2021 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview

by Richard Savill
2021 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview

I prefer my fantasy starters playing in slightly chilly and overcast weather conditions. I don't think there are stats for this, but a creeping stadium shadow crossing the field looks uncomfortable for orientating your senses to catching footballs with a trajectory arc.

Clear weather with bright sunshine is not comfortable for television viewing either. The aperture auto-adjust between shots can become annoying.

AT&T Stadium, where the Cowboys play, is the worst for glare in late-afternoon games. The schedulers have finally(!) taken this into account and just two games are played in the late slate of Sunday games in 2021. They are Week 5 and the Thursday annual Thanksgiving matchup in Week 12.

The old football war paint, eye-black, remains an associative visual norm of the game. It definitely holds less of its original purpose of glare reduction among players. Instead, it is a part of football fashion. You see it applied even in night games and covered stadiums.

I'm looking forward to more dull and overcast skies for football as we enter autumn.

Enough of this weather blather you say?

Yeah okay, let's get to the game blurbs for Week 3!

2021 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview

2021 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview

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Byes: none

Games to Watch 2021 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview

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

Early Sunday: Chargers (1-1) at Chiefs (1-1) -6.5 55.5

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All the regular fantasy worthy players on both sides come in as must starts at varying levels. A number of selected sleepers could have big day potential as well. So yeah, a pretty loaded game to start your Week 3 fantasy viewing.

I know Clyde Edwards-Helaire is  an exception on the basis of trust, but owners must start him too. Twitter let off major steam over the touchdown vulture of Darrel Williams against the Ravens last Sunday. As a result, CEH has RB finishes of 32 and 59 in the opening weeks. The time for panic is not yet, but CEH really needs to be on Page One of fantasy scoring this week.

The Chiefs otherwise have no real fantasy problems clogging the sink. They continue to score seemingly at will, but at the same time the defense allows dogfights to occur such as what we saw in Baltimore.

Like the Chiefs, the offense of the Chargers remains fluidly strong and Austin Ekeler opens up play-action for Herbert satisfactorily.

Thus the Chargers have enough weaponry to compete with the Chiefs, but with less consistency. Expect the Chargers playing catch-up all day long only to have the Chiefs restore their lead on every responsive drive.

Fun Fact: The Chiefs rested all their main starters for the playoffs when the Chargers last came to Arrowhead in Week 17 of 2020. Both Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert threw for over 300 yards in Week 2 last season in SoFi Stadium. Chiefs won 23-20.
Sleeper: Jalen Guyton, WR, Chargers
Pick Poll: Chiefs 95%

Other Early Sunday Games in Brief...

Washington (1-1) at Bills (1-1) -8.5 45.5

J.D. McKissic stole the show over Antonio Gibson in Week 2 and the Bills had their own fantasy blip with Zack Moss last week in Miami with two scores. Yeah, don't chase the points in this game with these guys. The Bills are strong against the run (7th best in yardage allowed) and 2nd in overall defense so far. Washington have given up the 9th most yardage through the air after two weeks.
Pick Poll: Bills 96%

2020 Fantasy Football Week 4 Preview

Bears (1-1) at Browns (1-1) -7.0 46.5

Justin Fields will start for the Bears, but coach Nagy remains committed to Andy Dalton. Take what you can get. The Browns have an interesting solution to the Jarvis Landry injury. Demetric Fulton, rostered as an RB, likely shares a role in filling that hole as a slot receiving option. Fulton is a risky choice for starting in fantasy right away in Week 3, but stashing him on-spec makes sense.
Pick Poll: Browns 92%

Falcons (0-2) at Giants (0-2) -3.5 48.5

The Falcons are the top defense in allowing touchdowns to start 2021 with eight. The Giants and their potency in the passing game remains spotty so far and it seems Daniel Jones prefers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton for the higher percentage strikes over teammate Kenny Golladay. Golladay hauled in just three of his eight targets last week. Fantasy interest surrounds top Week 3 waiver grab Cordarelle Patterson of the Falcons. A risk and reward flex.
Pick Poll: Giants 60%

Cardinals (2-0) at Jaguars (0-2) +7.0 52.0

No one expected the Jaguars to turn their fortunes around in one season, but we would hope for better signs from Urban Meyer. With the Cardinals moving right along with their loud and frenetic offense, the Jags are really up against it. Your fantasy Jags will get garbage time points either way, but James Robinson or Carlos Hyde production will only happen as consolation if the receivers come up short of the goal line.
Pick Poll: Cardinals 98%
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Ravens (1-1) at Lions (0-2) +8.0 49.5

Following an upset of the Chiefs, the Ravens enter into a potential trap game. The Ravens are doing everything so well on the ground that attacking Detroit with a similar game plan is really the thing to do. Tyrell Williams, ruled out with concussion, leaves skimpy options for the Lions in the passing game. The best they have left is anyone's guess from Kalif Raymond, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Quintez Cephus. Most pundits, including myself, prefer Cephus for targets if push comes to shove.
Pick Poll: Ravens 97%

Saints (1-1) at Patriots (1-1) -3.0 41.5

With Jameis Winston off the fantasy boil and Alvin Kamara heading that way as well, our once solid Saints don't have much left for upside. Both teams have awkwardly stagnant offenses and deciding which players to start in this game apart from Alvin Kamara and Damien Harris leave us with frosty choices. Jonnu Smith? Meh. Jacobi Meyers? Meh. Marquez Callaway? Okay, I'll stop now.
Pick Poll: Patriots 54%

Bengals (1-1) at Steelers (1-1) -3.5 43.5

The Steelers come into this game 32nd in rushing. If you own Najee Harris, this is something you do not want to hear. Ben Roethlisberger will continue to play with sore chest tightness. Even with Diontae Johnson out, James Washington is too low a fill. Even T.J. Watt has issues, so the Bengals could face an unusually eased up pass rush from their division rivals if Watt cannot play. All regular fantasy starters in this game come somewhere between fair and good with Joe Mixon the best of all.
Pick Poll: Steelers 84%

Colts (0-2) at Titans (1-1) -5.0 48.0

Green light for the availability of Carson Wentz in Week 3. If regular mobility isn't an issue, he has a good chance against the 5th worst passing defense. The Titans will attempt to force mistakes with up front pressure and blitz packages. Thus the Colts must establish the running game - also crucial to helping Wentz at less than 100% health. Derrick Henry raked in 182 yards versus the Seahawks. With an extra season game, another 2000+ rushing year remains alive and well. Despite the good news on Wentz, fade your downfield Colts and start your Titans.
Pick Poll: Titans 92%

Late Sunday: Buccaneers (2-0) at Rams (2-0) +1.5 55.5

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This is heavy metal in NFL form.

After the first two weeks, the Buccaneers are blitzing more than any other NFL team by far. Roughly twice as much on average versus the next top ten blitzing teams!

So Matthew Stafford is in for shock training after facing the Bears and Colts who both brought packages into the pass rush just 13 times each so far - compared to 50(!) by the Buccaneers.

The Rams blitz heavily as well, though it's "only" 30 times after Weeks 1 and 2.

Blitzing obviously tires out a defense quickly, but the Buccaneers are having success with their linebacker rotations to keep everyone fresh. With Jason Pierre-Paul likely out for the Bucs, we'll need to see how much effect this has on their blitzing schemes.

Both teams will seek to establish long drives via the run and short passing game to alleviate some of that pressure on the defenses - so expect the standard stuff to start with.

Antonio Brown is out for this game, so there's little chance of another Mike Evans lockout in fantasy production. On the other side, Darrell Henderson remains questionable at the time of writing, so hang on to Sony Michel as a fantasy plug 'n' flex starter.

Only Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford lean the closest to being fantasy sitters in this game. Your lineups should have all the rest of the fantasy regulars from these teams starting.

Fun Fact: Tom Brady needs just 141 passing yards to reach the milestone of 80,000 in his career. That's about 45 miles!
Sleeper:  Van Johnson, WR, Rams
Pick Poll: Buccaneers 62%

Other Late Sunday Games in Brief...

2021 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview

Jets (0-2) at Broncos (2-0) -10.5 41.5

You might think Teddy Bridgewater is "game managing" the Broncos. I did. But it's not true! Through two games, Bridgewater has above a 75% completion percentage and two passing touchdowns in each. It's quiet efficiency and he brings zero harm to Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and K.J. Hamler. Okay, all these receivers remain as match-up based options, like the game in question, but I'd say with better fantasy chances among several other receivers in their class.
Pick Poll: Broncos 98%

Dolphins (1-1) at Raiders (2-0) -4.0 44.5

Now that the offense of the Raiders clearly goes through Derek Carr, the downside dynamic of it all gives diminishing value to Josh Jacobs (out). At the same time, it puts Kenyan Drake in a stronger fantasy position than we originally anticipated when the Raiders made the move to acquire him. In this game for the Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa is out and Jacoby Brissett is in. Your other fantasy Dolphins remain quite playable, but with unsteady floors.
Pick Poll: Raiders 90%

Seahawks (1-1) at Vikings (0-2) +1.5 55.5

Another popcorn game. Russell Wilson is cooking and Tyler Lockett eats. The Seahawks lost last week because Derrick Henry spoiled the party, but they still looked like the team that won! The Vikings could say the same. Dalvin Cook was outstanding against the Cardinals. His double injury, the ankle being worse, could limit him on Sunday. Alexander Mattison is not distant as a par excellent cuff to Cook.
Pick Poll: Seahawks 80%

Featured Games

Sunday Night: Packers (1-1) at Forty-Niners (2-0) -3.5 50.0

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Aaron Rodgers certainly made a statement on Monday night in Week 2 that he isn't going anywhere . At least yet.

Since Robert Saleh left to coach the Jets, the 49ers have lost intensity on the defense. They rank in the bottom half to start the year and nearly allowed a miracle rally by the Lions and Jared Goff in Week 1. Easy to give that lapse a pardon, but the following game against the Eagles began raising question marks with the amount of yardage the team allowed.

Jimmy Garoppolo seems to have a firmer grip on the starting job than expected and Trey Lance may need to wait a bit longer for an opportunity.

The main difficulties for the 49ers, and fantasy for that matter, lies in the backfield. Fate continues to put them all out of action. Elijah Mitchell is trending toward out. With JaMychal Hasty banged up, Trey Sermon might have the rushing attack all to himself with Kyle Juszczyk and Deebo Samuel filling in for relief and RPO gadgetry.

Such is the nature of gameflow committee life I suppose.

On the Packers, a tighter knit is emerging again. The Lions game certainly was a tonic for the troops.

Another productive day for Aaron Jones appears on hand, but the only receiver on the Packers you can safely start is Davante Adams.

The Packers and 49ers begin the season allowing the 3rd and 9th most fantasy points to tight ends. This makes George Kittle and Robert Tonyan natural choices in fantasy lineups.

A wildly interesting Sunday night game to come.

Fun Fact: At Levi's Stadium last season in Week 9, Aaron Rodgers torched the 49ers with four touchdown passes and Davante Adams came away with 173 yards receiving and a score.
Sleeper: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Packers
Pick Poll: Packers 51%

Monday Night: Eagles (1-1) at Cowboys (1-1) -4.0 51.5

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No stark contrasts separate these two teams.

Jalen Hurts and Dak Prescott have similar skill levels, but with Prescott having extra experience. That experience may come into play in this game.

In the loss to the 49ers, consistency in the passing game for Hurts took a slide backward. Conflicting decisions, no doubt exacerbated by the coverage looks of the 49ers, led to some glaringly inaccurate passes.

Jalen Reagor's fantasy outlook continues to tank as Hurts prefers Devonta Smith as a main target. Reagor another Josh Doctson? I should shush. Don't want to upset the Frogs.

Out of the blue this week, Miles Sanders suddenly developed chest soreness and only put in a limited practice on Thursday. Sounds more like an excuse to get rest via light duty without raising too much alarm. If this is the case, I'm sure fantasy owners do not mind in the least. Kenneth Gainwell remains a playable flex either way; with more reward than risk attached to him.

Start all your Cowboys - except the tight ends. Tony Pollard continues to increase his backfield role and moments where he outshines Ezekiel Elliott are adding up. Pollard, like Gainwell on the Eagles, has reasonable flex potential for those willing to go on a limb.

Fun Fact: These teams last met on Monday night in Week 2 of 2008. Donovan McNabb versus Tony Romo. Other notable participants included Brian Westbrook and Terrell Owens. DeSean Jackson, then a rookie, is the only active player in the NFL remaining from that game.
Sleeper: Cedric Wilson, WR, Cowboys
Pick Poll: Cowboys 83%

In the Booth on Sunday

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Jim Nantz

CBS Early

Chargers at Chiefs: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Bengals at Steelers: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Ravens at Lions: Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta
Colts at Titans: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton

FOX Early

Bears at Browns: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Falcons at Giants: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Saints at Patriots: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Washington at Bills: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston
Cardinals at Jaguars: Gus Johnson, Aqib Talib

CBS Late

Dolphins at Raiders: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Jets at Broncos: Spero Dedes, Jay Feely

FOX Late

Buccaneers at Rams: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Seahawks at Vikings: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

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