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Freedman’s Week 3 Rapid Reactions & Top Performers (2022 Fantasy Football)

Sep 26, 2022

Here’s what I’m taking away from what Dr. Deepak Chona said on the Week 3 Sunday night recap show.

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RB David Montgomery (knee, ankle)

  • Doesn’t sound serious. Might miss a game.

RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder)

  • A big deal for Cook because he already has shoulder issues. Might play next week, but there’s a high risk of re-injury.

QB Tua Tagovailoa (head, back)

  • It looks like a back injury, not a concussion. There might be a risk of recurring back spasms for the next few weeks.

QB Mac Jones (leg, ankle)

  • It looks like a high-ankle sprain. Out maybe 2-6 weeks.

RB J.K. Dobbins (knee, hamstring)

  • He looked about the way we’d expect him to look. He will probably ramp up in usage over the next month. Might look like his former self in the second half of the season.

WR Michael Thomas (foot, toe)

  • Might not be a big deal, but will learn more during the week. Probably not a multi-game absence.

Fantasy Headlines

Lamar Jackson: THE Fantasy QB1?

In Week 3, Lamar Jackson on the road against the Patriots put up 40.4 fantasy points on 18-of-29 for 218-4-1 passing and 11-107-1 rushing. Jackson has three-plus touchdowns passing in all three games this year and 100-plus yards rushing in back-to-back contests. The Ravens have scored 24, 38 and 37 points. QBs Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes are great, but Jackson might be playing better right now. He looks like 2019 MVP Lamar.

Khalil Herbert: Handcuff Extraordinaire

Starting RB David Montgomery (ankle, knee) exited Week 3 in the first quarter after just three carries, and in his place Khalil Herbert stepped up in a big way with 29.9 fantasy points on 20-157-2 rushing and 2-12-0 receiving. Bears HC Matt Eberflus says that Montgomery is day to day, so he might not miss any games.

But if he misses time, Herbert will likely slot in as fantasy RB1 in the NFL’s most run-heavy offense.

DeVonta Smith: Fantasy WR1?

After a strong rookie year (64-916-5 receiving), DeVonta Smith underwhelmed in Weeks 1-2 with just 7-80-0 receiving on 11 targets. In Week 3, however, he looked like a true alpha playmaker with 8-169-1 on a team-high 12 targets. He will likely be inconsistent week to week, given that the Eagles could have run-heavy game scripts and he needs to compete for targets with WR A.J. Brown and TE Dallas Goedert — but by the end of the year Smith could have cumulative WR1 production. He might be the Tee Higgins to Browns’ Ja’Marr Chase.

Tyler Conklin: Are You for Real?

The tight end position is a wasteland — but Conklin might actually be an oasis in the desert. It helps that QB Joe Flacco drops back to pass 52 times in seemingly every game. At some point, starter Zach Wilson will return and the Jets will regress in pass volume. But Conklin entered Week 3 with an every-down role and eight targets per game — and then he played a lot of snaps and got eight targets, which he leveraged into 12.4 fantasy points on 8-84-0 receiving. Conklin isn’t going to lead you to any fantasy championships, but if you’re desperate for tight end production — and who isn’t? — you could do much worse than eight targets per game.

Quick Game-by-Game Observations & Takeaways

Raiders at Titans

WR Mack Hollins: 8-158-1 receiving on 10 targets

  • This came in a game without No. 2 WR Hunter Renfrow (concussion) — but Hollins also had eight targets in Week 2 and is locked into three-wide sets. He needs to be rostered in most leagues and might actually be a viable start option in deep formats.

Saints at Panthers

WR Chris Olave: 9-147-0 receiving on 13 targets

  • In Week 2, Olave had an obscene 334 air yards on 13 targets. In Week 3, he turned that usage into actual fantasy production. He is already being used as if he’s the No. 1 wide receiver for the Saints.

Chiefs at Colts

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 7-0-1 rushing, 5-39-0 receiving on five targets

  • Gross. Edwards-Helaire saved his day with a touchdown and some receiving production, but he lost carries to backups Jerick McKinnon (7) and Isiah Pacheco (3) and was outrushed by seemingly everyone on the team. Phrased differently: He led the team in carries, and yet he somehow managed to outrush nobody. And this performance came against a team missing All-Pro LB Shaquille Leonard. Edwards-Helaire? More like Edwards-Horrible.

Ravens at Patriots

TE Mark Andrews: 8-89-2 receiving on 13 targets

  • Andrews isn’t just the No. 1 receiver on his team (and by a healthy margin). He should also probably be the default fantasy TE1 in rankings moving forward, given his target volume and the prolific output of his offense.

Texans at Bears

RB Dameon Pierce: 20-80-1 rushing, 2-21-0 receiving on two targets

  • For the second week in a row, Pierce played well ahead of No. 2 RB Rex Burkhead. Even though the Texans offense leaves much to be desired, it’s hard not to view a guy with his usage as a locked-in fantasy RB2.

Bills at Dolphins

WR Isaiah McKenzie: 7-76-1 receiving on nine targets

  • In Weeks 1-2, McKenzie and WR Jamison Crowder split time in the slot and cannibalized production from each other. Both saw six targets, had four receptions and were basically useless for fantasy. But in Week 3 McKenzie emerged, seeing nine targets to just three for Crowder and displaying an overall playmaking skill set that his counterpart simply lacks. If McKenzie starts to see regular usage, that could be good for the Bills offense and QB Josh Allen — but bad for No. 2 WR Gabe Davis.

Eagles at Commanders

WR Terry McLaurin: 6-102-0 receiving on nine targets

  • It was nice to see McLaurin have this kind of performance, because we all know he’s capable of going off in any game … but … he was still out-targeted by WR Curtis Samuel (10). And RB J.D. McKissic (9) and WR Jahan Dotson (8) both got their fair share of targets. In terms of overall talent, McLaurin might be a top-12 overall wide receiver, but it seems clear that the Commanders will spread the ball around too much in 2022 for McLaurin to dominate the offense.

Lions at Vikings

RB Jamaal Williams: 20-87-2 rushing, 2-20-0 receiving on two targets

  • No. 1 RB D’Andre Swift (ankle) is dealing with a lingering injury, so Williams is getting an opportunity to contribute with significant opportunities. Entering Week 3, he had a league-high seven carries inside the 10-yard line with a respectable 13 combined carries plus targets in each of Weeks 1-2. And then he went off with 20 touches in Week 3. Williams looks like a viable flex option.

Bengals at Jets

RB Breece Hall: 8-39-0 rushing, 6-53-0 receiving on 11 targets

  • Through three games, Hall has 21 carries and 21 targets. His receiving usage is almost certain to regress, but his rushing workload also seems likely to increase. Either way, a rookie back getting 14 opportunities per game is someone who will have my attention.

Jaguars at Chargers

QB Trevor Lawrence: 28-of-39 for 262-3-0 passing and 3-7-0 rushing

  • Entering Week 3, I was so focused on QB Justin Herbert (ribs) that I kind of forgot about Lawrence — but he’s legit. In Weeks 1-2, he was the No. 4 quarterback in the league in composite expected points added and completion percentage over expectation (per RBs Don’t Matter) — and then in Week 3 he took it to a strong Chargers secondary. He might not be a weekly fantasy starter yet, but he’s firmly in the streaming conversation and right on the QB1/2 borderline.

Rams at Cardinals

WR Marquise Brown: 14-140-0 receiving on 17 targets

  • Brown probably won’t get 17 targets again in any game for the rest of the season, but through three weeks he has 34 targets and is the clear No. 1 receiver for the Cardinals, who are likely to be in pass-heavy situations moving forward. Even when WR DeAndre Hopkins (suspended) returns to action, Brown could maintain his place atop the depth chart.

Falcons at Seahawks

RB Cordarrelle Patterson: 17-141-1 rushing, 1-12-0 receiving on one target

  • After his meh-tacular Week 2 performance and usage (41 scoreless yards on 10 carries, one target), I was skeptical that we’d see Patterson play as a true lead back against the Seahawks. But the Falcons had a run-heavy game script, and Patterson was the team’s primary playmaker. He’s still likely to be inconsistent on a weekly basis, but (barring injury) he should finish with another season of 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns.

Packers at Buccaneers

WR Romeo Doubs: 8-73-1 receiving on eight targets

  • In Week 3 the Packers were without WRs Sammy Watkins (hamstring, IR) and Christian Watson (hamstring), and that gave Doubs a chance to play as a regular in three-wide sets. With that opportunity, he amassed a team-high eight targets, which he leveraged into 17.3 fantasy points. The Packers will likely be a run-focused team for the entirety of the season — but Doubs has a real chance to emerge as QB Aaron Rodgers‘ No. 1 receiver.

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