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From the Godfather: Week 3

Sat Sep 21 11:36am ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Contributing Writer

The big news, and the advice you’re probably looking for, is what to do at quarterback.  With injuries and changes, there are at least six new quarterbacks to choose from.  The biggest two are the season ending injuries to Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the six-to-nine week injury to New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees.  First, I must go on record as stating I’m not a fan of rookie quarterbacks and history tells us not to have big expectations.

If you’re going to claim a quarterback on the waiver wire this week, here is how I rank the candidates.

Mason Rudolph would be my first choice.  With Big Ben out for the year, the job is his to keep and he’ll be given a bigger leash than the other candidates.  He gets an interesting game to start with, although he played most of last last Sunday’s game.  I expect a shootout with San Francisco with the home team prevailing in the end.  The 49ers defensive strength is stopping the run, so James Conner, if he plays, will have tough going.  Keeping the chains moving will be the passing game and lucky for Rudolph, he has a full complement of receivers ready to go, so I’m predicting 250-plus passing yards with two touchdowns.

I’m not a Teddy Bridgewater fan, but the job for next six-to-nine weeks appears to be his.  I think Taysom Hill could be a better quarterback, and if Bridgewater falters, he could get a chance.  I also expect to see him more involved in gadget plays.  Seattle’s secondary leaves a lot to be desired and Michael Thomas can make a quarterback look good, so he could be fine this week.

Daniel Jones has replaced Eli Manning in New York, but it doesn’t change how bad the Giants are.  He will bing some new enthusiasm, but his receivers are hurt and weak.   He can’t throw every pass to Evan Engram, and the Tampa Bay defense must have a plan to stop him and Saquon Barkley.  My guess is he struggles as you’d expect a rookie would.

Luke Falk.  Seriously, I feel sorry for him and his debut could be really ugly.  The Jets are hurting and the Patriots defense is playing at a high level. Granted, it was the Dolphins last week.  Don’t expect anything from Falk and if you have to play him, I’m sorry for you and your team!

Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew showed he could be a respectable addition from his showing Thursday night.  He started well with two touchdown passes in the first quarter, and the Jags seemed to coast from there. Otherwise, he could have put up bigger numbers.  But in a pinch and with the right matchup, he could be serviceable.

You’ll need to check Sunday morning, but there’s a good chance Kyle Allen will be playing in place of the injured Cam Newton.  I don’t think it will be that much of a downgrade if he plays, and he has a solid group of receivers.  The Cardinals defense has been vulnerable the first two weeks and Christian McCaffery will keep them off balance, so Allen will have time to succeed.  Here’s a good sleeper if he plays.

Speaking of quarterbacks, this is the week Jameis Winston should show coach Bruce Arians he’s his man.  After two weak games, he gets a Giants defense that can’t seem to stop anyone.    He is my second sleeper. I expect him to have a really big day.

And it appears Josh Rosen will be replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick in Miami.  Sorry Josh, I hope you don’t get hurt.

Quarterbacks: The game of the week has to be a Baltimore at Kansas City. Lamar Jackson is going against Patrick Mahomes.  If this is the shootout everyone expects, both quarterbacks will put up huge numbers.  My other picks to click are Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen against Cincinnati and Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott against the woeful Miami Dolphins. Play all your Cowboys in a blowout. They’ll all get a share of the fun.

Running Backs: Of course it starts with “Zeke” against the Dolphins, I don’t need to tell you that.  And the next four are all household names, Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook and Austin Ekeler (Who needs that Gordon guy?).  All have great matchups against teams who have not been able to stop the run this year.

Here’s a couple sleeper plays if injuries open up a start for them.  Jaylen Samuels could be a great pick if James Conner (he did practice in full Thursday) can’t go for Pittsburgh at San Francisco.  And Darwin Thompson will get the ball a lot in Kansas City if LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams can’t answer the bell. Although most of Thompson’s production will come by way of the pass as Baltimore is hard to run on.

Keep an eye on Indianapolis because Marlon Mack has come up lame in practice this week.  Jordan Wilkins would be the man and should have some success against the Falcons.

Another running back who has something to prove this week is Devonta Freeman.  He’s been outplayed by Ito Smith in the first two games, but the Colts defense should give him room to roam.

Wide Receivers: The Eagles passing defense is 31st, so who is Matthew Stafford going to be throwing to?  I think Kenny Golladay has a big day, and Danny Amendola will see his share of targets, too. 

Adam Theilen should torch the Oakland defense, especially if the Vikings open things up a little bit.  This is a great opportunity for Kirk Cousins to prove he can get the job dob done.  The Giants pass defense can be exposed, and Jameis Winston is the guy who will do it.  Both Mike Evans, who needs to show he’s a No. 1, and Chris Godwin should break the century mark in this game.

And of course, all Dallas receivers against Miami. This could be a Randall Cobb breakout game, and Devin Smith with Michael Gallup out.

Tight End: As mentioned above, Jason Witten could have a field day as the Dolphins are averaging 100 yards allowed and eight receptions to tight ends so far this year.  This also is the week that Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson plays like he did in Week 1 and makes you forget his Week 2.  He is a rookie, so inconsistency should be expected.

Streaming Defense: Dallas at home against Miami and the Patriots at home against the Jets are the two best bets. But the move you might want to make is picking up the Chargers defense now, so you have them for the  Dolphins next week.

Have a great week 3!

Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to cwiegert@cdmsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.

Player Notes
Blake Jarwin Oct 21 12:50am ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin was targeted just once in Week 7, but he made it count, catching that one target for a one-yard touchdown. Jarwin continues to play behind starter Jason Witten and won't have any predictable fantasy value unless Witten is forced to miss time. Even then, he won't be a high-upside play by any means.

From RotoBaller

Jason Witten Oct 21 12:50am ET

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten caught all four of his targets in Week 7, gaining 33 yards. Witten had yet another very typical Jason Witten game, making a handful of catches and picking up just a few yards with each one. He'll continue to be a low-floor, low-ceiling depth option when the Cowboys return from their bye after Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Cowboys Oct 21 12:50am ET

The Dallas Cowboys Defense played well in a Week 7 win over the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. They allowed just 10 points, recovering three fumbles and securing one interception. They were also able to sack Carson Wentz three times. The Cowboys ended up winning a blowout in what was expected to be a much closer game. Dallas goes into their bye week in Week 8, but should come out as one of the better fantasy defensive units after the bye.

From RotoBaller

Brett Maher Oct 21 12:50am ET

Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher had a big game in a Week 7 win. He knocked through all four of his extra points and made his three field goal attempts too. He knocked through a 63-yard boot and has proven to be one of the more consistent kicking options while also having a big enough leg to make the long kicks. He's one of the better fantasy options at an unpredictable position.

From RotoBaller

Dak Prescott Oct 21 12:40am ET

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott accounted for two touchdowns in Week 7. He completed 21 of his 27 passes, gaining 239 yards and throwing one touchdown and one interception. He added five carries, adding 30 yards and another touchdown. Prescott's passing score was a one-yard toss to Blake Jarwin, and his rushing score came on an eight-yard run in the fourth quarter. It was an overall productive day for Prescott, although the Dallas running game was really mostly in charge. The Cowboys go into their bye week comfortably in first place in the NFC East.

From RotoBaller

Tony Pollard Oct 21 12:40am ET

Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Tony Pollard notched eight carries in a Week 7 blowout win over the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. Pollard's eight carries were well behind starter Ezekiel Elliott's 22, but he was still able to pick up 28 yards. Pollard has shown well while on the field, but he won't be able to do much as long as Elliott is around. Pollard has league-winning upside if something were to force Elliott to miss time, but even in blowout wins, Pollard's value is severely limited by his place on the depth chart.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Oct 21 12:40am ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott ran the ball 22 times for 111 yards and a touchdown in Week 7, adding six catches for 36 more yards. Elliott was most of the Cowboys offense in this one, and was more than what they needed against a struggling Eagles team. Elliott ceded eight carries to rookie Tony Pollard once the game was firmly in hand, but he remains one of the highest-volume backs in the league and will continue to be an easy RB1 play every time he takes the field.

From RotoBaller

Amari Cooper Oct 21 12:40am ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper caught all five of his targets in Week 7, gaining 106 yards. Cooper wasn't even a sure thing to start in this one, but he came down with every ball thrown his way and went over 100 yards in a game the Dallas offense dominated. He should be even healthier after the Cowboys Week 8 bye, and will return as a surefire WR1.

From RotoBaller

Tavon Austin Oct 21 12:40am ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Tavon Austin missed his lone passing game target in Week 7, but he was given a single carry and took it in 20 yards for a touchdown. Austin has defense-burning speed, but little else to offer as a football player. That means some plays will set him loose on the field but there will never be a predictable enough matchup to determine his value. He's not a fantasy option despite the single impressive play on Sunday Night Football this week.

From RotoBaller

Michael Gallup Oct 21 12:40am ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup only came up with three catches on his four targets in Week 7, gaining 34 scoreless yards. It was certainly a dud in a matchup where Gallup was occasionally being considered a WR1 option, but the Dallas offense simply didn't need him in a game where they had no trouble moving the ball against a scuffling Eagles Defense.

From RotoBaller

Jake Elliott Oct 21 12:30am ET

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott connected on his one field goal try and on his one extra point try in a Week 7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Elliott made his 38-yard field goal in the third quarter, but wasn't needed much in what ended up being a blowout loss to the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. Elliott should fare better next week in what is expected to be a closer matchup with the Buffalo Bills.

From RotoBaller

Alshon Jeffery Oct 21 12:20am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery made just two catches in Week 7, coming up with 38 yards. He tied for the team lead with five targets, but much like the rest of the Eagles offense, he wasn't able to do much. Jeffery was running as the team's WR1 with DeSean Jackson (abdomen) still on the sideline. The Eagles desperately need Jackson's seam-stretching ability and could have him back for Week 8. Unfortunately, they'll have another tough matchup against a strong Bills Defense.

From RotoBaller

Zach Ertz Oct 21 12:20am ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz came down with just two passes in Week 7, gaining 38 yards. Ertz was targeted five times but he was soundly outplayed by Dallas Goedert, who scored the only Eagles touchdown. Ertz has been mostly disappointing this season so far, and next week against the Buffalo Bills Defense doesn't look like a likely get-right spot. He's a TE1 no doubt, but perhaps moving slowly out of the top tier.

From RotoBaller

Nelson Agholor Oct 21 12:20am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor had another disappointing week in Week 7, catching just two passes and gaining 24 scoreless yards. Agholor was targeted four times in a game where almost the entire Philly offense struggled to get anything done. With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) possibly back next week to take on a stout Buffalo defense, Agholor will be nothing more than a last-ditch effort in most formats.

From RotoBaller

Mack Hollins Oct 21 12:20am ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins was targeted only once in Week 7 and was unable to come down with a catch. Hollins has been running in three-wide sets in place of DeSean Jackson (abdomen) for several weeks, but has been unable to do anything at all. Even if Jackson can't return for next week's tough matchup against Buffalo, Hollins will not be a recommended fantasy option in any format.

From RotoBaller

Philadelphia Eagles Oct 21 12:20am ET

The Philadelphia Eagles Defense struggled in Week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys, allowing 37 points and recording just three sacks and one interception. The Cowboys offense had its way with the Eagles secondary, as was mostly expected. The Eagles will take on the Buffalo Bills next week and should see better results, although there are likely stronger DST options on most league's waiver wires.

From RotoBaller

Boston Scott Oct 21 12:10am ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott tallied seven carries in Week 7, gaining 32 yards. He also caught his lone target, picking up five more yards. Scott actually ended up with just one touch less than Miles Sanders. With the Eagles taking on a similarly tough Bills Defense in Week 8, Scott won't be worth much in most fantasy formats, but the Eagles backfield has certainly become one worth keeping an eye on going forward.

From RotoBaller

Kalen Ballage Oct 21 12:10am ET

Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage only had three carries for seven yards in a 31-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, but two of them came inside Buffalo's five-yard line, with Ballage cashing in the second of the two for a three-yard touchdown. Ballage was far out-touched by Mark Walton and Kenyan Drake and is currently the clear third option on the league's worst team, making him nothing but fodder for the waiver wire. Even if Drake is traded before this month's deadline, it seems that he'd still be behind new starter Walton in the pecking order, which should give fantasy owners few reasons to roster the once-popular sleeper pick ahead of a Week 8 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Goedert Oct 21 12:10am ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert led the team in receiving in Week 7. He caught four passes, gaining 69 yards and scoring a touchdown. Goedert's score came on a 28-yard pass from Carson Wentz. Goedert was also charged with a lost fumble, however. In a game where the Eagles offense could barely do anything, Goedert was the lone bright spot. It could be more of the same types of struggles next week for the Philly offense, making Goedert a TE2 at best.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Howard Oct 21 12:00am ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard did as asked in Week 7, running the ball 11 times for 50 yards. He added two catches for six more yards. Howard didn't have a ton of room to run, but he out-touched Miles Sanders 13-to-9, again solidifying his spot atop the Philly running back depth chart. The entire Eagles offense struggled in Week 7, and they should have another tough time in Week 8 against a stout Bills Defense. Howard will be a volume-based RB2/3.

From RotoBaller