Tue Sep 26 2:14pm ET
Field Level Media
Russell Wilson can't be blamed for the Denver Broncos' embarrassing 70-20 loss at Miami in Week 3, but that hasn't stopped oddsmakers from making him the favorite to be the first NFL quarterback benched this season.
Plenty of candidates are emerging, but it's Wilson who leads the way at 4/1 at SportsBetting.ag.
First QB Benched Odds
Russell Wilson (4/1)
Ryan Tannehill (5/1)
Justin Fields (6/1)
Sam Howell (7/1)
Desmond Ridder (9/1)
Baker Mayfield (12/1)
Jimmy Garoppolo (12/1)
Mac Jones (12/1)
Kenny Pickett (14/1)
Kirk Cousins (14/1)
Anthony Richardson (20/1)
Bryce Young (20/1)
CJ Stroud (20/1)
Dak Prescott (25/1)
Geno Smith (33/1)
Daniel Jones (50/1)
Derek Carr (50/1)
Matthew Stafford (50/1)
Brock Purdy (66/1)
Jordan Love (100/1)
Trevor Lawrence (100/1)
Wilson has completed 65.4 percent of his passes with six touchdowns against two interceptions during Denver's 0-3 start.
Playing in his favor is Wilson's contract, which makes parting with him difficult. He is tied to the Broncos through the 2028 season on a five-year, $242.6 million deal. Playing against Wilson remaining as the Broncos' long-term quarterback is a head coach who inherited the 34-year-old. Sean Payton brought in backup Jarrett Stidham, a fourth-year veteran who has played in 13 career games.
Stidham may not be Denver's franchise quarterback of the future, either. By contrast, the Tennessee Titans have added quarterbacks in each of the past two NFL drafts -- Malik Willis in the third round in 2022 and Will Levis in the second round this past spring.
Ryan Tannehill has struggled during the Titans' 1-2 start, completing just 59.0 percent of his passes with a lone touchdown against three picks. He threw for only 104 yards in Sunday's 27-3 loss at Cleveland.
However, Tennessee is only a game behind Indianapolis in what is shaping up as a wide-open AFC South. Both Jacksonville and Houston also are 1-2.
While Tannehill is in his 11th NFL season, Levis has yet to throw a regular-season pass and Willis was extremely shaky in eight appearances last season, completing 50.8 percent of his passes while throwing no touchdown passes and three picks.
The third-lowest odds belong the Chicago's Justin Fields. The Bears have been largely uncompetitive in starting 0-3. However, they need to figure out what they have in Fields ahead of next year's draft, and backups Nathan Peterman and Tyson Bagent don't provide a likely upgrade to the extent Chicago would need to be more consistent offensively.
A different dilemma is facing Ron Rivera in Washington. He wasn't hired by the current ownership group, which has made it clear that Rivera's future is solely dependent upon wins and losses.
The Commanders are 2-1 and have a roster largely capable of staying in the NFC playoff picture. The X-factor remains first-year starting quarterback Sam Howell, who is coming off a four-interception performance in a 37-3 home loss to Buffalo.
Veteran Jacoby Brissett is waiting in the wings if Howell continues to falter. The Commanders follow a tough road trip to Philadelphia with games against Chicago, Atlanta and the New York Giants -- a stretch against teams that are a combined 3-6 that could determine the fates of Howell and Rivera.
The Baltimore Ravens are signing veteran linebacker Kyle Van Noy to its practice squad on Tuesday. Van Noy was selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft and has spent time with the Detroit Lions, New England Patriots (two stints), Miami Dolphins, and Los Angeles Chargers. He has 470 tackles, 33.5 sacks, and three interceptions thus far in his career. While the 32-year-old will start on the practice squad, there's a good chance he'll eventually be added to the active roster as a versatile defensive piece for John Harbaugh's stop unit.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson (hamstring) has yet to make his 2023 season debut due to a lingering hamstring issue. The second-year wideout was considered a breakout candidate this offseason, so his return to the Packers' lineup would be great news for fantasy managers who selected him in preseason drafts. When asked if he will play on Thursday Night Football in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions, Watson said "That's the plan." Fantasy managers should continue to monitor his status, but he would immediately have upside if he plays. Quarterback Jordan Love has thrown seven touchdowns to just one interception, and Watson is always a threat to score on a long touchdown. That said, he could be at risk of playing limited snaps.
Detroit Lions running back David Montgomery (thigh) missed the team's Week 3 contest against the Atlanta Falcons after exiting the Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks with a thigh injury. On Tuesday, head coach Dan Campbell said he is "starting to feel pretty good" about Montgomery's chances to play on Thursday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers this week. He also mentioned left tackle Taylor Decker (ankle) could return. If Montgomery plays and sees a full workload, he's close to a must-start option after seeing 37 carries and scoring two touchdowns in his first two games with the organization. Jahmyr Gibbs' Week 4 value would take a hit as he'd likely be reduced to a complementary role once again. However, there's always a risk Montgomery's touches could be limited, meaning he could be a risky fantasy option to begin the week.
Free agent quarterback Trevor Siemian is visiting the New York Jets on Tuesday. If everything goes well with his physical, he is expected to join the team's practice squad in short order. After Aaron Rodgers (Achilles) was lost for the season in Week 1, Zach Wilson has struggled mightily in his third season as the team's starter. The BYU product has completed under 53% of his passes for 467 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions in three games. Tim Boyle is currently listed as his backup, but Siemian, who has 30 games of starting experience, could eventually find himself in the starting quarterback role this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Jamel Dean (shoulder) left Monday night's game in the third quarter due to a shoulder injury and has officially been ruled as questionable to return. Before leaving, he registered three solo tackles. Despite the two interceptions that the Tampa Bay defense has forced, Jalen Hurts and the Eagles have been able to pass for over 230 yards so far. Dean is one of the starting corners on this defense which means Christian Izien will be next up to see some opportunities in his absence.
Dynasty | Eagles running back D'Andre Swift had 130 rushing yards in the Eagles easy win against Tampa Bay. Dynasty Analysis: He added one catch for eight yards. It was the second straight big game for Swift, who now has over 300 rushing yards over the past two weeks. Kenneth Gainwell had just two fewer carries (14) than Swift but averaged five fewer yards per carry and looked like the clear #2 back tonight. This is a big development in dynasty leagues as Swift finally looks like a potential RB1 for the first time in 2023.
Las Vegas Raiders DE Chandler Jones wrote in a social media post that he was hospitalized 'against his will' by the Las Vegas Fire Department and later transferred to a behavioral health facility last week.
The Miami Dolphins offense averaged 30 points and 462.5 yards of offense per game in two contests on the road to begin the year before their home opener on Sunday against the Denver Broncos in which they put up 70 points and 726 yards of offense. According to NextGen Stats, Dolphins players are now responsible for the five-fastest individual speeds recorded on a given play so far this season, with three by wide receiver Tyreek Hill and one apiece from rookie running back De'Von Achane and RB Raheem Mostert. Achane and Mostert accounted for four touchdowns apiece in the thumping of the Broncos in Week 3, and Achane is going to be the No. 1 waiver priority in fantasy leagues this week.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (illness) confirmed that he played the Monday night win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through flu-like symptoms. "Just us executing," Hurts said, describing what it took to gut it out. "It's not the first time I've dealt with this or had to play with something like this. And it always happens on Monday night for whatever reason." Despite Hurts and several other members of the team being under the weather, the Eagles offense put up 472 yards, led by running back D'Andre Swift (130 rushing yards) and receiver A.J. Brown (nine catches for 131 yards). Hurts had an up-and-down performance, throwing and rushing for a touchdown while also throwing a couple of interceptions.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said after the disappointing Week 3 loss to the Houston Texans that reports of him taking over as the play-caller were "false." Through three weeks, the Jaguars have scored more than two touchdowns in just one game, including a six-quarter stretch between Weeks 2 and 3 where they didn't score a single touchdown. The good news is Jacksonville found success in the second half against Houston after failing to score a single point in the first half due to two miscues on the field-goal unit and going 1-for-6 on third downs. As a result of the offense's woes in the first three weeks, quarterback Trevor Lawrence ranks as the QB20 in fantasy heading into a Week 4 meeting with the Atlanta Falcons in London this Sunday.
Although the Los Angeles Rams ended up falling short by a score of 19-16 in the Monday night loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, tight end Tyler Higbee had his best game of the young season in Week 3. Higbee caught all five of his targets for a season-high 71 yards. His five receptions were tied for the team lead with rookie wideout Puka Nacua, and his 71 receiving yards came one yard shy of the team lead on the night. Through three weeks, the 30-year-old has caught 11 of his 15 targets for 132 yards and no touchdowns, ranking him as the TE10 in fantasy so far in half-point PPR scoring. Higbee will have at least one more week to soak up more targets against the Indianapolis Colts before top wideout Cooper Kupp (hamstring) is eligible to return from Injured Reserve.
Wide receiver Puka Nacua (oblique) caught five passes for 72 yards in the Los Angeles Rams' Week 3 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Nacua, who had 35 targets in the first two games of his career, settled for a more modest seven on Monday night. His longest gain came late in the fourth quarter when Matthew Stafford found the receiver open near the five-yard line for a 37-yard reception. A better throw from Stafford might have resulted in Nacua's first touchdown, but instead of making the catch on the run he had to go to the ground to make the play and was easily touched down by a defender at the three-yard line. Nacua is a must-start in Week 4 when the Rams face the Indianapolis Colts, who have allowed two 100-yard games and four total touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season.
Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams had a disappointing showing against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3. In the Rams' first game since Cam Akers was traded to the Vikings, Williams had only 10 rushing attempts for 38 yards. The second-year back was targeted seven times in the passing game but came away with just two catches for another 27 yards. Sean McVay gave his running back just two red zone rushing attempts on Monday night, ran 13 running plays in the entire game, and perplexed fans with his insistence on utilizing the pass to attempt short-yardage first-down conversions on multiple occasions. In Week 4, the Rams take on the Indianapolis Colts who have limited opposing running backs to 68 yards per game and have not allowed a touchdown to the position since Week 1. Still, with Williams operating as a three-down back he should be in starting lineups in Week 4.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Tutu Atwell caught five of his nine targets for 50 yards and a touchdown in Monday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The third-year player added 22 more yards on the ground on a reverse which was initially ruled a touchdown until the video review showed that he was out of bounds at the Bengals' two-yard line. He finally connected with quarterback Matthew Stafford for a score with little more than a minute remaining in the game. Atwell is averaging almost nine targets per game and is thriving in the shadow of the rookie phenom Puka Nacua. In Week 4, the Rams play the Indianapolis Colts, who allowed a touchdown to two different wide receivers in each of their first two games this season. Atwell can put up WR3 numbers against a generous opponent and should be started in Week 4.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford opened the 2023 season with back-to-back 300-yard games, but talk of the 15-year veteran's rejuvenation stalled out in Week 3. In Monday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, he was intercepted twice and sacked four times while going 18-for-33 for 269 yards and one touchdown. Stafford did lead the Rams into the red zone four times and got within 30 yards of the goal line twice more, but could not get the Rams across the goal line until their final possession of the game. Monday's score was just his second touchdown in 126 total pass attempts this season, the second-worst rate in the league after Ryan Tannehill. Even though Stafford has another favorable matchup against the Colts in Week 4, by now he can't be trusted to finish any higher than as a QB2.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd caught 5-of-9 targets for 39 yards in Monday's 19-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams. The 28-year-old slot man saw a busy first half amidst Cincinnati's conservative, dink-and-dunk approach, bringing in four of his six targets for 29 yards. Boyd later pulled in a short 10-yard reception in the fourth quarter but was on the wrong end of a spectacular play later in the series made by Ahkello Witherspoon, who ripped a pass away from Boyd for a pick. Boyd has 17 targets across the past two games but may find himself as the odd man out more often than not this year. The veteran has strong contingency upside if Ja'Marr Chase or Tee Higgins were to ever miss time, but Boyd is going to need the Bengals offense to start clicking if he wants to return WR3 value in full-PPR leagues.
Dynasty | Rams running back Kyren Williams posted 38 rushing yards, two catches and 27 receiving yards in a MNF loss to the Bengals. Dynasty Analysis: Ugh. Williams came back to earth in a big way in this one. While the trade of Cam Akers was huge for his dynasty value, this game is going to stop a lot of the momentum he carried into the week. Williams will now take a sub 4.0 yards per carry into a huge game against the Colts next week. His past and future performance will be one of the biggest dynasty storylines of the week as dynasty managers attempt to truly assess his true dynasty value.
Dynasty | Bengals receiver Tee Higgins posted two catches for 21 yards in the Bengals win against the Rams. Dynasty Analysis: Higgins has had a weird season to say the least. He had an 8/89/2 game last week but has just these two catches for 21 yards combined in his other two games after his week one shutout. He's also now caught just ten passes on 28 targets on the season. To make matters worse, Higgins left this game early. While the Bengals are saying he just experienced cramps, dynasty managers have to be concerned about the lack of consistency they've seen from an elite playmaker. Higgins will get the benefit of the doubt here but dynasty eyebrows are clearly being raised here.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon took 19 carries for 65 yards with one catch for an additional five yards in Monday's 19-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams. The ground game fell victim to a pass-centric Bengals first half that saw 33 Joe Burrow dropbacks to seven Mixon rush attempts, but that ratio evened out a bit in the second half with Cincinnati's defense disrupting the Rams all night. Mixon made a nice cut on a 14-yard dash to the end zone to top off a 10-play scoring drive out of the half to ignite the crowd and ease the pressing Bengals offense for the moment. The 27-year-old has produced solid, yet unspectacular returns in each of campaign's initial three games, amassing at least 70 total yards in each. Mixon may find running room hard to come by on the road in Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans, who have sold out to plug the trenches at the expense of a sieve-like secondary.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins caught 2-of-8 targets for 21 yards in Monday's 19-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams. The 24-year-old didn't make his first catch until the middle of the second quarter on a third-and-long checkdown, and he dropped a pass on the ensuing series. Higgins proceeded to push off on Ahkello Witherspoon to set back a drive following a Bengals takeaway that put them in great field position. He chipped in a 13-yard play on Cincinnati's only touchdown drive of the game but committed another drop in the third quarter, which stalled what amounted into a field-goal drive. Higgins had to make a brief exit with cramps to rub salt in the wound but returned at the start of the fourth. His uneven start to the year may have fantasy managers questioning their trust in him, but Higgins nonetheless belongs on the WR1/2 fringe in Week 4's cushy draw with the Tennessee Titans.