2019 FANTASY FOOTBALL DIRT SHEET: WEEK THREE

TENNESSEE TITANS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS:

5 STAR PLAYS:

4 STAR PLAYS:

3 STAR PLAYS: Derrick Henry, Delanie Walker, Leonard Fournette

2 STAR PLAYS: A.J. Brown, D.J. Chark, Dede Westbrook

1 STAR PLAYS: Marcus Mariotta, Gardner Minshew, Corey Davis

ANALYSIS: Thursday Night Football games tend to be a bit of an ugly mess…playing two NFL games in the span of five days is less than ideal…in this particular match-up I imagine that the game plans will evolved around the two bulldozing RB Derrick Henry and Leonard Fournette…the Jaguars and Titans defenses rank 11th and 12th respectively against the Fantasy RB position, so the sledding won’t be easy…Gardner Minshew gets another start under center, and it would appear that his WR connection so far has been with D.J. Chark and not the Jaguars presumed #1 WR Dede Westbrook…with erratic play at the QB position on both sides of the ball, I wouldn’t trust any of the WR in this game…the only pass catching option you can trust is TE Delanie Walker who will remain a low end TE1 option in this one…

PREDICTION: TITANS 20, JAGUARS 17

DENVER BRONCOS at GREEN BAY PACKERS:

5 STAR PLAYS: Aaron Rodgers

4 STAR PLAYS: Davante Adams

3 STAR PLAYS: Aaron Jones, Emmanuel Sanders, Marques Valdez-Scantling

2 STAR PLAYS: Royce Freeman, Phillip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, Geronimo Allison, Jimmy Graham

1 STAR PLAYS: Joe Flacco, Noah Fant

ANALYSIS: This is another game where I have a hard time seeing one team, the Broncos, moving the football effectively on the other, the Packers…the Packers defense remain one of the more impressive units in the game…Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense got it going early in Week #2 and I can see a similar outcome in this one…Chris Harris may follow Davante Adams around the field on Sunday, and it won’t matter…the chemistry between Rodgers and Adams is second to none…Aaron Jones gets a third tough match-up to begin the season, but we saw in Week #2 that if Jones receives the workload, he will be productive…I still have Aaron Jones as a borderline RB1/RB2 heading into Week #3…if you are going to rely on any Broncos player it has to be Emmanuel Sanders…Flacco seems to have a connection with Sanders and that could pay off in a game where they will likely be chasing throughout…just beware of Jaire Alexander and company in the Packers secondary…

PREDICTION: PACKERS 27, BRONCOS 13

DETROIT LIONS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES:

5 STAR PLAYS: Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Kenny Golladay

4 STAR PLAYS: Matthew Stafford

3 STAR PLAYS: Kerryon Johnson, Marvin Jones Jr., Miles Sanders, Nelson Agholor

2 STAR PLAYS: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, T.J. Hockenson

1 STAR PLAYS: Danny Amendola, Mack Hollins, Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles, Ty Johnson

ANALYSIS: Leading into this Week 3 match-up the Eagles once deep receiving core is now decimated with injuries…from all accounts Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson will be out for this one, which means that Carson Wentz and the Eagles passing game will have to rely on the likes of Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor…a week ago, Ertz received 16 targets, so I would anticipate that he is heavily involved in the offensive game plan again this week…Agholor played the role of scapegoat a week ago as he let a potential game winning TD pass slip through his hands…if the Eagles are going to be victorious in this one, Nelson Agholor will NEED to step up…on the Lions side of the football, I’m not as encouraged when it comes to Kerryon Johnson as I am members of their passing attack…the Eagles are a top 10 unit against the Fantasy RB position and are stalwarts against the run…the passing game of Matthew Stafford to the likes of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. should find a great deal of success in this one…the Eagles defense has leaked big plays down the field all season long, and I find no reason to believe that it’ll play out any differently on Sunday…the Eagles give up the 2nd most points to the Fantasy WR position, so I have Kenny Golladay as a high end WR2 and Marvin Jones Jr. as a high end Flex option that you can trust in your fantasy leagues…

PREDICTION: EAGLES 27, LIONS 20

BALTIMORE RAVENS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS:

5 STAR PLAYS: Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown

4 STAR PLAYS: Mark Ingram

3 STAR PLAYS: Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson

2 STAR PLAYS: Miles Boykin

1 STAR PLAYS: Darryl Williams (if Shady and Damien cannot go)

ANALYSIS: This is a game what we simply can’t wait for…the 2-0 Ravens facing the 2-0 Chiefs at Arrowhead…this should be a fun, high-scoring affair…SIX 5-star plays in this one including a QB duel of Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson…a week ago Sammy Watkins may have disappointed Fantasy owners expecting a better day…I’ll say this, Watkins received 13 targets last week…if he continues to see this type of volume from Patrick Mahomes, he will be a weekly consideration for a WR1 performance…Travis Kelce is in the conversation weekly as the #1 overall TE–nothing more to see here…the emergence of secondary options like Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson has been a revelation…my original thought a year ago–was that Andy Reid and the weapons like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were making Patrick Mahomes into the QB he has become…I am realizing now that Patrick Mahomes may be the talent that is making the weapons around him go…Mahomes is the straw that stirs the Kansas City drink…don’t overthink this one…play all of your high-end explosive play makers in this game and your Fantasy team will thank you…

PREDICTION: CHIEFS 27 RAVENS 24

CINCINNATI BENGALS at BUFFALO BILLS

5 STAR PLAYS:

4 STAR PLAYS: Josh Allen, John Brown

3 STAR PLAYS: Frank Gore, Tyler Boyd, John Ross

2 STAR PLAYS: Andy Dalton, Joe Mixon

1 STAR PLAYS: Cole Beasley, Tyler Eifert

ANALYSIS: Josh Allen is the most reliable Fantasy option regardless of position in this game between the Bengals and Bills…here is where we are…Josh Allen continues to produce as a multi-dimensional Quarterback and remains on the high-end QB2 radar moving forward, and in this game against the Bengals he is a legit Top 10 option at the position…the primary beneficiary of Josh Allen’s development will be WR John Brown…Brown is far and away the most consistent receiving option for the Bills and is on the WR2 radar…Frank Gore is the last man standing…LeSean McCoy was released…Devin Singletary is injured and not practicing this week…the Bills backfield and this terrific match-up against the Bengals who rank dead last against the Fantasy RB position, belongs solely to Frank Gore, so he will remain a high-volume RB2 that you can trust this week…on the Bengals side of the ball, it is tough to trust anyone going to Buffalo in a very tough match-up…I still don’t believe that Joe Mixon is healthy enough to make any difference at all, and remains simply a Flex option…Tyler Boyd is the most reliable Bengals target in the passing game, even with John Ross having the explosive plays…I can’t say that I would trust either option as more than Flex option as well…

PREDICTION: BILLS 23 BENGALS 13

ATLANTA FALCONS at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS:

5 STAR PLAYS: Julio Jones

4 STAR PLAYS: Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, T.Y. Hilton

3 STAR PLAYS: Jacoby Brissett, Devonta Freeman, Austin Hooper

2 STAR PLAYS: Marlon Mack, Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle

1 STAR PLAYS: Parris Campbell, Nyheim Hines, Mohammed Sanu, Ito Smith

ANALYSIS: The Falcons passing game albeit inconsistent at times, has a tremendous ceiling…one that we may be able see this week in Indianapolis…you know what you are getting from Julio Jones…Jones remains a Top 5 option at the position regardless of match-up…Matty Ice brings the level of inconsistency to this offense…that and the lack of explosive plays from the backfield…Ryan can be his own worst enemies with the turnovers…he committed some crucial errors throughout the first two weeks of the NFL season…if he can clean it up, the sky is the limit for this offense…Calvin Ridley has settled in as an every week WR2 option at this point…I’ve been speaking this rhetoric all week long…if not now then when for Devonta Freeman..? The Colts are 30th in the league against Fantasy RB–this would be the time for Freeman to get it going…Marlon Mack got in practice on Friday, making him likely to suit up in Week #3 as a solid RB2 option…T.Y. Hilton simply continues to get it done week in and week out under the guidance of Jacoby Brissett…those concerned about his Fantasy numbers following the retirement of Andrew Luck, so far, have been proven incorrect and Hilton remains a solid WR2…

PREDICTIONS: FALCONS 24, COLTS 21

OAKLAND RAIDERS at MINNESOTA VIKINGS:

5 STAR PLAYS: Dalvin Cook

4 STAR PLAYS: Adam Thielen

3 STAR PLAYS: Stefon Diggs, Tyrell Williams, Darren Waller

2 STAR PLAYS: Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins

1 STAR PLAYS: Kyle Rudolph, Jalen Richard

ANALYSIS: All off-season long we heard that the Minnesota Vikings wanted to be a more balanced, run-heavy offense, and so far, they have lived up to that billing…Dalvin Cook has indeed been the central figure of the Vikings offense…last week in one of the worst possible game scripts for Cook, he was still sensational…Cook certainly looks like a legit Top 5 RB option in Fantasy Football…Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have taken a backseat to Cook so far in the season, but I’m not overly concerned…the Vikings passing game remains so centralized on these receivers that they should still bring WR2 value throughout the season–and that is what you drafted them as…I don’t like Tyrell Williams odds this week matching up with Xavier Rhodes and a Vikings secondary scheming to take him away…this could be a nice spot for breakout TE Darren Waller to continue his momentum and stack up the targets from QB Derek Carr…I would look for other options as it relates to RB Joshua Jacobs…sounds like he is battling a combination of illness and injury, so even if he plays, he is best left on your Fantasy bench for Week #3…

PREDICTION: VIKINGS 23, RAIDERS 17

NEW YORK JETS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS:

5 STAR PLAYS: Tom Brady, Antonio Brown

4 STAR PLAYS: Sony Michel

3 STAR PLAYS: Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, James White, Le’Veon Bell

2 STAR PLAYS: Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Phillip Dorsett

1 STAR PLAYS: Luke Falk, Rex Burkhead

ANALYSIS: Writing up analysis for the Patriots previews are becoming more and more challenging by every passing week…this game against the Luke Falk led Jets should equate to nothing more than target practice…Tom Brady is going to have his way and eventually wear down a game Jets defense…what WR finds Fantasy success..? This has been a bit of Fantasy roulette so far in 2019…Week #1 it was Josh Gordon…Week #2 it was Antonio Brown…don’t be surprised if Week #3 they utilize Julian Edelman a bit more…simply because they can…and with all of the Antonio Brown baggage off the field, I’m not entirely sure I know how much longer he is going to remain a New England Patriot…on the Jets side of the ball you cannot trust anyone associated with the passing game…you can trust Lev Bell as a high-volume, low upside play that should eventually get there, especially in leagues that reward points based on receptions…

PREDICTION: PATRIOTS 37, JETS 6

MIAMI DOLPHINS at DALLAS COWBOYS:

5 STAR PLAYS: Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper

4 STAR PLAYS:

3 STAR PLAYS: Randall Cobb

2 STAR PLAYS: Preston Williams, Devin Smith, Jason Witten, Troy Pollard

1 STAR PLAYS: Kalen Ballage

ANALYSIS: This match will play out in a very similar way as the Patriots/Dolphins game from a week ago…the Cowboys are once again the headliners in this one as Dak Prescott continues to roll and remains a Top 3 QB option this week…the offense still relies heavily on Ezekiel Elliott who will be able to get whatever he wants this week against a porous Dolphins defense that is even getting worse…Amari Cooper should have a solid day as well…the only Dolphins defender that can put up a fight is Xavien Howard and he should indeed be matched up with Amari Cooper all afternoon…with Michael Gallup being held out 2-4 weeks following a knee scope, look for Randall Cobb to put up sneaky production in the middle of the Dolphins secondary now missing the traded Minkah Fitzpatrick…Josh Rosen will receive his 1st start as a Miami Dolphin QB in this one…I don’t expect him to have much more success than Ryan Fitzpatrick, so the Fantasy players from Miami in this one will be extremely limited…

PREDICTION: COWBOYS 34, DOLPHINS 10

NEW YORK GIANTS at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS:

5 STAR PLAYS: Saquon Barkley, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin

4 STAR PLAYS: Jameis Winston, O.J. Howard, Evan Engram

3 STAR PLAYS: Daniel Jones, Sterling Shepard

2 STAR PLAYS: Peyton Barber

1 STAR PLAYS: Ronald Jones III

ANALYSIS: This is the match-up this week that I believe has sneaky upside appeal…the Giants will be starting Daniel Jones behind center as they turn the page from Eli Manning…I believe that Jones can only help a floundering offense…it will be interesting to see what receiving weapons Jones favors–but he would be smart to rely on his high-end options such as Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram…this HAS to be a get-right game for Jameis Winston and the rest of the Buccaneers offense…getting a few extra days following their Thursday Night game against Carolina and back home against a Giants defense lacking talent..I know that there has been some panic surrounding Mike Evans and O.J. Howard, but if you ever believed in their talent, you can believe in them here…I have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as high-end WR2 and I have O.J. Howard as a mid-TE1 option this week…

PREDICTION: BUCCANEERS 30, GIANTS 27

CAROLINA PANTHERS at ARIZONA CARDINALS

5 STAR PLAYS: Christian McCaffrey

4 STAR PLAYS: Kyler Murray, David Johnson, D.J. Moore, Greg Olsen

3 STAR PLAYS: Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Curtis Samuel

2 STAR PLAYS: Kyle Allen

1 STAR PLAYS: Kaesean Johnson

ANALYSIS: Cam Newton’s re-injured foot will cause him to miss this game here in Week #3…Kyle Allen will take the reigns of the offense…so how will this transition effect the receiving options for the Panthers..? I would expect TE Greg Olsen’s numbers to decline slightly as Cam has had a history of leaning on his TE…besides that, I believe it could actually benefit D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel in the short term…D.J. Moore remains a high volume target and Curtis Samuel and Kyle Allen seemed to have legit connection…on the Cardinals side of the ball, I would expect more of the same–a high volume passing game where Kyler Murray puts up over 300 yards passing once again…the passing game, for the most part, has been centralized around receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk and RB David Johnson…again, I see no reason to expect them to go away from this recipe…the Cardinals game plan is to focus on their slot option and to attempt to avoid James Bradburry if possible…I would consider Kyler Murray a borderline QB1 option…Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk as valued pretty similarly as back-end WR2 options…and given his volume and target share, you can trust David Johnson as a borderline RB1/RB2 in this match-up…Kyle Allen is one of my favorite ‘Roll of the Dice’ plays in Fan Duel this week…

PREDICTION: CARDINALS 27, PANTHERS 24

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS:

5 STAR PLAYS:

4 STAR PLAYS: Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Russell Wilson, Chris Carson, Tyler Lockett

3 STAR PLAYS: Jared Cook

2 STAR PLAYS: Teddy Bridgewater, Latavius Murray, Ted Ginn Jr., D.K. Metcalf, Rashaad Penny

1 STAR PLAYS:

ANALYSIS: Teddy Bridgewater gets his first NFL start in a number of seasons…a tough match-up on the road in Seattle…I cannot recommend playing Bridgewater as I believe the Saints are going to mix in Taysom Hill in a QB collaboration…I don’t believe the recipe on offense will change very much…few teams offense are are centralized as the Saints…I would still expect Michael Thomas to receive his full compliment of targets, double digit in variety…they won’t be as efficient as the one’s he receives from Brees, but ultimately his values is only diminished so much as he goes from a mid WR1 to a lower end WR1…Alvin Kamara faces a similar decline…he is no longer a lock and loaded RB1 option while Brees is out…their connection is top-notch…I still believe the Saints try to get the ball to Kamara as a runner and receiver so he belongs as a lower end RB1 until Drew Brees returns from his thumb surgery…on the Seattle side of the ball, Russell Wilson continues to guide the offense even with a lighter passing volume…he remains on that QB1/QB2 border…last week we saw a return to form for Tyler Lockett who saw his target volume spike back up as he was the most heavily involved receiving options for the Seahawks…it has been interesting to see how the Seahawks offense has evolved…Lockett who was utilized as the predominant downfield threat, has now become more of their possession receiver…whereas rookie WR D.K. Metcalf has developed into their down the field option…Lockett may lose some of his ‘boom or bust’ nature, but he may also lose a bit of luster on his per target value…I believe Lockett remains a Top 20 Fantasy WR…D.K. Metcalf can now be included in your ‘Flex’ conversation as a potential TD scorer on a weekly basis…Rashaad Penny popped up on the injury report on Friday with a hamstring injury…anytime players pop up late in the week, that is a concern…if Penny were to miss this game, it would just bump up Chris Carson even more…I expect Carson to get the lion share of the carries regardless and remains a legit RB1 for your Fantasy team…(just keep an eye out that he doesn’t fumble once again–he has done so in back to back weeks)

PREDICTION: SEAHAWKS 24, SAINTS 17

HOUSTON TEXANS at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS:

5 STAR PLAYS: Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler

4 STAR PLAYS: Phillip Rivers

3 STAR PLAYS: Will Fuller, Carlos Hyde, Justin Jackson, Mike Williams

2 STAR PLAYS: Duke Johnson Jr.,

1 STAR PLAYS: Travis Benjamin

ANALYSIS: The Texans passing game stalled a week ago against the Jaguars…they simply didn’t look like themselves, so I would expect a bounce back performance from DeShaun Watson–who remains my QB #2 overall on the season…the Chargers passing defense is legit, but you don’t stop DeAndre Hopkins–especially not two weeks in a row…I still have Nuk as my #1 WR this week and if you can afford it on FanDuel, I would be all about the DeShaun/DeAndre stack this week…you know what Will Fuller is, we have mentioned it over and over again…he is that weekly ‘Boom or Bust’ play in the Texans offense…I like him to possibly ‘Boom’ this week if the Chargers secondary focus on Nuk…and don’t forget, the Chargers are still missing the dynamic Derwin James…Carlos Hyde has become the volume back for the Houston Texans and Duke Johnson Jr. has lost a lot of his luster…this turn of events has been surprising even to me…I believe that both backs are only on the ‘Flex’ radar at this point, but they are also trending in opposite directions…I am all about some Keenan Allen this week…the Chargers continue to lean on Allen in the absence of Melvin Gordon who is still holding out and Hunter Henry is going to be out for approximately 6 weeks…follow the targets–and Keenan Allen is a virtual lock for 10-12 in Week #3…Austin Ekeler has been better than advertised and he is effecting the game as a rusher and a receiver…as we sit here today, few backs have the weekly upside that Ekeler possesses…he’s locked in as a Top 10 RB option until further notice…that’s not to say that Justin Jackson has been bad–in fact, it’s quite the contrary…Jackson has been terrific, he is just not getting the workload that Ekeler is…keep in mind, if something were to happen to Ekeler from an injury standpoint than Justin Jackson would be sensational and a borderline Top 10 option in his own right…Phillip Rivers will be his normal solid self–nothing else to see here…if you’re looking to get weird on your DFS lineups, Travis Benjamin is the type of player who is going to produce oddly irrelevant boom weeks…could this be one..?

PREDICTION: TEXANS 31, CHARGERS 24

PITTSBURGH STEELERS at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS:

5 STAR PLAYS:

4 STAR PLAYS: George Kittle, JuJu Smith-Schuster

3 STAR PLAYS: Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Breida, James Conner

2 STAR PLAYS: Mason Rudolph, James Washington, Vance McDonald, Jaylen Samuels, Deebo Samuel, Raheem Mostert

1 STAR PLAYS: Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis

ANALYSIS: The George Kittle game is coming–that I promise you…in Week #1 he had not one, but TWO touchdowns called back due to penalties…in Week #2 he just simply wasn’t used in the game plan as much as some of the emerging options at the WR position like Deebo Samuel…the 49ers and Kyle Shanahan will make curious personnel decisions on occasion, but their not stupid…they still know that their best option on offense remains George Kittle, so he remains a weekly Top 3 option at the position…the 49ers continue to rotate RB Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, and Jeff Wilson Jr…this simply lowers the volume and the Fantasy value for each…none of the above have RB1 upside given their current circumstances…I will still lean Matt Breida as the back to own as a lower end RB2 purely due to his talent…if you start a 49ers WR–make sure it is Deebo Samuel who has some Flex appeal…the rest are too unreliable at this point…I believe that we saw Mason Rudolph was able to keep the chains moving and the Steelers offense on schedule as he takes over for the injured Big Ben…without Big Ben there are some negative ramifications…the upside for a JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner take a hit and push them down to borderline WR1/WR2 and RB1/RB2 values…Vance McDonald found the end zone twice on Sunday and it will be fascinating to see if Rudolph leans on the TE position substantially more than did Roethlisberger…and we are all curious to see if the chemistry established between Mason Rudolph and James Washington can carry over from their days playing together at Oklahoma State…I am willing to buy in to the narrative here as the Steelers need some production outside of JuJu from the WR position…I believe the chemistry is there and that James Washington can indeed step right into Flex consideration for your Fantasy team…

PREDICTION: STEELERS 20 49ERS 17

LOS ANGELES RAMS at CLEVELAND BROWNS:

5 STAR PLAYS: Odell Beckham Jr.

4 STAR PLAYS: Nick Chubb

3 STAR PLAYS: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley II, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, Baker Mayfield

2 STAR PLAYS: Jarvis Landry

1 STAR PLAYS:

ANALYSIS: We were able to see the explosive nature of Odell Beckham Jr. in a Cleveland Browns uniform on Monday Night…ODB is the type of player who can take the ball to the house on any given play and remains a high end WR1 this week, even in a match-up deemed tough against Marcus Peters and the Rams secondary…Nick Chubb will continue to get all the workload that he can handle for the Browns…I believe the Browns offensive line play remains a bit of an issue, and that lowers the ceiling of Chubb to some degree…I don’t see him as a Top 5 RB option, which I once did, but a lower Top 10 option makes sense…on the Rams side of the ball, I believe that they will be incredibly balanced in this one…what that means is that I believe you will get a high amount of ‘good’ games, just not any ‘great’ games…I currently have 5 Rams Fantasy performers as 3-Star performers…their balance is good in real life, and tough to stop for a defensive coordinator, but limits all players in Fantasy Football…

PREDICTION: BROWNS 24, RAMS 20

CHICAGO BEARS at WASHINGTON REDSKINS:

5 STAR PLAYS:

4 STAR PLAYS:

3 STAR PLAYS: David Montgomery, Allen Robinson

2 STAR PLAYS: Terry McLaurin, Tarik Cohen

1 STAR PLAYS: Mitch Trubisky, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Case Keenum, Adrian Peterson, Paul Richardson, Vernon Davis

ANALYSIS: This should be yet another ugly affair on Monday Night Football…I have a hard time seeing the Redskins mustering much offensive success whatsoever against the Bears imposing defensive unit…the only player that can threaten the Bears defense whatsoever is rookie WR Terry McLaurin…and if you’re trusting McLaurin, you have to trust Case Keenum which is always a risky proposition…I like David Montgomery and Allen Robinson as primary options for the Bears offense…I believe they eventually wear down a game Redskins defense, and Montgomery and Robinson have mid RB2 and WR2 value for your Fantasy squads…

PREDICTION: BEARS 23, REDSKINS 10