Welcome back, everybody! We’ve got NFL Week 3 officially in the books and a lot to recap from ALL the action! Hopefully, you’ll like the new version of the 2023 usage report. While slightly altered from previous installments, I think it packs a punch that is exactly what fantasy managers NEED as they make transactions heading into the next week.
Again, we live in the year 2023, where bite-size and easy-to-digest content is the way, the masses consume content. My goal with this weekly piece is to provide you with the KEY ACTION items – waiver wire pickups, trade, add, drop, stash, buy, sell, start, sit, etc. – for your fantasy football team based on what happened the previous week. Let me do the work of scouring through the data, so you can just follow my lead. As my college marketing professor always said, “Keep it simple, stupid.” The KISS mantra is at its finest.
As always, I’ll be citing data and what I watched on film from the weekend’s past matchups highlighting what matters most and what’s potentially just noise. I will make a strong effort to feature players who are coming off polarizing performances, as they are sure to be the ones fantasy managers have the most question marks about. Note that if I omit a certain player(s), it’s likely because their role/usage did not change from the week prior. Want to save valuable space for players whose stock is rising/falling, as this is where we can take advantage as savvy fantasy gamers.
For those tuning into the usage report for the first time; the idea behind the usage report has always been about identifying which players are running routes, seeing high snap shares, and earning high-value targets as these tend to be precursors for future fantasy production. And sometimes they don’t always show up in the normal box score.
So, without further ado…let’s roll out the red carpet for the 2023 Usage Report for Week 3, to prepare for success in Week 4. The Fantasy Football Week 4 Rankings Forecast features Waiver Wire Pickups and Buy Low/Sell High Trade Targets.
Let’s ride. Because the forecast calls for more action in the upcoming Week 4 slate.
For some overarching data points, check out my Twitter/X thread that covers some important nuggets from Week 3’s action…
Week 3 Fantasy Football Snap Counts
To prepare you for Week 4…
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) September 25, 2023
Along with snap counts…
Week 3 Fantasy Football Takeaways
My Week 3 NFL rapid reactions…🧵
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) September 25, 2023
- Waiver Wire Advice
- Weekly Fantasy Football Expert Rankings
- Fantasy Football Start/Sit Advice
- Fantasy Football Trade Tools
Fantasy Football Forecast
San Francisco 49ers
Buy Brandon Aiyuk
The 49ers blew the doors off the Giants on Thursday night, with their top three playmakers dominating in the wake of an injured Brandon Aiyuk (shoulder). The results were to be expected as one of the BIG 4 misses time, all the other guys will feast.
Most notably, Deebo Samuel had a MONSTER game. The over on his 4.5 receptions prop was like taking candy from a baby. Although it was a bit closer than the final results indicate because Samuel was targeted a whopping 12 times, “only” caught six for 129 receiving yards and 1 TD. He dominated with a 35% Target share and 44% air yards share – which is usually held by Aiyuk.
Through three games, Samuel owns a 33% Target share. And as long as he’s healthy, I don’t imagine that goes away. After all, he was the Target share leader last season when Brock Purdy was the starting quarterback. However, from a buy/sell standpoint, there’s never been a better time to sell high on Samuel or Kittle given their extremely boosted production with Aiyuk out. Given both their long injury track records – Samuel also suffered a rib injury on Thursday night and is currently listed as day-to-day – I think it’s at least worth entertaining to see what you can acquire in return for either 49ers stud.
Conversely, with 10 days between their next game, Aiyuk is a savvy buy-low target as he presumably should be fine returning from a shoulder injury ahead of Week 4. The move after Aiyuk’s big week one was to buy Samuel. Follow the process and buy Aiyuk after a big Samuel game.
Christian McCaffrey did more of what he usually does – 5 catches for 34 yards, 18 carries for 85 yards and 1 TD – further cementing his status as the top RB in fantasy football.
And that was despite No. 2 RB Elijah Mitchell playing 34% of the snaps after being a complete non-factor 2 weeks into the season. It was a short week, so it made sense for the 49ers to use Mitchell more in this matchup. I wouldn’t be overly bullish on him providing any weekly flex appeal after seeing 14 touches in this game. If anything, the fact that Mitchell can play this much and CMC STILL produces is just a great sign for McCaffrey’s longevity. No need to play him 100% of the snaps every single week especially with the SF killing teams left and right.
Without Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings saw the biggest increase in playing time (3 targets, 2 catches) but rookie Ronnie Bell came away with the TD on one of his two receptions. They both played 37% of the snaps, but Jennings ran more routes.
New York Giants
Buy Darren Waller, Buy Matt Breida, Add Wan’Dale Robinson
Thursday night was a night to forget for Big Blue.
No Saquon Barkley led to a split backfield between Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell. Although Breida dominated with an 82% snap share to Brightwell’s 18%, the starter totaled just four carries for 17 yards and 1 TD. Brightwell also had four carries, while each RB saw three targets.
If you had to start Breida out of desperation, the TD saved you in Week 3. But the Giants showed zero interest in trying to establish any kind of ground attack versus the 49ers, despite it working in a small sample size. However, I’d be more optimistic about Breida in Week 4 if Barkley is still out versus the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night football. And let’s not pretend like Barkley is any lock to return for Week 4 with his ankle injury track record. The initial timetable for his return was three weeks, so buy low on Breida for those thinking he was just a desperate one-week rental.
As for the receivers, nobody produced much of anything and the target pecking order remained the same.
Darren Waller remained Daniel Jones‘ favorite target – 22% Target share, 7 targets – and his usage was elite. 80% route participation and an 82% snap share. But his efficiency was horrible. A few drops and back throws from Danny Dimes resulted in just three catches for 20 yards. As someone who bet over on Waller’s 4.5 receptions Thursday night, it was frustrating to watch with the opportunity ripe for the taking. Still, the tight end position is a wasteland, and the matchup was tough.
The Giants passing game has faced two of the league’s best defenses in their three games, which has definitely played a role in two lackluster performances. With Seattle and Miami coming up, we will see Waller’s fantasy production improve. He’s clearly the No. 1 target in his offense (21% Target share, 20 targets) which cannot be said for a lot of tight ends.
As for the “Giants” WRs, the major change was the injection of second-year WR, Wan’Dale Robinson. He was playing in his first game since he tore his ACL, and picked up where he left off. Vacuuming up targets. He ran 9 routes and was targeted five times for 4 catches and 21 yards. Super high target rate per route run (55%).
As a result, Parris Campbell‘s route participation dropped from 77% during Weeks 1-2 to 41% in Week 3. Would presume that Robinson fully supplants Campbell as he gets healthier from the injury and takes on the slot role full-time. Add him off waivers.
Isaiah Hodgins‘ route participation stayed the same (65%) while Jalin Hyatt‘s role increased a bit. 32% snap share versus a 21% snap share in Week 2 (zero targets). Hyatt offers the salivating big-play upside that he could fully unlock with a full-time role. But they are slowly playing him. Meanwhile, Robinson could be looking at a double-digit target game as soon as Week 4 comes around.
Sell Derrick Henry, Buy Treylon Burks
The Tennessee Titans fell behind 13-3 in the first half and it was a lackluster day for Derrick Henry. 11 carries for just 20 yards. Zero targets. Tyjae Spears out-snapped him in the first half – four carries for 6 yards. He also had four catches for 3 yards on 4 targets with the team facing a negative game script.
Spears would out-snap Henry by a grand total of 56% to 38% in Week 3. Henry has now been out-snapped in two of three games by Spears. He has one game with above 50% snap share this season.
If Henry is their best player on offense, why is he not getting the ball more? Are the Titans losing faith? Either way, Spears’ constant usage is not going away and will hinder Henry for the rest of the season. The offensive line is still horrible. I’d be selling Henry for those who think he has a true fantasy RB1 upside. Looks to me like a fantasy RB2 given his current situation.
All Titans WRs underwhelmed versus the elite Browns defense. A matchup that needs to be avoided for fantasy football. DeAndre Hopkins saw a team-high 7 targets (29% Target share), catching 3 for 48 yards. But his usage remained low like last week. Ran fewer routes than Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, who led the team with a 93% route run rate.
Treylon Burks also saw decent opportunities (25% Target share, 125 air yards, 50% air yards share) but concluded with one catch for 5 yards. On the first play. Woof. Although I will admit that these passes were just defended well by the Browns’ secondary not just prayer yards. Think there’s some legitimacy to buying Burks as a buy-low target based on his high-value opportunities.
Burks has nearly just as many air yards as Hopkins through three games (33% vs. 35%) but has just 6 catches for 99 yards. Hopkins leads with a 30% Target share.
Is Ryan Tannehill just that bad? Or is it the entire offense? Note that they only scored three points because the Browns fumbled giving Tennessee the ball inside the red zone. Through three games, their defense has faced just a handful of plays in the red zone.
Sell Jerome Ford, Buy Amari Cooper/Elijah Moore/Kareem Hunt, Drop David Njoku
Jerome Ford has three carries in the 1st half. He finished with 10 carries for 18 yards on a 56% snap share but scored two TDs. He added 2 catches on 3 targets while leading the backfield in routes run. The matchup was brutal, so the bad efficiency was to be expected. Currently, he ranks 2nd-worst in the NFL in success rate (32%).
But the involvement from the other backs was puzzling. Pierre Strong got six carries for 27 yards (although the majority in garbage time up 27-3). Kareem Hunt (supposedly on a pitch count) got 5 carries for 13 yards after being signed this week (20% snap share). Hunt also had three targets on just five routes run. Also, I think it’s extremely noteworthy that Ford was not the first Browns player to earn a carry. Or the second. Or the third. Elijah Moore, Hunt and Strong all carried the ball before Ford’s first carry on the second drive.
If this is “RB1” usage for Ford, you must sell high after the 2 TDs. The schedule sucks and there is a bye week in Week 5. Ravens, Bye Week, 49ers and then Colts. If anything, I’d buy low on Kareem Hunt. Looked decent in the game after no training camp. He’s clearly the RB2 ahead of Strong. Only imagine he gets better as he gets acclimated to game speed.
As for the passing game, the Titans’ secondary is the gift that keeps on giving. Deshaun Watson had one of his best days throwing as Cleveland Brown. 289 passing yards was his highest total since he was on the Houston Texans. Two passing TDs with 16 more yards on the ground.
Elijah Moore saw a whopping nine targets – catching 100% of them for 49 yards (29% Target share). Amari Cooper was also uber efficient with 7 grabs for 116 yards and 1 TD (8 targets, 62% air yards share). Moore and Cooper have clearly been the top two guys this season, with their combined Target share vastly exceeding all other Browns (50% combined Target share, 62% combined air yards share).
Buy Bijan Robinson, Sell Kyle Pitts
I expected more fireworks in this game…but got a dud instead. Atanta’s offense didn’t show up. Held under 50 total rushing yards. The Falcons were horrible on third down (4-14) and missed a field goal. They got an interception down 13-3 with a chance to put points on the board. But Ridder was constantly harassed, and he needs a clean pocket to be effective. He was sacked seven times. And just not enough plays were made by the Falcons receivers. Tight coverage, but you’d expect more from both Kyle Pitts and Drake London.
What’s more terrifying is the fact that Kyle Pitts saw a team-high 9 targets…but still finished with just 5 catches for 41 yards. First target? Deep play action toss for Pitts that Desmond Ridder overthrows. The issue with Pitts isn’t the role. 89% route participation and 78% snap share. He’s running a route on nearly every dropback. But the chemistry between Ridder and Pitts is just not present. Three weeks in, Pitts is averaging three catches for 33 yards on 5.6 targets per game from Ridder.
Ridder attempted 38 passes in Week 3 but completed just 21 for 210 yards. 38 attempts for a Falcons QB are the most since the Matt Ryan era…
Jonnu Smith was also heavily involved for the second straight game. 8 targets and 5 more catches. Woof.
Bijan Robinson was disappointing but maintained his role as a receiver with 4 catches for 27 yards on 6 targets. Started and saw 8 touches in the first half. Saw the first target in the game. Led team with a 22% Target share through three games. Also leads the team with 14 catches. Played 81% of the snaps in Week 3, and uptick from his 72% snap share in Week 2.
He’s a sharp buy-low target. The Jaguars (in London) and Houston Texans are next up.
Drop Craig Reynolds, Start Sam LaPorta, Buy Jahmyr Gibbs
The Lions were equally as bad on third down (4-14) but hit on the few big plays needed to come away with the win.
No David Montgomery led to a big usage game for Jahmyr Gibbs. 17 carries for 80 rushing yards on a 60% snap share. Craig Reynolds earned just four for 15 carries (three of which came in the 4th quarter). Zonovan Knight out-carried Reynolds in the first half (2 vs 1) and was the next backup behind Gibbs. Knight is an interesting DFS option for the one-game Thursday night slate, as the No. 2 RB.
Gibbs only had two targets, but there wasn’t a demand given the big lead. Still, I’d view him as buy-low given his separation between the other RBs. Also, he earned four red-zone carries, but just failed to punch it in for a score. On a short week, I don’t expect Montgomery to be ready to return, slating Gibbs for another solid workload. Dan Campbell said in his post-game presser that Gibbs will only get better with time and more reps. He also thought Gibbs started to heat up as the game progressed.
So, after a game where Gibbs only scored fewer than 10 fantasy points…he’s a screaming buy with the arrow pointing up.
As for receiving, Amon-Ra St. Brown showed zero restrains from his turf toe injury. 9-102 on 12 targets. 94% snap share. 100% route participation. Sun God.
But the big story was easily Sam LaPorta stringing together his third great game. But this was by far the best, with the rookie tight end catching 8 for 84 and 1 TD on 11 targets. Set it and forget it. Welcome to the club Sammy ballgame. The team loves him. The coaches love him. And most importantly, Jared Goff trusts him.
Josh Reynolds was out there but just was not targeted. Still ran a route on 74% of dropbacks. 77% snap share. WRs goose egg on occasion, so I’d just chalk it up as variance.
Kalif Raymond‘s routes increased to 53%, as perhaps he is pushing for a bigger role on offense. Goff missed him on a big TD throw, that he would hit later on a few plays later to LaPorta. The Falcons defense was shredded by the Lions’ play-action passing attack.
New Orleans Saints
Buy Saints WRs/TEs, Sell Alvin Kamara
Derek Carr left the game in the 3rd quarter with a shoulder injury. The Saints were up 17-0 at the point.
Jameis Winston took over. His 16 passes went as follows:
- Chris Olave – 5 targets (31%)
- Michael Thomas – 7 targets (44%)
- Juwan Johnson – 3 targets (19%)
- Rashid Shaheed – 1 target (6%)
I’d expect Winston to be the starter for the foreseeable future, with the reports leaking about Carr that his injury is not season-ending.
As for the backfield, rookie Kendre Miller rushed nine times for 34 yards (34% snap share), but it was a split with Tony Jones (started) seeing 8 carries for 31 yards. Taysom Hill chipped in four carries. Jones saw the most targets (4) and played the most snaps (49%).
Would imagine that Alvin Kamara steps into the Jones role-plus, while also ceding carries to the rookie Miller. But the concern for Kamara managers is that even with Jamaal Williams on IR, how many targets is Kamara going to actually get?
When Winston stepped in, he targeted RBs on zero of his throws. Last year in his two starts with Kamara, AK41 averaged 2.5 receptions with 5.5 targets. But given Kamara’s major fall-off in receiving last season, I think I’d be a seller for those hoping he steps into some insane role. No Saints RB has seen an elite role outside Jamaal Williams in Week 1. And I’ve got more reservations with Kamara’s targets with Jameis Winston versus Derek Carr under center.
As for the receivers, I think getting Winston is an upgrade. I’ve never been the highest on Carr and through three games he posted a career-low 2.3% TD rate. Winston flashed big time chemistry with Michael Thomas during three games last season – particularly in the red zone – and it was apparent MT was his guy in Week 3. 7 targets once Winston entered the game in the second half. Also think Winston’s big arm is more accurate than Carr’s, so perhaps we can get more cash-in with the Saints’ uber-aggressive passing attack. Carr led the NFL in deep target rate through the first two weeks.
They also face the pass-funnel Buccaneers (Winston revenge game) in Week 4.
Not hopeful Juwan Johnson will turn it around. Jimmy Graham caught the red-zone TD without Foster Moreau active. Johnson ran a route on just 66% of dropbacks (73% last week). Told you to drop him last week. Leave him on waivers. He’s a TD or bust.
Green Bay Packers
Buy Luke Musgrave, Christian Watson, Jordan Love, Sell Romeo Doubs
Again, it was a pretty flat target distribution with Romeo Doubs leading with 12 targets. 5 grabs for 73 yards and 1 TD. Tight end Luke Musgrave was solid 6-49 on 8 targets, despite a very tough matchup. Love missed him deep on a seam route that could have been a TD. Bodes well for him for the rest of the season. Both guys played 86% of the snaps which leads the Packers’ skill players. Buy low on Musgrave ahead of the Lions’ matchup on Thursday. The upcoming schedule is juicy for the entire Packers offense: Lions, Raiders, Broncos, Vikings and Rams.
Credit to the Packers for rallying to pull off the 18-17 win at home. They were dead in the water but left a lot of the production on the field. So even though they benefitted from a missed field goal, New Orleans had a number of opportunities to put this game out of reach.
A.J. Dillon was bad and saw his snaps dip to 51% from 68% in Week 2. Touches also decreased in a negative game script. The Lions run defense has been much better dating back to last season, so he needs to be benched in most cases even if Jones doesn’t play in Week 4.
This team/offense needs Aaron Jones‘ explosive playmaking. Dillon continues to underwhelm as the team’s starting RB. 11 carries for 33 yards. Dropped for a-7 loss at the start of the second half with zero big rushes to make up for it from my perspective.
I’d also say the team could use Christian Watson as another explosive element. He’s missed three games to start the year with a hamstring injury, but remains a buy-low like last week in my estimates. Again, Watson’s biggest fear for drafters was tied to Jordan Love. But three games in, he has earned the faith of his coaches and teammates. Fantasy managers should also buy in. He only threw one TD, but Jayden Reed dropped an easy one. Reed dropped two TDs, with another coming up short right as he was hitting the goal line. Love would eventually score a rushing TD on a QB scramble.
Every week this offense takes shots downfield that don’t connect because it’s another receiver not named Watson on the receiving end. Dontayvion Wicks is running the routes that Watson will most likely see and he’s a 5th-round rookie from this year’s draft.
With Doubs’ production very good in two of his three games, he is an entertaining sell high based on his three red-zone TD receptions this season (tied for league-lead with Donald Parham Jr.) and Watson’s return hindering his weekly production.
Both Doubs and Reed have four inside-the-10-yard line targets, which suggests Love is fueling his receivers with high-value targets. Bodes extremely well for Watson upon his return.
Los Angeles Chargers
Add Josh Palmer, Quentin Johnston
Joshua Kelley. I cannot believe my eyes. 11 carries for 12 yards. 1 catch for 5 yards. Came up just short on his two red zone carries. Currently ranks 6th in red-zone carries. WOOF. 73% snap share did nothing, but LA may have no choice but to keep running it back with Kelley. Austin Ekeler may still be a few weeks away. Kelley’s biggest wart is that he doesn’t have the fruitful pass-catching role that Ekeler owns as the starting RB.
Keenan Allen with 20 targets. 18 catches for 215 receiving yards. Bro when he’s healthy…good lord.
Mike Williams offered the total experience. 7 for 121 and a TD (from Allen no less). But left the game with a knee injury that was confirmed to be season-ending.
I’m expecting a bump for Joshua Palmer, who was productive in Week 3 – 4 for 66 and 1 TD on 7 targets – with Big Mike out the remainder of 2023. Quentin Johnston also needs to be added in case he was dropped after a slow start. The first-rounder has been buried on the depth chart but should see his playing time increase dramatically with the Williams injury. Palmer is the “safe” add whereas QJ offers way more upside, but comes with a shaky floor based on his boom-or-bust profile.
I may have blown the Josh Kelley call…but tight end Donald Parham Jr. came away with 2 TDs including the 1st one in the game. YLTSI.
Those were his only two catches and Gerald Everett got more involved with 6 grabs for 30 yards on 6 targets.
Everett played 58% of the snaps versus Parham’s 52%. Still think that Everett is the preferred tight end between the 20s but his upside is limited with DPJ as the favorite red-zone option. The Raiders are horrible versus tight ends, so it’s possible we could get Everett back into the streaming territory…but it’s fringe at best with the dual (and actually) triple TE deployment between Everett, Parham and Stone Smartt. The increase in tight end usage is likely related to Ekeler’s injury, as Kelley is not running routes at the same clip.
Sell Alexander Mattison, Buy Jordan Addison
It was a make-or-break time for Alexander Mattison. The final stat line looks solid – 20 for 93 yards on the ground, 5 catches for 32 yards on 7 targets. Played 80% of the snaps. Sell. Sell. Sell.
He dropped a ball in the red zone. Fumbled with a clear recovery by LA but it was overturned because the whistle was blown. Stuffed at the goal line thrice.
Cam Akers is coming for this man’s job. Your window is open. Don’t miss it.
As for Jordan Addison, the arrow continues to point upward. Higher snap share at 71% in Week 3. Ran a route on 80% of dropbacks. With him cresting that 80% rate to go along with a 17% Target share, I am very confident his role continues to grow and he will overtake K.J. Osborn in full. Again, this team is 0-3.
Teams that are 0-3 should and will be open to shaking things up.
New England Patriots
Buy Rhamondre Stevenson, Hunter Henry, Sell Ezekiel Elliott
We saw more of what the Patriots’ offense probably wants to be in Week 3. Playing in a more back-and-forth gritty game, Ezekiel Elliott led the team in rushing with 16 carries and 80 yards (38% snap share).
Rhamondre Stevenson totaled 19 carries for 59 yards and saw four targets (65% snap share). Ran a route on 73% of dropbacks. Third straight game with 18-plus touches. 6th in the NFL in touches (pending MNF).
A workhorse that people may not realize they have.
Although the carry totals were pretty split, Elliott saw a lot of work in the fourth quarter when New England was trying to kill the clock and slow the pace of play. No hurry with them aware the other offense would not be scoring anytime soon.
Would view Mondre as a buy-low after a 20-touch game where the box score might suggest he’s losing his job to Zeke. He’s not. This game is also one of the few occasions where the Patriots will have the luxury of “feeding Zeke” when they are protecting a lead. This will not happen very often.
The Dallas Cowboys’ defense is tough, but the one area they are weak is against a team’s running game. Happened at times last season and hit them hard in their Week 3 upset loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
No Patriots receivers did much – Jets defense, rainy wet conditions – aside from a 58-yard TD to tight end Pharaoh Brown. All Hail! But seriously, he’s a third-string tight end who just happened to catch a long TD.
New York Jets
Buy Breece Hall.
Bad and rainy weather didn’t help an already horrible Jets offense led by Zach Wilson in any capacity. They had one drive in the fourth quarter where they moved the ball with success. At no other point was this offense threatening the Patriots defense. And that means it’s a wasteland for fantasy football.
Breece Hall had 12 carries for 18 yards (1 catch for 9 yards). 49% snap share. Season-high. 12 carries was also a season-high.
However, Dalvin Cook and even Michael Carter are just eating too much into his workload to give him a shot right now at overcoming the poor efficiency with Wilson under center. The Jets HAVE to make a QB change.
New York wants to run the football, as Robert Saleh suggested they wanted to establish the run in his post-game press conference. Not hopeful they can do it versus the Chiefs in Week 4.
Garrett Wilson willed his way to 48 yards on 5 catches and nine targets. But it’s a struggle for him to get this far. Next up KC Chiefs. Woof. Sunday Night Football. Please. No.
I can say this offense won’t get better until they at least play a bad defense or literally play anybody else at QB. Denver Week 5…
As for transactions, you can’t sell anybody with the value gone. So, for me, it’s still making the long-term bet on Breece Hall. The Jets have hit rock bottom on offense, but they acknowledge the only way they can put up points with Wilson as their QB is through the run game. As Hall gets healthier and the schedule eases up, I’d envision Hall completely supplanting the other two backs entirely. Trade for him now and stash him on your bench from a team that’s struggling with him.
Avoid Melvin Gordon
Gus Edwards got the start but left the game with a concussion. 11 carries for 51 yards on a 44% snap share. Next up behind him was Melvin Gordon with 10 carries for 32 yards on a 40% snap share. Also added two grabs. MG3 seems like next man up with Edwards out. Kenyan Drake played just 15% of the snaps and fumbled.
Justice Hill also missed this game.
But they play Cleveland in Week 4. Horrible matchup.
32% Target share on the year. 5th in red-zone targets without a TD.
A lot of underneath and short targets with the Ravens not testing the Colts’ secondary downfield. Tight end Mark Andrews was not as involved with just 5 targets (17%). Still highly involved running routes – 87% route participation – so just target variance in my opinion.
Lamar Jackson didn’t do a lot as a passer but rushed for 100 yards and 2 TDs on 14 carries. Rashod Bateman is dealing with a hamstring injury, putting Nelson Agholor in a larger role (72% snap share).
Rainy conditions likely contributed to the lackluster downfield passing attack. But I wouldn’t be overly bullish on a major bounceback for the passing game with the Browns’ defense next on the schedule in Week 4.
Following that game would be the time to buy any depressed Ravens stock.
Buy Zack Moss, Buy Michael Pittman Jr., Add Josh Downs
Zack Moss with a low-key 30 carries in the OT victory (76% snap share). Also caught a TD. Workhorse until Jonathan Taylor returns. But who knows? Maybe JT still gets traded…setting up Moss to be a workhorse for the long haul. The worst-case scenario is he gives you another usable week versus the Rams in Week 4, if and when Taylor reclaims RB1 duties for the Colts.
Michael Pittman Jr. was the alpha with 11 targets (26%) and 9 catches for 77 yards. Absolutely beauty of a catch in overtime.
Seems like Downs is carving out that No. 2 role behind Pittman. 84% route participation in Week 3, increasing from 77% in Week 2.
Alec Pierce remains nothing more than a deep threat that does more cardio than post-actual yardage. 161 air yards in Week 3.
Like last week, I’d be a buyer of Pittman. But I’d also add Downs into the conversation. The next matchups for the Colts include the Rams, Titans, and Jaguars. Teams that can and will yield passing production.
Buy Marvin Mims, Jerry Jeudy, Sell Courtland Sutton
What’s the best word to describe giving up 70 points? Boat raced? Curb stomped? Annihilated?
Denver had no answers – well most teams don’t – for Mike McDaniel’s offense. At least it was kind of close in the first half so Broncos players could get there for fantasy football. But that’s being generous saying that the game was close at the half.
Rookie Marvin Mims was super-efficient again – 3 catches for 73 yards along with a special teams score – on just 5 targets. Mims doubled Jeudy’s first-half targets (4 vs 2). Mims led all Broncos WRs in receiving yards in the first half (68). He played a grand total of 15 snaps (24% snap share). Same exact snap share as last week. At least he ran more routes (11 vs. 6).
Up to 28% route participation. Ahead of Lil’Jordan Humphrey!
Through three games, Mims has a 9% Target share. In yet, he leads the team in receiving yards (195) and air yards (221). Sean Payton, your team is 0-3. Can we maybe have your best player on offense player more than a quarter of the snaps? Enough of the Brandon Johnson nonsense.
In all seriousness, I think we see Mims’ role increase sooner rather than later. The Chicago Bears’ defense is the perfect get-right spot for the Broncos offense, which honestly hasn’t been the team’s biggest issue. Add or trade for Mims ASAP before his snaps increase and he turns into his final form.
I’d likely do the same with Jeudy – target him as a buy-low guy ahead of a solid matchup. Sutton would be a sell-high because I am concerned his grip as the Target share leader lessens as Mims/Jeudy gets more involved. Coming off a strong fantasy game, I’d be ahead of selling high. Bears are a good matchup, but after that it’s Jets, Chiefs, Packers, Chiefs again and then bye week. Broncos likely selling the farm at the trade deadline.
The Denver Backfield continued to be a mess 50/50 split and have zero faith this gets cleaned up. Javonte Williams with 11 carries, and Jaleel McLaughlin went over Samaje Perine with 5 carries (but mostly garbage time). Williams and Perine each saw 3 targets.
Williams will have RB1 upside in a plus-matchup versus the Bears in Week 4.
Sell Raheem Mostert, Buy Jaylen Waddle, Buy/Add De’Von Achane
Has a name been coined yet for this offense? It needs one. 70 points. MADNESS.
And Jaylen Waddle didn’t even play….
Rookie running back De’Von Achane – admittedly EXPLODING on my bench I way too many spots I’m afraid – rushed for 203 yards and 4 TDs. Raheem Mostert also scored 4 TDs. Both guys were also heavily involved as receivers.
But in the first half alone – before things got out of hand even as the score rested at 35-13 – Achane led the team in carries (10) versus Mostert’s 7. Mostert just had the superior pass-game role with 6 receptions on 6 targets to Achane’s 1.
The approach with Miami’s offense in fantasy is to just try and buy Waddle with him underwhelming through three weeks just because he’s in the offense and is not top of mind. Said the same thing last week, and I stand by the transaction.
He’s been overshadowed by Hill and now every other Dolphin to start the year but he is coming off an 86-yard performance on just four catches in Week 2. He only has four catches in each of the first two games played but has averaged over 80 receiving yards per game. Averaging over 20 yards per reception.
And I’d still try to sell high (now sell even higher) on Mostert given his injury history, 31-year-old age and Jeff Wilson Jr. lurking. I’d try to buy Achane (but it’s probably not likely he can be acquired for anything reasonable). Although it’s a committee right now, nobody will be surprised to see the super-explosive rookie supplant the veteran RB.
Obviously, Mostert has a slight lean (he came out of the game with starters while Achane stayed in with Mike White) but the reading is on the wall of how this backfield will shake out in a few weeks. Achane also out-touched Mostert in the red zone, 8 to 3.
Buy Travis Etienne Jr., Calvin Ridley, Sell Christian Kirk
Bruh what happened? Lost a fumble, interception drops, missed field goals. Blocked FG. Kick-off return allowed for a touchdown on a short kickoff. 1-3 in the red zone. 5 for 13 on third downs. They had 400 net yards and lost. Self-inflicted wounds killed the Jaguars for the second straight week.
Still, RB Travis Etienne was still a workhorse in Week 3 – 19 for 88 rushing, 4 for 50 on 5 targets, 71% snap share – but Tank Bigsby vultures a TD at the one-yard line. As always, the ETN explosive game is going to happen. Remains a trade-for target.
When Doug Pederson took over play calling in the second half… the plays were as follows.
- Etienne rush for 11 yards
- Etienne rush for 16 yards
- Etienne rush for 5 yards
- Etienne catch for 17 yards.
They came out of the gates and scored a TD immediately after halftime. This offense will bounce back.
Tight end Evan Engram was the team’s leading receiver with 8 targets (20%). 7 catches for 67 yards. Every week tight end starter.
But everyone else was just middling. Calvin Ridley with another disappointing game…3 for 40 on 7 targets despite 108 air yards.
Was Week 1 a mirage? I’m not overly concerned about it because it’s probably just Ridley rubbing off the rust. Again, the dude missed a lot of football the past two years. And after a great Week 1 against arguably the NFL’s worst CB duo…he’s suffered his lumps. Been plagued by drops in the end zone. False starts, mental mistakes. Just two targets in the second half.
But over the entire three weeks… a 24% Target share and 37% air yards share. 5 red-zone targets but just 1 TD. Top-10 in expected fantasy points per game.
And now the Jaguars play “host” to Ridley’s old team in London for Week 4. Can only imagine this will be an emotional game for Ridley as he faces the team that drafted and traded him.
Still expected more with Zay Jones out of the lineup that the rest of the guys would pick up the slack.
Considering the Jaguars are coming off back-to-back duds, I’d view Ridley as the buy-low and Kirk as the sell-high. But my most confident transaction is definitely going after ETN, whereas I think the Jaguars WRs will be up and down all year with how many of them are involved in the offense.
Add Tank Dell, Sell Dameon Pierce
Even in a great positive game script, Dameon Pierce couldn’t get going. 14 for 31 but scored. Devin Singletary had more yards (41) on nine carries. Pierce caught 3 balls to Singletary’s two. And when the team was up big in the fourth quarter – seems like prime Pierce grind-out time – Singletary was in the game. Pierce is a good player, but his role is capped unless he scores. Still only managed to carve out a 54% snap share versus Singletary’s 39% snap share. Pierce has only 30 more rushing yards than Singletary despite 20 more carries (40 vs. 20).
Can’t imagine Pierce is set for a success versus the Steelers’ fierce defensive line in Week 4.
Rookie Tank Dell came away with the big day again! Leading the team in targets (24%) for the second straight game, catching 5 balls for 145 yards including a 68-yard TD on 7 targets. 56% air yards share and 136 total air yards. He could have had an even BIGGER game. Tackled near the one-yard line. And anybody who watched could clearly see that C.J. Stroud was looking for Dell early and often.
Buy James Cook
Running back James Cook came away with another great outing on the ground versus a fierce run defense. 15 carries for 98 rushing. 62% snap share was an increase from the first two weeks.
Sucks he doesn’t get red zone usage, but he’s a set-and-forget fantasy RB2 with his efficient play and three-down skill set. Because he ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards (267). And he got tackled inside the 5-yard line in the fourth quarter. He has the ability to score from anywhere on the field.
Sean McDermott has been vocal about being physical and more balanced on offense, and we are seeing it three weeks in.
Cook is an easy-buy candidate with a schedule featuring Miami, Jacksonville and New York (Giants) over the next three weeks.
Gabe Davis had one catch (35-yard TD in the first quarter) on four targets (13%) with the classic boom-or-bust WR3 stat line. He caught another TD but was ruled out of bounds.
Davis only has a 14% Target share after three games. Still an auto start next week in a projected shootout.
After Stefon Diggs, the Bills’ target distribution flattens dramatically.
|2023 Bills||Target share||Air yards share|
But stay assured that it will be an all-hands-on-deck offensive game plan for Buffalo in Week 4 when they host the high-flying Miami Dolphins offense in Week 4. Dawson Knox remains a frequent target for Josh Allen in the red zone.
Buy Brian Robinson Jr., Sell Jahan Dotson
Brian Robinson Jr. had a down game with the Commanders facing a major negative game script. This is definitely his floor, but at least he got 70 rushing yards on 10 carries. B-Rob’s lock on the RB1 job is basically a vice grip with Antonio Gibson constantly fumbling the ball. He lost a fumble after catching a pass and spinning (twice).
Just need to see Robinson earn a bigger role as a receiver so that he can become game-script-proof. This week is an example of when things go south (zero targets, 37% snap share). Although he did have one catch for 15 yards wiped off due to a penalty. Also got stuffed at the goal line which would have easily salvaged his fantasy outing.
AG played 61% of the snaps with the team playing catch up. He ran 28 routes to Robinson’s 6. Gibson totaled two carries and 3 catches on 5 targets.
Still, I’d say it was a net positive for Robinson managers that Gibson did virtually nothing with his snaps. Eagles up next is tough, but the Bears in Week 5 should be a soft spot for the Commanders to beat up on a bad team. If you sold last week per instructions, you were smart. Now the time to buy on the low presents itself.
Sam Howell was bad – four interceptions, nine sacks – and this was the fear with buying too much stock in Washington pass-catchers/this offense overall. Although the team was able to move the ball okay between the 20s, the sacks and turnovers nuked the points Washington could score. Had they been able to convert either red-zone drive into scores, this could have actually been a tight game in the fourth quarter. But the turnovers and pick-six buried the Commanders’ hopes in the end.
Terry McLaurin‘s proven enough that he can be a fantasy WR2 with bad QB play, but Jahan Dotson‘s ship may have sailed on his year 2 breakout. Three games in. Nothing about the opportunities he has gotten. Leading the team in routes hasn’t translated into fantasy production.
Add Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson, Sell D.J. Moore
KC was up 34-0 at the half. Two teams on very different paths…
Justin Fields and the entire Bears team were just overwhelmed. It’s not on all Fields – D.J. Moore has a horrible drop on a perfectly thrown ball by Fields in the first half – and you can tell he is pressing to just try and make play after play to no avail. Moore made up for it later with a great one-handed catch and caught a garbage-time TD.
The team around him is still so bad and that puts him in a bad position. Obviously, he’s not doing enough to elevate those around him. I thought the rushing would be enough to provide some semblance of stability for fantasy football – 11 for 47 rushing yards today – but it’s just not enough now.
At least the Bears face the horrible Denver Broncos (also 0-3) in Week 4, where I’d be more faithful to a Fields bounceback. After another bad showing, Fields might get dropped so I’d still scoop him. But he’s probably falling more in the streaming matchup tier than a guy you play every week like he was drafted as. He was forced into the blue medical tent after taking a shot on a goal-line rushing attempt. He returned to the game, but it’s possible that he goes into the concussion protocol.
As for the rest of the bad news Bears, I think the backfield is another one that can be acquired for dirt cheap. The Broncos just got DESTROYED on the ground.
Khalil Herbert led the Bears with 5 carries for 23 yards in the first half but fumbled. Two carries in the second half.
Roschon Johnson had three carries for 22 yards in the first half. 5 carries in the second half. Both ended with two receptions.
The fact that the Bears aren’t just deciding on one guy – opting for a split even though they are not running the ball at all – is super frustrating. Herbert played 55% of the snaps versus Johnson’ 45%. Herbert ran 11 routes to Johnson’s 9.
If you want hands-off all Bears, be my guest. But running back is a dire position where we can’t afford to be super picky. Both are desperation RB3s even in a plus-matchup versus Denver.
D.J. Moore is an obvious sell-high candidate given his back-to-back productive weeks. Seems likely he’s due for some regression, so I’d sell if able. Still, if you can’t get anything worthwhile in return, he will likely just settle into the fantasy WR2 range when it’s all said and done. But as bad as Denver is…a potential matchup versus cornerback Patrick Surtain is not one I want to play Moore in. Through three games, Moore only has a 20% Target share averaging 5 targets per game.
Kansas City Chiefs
Buy Rashee Rice, Isiah Pacheco, Sell Skyy Moore
I’m telling you guys. Rookie WR Rashee Rice. Second in the team with 7 targets, catching five for 59 yards. Fell at the goal line TWICE. Also ran a route on 51% of dropbacks with Patrick Mahomes – a big uptick from the two weeks prior. Snaps also boosted to 51% – although some of those did come in garbage time.
Rice’s constant ability to command targets just three games into his rookie year bodes extremely well for his long-term outlook. Four targets from Mahomes in the first half as well – second behind only Travis Kelce. Skyy Moore was targeted six times (four from Mahomes) for a total of 4 catches for 42 yards.
Rice is second on the team with a 12% Target share through three games.
Isiah Pacheco continues to look explosive – 15 for 62 and 1 TD – so don’t overact to the final box score. CEH had four carries in the first half and vultured a goal-line TD (happens). Pacheco scored later on one of his 6 red-zone carries. Also saw two red-zone targets and led the backfield in routes run. He’s top-5 in red-zone carries through three games.
After CEH scored, he didn’t touch the ball until Blaine Gabbert was in at QB in the fourth quarter. 11 carries with the backup QB. Buy Pacheco. Jerick McKinnon won’t turn his three targets into two TDs every single week. However, it should be noted that McKinnon’s schemed touches were likely due to the lack of Kadarius Toney in this matchup.
Just two routes for Toney in this game. That’s low even for Toney in a blow-out win.
Add Rico Dowdle, Jake Ferguson, Sell Michael Gallup
Tony Pollard carried the ball 23 times for 122 yards while adding in three more catches (86% snap share). Pollard continues to see extremely heavy work despite other Dallas RBs getting involved. Through 3 games, Pollard leads the NFL in red-zone carries (24). He only has two red-zone TDs. He also leads the NFL in total touches (pending MNF) averaging nearly 25/game. Also first in carries (62).
Rico Dowdle earned 7 touches on just 14% of the snaps. Make sure he’s not available on waivers as a high-end handcuff.
Dak Prescott spread the wealth with Michael Gallup, Jake Ferguson, CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks all seeing 7 targets (19% Target share). Gallup was the most productive going 6 for 92 yards (38% air yards share). Both Cooks and Gallup ran a full-time number of routes (80-plus %).
Been tough so far to identify the clear-cut WR2 behind Lamb three weeks into the season. Think Jake Ferguson is just the safest bet based on his consistent red zone role and propensity to be hyper-targeted by his QB (27% target rate per route run). He’s not running all the routes but did see his route participation jump to 61% in Week 3.
Sell James Conner, Drop Zach Ertz, Buy Marquise Brown.
Always bet on the double-digit home dogs….
Arizona came up with the big home upset with James Conner operating as a bell cow per usual – 16 touches for over 100 yards and TD. 64% snap share.
He’s in the top 5 in touches this season and 3rd in rushing yards. But I did think it was slightly noteworthy that we did see a little bit more action from the backups who combined for 7 touches. With SF up next, don’t hate the idea of trading Conner as a “sell high.” Also, his injury track record precedes itself.
WR Rondale Moore delivered an explosive run – a 45-yard TD. While also caught four balls on 6 targets. Still only played 54% of the snaps. Don’t do anything crazy on waivers! The SF 49ers are up next.
TE Zach Ertz turned back into a pumpkin (it is autumn after all) with just 2 catches for 6 yards on 2 targets. Played 52% of the snaps while running a route on just 64% of dropbacks. Snaps have dipped for three straight games. Not heading in the right direction for the 32-year-old tight end.
Conversely, Michael Wilson‘s routes increased back up to full-time (80%).
But the WR to own remains Marquise Brown. 28% Target share this season and 44% air yards share. Both are top-18 in the league. Might be a sneaky buy-low with Arizona not being nearly the dumpster fire his draft ADP baked in.
Hold Kenneth Walker, Add Zach Charbonnet, Sell Tyler Lockett, Buy DK Metcalf
Running back Kenneth Walker scored multiple TDs again with 2 more scores versus the Panthers. 18 carries for 97 rushing yards. Added three catches on three targets for 59 yards. He was listed as a buy last week and came up big again. Third in the NFL in red-zone carries (14) and tied for first in red-zone rushing TDs (4).
But all that glitters is not gold.
Because Zach Charbonnet got his most run to date. 9 carries for 46 yards along with one catch. But Charbonnet ran more routes (16 versus 10) and the two RBs split snaps nearly 50/50. 51% for Walker and 43% for Charbs. The snap usage was not enough to stop Walker’s fantasy production – but Charbs’ role is worth monitoring. He needs to be stashed.
This is also hardly the time to sell high given Seattle has the Giants up next and a bye week to get their offensive line healthy.
As for the WRs…I think I might be looking to move Tyler Lockett. Giants play a lot of man coverage, so this week doesn’t profile as a massive Lockett game. Then there’s the bye week. And one would figure we get an expanded role for Jaxon Smith-Njigba post the bye week. Because through three weeks, Lockett has done pretty much nothing outside of two TDs in Week 2.
He leads the team with a 21% Target share but has just 103 receiving yards. DK Metcalf is by far lapping Lockett with actual production posting 234 yards through three games and averaging five catches. Team-high 44% air yards share.
Buy Miles Sanders, Add D.J. Chark, Drop Hayden Hurst, Sell Adam Thielen
Miles Sanders‘ receiving role is here to stay. Nine targets in Week 3. 5 for 38. Ran a route on 57% of dropbacks (an increase from Weeks 1-2) with a 65% snap share in a game where Carolina ran 75 plays.
Sanders added nine carries for 24 yards and 1 TD.
But Adam Thielen? Did the Red Rifle find him the fountain of youth? 11-145-1 on 14 targets.
Andy Dalton threw 58 times…for 361 yards and 2 TDs. Yes, Seattle’s defense is that bad.
So yes. Sell high on the 33-year-old WR.
Everybody ate except my Week 3 breakout…Jonathan Mingo. 3 for 21 before exiting with a concussion. 6 targets on just 18 routes – 33% target rate. The process. The process. The process.
Still, not surprised to see the overall offense function better without Bryce Young at QB.
Will need to look more closely at snaps and routes before I can decide if any of these are worth chasing on waivers.
Because the Minnesota Vikings are up next….and their defense is the gift that keeps on giving. D.J. Chark saw the most targets (11, 19% Target share) and played 94% of the snaps. Ran a route on 97% of dropbacks. 4 catches for 86 yards and 1 TD. He also caught fewer passes than Terrace Marshall. All of Marshall’s 8 targets came in the 2nd half, who ran a route on 66% of dropbacks.
Chark is the add off waivers this week.
Hayden Hurst‘s role was awful. 62% route participation. 61% snap rate. 3 targets on 58 Dalton dropbacks. No thanks. Drop him.
Las Vegas Raiders
Buy Josh Jacobs
Josh Jacobs remained a bell cow (82% snap share). 17 carries for 62 rushing yards while adding in three grabs for 18 yards on 5 targets. Jacobs is getting all the volume he can handle, but his efficiency and lack of TDs remain to be desired. He has the most red zone touches among RBs without a TD this season.
On the injury side of things, Jimmy Garoppolo entered the concussion protocol on Tuesday, casting doubt on his ability to start in Week 4. Considering many players in the concussion protocol miss the following game, I’d prepare for life beyond Jimmy G in Week 4. Still, that’s no reason to suggest that you bench Davante Adams in any capacity. Adams was a MONSTER in Week 3, posting a 45% Target share with 2 TD grabs on 20 targets. 13 catches for 172 receiving yards.
The Raiders remain one of the more concentrated offenses with Adams and Meyers combining for a 71% Target share this season. Nobody else is sniffing the ball in this offense outside Jacobs, Adams or Meyers. Ideal for fantasy football purposes.
With the Chargers up next, I’d be doing whatever I can to get my hands on Jacobs. Seems plausible he has been slow out of the gates after missing all of training camp. He also started out last season sluggish through the first three weeks, until he went NUCLEAR in Week 4 en route to leading the NFL in rushing yards. The time is now to strike a deal for Jacobs.
Sell Pat Freiermuth, Sell Najee Harris
The Steelers’ offense got back on track in Week 3, when they had the luxury of not facing an elite-level defense between the 49ers or Browns.
The backfield was a 50/50 effort with Najee Harris totaling a 50% snap share versus Jaylen Warren‘s 45% snap share. Harris saw the boatload of carries (19) but mustered just 65 scoreless yards. He rushed for two 1st downs. Warren went 8 for 29 as a rusher but added three catches for 23 yards on four targets while running the most routes out of the backfield. Harris failed to catch his lone target.
Three straight weeks where Warren has been the preferred receiver.
It’s been a disastrous start for Harris to start the year, and it’s hard to justify buying low on him if Week 3 is an example of him taking advantage of a plus-matchup.
He’s a plodding RB on a questionable offense that has no role as a receiver. I’d pray he looks better versus the Texans and then ship him off.
As for the receiver, George Pickens rolled over as WR1, earning a 22% Target share. Didn’t score, but caught 4 of 6 targets for 75 yards. Calvin Austin hit paydirt early on a big passing play from Kenny Pickett. He ended Week 3 with 6 targets. Only two catches.
Pat Freiermuth bounced back with a TD catch on one of his four targets. The lack of overall targets in the offense has been shockingly low with just a 9% Target share through three games. If you have multiple tight ends with one being Pat F, I’d try and sell high.
Sell D’Andre Swift, Add Kenneth Gainwell, Buy DeVonta Smith
D’Andre Swift continued his rushing reign as the Eagles RB1 in Week 3. He rushed 16 times for 130 yards but did not score. He caught one pass for 8 yards on two targets. Totaled 54% of the snaps.
Kenneth Gainwell was also active and held back Swift’s workload somewhat. Kenny G played 46% of the snaps, totaling 14 carries of his own for 43 rushing yards. He also saw two targets, catching one for 5 yards. The duo split routes run 50/50.
And through the first half, the carries were 5 for each player. And Gainwell was the guy they used to close out the game in the 4th quarter, where he earned his other 9 carries.
Swift’s unreal Thursday night Week 2 usage was never going to carry over into Week 3, given the rare circumstance that game presented. But I’d hardly say managers are disappointed, who stuck with Swift.
He’s an explosive runner with two rushes of 20-plus yards in this game. And considering how good the OL in Philly is, Swift will continue to be efficient. But I’d just be aware of his true ceiling, given that the team doesn’t want to overload him to watch him break down as the season progresses. Jalen Hurts‘ presence also makes TDs hard to come by for any Eagles RB.
If I could sell Swift for a locked-and-loaded RB1, I’d pull the trigger. Because based on his usage and projected outlook in the is offense, he’s probably going to be mid-range fantasy RB2. But there’s no denying his rushing effectiveness, especially with matchups versus the Commanders and the Rams on deck. After just two games, only Christian McCaffrey has more rushing yards than Swift.
A.J. Brown came up big after a slow start to the season, catching nine balls for 131 yards on 14 targets (40% Target share). DeVonta Smith wasn’t as involved – 4-28 on 5 targets- but I’d just chalk it up to WR variance. Smith should be fine with plus-matchups on the horizon.
But don’t get it twisted. AJB is WR1 in the offense. 34% Target share through three games (4th in the NFL). 10 targets per game. He just hasn’t scored yet. AJB WR1 szn is in reach.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buy Rachaad White, Sell Mike Evans
Rachaad White carried the ball 14 times for 38 rushing yards while playing a season-high 91% snap share. Sean Tucker played 4 snaps (9%) and saw two carries. Even after White lost a fumble, it’s crystal clear that there is zero controversy about who the RB1 in Tampa Bay is. It was a tough day rushing for White against an elite Eagles front, but that was somewhat to be expected. He salvaged some fantasy production with three catches for 24 yards on 3 targets.
White’s workload remains elite and savvy fantasy managers would be wise to buy low.
But the same can’t be said for the Buccaneers’ total offense. Baker Mayfield threw his first interception of the season, and the passing game wasn’t great versus Philadelphia. Mike Evans scored late on 1 of his 10 targets, while Chris Godwin was a disappointment. Just 3 for 32 on 5 targets.
Still, you must sell Evans. He has caught 3 TDs through three straight games. 32% Target share, 50% air yards share.
But Evans caught 3 TDs over his first three games last season as well. He wouldn’t score again until Week 17 of the 2022 season. Sell high. The Saints and cornerback Marshon Lattimore are up next, followed by a bye week.
Buy Tee Higgins, Add Tyler Boyd, Hold Joe Mixon
Joe Burrow played in Week 3 despite being extremely questionable leading up to the game. He still didn’t look 100% – he may never be this season – tossing for 259 yards on 49 pass attempts. 0 TDs and one interception.
Tee Higgins left with an injury after playing 86% of the snaps. He was virtually non-existent on the field going for just 2 catches on 21 yards despite 8 targets. In two of three games Higgins has done nothing with high target volume. Still, his volatile nature suggests he will bounce back in Week 4. His injury is not believed to be severe as it was reported later to be cramps.
Meanwhile, Ja’Marr Chase managers can exhale a sigh of relief. A consensus top-five fantasy pick went off for 141 yards on 12 catches. 15 targets. 32% Target share. 44% air yards share. But similar to AJB, he just hasn’t found the end zone yet.
Tyler Boyd finished second with nine targets (5 for 39 yards). He would likely see the biggest increase in volume should Higgins miss any time. The schedule is juicy overall for the Bengals offense to get back on track with the Titans, Cardinals and Seahawks their next three matchups.
Joe Mixon remained a bell cow playing 75% of the snaps. He rushed 19 times for 65 yards and scored while adding one catch for 5 yards. The Titans are a brutal matchup, so I get the idea of selling high. However, the matchups after that are soft, so I’d just hold Mixon as one of the few true three-down backs left in the NFL. He still has a decent role as a receiver, so he could get there based on just volume or TDs in Week 4.
Los Angeles Rams
Sell Kyren Williams
Kyren Williams played 100% of the snaps for the Los Angeles Rams but was not nearly as productive. He rushed just 10 times for 38 yards and did not score. Still, his seven targets were impressive. But he only caught two passes. Williams’ role is elite, no question. But his talent remains in question as a former Day 3 RB undersized unathletic RB. He was also running HOT on TDs to start the year. His inefficiency as a receiver – 8 catches on 19 targets – is also somewhat concerning.
He will offer a super-high floor based on his usage every week, but his ceiling will be tied to his TDs in an average offense. I recommended selling high last week on Williams and I’d double down despite the 100% snap share. The Colts and Eagles’ elite run-stuffing defenses are up next.
Puka Nacua‘s insane streak of production came to a screeching halt in Week 3. “Just” five catches for 72 yards on seven targets. Usage was still elite as an every-snap player. No worries here. Tutu Atwell led the team with 9 targets and scored.
Tyler Higbee also got more involved catching 5 balls for 71 yards on 5 targets.