2 weeks down, 15 to go. In my view, it’s been a funny start to the season with a few mild surprises (The Bengals only scoring 9pts in 2 games,the Giants looking terrible, and The Lions looking like a legit playoff team). Maybe it’s just me, but mostly it seems sort of ho-hum to this point. This is NFL fantasy.

Week 3 brings us the first London game of the season, which means us folk in WA can start watching football at 11:30pm and go right trough to about midday!  Let’s take a quick look at the slate…

Week 3 Preview

LA Rams (-2.5) at San Francisco (40)

Thursday night brings an NFC West showdown.  And when was the last time the Rams were road favourites? Jeff Fisher would be proud.

Players To Watch:
Todd Gurley ($8,000) is off to a really nice start this season, in large part to a combined 104yds receiving. The 49ers have an underrated defensive line, but the Rams are committed to getting Gurley involved.
The Rams Defense ($4,900) has 6 sacks in 2 games and looks primed to give Brian Hoyer fits. High scoring fantasy defenses start with pressure on the QB, so the Rams seem to be a great play this weekend.

Baltimore (-4) at Jacksonville (39.5)

The London game sees the undefeated Ravens take on the Jags. Bortles & Co. are the experienced overseas travellers here, so it will be interesting to see if that starts to have a positive effect on the Jags’ home away from home games.

Players To Watch:
Javorius Allen, BAL ($5,800) seems to be the favoured back in Baltimore these days. He’s out snapping and out touching Terrance West and is a featured part of the passing game. West will be a danger to steal goal line carries, but Allen should see more work throughout the game.
Allen Hurns, Jax ($6,300). The loss of Allen Robinson was a huge blow to this offense, but Hurns has put up big numbers previously and should see his fair share of targets moving forward.

Cleveland (-1) at Indianapolis (40.5)

If you thought the Rams being road favourites was odd, get a load of this! Granted, it could change by game day (it’s Wednesday night as I write this) but still. Two teams going in completely different directions here, yet not without some scoring upside. I think 40 is a low total, personally.

Players To Watch
DeShone Kizer, CLE ($6,800).  I would have been much more bullish on him if it weren’t for Corey Coleman being put on IR, but the Colts have given up 300yd games to old man Palmer and Jared Goff so far this year. Kizer is an interesting option this week if you want to jam in high priced RBs and WRs elsewhere.
Jack Doyle, IND ($5,400) has 10 catches for 120yds so far this year and most of that came from Jacoby Brissett last week, who gets the start again this week.  Doyle might be the chalky TE of the week.

Pittsburgh (-7.5) at Chicago (44)

The cupcake early season schedule continues for the Steelers. I guess it’s not their fault they get the play the Browns twice, but they ought to be taking advantage of this. The Bears have a sneaky good defense however and Big Ben will have to prove he can do well on the road if the Steelers want to be taken seriously.

Players To Watch
LeVeon Bell, PIT ($8,800). No hot takes here. The Steelers will want to get their star running back going this week. Whether it’s by air or on the ground, look for Lev to get 25+ touches.
Kendall Wright, CHI ($5,500).  Check his injury status, but Wright is pretty much the only good Bears WR these days and had 7 catches last week. If the Steelers get going, the Bears will be playing catch up and Wright could benefit if the game exceeds its expected total.

Miami (-6) at NY Jets (42.5)

If a team is a touchdown favourite on the road in a game that’s expected to be relatively low scoring, it says a lot about the underdog. In this case, it says that the Jets are bad.

Players To Watch
Jay Cutler, MIA ($7,500).  He might be the value play on the board.  Cutler was respectable vs a decent Charger pass D and now get the same Jets team that gave up 5 passing TDs to Derek Carr & Co. Of course, this puts Devonte Parker and Jarvis Landry in play too if you want to stack up the Fins.
Jermaine Kearse, NYJ ($5,900). Like Wright above, if the Jets are forced to play catch up, Kearse should see a lot of targets. He’s always had big play ability so might be a decent tournament option this week.

Denver (-3) at Buffalo (40.5)

I see this as a trap game for the Broncos as they come off a big prime time win vs Dallas and head to Buffalo. Personally, I’m staying away from this game.

Players To Watch
CJ Anderson, DEN ($6,800). He’s off to a nice start and looking like the Bronco workhorse so far. Ride him until he breaks.

Houston (+13.5) at New England (44)

What a difference a week makes! The Pats shook off their Week 1 Chief beat down and got their offensive mojo back on track. Houston has some playmakers on defense, so this could be an interesting game…or it could be a blowout. Leaning towards the latter.

Players To Watch
DeAndre Hopkins, HOU ($7,600).  The yardage hasn’t been there, but Nuc has 7 receptions in each game so far and should do OK vs a so-so New England secondary. Deshaun Watson might be the best quarterback he’s had and if they build some chemistry, look out.
James White, NE ($5,700). He’s a little spark plug out of the backfield and with all the losses the Pats have had to their receivers (not to mention the perpetually nicked-up Gronk), he should get a decent number of touches. He might not be under $6k much longer.

New Orleans (+6) at Carolina (46.5)

The Panthers have only given up 6pts this year, while the saints have given up over 60. It seems like the betting line on this game is not taking into account strength of schedule. I could be wrong, but I think this game sets up to be a close one.

Players To Watch
Coby Fleener, NO ($5,800). I liked him before he was cool. I was all over Fleener last year and drafted him in just about every seasonal league I was in. He stank up the joint to the tune of 50 catches and 3 whole TDs on the year. At this rate, he’ll surpass those totals (certainly the TDs) by about week 8.
Jonathan Stewart, CAR ($6,300). Everyone is going nuts for Christian McCaffery and I’m not about to say they’re wrong, but J-Stew is the Panther go to guy. Ron Rivera strikes me as the kind of guy who will lean on a hard runner and as a home favourite, Stewart seems like a smart play.

Tampa Bay (-1) at Minnesota (43)

This game pretty much relies on the availability of Sam Bradford. You really need to check up on practice updates for Thursday and Friday before considering any viable Vikings and as much as I love Mike Evans, at $8,700 he’s hard to recommend.

Atlanta (-3) at Detroit (50.5)

Now we’re talkin! Two high powered offenses and two marginal defenses playing indoors. From a DFS perspective, this game will be chalky as there will be plenty of players to pick from. And while it’s early still, the winner of this game move to 3-0 and will be sitting right at the top of the NFC.

Players To Watch
Ameer Abdullah, DET ($6,200). While everyone will be focusing on the passing game of both teams, it shouldn’t be overlooked that Abdullah got 17 carries for 86yds vs a decent Giant D last week. He was an elite college talent and coming off injury in his rookie season and I think he’ll get every chance to show us what he’s got this week.
Julio Jones, ATL ($9,400).  He’s one of the most expensive players on the slate, but probably worth finding a way to jam in. He hasn’t scored a TD yet this year…I wager he does this week.

NY Giants (+6) at Philadelphia (43)

Kind of feels like a must win for the Giants as they head to Philly for the eagles home opener. Tough spot for the G-Men as they try to get things on track vs a tough division rival.

Players To Watch
Orleans Darkwa, NYG ($5,000). If you want to take a shot in a tournament, here’s your guy. Paul Perkins has done nothing to claim the starting running back gig, so keep an eye on Giant beat reporters heading into gameday.
Carson Wentz, PHI ($7,800).  Back to back 300yd, 2TD efforts to start the season. Is he going to keep it up and jump into the QB elite this year? If he can do it in this tough matchup, then Eagle look for a bunch of Eagle fan memes!

Seattle (+2.5) at Tennessee (42.5)

The Seahawks catch a little bit of a scheduling break as this game gets pushed back to a 4pm EST start. All eyes will be on the Seattle offensive line and whether it can go from woeful to at least below average.

Players To Watch
Eric Decker, TEN ($6,000).  He hasn’t done much so far this year, but with rookie stud Corey Davis ruled out, the veteran receiver should draw a lot of attention from Marcus Mariota. Not sure how the Seahawk D will go about covering Decker, but sure handed slot receivers have given this D trouble in the past.
Chris Carson, SEA ($6,100) was probably the hottest waiver pick in seasonal fantasy this week as he’s looked like the most effective Seattle RB so far this year. Keep your eyes out for offensive line personnel changes from the Seahawks this week. Run blocking should be the unit’s strength and if they make some moves, it’s because Pete Carroll will die trying to establish the run.

Kansas City (-3) at LA Chargers (47.5)

Classic AFC West showdown here as the undefeated Chiefs take on the winless Chargers. You wonder how the Chargers feel about playing in a soccer stadium that can only hold 27,000, yet coulnd’t even fill it up. Home field advantage? Hmmm…

Players To Watch
Alex Smith, KC ($7,500).  I’m calling it now, Smith is going to garner MVP consideration at season’s end (barring injury, of course). You get the feeling early on that everything is clicking: an elite tight end; a game breaking playmaker; a young, exciting RB; a veteran supporting cast; a solid defense. I think the Chiefs are for real and Smith is in line for a career year.
Hunter Henry, LAC ($5,400). Now that Antonio Gates has the record for most TE touchdowns, the Chargers can focus on getting the ball to the guy who will actually help them win games. Nothing against Gates, but Henry is the future.

Cincinnati (+9) at Green Bay (44.5)

Another big spread with a lowish point total, meaning there’s not a lot of love for the Bengal offense. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t score a TD in your first two games.

Players To Watch
AJ Green, CIN ($7,600). He’s been the only thing reasonably decent within the Bengal offense so far and matches up well here this week. He’s a great tournament play.
Packer plays will be affected by the availability of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. If one or both can’t go, the value of Ty Montgomery will skyrocket. Keep an eye on injury/practice updates here.

Oakland (-3) at Washington (54)

Fifty Four? Wow. This has all the makings of an inter-conference shootout and looks like it will be one of the more entertaining games of the weekend. Nice game to finish off Sunday (and it’s a public holiday in WA, so…WOOT!)

Players To Watch
Chris Thompson, WAS ($5,700) will probably be one of the higher owned players on the slate. Even if Rob Kelley is healthy enough to play, Thompson seems like a no-brainer at the price.
Terrelle Pryor, WAS ($6,800). If this game shoots out like the implied total suggests, Kirk Cousins will have to find some targets somewhere and Pryor seems primed to get his first Skins TD here.
Jared Cook, OAK ($5,300).  Cooper & Crabtree will be getting all the attention this week, but Cook just might be the guy to exploit a Redskin defense that’s giving up over 100yds to tight ends so far this year.  There will be more than one Killer C’s stack this weekend, that’s for sure.

Dallas (-3) at Arizona (47)

The week of the Home Dog finishes with two would-be NFC title hopefuls battling in the Arizona desert. The Cardinals make their 2017 home debut after an overtime win at lowly Indianapolis while the Cowboys are licking their wounds form a Bronco beat-down.

Players To Watch
Larry Fitrzgerald, ARI ($6,600).  I was all in on Fitz last week and he did nothing, so surely he’s going to come up big on Monday night. The Broncos and Trevor Siemian were super efficient against the Cowboy D, so if Old Man Palmer has anything left in the tank, now is a good time to show it.
Cole Beasley, DAL ($5,400) had 8 targets last week against a very tough defense. If he gets a similar number of targets this week, he’s a good chance for a score.

 

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