FANTASY FOCUS – WEEK 3
Week two is now behind us. It was a rare down week when it comes to my predictions. Burrow’s injury seems to be more serious than first thought, Trevor Lawrence seems to get over awed in big matchups still and Kittle doing more of a block role than a Fantasy relevant one. The few positives were Travis Kelce’s return. Deebo Samuel showing up to the Purdy party. And, Rookie Puka Nacua carrying on his hot streak.
Atlanta Falcons (2-0) @ Detroit Lions (1-1) (SNF – 18:00 BST)
The Falcons will be pleased with their start to the 2023 season. 2-0 with a controlled win in week one. Then a 13 point fourth quarter comeback to win against a young, exciting, Packers team. Just what the doctor ordered. The Lions spectacularly beat the Chiefs in week one and then lost in overtime to the Seahawks. They sit fourth overall in total yards per game and most notably are averaging 283 passing yards per game.
What’s happened to Pitts?
After week one’s solid result again the Panthers. Head Coach Arthur Smith made it very clear that Fantasy was not a factor their offensive scheme took into consideration. Both Drake London and Kyle Pitts have been negatively impacted by the new scheme, yet the team are sitting at 2-0. Bijan Robinson has hit the ground running as the focal point for this Falcons offence. This week against the Lions should see the team from Detroit put up points and I think the game script will have a positive influence on Pitts. He should see more targets this week and hopefully red-zone targets.
Lions offence is looking good
Lions have the second best PFF grading for offence so far this season and sit fourth in the total yards per game. They also sit fourth in total passing yards per game. However, they are matched against a good Falcons secondary who have allowed the second least passing yards per game. I think the Lions offence will find it tougher against the Falcons but Amon-Ra St.Brown should still be the focal point and with David Montgomery’s slight leg issue, Jahmyr Gibbs could be set for a big breakout game.
- Lions win by <6pts, total game points scored 45+ pts
- Pitts 50+ receiving yards + TD
- Jahmyr Gibbs 100+ total yards + TD
Los Angeles Chargers (0-2) @ Minnesota Vikings (0-2) (SNF – 18:00 BST)
Both these sides sit 0-2 to start the season, but both have lost their games so far by less than one score. The Vikings are now on the wrong side of this stat, and the Chargers are beginning to stutter under coach Staley. Both these offences sit in the top 10 for total yards per game but defensively there are big questions to answer. One of these two teams will end the week at 0-3 for the season and that coach and the players will be under a lot of scrutiny.
Keenan Allen still a stud
When the Chargers drafted Quentin Johnston a few fantasy followers believed there might be a changing of the guard within this Chargers offence. But at the ripe old age of 31, Keenan Allen is still showing these receivers how to get it done. With 14 receptions for 187 yards and 2 Touchdowns, Allen is still playing at a high standard and should continue to be a must start in Fantasy. The Vikings are a leaky defence (29th overall) against the run, and that could allow Joshua Kelley to reclaim that form from week one, should Ekeler miss time.
Alex Mattison concerns, Akers in town
The Vikings came off the back of a bad loss in week one and then had to play a strong Philadelphia Eagles side. Now at 0-2, having previously won the NFC North in 2023, their fans will expect a win and the team to bounce back. They are the second highest team for passing yards per game, and are going up against the worst defence (32nd ranked) so far this season for passing yards allowed per game. So expect Jefferson, Addison and Hockenson to have a field day.
With all the off field racial abuse received by Alex Mattison, I expect that to rally the team and the coaching staff around him. I expect him to get a good workload whilst also giving them the best chance to get the win. Even though Cam Akers has just arrived in town. Going forward long term these two could well become a full time 1A/1B split in the backfield.
- Vikings win by <5 pts
- Joshua Kelley 100+ total yards
- Alex Mattison 75+ yards, Addison with another receiving TD
Buffalo Bills (1-1) @ Washington Commanders (2-0) (SNF – 18:00 BST)
The Bills had a much better showing in week two vs the Raiders as they beat them 38-10. Allen threw 31/37 for 274 yards with three Touchdowns and zero Interceptions. Buffalo will be hoping this is the Allen they see more frequently this season. As for the high flying Commanders, they pulled off a pretty special comeback in week two vs the Broncos with Sam Howell throwing for 299 yards two Touchdowns and zero Interceptions. This offence is sharing the targets around with four players all catching between 40-60 yards and a further four players receiving between 20-30 yards.
Josh Allen finding his rhythm
Week two, Josh Allen is hopefully here to stay for all those fantasy players that drafted him so high. Although he still hasn’t quite unlocked the run game, his throwing was right on point in week two. The Bills are a well rounded team, and most would say are in their Super Bowl window. They will be put under pressure by the well coached Commanders but Bills Mafia will be expecting a win. Diggs now has 17 receptions for the year and James Cook has over 150 rushing yards. Both these players should be the focal point over the weekend with Gabe Davis and Kincaid continuing their receiving support roles too.
Brian Robinson announcing himself
The battle between Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson has been a hot debate since this time last year. And we finally are seeing a clear leader out the gate. Brian Robinson carried the ball 18 times for his 87 rushing yards and 2 TDs and he will be the bellcow through the season. The only concern this weekend will be game script as the Commanders could be trailing, hopefully we see McLaurin and/or Dotson really break out this weekend. My money would be on Scary Terry!
- Bills show quality in 8+ point win
- James Cook 100+ rushing yards and TD
- McLaurin 100+ receiving yards and TD