As week three approached, I needed a win. I needed to be a winner, not a loser. But, a foreboding hung in the air as I looked at the schedule and noticed who I was playing: my former bandmate and one of my best friends in the world. This wouldn’t be an issue if he wasn’t such a jackass when it comes to fantasy football. He always wins, and while I do well enough for myself, this week I needed to be a winner, and he always wins.
So I did the best I could. I tried to get in his head. I told him that his guys suck. That he should throw his phone off of a balcony. That his fiancee would be leaving him if he kept up with this silly habit of playing fantasy football. Did he listen? No. But, he did have Amari Cooper.
And so when our match came down to him needing nine points from Cooper, I felt relieved. I took away all threats of an ending friendship. I apologized to his fiancee for any strife I might have caused. Why? Because I don’t trust Amari Cooper, and that’s exactly why I never draft him.
The moral of the story? When it comes to fantasy football, there is no such thing as a friend. Wait, no. The moral is this: trust your gut. Unless your gut sucks. Then you should take the advice you read here (my gut is slightly above average). Here are week 3’s winners and losers.
(All point totals will be ESPN PPR)
If anyone ever wants a crash course in silly panic, just watch fantasy experts react to the first few weeks of a football season. Case in point: Josh Allen (37.22 pts). People were freaking out that the Buffalo offense wasn’t what it was last year, which was ridiculous because they are quite literally what they were last year. Allen carved up what is supposed to be a great Washington defense for five touchdowns. Expect this to continue all. year. long.
Justin Herbert (30.84 pts) has had the yardage but not the touchdowns as of yet, but in the Chargers win over KC, he did it all. The league is rich with great quarterbacks, and you should be thrilled if you roster Herbert.
I will never understand Matt Stafford (29.52 pts) being undervalued the way he was throughout the preseason. You mean to tell me that if you give an all-star talent an all-star team with an all-star coaching staff, all of the sudden he looks like an MVP? Wow. Shocking.
I wouldn’t say it to his face, but Ben Roethlisberger (13.22 pts) might be better suited sitting on the couch, drinking beer, and watching RedZone next to me than he is throwing footballs in NFL games anymore. Ben, if you’re reading this, I’m always down to play catch in the backyard at halftime. And I’ll have plenty of beers.
This one feels a little unfair, but after all the hype, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Justin Fields (3.92) had a less than stellar NFL debut.
He probably wont like it if every week winds up like this, but fantasy managers will: Najee Harris (28.2 pts) paced all running backs in week three without scoring a touchdown. He touched the ball a whole freaking 28 times. That’s 14 runs and 14 receptions. Whew. That workload can’t hold up unless the Steelers want to get him killed, so don’t expect outings like this week in and week out from Harris. Still, workload alone makes Harris an icky RB1.
The Cleveland Browns show yet again that they can absolutely sustain two fantasy relevant running backs, and this week it was Kareem Hunt (27.5 pts) who outpaced fellow back Nick Chubb. Chubb has had a slow start but is still a slam dunk RB1 while Hunt rests probably more in the middle of the RB2 pack.
Remember when people were freaking out over Ezekiel Elliott (26.6 pts) after a slow week one? Yeah, me neither. Listen, Tony Pollard is great, and honestly probably deserves a spot in more lineups, but this is Zeke’s backfield. Fire him up every week as your RB1.
Everyone though it would be Kenyan Drake’s backfield with Josh Jacobs sidelines, but Peyton Barber (23.2 pts) had other ideas. The dude was always serviceable in Tampa, and should be rostered everywhere, at least while Jacobs is out.
He may have found the end zone twice, but James Conner (18.3 pts) still wont find a spot on my starting lineup.
Well well well, if it isn’t James Robinson (25.4 pts). As someone who has shares of him all over the place, I loved what I saw in week 3 but I don’t trust it one bit. To me he is at best a FLEX play.
Hmmm. So I guess that’s it and that’s all for Ronald Jones II (1.1 pts), right? As a RoJo truther, I accept it as such, and it breaks my heart.
Call me nuts but I don’t think we’re going to get any clarity on the Baltimore rushing attack. So, who should you be starting every week with confidence? Lamar Jackson. But he’s not a running back? Yeah, I know. It sucks. It’s going to suck. But you (I) made the decisions that you (I) did and now you (I) have to live with them.
For obvious reasons I have to put Christian McCaffrey (6.0 pts) here. If it isn’t obvious, here you go. Now, don’t go spending all your FAAB in one spot now, ya hear.
And, just for fun, we’ll put Najee Harris here as well. Looks like his life is about to be busy. Busy and painful.
It’s been supposing to have happened for a long time now, and it appears that Mike Williams (33.2 pts) supposed that now was the time. Does he keep it up? I have absolutely no idea, but my gut says that for the most part, yes. He’s a high end WR2 and maybe a WR1 the rest of the way.
Another week, another Cooper Kupp (30.6 pts) bonkers fest. It’d be boring if it wasn’t so damned exciting. Oh, and for those of you with shares of Robert Woods: yes, you should be worried. I would value him as a WR3 at best moving forward.
The Buffalo Bills offensive explosion featured a crafty wideout, but it wasn’t the one we expected. I also wouldn’t expect Emmanuel Sanders (26.4 pts) to keep this up. Those of you with shares of Diggs, don’t worry about it. It’s going to be fine.
DJ Moore (20.5 pts) has to be considered a WR1 going forward. His target share is a fantasy managers dream.
Michael Pittman (13.3 pts) is also a target monster, but not quite making good on them yet. However, fantasy football is a game of opportunity, so I’m grabbing Pittman wherever I can if he is available.
Experts are starting to sneak Ja’Marr Chase (22.5 pts) into their top 20, but be very, very wary of the touchdown regression that has to be coming.
Wow, I sure hyped up Rondale Moore (2.4 pts), didn’t I? Well, I still want him on my team fully knowing that weeks like this are possible.
Want to know what I think of Amari Cooper (5.6 pts)? Check out the intro.
Oof. Robby Anderson (1.8 pts) has five catches through three weeks. Oof. This can’t keep up, but I’m not starting him until I see one good game first.
If you don’t have one of the big boys, go grab Dalton Schultz (26.0 pts) immediately. Tight end is incredibly thin, and score fluctuations are going to be drastic, but you want a guy who is capable of what we saw in week 3.
Who is Tyler Conklin (20.0 pts)? I don’t know, but I’m sure someone, somewhere, always saw this coming. Take my sarcasm as you will, but I’ll give you a hint; it’s not a ringing endorsement.
Every time I switched over to the Dolphins game (read: every time RedZone switched over to the Dolphins game) the ball was being thrown Mike Gesicki’s (18.2 pts) way. Let’s be honest; I’m not watching any Dolphins game this year unless it is foisted upon me. But, Jacoby Brissett seems to find comfort in the big man, and maybe you could too.
Jonnu Smith (1.4 pts) was a late round darling for many going into drafts, and as a member of an anemic offense, he might wind up being a late round nightmare.
Still worth rostering, it looks like Robert Tonyan (1.6 pts) is going to be a member of the cursed fringe TE1 group. Except better weeks, just know that you’re never going to know when you’ll get it.
Apparently this guy was a thing. Was this guy a thing? Cole Kmet (2.1 pts) is going to frustrate, especially given the conservative nature of the Bears passing attack, made all the more fraught by the uncertainty and instability at quarterback.
KYLE PITTS WATCH
Eventually this guy is going to be awesome. I think. But, don’t forget, Evan Engram was supposed to be a generational talent. OJ Howard was supposed to be a generational talent. Jordan Reed was, but injuries derailed his career. Listen. Fantasy experts love to get cute in the offseason. Especially at especially thin positions. And it makes sense why everyone was so hyped about Pitts. But, wow Atlanta is awful. Want to know how I know? They have built their offense around Cordarrelle freaking Patterson.