Fantasy Football

2020 Fantasy Football Week 3 Preview: Restoration


Right from the moment you enter the fantasy draft room, you know it can happen. Week 2 hammered it home. Maybe you escaped the worst of it, but even if you did, there is no satisfaction.

Your league just received an injection of apathy. That is never good for fantasy football this early in the season. We were already coming into the season with the Sword of Damocles hovering above. To have an unexpected wave of casualties like this adds further discomfort we did not need.

Some of you have larger restoration projects on your roster than others. Keep up the fight. For the rest, let Week 2 serve as a warning to prepare and think ahead.

But this feature article is always about the future and I predict 14 games on Sunday with an extra one on Monday night. That’s the most I’m near 100% about.

The game on Sunday night features two of the old masters. Monday night features two major AFC contenders.

So, quite a dessert to look forward to after the main course on Sunday afternoon.

2020 Fantasy Football Week 2 Preview

2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

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Games to Watch 2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. You have your fantasy lineups set, now it’s time to watch ’em play.

Early Sunday: Raiders (2-0) at Patriots (1-1) -6.0 48.0

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An admirable performance in defeat still counts as one in the loss column.

What we did learn after the Patriots’ loss to the Seahawks is that Cam Newton can put his feet firmly on the field as the New England quarterback.

We all know Tom Brady is irreplaceable in this era, but Newton so far is doing well for keeping up appearances for the Patriots as a team. You begin to wonder why other teams did not put in a better offer? That’s the Patriots. Just slightly ahead of our time.

The Raiders are wily foes, but their offense can hardly fit the description of multi-faceted or complex. As evidenced by their first two games, it is Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs. Basic “just win baby” football. A great start for them in September just the same.

Would the Raiders beat the Saints had Michael Thomas been in there on Monday? The Saints have enough talent to beat the Raiders without Thomas, but they could not.

Cam Newton presents a problem for these Raiders. Unlike Drew Brees, Cam Newton can shift out of the pocket and produce. We have some bias on quarterback shoulder injuries after Andrew Luck‘s early retirement, but Newton shows no sign of that being an issue at all. None.

Julian Edelman can STILL stretch the field at age 34 and the other receivers in the Patriots cast are good enough to give Newton solid options.

Derek Carr can expect pressure. The Patriots will key on Waller and force the Raiders to rely on the run. Not saying containing Jacobs is easy, he is not, but keeping their focus up front may have the positive side effect of improving on the Saints’ three sacks and fumble against Carr.

A reminder that Henry Ruggs is out for this game.

Fun Fact: The Patriots have won five straight games versus the Raiders. The Raiders have never won at Gillette Stadium and not beaten the Pats on their home turf at all since 1994.
Sleeper: Damiere Byrd, WR, Patriots

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief…

Bears (2-0) at Falcons (0-2) -3.5 47.5

The Bears are winning, but David Montgomery is the only emerging fantasy positive on the team. Panic continues for owners of Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller. If the Bears can’t get a passing game into higher gear against the Falcons, bust fears will reach critical. As for the Falcons, Todd Gurley has good volume, but you wouldn’t know it. Calvin Ridley continues surging.

2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

Rams (2-0) at Bills (2-0) -2.5 47.5

Aaron Donald and the Ram front have their work cut out. Josh Allen can run, Josh Allen can pass. 417 yards, 4 TDs versus the Dolphins. Jared Goff is in a similar spot against this Bills’ defense. Expect the backfield committee of the Rams to run in full gear. The type of game for Cooper Kupp to finally awaken some fantasy plusses. Tyler Higbee? Start him of course.

Washington (1-1) at Browns (1-1) -7.0 44.0

The Browns can support two fantasy running backs; each worthy enough of RB1 upside. Washington chose not to roll Antonio Gibson in full right from Week 1, but we can see something ripening. Gibson is already at flex level. For this game, Gibson’s receiving should feature more than his rushing. Dwayne Haskins will need to keep up with Baker Mayfield.

Titans (2-0) at Vikings (0-2) +2.5 47.5

Kirk Cousins enters Week 3 with 51 pass attempts and three picks. In Week 2, his passer rating was 15.9 – lowest of his career. Slow applause for Justin Jefferson being the top receiver on the Vikes with 44 yards. Let’s turn to Jonnu Smith and the Titans. Something positive. Smith’s breakout is on. Corey Davis should also flourish once again in A.J. Brown‘s continuing absence.

Forty-Niners (1-1) at Giants (0-2) +4.0 41.0

The 49ers team took the biggest hits in personnel during injury week. Defense notables include Nick Bosa out for the year; Richard Sherman IR; Dee Ford no timetable. Jimmy Garoppolo likely misses Week 3. Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman (IR-out). The major injury hit for fantasy of course was with their opponent – the Giants. Dion Lewis is a dice roll flex.

Bengals (0-2) at Eagles (0-2) -6.5 46.5

We all know what is wrong with the Bengals, but shouldn’t the Eagles be a bit better than they are? Carson Wentz is central to all this mess. Four picks, eight sacks, and a 23.2 cumulative passer rating to start the season. No better time than for Joe Burrow to collect his first win before the Eagles finally put it together. Won’t be easy. The Eagles’ defense through all this remains tough.

Texans (0-2) at Steelers (2-0) -4.0 45.0

The Texans with their tough schedule head to Pittsburgh. Usually when you see an O/U smack on 45, the bookmakers consider it a toss up of what shape the game takes. I’ll take the over. Dionte Johnson continues his fantasy upsurge. James Conner, after a tepid start, looked better in Week 2. The Texans need Deshaun Watson to find some rhythm – it’s not there yet.

Late Sunday: Cowboys (1-1) at Seahawks (2-0) -5.0 55.5

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Start your Cowboys. Start your Seahawks. Bench the DSTs though…

Both Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson are ready to unload the football on everybody. If both quarterbacks combine for 80+ attempts, it should not surprise. Anything less than 70 is a disappointment.

Are the Seahawks still a run-first offense? 574 passing versus 238 rushing to date? Sure doesn’t sound like it.

Yet, they will continue make the running game a focal point of their initial attack. That said, the Seahawks react as a team which takes whatever the opposing defense gives them. Since the Cowboys do not lean better on defense for either pass or run, the Seahawks will balance the offense accordingly.

For those of you astute “footballspeak” detectives. Whenever you hear “whatever the opposing defense gives” you can usually interpret that as zone packages. Okay, you got me, well done. However, the Cowboys may or may not drop guys back into zone coverage. Defenses seem to have better success against Wilson by trying to collapse the pocket with contain instead.

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The Cowboys showed their weakness of getting pressure up front against the Falcons. Unlike Matt Ryan, Russell runs, or rather scurries, for cheap first downs right, left, and center.


Ezekiel Elliott may see healthy receiving totals since the Seahawks are showing general stinginess versus the straight rush two weeks in.

As for the passing game, just buckle up and enjoy the ride. Look for a game with lead changes and thrilling moments.

Fun Fact: Russell Wilson has 4-1 record versus the Cowboys, but never threw for more than 210 yards in any game. Dak Prescott has lost both his meetings with the Seahawks.
Sleeper: David Moore, WR, Seahawks

Other Late Sunday Games in Brief…

2019 Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview

Jets (0-2) at Colts (1-1) -10.5 43.5

If there were such a thing as fantasy-free zones in the NFL, the Jets are giving their full patronage. Sam Darnold appears weaponless and without ground support. He remains the number 32 quarterback option in fantasy. Conversely, even with two major injuries on offense in the early going, the Colts still look robust with depth. Look for Rivers to exploit these out-manned Jets.

Panthers (0-2) at Chargers (1-1) -6.5 44.0

Justin Herbert, by way of bizarre medical negligence to his teammate, will lead the Chargers for the foreseeable future. Thrown in at the deep end last Sunday, he led his team to overtime against the Chiefs. The Panthers lost a bigger tooth in their offense. Look for Teddy Bridgewater to mix and match the offense to make a crude CMC replica out of Mike Davis and Curtis Samuel.

Buccaneers (1-1) at Broncos (0-2) +6.0 43.5

Fantasy assets on the Buccaneers have a reliant delivery vehicle in Tom Brady. Just stay upright and keep Blaine Gabbert off the field, thanks. There is obvious relevance to Tom’s own value (89% Yahoo owned), but some passing declination has not escaped our notice.  With Drew Lock and Courtland Sutton out, we need to closely examine who now ticks up on the Broncos offense.

Lions (0-2) at Cardinals (2-0) -6.0 54.5

We expect Kenny Golladay (Q) to make his first appearance on Sunday. With DeAndre Hopkins on the other side, we may expect fireworks – if you pardon the cliché. We are still trying to figure out the Detroit running back state of arrangement. I doubt this gamescript will help us much. On the Cardinals, Kenyan Drake needs a good showing to soothe fantasy quivers.

Featured Games

Sunday Night: Packers (2-0) at Saints (1-1) -3.0 52.5

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For Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, the clock is ticking for another opportunity at a second Super Bowl. Both have been once, won once.

This gives the game added playoff significance for both players and their respective teams for seedings and home field securement.

For us, we really get to see what’s left in the tank between Aaron and Drew. Vegas seems to think there’s a lot with a 52.5 OU line. Money talks, so I’ll go with their assessment.

The other Aaron, Aaron Jones, is off to a spectacular start. Your fantasy account already has two solid deposits with a third on the way. Jones is now in the RB1 elite, breaking away from the lower level candidates. As for Davante Adams (Q), we’re no closer to knowing if he’ll suit up and play and at what capacity. Considering the importance of this game, Adams might give it a go.

Similar matters for the other top receiving star in this league, Michael Thomas (Q). Thomas, however, leans closer to doubtful than Adams does. Brees certainly missed having Thomas around in Las Vegas on Monday. The supporting cast did not quite, well… support.

The Saints showed they can jump early, but equally showed that defensive adjustability can slow them down. Thomas or no Thomas.

I have been asked who the third Packer receiver is. His name is Malik Taylor.

Fun Fact: This is the 5th battle of Brees and Rodgers since 2008. The record is even at 2-2. The only active player remaining on either team since their first meeting is Mason Crosby.
Sleeper: Jace Sternberger, TE, Packers
Risk: Deonte Harris, WR, Saints

Monday Night: Chiefs (2-0) at Ravens (2-0) -3.5 54.5

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The AFC Championship we didn’t get in 2019. Just like the Sunday night tilt, this game matches two teams determined to gain a conference head-to-head tie-break advantage for playoff seedings.

This is also a battle of football philosophy too. The Ravens are running a Pistol Read Option offense. We simply call it the Run Pass Option or RPO. The Chiefs, taking advantage of the talents of Patrick Mahomes, lean toward a hybrid of old West Coast and Spread offense.

The Ravens beat teams by putting together possession drives and keeping strong offenses like the Chiefs off the field. The problem for the Ravens is that the Chiefs can score quickly and laugh at time of possession statistics.

This gives the Chiefs some positives in this game. The Ravens aren’t built to keep up if the reverse holds sway in the game flow. We saw what happened to the Chargers in overtime. Giving the ball to Mahomes late in a game, or in the Chargers’ case off an overtime punt, your odds of winning drop.

But that’s what it all boils down to – defense. For both teams.

For fantasy, though, keep those DSTs in the toolbox. Ok, that’s too obvious.

As for everything else, do start the offensive weapons of fantasy relevance here. You can go deep on the sleepers too.

Fun Fact: Patrick Mahomes defeated the Ravens with Lamar Jackson in their two previous meetings – throwing for a combined 751 yards and five touchdowns.
Sleeper: Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs

In the Booth on Sunday

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Dick Stockton

CBS Early

Raiders at Patriots: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Texans at Steelers: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Titans at Vikings: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Bengals at Eagles: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

FOX Early

49ers at Giants: Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston
Bears at Falcons: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Rams at Bills: Chris Myers, Greg Jennings, Brock Huard
Washington at Browns: Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman

CBS Late

Jets at Colts: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Panthers at Chargers: Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon

FOX Late

Cowboys at Seahawks: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Buccaneers at Broncos: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Lions at Cardinals: Dick Stockton, Brady Quinn

Check out the rest of our 2020 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. Winner of the 16-Team 2015 FSWA challenge.

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