We made it through Week 3 without any landscape altering injuries, and that is reason enough to celebrate. However, there were also a ton of big performances that made Fantasy players happy, even if they happened on your bench — like with Keenan Allen and Allen Lazard on one of my teams. Sure, I didn't get to enjoy their big games in Week 3, but I sure feel a heck of a lot better about their value moving forward. They were winners from Week 3.
And on the other side, if you were forced into starting one of the Giants running backs, you're probably in rough shape — and so is their value moving forward. A.J. Green, Adam Thielen and Leonard Fournette also all come out of Week 3 with their trend line pointing in the wrong direction. All three are losers for this week.
I went through every game on the schedule for Week 3 to identify the biggest winner and loser from each, plus highlights of key moments you may have missed and numbers to know from the games. Here's everything you need to know from Week 3:
Dolphins 31-Jaguars 13
The Dolphins held up their end of the bargain in a game that failed to deliver on the Fantasy hype.
- Winner: James Robinson. Three games in and Robinson has at least 90 yards in each, and he's averaging 20.6 PPR points per game. Robinson ceded some playing time to Chris Thompson in obvious passing downs, but he's proven a viable receiver in his own right, so even that might not be much of a concern moving forward. He's looking like a must-start RB moving forward.
- Loser: Mike Gesicki. He caught a touchdown to end up with 8.5 Fantasy points, which is fine for a tight end, but the one catch was a big disappointment coming off his eight-catch breakout in Week 2. In Gesicki's defense, the Dolphins threw the ball just 20 times, so there wasn't much opportunity for him to make an impact, but it was still frustrating to watch a player with so much talent and such long track record of inconsistency fall prey to that again.
- Number to know: Myles Gaskin played 75.4% of Miami's snaps in Week 3, and is now up to 64.2% for the season. That is good for the sixth-highest mark for a running back three weeks. Jordan Howard is still coming on for the occasional goal-line carry, but this is Gaskins' job.
- One thing you might have missed: Rookie DB C.J. Henderson came into Week 3 having allowed just seven catches in 71 snaps in coverage and was started to develop a reputation as a potential shutdown corner. That may still be in his future, but it sure wasn't in Week 3, as he gave up five receptions on six targets for 62 yards and a touchdown in this one, and far from avoiding him, he was the most-targeted player in Jacksonville's secondary. Oh, and he added a pass interference, too, one of four for Jacksonville in the game. Henderson's got a bright future ahead of him, but he probably shouldn't make you too concerned about anyone in Cincinnati's receiving corps in what could be a shootout in Week 4.
- Winner: Darrell Henderson. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the Rams backfield, because Malcolm Brown had legitimately been the team's lead option in both facets of the game before suffering the fractured pinky that had him questionable coming in. But Henderson got rolling early and had the Rams first six carries. Brown didn't get a carry until the second quarter, and even then, he just came in for a short-yardage first down and Henderson was brought right back. Henderson didn't even cede work to Brown in the red zone, a great sign moving forward. We'll see if Brown might have a bigger role a week further removed from the injury, or if Cam Akers returns from his rib injury and makes it a three-way split again. But, for right now at least, Henderson looks like the go-to guy.
- Loser: Tyler Higbee. The three touchdowns in Week 2 papered over a fact that is growing harder to ignore: Higbee just isn't getting many looks right now. He has 10 targets through three games, the same number he had through three games last season. This just isn't the same role Higbee had when he looked like a star late in the 2019 season. He looks like just another touchdown-dependent tight end.
- One number to know: Jared Goff has attempted just 90 passes through three games. That's a pace of just 480 attempts, 152 fewer than the Rams attempted last season. It has led to just 21 and 19 targets for Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, well below their paces for 2019 as well. However, Woods has run the ball seven times through three games, which is one way to make up for it. This seems to be a conscious decision by Sean McVay to play a more controlled style than last year's team.
- One thing you might have missed: The final numbers still say Allen played very well, and for most of the game, he did. But he's still leaving plays on the field. Most notably, it was a low throw to Stefon Diggs on a screen pass for a touchdown that was ruled incomplete and an overthrow of a wide-open John Brown on a deep pass. And then there was that final drive, which ended in a touchdown, but also saw Allen sort of melt down in the face of the Rams pass rush. He's better — and he's a must-start quarterback — but there are still areas for improvement.
In a battle to see who could establish the run harder, the Patriots racked up 250 yards on the ground.
- Winner: Rex Burkhead. Burkhead had the most receptions of any player from Cam Newton in training camp, and we saw a bit of that Sunday with his team-high 10 targets. Add in six carries — including two near the goal-line that Burkhead converted — and it was a huge game. How his role will change when James White returns to the team, but Burkhead has been productive pretty much any time he's had a role, and it might be hard to deny him a role moving forward.
- Loser: N'Keal Harry/Julian Edelman. Harry and Edelman had dominated targets for the Patriots through the first two weeks, and they were going to need to keep doing that given that this simply isn't going to be a high-volume passing offense if the Patriots can help it. However, with the ground game humming and Cam Newton looking Rex Burkhead's way 10 times, there just weren't many opportunities for the top wide receivers. Edelman still got six, but Harry's four targets and two catches were a real disappointment. Harry just hasn't shown enough to view as a player you need to have on your roster.
- One number to know: Even though he had a career-long 48-yard run and topped the century mark, Sony Michel still played just 37.7% of the snaps Sunday. The Patriots will have a three-back rotation, whether we like it or not.
- One thing you might have missed: Hunter Renfrow had a solid performance, but it could have been even better. He caught a 27-yard touchdown right before halftime that was reviewed and ruled down inside the 1, a call that wasn't exactly clear.
- Winner: The Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt combo. Week 1 feels like a long time ago, huh. The Browns won't be able to sit on the ball every week like they have the last two, but when they have the chance, both Chubb and Hunt can be high-level producers. Especially because the Browns are happy to line either one out wide, as they did on Hunt's touchdown catch. When they aren't sharing one spot on the field or in the lineup, it's a lot easier to make the math work.
- Loser: Dwayne Haskins. I was hoping to see a step forward in year two, but it just hasn't happened. Haskins' picks were mostly just bad throws without much excusing them. Sure the talent level around him isn't where it needs to be either, but Haskins just doesn't look long for this job.
- One number to know: J.D. McKissic played 34 snaps to Antonio Gibson's 25. Gibson is running the ball well, and that was supposed to be the hard part as he transitioned to the NFL. Instead, he has at least nine carries in each game, with a short-yardage touchdown in two straight but only six receptions for 16 yards. He's a converted receiver, Washington! Use him like one. For all the talk in training camp about how involved McKissic and Gibson would be in the passing game, they have 10 catches between them.
- One thing you might have missed: Even with the running game allowing him to play a reduced role, Baker Mayfield still leaves a lot to be desired. At one point, Odell Beckham had to play defense on a layup would-be INT. Beckham broke it up and saved Mayfield.
The Texans offense actually played well against another tough defense, they just didn't have many chances.
- Injuries: Diontae Johnson (concussion)
- Winner: Will Fuller. You'd still like to see more than five targets, but Sunday's four-catch, 54-yard, one-touchdown game was a reassuring performance after Fuller wasn't even targeted in Week 2. He led the team's wide receivers playing 93.7% of the snaps, after just 64% the previous week. I don't know what happened in Week 2, but I'm glad we left it there.
- Loser: JuJu Smith-Schuster. Sure, he scored another touchdown, but that's not enough to just ignore his alarmingly low target share. He had just five Sunday, giving him 19 through three games — a 17.4% target share. Sunday's was especially concerning because Johnson, Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target this season, was knocked out with a concussion in the second quarter. Smith-Schuster has played well, but the Steelers just aren't making him a focal point yet, and it's hard to say if or when that might change.
- One number to know: The Steelers ran 76 plays to the Texans 47, dominating time of possession.
- One thing you might have missed: The Steelers gave Anthony McFarland a touch on the first four plays of the second half, and worked him in sporadically throughout the game in his NFL debut. He had six carries and a pair of targets, but still only played 10 snaps. He might be a threat to Benny Snell's role as the Conner handcuff, though this usage came out of nowhere, so it's hard to say what was behind it.
Even with basically every name you know on their roster out, the 49ers still dominated the Giants, which might say more about the Giants.
- Injuries: Jordan Reed (ankle/knee) — Ruled out at halftime after trying to play through it
- Winner: Jerick McKinnon. Admittedly, McKinnon's role might be the single thing I was most off about in Week 3. I just didn't think he was capable of playing 48 snaps or handling 17 touches. It was great to see. Jeff Wilson got some garbage time work, and there is room for two running backs to have success in this offense, but McKinnon made a believer out of me. He's a No. 2 RB in PPR as long as Raheem Mostert is out.
- Loser: The Giants. Just all of them. Things almost have to get better moving forward, but Daniel Jones has looked overwhelmed and there's a glaring lack of weapons here. Devonta Freeman is not going to solve that. Evan Engram and Darius Slayton are low-end options at their positions, and Freeman is maybe a flex play moving forward, but there certainly isn't anyone here you're excited to start right now. This offense is a mess.
- One number to know: The Giants held the ball for just 7:34 in the first half and 20:16 overall. A couple more turnovers from Daniel Jones gives him six through three games. It was a major problem as a rookie, and he hasn't fixed it.
- One thing you might have missed: McKinnon's 16.7 Fantasy points should have been even more. He caught a 4-yard touchdown on the second drive of the game that was overturned due to an illegal use of hands penalty.
The Eagles played for a tie and got exactly that.
- Injuries: Dallas Goedert (ankle) — Likely to miss multiple weeks. … Desean Jackson (hamstring)
- Winner: Tyler Boyd. He had a disappointing Week 1, catching four passes for 33 yards, but Boyd has been excellent since. Over the last two weeks now, he has 17 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown on 21 targets. He was Joe Burrow's favorite target in camp, and he's the top Fantasy option in this passing game.
- Loser: Carson Wentz. The Fantasy production ended up being solid, but Wentz was a mess in this game. He had several passes batted down at the line, he panicked when pressure wasn't as close as he thought and missed easy throws over and over. He overthrew Miles Sanders on a deep pass where he had the LB beat for what could have been a touchdown, and he had at least one pick dropped in overtime. He has been picked off twice in three straight games, and, to borrow a phrase from Sam Darnold, looks like he's seeing ghosts out there. This isn't just about the line.
- One number to know: A.J. Green is averaging 4.1 yards per target on 28 targets through three games, the sixth-worst mark for a player with at least that many targets in the first three weeks of the season. There will be some regression to the mean, but you have to be worried his role is also going to shrink. He can be a buy-low target, but not one I'm really desperate to go get.
- One thing you might have missed: The Eagles were willing to settle for a 58-yard field goal in the final minutes of overtime and then, when pushed back a few yards, just gave up on trying to win the game. Rather than try to pick up a 4th-and-12 with 19 seconds left to set up a field goal, they punted with 19 seconds left, all but guaranteeing a tie. This was just an utter lack of confidence in the offense's ability to make a play. Why should you believe things will get significantly better if the coaching staff doesn't believe in it either?
If the Vikings could just get three guys to have a good game at the same time on offense, they'd be set.
- Winner: Justin Jefferson. We always preach patience with young receivers, but it's easier said than done, because you never can know when that breakout is coming. It's here for Jefferson, who stepped into the starting lineup, played 51 of 65 snaps (78.4%, compared to 54% last week), and was the team's No. 1 option, catching seven of nine targets for 175 yards and score. Jefferson is hugely talented and was seemingly drafted to fill the Stefon Diggs role. At least for one week, he looked like it fit him perfectly.
- Loser: Adam Thielen. Of course, the problem is, we never saw a version of the Vikings where they were a low-volume pass offense and Thielen and Diggs were both good for Fantasy. Can Jefferson get the room he needs to be Fantasy viable without taking away so much that Thielen can't produce? Somehow, the 0-3 Vikings have allowed 101 points through three games and have 78 pass attempts. Jefferson and Thielen won't both be relevant at 27 pass attempts per game, but given Kirk Cousins' struggles, it's not clear they'll want to throw more.
- One number to know: Chad Beebe, the No. 3 WR for the Vikings on Sunday, played just 22 of 65 snaps. It's all two tight-end or two-back sets, which means Kirk Cousins is often facing situations where his options are to force a deep shot or throw a short target to a player with limited playmaking skills.
- One thing you might have missed: The Vikings mostly held Jonnu Smith in check, as he went for five catches and 61 yards on eight targets, but they also got pretty lucky. In the first quarter, Smith came around to the right side in motion and got several steps on a linebacker down the sideline. Unfortunately, the ball traveled about 15 yards down field when it just needed to be 14, and Smith was unable to bring it in. If Tannehill hits him in stride, it's probably at least a 20-yard catch, and with Smith's after-catch skills, you never know how much more. Smith also had an end zone target that he got a hand on, though it would've required a herculean effort to haul it in between two defenders. There's so much upside in Smith's role right now.
- Injuries: Tarik Cohen (knee) — Torn ACL feared; Russell Gage (concussion) — Left in second quarter
- Winner: Allen Robinson. The squeaky wheel got the grease, and it didn't matter who the Bears quarterback was; he had six catches for 59 yards with Mitchell Trubisky and four for 64 with a touchdown with Nick Foles.
- Loser: Hayden Hurst. If you can't rely on Hurst in this game, when the Falcons threw the ball 38 times with Julio Jones out and Russell Gage leaving early, when can you? You don't have to drop Hurst, but we were hoping he would be the kind of tight end you don't need to worry about every week, and he certainly isn't that.
- One number to know: The Bears offense wasn't dramatically better with Foles replacing Trubisky, but Foles was more aggressive, averaging 12.1 air yards per attempt to Trubisky's 9.2. Both marks are in line with the more aggressive approach the Bears adopted in the first two games, and that should continue to bode well for Allen Robinson. And Anthony Miller, if he can ever get back to a full role.
- One thing you might have missed: Both of the No. 1 receivers in this game had great games that could've been better. Robinson had a touchdown taken out of his hands on Foles' first drive for what would have been 21 yards. On the other side, Calvin Ridley caught just five of 13 targets thrown his way, but any one of those incompletions could've been a huge play, and most of them were the result of Matt Ryan just flat out missing. Here are a few examples:
·Ridley was called out at the 1-yard line on a 63-yard catch and run in the first quarter
·Ridley can't hang on to tough pass in end zone from 4 yards out in the second quarter
·Ryan overthrows Ridley on what could have been a 62-yard TD at the end of the first half
·Ryan underthrows Ridley on 30-plus yard potential play
·Ryan overthrows Ridley for game-sealing interception. Was open for 20+ yard catch
This one got away from the Jets from pretty much the word go, which is becoming a theme.
- Winner: The Broncos defense. And the Cardinals, Chargers, Bills, Chiefs, and … Well, I imagine you get it by now. The Jets offense is an absolute disaster right now. They're bereft of pass-catching talent, can't block, can't run the ball and have a QB who may just be ruined. Maybe Jamison Crowder, Le'Veon Bell, Breshad Perriman, et al., can get healthy and make life easier, but this is going to be the offense to stream against for DST. The Broncos get them on a short week, too.
- Loser: Chris Herndon. I'm done. However talented Herndon might be — and I think he's plenty talented — you just can't expect him to break out in this offense. He went for 21 yards on three catches Sunday and now has 63 yards on 10 catches and 16 targets. Yuck.
- One number to know: Mo Alie-Cox followed up his breakout in Week 2 with a three-catch, 50-yard performance with a touchdown, but I wouldn't be buying too much stock just yet. Jack Doyle ran 16 routes to Alie-Cox's eight.
- One thing you might have missed: Sam Darnold's touchdown pass to Braxton Berrios was legitimately impressive, as he evaded several defenders to buy time to find Barrios. Maybe Berrios can remain useful with the Jets injuries.
It turns out you can replace Christian McCaffrey*
*I'm joking, but Mike Davis was really good!
- Winner: Mike Davis. I expected Davis to be a top 15 running back as long as McCaffrey is out, and that's just what he was in Week 3 in both non-PPR and especially PPR, where his eight catches really help. He didn't quite get the McCaffrey role, but he's clearly going to be a valuable option for at least the next two weeks.
- Loser: D.J. Moore. You're probably already feeling a bit antsy about Moore, so watching him get four targets while Robby Anderson got six and Davis got nine didn't help. Moore had 22 targets in the first two games, however, so maybe it was a matchup thing. He is getting deeper looks — 13.5 air yards per target compared to 11.1 last season — so if Sunday's reduced role was just a one-off thing, this could be a good buy-low opportunity.
- One number to know: Sunday sure looked like a vintage Austin Ekeler performance with the 11 catches for 84 yards and general PPR dominance. But his average depth of target was nearly 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage, shallower than any of Ekeler's games last season. Last season, Ekeler routinely earned routes down the field, but that hasn't really been part of the game so far this season. It's still a super valuable role, but there might be fewer big plays in the receiving game.
- One thing you might have missed: You might be worried Joshua Kelley's disappointing role was the result of his fumble, but that didn't appear to be the case. Kelley played 13 snaps in the second half, but that seems to have been game-flow related with the Chargers chasing points. When the Chargers can keep it close or jump out to a lead, they've shown they trust Kelley. Unfortunately, it might be tough for them to do either against Tampa Bay's tough defense in Week 4.
Tampa's offense looked better than it has and also left Fantasy players with no real answers on our most pressing questions.
- Injuries: Chris Godwin (Hamstring) — Did not return
- Winner: Ronald Jones. Look, he didn't lose his job just because Leonard Fournette had two good drives last week! Fournette cycled in earlier than he did last week, but he never managed to get his footing. Jones played 35 snaps to Fournette's 25, though neither managed to do much for Fantasy. Right now, this situation doesn't look nearly as lucrative as we'd hoped, and it's being manned by two seemingly similar backs with no concrete roles, so why deal with the headache of starting either if you don't need to?
- Loser: Mike Evans. OK, it's sort of hard to know exactly what to make of Evans right now. This was his second game in three with four targets and either one or two catches, but he was coming off a hamstring injury in Week 1, so he gets a mulligan. And he did sandwich those games around a seven-catch, 104-yard showing that looks like vintage Evans. But, of course, Chris Godwin was out for that one, so who knows what is just noise here and what actually matters?
- One number to know: All I'll say is, Evans target share has shrunken to 16.8% from 23.8% and his average depth of target is down to 8.6 from 15.1, and if Evans was going to struggle with Tom Brady as his quarterback, this is what we thought it might look like.
- One thing you might have missed: Noah Fant had a tough drive early in the third quarter as he dropped a pair of passes in quick succession. Neither was likely to result in a big play, but if you were underwhelmed by his points in Week 3, just know it could've been better. He was the top target in Courtland Sutton's absence, and I expect he'll be no worse than the 1b for the rest of the season.
We've still yet to witness the firepower of the fully armed and operation Cardinals offense, and they could've used a bit more in this one.
- Winner: Matthew Stafford. Kenny Golladay didn't have a huge game, but he gave Stafford a reliable weapon he could lean on, and it resulted in his best game of the season. It still wasn't what we saw from Stafford in 2019 before his back injury, but that should come as Golladay gets back up to full speed.
- Loser: D'Andre Swift. I whiffed on this one. Badly. In my defense … I don't know what the Lions are doing. They went back to Adrian Peterson in a big way after sort of phasing him out of the plan in Week 2. He helped the Lions win the time of possession battle, a not-insignificant thing against this Cardinals offense. However, Swift played just six snaps, after leading the running backs though two games. Peterson played 39 snaps, including 16 on passing downs, the same number as Kerryon Johnson and 10 more than Swift. I thought he might be on the verge of breaking through in this offense. Instead, it looks like he's fallen back behind square one.
- One number to know: One thing I was watching for in this game was whether Golladay's return would lead to Stafford being more aggressive, since that was such a key to his breakout last season. It's only one game, but the opposite actually happened Sunday — two of his attempts traveled more than 20 yards down the field and his average intended air yards fell from 8.3 to 7.1. That number was 10.7 a year ago.
- One thing you might have missed: Kyler Murray had a bit of good luck and bad luck in this one. On the negative side, a ball went through KeeSean Johnson's hands on one play, and then the same thing happened with Dan Arnold on the very next play, leading to a pick. On the other hand, he had Duron Harmon drop a pick later on, so it all worked out in the end.
The Cowboys couldn't quite finish off their second two-touchdown comeback in a row.
- Injuries: Chris Carson (knee) — Reportedly not serious
- Winner: Tyler Lockett. Some of you forgot Tyler Lockett was the No. 3 wide receiver in Fantasy until his knee injury last season, and it shows. DK Metcalf is awesome, but Lockett is still the No. 1 wide receiver in Seattle, and the ability to win in just about every way possible is why.
- Loser: There really isn't one. Carson's passing game work continues to shrink after an unexpectedly active Week 1, but that's not really a surprise; neither is the fact that Dalton Schultz had a decent, but not dominant game.
- One number to know: Russ was a bit more aggressive in this one, but his dominance isn't coming from a super aggressive change in approach like Dak Prescott's 2019 season. His Average Depth of Target was actually up in Week 3 from the first two games, but it was up to just around where it was last season. He's just executing at an incredibly high level, which will regress at least a little — a 13.6% touchdown rate is a bit much even for Russ — and he's getting to throw it a lot more, which hopefully won't.
- One thing you might have missed: You probably didn't miss it, but Metcalf owned the biggest blooper of Week 3, when he let up before getting into the end zone on a deep catch and had the ball punched out of his hands for a fumble and touchback. Of course, he made up for it with a game-winning touchdown, because it's all coming up Russ these days.
- Winner: Allen Lazard. I'm kicking myself for not starting Lazard in more places. I loved him as a sleeper coming into the season, and if I wasn't going to trust him with Davante Adams out, when would I? Well, maybe next week, with how good he was Sunday, catching six balls for 146 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. Marquez Valdes-Scantling had been the more-targeted receiver behind Adams through two games, but with Lazard dominating while MVS really struggled, I wonder if that might shake up that hierarchy.
- Loser: Jared Cook. Two games in a row with an opportunity to step up in Michael Thomas' absence, two duds. At least he got a touchdown in Week 2. Cook has four catches for 34 yards on eight targets since Thomas went out, and should be viewed along with the rest of the touchdown-dependent tight ends.
- One number to know: Drew Brees has been stunningly conservative to open the season, and Week 3 was no different. Overall, 29.8% of his targets have been behind the line of scrimmage and 56.7% have been within 5 yards of the line. His 4.64 average depth of target isn't just the lowest in the NFL, it's last by 1.39 yards. That explains why Sunday was so good for Alvin Kamara and basically nobody else. Kamara might be the best player in Fantasy for 2020.
- One thing you might have missed: Rodgers probably got a bit lucky on his 18-yard touchdown throw to Marcedes Lewis, who almost certainly should have been flagged for offensive pass interference for a push off. Of course, with how Rodgers is playing this season, he may have just thrown another touchdown on the next play.
Chiefs 34-Ravens 20
- Winner: Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The debut when he ran for 138 yards was what got everyone excited, but I think the last two weeks have actually highlighted why Edwards-Helaire is already an elite Fantasy option. He hasn't run the ball well (64 yards in Week 3, 38 the previous week) and didn't find the end zone in either, but he's still been a starting Fantasy option because of his passing game role, catching six passes for 32 yards last week and five for 70 Monday. That wasn't part of his debut, but this kind of passing game work is going to give Edwards-Helaire a massive ceiling every week and a high floor, too.
- Loser: Marquise Brown. Nothing went right for the Ravens passing game in Week 3, but Brown was especially bad with his two catches for 13 yards. Brown had a big performance in Week 1, catching five balls for 101 yards, but has just 55 yards on seven catches over the last two. Better days are ahead, but Brown hasn't topped six targets in any game, so that No. 1 role just hasn't been there the way we hoped. He can be a useful Fantasy option, but the breakout season doesn't seem to be happening.
- Number to know: Mecole Hardman made a big impact, catching four passes for 81 yards and a touchdown on six targets, one of five Chiefs players with at least that many targets. Of course, there's never been any doubt Hardman can break off a big play when he gets the chance, but he still isn't getting many chances — he played just 37% of the snaps in this one, behind Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill, sure, but also still behind Demarcus Robinson. Hardman is worth adding and stashing on your bench on the chance he does start to become a bigger part of the offense because we know he'll produce if given the chance, but he'll need to do that before you'll be able to trust him in your lineup.
- One thing you might have missed: The Chiefs decided to have some fun in this one, throwing to fullback Anthony Sherman for a score and then putting the game away with one to offensive lineman Eric Fisher. Kind of frustrating if you could've used a Travis Kelce touchdown to lock up a win.