After a great Week 3, you have every right to be thinking about which fantasy performances to believe and what to take away from them. There were more than the usual number of outliers, ones that could make your mind work overtime trying to rationalize things. Check here for a primer on some of the shortcuts your brain takes to bypass the slower logical decision-making process when setting fantasy lines.
Let’s dive in with the game of the week, which brought us not only the original pun but the Ken Dorsey tantrum that I, for one, immediately nominate to the meme hall of fame.
The box score for this game was all wrong, otherwise Josh Allenand. His 447 total yards and two touchdowns should have put his team in the W column, but alas. Singletary led the team with nine catches for 78 yards and a touchdown, and the speedy McKenzie was right behind with seven catches for 76 yards and a score. McKenzie also made an inexplicable decision to try to get a few more yards instead of going out of bounds, costing his team the game.
It wasn’t the Bills’ only mistake though; Davis caught just three of his six targets, one of which could have been a touchdown. Diggs led the team in targets, but dealt with leg cramps frequently during the game, resulting in just seven catches for 74 yards. As a scientist, I am driven to get to the bottom of some mysteries – and being from Rochester, NY, the Bills’ stats are in conflict. Was heat a factor in the team’s box score? Diggs is the only one who went to a northern college (Maryland), and it seems that he was suffering more than his extremely unusual teammates. Davis is from Florida but maybe he wasn’t as hurt as we thought. Or has being on the sidelines for much of the last 10 days limited his conditioning ahead of this game in poor conditions?
Singletary is already starting in most 12-plus leagues, as are Diggs and Davis. I’m in no rush to pick up McKenzie (42 percent of the roster in Yahoo’s league) as the is wet of these performances. Diggs and Davis will have better days, and Singletary will have worse, but with Josh Allen at the helm, this is an offense you don’t panic.
Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints
Although New Orleans didn’t score a single point until the fourth quarter of a Week 3 loss to the Panthers, the magic of fantasy James Winston managed to throw for 353 yards and put two WRs in the top six in receiving yards for the week. After a slow start with just three goals for Olave in Week 1, he now has 13 back-to-back goal games and, before Sunday’s showdown, was the poster child for unrealized air yards. Olave (9-for-147 yards) is now third among receivers in target yards average (18.2) and eighth in yardage share (41.7 percent) per NextGenStats.
He still hasn’t caught his first professional touchdown but is about 100 yards more than he was Michael Thomas or Jarvis Landry … both come out of Week 3 a little dinged up, as well Tre’Quan Smith (105 yards receiving). Despite the volatility of all rookie receivers, I’m putting this performance of Olave’s in the FACT bin. This is a team that needs to build on the positives, which it has, and it looks like it has become Winston’s favorite target. The king of garbage time is doing it again, so go to Olave if you need a change at WR (he’s still available in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues).
Herbert turned 20 rushing attempts into 157 rushing yards and two scores. He had two catches for 12 yards in the Bears’ narrow win over the Texans. Couldn’t predict David Montgomery‘s early injury – and everyone was excited for Montgomery to have a field day in the game with Houston – so Herbert probably wasn’t swinging a lot of fantasy games (don’t ask my boyfriend about that though). One of the most difficult decisions we have to make is when to go after injury backup. So many teams opt for a committee solution, or there’s such a huge talent gap between the starter and the backup that it’s not worth it.
Herbert, however: Per Adam Levitan, Herbert has averaged 20 carries for 100 rushing yards and 0.6 TD per game in five career opportunities with at least 30 offensive snaps. Basically, it’s been done before, taking this performance out of the bubble territory, This team wants to run the ball (Justin Fields‘ 15 pass attempts per game rank in the league at 11 attempts per game), and Herbert showed it doesn’t really make a difference if it’s him or Montgomery. While Montgomery’s injury doesn’t appear to be dire, Herbert is 100 percent worth adding to the speculation in case the team decides to take a cautious approach with him.
The Giants, the Bears’ upcoming opponent, had a big goal Rory Henry and Christian McCaffrey somewhat in check during the first two weeks of the season, however Dontrell Hilliard He was great in the receiving role, and McCaffrey didn’t go over 100 yards on the ground against them. The two Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott they found success against them on Monday Night Football. Let’s hope the Bears stick with a fully healthy Herbert for Week 4.
Quick Hits: Flu
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Unfortunately, Jimmy G showed everyone why the Niners were ambivalent about him when they played without confidence on Sunday night, a level not worthy of a game manager. Kittle should have been a difference maker against fantasy’s fourth-best TE competition but finished with just four catches on five targets for 28 yards. His average depth of field goal was just 5.6 yards, well below Garoppolo’s 8.3 yards per career number. Kittle is too good to ignore, so even though he was already on the field for 91 percent of the team’s snaps on Sunday night, expect his goal share to increase. Don’t expect a miracle against the Rams next Monday night, but there are very few players I would put on Kittle.
Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Lost in the glory that Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews The disappointment Bateman’s believers deserve to bask in. Although Bateman was second on Sunday, second only meant four goals, of which Bateman took just two. On a day when Jackson throws four touchdown passes, you’d hate to see Bateman’s six lousy PPR fantasy points.
For all his talents, Jackson is still one of the lowest scorers in the league – just 29 attempts per game. The main beneficiary of the Ravens’ high-scoring offense will change from week to week, and hopefully it will be Bateman at times. Unfortunately, even guys like it Porcupine Hill and Justin Jefferson it can’t be done every week.
Quick Hits: Fact
Romeo Doubs/Allen Lazard, WRs, Green Bay Packers
It wasn’t until I was answering the pregame sit/start questions Sunday morning that I realized there was so much distrust of Lazard, who still appears to be warming up (4-45-1 in Week 3). Doubs (8-73-1) was on the preseason radar for a team with WR roles very much up in the air but he had not yet proven himself in the regular season. Aaron Rodgers he cast doubt on his own abilities with back-to-back 2-TD, 260ish passing yard games. Going forward, I see both Lazard and Doubs starting in 12 team leagues.
Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos
Sad to say, but Wilson and the Broncos are a situation I want no part of right now.
Nobody looks comfortable, cohesion is rare and the box scores are showing (unlike the dysfunction in New Orleans, for example). After being one of the lowest scoring teams last season, Denver is setting a new low with just 14.3 points per game so far. The numbers for Wilson in particular are getting worse – fewer passing yards, fewer touchdowns and fewer fantasy points each week (184-0 vs SF). Uncooked hot dogs in cheerios with sliced cheese indeed.
No, it won’t be this bad every week, and I fully expect Wilson to have a few good games this season, but it will be hard to predict when they will happen. If you can find a big Russ believer in your league, save yourself the headache and move on to Trevor Lawrence (58 percent of the roster), Jared Goff (45 percent) or Marcus Mariota (22 percent), who is figuring things out faster than Wilson.
Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia is still near the top of the league in rushing attempts, rushing first downs and rushing touchdowns per game, but since Week 1, it’s all Jalen is hurt. Zero-RB drafters targeting Sanders were off to a great start perhaps celebrating too early. His Week 3 46 yards on 15 attempts in the Chiefs’ win was disappointing, to say the least. You should expect it from his lack of work in the passing game, but he’s not making the most of his contacts. The good news is that no other running backs are stealing the opportunities, and Sanders’ four red-zone rushing attempts are not the worse in the league.
I don’t think it’s mine PRIORITY REDUCTION putting too much weight on Sanders’ Week 1 game when I say his usage (11th most attempts in the league) requires you to keep starting him, especially in deep leagues and good games, and hopefully I have a big game to play from time to time. .