Fantasy Football isn't exactly high on the ladder for sportswriting punditry. Our purpose is not to predict outcomes, but to examine a situation and find a best course of action as we view it, or sometimes sense it.
In this industry, we often need inspiration. People with interesting ideas and the determination to take fantasy scrutiny to an almost atomic level. For me, one of those people was Mike Tagliere.
Saturday will mark one year since we lost Mike. Yet, I have never lost the memory of his prolific weekly primer at Fantasy Pros. Every week I punch this keyboard for the Blurbview, I am reminded now and again to have that same spirit of dedication to the craft.
I would always marvel at Mike's weekly digest of the upcoming games and the details. Not just his takes, which were compelling and persuasive, but the scale of effort it required. Today, it takes three or four FantasyPros in-house writers to do what he did all himself. Remarkable.
So this week, I would like to dedicate the 2022 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview to the memory of Mike Tagliere.
Thanks, Tags. You are still missed by all of us.
The 2022 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview is next.
Updated: Sep25 1230pm et
2022 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview
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The Games this Week2022 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview
A brief rundown of the games this weekend. Time to set those lineups and watch 'em play.
Early Sunday: Lions (1-1) at Vikings (1-1) -6.0 52.5
This is one of the few times the Lions have made the longer, featured blurb. Seasons come and go, but the Lions might become the team to watch on Thanksgiving for a change.
They are up against a foe who were throttled by the Eagles on Monday night. Kirk Cousins could find no rhythm and ended up with a paltry 51.0 QB rating. That translated into a bad night for your fantasy Vikings.
Amon-Ra Moves To Another Level
I guess we should have seen it coming late last year. I think we did, but then, Amon-Ra St. Brown plays for the Lions, right? We easily forget sometimes that the Lions do produce outstanding fantasy players despite their historic futility as a football team.
So Amon-Ra shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. But what is a surprise is that the Lions have two studs on offense strengthening at the same time. This makes them a formidable and explosive unit. Whatever their record says at the end of the season, this will be a persistently competitive team, and the Vikings are about to find that out.
Back to Sköl for the Vikes
Sometimes the NFL woodshed does wonders for a team. The Vikings badly under-performed last week, and there might be an effort to get back to basics. The Vikings are going to put an emphasis on getting Dalvin Cook going so Kirk Cousins can have more play-action opportunities. Kirk should not be the leader, ever, of rush yardage on the team in any given week. His two scampers for 20 yards won't cut it.
Look for a well-paced football game here. Feel comfortable starting all your fantasy Lions and Vikings. If you get other sleeper advice about actors in the game besides mine, you do well to check them out.
Fun Fact: The Vikings have defeated the Lions their last four times following a loss on the road. They have also won their last four at home following a game where they scored less than 10 points on the road.
Sleeper: K.J. Osborn, WR, Vikings
Pick Poll: Vikings 74%
Update: D'Andre Swift ▲ | T.J. Hockenson ▲
Other Early Sunday Games in Brief...
Texans (0-1-1) at Bears (1-1) -2.5 40.0
Justin Fields finished flat bottom of passing yards (70) of any quarterback in Week 3 - not counting Trey Lance. The Bears need better than this. Darnell Mooney needs better than this. David Montgomery is the only fantasy winner we can see after two weeks on the Bears. If you expect a game similar in script to the Broncos-Texans 16-9 yawner, then you won't have any disappointments if something blooms.
Pick Poll: Bears 82%
Raiders (0-2) at Titans (0-2) +2.0 45.5
Who will start the season 0-3? So far, it looks like the Titans. For the Raiders, they blew a 20-0 half-time lead in a game where they were in complete control. Although Davante Adams scored to save fantasy face, it was one of his two receptions. With Carr's favorite Hunter Renfrow now OUT, that will change. The Titans look so one-dimensional right now that it might not matter if Adams has another quietish game.
Pick Poll: Raiders 71%
Update: Hunter Renfrow O | Josh Jacobs ▲
2022 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview
Chiefs (2-0) at Colts (0-1-1) +6.5 50.0
There is film now on how to contain Jonathan Taylor and Matt Ryan — courtesy of the Jaguars. The cold comfort of having Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce back at practice can hardly smooth over what happened in Week 2. You can argue that the Colts have overcome bad starts before under Frank Reich, and that's true, but the Colts did not just lose last week, they were dominated. The Chiefs are operating a WR anti-fantasy offense.
Pick Poll: Chiefs 97%
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Bills (2-0) at Dolphins (2-0) +6.0 52.5
Tua Tagovailoa and his breakout game raised fantasy eyebrows last week. It stunned the Ravens, who all but had the game in the bag. Letdown for the Dolphins is a concern here after a game of such high emotion. The Bills had their own fantasy bonanza in Week 2. Gabe Davis is back, so Stefon Diggs won't get the same feeding. If Tua pulls off another performance of fantasy gold against an even tougher defense, his stock will reach orbit.
Pick Poll: Bills 76%
Update: Gabe Davis ▲ | Dawson Knox ▲
Ravens (1-1) at Patriots (1-1) +3.0 43.5
No prizes for knowing the quarterback mismatch here. What will Matt Patricia and Bill Belichick come up with for this game? The Patriots will likely play for ball control and clock management. Not just to slow the Ravens down, but to spare their defense from getting too spent by the 4th quarter. The Ravens are furious they let a game get out of hand against the Dolphins and will pursue giving Mac Jones nothing downfield.
Pick Poll: Ravens 88%
Update: Jakobi Meyers O | J.K. Dobbins ▲ | Isaiah Likely ▲ | Kenyan Drake IA
Bengals (0-2) at Jets (1-1) +6.0 45.0
The Jets are near the bottom in QB pressures so far this year, so look for a bounce-back for Joe Burrow. In turn, Tee Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase should get better results too. For the Jets, it seems Joe Flacco is quite prepared to get into an air-yard battle. He made another 44 attempts last week - adding to the 59 in Week 1. So look for a lively game with plenty of fantasy points for the receivers on both sides.
Pick Poll: Bengals 86%
Update: Corey Davis ▲ | Hayden Hurst ▲
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Eagles (2-0) at Commanders (1-1) +6.5 47.0
Jalen Hurts accounts for over 43% of the rushing yards for the Eagles. The Commanders will need to respect this and curtail their high percentage of blitzing. Carson Wentz had a pathetic first half last week, but still had a big fantasy day. Start your main fantasy Eagles — even Kenneth Gainwell is worth gambling in the flex. Whatever "sits" your favorite fantasy advisories have for the Commanders, pay close attention.
Pick Poll: Eagles 91%
Saints (1-1) at Panthers (0-2) +3.0 41.0
Last week, Christian McCaffrey had his first 100+ yard rushing game since 2019. Although scoreless, at least owners have some confidence going forward. The main issue for the Panthers is how to get the talented D.J. Moore more in tune with Baker Mayfield. Moore did score last week. But with just six catches for 86 yards so far, this puts him closer to a WR4 than WR3. On the other side, Michael Thomas continues ticking upward.
Pick Poll: Saints 81%
Update: Jameis Winston ▲ | Alvin Kamara ▲ | Taysom Hill O
Late Sunday: Packers (1-1) at Buccaneers (2-0) -1.0 42.0
When presumed hall of fame quarterbacks meet in the same game, there is a compulsion to tune everything else out. This game matters to Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers because of the mostly atmospheric rivalry between them. It has a similar effect to games when Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, or Peyton Manning were still in the mix.
What is interesting in the matchup is that both Rodgers and Brady have less to work with offensively than in the past for this early and important game of 2022.
The Missing Parts
For the Bucs, Mike Evans is out with a one-game suspension. Chris Godwin (now OUT) and Julio Jones are questionable. Russell Gage is also banged up. So Brady's arsenal is reduced to his healthiest receivers — Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller.
This means a relatively unknown guy, Jaelon Darden, will have to step into bigger shoes than his usual punt and kick returning duties. He's an instant "dare" sleeper out of circumstance. If you take the plunge and go for this idea, you are a true fantasy maverick and deserve success.
Who's Left for the Game?
The running backs, of course. Plus the tight ends. Aaron Rodgers will bring his best air attack with his own "lesser light" receivers, but Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon should get another heavy feed.
Fun Fact: This is just the 5th career meeting between Rodgers and Brady. The last time they met was in the 2020 playoffs where Brady went on to win his 7th Super Bowl.
Sleeper: Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers
Pick Poll: Buccaneers 68%
Update: Sammy Watkins IR | Chris Godwin O | Julio Jones Qgt | Mike Evans S | Christian Watson Qgt | Leonard Fournette Qep | Russell Gage Qep | Breshad Perriman Qep | Randall Cobb Qgt
Other Late Games in Brief...
2022 Fantasy Football Week 3 Blurbview
Jaguars (1-1) at Chargers (1-1) -7.0 47.0
Foyesade Oluokun, number 23, a linebacker the Jaguars acquired in the off-season from the Falcons and signed to a three-year deal, is a major upgrade. He is clearly a solid captain of this suddenly capable defense. A defense that shut out the Colts last Sunday. Both the Chargers and Jaguars are top-ten versus the run, so expect better results from the passing game. Not a problem with Trevor Lawrence and Justin Herbert out there.
Pick Poll: Chargers 95%
Update: Justin Herbert Qgt | Keenan Allen Qgt
Rams (1-1) at Cardinals (1-1) +3.5 48.5
The "we make it up as we go along" offense of the Cardinals pulled off a stunning comeback last week. The Rams nearly allowed the Falcons a similar 4th quarter rally to defeat them. The Cooper Kupp target vacuum makes it rough for Allen Robinson owners, but in this potential shootout, there is enough for everyone. Marquise Brown should get plenty of looks with upstart Greg Dortch remaining a good sleeper option.
Pick Poll: Rams 83%
Update: James Conner Qep
Falcons (0-2) at Seahawks (1-1) -1.0 42.0
When Bryce Young comes into the league next year, we could have 10 Heisman winners in the NFL at the same time — seven of them starting quarterbacks. Marcus Mariota would be one of them. Most of us have forgotten the speed he brings. However, Kyle Pitts (10 Tgt 4 rec 38 yds 0 TD) owners are growing impatient with Mariota as rookie Drake London (19 Tgt 13 rec 160 yds 1 TD) clearly has the upper hand in downfield looks.
Pick Poll: Seahawks 67%
Sunday Night: 49ers (1-1) at Broncos (1-1) +1.5 45.0
Fate has a way of directing our paths beyond human understanding. At one point, we were unsure of what team Jimmy Garoppolo would play for in 2022. The 49ers fortunately kept him on. It is unclear which teams had market interest in Garoppolo and to what degree. Tristi Rodriguez of Yahoo suggested this week that the Washington Commanders were one team with "major interest" in acquiring him.
Following the injury to Trey Lance early in their game against the Seahawks last week, the situation took a dramatic shift. The 49ers now have another season with Garoppolo, and if the 49ers make an assault on the division ahead of the Rams, then what do they do?
It's not going according to plan for the Broncos and Nathaniel Hackett so far. The sluggish win against the Texans last week brought more criticism than the loss in Seattle. Their Red Zone efficiency doesn't add up to fantasy points. Even when they got close on what proved to be their winning drive, a guy named Eric Saubert caught the touchdown — hooray.
We were apprehensive about declaring fantasy upsides to various players with Russell Wilson joining the team. Yes, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy are getting their share of targets, even though they are catching roughly half of them. Just like the rest of the team.
What is annoying fantasy enthusiasts is that we are seeing some strange play calling too. In particular, one play late in the third quarter with the Broncos on 3rd and a half-yard to gain. A Russ line plunge? Nope. A handoff to Javonte Williams or Melvin Gordon? Nope. A short pass to the flat? Nope. It was a low-percentage sweep to the right by a guy named Andrew Beck. Stopped for a loss — of course.
No problem, try a 54-yard field goal. Booted through clean. But there's a delay of game penalty. Denver punts. Following this debacle later in the game, the Denver crowd sarcastically started counting down the play clock in unison when the time was running down.
Denver are a blitz-heavy team so far this season. Deebo Samuel should therefore have a solid game if the Broncos continue that defensive approach for this game. If George Kittle plays, start him with confidence either way. Temper expectations for Brandon Aiyuk, however.
For the Broncos, sit Russell Wilson if possible. The fierce pass rush of the 49ers will result in multiple sacks. I can hear the crowd booing already. The best bet for fantasy joy will come from the Denver backs. Maybe Eric Saubert will catch another touchdown — no don't try it.
Fun Fact: The last time Russell Wilson escaped a game against the 49ers without a single sack was in 2017.
Sleeper: Jauan Jennings, WR, 49ers
Pick Poll: 49ers 59%
Update: George Kittle ▲ | Jerry Jeudy Qep | K.J. Hamler Qep
Monday Night: Cowboys (1-1) at Giants (2-0) -1.0 39.0
Well, if you said "no one" instead of a straight-up answer, then you would be correct. Aside from Barkley, currently among the "best owns" in fantasy, there isn't much to say for the rest. Richie James and Sterling Shepard are barely making a fantasy dent. All the Giants outside of Barkley are all basically hit and hope sleepers at this point.
The Cowboys, with their big win against the Bengals, came mostly padded by their two early touchdowns, but for the rest of the game, not a whole lot.
One thing is certain: Cooper Rush will now get the defensive microscope from all the teams facing the Cowboys until Dak Prescott is ready to return. Mike McCarthy has to act fast to keep his offense from looking too predictable.
Rush has his own benefits, which could lead the Cowboys to another victory. He has confidence in the pocket, he can run if he has to, his downfield pass-catchers are stud quality.
Fun Fact: The Giants and Cowboys meeting up after each winning their previous have a streak of beating the O/U point total six straight times. This week it is 39.
Sleeper: Noah Brown, WR, Cowboys
Pick Poll: Giants 60%
Update: Dalton Schultz Q | Kadarius Toney D | Michael Gallup Q
In the Booth on Sunday
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Chiefs at Colts: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Bengals at Jets: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Bills at Dolphins: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Texans at Bears: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Ravens at Patriots: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston
Eagles at Commanders: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Raiders at Titans: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Lions at Vikings: Brandon Gaudin, Brady Quinn
Saints at Panthers: Dan Hellie, Matt Millen
Jaguars at Chargers: Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta
Packers at Buccaneers: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Rams at Cardinals: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez
Falcons at Seahawks: Chris Myers, Robert Smith
Check out the rest of our 2022 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.