Projections sourced from razzball’s very own Rudy Gamble. Player and team stats, snaps, targets, news and data sourced from www.fantasydata.com.
Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City
O/U 53.5 , KC -6.5
Implied Score: KC 30.5 – BAL 23
The real question, who do we not start in this AFC playoff preview? BAL @ KC carries the highest line heading into week 3. Both teams making their second appearance in the weekly Shootout vs Blowout preview, and now fans get the pleasure of viewing both teams on the same field. If you like money, please put a couple of cash DFS lineups together with BAL/KC players sprinkled throughout.
The Ravens banged up secondary, Patrick Mahomes 3.5 TD/game, and Andy Reid together on the same stage reminds me of those Oprah Winfrey episodes you always heard about (never actually witnessed). You get a car, you get a car, we all get a car…but instead of cars, we are gifted touchdowns for everyone on the field. In a game where Kansas City is projected to score 4 TDs, and paired with a banged up backfield (LeSean McCoy, Damien Williams), I’d bet that all of KC’s TD come via Patrick’s arm. Travis Kelce you get a TD, Sammy Watkins you get a TD, Demarcus Robinson you get a TD, and Mecole Hardman gets a TD. An expected track meet, I am confidently firing up Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins as no brain starts. If you are looking for a couple of boom-or-bust flex plays this weekend, you won’t find many better options than Robinson and Hardman in week 3. Robinson was second to Watkins in snaps for this WR group last week, finding the field for 90.8% of their offensive snaps (Watkins 92.1%, Hardman 73.7%). Sammy Watkins is poised for a bounce back in fantasy production after receiving 50% of the target share against OAK and staying on the field for 92.1% of Kansas City’s offensive snaps. If the public suffers from negative recency bias and are hesitant to start Sammy in DFS lineups following his week 2 “dud”, Watkins will present lower ownership numbers heading into week 3 than he did heading into last weeks plus matchup against OAK. I rank Demarcus Robinson slightly ahead of Mecole Hardman due to his usage and NFL experience. Mecole Hardman did have a 75-yard TD pass called back on an offensive penalty. Adding, conservatively, 15 fantasy points to Hardman’s tied-WR26 finish and bumping him into WR2 range. Don’t get cute and sit a top 20 WR for either Hardman and Robinson, but both are high upside flex plays.
Baltimore’s strength resides in their run defense, allowing only 41 total rushing yards and an embarrassing 1.8 yards per carry this season. Damien Williams (knee) and LeSean McCoy (ankle) are banged up, and Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams are mere speculative adds until either are ruled out. There is little confidence in firing up any Chiefs RB in season long leagues this weekend against Baltimore. If either Damien or McCoy are ruled out, Darwin and Darrell are interesting bargain pieces in DFS.
Through two weeks of the NFL season, Lamar Jackson is the overall QB1 in fantasy football. We’ve seen it all from Mike Vick 2.0. Deep bombs dropped on a dime to Hollywood Marquise Brown and to the fantasy TE #1 Mark Andrews, and taking 19 carries for 126 yards (6.6 yards per carry). Build cash DFS lineups around Mahomes AND Jackson this weekend. Kansas City allowed 6th round rookie QB, Gardner Minshew, and Nick Foles combine for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns in week 1. Forced to play catchup (or is it ketchup), Derek Carr and the Raiders were forced out of their gameplay and were unable to get anything going after putting up a quick 10 points in the first quarter. A Divisional matchup, at Arrowhead, the departure of Antonio Brown, and the lack of a true “game breaker” were all factors in Oaklands slap-back to reality in week 2. Lamar Jackon’s passing and rushing abilities have him safely secured as a top 5 quarter back play this weekend.
After ranking last in BAL WR snap % in week 1 (18.2%), Hollywood Brown quickly climbed to the number 1 spot in week 2. Brown was on the field for 64.6% of the Ravens offensive snaps and had a team high 13 targets (37% target share). If the Ravens intend to keep up with Kansas City, Hollywood will need to have another big game for BAL. Trailing Brown by only 1 target, Mark Andrews is the second leading pass catcher in this offense. Leading in team receptions (16), Andrews has 220 receiving yards and 2 TDs through two games. It’s difficult to trust any other pass catcher in BAL, besides Brown/Andrews, no other WR/TE in Baltimore has exceeded 3 targets in a game. Surprising since the Ravens have scored 83 total points this season. Stick to the main guys here.
Forcing teams to pass, the Chiefs have leaked 210 yards on the ground through two games (6.0 yards per carry). Baltimore leads the NFL with a total of 79 rushing attempts (39.5 attempts per game), and an impressive 5.7 yards per carry. Fire up Mark Ingram as a RB2 this week. The Chiefs have allowed over 100 yards rushing in 7 out of their last 9 games (including playoffs). Justice Hill remains a back half of season bench stash but has a shot at getting incorporated more into the passing game in this weekends projected shootout, and Gus Edwards serves as the traditional handcuff for Mark Ingram owners.
We've only had 11 times where a team was laying 20+ points.
But… there was actually one time when it was the same week. Week 5 1987.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) September 18, 2019
New York Jets @ New England Patriots
O/U 44 , NE -23
Implied Score: NE 33.5 – NYJ 10.5
Everyone scoffed at NE -18.5 @ MIA in week 2, but the Patriots had no issue shutting out the Fins and leaving Dade County with 43 points on the board. The Jets offense struggled to score against an average Cleveland defense on Monday Night Football, Cleveland allowed Marcus Mariota and the run first Tennessee Titans to put up over 300 total yards of offense, 3 passing TDs and 1 rushing TD in week 1. Now the Jets trot out 3rd string QB Luke Falk against one of the top defensive units in the league. This will get ugly quick and removes any fantasy value for Jets skill players. Le’Veon Bell was able to muster up a respectful fantasy outing against Cleveland based on pure volume alone, but I’m keeping him on my bench against the Pats this weekend. The Pats haven’t allowed a team to rush for over 62 yards in their previous 5 games, dating back to last years playoff run (James Conner, Kenyan Drake, Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon). Luke Falk started to establish a connection with Robby Anderson late in Monday’s bout, but Anderson will most likely line up against top corner Stephon Gillmore…fade Anderson. I will not be surprised to see Pats post another shutout.
The Jets defense look to be without the meat of their defense with DL Quinnen Williams and stud ILB CJ Moseley sidelined with injuries. Paired with an offense that will struggle to move the ball, paves a clear path for Sony Michel to reach over 20 carries for a second week in a row. It’s difficult to trust James White in your lineups when the Pats won’t need to pass the ball much in this contest. White is 2nd in NE RB snap % (Michel 40.8%, White 38.7%, Burkhead 34.5%), 3rd in carries, #1 in targets and receptions out of the NE running backs, and 2nd in total team targets. Giving him a safe floor in must start situations in PPR leagues.
Julian Edelman leads this receiving core with a sturdy 93.7 snap % (Gordon 73.2%, Dorsett 67.6%, Antonio Brown 33.3%), and targets (Edelman 15, Gordon 9, AB 8, Dorsett 7). Josh Gordon‘s snap % actually increased in Antonio Browns first appearance in New England, but look for Josh Daniel’s to integrate AB more into this offense as the season progresses. AB’s presence diminishes Gordons fantasy value as the season progress, and actually boosts Edelman’s reliable week-to-week floor by pulling top coverage off of him. I’ll let the mainstream media handle the off the field stuff. As long as AB continues to play on Sunday, he should be in your fantasy lineups. The ageless wonder, Tom Brady, is a trustworthy top 10 QB this week.
Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys
O/U 47.5 , -22
Implied Score: DAL 35.4 – MIA 12.5
The Miami coaching staff decided to throw mentally fragile 2nd year, and former first round pick, QB Josh Rosen into the fire against one of the leagues top defensive units. Sink or Swim, and the right move for an organization with a bevy of first round picks in next years daft that includes two top QB prospects. Dallas’ front 7 led by dynamic linebacking duo Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylen Samuels, and Demarcus Lawrence on the line, makes both Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage easy bench decisions in week 3. I’m comfortable dropping Ballage in 12-team leagues. The only thing keeping Drake from weekly waiver wire material is the potential offensive upgrade due to a midseason trade.
A projected score of 12.5 for MIA, leaves little meat on the bone for any MIA wide receiver. The only hope is for garbage time stat padding, and the silver lining is the Cowboys might be down one of their defensive backs, SafetyXavier Woods (high ankle sprain). Devante Parker is the leading receiver in Miami, with rookie Preston Williams right behind Parker in snap % and targets. Cowboys top defensive back, Byron Jones, did start and play the majority of the game against the Redskins in week 2. Nearing 100% from his offseason shoulder injury, Parker should get Jones in coverage. Leaving Preston Williams as the higher upside in this game that has Miami playing from behind from the start of the contest. Both are fades in season long and hard to trust bargain buys in DFS.
Ezekiel Elliot coming off his two game primer, walks in to a smash spot against the swiss cheese Miami Dolphins defense that has been ravaged on the ground through two games. The Fins allowed a staggering 265 yards to Baltimore in week 1, where Lamar Jackson only ran for 6 yards. The Pats posted 124 yards on the ground, in a game where they wanted to showcase their new toy Antonio Brown and submit their AFC East foe. Rudy has Elliot projected as his RB2 in week 3.
2nd year breakout candidate Michael Gallup is sidelined for multiple weeks with a meniscus injury, but this should not cause any hesitations firing up the overall fantasy QB2 this weekend. Rudy has Dak Prescott finishing this week as the number 1 fantasy quarterback. Devin Smith has a real shot of replicating last weeks output, with Gallup sidelined and Amari Cooper receiving top coverage from Xavien Howard. Devin Smith is a bargain basement price on Draftkings, $3,400, in a game where the Cowboys are projected to hang 35.4 on Sunday. Even with Xavien Howard in coverage, do not fade Amari Cooper. Coop easily projects as a top 15 WR in week 3. The Dolphins have surrendered 643 receiving yards through two games and shipped away young secondary stud Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers. Give yourself a couple of DAL stacks in DFS this week.
Leave your feedback and questions below in the comments. As always, you can find me on twitter. Good luck in week 3!