Every-Thing Sports

NFL Week Three: Good, bad & ugly

Brandon Todd, panthers.com

Week three of NFL action brings us to a point in which we know who's most likely to be in the playoff picture and who's not. It's still too early to tell, but history isn't on the side of those who have losing records after three games. Let's take a look at what I observed this week:

The Good

-Panthers backup QB Kyle Allen was once on top of the football world as the best QB prospect coming out of high school in the class of 2014. He bounced from Texas A&M to UH and never realized his potential ultimately leaving UH with a year of eligibility left. Allen started opposite Kyler Murray Sunday (the same guy he once competed for playing time against at A&M, but both transferred) and went 19/26 for 261 yards and four touchdowns as starter Cam Newton missed time due to an injury. He may have just Wally Pipp'd Cam.

-Ravens vs Chiefs showed us the future of the game offensively. On one hand, Pat Mahomes did Pat Mahomes type things with his generational arm talent. Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson continues to show what an uber athletic QB looks like at the highest level. While Jackson barely completed more than 50% of his passes, he showed that guys with his skillset can survive and thrive at the NFL level. There were plays he made that 90.625% of QBs cannot make. The game ended with a 33-28 Chiefs win behind Mahomes' 374 yards on 73% completion with three touchdowns.

-Shout out to the unexpected undefeated teams left. The 49ers, Bills and Lions (albeit with a tie) are all amongst the league's eight undefeated teams remaining after three weeks. All three of these teams were expected to miss the playoffs, and/or be bottom feeders this year. Now, they're ahead of the rest of the pack. Buyer beware: they may be some of the best or worst bets over the next few weeks so proceed with caution.

The Bad

-The Jags beat the Titans 20-7 on Therusday Night Football this week for their first win of the season. Good right? No. Especially not when your best defensive player, CB Jalen Ramsey, is still insisting upon a trade and calls in sick. I'm all for NFL players using their leverage since they have the least amount of guaranteed money amongst pro athletes, but calling in sick as a football player is pretty weak.

-The Falcons fell to 1-2 in a 27-24 loss to the Colts.Despite outgaining the Colts by 18 total yards and losing the time of possession battle by about three minutes, the Falcon managed to out-penalty the Colts16 to four with a penalty yards differential of 89 yards. Committing only one turnover via a Matt Ryan interception, the Falcons simply beat themselves. Seems as if they still haven't recovered from 28-3.

-The Vikings beat the Raiders 34-14. On the surface, one would think the Vikes either greatly outgained the Raiders, caused a few more turnovers, and/or had a great desparity in time of possession. Truth be told, there was only +83 total yard advantage, +1 in tunrnover department, and +3:04 in time of possession. The Vikes killed the Raiders in the run game with a +123 yard advantage in rushing yards. Outgaining an opponent by that many rushing yards with only one extra turnover would normally amount to a much larger time of possession differential. However, that wasn't the case in this game.

The Ugly

-When you're facing 4th&9, down by four points with about nine minutes left in the game on your opponent's 40 yard line, you'd most likely call for a pass play if you're going for it, unless you think your kicker can make a 57/58 yarder. Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens decided a draw play was the best call. This is the early frontrunner for the WORST play call in the NFL this season! Highly doubt we'll get a contender for this title.

-The Dolphins have been outscored 133-16 in three games this season so far. That's being outscored on a per game basis by an average of 44.33 to 5.33 for the mathematically challenged. They're "on pace" to shatter the most points allowed record by week 14. This is a whole new level of tanking. Let's call it torpedoing.

-Giants' QB Daniel "Danny Dimes" Jones' made his NFL debut with a 32-31 win over the Bucs in Tampa. You'd think the team would have more to celebrate. Not the case when they lose stud running back Saquon Barkley for at least four to eight weeks with a high ankle sprain. This is especially hurtful to those (myself included) who picked Barkley with the first overall pick in fantasy football instead of taking Christian McCaffrey (a PPR league no less). Jones will now have to shoulder more of a burden as a rookie than was expected on a team that was already void of talent before Barkley's injury.

Week three was pretty exciting and ho-hum at the same time. We saw results we expected, and some that came from nowhere. Over the next few weeks, water will find its level in the league and we'll better be able to determine the contenders and pretenders. Remember where you heard rushing yardage differential in relation to what team wins games. This'll be my contribution to football analytics. I'm praying I can retire early, pay off my house and trust fund my kids off the money I make. Only if you guys stay tuned and I can keep you entertained.

FANTASY FOOTBALL ADD/DROPS

Week 11 working the waiver wire: Willswitch engage

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

I can't believe we're already talking about Week 11, which means the fantasy playoffs are right around the corner. This week, 4 teams won't be playing (Packers, Titans, Seahawks, and Giants) so expect this to be a fairly busy week on the waiver wire. Keep in mind the owner % mentioned is for 10-team standard ESPN PPR leagues. Some of these players below are good for the short-term, while others have more long-term value. You have to make the call on what your team needs. Immediate help to start this week, or a player to stash on your bench and hope he breaks out. Let's get started.

QB

Derek Carr: Here's what I wrote about Carr last week:

I know it's hard to trust Carr off of name value, but he's been good for fantasy. His rookie RB Josh Jacobs looks like a stud, and Tyrell Williams has been a nice addition. He also has a good o-line and a below average defense, which are both great for fantasy. He's rostered in 37% of 10-team leagues, and he has good matchups against the Bengals and Jets coming up after this Thursday's game. Caution: This week could be tough since he's playing the Chargers, but at least the game is at home and stashing him to use for Weeks 11 and 12 could pay big dividends.

Hopefully, you stashed him and can use him the next 2 weeks. In Week 10, Lamar Jackson ripped the Bengals to pieces and Daniel Jones had 4 TDs against the Jets, so fire up Carr for the next two weeks. He's currently rostered in 37% of 10-team ESPN leagues.

Kyle Allen: Allen really played well against the Packers, and I have to admit he's a better player than I thought. Before the Falcons beat the Saints this week, Allen's matchup couldn't have looked much better. Either way, he's worth using if you need a QB to fill in for the bye week. He's out there in 90% of 10-team leagues.

Nick Foles: Foles made my article last week too, and not much has changed since the Jags were on a bye, except the Colts losing to the Dolphins. Which means Foles might produce for your fantasy team in his matchup against Indy this week. He's widely available.

RB

Brian Hill: It's officially the time of year when we plug players we've never heard of into our lineups and hope for the best. The Packers had a lot of success with their ground game against the Panthers, so Hill has a shot. Devonta Freeman is banged up, so Hill looks like the guy if Freeman doesn't play. Ian Rapoport is reporting that Freeman will be out for a couple weeks, so Hill's a decent short-term play. He's available in 99% of leagues.

Derrius Guice: If Guice is ready to return from injury, he could make Peterson worthless. It's hard to know what the Redskins will do though. Maybe just stash him and see what happens. His first 2 matchups are great (Jets, Lions). If he returns and gets the majority of the touches, look out. He's only rostered in 38% of 10-team leagues.

Adrian Peterson: He's clearly more valuable in non-PPR. He has 2 great matchups, so he's worth grabbing. Also, he might have been dropped so add him if he's available. We'll see if Guice is ready to return and receive a big workload, so that could change things. We'll have to wait and see. He's owned in 55% of leagues.

J.D. McKissic: He got 16 touches against the Bears. I know you won't be thrilled to start him, but he is getting a fair amount of work. He's currently rostered in 16% of leagues.

Alexander Mattison: If Dalvin Cook goes down, he could be a league winner. He's worth stashing for sure and only owned in 20% of leagues.

WR

Will Fuller: If he's been dropped in your league, this is the time to pick him up. He has a really tough matchup against the Ravens if he plays this week, but all he needs is one big play to come through for you. He's available in 45% of 10-team leagues. *Update: He returned to practice on Monday, so he should play.

Dede Westbrook: He's another guy that might have been dropped, and Foles taking the job back from Minshew should be very good news for Westbrook. He gets the Colts and Titans over the next 2 weeks, so it could be worse. He's rostered in 59% of leagues.

DeVante Parker: I wrote about Parker last week, and although he wasn't great (5 receptions for 69 yards), he didn't kill you either. He's not a guy you want to start this week though having a brutal matchup against Tre'Davious White and the Bills. You can pick him up in 55% of leagues.

Darius Slayton: He had a huge game against the Jets on Sunday, so now is a good time to stash him. He's on a bye this week, so many owners will avoid adding him. He's out there in 83% of leagues.

Deep league dart throw:

Hunter Renfrow: With the Bengals and Jets coming up, he could be a sneaky-good flex option. Both of those defenses have been torched by WRs, and Carr is targeting him more. He's out there in 92% of leagues.

TE

Jared Cook: Upon returning from injury, Cook caught 6 balls for 74 yards. This week, he gets to play a Bucs secondary that is flat out terrible. He's owned in 74% of leagues, but add him if he's out there.

Darren Fells: Fells only caught one pass against the Jags in London, but at least it was a TD. He'll have his hands full against the Ravens this week, but Watson will continue to look for him in the red zone. He might have been dropped while the Texans had their bye week. Fells is currently owned in 26% of leagues.

O.J. Howard: If he didn't come through with some production against the Cardinals, he'd officially be dead to fantasy owners. He's still hard to trust, but the TE position is so bad this year that he deserves consideration. He plays the Saints this week, and they're a little banged up in the secondary. Rostered in 45% of leagues.

Noah Fant: I know it was just one big game (115-yards, 1TD), but there's a reason he was drafted in the 1st round, and he should continue to get targets with Emmanuel Sanders in San Francisco now. He's widely available.

DEF

The Oakland Raiders look like a team you can stream this week with a tasty matchup against the Bengals. Oakland forced Philip Rivers into 3 interceptions last week, so they're viable.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5FM. We're on every Sunday morning from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

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