Sunday Scaries: Week 3

Week 2 Update:

Tom Brady Vs. Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers finished QB17, Brady finished as QB28. Textbook W.

Justin Jefferson vs. AJ Brown +4 Points. Brown finished as WR39, but Jefferson finished as WR47. Didn't need the juice for this W.

Travis Etienne Jr. Vs. Cam Akers +1.5 Points. Once again, Etienne was a disappointment. Akers didn't need the juice, but there's no confidence starting either RB moving forward.


Click here to read Week 2's takes.


Running Season Record: 4-2


Week 3 Matchups:


Rashod Bateman vs. DeVonta Smith +1.5

On the season, Rashod Bateman looks like he's capable of replacing Marquise "Hollywood" Brown's upside. Bateman is the WR16 in points per game and 13th in receiving yards despite only earning 12 targets so far this season. The targets and usage for Bateman are what should concern Bateman managers. Bateman has only played 63.5% of snaps through the first two games-- not a trend typical of a team's #1 Wide Receiver.

As for DeVonta Smith, he's only earned one fewer target than Bateman on the season. And, after a goose egg in week 1, bounced back nicely to put up 7-80 against a Minnesota defense that also limited AJ Brown to the WR39 finish on the week. Unlike Bateman, Smith plays nearly every snap and still only earns an 18% target share. It's clear that the ceiling is capped for DeVonta Smith with the presence of AJ Brown and Dallas Goedert run through the Jalen Hurts-centric offense.

Final Pick: DeVonta Smith +1.5. Lamar Jackson's elbow + New England's stingy defense in Foxborough makes me lean for the higher game total where Philadelphia & Washington could get into a shootout in our nation's captiol.


Drake London vs. Kyle Pitts +1

The matchup in Seattle against the Seahawks may look like a juicy one on the outside, but there's more that meets the eye for both of these Atlanta pass catchers.

Drake London had a 48% target share in Week 2 in the near upset of the Los Angeles Rams. He finished with 20.6 fantasy points, good for Wr9 on the week. The first round pick of 2022 has started off strong, averaging 15.2 fantasy points and almost cracking the top-12 of Wide Receivers in receiving yards through the first two weeks. He does face a tough matchup against Mike Jackson in Week 3. Jackson has only allowed 37 yards on 7 targets through the first two weeks when lining up against Courtland Sutton and Brandon Aiyuk. Tariq Woolen, the other perimeter corner, has only allowed 37 receiving yards as well on 8 total targets through the first two weeks, when facing off against Sutton and Deebo Samuel. Perhaps London can buck the trend.

Kyle Pitts, however, is coming off back-to-back games of only 2.9 fantasy points. The problem for Pitts is both pass attempt volume and target share ceiling. Marcus Mariota is 24th among all QBs in pass attempts so far this season-- bottom 25%. Even when Pitts earned 20%+ of his teams' targets, he finished with single-digit fantasy points eight of eleven times. Pitts may have an advantage over linebacker Cody Barton, but unless he's hyper-targeted, the former 4th overall pick in the 2021 rookie draft isn't worth the juice.

Final Pick: Drake London. This is a tough one, as both players seemingly have their issues in this matchup. It's hard, however, to ignore a player coming off a nearly 50% target share.


Garrett Wilson +2.5 Vs. Tee Higgins

The top waiver priority for Week 3, Garrett Wison leads all Wide Receivers, not just rookies, in RedZone targets. That's despite only playing 54.5% of snaps through the first two weeks. Corey Davis is reportedly dealing with a knee issue stemming from Wednesday's practice and is questionable leading up to Week 3, which may lead to increased playing time for Garrett Wilson. Even in the limited playing time, Wilson has been crushing-- A 32% target share isn't something Joe Flacco and the rest of the Jets can just ignore.

Higgins bounced back from Week 1's concussion-shortened contest to amass 10 targets while going 6-71-1 against the Dallas Cowboys. He's full-go for a good matchup against the Jets corners. Amari Cooper was able to feast against Sauce Gardner in Week 2, finishing 9-101-1 on 10 targets. The question for Higgins is actually whether Joe Burrow will get enough protection from his offensive line to allow routes to develop. The Jets have one of the higher pressure rates in the league, so this matchup feels boom-bust.

Final Pick: Tee Higgins. There's a risk that this pick backfires if Corey Davis doesn't play, but it's hard to bet against Higgins who always comes to play.


You can follow me on Twitter @FFStalder for more!


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