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Lineup Prep: Week 3

Wed Sep 18 9:50am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Mike Evans set to get it going


It was quite the interesting week in fantasy land. Several top quarterbacks went down with injury, guys that rarely have missed games throughout their career. This is going to cause some headaches for fantasy owners. Hopefully, you have a good backup option to replace these guys. And don’t hesitate to work the waiver wire for a replacement. There are some capable options out there on a lot of waiver wires. Here is to hoping you can survive these injuries.

Here are my random thoughts for the week. . . . 

The Daniel Jones era is finally here. You knew it was coming. I’m happy to see Jones getting his chance, especially with Eli Manning doing little with his chances. Jones could breathe some life into the offense and help players like Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram have more success. I don’t see Jones being much of a fantasy option, but his move to starter should be a positive for those around him. 

A couple good buy-low candidates in my view are Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette. Both are off to slow starts and their stock is low. If you can get them for a cheaper price, I say go for it. Evans was sick the first week and had a tough matchup last week, so I look for him to ramp it up going forward. Fournette is off to a slow start as well but is getting the work. He has at least 17 touches and four receptions each of the first two games. 

If I’m an Antonio Brown owner, I try to trade him. I just think it is a matter of time before a suspension is thrown down, especially with new stories about him coming out nearly every day. He played last week and did pretty well, so his value isn’t totally in the tank and some owners think he might be worth the risk. I’m not saying give him away for nothing but if you can get some value in return, I would dump Brown. I just don’t trust that situation. 

The Chiefs running back situation is really starting to concern me. Neither of those backs are doing much right now. I still like Damien Williams more, mainly because I think he gets more targets in the passing game. I just don’t like the way things have played out with their running game these first two games. I would be concerned if I owned either of those guys. Plus, both are battling injury right now, which is another concern. 

I’m starting to become a believer in the Ravens passing game. I’m just shocked at how much progress Lamar Jackson has made in a season. He has been lights out these first two games. I know they have come against poor defenses but you still have to give him credit for making plays. And it has to be a nightmare for opposing defenses to game plan against this unit right now. The Ravens already have a very good rushing attack, but the passing game is now becoming very dangerous. This offense is scary good. 

Three passing games that have surprised me some this year and I think could be very helpful to fantasy teams the rest of the way are the Cardinals, Bengals and Redskins. These three teams are posting some big weekly passing numbers right now. And these units have some good potential going forward. None of these teams have very good rushing games, so I expect a lot of passing from all three teams the rest of the way. These might be some units to target if you need help through the air and would like to make a trade or need to pickup a player. I don’t think the first two weeks are a fluke.

Emmanuel Sanders is looking like a great draft day value. He had 11 receptions last week and was targeted 13 times in the game. He has scores each of his first two games and been targeted 20 times overall. Sanders looks completely healthy, recovered from his Achilles’ injury. I’m not sure Sanders can keep his current pace, but he is going to be a productive fantasy player the rest of the way. It is good to see him back to his old ways.

You have to worry about Carson Wentz a little. His receivers are dropping like flies and his start to the year hasn't gone quite as expected. He had two interceptions to one touchdown pass last week and struggled some throughout the game, especially after his starting receivers got injured. He missed on some throws he should have made. Wentz still has a high weekly ceiling, but he needs his receivers healthy and to start showing more consistency throwing the ball. 

As always, don’t forget to check out my weekly rankings here: Week 3 rankings

News and Notes: The Giants finally made a move at quarterback, benching Eli Manning in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. Expect Jones to start the rest of the year for the Giants. . . . .The Lions released running back C.J. Anderson on Tuesday. The team signed running back Paul Perkins to take his roster spot. . . . .The Chargers added some depth at tight end, signing Lance Kendricks on Tuesday. He could move up the depth chart in a hurry if he picks up the offense quickly. 

HOT PLAYS

Mike Evans, WR, Bucs. Evans is off to a slow start to his season. He was sick Week 1 but played and did little. He was better in Week 2, catching four passes for 61 yards on eight targets. That was a little more like it for Evans. Expect his best game of the season this week against the Giants. New York is 30th overall against the pass and allows the third most fantasy points to receivers. Evans is ready to breakout in this one.

Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys. Prescott is off to the best start of his career. He has seven touchdowns to just one interception in two games. He is third overall in fantasy quarterback scoring, less than a point behind the great Patrick Mahomes. He is excelling in the Cowboys new offense, an offense that takes more chances down the field. Expect more success this week against the lowly Dolphins. Miami allows the most fantasy points to quarterbacks and rank 28th overall against the pass.

Nick Chubb, RB, Browns. Chubb showed his big potential last week, having 98 total yards and a score. He didn’t run wild but got the work and produced for fantasy teams. The good news is Chubb has 20 or more touches each of the first two games. He is getting a lot of weekly work. He should get a workout again this week against the Rams. Los Angeles allows the sixth most fantasy points to running backs.

Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens. Andrews is first overall in fantasy tight end scoring after two games. He has 100-yards games in each of his two games. He also has touchdowns in each of those games and been targeted 17 times. All the talk of Andrews having a big second season seem to be coming true. He can continue his good play this week against the Chiefs. Kansas City allows the sixth most fantasy points to tight ends and rank 20th overall against the pass.

LeVeon Bell, RB, Jets. Bell is getting a workout for the Jets to start his season. He already has 54 touches in two games. He had 10 receptions last week, getting a ton of work in the passing game with the Jets trailing big. Bell is fifth overall in fantasy running back scoring. Expect him to get another workout this week against the Patriots. He could get a similar workload in the passing game with the Jets trailing by a lot. As long as Bell keeps catching a lot of passes, fantasy owners won’t care that his yardage and touchdown numbers aren’t off the charts. 

COLD PLAYS  

Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals. Murray had 349-passing yards last week and has 300-yard games each of his first two games. The issue is he has just two scores in two games. He failed to score a touchdown last week. Murray also isn’t doing a lot on the ground, which is a bit of a surprise. He has just 17-rushing yards in two games. Murray has another tough matchup for this week, getting the Panthers. Carolina allows the fifth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and are third overall against the pass. You might want to leave Murray on your bench for this one.

Damien Williams/LeSean McCoy, RB, Chiefs. Williams had nine carries for eight yards last week and also hurt his knee in the game. For the season, Williams has run the ball 22 times for 34 yards. McCoy hasn't been much better. He ran 11 times for 23 yards last week and caught there passes for no gain. McCoy hurt his ankle in the game, so both backs are hobbled some and doing little with their work. Their matchup this week is a terrible one, playing the Ravens. Baltimore is first overall against the run and have allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs. We would just avoid both backs in this one.

Geronimo Allison, WR, Packers. Allison had a much better showing last week than his opener, finding the end zone on five targets. The problem is Allison totaled just 25 yards on his four receptions. It was good to see him score but his overall numbers weren’t very impressive. He probably isn’t worth plugging into your lineup just yet, especially this week against the Broncos. Denver has been solid against the pass to start the season, ranking fourth overall against the pass. The Broncos allow the second fewest fantasy points to receivers. 

Any Jet receivers. The Jets are down to their third-string quarterback. New York has some usable fantasy receivers on their roster, including Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson, but neither are worth using as long as Sam Darnold is out. These guys are just going to be too inconsistent to trust. And a matchup this week agains the Patriots is a terrible one for the passing game. New England is eighth overall against the pass and allow the sixth fewest fantasy points to receivers. Just avoid all Jets receivers at this point. They aren’t worth the risk.

Latavius Murray, RB, Saints. Murray had a solid opener but really struggled last week. He ran five times for just seven yards. He isn’t getting quite as many touches as expected through two games, having 14 touches. You were expecting around double-digit touches per week, but that hasn’t been the case. He isn’t worth using until his usage goes up, especially whites week against the Seahawks. Seattle is fourth overall agains the rush and allow the sixth fewest fantasy points to running backs.

SLEEPERS  

Malcolm Brown, RB, Rams. Brown is getting his work in the Rams offense as the top backup to Toddy Gurley. He had double-digit carries and two scores in Week 1, and had 47 total yards last week. His numbers aren’t flashy but consistent, making him a guy to consider as a flex play in the right matchup. And this week could be a time to play Brown. The Rams play the Browns, a team that is struggling to stop the run to start the year. Cleveland allows the fourth most fantasy points to running backs.

Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers. Samuel was more involved in the offense Week 2, catching five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. He also ran the ball twice, giving him seven total touches. Samuel is an exciting talent that can lead the 49ers receivers in receptions, so last week wasn't a fluke. He should get a lot of targets again this week against the Steelers. Pittsburgh allows the fifth most fantasy points to receivers and are 29th overall against the pass. 

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions. Stafford is off to a much better start this year. He looks healthy and is producing, ranking fifth overall in fantasy quarterback scoring after two games. He has five touchdowns and thrown for at least 245 yards in both contests. He is setup for another solid game this week against the Eagles, a team that has struggled to stop the pass. Philadelphia allows the seventh most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Frank Gore, RB, Bills. Gore has double-digit carries each of his first two games. He found the end zone last week and totaled 83 yards in the game. He is getting his work and could get even more work this week if Devin Singletary is not able to play, which is possible. This makes Gore a player to consider as a flex play. He gets the Bengals, a team that allows the most fantasy points to running backs to start the season. 

Allen Robinson, WR, Bears. Robinson was kind of quiet last week but played a good Broncos defense. He was still targeted seven times in the game and caught four of those targets for 40 yards. He had a 100-yard game in the opener, so the potential is always there for Robinson to have the big week. And this week against the Redskins is a great matchup for Robinson to have success. Washington has really struggled against the pass, ranking 25th overall against the pass. The Redskins allow the most fantasy points to receivers.

High/Low Scoring Games

Each week we will take a look at some of the high and low scoring games for the coming week. In high scoring affairs, get your marginal players on those teams in your lineup to take advantage of the possible points barrage. And in the low scoring games, keep those marginal players on the bench and make sure to have your defenses involved in those contests.

High Scoring Games: Ravens/Chiefs, Giants/Bucs, Texans/Chargers, Rams/Browns.   

Low Scoring Games: Titans/Jaguars.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Marquise Goodwin Oct 18 6:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin should see a bump in usage with Deebo Samuel (groin) ruled out in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. Goodwin leads all Niner wideouts in snaps but has surpassed 45 receiving yards just once this season. With the team heavy favorites and the Redskins pass defense inept at handling shorter routes, Goodwins skillset could be marginalized. Expect the Niners to keep pounding the rock on the ground and tight end George Kittle to continue dominating targets. Goodwin needs just one big play to return fantasy value but hes a low-floor WR4. Receivers Kendrick Bourne and Richie James Jr. will likely share snaps voided by Samuel.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Brown Oct 18 6:00pm ET

Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) didn't practice all week but is questionable for Week 7 against the Seahawks. Brown missed last week and is certainly on the wrong side of questionable this weekend. Making things even more difficult for fantasy owners is the fact that Brown and the Ravens kick off in the afternoon on Sunday. He's an extremely risky WR3 if he suits up. If Brown misses his second straight game, Willie Snead, rookie Miles Boykin, Seth Roberts and Chris Moore will have increased roles. Snead and Boykin have the most upside, but even they would be more of WR5 options in a run-first offense. Tight end Mark Andrews would be the only fantasy lock if Brown were inactive.

From RotoBaller

Johnathan Joseph Oct 18 5:50pm ET

Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph (hamstring) is questionable for Week 7 against the Colts, but he's expected to return and will likely be tasked with slowing down wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Cornerback Bradley Roby (hamstring) is questionable but is not expected to play. Safety Tashaun Gipson (hip) is questionable but is expected to play. It's good news that the Texans will have both Joseph and Gipson in their secondary, but Houston's defense/special teams is a low-upside fantasy streamer during bye weeks.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Lockett Oct 18 5:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 18, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Lockett has caught each of his last 11 targets over the last three games and is the main option in the passing game. He is a must-start option in all leagues despite the matchup.

From TheHuddle

Chris Carson Oct 18 5:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 18, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Carson has been one of the best running backs over the last three weeks and will continue to receive plenty of touches in the offense. He should be a starting option in every league this week.

From TheHuddle

K.J. Wright Oct 18 5:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks TE Will Dissly (Achilles) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 18, and has been ruled out for Week 7. S Lano Hill (elbow) did not practice and is listed as doubtful. OT Duane Brown (biceps) and S Bradley McDougald (back) missed practice and are listed as questionable. OG D.J. Fluker (hamstring), DE Quinton Jefferson (oblique) and DE Ziggy Ansah (ankle) were limited during practice and are listed as questionable. LB K.J. Wright (knee) fully participated in practice and is not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Sean Lee Oct 18 5:33pm ET

Dallas Cowboys CB Anthony Brown (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 18, and has been ruled out for Week 7. C Joe Looney (back) did not practice and is listed as questionable. DE Dorance Armstrong (neck), OT La'el Collins (knee), CB Byron Jones (hamstring), OG Zack Martin (ankle, back) and OT Tyron Smith (ankle) were limited during practice and are listed as questionable. LB Sean Lee (knee, non-injury) did not practice but is not on the injury report. P Chris X. Jones (back) were limited during practice but is not on the injury report. C Travis Frederick (non-injury) and RB Tony Pollard (knee) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Clay Matthews Oct 18 5:33pm ET

Los Angeles Rams LB Clay Matthews (jaw) was unable to practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 7 versus the Atlanta Falcons. RB Malcolm Brown (ankle) also did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful. S Eric Weddle (non-injury) did not practice Friday, Oct. 18, but was removed from the injury report. CB Jalen Ramsey (non-injury) and RB Todd Gurley (quad) practiced in full Friday and also no longer appear on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Michael Gallup Oct 18 5:23pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup (knee) was limited during practice Friday, Oct. 18, but is not on the injury report for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Gallup could be the main option in the passing game this week because of the injuries to Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb. Gallup can be considered a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Amari Cooper Oct 18 5:23pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (ankle, quadriceps) was limited during practice Friday, Oct. 18, and is listed as questionable for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Cooper is expected to be able to play this week, but fantasy players will need to check the inactive list for his official status. He will be a risky option if he plays but can still be a starting option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Kenny Stills Oct 18 5:23pm ET

Houston Texans OL Tytus Howard (knee) and OL Greg Mancz (concussion) did not participate in practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 7 against the Indianapolis Colts. CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), CB Bradley Roby (hamstring) and S Tashaun Gipson (hip, wrist) were limited and are listed as questionable. LB Zach Cunningham (knee), WR Will Fuller (calf, oblique), WR DeAndre Hopkins (ribs), RB Carlos Hyde (calf), RB Taiwan Jones (hip) and WR Kenny Stills (hamstring) were able to practice in full Friday, Oct. 18, and have been removed from the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Albert McClellan Oct 18 5:13pm ET

New York Jets DE Henry Anderson (shoulder), OT Kelvin Beachum (ankle), RB Trenton Cannon (ankle, foot), LB Neville Hewitt (knee, neck), LB Albert McClellan (concussion), OG Kelechi Osemele (shoulder), OG Alex Lewis (neck) and FS Rontez Miles (non-injury) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 18. CB Nate Hairston (knee), LB C.J. Mosley (groin), CB Darryl Roberts (ankle), C Ryan Kalil (shoulder), DT Steve McLendon (hamstring) and OG Brian Winters (knee, shoulder) were limited during practice. LB Blake Cashman (ankle), WR Josh Bellamy (shoulder), LB Brandon Copeland (thumb), S Blake Countess (hamstring), TE Ryan Griffin (ankle), LB Jordan Jenkins (ankle), DE Trumaine Johnson (thigh), DT Quinnen Williams (ankle) and LB Tarell Basham (heel) fully participated in practice.

From TheHuddle

T Y Hilton Oct 18 5:13pm ET

Indianapolis Colts WR Parris Campbell (abdominal), DL Tyquan Lewis (ankle) and CB Kenny Moore II (ankle) did not practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 7 versus the Houston Texans. S Malik Hooker (knee) was upgraded to a full practice Friday, Oct. 18, but is listed as doubtful. CB Pierre Desir (hamstring) and DE Justin Houston (calf) remained out of practice and are listed as questionable. OG Quenton Nelson (hip) was added to the injury report Friday and is also listed as questionable. S Clayton Geathers (rest), DL Denico Autry (rest), OT Anthony Castonzo (rest), WR T.Y. Hilton (rest) and DE Jabaal Sheard (rest) did not practice Friday but have been removed from the injury report. LB Zaire Franklin (hamstring) and TE Eric Ebron (illness) logged a full practice Friday and also no longer appear on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Randall Cobb Oct 18 5:13pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Randall Cobb (back) was limited during practice Friday, Oct. 18, and is listed as questionable for Week 7.

Fantasy Spin: Cobb's status for Week 7 is still uncertain, so fantasy players will need to check the inactive list for his official status. He has posted decent numbers this season but can be benched if better options are available.

From TheHuddle

Vic Beasley Oct 18 5:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley has been put on the trade block with the deadline approaching, according to a league source. The former first-round pick is making $12.8 million this year and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. The 27-year-old had a career-high 15.5 sacks in 2016 but had a combined 10 sacks the following two seasons as the Falcons moved him around. He has 12 total tackles and 1.5 sacks through six games in 2019. He's off the IDP radar for now, but he could become more attractive if he lands in the right spot.

From RotoBaller

Larry Fitzgerald Oct 18 5:03pm ET

Arizona Cardinals DL Zach Allen (neck), OL Brett Toth (illness) and RB D.J. Foster (hamstring) did not practice Friday, Oct. 18, and have been ruled out for Week 7 against the New York Giants. RB David Johnson (ankle), DL Zachariah Kerr (ankle), LB Zeke Turner (hamstring), TE Maxx Williams (ankle), LB Dennis Gardeck (ankle), WR Christian Kirk (ankle), P Andy Lee (hip) and S Charles Washington (shoulder) were limited Friday and are listed as questionable. OL Joshua Miles (illness) was added to the injury report Friday and is also listed as questionable. LB Terrell Suggs (non-injury) did not practice Friday but no longer appears on the injury report. S Chris Banjo (illness), WR Larry Fitzgerald (non-injury) and DL Corey Peters (non-injury) fully participated in practice Friday and have also been removed from the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Christopher Herndon IV Oct 18 5:03pm ET

New York Jets TE Chris Herndon (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 18.

Fantasy Spin: It appears Herndon will not be able to play in Week 7, so fantasy players should look for other options to use.

From TheHuddle

Demaryius Thomas Oct 18 5:03pm ET

New York Jets WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) was limited during practice Friday, Oct. 18.

Fantasy Spin: Thomas appears to have a decent chance to play this week despite the injury but will be facing one of the best defenses. Fantasy players may want to look for other options and avoid Thomas.

From TheHuddle

Jeremy Sprinkle Oct 18 5:00pm ET

Washington Redskins tight end Jeremy Sprinkle will be the starter for the third consecutive week with Vernon Davis having once again been ruled out and Jordan Reed's entire career up in the air. The Redskins are the only team, real or otherwise, that he should start for this week. The 49ers are allowing fewer than four catches per game to tight ends, and Sprinkle has caught a total of four in his two weeks as the starter. There isn't much else to say. Sprinkle isn't relevant on his own bad team, so he is thereby a player to ignore in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Oct 18 4:53pm ET

Atlanta Falcons CB Desmond Trufant (toe) did not participate in practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 7 against the Los Angeles Rams. OG James Carpenter (knee) and WR Julio Jones (hip) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 18, but no longer appear on the injury report. CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (groin), DE Adrian Clayborn (knee) and S Ricardo Allen (knee) fully participated in practice Friday and have been removed from the injury report. FB Keith Smith (knee), OG Jamon Brown (knee) and DE Takkarist McKinley (groin) were not given an official practice designation Friday but also no longer appear on the injury report.

From TheHuddle