We're still in the first four weeks of the season, and yet it seems much further along. The injury list for running backs continues to pile up. Fortunately, most are short-term, we think.
This situation is not unfamiliar to us. Fantasy involves these bumps, but the pace always seems quicker in the moment. And that's the thing: The moment.
Where is your team in the moment? Are you prepared for injury, or are you on a weekly dive for the waiver wire for your cuff? The argument for early cuffing of RBs remains as ever one of the most divisive among experts.
The flow right now should tell you that we are in an RB fragile moment. Cuff your stud RB if your situation allows it.
Good luck in Week 3.
Let me know what you think on Twitter @RRSSavill.
The 2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Preview is next.
Updated: Sep 24 8am ET
Trending: Aaron Jones IA | Christian Watson IA | Joe Burrow Qnep | Jaylen Waddle Out
Dart Record: Last week, Best Dart: Josh Reynolds | Worst Dart: Trey Palmer | Overall score: 7.65/15 (51%) Season: 44%
2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Preview
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The Games this Week2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Preview Blurbview
A brief rundown of the games this weekend. Time to set those lineups and watch 'em play.
Early Sunday: Chargers (0-2) at Vikings (0-2) -1.0 54.0
Which of these powerful offensive teams will start the season 0-3? It's a very uncomfortable situation.
The Chargers might have the worst of it, with their west coast internal clocks set at 10 am ET, but the game may not take on a tight character, and the Over/Under projection suggests this strongly.
No Timeline For Ekeler Return
The big missing piece for the Chargers is undoubtedly Austin Ekeler. His ankle injury lingers. We could see Joshua Kelley, who looked good as a complement to Ekeler in Week 1, become inert against the Titans in Week 2 with 39 yards on 13 carries.
The Vikings are looser versus the run than the Titans, so objectively, Kelley should have a better game. You can start him with the expectation of better results.
Mattison Touchdown Dependent?
Not as great an opening for Alexander Mattison as owners would hope. His carries are low, just eight last week against the Eagles, and his overall usage in the offense does not indicate a significant presence. The Chargers' defense against the run offers better for Mattison, but not much.
Naturally, this game will come down to the passing attack, and all your WRs of fantasy worth should score well. Under-the-radar types like Joshua Palmer and K.J. Osborn offer good sleeper chances. Also, the tight ends for both teams should see reasonable red-zone opportunities.
Fun Fact: This is the Chargers' first visit to U.S. Bank Stadium. They are winless against the Vikings in their last three clashes.
Dart: Joshua Palmer, WR, Chargers
Observe: Ty Chandler, RB, Vikings
Pick Poll: Vikings 57%
In the Booth: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez
Update: Austin Ekeler O |
Other Early Sunday Games in Brief...
Titans (1-1) at Browns (1-1) -3.5 39.5
Nick Chubb's season-ending injury caused a significant disruption in fantasy this week. How does Jerome Ford compare? Regardless of the circumstances, Ford's high volume of play makes him an irresistible choice for your flex, at the very least. As for the Titans, passing game options are beginning to emerge. Anticipate mostly heavy inside rushing from both sides early on, with a second-half focus on the passing game.
Dart: Treylon Burks, WR, Titans
Observe: Pierre Strong, RB, Browns
Pick Poll: Browns 61%
In the Booth: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Update: Derrick Henry Q | Amari Cooper Q | DeAndre Hopkins Qep |
Bills (1-1) at Commanders (2-0) +6.5 43.5
The Bills do not appear to have a firm grasp on their path to becoming division leaders just yet. Josh Allen sometimes gets impatient, resulting in interceptions and other mistakes. The Commanders, currently an uncertain 2-0 team, seek a win that would dispel any notion that they haven't faced strong opponents. The Bills aim to pressure Sam Howell into playing catch-up and making poor passes into coverage.
Dart: Jahan Dotson, WR, Commanders
Observe: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Bills
Pick Poll: Bills 91%
In the Booth: Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber, Matt Ryan
Update: James Cook Q | Logan Thomas O | Dawson Knox Q | Curtis Samuel Q |
2023 Fantasy Football Week 1 Blurbview
Broncos (0-2) at Dolphins (2-0) -6.5 48.0
It's remarkable how a thrilling Hail Mary pass can turn into nothing after a failed two-point conversion. Thus, the Broncos didn't find many other positives in their loss to the Commanders. Marvin Mims caught the fantasy community's attention by turning his two lone targets into 113 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins continued their successful run with a convincing win against the Patriots, allowing you to confidently start your star players on this team once again.
Dart: Marvin Mims Jr., WR, Broncos
Observe: De'Von Achane, RB, Dolphins
Pick Poll: Dolphins 96%
In the Booth: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Update: Jaylen Waddle O | Salvon Ahmed Q |
Texans (0-2) at Jaguars (1-1) -8.5 44.5
We dismissed Tank Dell of the Texans as a waiver pickup in our podcast this week, but his 10 targets are hard to ignore. The issue is the Texans' offense is inconsistent, and maintaining that level of usage doesn't seem probable. The Jaguars should handle this game convincingly, and all your fantasy Jaguars should be solid starts. If necessary, consider benching Dameon Pierce and sticking with the Houston pass catchers. Tank Dell remains a sleeper option.
Dart: Tank Dell, WR, Texans
Observe: Tank Bigsby, RB, Jaguars
Pick Poll: Jaguars 97%
In the Booth: Chris Myers, Robert Smith
Update: Zay Jones O |
Patriots (0-2) at Jets (1-1) +2.5 36.5
This is a battle of the basement, and both of these defenses are expected to yield modest fantasy points. It's the kind of game that Belichick favors. A matchup like Mac Jones versus Zach Wilson is likely to result in steady ball control and a focus on the running game. The best sleeper opportunities come from Hunter Henry, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dalvin Cook (in that order). It's advisable to bench Allen Lazard and Tyler Conklin, of course. Kendrick Bourne carries some risk as well.
Dart: Hunter Henry, TE, Patriots
Pick Poll: Patriots 54%
In the Booth: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Update: Breece Hall Q↑ | DeVante Parker Q↑ |
Falcons (2-0) at Lions (1-1) -3.0 46.5
Ridder's development as a quarterback is progressing well after the win against the Packers. He's becoming more confident in threading passes through coverage. His fantasy value, however, hasn't changed significantly yet. If the momentum continues to trend positively, be prepared to make a move on waivers next week. Start all of your relevant fantasy options, including sleepers, in this game.
Dart: Sam LaPorta, TE, Lions
Observe: Zonovan Knight, RB, Lions
Pick Poll: Lions 83%
In the Booth: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Update: Amon-Ra St. Brown Q↑ | Josh Reynolds Q | David Montgomery O |
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Colts (1-1) at Ravens (2-0) -8.0 44.0
The Ravens and their system have readily adapted to the loss of J.K. Dobbins. Their defense dismantled the Bengals and generated enough offense to secure a 2-0 start. If the Colts had a stronger running game without Jonathan Taylor, this game might be more competitive. The Ravens should overcome early struggles and, once again, secure another win. This game has a 'garbage time' atmosphere for both teams, especially for your fantasy Colts.
Note: Gardner Minshew expected to start for the Colts
Dart: Rashod Bateman, WR, Ravens
Observe: Josh Downs, WR, Colts
Pick Poll: Ravens 96%
In the Booth: Beth Mowins, James Lofton, Jay Feely
Update: Anthony Richardson O | Justice Hill O | Odell Beckham Jr. O |
Saints (2-0) at Packers (1-1) -1.5 42.5
Several fantasy players are closely watching developments with both of these teams. Keep an eye on Jordan Love, Jayden Reed, and Luke Musgrave for the Packers. On the Saints' side, the situation is currently more critical, with the backfield missing Jamaal Williams and Alvin Kamara. Tony Jones will likely be first man up in the Saints' backfield, but veteran Taysom Hill and rookie Kendre Miller should be considered the main options.
Dart: Luke Musgrave, TE, Packers
Observe: Dontayvion Wicks, WR, Packers
Pick Poll: Saints 52%
In the Booth: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Update: Aaron Jones IA | Christian Watson IA | Jamaal Williams O | Kendre Miller Q↑ |
Late Sunday: Bears (0-2) at Chiefs (1-1) -12.5 48.0
2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Preview Blurbview
The Chiefs are a different team with Travis Kelce. His presence on the football field is incredibly valuable.
To be fair, in Week 1, the Chiefs resembled many teams still trying to find their footing in the new season. Kelce was missed, but his absence helped them identify some of the issues they needed to address on offense.
Against the Jaguars, the Chiefs opted not to rely exclusively on Kelce, and Patrick Mahomes seemed determined to help Kadarius Toney rebound from his disastrous first game.
Once again, we see another Bears team that looks unfocused and incapable of sticking to a game plan. The early fantasy excitement for Fields is fading quickly, and he needs to elevate his performance to reignite it.
Facing the Chiefs, despite being a tough matchup, might be exactly what the Bears need to address their early-season challenges. It could provide them with the focus required to compete consistently.
Skyy Moore Hype Again?
Could Skyy Moore be on the verge of becoming a more valuable fantasy asset? We've been caught up in Moore's hype before, and it's tempting to get caught up in it again. However, the consistent target numbers still elude Moore. We should continue to monitor his progress.
As for Darnell Mooney, it's becoming concerning. The expectation that D.J. Moore's presence would open up his routes doesn't seem to be materializing, and his recent injury setback didn't help matters. He's also a player to keep an eye on.
This game could potentially turn into a Chiefs' dominance at home. Unfortunately, the best hope for fantasy points from your Bears may come during garbage time.
Fun Fact: The Bears have not been to Arrowhead since 2015. These teams have played seven straight Unders since 1996.
Dart: Jerick McKinnon, RB, Chiefs
Observe: Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears
Pick Poll: Chiefs 98%
In the Booth: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Update: Isiah Pacheco Qgtd | Kadarius Toney Q | Darnell Mooney Q | Richie James Jr. O |
Other Late Games in Brief...
Embed from Getty Images
2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Preview Blurbview
Panthers (0-2) at Seahawks (1-1) -6.0 42.0
The Seahawks came away with a rather specious overtime win in Detroit. The Seahawks are still in preseason mode and we have yet to see Geno Smith build on 2022. The Panthers will likely put the same type of defensive clamp on the Seahawks as they did the Saints last Monday. The opportunities will arrive through the run game and play action for the Seahawks early. The game will loosen quickly. The weapons the Seahawks have way outmatch the Panthers.
Note: Bryce Young is Out; Andy Dalton will start.
Dart: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seahawks
Observe: Jonathan Mingo, WR, Panthers
Pick Poll: Seahawks 95%
In the Booth: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Update: Bryce Young O | Miles Sanders Q↑ | DK Metcalf Qep | DeeJay Dallas Q |
Cowboys (2-0) at Cardinals (0-2) +12.5 43.0
The question is, when will the fans start heading for the exits? It might happen as early as the third quarter. The only thing of concern for your fantasy Cowboys is the possibility that they'll pull their starters early. We might see more of Rico Dowdle to preserve Tony Pollard. However, the Cardinals are likely to pass and run to stay competitive, providing plenty of garbage time opportunities.
Dart: Rico Dowdle, RB, Cowboys
Observe: Keaontay Ingram, RB, Cardinals
Pick Poll: Cowboys 98%
In the Booth: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston
Sunday Night: Steelers (1-1) at Raiders (1-1) -2.5 43.0
A curious matchup to conclude Sunday. The Steelers have been relying on their defense to cover for their offense, except when facing the 49ers. Kenny Pickett's performance is impacting the Steelers' pass catchers. While George Pickens performed well in fantasy last Monday, hauling in four catches on 10 targets, the accuracy of most throws was questionable.
A Matchup For RBs
It hasn't been a promising start for Josh Jacobs or Najee Harris. Nevertheless, the metrics suggest a favorable matchup for both running backs.
The Raiders heavily rely on their running game, especially since Davante Adams is their lone high-end wide receiver. On the other side, Jakobi Meyers falls short of filling the WR2 role.
Regarding the Steelers, a favorable matchup for Najee Harris doesn't always translate to strong production. While those who have shares of Najee might not want to hear it, he seems to take a while to get into his football groove for some reason.
This game should be tight throughout, but the Steelers will have their hands full with Jacobs and Adams. Adams always finds a way to break a long one or two every game, so the Steelers will likely need some deep action of their own.
The Steelers defense is key in this game to give Kenny Pickett a short field or score themselves. The stadium crowd will be divided between Steeler and Raider fans.
Fun Fact: The Steelers have lost their last four when visiting the Raiders since 2006. However, this is their first ever visit to Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium.
Dart: Allen Robinson, WR, Steelers
Observe: Calvin Austin III, WR, Steelers
Pick Poll: Steelers 51%
In the Booth: Mike Tirico, Chris Collinsworth
Eagles (2-0) at Buccaneers (2-0) +5.0 46.0 (7:15pm ET)
This is one of the tougher matchups on the Bucs' rather cushy schedule. Baker Mayfield's often risky decision-making hasn't harmed the team, and Mike Evans looks like the fantasy workhorse we knew. Rachaad White broke out last week against the Bears as well. The Eagles, too, are just fine, except for A.J. Brown, who seems to be the odd man out lately.
Dart: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Eagles
Observe: Sean Tucker, RB, Buccaneers
Pick Poll: Eagles 90%
In the Booth: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Update: DeVonta Smith Q | Kenneth Gainwell Q↑ | Quez Watkins O | Boston Scott O |
Rams (1-1) at Bengals (0-2) (0-1) -3.0 43.5 (8:15pm ET)
Are the Bengals using their 2022 playbook? The Browns and Ravens seemed well-prepared for them, and your fantasy stars, with few exceptions, are taking a hit. Joe Burrow's status is unknown, which just makes it worse. The Rams played the 49ers strongly in a losing effort, and their team looks quite effective on both sides of the ball. Puka Nacua filled in nicely for Cooper Kupp, and Tutu Atwell continues his rise as well.
Dart: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Browns
Observe: Jaylen Warren, RB, Steelers
Pick Poll: Browns 67%
In the Booth: Chris Fowler, Dan Orlovsky, Louis Riddick
Update: Joe Burrow Qnep | Puka Nacua Qep | Irv Smith Jr. Qnep |
In the Booth on Sunday
2023 Fantasy Football Week 3 Preview Blurbview
Patriots at Jets: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Broncos at Dolphins: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Bills at Commanders: Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber, Matt Ryan
Titans at Browns: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Colts at Ravens: Beth Mowins, James Lofton, Jay Feely
Falcons at Lions: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Saints at Packers: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Chargers at Vikings: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez
Texans at Jaguars: Chris Myers, Robert Smith
Panthers at Seahawks: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Bears at Chiefs: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Cowboys at Cardinals: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston
© 2023 Richard Savill
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