What have we learned through three weeks of the NFL Season? Well, for one, it seems like if I lose faith in a player for this column, they’re about to go off. We’ll review Week 3 in a minute but take that with a grain of salt as I try to reverse the trend in Week 4. The NFL season is young, still, and we’re all trying to make our way through it. These weekly posts are a guide based on how I’m feeling heading into the week but don’t be afraid to trust your gut as well. Now, let’s look back on Week 3.
For transparency purposes, we’ll measure quarterbacks and tight ends against Top 12 finishes (QB1 and TE1), and we’ll measure running backs and wide receivers against Top 24 finishes (RB1-2, WR1-2). All finishes come from Fantasy Pros PPR scoring leaders lists found here.
QB: Daniel Jones QB20, Miss. After two great weeks, Jones got the Atlanta Falcons and was…. just OK. He also lost two of his best receivers.
RB: Saquon Barkley RB9, Hit. Barkley began to look like the Barkley of old on Sunday.
WR: Cooper Kupp WR3, Hit. Kupp has been incredible to start the season.
TE: Rob Gronkowski TE17, Miss. Gronk’s rib injury certainly didn’t help my call.
Start Record: 2-2
QB: Baker Mayfield, QB18 Hit. Mayfield was better than I expected, but he was still just OK.
RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB18, Miss. CEH got a lot of work on Sunday, and though his team lost, he returned RB2 value.
WR: Odell Beckham, Jr., WR29, Hit. I thought OBJ would be good, but not great. He was better than expected but still just a WR3.
TE: Hunter Henry TE18, Hit. Henry is OK, but he’s not a big part of the Patriots’ passing attack.
Sit Record: 3-1
Start: Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
About: Carr has started the season red-hot. He’s thrown for more than 1,200 yards in three games, averaging more than 400 yards and two touchdowns per game. That has him sitting at QB9 for the season. I don’t see that stopping in Week 4 as the undefeated Raiders battle the Los Angeles Chargers. I have Carr as QB10, and I expect him to have another strong week.
Sit: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
About: Big Ben hasn’t looked right all season. In fact, it seemed like he was struggling to end 2020, too. The Steelers finished the season 1-4 and looked flat in the playoffs. This season, the Steelers are 1-2 and could easily be 0-3. The offensive line has struggled, and Ben has made some careless mistakes. He’s sitting as QB26. Even in Superflex, he hasn’t been a reliable start. I’m not sure a matchup in Green Bay makes that any better. He’s on the bench for me.
Start: Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
About: Yes, the offensive line for the Steelers is terrible. And the matchup with the Green Bay Packers isn’t ideal, but Harris was the top rookie taken in the draft for a reason. Harris only has 123 yards on 40 carries in three games, but he’s also caught 20 passes on 27 targets for 149 yards. It’s the passing work that keeps him here for me. He’s RB6 on the season, and I think he’ll put up low-end RB1 or high-end RB2 numbers this week.
Sit: Damien Harris, New England Patriots
About: Harris is RB37 for the season. He’s had some flashes of production, and he seems to be one of the last men standing with Rhamondre Stevenson playing a reduced role and James White out for the season. But the Patriots’ offense isn’t that great, and we’re not getting consistent value from Harris. That doesn’t feel likely to change with a matchup against the fierce front for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Start: Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
About: When Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi came in, he suggested Williams would be used similarly to how Michael Thomas was used in New Orleans. So far, that’s proven incredibly accurate. Williams has seen 31 targets, catching 22 for 295 yards and four TDs. He’s currently WR2 through three weeks, and I don’t see that slowing down in what figures to be a high-scoring battle with the Chargers on Monday Night Football.
Sit: Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
About: I get it, Johnson has talent, and Ben Roethlisberger tends to feed him. But if you read my comments above, you know I’m not high on Big Ben and the passing game this week. Add to that the fact that Johnson is banged up—having missed the game last week—and I’m staying away.
Start: Noah Fant, Denver Broncos
About: Fant is one of the better young tight ends and will be even more in demand this week as the Broncos lost receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler, leaving them thin among pass catchers. We’ve seen the Ravens vulnerable to tight ends, as Darren Waller had 19 targets, catching 10 for 105 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Fant is TE11 on the season and has been heavily targeted in a few games. I think he’ll be a big part of the attack in Week 4.
Sit: Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers
About: Ebron is a talented tight end who finished as TE14 for 2020, catching 56 passes for 558 yards and five touchdowns. The hope was Ebron would provide some value at tight end, but this season he’s seen just seven targets, catching a single pass for 19 yards. Rookie Pat Freiermuth, meanwhile, has seen 10 targets, catching eight for 82 yards and a touchdown. It looks like Ebron’s time has passed in Pittsburgh.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton network.