targets in opposing team's territories. That's brutal! Hopefully, the Ravens rectify this and Andrews gets on the board this week.
DET Detroit • #87
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
No one can argue with the playing time (89% of snaps in Week 2) or the usage (at least six targets per game). He's also willing to run shallow crosses to help pad his stats. But Cephus should only get considered in Fantasy based on how frequently the Lions figure to pass this year. He's not a very explosive receiver who can shake his coverage; his biggest plays last week involved busted coverage that left him open. It's hard to count on that from week to week, especially against adept pass defenses like Baltimore's. Keep him benched.
The line wants us to believe: Even with their injuries, the Steelers are a better team. Expect a wake-up call for the Steelers here -- the Bengals have played hard through most of their first two games and are catching Pittsburgh with a depleted front seven and an ailing Ben Roethlisberger playing behind a bad offensive line. Cincinnati's front was able to pressure the Bears a decent amount last week (three sacks). Don't be shocked if the Bengals find a way to win outright.
PIT Pittsburgh • #11
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
There were three games in 2020 when Diontae Johnson was either inactive or played less than 20 snaps. One was a bust for Claypool with just a 24-yard catch. The other two included his 110-yard, four-touchdown game against the Eagles and a 74-yard rough-housing of the Browns with a rushing touchdown. Claypool is currently fifth in the NFL with 18.2 average Air Yards per target (ninth overall with 255 Air Yards), but he doesn't have a red-zone target yet. His short- and mid-range targets figure to increase dramatically with Johnson out, and he's already been on the other end of long throws on half of his 14 targets from Ben Roethlisberger, which is particularly encouraging since the Steelers' pass blocking hasn't exactly been great. That should put Claypool in at least the flex conversation against a Bengals pass defense that really should've given up three passing touchdowns last week instead of one (and did allow two in Week 1).
The line wants us to believe: Chicago isn't as good as last week suggests. The Bears nearly blew a 17-point lead with under 7 minutes to play last week, but they also had a pair of dropped touchdowns including an improbable one from Allen Robinson. Chicago's actually a more dangerous team with Justin Fields under center since he will challenge downfield more than Andy Dalton. In the 20 games Kevin Stefanski has coached, the Browns have won by seven-plus points just six times. Cleveland should win, but the Bears should keep it close.
CHI Chicago • #11
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
It's a small sample size, but on four targets from Justin Fields, Mooney is averaging a 12.8 average route depth. That's almost double the average route depth Mooney collected from Andy Dalton over 11 targets (6.7). The hope here is that Fields keeps looking for Mooney, which he's done on 30.7% of his throws so far. Fields' mobility should put Mooney in open spaces downfield to help produce numbers, plus Mooney already has an end zone target from Fields that he should have caught last week (he also had one from Dalton that got intercepted). Cleveland's been beaten up by receivers making chunk plays this year including two 30-yard receptions allowed to Houston last week. Mooney is a fantastic DFS play and an appealing No. 3 receiver too.
CLE Cleveland • #13
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Sunday figures to be the first time we'll really have eyes on Beckham since last October. There have been social media posts flashing Beckham's trademark speed and suddenness, but we just don't know how much he'll play or how effective he'll be. That goes double for Baker Mayfield, who hurt his shoulder last week and threw one ball farther than eight yards downfield after he returned. If both guys were healthy, there would be enormous potential against a Bears pass defense that's allowed big passing plays in each game. But because they're not, this might be a good time to just wait and see on Beckham. If we learn via the media that both guys are healthy and have no restrictions, then perhaps this tune will change.
The line wants us to believe: Even with a beat-up Carson Wentz, the Colts aren't a pushover. Indy has to hit the exacta of protecting Wentz and stopping Derrick Henry all game long. The former will be easier to do than the latter -- Tennessee is league-average in sacks and has the sixth-lowest pressure rate at 14.1%. But Henry's put up over 100 yards in three straight against the Colts, two of which were convincing Tennessee wins. The oddsmakers may have devised a terrific trap here, but the hunch is the Titans will pull away late.
IND Indianapolis • #11
Age: 24 • Experience: Rookie
Feeding Pittman targets seems like a good idea, but before last week's 12-target explosion he had just three games out of 15 with seven-plus targets. Two of those three games came against the Titans last year, and in one of them, Pittman finished with two catches for 28 yards (7-101-0 in the other). I don't think the Colts have to or necessarily want to throw a ton, especially since their ground game has been so close to producing this year. Pittman needs those targets to thrive since his 46th-best 3.64 yards after catch per reception average confirms his modest explosiveness. If I had more confidence in Wentz, whose health cannot be great, Pittman would be a flex play, but it's definitely safer to let Pittman sit this week.
TEN Tennessee • #17
Age: 33 • Experience: 10 yrs.
The truth hurts: Three different quarterbacks have more Fantasy points in each of their first two matchups than Tannehill has in his two games behind. His accuracy is fine, but he's not quite throwing as far downfield as he did over the 2020 season and he's definitely getting hit more (nine sacks in two games). Even though the Colts enter Week 3 with the third-fewest quarterback pressures (11) and the fewest quarterback hurries (two), Tannehill is at risk behind the Titans' suddenly sloppy offensive line. Tack on his recent history against the Colts (20 or fewer Fantasy points in three straight) and it feels unnecessary to start Tannehill. Derek Carr, Daniel Jones and Joe Burrow have better outlooks, and Justin Fields has more upside.
The line wants us to believe: Bill Belichick's defense will overwhelm Jameis Winston. Honestly, that's not hard to believe. What might be harder to believe is that Sean Payton's offense won't find clever ways to keep this game close. Both teams sport quality defenses, but it's the Saints that might get tested more so than the Pats, who figure to try controlling the clock in an effort to win. This will also be the Saints' third straight game away from New Orleans.
NE New England • #37
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
The Saints run defense held Christian McCaffrey to 3.0 yards per carry over 24 tries with a touchdown. That's pretty dang good. They seem to be absolutely tough on pure rushers like Harris. But that won't stop the Patriots from giving him work -- Harris is unquestionably their primary ball carrier as he has had at least 16 carries in each game. Benching any running back with that kind of workload is hard to do, especially one who ranks seventh in rushing yards (162), eighth in yards after contact per rush (3.46) and tied for second in tackles avoided.
James White RB
NE New England • #28
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
White is very clearly the Patriots' passing-downs back, but he actually played more snaps than Harris in Week 2, including in the red zone (50% to 38%) but not inside the 10-yard line (25% to 75%). There is a chance the Patriots attempt to evade the Saints' strong run defense and fling it around a little more. That would give White a shot to exceed the six receptions for 45 yards he's hauled in every week. But even if the Patriots stick with what's been working for them, those numbers are in play and create what feels like a safe minimum expectation for White at 10 PPR points.
The line wants us to believe: Buffalo is a dominant NFL team. The Bills might get there, but they're not there yet. Washington was gifted a win last week, and while they haven't shown enough to make anyone believe they could win at Buffalo, they also haven't shown anything to suggest they could be blown out. They've played two close games against two mistake-prone teams. Josh Allen has been a mistake-prone passer through two weeks and will be challenged here. This seems too easy to take Washington, but my guess is the public will be all over Buffalo.
Logan Thomas TE
WAS Washington • #82
Age: 30 • Experience: 6 yrs.
It's hard to sit a tight end with the potential to score and pick up catches and yards, which is precisely what Thomas is. He's landed a 16.3% target share from Taylor Heinicke this season, catching 8 of 10 throws for 75 yards and a Week 1 score. For now, he's the No. 2 receiver for the Football Team. Thomas will be Buffalo's toughest tight end to defend to date; his style for attacking the middle of the field figures to be problematic.
WAS Washington • #41
Age: 28 • Experience: 4 yrs.
What are the odds that Washington blows out the Bills? Probably small. What about a competitive game? Okay, not out of the realm of possibility. And what if the Bills just obliterate the Washington defense and put the Football Team in a football hole? Yeah, that's also possible. Either of those last two (likely) scenarios are good for McKissic, who seemingly has a grip on third-down and two-minute offensive work in Washington. It also probably means he'll play if they're in hurry-up mode over Antonio Gibson.
The line wants us to believe: The Raiders aren't as good as their record says. It's interesting that Vegas won by six against Baltimore and nine against Pittsburgh but are only getting 3.5 here. But under the surface of a 2-0 Raiders team is a squad with a depleted O-line, a still-not-good defense, a suspect run game and, most importantly, a hurt quarterback. It absolutely feels like the oddsmakers want you to take them, so don't. The Dolphins defense should find a way to keep the game close if not win outright.
Myles Gaskin RB
MIA Miami • #37
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Getting blown out last week affected Gaskin's workload as he was off the field after seven second-half snaps (he played over 80% of the Dolphins' first-half snaps). He also continued to work exclusively in the two-minute offense and collected five targets for the second straight week. The Dolphins hastily went away from Gaskin after he totaled one yard on his last three carries, ignoring the 24 rush yards he had on his first two. That's an easy fix for Miami this week against a Raiders run defense that wasn't seriously tested last week (12 running back carries for 39 yards) but was gashed badly in Week 1 (19 running back carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns). I would expect the Dolphins offense to do a better job of being balanced and backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett to lean on Gaskin in the pass game. I'm not running away from Gaskin at all.
MIA Miami • #17
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Waddle averaged 14.8 yards per catch with Tua Tagovailoa, and 7.0 yards per catch with Jacoby Brissett last week. Chances are the Raiders will play the Dolphins offense a lot differently with Brissett under center, potentially daring them to throw deep. And even if the Dolphins do that, Waddle isn't likely to be the one targeted. Through two games he has run a route of more than 10 yards 19 times on 69 pass plays. You could easily make the case that slot-heavy receivers like Waddle have done well against the Raiders, but it's tough to trust anyone in Miami's passing game with Brissett under center and its offensive line struggling to protect him.
The line wants us to believe: The Broncos are capable of a third straight blowout win. The oddsmakers knew they'd have to give the Jets a lot of points -- I'm surprised it's only 10.5. They might have gotten away with more because no one really wants to take the Jets even with a bunch of points. The only concern is that the Broncos will do what it takes to win and not necessarily annihilate an opponent, and Zach Wilson has shown some positives through two weeks. I'd still chance it with Denver.
DEN Denver • #25
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
When the Broncos said they'd use both running backs, they really weren't kidding. Through two games, Gordon has a 4% edge in overall snaps played, Williams has had three more carries, they're dead-even in third-down snaps, and Gordon has a slight edge in two-minute offense snaps and red-zone snaps. They're both good after contact, but Williams (3.04) has been better than Gordon (2.25). He's also been the more consistent back -- he doesn't have a 70-yard touchdown run propping up his numbers. In this matchup, you can also start Williams in addition to Gordon and feel confident. They're taking on the Jets. They were spiked for two touchdowns from two different Patriots running backs last week and gave up over 180 total yards to Christian McCaffrey in Week 1. It's a risk starting either Broncos running back because they're splitting in pretty much every single way, but at least the matchup isn't bad and the workload for each of them should be fine.
The line wants us to believe: This will be a close, fun, high-scoring game. The Rams haven't been tested by a prolific offense yet, and the Bucs haven't taken on a challenging defense yet. It will be fascinating to see how the Rams try to get after Tom Brady -- I wonder if they'll try to blitz him like the Saints did last year. Going against Brady has always been a dangerous endeavor but the Rams should have enough on both sides of the ball to take him down.
Chris Godwin WR
TB Tampa Bay • #14
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
For years, Tom Brady's preferred to attack the middle of the field. That's where Godwin has done plenty of damage not only through two games but over the past two seasons as the Bucs' primary slot receiver. If he continues to work in the slot, he figures to see more of stud cornerback Jalen Ramsey than any other Buccaneers receiver. Since the Rams moved to Raheem Morris at defensive coordinator, Ramsey has embraced a role as a "star" cornerback, usually lining up closer to the middle of the field before transitioning into a number of different roles post-snap. Ultimately he's covered the slot on 65% of his coverage snaps this year. If L.A. thinks they can use another cornerback plus a safety to contain Mike Evans, then they'll definitely feel comfortable having Ramsey key in on Godwin and take him away from Brady. Sitting Godwin isn't really advised, but expectations should be held in check.
LAR L.A. Rams • #27
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
When these teams met last year, Sean McVay ordered 16 running back rushes and 51 pass attempts. When these teams met in 2019, McVay called 10 running back rushes and 68 pass attempts! I have a funny feeling Matthew Stafford's going to be a busy man! So far this year it's been traditional running backs who have struggled with the Bucs defense -- but guys with some elusiveness like Cordarrelle Patterson and Tony Pollard have at least made them blink. Henderson is the more elusive runner compared to Michel, who has barely played for the Rams and was just solid in replacement of Henderson in Week 2. Chances are Michel will see more snaps and Henderson will get dialed back a little because of the rib injury he suffered, but don't expect a lot of touches from either guy.
Tyler Higbee TE
LAR L.A. Rams • #89
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Higbee's ability to work in the quick pass game gives the Rams a nice change-up from running the ball, which will be a tall order against the Bucs. Only one of Higbee's seven targets on the year have been farther than 10 yards downfield. The bigger issue, of course, is his target share, which went from a promising 23% in Week 1 to a nauseating 3.3%. If you read up on the Rams running backs, you saw that McVay has basically ditched the run in his past two meetings with this iteration of the Bucs defense. It would not only be unsurprising to see McVay do it again (especially given the injuries to Henderson), but it would be actually sensible to lean on Higbee on short throws as an extension of the pass game when he's not blocking. So far, Higbee has pass blocked on a grand total of nine Matthew Stafford dropbacks. More is expected in Week 3, but not enough to keep Higbee out of the top-12 convo.
The line wants us to believe: The Packers' win over the Lions means nothing. This is an absolute trap line -- why else would the oddsmakers give you points with Aaron Rodgers?! The Packers deserve credit for bouncing back against Detroit, but their defense still has some holes in it and the 49ers have proven to be cagey through two games. Stick with the home team.
GB Green Bay • #85
Age: 27 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Tonyan's touchdown catch last week was on a tight-window laser from Aaron Rodgers and was his 13th touchdown in his past 19 with the gunslinger. That's basically what you're hoping for from Tonyan -- a throw from Rodgers that results in Packer points. In those past 19 games, Tonyan's been above 50 yards five times, so you can't really start him hoping for some good yardage. Matchups really don't even matter at this point for Tonyan but the 49ers kept the Eagles tight ends from doing damage, but they combined for four targets. Rodgers has tossed multiple touchdowns in three of four games against San Francisco since 2018, two to tight ends.
Trey Sermon RB
SF San Francisco • #28
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Sermon should theoretically lead the way against the Packers, whose run defense looked bad in Week 1 (against the Saints) and better in Week 2 (against the Lions). Though he's played all of one snap, you should be reminded that Sermon is a good fit for the San Francisco zone-run offense which is similar to what he played in at Ohio State. During the preseason he impressed with his balance, physicality, hands and pass protection, but wasn't close to a burner. In his favor is a 49ers depth chart riddled with new guys who may or may not be utilized much (Trenton Cannon, Jacques Patrick). There is a better chance of Sermon handling the kind of workload Elijah Mitchell had last week (61% of snaps, 68% of running back rushes) than him getting benched for someone else. Sermon will have the chance to upend them on the national stage to make Kyle Shanahan -- and those brave enough to start him -- look like geniuses.
The line wants us to believe: The Vikings really are an explosive offense. Kirk Cousins has looked sharp through two weeks but the Vikings were stuck at 24 points in an overtime loss in Week 1 and only topped 30 points last week thanks to a pick-six. Their implied total of 26.75 points seems a tad too high. Can't say the same of Seattle, who has posted at least 28 points in each game so far.
SEA Seattle • #81
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
It's really difficult to get excited about a tight end who's procured two targets in each of his first two games. Last week we saw Freddie Swain get much more involved in the Seattle passing offense in a matchup against a weak secondary and pass rush. Something similar could be in the works for Week 3. It definitely doesn't help that Will Dissly has just as many catches and more yards than Everett so far this season, even though Everett is playing way more snaps. And yeah, Minnesota gave up 94 yards to tight end Maxx Williams last week, but 34 of the yards came on a silly tipped pass intended for someone else. Everett shouldn't be trusted as anything more than a touchdown-or-bust tight end.
K.J. Osborn WR
MIN Minnesota • #17
Age: 24 • Experience: Rookie
Osborn might be Minnesota's third receiver, but he's second on the team in receptions and first in receiving yards. He's also played 70% of the Vikings snaps, so it's not like he's a small-time contributor. But here's the shocker: He's their primary slot receiver, not Adam Thielen! Seattle's entire secondary is a liability that allowed 251 passing yards to the Colts and 347 yards to the Titans. Kirk Cousins has been playing great and Osborn has used his good speed to help him take advantage of the five-plus receptions he's culled in each game.
The line wants us to believe: What happened to these teams in Week 1 were illusions. It really feels like the oddsmakers are counting on the public to take Dallas on the strength of their Week 2 win, which was pretty fortunate given the Chargers' mistakes. Philadelphia is a better squad than what they showed against the 49ers, but the loss of pass rusher Brandon Graham on defense is going to hurt all year. If the Cowboys stick with their run game, they'll cover this spread.
PHI Philadelphia • #6
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
In two games, the Cowboys have allowed over 100 yards to three different receivers and 91 yards to a fourth. No matter what you think of Trevon Diggs, the Cowboys secondary simply does not have enough talent to cover multiple receivers. And honestly, I wouldn't pick Diggs to do a great job shutting down Smith after he gave up over 100 yards to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams last week (mostly Allen). Three of Smith's seven targets last week were deep balls, two of which were underthrown and he nearly made a play on both of them. Not only might the deep lobs keep coming for Smith, but he should get more involved in short- and mid-range throws too. I wouldn't be shy to use him.
The line wants us to believe: Carolina's just not quite good enough to score another blowout. My guess is the oddsmakers aren't convinced the Panthers can match their implied point total of 25.5 and think they'll win by one score or less. But rookie Davis Mills will have just a few precious days of practice before making his first NFL start against a defense that has a league-high 10 sacks. I'm not convinced the Texans will score more than 14, and I am convinced the Panthers can get more than 22.
CAR Carolina • #11
Age: 28 • Experience: 5 yrs.
The matchup is good for Anderson -- Houston's near-exclusive zone coverage defense gave up at least 11 PPR points to three different Jaguars receivers in Week 1, then was better statistically at Cleveland because the Browns threw just 21 times. Anderson's problem is a putrid 12.3% target share, tied for third-most on the Panthers with rookie Terrace Marshall. Basically, Sam Darnold has been feeding Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore shorter targets, and it's been working out for Carolina. If you start Anderson, you're hoping for another deep play like the one he had against the Jets. He's struggling to pick up targets in bunches and that's not likely to change in a matchup the Panthers probably won't have to throw much in.
HOU Houston • #13
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Of the nine targets Cooks got from Davis Mills last week, four were off-target and another bounced off Cooks' arm because he wasn't looking for the ball. The remaining four balls were caught in short range for 28 yards including a two-yard score. With Tyrod Taylor, Cooks had an 83.3% catch rate and averaged 18.2 yards per catch. Pretty obvious downgrade here! Tack on a Panthers pass defense that, save for a couple of leaks against the Jets in Week 1, has played very well, and Cooks' outlook is pretty dicey. If you start Cooks, you're hoping his target volume stays where it's been (10.5 per game) and he gets on the same page with Mills. I'm not sure how realistic that is. Cooks is only trustworthy as a flex.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 3 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.