Steelers @ 49ers
Safe Bets: Finally healthy and with an innovative coaching staff around him, Jimmy GQ figures to deliver once again for early investors and streamers alike. Kyle Shanahan’s offense seems to have some unique intricacies, with the Niners’ signal caller with a proclivity for pornstar retirees being the most significant beneficiary. Another three-score performance is well within reach against a Steelers unit that can’t seem to tackle lately. A lot of (foolish) fake football players are shockingly ready to cut bait on George Kittle after just two weeks. The man is two negated touchdowns away from being a top three tight end right now, so to those who are ready to sell, I can only offer this meme that I fortuitously discovered on a black twitter thread…
I’m not ready to totally check out on the Steelers, but this isn’t the matchup you want to hitch your wagon to if you’re banking on a turnaround for the black and yellow. That said, Juju Smith-Schuster should start developing a love connection with Mason Rudolph sooner rather than later.
Hope For The Best: There’s no denying that Matt Brieda has the goods, but with Jeff Wilson poaching goal line scores and Raheem Mostert inexplicably scoring from 30+ yards out, the upside is capped for the presumed #1 back in this high powered offense. Deebo Samuel is a guy who’s worth a look after his breakout last week, especially since Dante Pettis seems to have punched his (one way) ticket to Shitsville™.
It’s becoming painfully obvious that James Conner benefitted mightily last season from the presence of a certain demented lunatic keeping secondaries honest and off the line of scrimmage. The situation isn’t going to improve against a San Francisco defense that appears to mean business. You need to hope for a goal line plunge. If you’re looking for a dart throw, Vance McDonald looks like both a security blanket and preferred red zone option in the Steelers new reality, and James Washington is a de facto #2 option for an offense that will need sling the pigskin often.
Hell No: I drastically overpaid for Mason Rudolph during waivers this week (like, by $20). Time will tell if I’m a moron or an idiot savant, but this isn’t the matchup to determine the soundness of this particular investment. Avoid and then buy low next week. If you’ve followed this blog in the past, then you know I’m a huge fan of the grim criefer. That is why it pains me to write that Donte Moncrief just caught the 3:10 to Shitsville™.
Postgame Headline: “Niners, Kittle keep the gravy train rolling with 27-23 win over spiraling Steelers.”
Bengals @ Bills
Safe Bets: One of the great joys of fantasy is you can 100% appreciate a player despite his very tangible faults in the actual game of football. The poster boy for this was Josh Allen last season, who masked his wildly inaccurate outings with padded rushing starts thanks to college-style jet sweeps and 10+ yard scrambles every possession. While he’s kept the crazy legs going, Allen has improved as a passer and appears to be maturing before our very eyes. There a few players I’m more excited about in Week 3 than White Cam against an embarrassing Bengals defense
Blowouts mean opportunity, however, and it has been a knocking for John Ross. The NFL’s leading receiver through two weeks (you read that right) should have ample opportunities as the Bengals once again find themselves trailing and forced to throw. His speedster counterpart on Buffalo, John Brown, is set up for a nice day, and he certainly owes us after falling short in his blow up spot against the putrid Giants a week ago.
Hope For the Best: If you’re new to this blog, then you need to get acquainted with my unadulterated love for Joe Mixon. I’d be willing to bet that there isn’t a single person out there who is more down with The Criminal than The BFG, which is why his atrocious start pains me so. Things won’t be easier for Money Makin’ Mix this week, but I have to believe this is his 2019 breakout. Tyler Boyd will give you his standard bullshit of 6 catches for 76 yards and zero scores. I’m not completely opposed to sending Zombie Frank Gore out there, especially with Devin Singletary potentially sitting this game out. When the Bengals are losing, Andy Dalton owners are winning. This is a brutal matchup for the Red Rifle, but 260-2-1 isn’t outside of the realm of possibility, either.
Hell No: If the criminal is active, then I can’t in good conscience recommend Gio Bernard. I definitely can’t recommend Tyler Eifert, but that’s simply because he’s always one leg plant away from his patellar tendon exploding.
Postgame Headline: “Bills continue hot start in 24-17 stampede over Bengals.”
Dolphins @ Cowboys
Story To Watch: As a native son of Philadelphia, I’m always game for a nice tank. However, there’s a difference between a calculated rebuilding effort and whatever the hell is going on in Miami right now. There’s no denying that the fish are accumulating an impressive amount of draft capital over the next two seasons, but in a league where fortunes can change in a single offseason (what other professional league has as many worst-to-first division winners?), making it an untenable situation for the remaining star-level players doesn’t feel like the most sound strategy. When a majority of the roster is acting out the most recent spongebob meme, it’s time to take a hard look in the mirror…
Safe Bets: Since I’ve already outed myself as a piece of shit Eagles fan, there’s no sense in being bashful about my reaction to Dak Prescott’s red hot start to the 2019 season (read: I can’t stand it.) Much to my chagrin, the good times should keep rolling for soon-to-be-wealthy Prescott and the revamped Cowboys offense. With Michael Gallup sidelined, Amari Cooper shouldn’t have an issue exploding on an already putrid Miami secondary that is now without Minkah Fitzpatrick. Watching fantasy grim reaper Zeke Elliott barreling to second level would be a demoralizing sight for any group of defenders, and that goes double for a Dolphins unit that stopped giving a shit approximately 13 days ago. I’m not saying this will be the most lopsided game of the season (we already have serious contenders for that), but I expect the game script to go something like this…
Hope For The Best: With the promising Michael Gallup in the infirmary, it’s Devin Smith’s turn to shine. He’s a solid option with long TD upside if you’re in a pinch. If you’re streaming tight ends, you could do worse than the ageless Jason Witten. The Cowboys seem to be intentionally targeting a tidy line of 4-15-1 every game for the veteran, but those plodding goal line walk-ins pay the bills all the same.
Hell No: Tony Pollard, and literally every goddamn Dolphin player
Postgame Headline: “Cowboys go to 3-0 as Zeke, Dak sauté fish in 34-10 romp.”
Bears @ Redskins
Safe Bets: It’s very difficult to recommend anyone in this matchup straight out of 1946, but judging how easy it was for the aged Emmanuel Sanders to roast the Bears secondary last week, spring chicken Terry McLaurin should continue his amazing start to his career on Sunday. While Scary Terry shouldn’t have too many issues getting open, Allen Robinson II will have his work cut out for him against Josh Norman – or will he? The typically solid Norman got straight barbecued against Dallas, and while Mitch Trubisky certainly isn’t Dak Prescott, Allen Robinson is at the top of his game and should be looking to rebound after getting bottled up by Chris Harris and the Broncos last week. I think he crosses the century mark and should and should have a shot at hitting paydirt.
Hope For The Best: The only thing Adrian Peterson has going for him is a pursuit of the touchdown record books, but sometimes that’s enough motivation to kick it into an extra gear. Just a week after being a surprise inactive during the opener, AP struck back with a goal line score against the Cowboys on Sunday. It appears he took being inactive personally, which is surprising considering that Peterson should be well versed in administering scratches without consent. Things are finally looking up for David Montgomery, and now the summer darling has a chance to live up to his lofty ADP now that his workload is catching up to expectations.
Hell No: I’m getting serious Blake Bortles vibes from Mitchell Trubisky. The preseason longshot MVP candidate is floundering faster than you can say “Shitsville”, which is exactly where he should be in your fantasy league. Surprisingly, career journeyman Case Keenum has been bringing home the bacon this season, but I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole against Khalil Mack and company.
Postgame Headline: Redskins nab first win of season in 20-16 snoozer on Monday Night
Lions @ Eagles
Story To Watch: In case you only tuned in for the thrilling finish of Sunday Night’s battle between the Eagles and Falcons, you might be under the impression that Ronald Darby is actually good. This notion is resoundingly false, as the veteran was routinely targeted like a wounded baby gazelle. He theoretically could’ve given up three touchdowns on the night, and it’s fair to wonder if other teams will use Matt Ryan’s targeted approach as a blueprint to embarrass the habitually terrible Eagles secondary going forward. While there have been low points in the past, Ronald Darby and company seem to be going out of their way to do their best Abe Simpson impression this season…
Safe Bets: When it comes to the first quarter, Doug Pederson and his Christian Cadre of Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz seemingly avoid the endzone like it’s full of harlots performing a satanic ritual. Whatever the case may be, the Eagles are diametrically opposed to scoring in the opening stanza of games, but they’ll have to remedy that if they want a chance to win on Sunday. The decimated WR corps would suggest the birds took part in Pickett’s Charge instead of a football last week, so Zach Ertz should return to his TE1 overall ways as the primary option against the Lions.
I’m not typically in the business of recommending Matt Stafford, but against an Eagles Defense that made Case Keenum look like Aaron Rodgers, I’m willing to give #9 the start. The same goes for Ken Golladay and TJ Hockenson, who should find plenty of gaps against Philadelphia’s porous secondary.
Hope For The Best: While Nelson Agholor may have let the game slip through his fingertips last weekend, there’s no reason he should slip through your lineup if you’re need of a WR2 with upside. I’m not fully convinced JJ Arcega-Whiteside is ready for the limelight, and week without practice reps won’t help get the Spaniard up to speed any faster. Unfortunately, until #Jaccpot and Alshon return, the Eagles’ aerial options lie precariously in the greased up fingertips of Nellie boy.
I’ve been rightfully harsh regarding my Eagles’ defense so far, but they’re still able to stop the run very effectively. So, while Kerryon Johnson may get some targets out the backfield this week, you need to temper expectations for his production on the ground.
Hell No: There is a palpable push on Philadelphia sports radio to get Jordan Howard more touches, but until Pederson and Duce Staley get the memo, he’s a bench stash. The same goes for the disappointing Miles Sanders and unpredictable Darren Sproles, as you’d have an easier time winning at roulette than predicting who will lead the Eagles backfield in touches this weekend.
Postgame Headline: Injury riddled Eagles survive 22-20 despite clipped wings.
Panthers @ Cardinals
Story To Watch: There are plenty of comparisons one could’ve made while watching the depressing unraveling of Cam Newton’s abilities on national television last week : Watching your uncle dying, seeing your favorite dog limping with the embarrassing post-op cone of shame on its head, the list goes on. But for me, scrolling through twitter after Cam airmailed ball after ball to open receivers down the seam was like reading messages from ill-fated players in Dark Souls. The litany of “I can’t take this” and “Misery ahead” styled tweets reminded me of bashing my head against the wall in the famously difficult video game, and with Cam currently in a walking boot, there appears to be no end in sight. Only time will tell if the former MVP can recapture some of his 2015 magic, but signs are not encouraging. Here’s an idea: maybe spend a little less time shopping for bonnets and a little more time in the cryotherapy chamber?
Safe Bets: Living Legend Larry Fitzgerald is off to his best start in nearly fourteen (!) years, and in Kliff Kingsbury’s spread offense, the ageless wonder shows no signs of letting up. Much like Clint Eastwood in The Mule, the veteran is going to keep going until someone makes him stop. I’m similarly high on Christian Kirk this week, who should see roughly 10 targets once again. Christian McCaffrey was bottled up against a surprisingly stout Tampa Bay defense last Thursday, but the Panthers will have no choice to feature the phenom back now that Cam Newton is sidelined. The TD opportunities may be scant, but you can’t beat the volume. In a matchup in which Arizona finally has a chance to play with the lead, David Johnson should have his best game of the season.
Hope For the Best: Signs point to Kyler Murray having a strong outing this week, but I don’t think he blows the doors off. We need to see some more touchdowns for him to warrant start consideration beyond 2QB formats. While there’s no denying that Cam was overthrowing his receivers by multiple counties last week, his absence will be a tough blow for DJ Moore. The targets will likely go down, and Curtis Samuel and Greg Olsen take a hit as well with Kyle Allen under center.
Hell No: While the matchup is somewhat appealing, there are better ways to light money on fire than by starting Kyle Allen on the road.
Postgame Headline: Cardinals send reeling Panthers to 0-3 start after 24-16 win in the desert.
Patriots @ Jets
Safe Bets: Much like bellbottoms and full bush, Le’veon Bell is a throwback. If someone told me a running back was going to handle the ball for 30+ times a game in an incredibly lopsided loss, I would think that would mean we’re in the year 1997. If the Jets couldn’t manage to hit paydirt against the above ground pool that is the Cleveland Browns, then a matchup with Bill Belicheck and company is sure to be a snuff film. But hey, Bell’s healthy (despite Adam Gase’s campaign to remedy that), and the man sure as shit pays the bills in PPR formats.
Obviously you’re giving a look to Tom Brady, especially when the Jets voluntarily bench the remaining good players on their decimated defense. The wizened vet shouldn’t have an issue going for 250+ yard and three scores, with Antonio Brown being the primary beneficiary. That is, of course, if he’s active. While you may find AB to be stable, well-adjusted member of society with nothing but the best intentions, the commissioner’s office may feel differently now that yet another complaint has been levied against the mercurial wideout. Mr. Goodell’s exempt list is only a phone call away…
Hope For The Best: I get it, it’s hard to quit Josh Gordon. It’s something you’re born with, honestly – if you got him, you start him. Hell, I’m doing it, but you gotta at least be honest with yourself and understand that this is not a wise decision. Target share, routes, depth chart position, a large number of mouths to feed – everything is pointing towards yet another dud for Flash. Go ahead and start him anyway like yours truly, the obsessed moron, but you’ve been warned.
Sony Michel should see another effective if uninspired outing against a team that will be proper fucked by the middle of the second quarter. Rex Burkhead and James White also offer decent flex upside, but good luck picking which one gets the touchdown opportunity. This is finally the week we get a Bob Anderson deep score during garbage time.
Hell No: With Le’veon operating as the security valve for human ritual sacrifice Luke Falk, the days of Jamison Crowder seeing double digit targets might be a thing of the past. You can keep him on the pine, along with Demaryius Thomas and anybody else with the misfortune of donning a Jets jersey on Sunday.
Postgame Headline: Virgin Jets get pounded by Chad Patriots in 29-13 rout
Ravens @ Chiefs
Story To Watch: Look, you must be in serious need of validation if you require a longform post about this matchup. It’s Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson, so I trust you can figure this out on your own. If you’re daft, I’m saying you need to start everyone…
Safe Bets: Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Sam Watkins, Travis Kelce, Hollywood Brown, Demarcus Robinson, Mark Andrews
Hope For The Best: Mark Ingram, Mecole Hardman, Lesean McCoy
Hell No: I’ve got nothing.
Postgame Headline: Ravens can’t keep up as Mahomes, Chiefs set pace in 41-29 shootout
Broncos @ Packers
Story To Watch: Aaron Rodgers is no stranger to incompetence flooding through his helmet’s headset before every snap, and at least until this point, he’s been able to overcome it due to his obscene talent. It’s fair to ask if Matt LaFleur is finally a bridge too far, though. Rodgers came out firing against the Vikings last week, going 8-9 with and a couple scores on the first two drives. And then, wouldn’t you know it, the packers suddenly stopped throwing the ball downfield. If I was a woke, blue-checked political personality on twitter, this is where I’d do the “ THIS. ISN’T. HARD” comment bookended by hands clapping emojis.
Instead, LaFluer can’t seem to get out his own way, needlessly complicating the gameplan when he has perhaps one of the five most talented quarterbacks of all time at his disposal. It’s almost as if hiring the offensive coordinator from the glacially paced Tennessee Titans was a bad fit for head coach. He obviously nailed his interview, but based on what I’ve seen from the inconsistent packers so far, there’s a good chance it went something like this…
Safe Bets: Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams
Hope For The Best: Emmanuel Sanders. I’d love to put Aaron Jones in the previous category, but since we’ve established that LaFleur won’t let us have nice things, Jamal Williams will probably lead the backfield in touches this week. Good luck correctly picking between Phil Lindsay or Royce Freeman in this matchup – it’s going to come down to whoever scores the unlikely goal line plunge.
Hell No: Joe Flacco. You never go Joe Flacco.
Postgame Headline: Packers survive yet another late charge in ugly 23-17 affair.
That’s it for this week. Enjoy the games, and here’s to a profitable Week 3.