Week 3 Rankings & Must Starts
Kenyan Drake vs. DET
This is what y'all who drafted Drake have been waiting for. After two very tough matchups in Week 1 & 2 to run against (SF & WAS), we finally get to see Drake do his thing against a Lions team that just got absolutely torched by Aaron Jones (+ Jamaal Williams), after letting up over 5.0 ypc to D-Mont and Tarik Cohen in Week 1.
The Lions rank dead last in run defense per FOs and are close to it per PFF.
Drake is 5th in the NFL in carries and despite only being in on 68% of the team snaps, he ranks 3rd in total snaps because this team runs so many damn plays. They've run the 2nd most plays through two weeks with the 3rd fastest pace (neutral game scripts) in the NFL.
Josh Kelley vs. CAR
Oh boy. The Panthers fell in love with Josh Kelley faster than your boy falls in love with 5'3 curvy spanish girls. 23 carries last week.
The last time Melvin Gordon saw 23 carries for the Chargers was Week 7 of 2017.
This just makes too much sense - it'll be the chalky play across the industry for sure. After getting 23 carries against the Chiefs last week, the Chargers take on the Carolina Panthers defense. Ooouuu boy.
Kelley ranks 6th in the NFL in carries (35) right behind Drake, on a team that ranks #1 in rush attempts through two weeks (41.5 rushes/game - that's insane). He's also not a zero in the passing game - he ranks top-15 in receiving yards among RBs which was a surprise too.
Unfortunately for Ekeler owners, Kelley is also monopolizing the carries near the EZ - 3 GL carries to Ekeler's 0, and 6 10zone carries to Ekeler's 1.
I also think, for as good as Herbert looked last week, there's no way Anthony Lynn wants him to air it out. I mean he literally wanted to start Tyrod again. This is a game that feels like they're going to give their running backs another 40+ touches.
The Panthers have allowed 32.5 ppg so far - and have probably the worst run defense in the league. They let up 3 touchdowns to Jacobs in week 1 and another 3 between fournette and rojo last week.
I'd be surprised if both Kelley and Ekeler don't leave this game without at least one touchdown a piece.
**WHICH IS WHY, MY FAVORITE MKF PLAY OF THE WEEK IS**
David Montgomery @ ATL
Todd Gurley vs. CHI (RB26 vs. ECR RB16)
- Volume is king.
- But you have to at least run like a prince, not like a peasant.
- "The Falcons’ running back holds the overall RB11 usage and has turned it into RB36 production". He's been in on just 55% of the snaps through two weeks.
- The Falcons were in a commanding lead vs. the Cowboys last week, and Gurley did nothing with it. 21 carries for 63 yards.
- He got work stolen in the passing game. Work stolen near the goal-line.
- He has not forced a single missed tackle through two games and 37 touches (per PFF).
- Obviously this Bears defense is no pushover
Zack Moss vs. LAR (RB38 vs. ECR RB28)
- Popped up on injury report with toe on Wed
- With Singletary leading the duo in snaps, carries, targets, and just about every efficiency metric, there's no way you can have Moss in your lineup until we see some kind of shit in play time.
- Sure Moss has out-carried Singletary 3-0 on the GL, but he hasn't converted any of them. He's not playing well enough to command more play time - 2.8 ypc he's 2nd to last in the NFL among all RBs (> 15 carries) besides Saquon Barkley. And this is happening while the Bills have had premier game script for a thicc back like Moss to excel in fantasy.
- + there's obviously always Josh Allen here to ruin your day on the GL
Jerry Jeudy vs. TB
- No Courtland Sutton, Jeudy has been as advertised
- 21.4% target shar so far
- 15th in air yards
- Driskel is not afraid to sling it and sling it to WRs he does.
- He literally ranks #1 in air yards/attempt right now among NFL QBs
DeSean Jackson vs. CIN
- I hate that I'm putting him on this list again, but with Reagor on the IR, he's the only outside threat for Philly, against a Cincy team allowing the 7th most YPA to opposing QBs and almost 26 ppg to opposing teams.
- The problem with Philly thus far has been their o-line - it hasn't given Wentz time to let plays develop and throw downfield accurately.
- Both Geno Atkins and Mike Daniels who missed Week 2, aren't practicing yet, so there's a very real chance neither of them play in Week 3, giving them almost no pass rush - they rank 31st in pass rush per PFF right now.
- Despite that, Jackson still ranks 17th in overall targets, but 2nd in deep targets, 4th in air yards, 6th in avg target distance, but 2nd in unrealized air yards - one of these big plays are gonna hit.
- PFF has DJax with the 3rd highest advantage over his projected opposing CB right now
- I know it doesn't feel good having D-Jax out there, who's done almost nothing in these first two games, but this feels like the spot for him to get right.
Corey Davis @ MIN (WR32 vs ECR 40)
- Corey Davis with two strong outings to start the year and gets a beautiful matchup against the Vikings who have allowed the 2nd most FPs to WRs through two weeks.
- Now, AJ Brown's knee is obviously the X factor here. The bone bruise is bad news. It's probably something that's going to linger for a long time unfortunately. As of yesterday (Wednesday) AJB was not practicing still and in an interview he said he's "got to take it slow"... sounds way more likely that he doesn't play in Week 3 than does and if he does, he'd be more of a decoy and we saw what that meant for Corey Davis in Week 1.
- Davis will line up across someone named Jeff Gladney for Minnesota. Gladney's coverage grade ranks 93rd out of 108 CBs this year.
- Davis is a solid WR3/flex play. Humphries isn't terrible either but he's a 50-55% snap guy regardless of Brown playing or not - and you'll need a touchdown to make his start worthwhile.
Darius Slayton vs. SF
- Hard not to like Slayton this week, for a lot of reasons.
- San Fran is very banged up on defense without Bosa, Soloman Thomas and Richard Sherman, who Slayton likely would've seen a lot of. So while DJ has been absolutely joined at the hip in the pocket by opposing defenses during the first two weeks (PIT & CHI), SF's pressure rate should be a welcomed site for Jones.
- Now, on NYG's side of the ball Barkley and Shepard are both out, which opens up about 10 targets to the offense.
- Not only does Barkey being out open up receiving work, but you'd think they'd really a lot less on their running game given it's Devonta Freeman, Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman.
- The other thing is Golden Tate's hamstring injury man - just watching him play he seems to be far less than 100% still.
- Now, San Fran played in Metlife last week against the Jets, so I'm not sure if they flew home and then flew back which would suck, traveling cross country. Or they've simply been away from home for two weeks, working out of unfamiliar facilities, but either way, with Nick Mullens at QB, on the road as 4 point favorites, this has upset written all over it.
- Start Slayton with confidence.
Matt Stafford @ ARZ (QB11 vs. ECR QB15)
- Gets Kenny Golladay back
- While the Cardinals d has been good, DET pass-blocking line #9 per PFF, they can handle it.
- As I've talked about many times, this Arizona Cardinals team has a crazy-high pace - #2 in total plays on the year. That's the reason why the over/under is at 55.5!! Just a half point behind DAL/SEA for highest of the week.
- Stafford's also had 7 drops from his pass-catchers this year - 2nd highest number in the NFL.
- This feels like a strong game incoming from Staffy.
Deshaun Watson @ PIT
- On the road vs. PIT is brutal
- He's at best with a less than 100% Will Fuller (hammy)
- Watson's been sacked on 25% of his dropbacks, and pressured on over 37% of them, 5th highest rate in the league. His completion % while under pressure is 33% - 5th worst in the league. That's probably what happens when you don't have someone that can make contested catches and with really strong hands under pressure, like D-Hop.
- Unfortunately for Watson:
- As are most QBs, Watson is better on play-action passes, but under new play-caller Tim Kelley, they are running it at the 7th lowest rate in the NFL.
- He's going to be under pressure a lot - that's what happens when you have the highest graded pass rusher on the edge in TJ Watt and the two highest graded interior line pass rushers in Cameron Hayward and Tyson Aluala. He had a breakout in 2018 and is cementing himself as for rea lin 2020.
- You're hoping that being under pressure will lead to scrambles and we're gonna need 50-60 rushing yards and a score to make this a useful fantasy day imo.