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The Primer: Week 3 Edition (2023 Fantasy Football)

The Primer: Week 3 Edition (2023 Fantasy Football)

Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins

Pace and playcalling notes

  • Sean Payton’s effect was felt in Week 2. The Broncos went from having the fourth-slowest neutral pace in Week 1 to the fifth-fastest neutral pace in Week 2. The neutral passing rate remains high with top-12 finishes each week (11th, 10th).
  • The Dolphins will go as far as Tua Tagovailoa, and their pass catchers can take them. Miami is sixth-fastest in neutral pace and tenth-highest in neutral passing rate.

Quarterbacks

Russell Wilson: Wilson looks like he might be back and ready to cook. He’s 11th in yards per attempt, eighth in big-time throw rate, and tenth in adjusted completion rate. Wilson is the QB5 in fantasy. Let that sink in. Wilson is a top-five quarterback in fantasy right now. We’ll see if Wilson can keep the train rolling against a middle-of-the-road Dolphins’ pass defense. Miami is 15th in passer rating and 16th in adjusted completion rate allowed. The Dolphins have been getting after the passer, though. Wilson should have plenty of time in the pocket against a Miami pass rush that’s logged the seventh-lowest pressure rate. This is despite their front blitzing at the tenth-highest rate. Wilson has been solid against the blitz this season, ranking 13th in passing grade, tenth in yards per attempt, and fourth in adjusted completion rate. Week 3 Positional Value: Borderline QB1

Tua Tagovailoa: Tagovailoa has been balling out. He’s the QB6 in fantasy, ranking first in passing grade, first in yards per attempt, and second in big-time throw rate. He should shred a Denver pass defense that’s allowed the seventh-highest yards per attempt and fourth-highest passer rating. Denver has allowed the 13th-most fantasy points per game despite facing the 14th-fewest passing attempts. Tagovailoa should have plenty of time in the pocket. Denver has the 11th-highest blitz rate but has generated the second-lowest pressure rate. Tagovailoa has destroyed the blitz this season with the highest passing grade and 11th-best yards per attempt. Week 3 Positional Value: Top shelf QB1

Running Backs

Weeks 1-2

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes RZ opportunities
Javonte Williams 25 8 23 1
Samaje Perine 9 7 42 2

Javonte Williams: Williams is being eased in. He has played 45% of the snaps in each game, averaging 15.5 touches and 57.5 total yards. Among 48 qualifying running backs, he’s 18th in yards after contact per attempt and 16th in missed tackles forced per attempt. Williams has also been chipping in on passing downs, ranking third on the team with a 13.6% Target share. He’s sixth in receiving grade and 18th in YPRR among 33 qualifying backs. Miami has the lowest stuff rate allowed while giving up the seventh-highest rate of runs of five or more yards. The Dolphins have been a middling run defense, permitting the eighth-most missed tackles and 13th-highest yards after contact per attempt. Williams should also have a good day through the air against a team that allowed the seventh-most receiving yards and 12th-highest yards per reception to running backs last season. Week 3 Positional Value: RB2

Samaje Perine: Perine has played 45% and 50% of the snaps in the first two games. Sadly, that only equates to averaging eight touches and 51 total yards. Perine hasn’t had enough volume or scoring opportunities. Some of that can be traced to Sean Payton’s pass-heavy approach. The team is not only top-12 in passing rate but second in red zone passing rate. Perine has been efficient with his rushing opportunities, ranking 12th in yards after contact per attempt and fourth in elusive rating. There’s a path to a solid day with a plus matchup incoming in Week 3. Week 3 Positional Value: RB3

Raheem Mostert: The Dolphins have had no fear in giving Mostert a bellcow role. He’s played 73% of the snaps in each game, averaging 15.5 touches and 83.5 total yards as the RB9 in fantasy. Mostert isn’t running like a 31-year-old back. Among 48 qualifying running backs, he’s 23rd in missed tackles forced per attempt and 20th in yards after contact per attempt. Mostert should be able to find running lanes again this week. Denver has allowed the sixth-most missed tackles, the tenth-highest yards after contact per attempt, and the tenth-highest yards per carry to zone runs (Mostert 64% zone). Week 3 Positional Value: low-end RB1/high-end RB2

Wide Receivers

Jerry Jeudy: Jeudy was slow out the gate with a 15.6% Target share and a 13.0% air yard share (0.76 YPRR), but his underlying usage is very encouraging. While he was not blowing up the boxscore in his first game back, he had an 81% route run per team dropback rate and a 33.0% first-read share. The high route total means he is somewhere close to full health, and the heavy first-read usage foretells that the target volume is coming. The closest receiver to that number for first reads is Sutton at a disappointing 17.2%. Jeudy will run about 73% of his routes from the slot against Kader Kohou (66.9% catch rate and 85.7 passer rating allowed in his career). Week 3 Positional Value: WR2

Courtland Sutton: Sutton has an 18.2% Target share and a 30.4% air yard share. His first read share (17.2%) and efficiency have been disappointing. Sutton could very well be past his prime at this point. Without Jeudy in the lineup, he was unable to command heavy volume. Among 60 qualifying wide receivers, he ranks 30th in receiving grade and 39th in YPRR. He’ll run about 79% of his routes against Xavien Howard (68.8% catch rate and 55.5 passer rating) and Eli Apple (64.3% catch rate and 84.5 passer rating). Week 3 Positional Value: WR4

Marvin Mims: Mims is unstartable despite last week’s 113 receiving-yard performance. He only ran six routes last week. Mims just drew two deep targets (45.0 aDOT) and converted both for 113 receiving yards. Mims isn’t playable until the snaps and routes climb. Week 3 Positional Value: Must-Sit

Tyreek Hill: Week 3 is another week for Hill as the primary weapon against man coverage. Denver has the sixth-most (tied) dropbacks defended in man coverage this season. Against man coverage, Hill has a 32% Target share, 39% TPRR, and 4.1 YPRR. These numbers are astronomical. Insane. Hill will run about 62% of his routes against Pat Surtain (57.1% catch rate and 69.3 passer rating) and Damarri Mathis (88.2% catch rate and 149.9 passer rating). Smash Hill. Smash. Week 3 Positional Value: Top-three WR

Jaylen Waddle: Waddle has been ruled out (concussion).

Tight Ends

Adam Trautman: Trautman enters the streaming category this week. His 9.1% Target share, 0.71 YPRR, and 60.8% route run per team dropback don’t scream upside, but the matchup is sexy. Last season, Miami allowed the eighth-most receiving yards and third-most fantasy points to tight ends. This season, it’s been much of the same as the Dolphins have surrendered the fifth-most receiving yards and the second-most fantasy points to tight ends. Week 3 Positional Value: Top-shelf TE streaming option

Durham Smythe: Smythe is also in the streaming conversation this week. He has been an every-down player for the Dolphins with an 85% route run per team dropback rate. He has a 13.3% Target share (1.00 YPRR) with one red zone target. Denver has been a turnstile for tight ends for the last two seasons. Last year, they gave up the fifth-most receiving yard and fantasy point. This season so far, they have yielded the 11th-most receiving yards and the ninth-most fantasy points. Week 3 Positional Value: Top-shelf TE streaming option

NYG vs. SF TEN vs. CLE ATL vs. DET NO vs. GB DEN vs. MIA LAC vs. MIN NE vs. NYJ BUF vs. WAS HOU vs. JAC IND vs. BAL CAR vs. SEA CHI vs. KC DAL vs. ARI PIT vs. LV PHI vs. TB LAR vs. CIN

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Pace and playcalling notes

  • Kirk Cousins has stepped on the gas through two weeks like he’s sprinting to a Kohl’s sale. Minnesota ranks eighth in neutral pace and second in neutral passing rate.
  • In Week 2, Kellen Moore’s offense looked more like his previous offerings in Dallas. The Chargers ranked seventh in neutral pace and fourth-best in neutral passing rate. The Vikings can be exploited through the air, so expect this to also be the model of attack in Week 3.

Quarterbacks

Justin Herbert: Herbert is playing good football as the QB3 in fantasy. He is 16th in passing grade and tenth in passer rating. He should thrive against Minnesota’s zone coverage (86-90%!!! of their corner back’s snaps). Minnesota has allowed the 14th-highest yards per attempt, tenth-highest passer rating, and the 12th-highest adjusted completion rate. Herbert has ripped zone in half this season, ranking second in yards per attempt, third in passer rating, and 12th in fantasy points per dropback. Week 3 Positional Value: top-five QB

Kirk Cousins: The van driving Kohls wearing dad of the year is the QB1 in fantasy. Yes, you read that correctly. Cousins is at the top of the hill. He has been outstanding, running seventh in passing grade, third in yards per attempt, and eighth in adjusted completion rate. The Chargers pass defense has been paper thin, giving up the highest yards per attempt, the third-highest passer rating, and the eighth-highest adjusted completion rate. Los Angeles has defended the ninth-most dropbacks (tied) in man coverage. Cousins has been otherworldly against man this season, ranking first in yards per attempt, first in passer rating, and 13th in adjusted completion rate. Week 3 Positional Value: Top-eight QB

Running Backs

Austin Ekeler: Ekeler didn’t practice this week (ankle). He has been ruled out.

Joshua Kelley: Kelley will be the team’s workhorse again this week. In Week 2, he played 79% of the snaps with 13 touches and 39 total yards. The matchup with the Titans was brutal. That’s not the case this week. Don’t let a one-week sample as the team’s starter with disappointing results in a wretched matchup push you away from Kelley this week. In the preseason, among 104 qualifying backs, Kelley ranked first in yards after contact per attempt and 14th in elusive rating. In Week 1, he had 2.81 yards after contact per attempt with his 16 rushing attempts. Minnesota has the second-lowest stuff rate this season, but they have also held opposing runners to the 13th-lowest yards after contact per attempt. Let’s break this tie with what Minnesota has allowed to zone runs. This season, they have permitted the fourth-highest yards per carry to zone runs. In Kelley’s career, 53.6% of his runs have been on zone plays (2022: 44.8%). Week 3 Positional Value: RB2 with RB1 upside

Alexander Mattison: Mattison has played the workhorse role for Minnesota with at least 73% of the snaps in each game. Sadly, it hasn’t translated to volume or production on a pass-first and pass-often offense. Mattison has averaged 12.5 touches and 41.5 total yards. With the volume Mattison has received, he has not been explosive or efficient with it. Among 48 qualifying running backs, he ranks 33rd in yards after contact per attempt, 43rd in elusive rating, and he has recorded zero breakaway runs. Luckily for Mattison, this is a get-right spot. The Chargers have the ninth-lowest stuff rate, have given up the eighth-highest rate of 10-plus yard runs, and rank ninth-worst in yards after contact per attempt allowed. Week 3 Positional Value: low-end RB2

Cam Akers: Akers arrives in Minnesota via a trade this week. Without any time to practice with the team, I doubt Akers is active in this game, but if he is, he likely only sees a handful of rushing plays to give Mattison a breather. Akers could be a thorn in Mattison’s side moving forward, but it’s likely not starting in Week 3. Week 3 Positional Value: Stash/Hold

Wide Receivers

LAC vs. zone coverage in 2023

Player Target share% TPRR YPRR First-read %
Keenan Allen 24.5 26 2.94 32.3
Mike Williams 24.5 30 2.70 32.3

Keenan Allen: I was told in the offseason that Allen was too old and injury-prone to be a WR1 in 2023. After two games, he is the WR6 in fantasy, commanding a 25.7% Target share, a 31.5% air-yard share, and a 29.4% first-read share. Allen is 12th in receiving grade and 17th in YPRR. Against zone coverage, the Chargers have been a two-headed attack with Allen and Mike Williams leading the way, so expect Allen to GET FED here. Allen will run about 60% of his routes against Harrison Smith, who allowed a 76.4% catch rate and 129.0 in slot coverage last season. Week 3 Positional Value: Top-five WR

Mike Williams: Williams has been the 1B in this offense with a 24.3% Target share, a 32.1% air yard share, and a 29.4% first-read share. He has been Allen’s running mate against zone coverage, with nearly identical numbers across the board. He got out the gate in Week 1 slowly, so he’s lagging behind Allen, ranking 33rd in receiving grade and 30th in yards per route run. When Herbert isn’t zeroing in on Allen, he’ll feed Williams targets. Williams will run about 63% of his routes against Byron Murphy (87.5% catch rate and 90.6 passer rating) and Akayleb Evans (54.5% catch rate and 106.3 passer rating). Week 3 Positional Value: low-end WR1/high-end WR2

Joshua Palmer: Palmer is a must-sit. I probably don’t have to tell anyone this, but I thought I’d take a minute to implore the Chargers to take him out of the starting lineup. Palmer is out there running sprints all game and not drawing targets. He has a 64% route run per team dropback rate, but he’s only seen an 8.1% Target share and produced 0.31 YPRR. Quentin Johnston needs to get in the lineup because he can offer this offense another playmaking threat. Unfortunately, Palmer, while a solid veteran, simply isn’t that. Week 3 Positional Value: Must-sit / Cut bait

Justin Jefferson: You are starting Jefferson weekly. The matchup doesn’t matter. The opposing defense doesn’t matter. Jefferson is unguardable. Plain and simple. He’s eighth in Target share, 11th in air-yard share, and fifth in YPRR among wideouts as the WR4 in fantasy. He’ll run about 76% of his routes against Asante Samuel (85.7% catch rate and 118.8 passer rating) and J.C. Jackson (46.2% catch rate and 72.0 passer rating). Week 3 Positional Value: WR1 overall

Jordan Addison: Addison is inching closer weekly to supplanting K.J. Osborn as the team’s starter in two wide sets. His route run per team dropback rate increased from 61.7% to 71.7% last week. Addison has drawn only a 12.5% Target share, a 26.2% air yard share, and a 12.3% first-read share despite his 2.15 YPRR. This passing offense heavily flows through Jefferson, and Hockenson is the number two after him, so Addison has his work cut out to possibly supplant Hockenson as the WR2 in the target tree. Addison will run about 73% of his routes against Samuel and Jackson. Week 3 Positional Value: WR3/4

K.J. Osborn: Osborn is the Vikings version of Josh Palmer. He is a dependable veteran who should be pushed aside for the talented rookie in terms of playing time and target rate. Osborn has an 86% route run per team dropback rate and a 13.6% Target share, but he mustered 0.81 YPRR. We know who Osborn is at this juncture. Play the rookie. Week 3 Positional Value: Must-sit / Cut bait

Tight Ends

LAC TEs: No Chargers tight end is startable or rosterable in fantasy. The Bolts are splitting up the role three ways, with Gerald Everett, Donald Parham, and Stone Smartt all seeing 20.5-38.6% route run per team dropback rates in Week 2. Week 3 Positional Value: Must-sit / Cut bait

T.J. Hockenson: Hockenson has a 19.3% Target share, ranking third in receiving grade and ninth in YPRR. He’s the TE1 overall in fantasy right now. He faces a Bolts’ defense that allowed the 12th-most receiving yards and second-highest yards per reception to tight ends last season. Week 3 Positional Value: Top 3-5 TE

NYG vs. SF TEN vs. CLE ATL vs. DET NO vs. GB DEN vs. MIA LAC vs. MIN NE vs. NYJ BUF vs. WAS HOU vs. JAC IND vs. BAL CAR vs. SEA CHI vs. KC DAL vs. ARI PIT vs. LV PHI vs. TB LAR vs. CIN

New England Patriots vs. New York Jets

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Patriots continue to defy the odds. They are second in neutral pace and passing rate.
  • Last week, the Jets were tenth in neutral pace and seventh in neutral passing rate. We’ll see how long that lasts with Zach Wilson under center.

Quarterbacks

Mac Jones: Jones turned back into a pumpkin. Through two games, he ranks 14th in passing grade, 18th in adjusted completion rate, and has the fourth-lowest yards per attempt. Among 33 qualifying quarterbacks, he is 25th in fantasy points per dropback. Jones has averaged 220 passing yards with 7.0 yards per attempt in his last two meetings against the Jets with QB21 and QB23 weekly finishes. The Jets have allowed the ninth-lowest yards per attempt and the 14th-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Week 3 Positional Value: low-end QB2

Zach Wilson: Wilson has been playing like…Zach Wilson. He’s fourth-lowest in passing grade, tenth-lowest in yards per attempt, and has the eighth-lowest fantasy points per dropback. In his last two starts against New England, he has completed 46.0% of his passes with 6.8 yards per attempt. The Patriots’ defense hasn’t looked imposing, ranking 14th in yards per attempt, 16th in passer rating, and sixth-lowest in pressure rate. This is after facing Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, though take it with a grain of salt. Wilson isn’t close to being in the same area code as those other two quarterbacks. Week 3 Positional Value: Basement-level QB2

Running Backs

Weeks 1-2

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes RZ opportunities
Rhamondre Stevenson 27 9 61 5
Ezekiel Elliott 12 5 26 1

Rhamondre Stevenson: Stevenson has been the Patriots’ bell-cow, playing 73% of the snaps weekly, averaging 18 touches and 74.5 total yards as the RB13 in fantasy. Stevenson has not looked like himself so far this season. He has the third-lowest yards after contact per attempt and the 17th-lowest elusive rating. This isn’t the fault of the Patriots’ offensive line either, as they are ninth-best in yards before contact per attempt. He has been up to snuff in the passing game, though he ranks 17th in receiving grade and 14th in YPRR. Temper your expectations for Stevenson this week with his struggling play and a tough matchup. New York is 16th in stuff rate but also has given up the sixth-lowest missed tackles per attempt and the fourth-lowest yards after contact per attempt. Week 3 Positional Value: volume-driven low-end RB1/high-end RB2

Ezekiel Elliott: Elliott’s snap share dropped to 30% last week with only five rushing attempts and 13 total yards. Elliott has been expectedly JAG with only an 8% missed tackles forced per attempt rate and 1.67 yards after contact per attempt. He’s no longer a stash or hold in fantasy. Week 3 Positional Value: Droppable

Weeks 1-2

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes RZ opportunities
Breece Hall 14 3 21 0
Dalvin Cook 17 4 14 5

Breece Hall: The Jets are easing Hall into the season. He’s averaged 32% of snaps played with only 7.5 touches per game. His long runs in Week 1 skewed his per-game numbers with 78 total yards per game, but last week was a good reminder of his weekly floor with only nine total yards with six opportunities. Hall ranks fifth in missed tackles forced per attempt and eighth in rate of runs for five or more yards. Hall faces a run defense with the ninth-highest stuff rate, the 12th-lowest missed tackles forced allowed, and the 11th-lowest yards after contact per attempt allowed. The saving grace for Hall could be New England’s issues stopping zone runs. They have allowed the third-highest yards per carry to zone runs. The issue for Hall and Dalvin Cook is that New York has moved toward more gap runs this season (Hall 42% zone, Cook 23.5% zone). Week 3 Positional Value: low-floor RB3

Dalvin Cook: Cook has averaged 43% of the snaps through two games with 10.5 touches and 35.5 total yards per game. Cook looks like a shell of his former self. Among 48 qualifying running backs, he has the ninth-highest stuff rate, ranking 25th in missed tackles forced per attempt and 36th in yards after contact per attempt. The feather in Cook’s cap is that he has dominated the red zone work. He looks like a lock for 10-12 touches per week with healthy touchdown equity in this offense. Week 3 Positional Value: RB3

Wide Receivers

DeVante Parker: In his first game of the season, Parker had an 87% route per team dropback rate with a 19.0% Target share and a 13.1% air yard share. Last year, Parker was 32nd in receiving grade, 34th in YPRR, and outside the top 70 wide receivers in route win rate. Parker will run about 65% of his routes against D.J. Reed (71.4% catch rate and 88.7 passer rating). Week 3 Positional Value: WR5/6

JuJu Smith-Schuster: Smith-Schuster remains a part-time player (48% route per team dropback rate in Week 2). He split the RWR role last week with Kendrick Bourne. Feel free to drop him. Week 3 Positional Value: Droppable

Kendrick Bourne: Bourne saw his playing time dwindle in the first game with Parker back. I was worried he was likely fantasy fool’s gold, and that’s been proven true already. He had a 46% route run per team dropback in Week 2. Drop him from your rosters. Week 3 Positional Value: Droppable

Garrett Wilson: Wilson has had an amazing run out the last two weeks, with a touchdown-saving his day in Week 1 and a long touchdown in Week 2 doing the same. He has a 24.5% Target share and a 48.5% air yard share, which is amazing until you realize it’s amounted to only six targets and 58.5 receiving yards per game. He can’t sustain this type of output as the WR23 all season with Zach Wilson under center. Wilson will run about 80% of his routes against Christian Gonzalez (66.7% catch rate and 58.5 passer rating) and some combination of Shaun Wade and Marcus Jones (combined have allowed a 66.7% catch rate and 40 receiving yards total). Week 3 Positional Value: WR4

All other Jets pass catchers: Every pass catcher for New York not named Garrett Wilson has been held below 35 receiving yards per game and five targets per game. No one else in this passing offense is viable from a fantasy standpoint.

Tight Ends

Hunter Henry: Henry is the TE2 in fantasy, which is more telling about the position this season than Henry’s performance. Henry has a 65% route run per team dropback rate and a 13.5% Target share. Don’t get me wrong. He has been solid, but not TE2 overall spectacular. Henry is seventh in receiving grade and 12th in YPRR. Last year, New York allowed the ninth-highest yards per reception, sixth-most receiving yards, and the ninth-most fantasy points to tight ends. All of this sounds fantastic, but also remember Henry hasn’t crossed the 30-yard receiving threshold in his last two meetings against this defense. Week 3 Positional Value: low-end TE1/high-end TE2

NYG vs. SF TEN vs. CLE ATL vs. DET NO vs. GB DEN vs. MIA LAC vs. MIN NE vs. NYJ BUF vs. WAS HOU vs. JAC IND vs. BAL CAR vs. SEA CHI vs. KC DAL vs. ARI PIT vs. LV PHI vs. TB LAR vs. CIN

Buffalo Bills vs. Washington Commanders

Pace and playcalling notes

  • The Bills have taken the slow-and-throw approach. They have the ninth-slowest neutral pace while also rocking the third-highest neutral passing rate.
  • The Commanders are running at the seventh-slowest pace while utilizing a run-balanced offense (15th in neutral passing rate).

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen: Allen bounced back from a dreadful Week 1 performance with a masterful Week 2. He was seventh in passing grade, second in adjusted completion rate, and second in passer rating. Allen will uncork some deep balls against this secondary in Week 3. Washington has been dreadful so far, allowing the tenth-highest yards per attempt, the 12th-highest quarterback rating, and the ninth-highest adjusted completion rate. Allen should have plenty of time in the pocket against a pass rush that ranks 15th in pressure rate and 18th in blitz rate. This will allow Allen to chuck dimes against a secondary that’s also permitted the highest yards per attempt, the fifth-highest passer rating, and the ninth-highest adjusted completion rate on throws of 20-plus yards. Week 3 Positional Value: Top-three QB

Sam Howell: Howell has played well this season. While he’s 21st in passing grade, all of his other metrics are promising. He’s 12th-best in yards per attempt, fourth-best in adjusted completion rate, and he has the 13th-highest fantasy points per dropback. The Bills’ pass defense has been a mixed bag, with the fifth-lowest passer rating allowed but also the 11th-highest yards per attempt and fourth-highest adjusted completion rate given up. Their pass rush has been quite good, ranking 12th in pressure rate despite blitzing at the league’s lowest rate. Howell has played fairly well against pressure, ranking tenth in yards per attempt, third in adjusted completion rate, and 18th in aDOT. The slow pace of this game could limit scoring drives, but this game has sneaky shootout possibilities. Week 3 Positional Value: mid-QB2 with QB1 upside

Running Backs

James Cook: Cook has been the Bills’ workhorse with 59% of the snaps each week, averaging 18.5 touches and 111 total yards as the RB12 in fantasy. Cook is the RB12 in fantasy despite scoring zero touchdowns. Let that sink in. Yes, I know the Bills have had five running attempts inside the five-yard line, and zero have gone Cook’s direction. The fact is that he will not continue to score zero touchdowns this season. When he does start breaking some big plays into the end zone we’re talking about a possible top-six fantasy back. Cook has the tenth-lowest stuff rate, the 11th-highest missed tackles forced per attempt, and the 11th-highest yards after contact per attempt. Washington has been another mixed-bag run defense. They have the sixth-lowest stuff rate and the second-highest rate of runs of five or more yards allowed, but they also have the fifth-lowest missed tackles allowed per attempt and the 11th-lowest yards per carry allowed to gap runs (Cook 86% gap). Don’t expect Cook to get much going through the air, as Washington allowed the 11th-lowest yards per reception to backs last season. Week 3 Positional Value: RB1

Brian Robinson: Robinson has been the Commanders’ lead back, playing 52-61% of the snaps. He has averaged 20 touches and 97.5 total yards as the RB5 in fantasy. Robinson has been average to below-average, depending on what tackle-breaking metrics you are peering at. Among 48 qualified backs, he is 23rd in yards after contact per attempt and 36th in missed tackles forced per attempt. Buffalo has been hit or miss as a run defense, but they set up nicely this week to defend Robinson. Buffalo has the seventh-highest stuff rate but also the 12th-lowest missed tackles allowed per attempt and the second-highest yards after contact per attempt given up. Buffalo has permitted the lowest yards per carry in the NFL (0.46) to zone runs (Robinson 56.8% zone). Robinson is a lock for 15-20 touches this week. Week 3 Positional Value: volume-fueled RB2

Antonio Gibson: Gibson isn’t a startable player. He’s averaging only 4.5 touches and 36.5 total yards per game. This matchup doesn’t set up well for Gibson either, as he’s been mostly a zone runner. Keep Gibson stashed for now. Week 3 Positional Value: Must-sit

Wide Receivers

Stefon Diggs: Diggs is the WR10 in fantasy with a 25.6% Target share (17th-best), a 36.4% air-yard share, and 2.10 YPRR (28th). He has the sixth-highest first-read share among wideouts. Sixth. Best. This is a Diggs domination game in the making. He led the Bills in deep targets last year (35), so if Allen is going deep, look for Diggs to be a part of the equation. Diggs will run about 58% of his routes against Kendall Fuller (57.1% catch rate and 65.8 passer rating) and Emmanuel Forbes (66.7% catch rate and 70.1 passer rating). Week 3 Positional Value: Top-three WR

Gabriel Davis: Davis remains Josh Allen‘s second in command when he looks to go deep. Davis was second on the team in deep targets (sixth-most among wide receivers) last year. This season, he has a 14.8% Target share and a 30.5% air yard share. Davis ranks 26th in receiving grade and 36th in YPRR. We’ve seen Davis have huge outings when Allen’s deep ball is on display, which could easily happen in Week 3. Davis will run about 84% of his routes against Fuller and Forbes. Week 3 Positional Value: WR3 with massive upside

Terry McLaurin: Terry McLaurin has struggled out of the gate. He has a 15.8% Target share and a 28.5% air yard share. Those numbers aren’t frightening, but he also ranks 51st in receiving grade and 43rd in YPRR. That’s where the “oh my” comes into play. This is probably injury-related and small sample variance, but it’s still noteworthy. McLaurin will run about 84% of his routes against Tre’Davious White (75% catch rate and 125.5 passer rating) and Christian Benford (33.3% catch rate and 52.1 passer rating). Week 3 Positional Value: WR3

Jahan Dotson: Dotson hasn’t started the season off strong either. He has a 19.0% Target share and a 24.2% air yard share, but he’s done very little with it. Among 60 qualifying wide receivers, Dotson ranks 52nd in receiving grade and 57th in YPRR. Dotson leads the receiving group in weighted opportunity (WOPR). This doesn’t feel like the spot where Dotson begins to turn things around. He’ll run about half of his routes against Benford and White. Week 3 Positional Value: WR4/5

Curtis Samuel: Samuel hasn’t crossed 60 receiving yards this season or played more than 65% of the snaps. Asking Sam Howell to support at least or maybe two pass catchers currently is a struggle, much less a tertiary option like Samuel. Samuel has a 12.7% Target share and a 10.4% air yard share while running about 73% of his routes from the slot. He’ll see Taron Johnson (2022: 71.8% catch rate and 107.7 passer rating) in coverage for most of the day. The matchup is good, so if you are in a deep league, he’s flex-worthy. Samuel popped up on the injury report on Friday (DNP) with a hip injury. He’s been listed as questionable. Week 3 Positional Value: Deep league flex play (if active)

Tight Ends

Dawson Knox: Knox has a 12.1% Target share and ranks second behind only Diggs in red zone targets on the team. Among 34 qualifying tight ends, he is 31st in receiving grade and YPRR. This isn’t the week to consider streaming Knox. Last year, Washington allowed the fifth-fewest receiving yards to tight ends and the tenth-fewest fantasy points to slot tight ends (Knox 52% slot rate). Week 3 Positional Value: low-end TE2

Dalton Kincaid: Kincaid has mustered a 13.5% Target share and an 8.7% air-yard share while running 55% of his routes from the slot. He is third on the team with two red zone targets. Among 34 qualifying tight ends, he is 20th in receiving grade and 16th in YPRR. Much like with Knox, this isn’t the week to play Kincaid. Week 3 Positional Value: Must-sit TE2

Logan Thomas: Thomas has been ruled out (concussion). No Washington tight end is in play this week for fantasy. Buffalo has been a nightmare matchup for tight ends. Last year, they gave up the fourth-fewest receiving yards and zero touchdowns. Zero. Touchdowns. Week 3 Positional Value: Sit all WAS TEs

NYG vs. SF TEN vs. CLE ATL vs. DET NO vs. GB DEN vs. MIA LAC vs. MIN NE vs. NYJ BUF vs. WAS HOU vs. JAC IND vs. BAL CAR vs. SEA CHI vs. KC DAL vs. ARI PIT vs. LV PHI vs. TB LAR vs. CIN

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