Given the ominous passage of Article 13 of the EU’s copyright directive last week, which effectively “banned memes” across numerous European nations, I feel it’s only right for us to take stock of the liberty we appreciate as Americans. Additionally, given the inauspicious future of memes as we know it, we should pay homage to the most popular artistic medium of the 20th century. Without further ado, please enjoy this special meme edition of The Presessment. Let’s get it rolling…
Jets @ Browns
Story to Watch: After a relatively explosive first two weeks of the season, we can finally exhale and settle into the putrid matchups that comprise the Thursday night games. This Jets vs. Browns bout, which should be promotionally billed as a war of attrition between “Mistake Prone Rookie” and “Systemic Organizational Ineptitude”, will be a preview of things to come concerning Thursday Night Football this season. While these shortened weeks nearly always result in ugly games, at least we have stars like Josh Gordon to salva… *checks twitter* oh… nevermind. He plays for the Patriots now because of fucking course he does. I don’t know what’s less surprising, that noted disciplinarian Hue Jackson botched this or that Belicheck was there to benefit (yet again) for next to nothing in return. The Browns seem all too willing to help other teams’ futures while simultaneously hamstringing their own. It’s a sight to behold.
Safe Bets: This matchup will have all the makings of a WW1 historical reenactment, complete with botched offensives and decision makers failing to recognize the folly of their strategy. The only person who could conceivably benefit in this spot is Jarvis Landry, who is the last man standing in what was once a star-studded receiving corps (on paper anyway). There should be plenty of action for him underneath, as the Jets Defense has been excellent at stopping the big play in the early going this year. On the other side of the field, Quincy Enunwa should resume his duties as Darnold’s safety valve and will see a healthy serving of targets.
Hope For The Best: Much to the chagrin of #CrowHoe nation, Bilal Powell seemed to take the upper hand in the Jets backfield last week. He should be heavily involved in the passing game in this one as well, which only boosts his value. As for Isaiah Crowell, well… his 35-yard performance last week doesn’t meet the criteria for posting his hype video. That said, seeing a guaranteed 10+ carries this week has value, so feel free to hop in the back of the slam sedan anyway. This is not an ideal spot for Carlos Hyde, but then again, nothing about Carlos Hyde is ideal. He’s making it count with goal line plunges so far, so if you feel good about rolling the dice there, you have my blessing. Tyrod Taylor is a very, very low end QB1 solely because of his rushing ability, but I wouldn’t bet your mortgage on him putting up 20 points against the Jets.
Hell No: It’s been an encouraging start for Sam Darnold’s career, but he’s in for a world of hurt considering that Myles Garrett will be in his face all night. Due to Robby Anderson’s greatly diminished target share this season, he needs a deep touchdown to be fantasy relevant. I just don’t see it coming in this one. Antonio Callaway was a miraculous, 4th down touchdown catch away from being irrelevant last week.
Postgame Headline: “Browns get first win in God knows how long, topple Jets 23-17”
Giants @ Texans
Story to watch: If you sunk a significant amount of draft capital to acquire Odell Beckham Jr., and chances are that you did, then you might be having a case of buyer’s remorse at the moment. It’s not that Odell isn’t worth it (he’s clearly worth the money sack emojis), but the Giants offense might be so putrid that even the most electrifying weapon in the game is rendered powerless to impact the game. If Sunday’s slopfest against the Cowboys was any indication, then Eli clearly no longer possesses the mental fortitude to hang in there and deliver the ball to his number 1 weapon, as made evident by the fourteen (!) checkdown passes to the equally squandered Saquon Barkley. Fantasy stakeholders in the Giants are in for a long season unless something changes under center.
Safe Bets: For two 0-2 franchises with explosive skill weapons, I expect this to be a desperate contest replete with both highlight plays and blown opportunities. Speaking of the former, you can reasonably expect DeAndre Hopkins to ball out against a secondary that just got roasted by Tavon Austin, who was last seen scoring touchdowns in 2016. Will Fuller has eight touchdowns in five career games with Deshaun Watson, so it’d be crazy to stop deploying him now. As ugly as things were for OBJ last week, he’s also just one week removed from going 11-111-0 on Jalen Ramsey and the vaunted Jaguars defense. The touchdown is coming. The Giants sieve-like offensive line might prevent Saquon Barkley from becoming a true rushing phenom, but god damn, how can you turn down 10+ receptions per week? As long as Eli remains more focused on retirement than first downs, the PSU rookie is a dynamite PPR play.
Hope For The Best: In a fantasy landscape marred by uncertain backfield situations, Lamar Miller is a beacon of reliable, boring hope. He’s like a ham sandwich – uninspired, but it’ll get the job done (especially with 15+ touches per week). Don’t let Evan Engram’s garbage touchdown last week fool you: it’s going to be a struggle for him this year, as it is with every Giants pass catcher. The same goes for Sterling Shepard, who seemed to benefit primarily from the Cowboys bracketing Odell deep. Look, it should’ve been clear to anyone with a functioning set of eyes that Eli Manning’s primary directive this season is to escape with his health intact so he can enjoy the golf course with his older, wealthier brother next year. The days of randomly dropping four touchdowns on teams are long gone, but with the season on the line, I like his chances against a Texans defense that just lost to Blaine Gabbert.
Hell No: Vultured goal line touchdowns notwithstanding, Alfred Blue is purely a handcuff until something changes. With Deshaun Watson rounding into form after a shaky start, I expect the sophomore QB to exclusively hone in on his two stud WRS. That means Bruce Ellington is a dart throw at best.
Postgame Headline: “Eli Manning plays it safe, terribly in failed 4th quarter comeback attempt as Giants fall 26-17.”
Steelers @ Buccaneers
Story To Watch: My main takeaways from last Sunday? The Fitzmagic Bucs can drop bombs and the Steelers Defense sucks ass. We’re in for a shootout on Monday night, which means you’re firing up basically every fantasy relevant player with confidence. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown (if he’s actually working), and JuJu Smith-Schuster should all be locked in, as should Mike Evans and Desean Jackson. With 800+ yards and 9 total touchdowns in two games, you’re obviously starting the pimped out Ryan Fitzpatrick as well. But first, a word of caution: a nationally televised marquee game coming off an amazing performance? Yea.. this is precisely the moment he typically drops Fitztragic on us. If he can deliver a 3-0 record to the fine people of Tampa Bay, though, then the journeyman QB might have earned a starting spot for good. In fact, the optics are a little better for Jameis Winston this way….
Hope For The Best: I’m 100% firing up James Conner, although the Steelers defense’s shredding at the hands of the Chiefs seriously cut into his workload last week. It looked like we had a league winner in the sophomore running back, and that may be true yet, but he needs a positive game script to truly become a volume monster. Still, anyone not named Le’veon Bell is loving his production so far…
OJ Howard scored on what could charitably be described as a shitty tackling clinic by the Eagles secondary last week. If you remove that 75 yard bomb, then you’re looking at a player with only five targets on the season. Still, given that Travis Kelce just demolished this very defense, the second year player has a good chance at a touchdown. On the Steelers side, Jesse James is firmly back on the TE1 radar with his breakout performance last week.
Hell No: The Fitzmagic offense relies upon DGAF bombs to athletically freakish receivers and seemingly ignores the running game entirely, so Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers are firm no-gos. Last time I checked, Cameron Brate is still in shitsville™.
Postgame Headline: Steelers survive Fitzpatricks’ air raid in 36-31 thriller.
Cowboys @ Seahawks
Safe Bets: While they had the added benefit of straight murking the statuesque Eli Manning for target practice last week, the Dallas defense is still better than advertised. That said, I’m expecting a big game from Russell Wilson in a must-win spot. The Seahawks offense is a steaming pile, but it’s Russ’ steaming pile. Offensive line struggles notwithstanding, he’ll string together at least three ugly touchdowns to people you’ve never heard of. Speaking of the offensive line, Dallas’ front unit is a shell of their former selves. Still, with even a marginal push from the hogs up front, Ezekial Elliott should run through the Seattle defense like shit through a goose. It hasn’t been easy so far, but Zeke had a relatively clear path to a touchdown in the redzone last week, which should be music to his owners ears…
Hope For The Best: This is… more of an all or nothing matchup, to put it mildly. The talent is spread too thin between these teams to make any recommendation with a straight face, but Tyler Lockett should see his share of targets so long as Doug Baldwin is still sidelined. To that end, Dak Prescott figures manage the game competently enough to engineer a few scoring drives, although I think this will be more of a Zeke game. Last but not least, I’m gonna send my man Will Dissly back out there. So what if it was a garbage time touchdown? This guy is part of the offense and should be treated as one of Russell Wilson’s choice red zone weapons.
Hell No: If you want roll the dice on Tavon Austin, be my guest. There wouldn’t be sucker bets if people didn’t bet on them to begin with, I guess. Where the hell has Allen Hurns been? Brandon Marshall has an opportunity for career revival, but he’s looking like a touchdown-dependent option in this offense. Rashad Penny’s arrival last week trumpeted the official timeshare between himelf and Chris Carson. I’m avoiding both until somebody takes the reigns.
Postgame Headline: Wilson’s touchdowns keep season alive as Seahawks outlast Cowboys 23-19
Bills @ Vikings
Safe Bets: With the Bills opening as a college football-esque 17-point underdog, I really don’t want to spend too much time covering this massacre. That said, I simply have to take a moment to honor Vontae Davis’ halftime retirement last week. It’s one thing to recognize the futility of a mission and quitting with your health and pride intact, but it’s another thing entirely to do it during halftime of an actual NFL game. I’m not sure if he realized at the time, but Vontae managed to live the dream of every disgruntled employee in corporate America. Scarface would approve…
Oh, as for the starts: Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs. The only concern here is that the game could be out of hand before another Bills defender gets a chance to retire.
Hope For The Best: Dalvin Cook, Kyle Rudolph, and hey, what the hell, Laquon Treadwell
Hell No: Literally every goddamn Bills player.
Postgame Headline: “Kirk Cousins, Mike Zimmer prosecuted for roles in televised snuff film as Vikings demolish Bills 33-16”
Colts @ Eagles
Story To Watch: The people of Philadelphia aren’t exactly known for their piety, but Carson Wentz’s miraculous return may just make believers of us all. While Nick Foles’ status as a Philly Legend is secure, the offense under his stead has more closely resembled a constipated tortoise than the well-oiled, innovative unit it was a season ago. Assuming he’s back to 100% (hell, even 80%), the Eagles offense should be ready to soar once again with Wentz at the helm. Prayers up for the devout destroyer from North Dakota.
Safe Bets: While Eagles fans the world over are rejoicing about Carson Wentz’s blessed return, nobody should be more grateful than Zach Ertz. He languished with Foles under center, but the presumptive top three tight end should be back on track now. Unless Alshon Jeffery has an astonishing recovery, Nelson Agholor gets a bump as well. 16 catches in two games is nothing to sneeze at, and his targets should be presumably be more valuable with the right guy back under center. As for the Colts, the only player I truly feel great about is TY Hilton. The Eagles’ secondary has been positively roasted to open the season, and Hilton has the juice to blow the top off of the safeties here.
Hope For The Best: I made it pretty clear how happy I was to see Andrew Luck healthy again, but I would manage your expectations here. Yes, the Birds just got their shit packed in by Ryan Fitzpatrick, but this unit has proven to be a different animal at home. 240-2-2 seems like a reasonable line. If Jay Ajayi is indeed inactive, be it his sore back or apparently geratric knee condition, then this is Corey Clement’s time to shine. He is so reliable in the red zone that it’s a wonder why the Eagles don’t incorporate him more between the 20s. Now he gets his chance. I wish I could explain it rationally, but I can’t shake the image of Jack Doyle picking up chunk gains all afternoon. That said, Eric Ebron will once again get the glory in the red zone.
Hell No: I’m not sure what’s going on with Darren Sproles’ hamstring, but suffice to say that time is not on his side. Like nearly every other running back who’s faced off against Fletcher Cox and company over the past 14 months or so, Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins can all collectively take a hike.
Postgame Headline: “Wentz shakes off the rust as Eagles handle Colts 30-21”
Niners @ Chiefs
Story To Watch: Look, I wouldn’t be worth my salt as an unpaid, amateur fantasy analyst with zero job prospects if I didn’t own up to my mistakes, so allow me to formally take a fat L concerning Patrick Mahomes. While I didn’t outright proclaim I was down on him prior to Week 1, I didn’t exactly advocate for the sophomore QB either. Welp, two games and 10 touchdowns later and here we are. The hottest trend in the NFL is stacking your roster with superior playmakers thanks to a dynamic quarterback on rookie-scale salary, and this competitive advantage is manifested perfectly with the Chiefs. It’s no different in fantasy, and chances are if you sunk a high draft pick into Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, the rest of your lineup is suffering for it. If you waited on Mahomes, though, just do us all a favor and gloat in private.
Safe Bets: On the off chance that you possess the reading comprehension of a preschooler, I’m telling you to start the shit out of Pat Mahomes this week. The 49ers defense hasn’t kept anyone honest to date, so it should be open season for versatile touchdown pimp Tyreek Hill as well. After a week one scare, Travis Kelce firmly reestablished his position in the TE1 overall race last week, tallying over 100 yards and two scores against the Steelers. The sky’s the limit in this offense. The rave reviews end on the that side of the ball, however, as the KC defense is comically exploitable. That means Jimmy Garoppolo should be able to aggressively attack the Chiefs’ secondary like it’s the “Milf” category on PornHub.
Hope For The Best: I’m always going to start Kareem Hunt, but this team will find itself in shootouts early and often throughout the season. Factor in Andy Reid’s historic allergy to committing to the run game, and the 2nd year back will have to score his points through the air more often than not. The San Francisco running back rotation is an ever-evolving game of musical chairs, but Matt Breida appears to have the upper hand after last week. Alfred Morris is a fine play as well, but bear in mind that you’ll consistently get it wrong if you happen to own both players. George Kittle was a major letdown last week, but that’s mostly due to his quarterback spreading the wealth like a communist factory owner. It’s hard to be optimistic with this “everybody eats, but nobody eats a lot” Soviet approach, but I see a bounce back game for the tight end. I can’t strongly recommend either Pierre Garcon or a healthy Marquise Goodwin until we see where Jimmy G’s loyalties lie, but I’d give the edge to Goodwin if he’s out there. In a game that figures to be high scoring, I’m even cautiously recommending Sammy Watkins. If you know anything about me, then you know it was extremely difficult for me to type that sentence.
Hell No: There isn’t a whole lot to dislike here, but what the hell… I’m calling Garret Celek a touchdown-based fluke.
Postgame Headline: Jimmy G, Niners come up empty as time expires in 33-27 loss to the Chiefs.
Titans @ Jaguars
Story To Watch: There was a stat on twitter which claimed that in the four career games that Leonard Fournette has missed, the Jaguars are 4-0 and the offense has averaged 30+ points per contest. I would have never guessed that the bruising running back stifled offensive innovation to such a staggering degree, but the fact remains that the Jaguars are significantly more explosive when Len takes the day off. Whether this revelation signals a sea change for the offensive coordinator remains to be seen, but you should be pushing this agenda as much as possible to the Fournette owners in your league. And if you happen to get approached for a trade from a frustrated owner of the LSU phenom? Sheeeeit, just follow Clay Davis’ airtight advice…
Safe Bets: So yes, I see a return to prominence coming for Leonard Fournette. While divisional battles are often tightly contested, the Jaguars should be firmly in control against a Titans team whose best quarterback might just be a special teams safety. Provided he’s healthy, Lenny is in for a healthy workload. Keelan Cole is looking like the real deal, punctuating a spectacular day with the early frontrunner for catch of the year. With him in tow, the Jags aren’t missing a beat without Allen Robinson. It’s hard to trust any Titan here, but I see some ppr upside for Dion Lewis in an uphill battle. Plenty of checkdowns incoming.
Hope For The Best: We’ve seen that before from Blake Bortles, but it’s time for the BFG to sit you down and extoll some life lessons. This guy only shows up when he has too, and even then it’s a dodgy proposition to rely on him. For fantasy purposes, he’s a low end QB1 in a game that should be easily dominated by the Jaguars defense. Speaking of which, I wouldn’t go hog wild with Corey Davis in this matchup. As if the Jacksonville secondary was enough to deal with, there’s the not insignificant consideration that Blaine Gabbert could potentially be throwing the ball. On that note, I don’t know what the hell to make of Marcus Mariota, do you? I mercifully cut ties with him before last week, but if you still own him, well… look for better options. I’m over the moon about Dede Westbrook, but echoing the sentiments above about a “clock controlled game”, I’m not sure he’ll be racking up the targets like he was against the Patriots.
Hell No: Derrick Henry hasn’t showed me a damn thing, and it should be clear by now that he needs a 60+ yard run to enhance a stat line that’s even mildly respectable. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is looking like a touchdown or bust play to me. But hey, what else is new at tight end?
Postgame Headline: “Jaguars stifle woeful Titans in 23-10 game of keep away”
Bears @ Cardinals
Safe Bets: It’s more than a little disconcerting that Jordan Howard wasn’t featured more during Monday night’s win over the Seahawks, although Matt Nagy recently said he “probably needs a few more carries”. Yea… probably, Matt. I expect the Bears to lean heavily on the running back against the shit ass Cardinals. Trey Burton still isn’t setting the world on fire for Chicago, but we’ll take him popping his touchdown cherry last week. Things can only get better as he develops more of a rapport with his young quarterback. We all know that David Johnson is incredibly talented, but the Cardinals seem intent on using the dynamic, pass-catching halfback as more of a battering ram in the Jerome Bettis mold. Mike McCoy said they planned to use the recently paid Johnson in interesting ways this season, but the carry distribution chart says otherwise. Here’s hoping that the Cardinals have a moment of clarity this week regarding their underutilized Ferrari.
Hope For The Best: At the risk of rousing the ire of legions of drunken Chicago denizens, I have to ask this question: Are we sure Mitchell Trubisky is good? He doesn’t seem to fully grasp what’s happening out there, but then again, maybe the coaching staff isn’t optimizing his strength of only looking in one direction. In any event, his goal line scrambling ability keeps him marginally startable in 2QB leagues. Allen Robinson came alive last week, hauling in ten catches for 83 yards against the Seahawks. The sledding will be tougher against Patrick Peterson, but he’s clearly the preferred option in this offense. Larry Fitzgerald is the only reasonable option in the Cardinals’ dumpster fire of a passing attack, and even then he’s a dodgy play. The Bears defense is putting the league on notice, but Larry Legend could scrape together WR3 numbers in PPR leagues.
Hell No: I’m sure Sam Bradford has a sense of professional pride or some bullshit like that, but if he could take a page out of Vontae Davis’ book at halftime this week… that would be great. Until the NFL’s master of wage theft walks his gimpy legs off into the sunset, the Cardinals offense will continue to be stuck in the mud. Through the transitive property of sucking ass, Sam’s target Ricky Seals-Jones is another hard pass against the Bears defense.
Postgame Headline: “Bears avoid pitfalls of trap game, handle Cardinals in 24-16 win.”
Saints @ Falcons
Safe Bets: Let’s take a moment to crown the new king of fantasy WRs, Michael Thomas. He’s a bad man, and with the Saints seemingly incapable of effectively running the ball until Mark Ingram returns, Big Mike figures to be the focal point of the New Orleans passing attack. Let the good times roll. Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara are no-brainers as well, as is Julio Jones, who thankfully is well versed in making an impact without scoring touchdowns. It’s a tale as old as time – ball in the red zone, freakishly athletic Adonis lined up on the outside, and the Falcons run an unnecessarily complicated crossing route to Tevin Coleman that gets stuffed at the three yard line. You would think OC Steve Sarkisian would’ve come to his senses by now, but I wouldn’t hold your breath….
Hope For The Best: If you take away an uncharacteristic pair of rushing scores, it would’ve been a familiar performance for Matt Ryan. He played very well, but the fantasy upside is hard to count on for some reason. Still, he’s a nice play in this one. While the Falcons were previously barreling towards a full 50-50 split in the backfield, Tevin Coleman is a strong play now that Devonta Freeman is sidelined for several weeks.
Hell No: He has decent usage, but I don’t see Austin Hooper as anything more than a touchdown dart throw. He’ll randomly have a 90+ yard game here and there, but he’s not a focal point of the offense. Mike Gilislee is used for little more than the occasional third and short in this offense, and his employment run could be coming to an end when Ingram returns.
Postgame Headline: “Ryan, Julio look the part as Falcons win 27-23 thriller in the dome”
Raiders @ Dolphins
Story to watch: I’ve already devoted about 5,000 words to more interesting matchups, so let me channel my inner Phil Leotardo and tell ya a couple of three things about this game…
- Forget Frank Gore
- Forget Devante Parker who goes over to Miami and we never hear from again
- Forget Jalen Richard. Four fuckin’ franchises in the AFC west, and then we got this pygmy thing over in Oakland.
(I may or may not have just rewatched the entirety of the Sopranos for the 13th time.)
Safe Bets: Amari Cooper (Yea I said it!), Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill
Hope For The Best: Kenyon Drake, Kenny Stills, Jared Cook, Marshawn Lynch, Martavis Bryant
Hell No: Those guys I mentioned above during my terrible attempt at a comedy bit, Doug Martin, Seth Roberts.
Postgame Headline: “Undefeated Dolphins hold out against Raiders in 24-20 win”
Chargers @ Rams
Story To Watch: Ahh, the late games. They generally kick off at a time of day when you should be settling in for a nice, hot meal, enhanced by the soundtrack of the calming breeze gently rustling the golden leaves of autumn outside. It should be a time of reflection – the moment when, after a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend, you can take stock of your personal and professional life and meditate on the upcoming tasks and opportunities in front of you. It has potential to be the most rewarding moment of your week, but… it’s not. You know why? Because you’re down 138.17-119.8 and all you have left is Phillip Rivers against your opponent’s kicker. Instead of winding down the weekend and enjoying the company of loved ones like a sane person, we choose to bounce off the walls like guests of a state-run asylum. We do this voluntarily, too! Sometimes I wonder if fantasy is even worth it…
Safe Bets: Despite the crippling anxiety you’ll be unnecessarily experiencing thanks to a fake game you play against office coworkers, this matchup is definitely the good shit. Todd Gurley – the once and future fantasy king – will obviously be a green light, as will his counterpart Melvin Gordon. Unless Alvin Kamara makes a push, these two will be battling for RB1 overall honors this season. Jared Goff is another plus start, as the Chargers Defense allowed nearly 300 yards to Josh Allen last week.
Hope For The Best: It’s a bit like fantasy roulette when it comes to the Rams Wide Reciever corps, but Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks are both firmly featured at this point. Kupp gets the plus for the redzone touchdown potential, but Cooks is mere inches away from busting that 190 yard, two touchdown game he flashes from time to time. The only reason Keenan Allen isn’t higher is because he’s facing off against the Rams’ cornerback trio of doom, but he’s still in for some healthy volume. The proud owner of perhaps the least intimidating name in football, Austin Ekeler needs to be taken seriously in all formats. He’s more than a backup for Mel Gordon, as he’s been heavily featured in the passing game for the Chargers. Mike Williams is starting to look like that dude in the red zone. Rivers clearly loves him, and he has the strength to haul in the 50/50 balls in traffic.
Hell No: The emergence of Williams makes Antonio Gates’ red zone role precarious at best. I love the guy, but this is a difficult matchup for him. I feel similarly about Robert Woods, who might be the odd man out if Brandin Cooks finally gets rolling.
Postgame Headline: “The Chargers take Sean McVay down to size in 33-31 comeback over the Rams”
Bengals @ Panthers
Safe Bets: For a game that should be about as pretty as a Miss East Germany contest, I’m oddly excited for this matchup. While Joe Mixon was cruelly taken from us last weekend, Giovanni Bernard has a golden opportunity to prove his worth for the… *checks career games started* fifteenth time. He’s definitely worth starting on volume alone, but I doubt he does more than just keep The Criminal’s seat warm until he’s out on medical parole. Cam Newton did the damn thing last week, totaling three scores in a near comeback win. Cam’s performances are always an ebb and flow, but I see this one falling in the 16-19 point range. Christian Mccaffrey is deadly between the 20s, and we have to consider him a PPR God at this point. He’s finally going to augment those wild reception totals with a score this week. On the other side of the ball, Andy Dalton had a surprising-as-shit four touchdown outing against the Ravens last week. I don’t think you can expect an encore, but the Red Rocket and AJ Green are certainly partying like it’s 2013.
Hope For The Best: It speaks volumes that the most reliable receiver for the Panthers is an undersized Caucasian running back, but Cam Newton might have some target diversity now that DJ Moore had his coming out party last week. The Panthers drafted him for a reason, and he clearly needs to be more involved going forward. Look on the bright side with Tyler Eifert so far – his back and/or knee hasn’t died yet. He’ll be more involved in the game plan when AJ Green doesn’t have three touchdowns in the first half.
Hell No: You can’t trust CJ Anderson with a healthy McCaffrey. While Tyler Boyd burst onto the 2018 scene with 91 yards and a score last week, he’s not a fixture in the offense quite yet. I’d be stashing him until his role is solidified.
Postgame Headline: “Feline fracas ends with Panthers on top, 26-24”
Packers @ Redskins
Safe bets: While Jamaal Williams’ two game run as bellcow wasn’t the shortest audition by any means, the Packers should nonetheless be ecstatic about Aaron Jones’ Week 3 return. I’m throwing caution to the wind and starting him right out the gate. Aaron Rodgers proved last week that he only needs one fully functional leg to zip the ball 40+ yards, so he should continue to shine unless he’s forced to miss action again. That means Davante Adams is back in business as the default weapon for AR, as is Jim Graham, who turned back the clock with a 6-95-0 performance. If you know anything about Graham the past few years, then I shouldn’t have to tell you that 6-95-0 is the polar opposite of his typical outing. We’ll take it. Chris Thompson is doing his best impression of an RB1 in the early goings this season, and I don’t see why he would let up in this matchup.
Hope For The best: Adrian Peterson has acquitted himself very well through two games this season, but it’s clearly not a sustainable pace for the aged maroon Jesus. He’s a volume based RB2 who’s slowly but surely losing his volume. Alex Smith has been a serviceable fantasy quarterback through the first two weeks, but now the Redskins will find out if they got what they paid for in the traditionally timid quarterback. For what it’s worth, Jay Gruden himself claims that the team is better off with the reserved Smith than they were with the departed, more aggressive Kirk Cousins. Ummm…
Since we’re throwing darts, a healthy Jordan Reed is a safer bet than most at the tight end position. I think he hits paydirt in what should be an entertaining game. If you’re looking for touchdown upside, Geronimo Allison has emerged as Rodgers’ de facto #2 option.
Hell No: The gravy train is over for Jamaal Williams. Mike McCarthy has never been a model of logic and consistency, but chances are the packers will ride the hot hand with Jones. Similarly, it feels like Randall Cobb is losing ground in this offense.
Postgame Headline: “Rodgers gives the Redskins a what for in 27-21 slugfest”
Cut For Time: Patriots/ Lions, Ravens/Bengals