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Fantasy Focus – Week 3 Matchups

Fantasy Focus – Week 3 Matchups

A week for incredible comebacks and other teams find their form. One or two correction predictions, a few near misses and others nowhere near, has resulted in a change of opinion for some teams and players. Time to direct our fantasy focus towards Week 3 with our next four matchups. 

Steelers @ Browns

Two teams stuttering in the early season. Pittsburgh are acclimatising to life post Big Ben and they are not finding it easy. Trubiksy has not shown us anything to settle the pre-season concerns and it will be Kenny Pickett time sooner rather than later. As for the Browns, Jacoby Brissett is showing us he is a serviceable NFL QB but there is little to no fantasy upside.

 

Fantasy Factors

Will Chubb keep carrying this Browns offence?

Nick Chubb has had a big start to 2022 with 228 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns thus far. For as long as Brissett is under centre for the Browns and arguably as long as Stefanski is in the job, Chubb will always have big fantasy value. The Steelers will be a tougher matchup compared to the Panthers and Jets, but without TJ Watt and assuming this is a low scoring game the Browns will lean as always on the running game.

Amari Cooper’s breakout

The Browns were in full control of their Week 2 matchup, until a special last 2 minutes from Flacco and the Jets stole the result. .Apart from Chubb the other shining light in this Browns offence was Amari Cooper, he had 9 receptions for 101 yards and a receiving touchdown. Cooper is the clear no.1 in Cleveland but with a tough matchup against a good Steelers secondary, Cooper will have to make the most of the high volume. Cooper should be slept on in week 3.

Where is the value in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is a tough debate as to where/who will have the fantasy value on any given week. Najee Harris was an absolute bell cow in 2021 but his offseason injuries followed by a weakened offensive line resulted in a below par start to the season for his standards. Harris’ volume and workload should not change so he should remain fantasy relevant throughout 2022 if he remains fit. Diontae Johnson and Pat Freirmuth have emerged as the true receiving fantasy value picks here with Claypool being an outside contributor. This week against the Browns Najee should have value, whilst that elite Browns pass rush might put Trubsiky under pressure resulting in an off week all round for Steelers receivers.

My Predictions:

  1. Steelers get off the mark for the season with a win in Cleveland
  2. Chubb bellcow and Cooper high volume
  3. Najee to have his best game this season

 

Raiders @ Titans

Two franchises desperate for a win! This a must-win game for Vegas to have any chance of keeping up with the pace setters in the AFC West. Week 2’s late capitulation by the Raiders will have a few fans concerned, and nothing apart from a win will settle these nerves. As for the Titans, their appalling showing in week 1 against the Giants was followed by an almost impossible task of travelling to Buffalo. But their performance and most notably Ryan Tannehill’s struggles will  have alarm bells ringing in Tennessee.

Fantasy Factors

Davante should bounce back in Tennessee

Adams was held in check by the Cardinals in week 2 with only 2 receptions for 12 yards however he was still able to cross over for a touchdown. This will not happen in back to back weeks so expect Adams to have a big week in what should be a high scoring game.

Waller back to being a top tier tight end, whilst Jacobs staying just about relevant

Waller seems to have recovered well from his 2021 injury as he is back to his usual productivity and his high target volume (14 targets over the first two weeks). The Tight End should have another relevant game against the Titans, whilst the real worry is Josh Jacobs. After Vegas rejected his 5th year option there have been big question marks over his role in Vegas. Jacobs isn’t going without a fight but his value is not where it was. Jacobs should have a quiet game due to game script with Raiders trying to keep up with the high scoring game.

Is Tannehill a sinking ship?

This Titans offence has really been poor to start 2022. Having lost AJ Brown in the off season alot of Titans fans questioned this move and essentially placed more pressure on the franchise to prove that letting him go was the right decision. Tannehill is really struggling without his reliable no.1 target and apart from Burks as the rookie there aren’t many other reliable target options. Henry is back from injury, but showing a slight hangover in recovery. Henry will need to have a big game to keep the Titans in the battle here against Vegas. Fantasy-wise, Henry should be the bell cow and Burks might be primed for a breakout in week 3.

My Predictions:

  1. Davante bounce back week
  2. Waller to continue elite TE role
  3. Henry & Burks will need to produce to keep Titans in the game

 

49ers @ Broncos

The big news from week 2 is the devastating injury news for Trey Lance. Jimmy Garoppolo has been given a second life in San Francisco and he will have a point to prove. As for Denver, they find themselves in a slightly precarious position with Russell Wilson. He has not hit the ground running and their struggles in the first two weeks have resulted in a number of loud “boos” from the Denver fans. Wilson will be under the magnifying glass this week and a player of his calibre needs to take the responsibility and re-announce himself to the NFL.

 

Fantasy Factors

What are the fantasy implications of a Jimmy G lead offence?

The excitement bubble surrounding how Trey Lance would influence this 49ers team has burst and the reality now is that Jimmy G is under centre. We have seen this before as recently as last year where Jimmy G was able to take this team to the NFC Championship game. Jimmy G gives all the receivers a little up tick, and this week against the Broncos should see a strong showing from Deebo whilst Aiyuk and possibly a fit Kittle fight it out for the remaining targets.

Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon about to explode

The 49ers are a tough defence to play against, and although Wilson is now in town for Denver, it should be a tough matchup for the Broncos receivers. Williams and Gordon shared a combined 25 carriers last week and should the Broncos win the ball possession battle this number should increase. If they are able to get ahead on the game script and control the game the Broncos running back duo could have a monster week with Javonte being the leader of that backfield.

Keep Sutton in mind

Courtland Sutton had his breakout week against the Texans with 7 receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown. Jeudy took a knock which forced Wilson to filter more targets in Sutton’s direction. With Sutton and Wilson seeming to be synchronising and Jeudy’s possibility of missing time, this should result in Sutton being a weekly relevant fantasy play, however this week against the 49ers will be a tough task against a dynamic secondary.   

My Predictions:

  1. Russell WIlson statement victory
  2. Broncos run game to have a big week
  3. Deebo to have a huge game in loss

 

Cowboys @ Giants

The 2-0 New York Giants, ladies and gentlemen! Credit where credit is due, and no one saw this coming at the start of the season. The Giants new found form is largely down to their defence and Saquon Barkley being back to his explosive self. The Cooper Rush led Cowboys however had a statement victory over the Bengals. It announced that they should not be underestimated. This has everything in place to be a great NFC East derby! 

 

Fantasy Factors

Saquon Barkley comeback player of the year?

39 carriers for 236 yards with 9 receptions for 46 yards! The Giants fans have every right to be excited by the sheer volume of touches for Saquon as well as his efficient production. With Washington’s defeat to Detroit, if the Giants can be carried to a win here by Saquon they can begin to put pressure on Philadelphia for the NFC East title. With the importance of this game, it suggests Daniel Jones will rely heavily on Saquon for efficient rushing to control ball management. There is very little to suggest to me there will be anything other than another big Saquon game.

Zeke Elliot vs Tony Pollard

It is undeniable that the battle for the Cowboys backfield is getting closer and closer after every week. Zeke is still carrying the majority of the workload. However, it is clear to everyone how explosive and exciting the prospect of Tony Pollard is. The changing of the guard will happen this season. But the Cowboys might see themselves behind the Giants on the scoreboard. That should change the game script to more receiving-friendly options for Cooper Rush.

Is Noah Brown a real option?

Noah Brown has accumulated 14 targets over the last two weeks. This is a result of having Cooper Rush under centre. Brown and Rush have built a connection from their time as back ups and working together a lot during the pre-season. Ceedee Lamb is the clear no.1 in Dallas. But, with Gallup’s injury and Schultz not being as efficient as first hoped, Noah Brown has really carved out a little role for himself in this offence. He should remain an option for week 3!

My Predictions:

  1. Giants go 3-0, as the dream goes on
  2. Saquon in the comeback player of the season conversation
  3. Noah Brown leads the Cowboys receiving group

Nathan – @mountaindrew92

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