Last Sunday was one of the wildest days of football in recent memory. There was a multi-platinum recording artist chest bumping and hobnobbing in the luxury suite at Arrowhead. A young head coach unleashed a furious barrage of hellfire upon a former employer who refused to interview him. The Vikings out-chargered the Chargers in the waning moments to fall to 0-3.
If you like offense, it was a banner week in the NFL. I watched my lineups burn with record bench scores. There were multiple instances of scoring a bajillion points, only to realize my opponent had Tyreek Hill and Keenan Allen. The bipolarity of fantasy football mood swings was never more present than in Week 3. The craziest part is Week 4 might just make us forget all about most of it.
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Fantasy Football Storylines (2023)
Pitts & Chips With Drake London Fog
Let me remind you all that Kyle Pitts did not score a touchdown on American soil as a rookie. His lone score came against the Jets in London, where he reminded everyone over their morning coffee how utterly unstoppable he is as a red zone weapon. Pitts was targeted a season-high nine times in the Week 3 loss to Detroit, but the real story was how Mariota-esque Desmond Ridder looked.
Drake London was also barely mentioned in the game, something that should never happen to a team’s top WR in a negative game script.
Arthur Smith and the Wing-T Dirty Birds return to jolly old England this week in a pseudo-home game for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence & Co. haven’t found a groove so far and enter the week with a 1-2 record. Will the Jags flood the box with defenders like the Lions did? I hope so. That’s the only way we’ll ever see a shred of reliable passing volume from Atlanta.
Fins Up, Tables Down
I was hoping Mike McDaniel would have kept his foot on the gas for 60 minutes and set a new NFL single-game scoring record. Seventy points wasn’t enough to right the wrongs done by the Denver Broncos, whom Colorado native McDaniel worked for as a ball boy as a kid and a coaching intern in 2005. They did not even consider the rising star coach for a head coaching interview last season.
Vic Fangio was fired as Denver’s head coach and is now Miami’s defensive coordinator. It was personal, and I loved it.
The Dolphins return to the scene of their Wildcard Playoff loss last season. Buffalo has destroyed Las Vegas and Washington since their Week 1 loss to Zach Wilson‘s Jets. Their defense has been the difference but now faces an enormous test. Those 70 points scored were without superstar WR Jaylen Waddle, who is expected to return from his concussion and complete the 4×100 relay team with Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert, and rookie phenom De’Von Achane.
That playoff loss was with Skylar Thompson under center for Miami. This will be must-watch television.
Eating Ws With a Side of Vengeance
Derek Carr is trending toward missing the Saints Week 4 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, paving the way for former Buc Jameis Winston to start in his stead. I have long been a loud proponent of Winston as a fantasy QB, even over former MVP candidate Carr. Carr is bad at scoring touchdowns, while Jameis has never been bashful about taking shots down the field for big plays.
Tampa Bay sent Jameis packing after his famous 30-30 season in 2019. He was QB4. Granted, they replaced him with Tom Brady and won a Super Bowl, but Winston has largely been the backup in New Orleans ever since.
I am personally shocked that the New York Jets haven’t reached out to the Saints about Winston. New Orleans still has Taysom Hill on the roster, while Jameis wallows on a team that benched him for Andy Dalton after an injury. I hope the Florida State star lights his former team up. He definitely has the weaponry, with Chris Olave and Michael Thomas.
In addition, Alvin Kamara is returning from his suspension to join exciting rookie Kendre Miller in the Saints backfield. The Saints are infinitely more interesting without Derek Carr, so I hope they don’t rush him back.
Ready, Slayer One
Keenan Allen was lighting up the Vikings last week before Mike Williams went down with a torn ACL. Allen ended his day with 18 receptions on 20 targets for 215 yards. That’s right, he scored 46.46 fantasy points without a receiving touchdown. He did, however, toss a 49-yard bomb to Williams. Keenan now has posted the top WR performance in consecutive weeks and faces the pathetic Raiders in Week 4 without Big Mike to compete with for looks.
The Kellen Moore offense has been really good for Justin Herbert so far this season. Adding verticality to the fray with Herbert’s skill set is like shooting a fridge full of Tannerite. Allen has thrived in the “CeeDee Lamb” role, where he lines up at any of the three WR positions and exploits mismatches in coverage. Exciting rookie prospect Quentin Johnston has yet to blossom, while Josh Palmer has only been okay.
Whatever the line is for Keenan’s targets, smash the over versus Las Vegas.