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Draft Masters - FFL: Week 3 | NFL: Week 3

Saints racing to correct errors on offense, special teams

Mon Sep 26 9:16pm ET
By BRETT MARTEL
AP Sports Writer

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New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) sets back to pass the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)


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New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) throws a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)


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New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave (12) catches a pass against Carolina Panthers cornerback CJ Henderson (24) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)


First-year Saints coach Dennis Allen might have liked to keep his focus on defense, an area he built into a strength of the club as a coordinator the past six-plus seasons.

But while the unit he primarily oversees continues to perform well, costly breakdowns on offense and special teams are demanding more attention.

''We've got a lot of areas that we've got to improve on,'' Allen said Monday after spending part of an overnight flight to England reviewing video of a 22-14 loss at Carolina last Sunday.

''We've got to work hard to get those things corrected and fixed before we get to Sunday.''

Even in their lone win in Atlanta in Week 1, the Saints needed a 17-point fourth quarter to pull off the largest fourth-quarter comeback victory in franchise history.

For most of the 11 other quarters they have played this season, the Saints have struggled to score - done in by a combination of drive-stalling penalties, turnovers and even missed field goals.

Through three games, the Saints (1-2) have scored 10 total first-quarter points, none in the second quarter of any game and three third-quarter points. They've fumbled eight times, losing four. And quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown five interceptions - one more than his touchdown pass total of four.

''You have to be able to be accountable and we have to just pay a lot more attention to detail,'' said running back Mark Ingram, who lost a critical fumble in a Week 2 loss to Tampa Bay, but responded with a rushing TD at Carolina in Week 3. ''We watched the film and we're going to correct it this week, get those things right, get those things together because we all have confidence in each other.

''We're just way too good, way too talented and we're going to get this thing going the right way,'' Ingram added.

After going 9-8 during an injury-ravaged 2021 season, the Saints hoped to fare better this season with a seemingly healthier and deeper roster.

Sean Payton's retirement after last season, and Allen's promotion, was bound to be an adjustment. But the Saints hoped it would be a smooth transition given the relative continuity on the coaching staff and across the roster.

Perhaps it's too early to tell.

''We're three games into the season, got 14 games to go,'' linebacker Demario Davis noted. ''We're definitely disappointed in the game not going the way that we wanted, but all our goals are still in front of us. ... We're in a race to get better, just like the rest of the league.''

Ingram asserted that morale remains high because of the roster is full of players who went to four straight playoffs together from 2017 through 2020.

''Nobody points the fingers. Nobody's blaming. Everyone's seeing what they can do to improve. Everyone's seeing what everyone can do to encourage each other to be better,'' Ingram asserted. ''Everybody's taking their own accountability for their mistakes.''

WHAT'S WORKING

The Saints' defense has allowed just one touchdown in each of their past two games and ranked fifth against the pass before Monday night's game.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

The Saints are having trouble scoring - mostly because of drive-ruining mistakes on offense or failed field goals. Despite being ranked eighth in total net yards (before Monday night's game), the Saints are averaging just 17 points per game, which was tied for 22nd.

STOCK UP

Rookie receiver Chris Olave is living up to his first-round draft status. He had nine catches for 147 yards in just his third regular-season game.

STOCK DOWN

After missing all of last season with a core muscle injury, kicker Wil Lutz aims to once again be as reliable as he was when he kicked in every Saints game for his first five seasons. But he's got some work to do after having one field-goal attempt blocked and missing another in Week 3. He also missed a field-goal attempt at Atlanta in Week 1.

INJURED

Receivers Michael Thomas (toe), Jarvis Landry (ankle) and Tre'Quan Smith (concussion) all left last Sunday's loss in Carolina, along with left guard Andrus Peat (concussion).

KEY NUMBER

0 - The number of touchdowns passing the Saints have scored in the first three quarters of all three of their games.

NEXT STEPS

The Saints are spending a week out of the country, which might be exactly the kind of team-bonding experience they need as they try to regroup in advance of Sunday's international series game against Minnesota in north London's Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 3

Player Notes
Tyler Bass Sep 26 10:00pm ET
Tyler Bass

Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass made one of his two field goals in a 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. Bass added two extra points in the loss. The veteran kicker's lone field goal was a 30-yarder, although he will be thinking about his missed 38-yarder early in the fourth quarter. Bass has now hit four of his five field goals on the season while tacking on 11 extra points in as many tries. He should see plenty of kicking opportunities in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens.

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Jonathan Taylor Sep 26 10:00pm ET
Jonathan Taylor

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor carried the ball 21 times for 71 yards and added three catches for 20 yards in a 20-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3. Taylor's longest run went for 13 yards on an afternoon where the Chiefs did a decent job limiting him. The veteran running back has now carried the ball 61 times for 286 yards and one touchdown while adding another 43 yards on eight catches. Taylor will be a solid RB1 in Week 4 when he takes on the Tennessee Titans at home.

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Michael Pittman Jr. Sep 26 10:00pm ET
Michael Pittman Jr.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. caught eight of his nine targets for 72 yards in a 20-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3. Pittman bounced back nicely after missing his team's Week 2 game with a quad injury. The third-year wideout has been hot to start the season, having caught 17 passes for 193 yards and a score in just two games. He will be a low-end WR1 in Week 4 when the Colts take on the Tennessee Titans at home.

From RotoBaller

Chris Godwin Sep 26 9:53pm ET
Chris Godwin

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin's (hamstring) status for Week 4 is uncertain at this point, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

Fantasy Spin: Godwin has missed the last two games because of the injury and likely will have to participate in at least one practice if he has a chance to play in Week 4. Fantasy players will know more later in the week, but he will be a risky option.

From TheHuddle

Zack Moss Sep 26 9:50pm ET
Zack Moss

Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss carried the ball four times for 46 yards and added a six-yard catch in a 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. Moss picked up most of his production on a 43-yard run but did little else while splitting looks with Devin Singletary and James Cook. Moss caught six passes back in Week 1 but he appears to have been overtaken by the rookie Cook in the passing attack. He will not be a recommended fantasy option heading into a Week 4 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

From RotoBaller

Dawson Knox Sep 26 9:50pm ET
Dawson Knox

Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox caught all four of his targets for 25 yards in a 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. Knox has been quiet in 2022, with his four targets tying a season-high set in Week 2. The veteran tight end now has nine receptions for 71 yards and no touchdowns through three games after he scored nine times in 2021. Knox will look to get back on track against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.

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Julio Jones Sep 26 9:43pm ET
Julio Jones

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Julio Jones (knee) is expected to be available for the Week 4 game, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

Fantasy Spin: Jones has missed the last two games because of the injury, so fantasy players will need to monitor his practice participation during the week. He can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option in fantasy leagues if active.

From TheHuddle

Isaiah McKenzie Sep 26 9:40pm ET
Isaiah McKenzie

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie caught seven of his nine targets for 76 yards and a touchdown while adding a six-yard rush in a 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. McKenzie hauled in an eight-yard touchdown pass from Josh Allen in the second quarter, the former's second score of the season. The veteran slot receiver has now caught 11 balls for 132 yards through three games, with his receiving yardage ranking second on the team behind only Stefon Diggs. McKenzie will be a decent flex option in what could be a Week 4 shootout against the Baltimore Ravens.

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James Cook Sep 26 9:40pm ET
James Cook

Buffalo Bills running back James Cook carried the ball once for three yards and added four catches for 37 yards on five targets in a 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. Cook's five targets ranked fourth on the team on an afternoon where Buffalo attempted 63 passes. The rookie running back appears to have worked his way out of the doghouse after a lost fumble in Week 1 and has overtaken Zack Moss as the Bills' preferred passing-down back. Cook will be a low-end flex option in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens.

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Dak Prescott Sep 26 9:33pm ET
Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (thumb) said he is not ruling out the possibility of playing in Week 4.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor Prescott's practice participation this upcoming week to see he has any chance to play in Week 4. He is a weekly starting option in all leagues when healthy.

From TheHuddle

Devin Singletary Sep 26 9:30pm ET
Devin Singletary

Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary carried the ball nine times for 13 yards and caught nine of his 11 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown in a 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. In somewhat of a surprise, Singletary wound up leading the Bills in receiving in the loss to Miami. The veteran running back now has 80 yards on 23 rushes and 13 catches for 94 yards and a touchdown through three games. Running backs in Buffalo can be tough to trust on a weekly basis but Singletary appears to have emerged as the preferred option in the backfield. He will be a high-end RB3 in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens.

From RotoBaller

Stefon Diggs Sep 26 9:30pm ET
Stefon Diggs

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught seven of his 11 targets for 74 yards in a 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. Diggs tied for the team lead in targets while finishing second in catches and third in receiving yardage in the loss. While it wasn't quite the three-touchdown performance Diggs posted in Week 2, it remained a productive fantasy outing from the No. 1 receiver in Buffalo. Diggs will be a top-six fantasy wideout in what should be a shootout against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.

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Gabriel Davis Sep 26 9:30pm ET
Gabriel Davis

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis caught three of his six targets for 37 yards in a 21-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. Davis missed his team's game in Week 2 while nursing an ankle injury but he was able to suit up against Miami in the Week 3 loss. The veteran wideout drew the fourth-most targets in Buffalo on Sunday but he wasn't able to do much with the opportunities. Buffalo has a crowded receiver room behind No. 1 Stefon Diggs, which is going to lead to some slow weeks for Davis. He will be a boom/bust flex option in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens.

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Kenny Golladay Sep 26 9:23pm ET
Kenny Golladay

New York Giants WR Kenny Golladay is a candidate to be traded if his relationship with the team worsens, according to sources. The Giants likely will have to pay a majority of Golladay's remaining salary if they want to trade him.

Fantasy Spin: Golladay has caught only two passes for 22 yards in the first two games of the season, and it is not known if he will receive a bigger role moving forward. Fantasy players should keep him on the bench until he is traded or more involved with the Giants.

From TheHuddle

Myles Garrett Sep 26 9:20pm ET
Myles Garrett

Cleveland Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett is likely to be released from the hospital on Monday night after a car accident earlier in the day. According to Garrett's agent, the star pass-rusher is "alert and responsive" after suffering what are being called minor injuries. Garrett returning home so soon would be a good sign that he was not injured badly following the scary incident. The Browns have yet to officially weigh in on Garrett's status moving forward.

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Dak Prescott Sep 26 9:10pm ET
Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (thumb) told ESPN's Lisa Salters that he is not ruling out a return to the field for Week 4. Prescott was interviewed by Salters ahead of his team's Monday night game against the New York Giants and sounded optimistic just two weeks after suffering a fractured right thumb. Backup quarterback Cooper Rush has played well in Prescott's absence, which would likely prevent Dallas from rushing their star quarterback back to the field. That being said, Prescott could be back under center sooner rather than later.

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Jordan Poyer Sep 26 8:30pm ET
Jordan Poyer

Buffalo Bills rookie cornerback Christian Benford (hand) suffered a fractured hand in the Week 3 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, according to a source. According to Bills beat writer Chris Brown, Benford will need surgery to fix his broken hand and will miss multiple games as a result. The Bills have also been without Dane Jackson (neck) and star Tre'Davious White (knee), so Buffalo's secondary is in shambles early in the year. Safety Micah Hyde (neck) is out for the year and Jordan Poyer (foot) was inactive on Sunday. If Jackson isn't able to return in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens after getting injured in Week 2, the Bills may have to turn to cornerback Ja'Marcus Ingram. It's good news for the Ravens receivers.

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Dak Prescott Sep 26 8:23pm ET
Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (thumb) had the stitches removed from his surgically repaired thumb Monday, Sept. 26, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones.

Fantasy Spin: Prescott is making progress in his recovery and could start throwing again in the near future. He is still probably a few weeks away from returning to the lineup, but fantasy players should monitor the situation. Cooper Rush will continue to start but can be avoided in most leagues.

From TheHuddle

Myles Garrett Sep 26 8:10pm ET
Myles Garrett

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was involved in a one-car accident after leaving the team's facility on Monday, according to a team spokesman. Garrett did not suffer life-threatening injuries but was transported to a local hospital, and the team is in the process of gathering more information. It's a scary situation for the 26-year-old All-Pro pass-rusher, and we'll have more details on his condition as soon as we know more. As of right now, fantasy managers in IDP leagues should be considering Garrett very questionable to play in Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons, depending on the severity of his injuries. Garrett went without a sack in Thursday night's win over the division-rival Pittsburgh Steelers, but he has three sacks through three games and is a must-start in IDP formats when he's on the field.

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Jimmy Garoppolo Sep 26 8:10pm ET
Jimmy Garoppolo

San Francisco 49ers All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams (ankle) suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Week 3 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday night and will be out "some time," according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. The head coach said it could be four to six weeks, but the team won't know for sure until the swelling goes down in his ankle. The 34-year-old's injury is a huge blow for San Fran's offensive line and their offense as a whole, as Denver's D wrecked the game for the Niners late in the second half once Williams departed the contest. Colton McKivitz is expected to get the start in Week 4 against the division-rival Los Angeles Rams, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could see a ton of pressure in that one.

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