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USATSI

Earlier this week I wrote in this space that I didn't want to start Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or Russell Wilson. That hasn't changed. They're all in terrible spots against great defenses and learning to adjust without the elite weapons they've had in the past. One guy I am starting, albeit with reservations, is Tua Tagovailoa against the Buffalo Bills.

My reservations at this point are pretty heavily influenced by his opponent. The Bills have arguably looked like the best defense in the NFL, and in the past Tagovailoa hasn't been someone we start against an average defense, much less a great one. But in the past he hasn't had Mike McDaniel, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle on his side.

This early in the season the only way I adjust for opponent is by what they do to the implied point total of an offense. For example, the Dolphins have an implied total of 23.25 as of Thursday afternoon. Brady's Buccaneers (21.5), Rodgers' Packers (20.5), and Wilson's Broncos (21.75) are all lower. 

As we already discussed, Tagovailoa has the clear edge in weaponry and the Vegas lines suggest his team will score more points as well. If he actually pulls it off and posts a top-12 week against this defense, we won't be doubting him as a Fantasy starter any longer. Just don't take the opposite to be true. If the Dolphins struggle against Buffalo, we can't really take much from it. Everyone has so far.

Let's get to the rest of the preview:

Week 3 QB Preview
QB Preview
Numbers to know
  • 2 -- Russell Wilson has just two passing touchdowns through Week 2 -- the only two touchdowns the Broncos have scored. 
  • 32.8 -- Fantasy points per game for Carson Wentz, which ranks fifth among all quarterbacks.
  • 24 -- Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense is ranked 24th in the league in first down pass rate. Last year, the Bucs had the second highest pass rate. 
  • 8 -- Eight straight games for Josh Allen versus the Dolphins with at least two passing touchdowns.
  • .88 -- Kyler Murray's touchdown-to-interception ratio in seven career games versus the Rams. In last year's playoff loss, Murray was 4-12 for 22 yards and one interception while under pressure. 
  • 28 -- Justin Fields has only thrown 28 passes this season, one fewer than Dak Prescott.
  • 88 -- Marcus Mariota's 88 rush yards ranks third among quarterbacks.
QB Preview
Matchups that matter
Matchups that Matter
Projections powered by Sportsline
GB Green Bay • #12
Age: 38 • Experience: 18 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TB TB -2.5 O/U 41
OPP VS QB
2nd
PROJ PTS
17.2
QB RNK
14th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
429
RUYDS
9
TD
2
INT
1
FPTS/G
12.1
TB Tampa Bay • #12
Age: 45 • Experience: 23 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs GB TB -2.5 O/U 41
OPP VS QB
13th
PROJ PTS
19.3
QB RNK
15th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
402
RUYDS
-3
TD
2
INT
1
FPTS/G
12
CHI Chicago • #1
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs HOU CHI -2.5 O/U 40.5
OPP VS QB
9th
PROJ PTS
16.3
QB RNK
20th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
191
RUYDS
48
TD
3
INT
2
FPTS/G
13.2
MIN Minnesota • #8
Age: 34 • Experience: 11 year
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs DET MIN -6 O/U 52.5
OPP VS QB
29th
PROJ PTS
25.4
QB RNK
7th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
498
RUYDS
20
TD
3
INT
3
FPTS/G
16.9
CIN Cincinnati • #9
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NYJ CIN -4.5 O/U 45
OPP VS QB
21st
PROJ PTS
24.6
QB RNK
9th
YTD Stats
PAYDS
537
RUYDS
73
TD
3
INT
4
FPTS/G
20.4
QB Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
Adds/Streamers (QB Preview)
ATL Atlanta • #1
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ SEA SEA -2.5 O/U 42
OPP VS QB
18th
QB RNK
13th
ROSTERED
42%
YTD Stats
PAYDS
411
RUYDS
88
TD
3
INT
2
FPTS/G
18.6
It's a pretty terrible week at quarterback, but Mariota's rushing ability and good matchup make him a borderline start against Seattle. He's a better option in leagues that only reward four points per pass touchdown because it would be very surprising if he throws more than two. But he could run for another as well.
CHI Chicago • #1
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs HOU CHI -2.5 O/U 40
OPP VS QB
8th
QB RNK
17th
ROSTERED
57%
YTD Stats
PAYDS
191
RUYDS
48
TD
3
INT
2
FPTS/G
13.2
Fields' start to the season hasn't been inspiring, but he's faced the 49ers defense in terrible weather and a very good Packers' defense coming off a bye. He faces the Houston Texans in Week 3, which is a challenge he should be up to.
One To Stash (QB Preview)
PIT Pittsburgh • #10
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CLE CLE -4 O/U 38
OPP VS QB
24th
QB RNK
NR
ROSTERED
12%
YTD Stats
PAYDS
362
RUYDS
16
TD
2
INT
1
FPTS/G
14
Trubisky and the Steelers face a mediocre Jets defense in Week 4. That defense made Jacoby Brissett look competent in Week 2. If you prefer to bet against Trubisky surviving Thursday Night Football, then stash Kenny Pickett.
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DFS Plays
Top DFS Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
PHI Philadelphia • #1
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ WAS PHI -6.5 O/U 47
OPP VS QB
22nd
PROJ PTS
25.8
QB RNK
2nd
YTD Stats
PAYDS
576
RUYDS
147
TD
4
INT
1
FPTS/G
29.9
Hurts is QB3 on the season in FanDuel scoring and he's only thrown one passing touchdown. We still haven't seen his weekly upside and the Washington defense is arguably the worst he's faced this season. There's a week coming soon when he tops 400 total yards and produces four touchdowns. He's going to win a lot of people money that week.
Contrarian DFS Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
MIN Minnesota • #8
Age: 34 • Experience: 11 year
Two things are true about Kirk Cousins. He's almost always terrible in primetime and he almost always destroys the Lions. Hopefully his most recent disappointment under the bright lights will hold down his roster rate this week.
QB Preview
Heath's projections