Fantasy Football Today: Toughest lineup decisions for every Week 3 game; TNF recap with Nick Chubb in charge – CBS Sports

  • September 24, 2022

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To paraphrase Heath Cummings, regardless of what the injury report might make you think, we’re prepping for Week 3 here, not Week 13. There are just so many things to keep in mind as you get set for Week 3, with plenty of big names at every position affected. 
Which means that, try as we might, we can’t tell you who to start and sit with certainty just yet. I have the latest on every injury you need to know about in today’s newsletter, along with the toughest lineup decisions for every game on the schedule, but you’re surely going to have more questions than we can answer here. That’s the nature of the game right now. 
So, send any questions you might have my way at [email protected] with the subject line “#AskFFT” and they’ll get included in my Sunday morning mailbag. Plus, you can catch our YouTube stream Sunday morning at 11:30 EDT where Adam Aizer, Frankl Stampfl and I will be answering all of your lineup questions. 
Get ready for Week 3 with all of our preview content here:  
And here’s what the rest of today’s newsletter has in store to help you get ready for Week 3:
There’s something to watch in every game on the NFL schedule every week, even if you have to squint to see it sometimes. Here’s a look ahead at every Week 3 game, with some notes on what Vegas is expecting to see, some lineup help and one thing to watch for from each game:
All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
These look like two of the worst offenses in the league right now, with the Bears looking especially tragic because of how shockingly conservative they’ve been — they have the only two games by any team with fewer than 20 pass attempts through two weeks. It just hasn’t been a functional offense so far, and it’s made it impossible to trust Cole Kmet or Darnell Mooney. I’m still viewing Kmet as a low-end TE1 for this week, while Mooney is a WR3, but if they aren’t heavily featured against this matchup, it might be time to give up hope. 
Injuries: Brevin Jordan (ankle, DNP) and Velus Jones Jr. (hamstring, LP) are the only injuries of note here, and neither should be in your Week 3 plans. Jones Jr. is worth keeping an eye on, but there are better options to stash in 12-team leagues. 
The Titans badly need Derrick Henry to look like his pre-injury self, because they are averaging just 3.3 yards per carry so far. We haven’t seen that classic big run from Henry yet, but I’m not giving up on him — I’m concerned, but not panicking. However, this offense needs him to start looking like himself or they need Treylon Burks and Robert Woods to step up and start making plays after the catch like A.J. Brown used to. If not, their season could be over soon. 

The Colts looked absolutely awful in Week 2, racking up just 218 yards from scrimmage in a shutout loss to the Jaguars. Michael Pittman might be really important to this offense — or maybe this just isn’t a good offense? It’s at least worth considering that possibility — the Colts had 517 yards against the Texans, but also ran 90 offensive plays and scored 20 points. If they don’t figure things out, the Chiefs could run away with this one rather handily. 
Coming off the most exhilarating victory for the franchise since the days of Ronnie Brown and the Wildcat, the Dolphins face arguably the toughest test in the league. The Bills defense has five interceptions and nine sacks to just one touchdown allowed, with the second-most QB hits and the most tackles for a loss in the league. They’re allowing a league-best 3.6 yards per play. If Tua Tagovailoa struggles this week, well, that might just be what the Bills defense does to everyone. But if he shines again, then this Miami offense really might be something special. 
The Lions have been ripping off a jaw-dropping 7.2 yards per carry through two games, in large part thanks to D’Andre Swift‘s big-play ability. The Vikings have struggled to stop the run through two games, so expect to see a lot of Swift and Jamaal Williams this week to try to keep Justin Jefferson and the Vikings’ newly pass-heavy offense off the field. 
The Patriots offense is one of the five I’m most worried about so far, as I wrote in Wednesday’s newsletter. Reports out of training camp indicated that this offense was a mess, and nothing we’ve seen so far should make us feel any better about it. We have a frustrating RB split with no clear-cut passing downs back and a receiving corps with no real playmakers down the field — with a QB who hasn’t shown much ability to make plays beyond what is there. This might just be a bad offense. 
The Jets rank 28th in pressure rate and have just three sacks through two games, and that’s been the Bengals biggest issue so far. Teams are rushing four and dropping seven into coverage with two-safety looks over the top, and Joe Burrow has been befuddled. He’s been holding the ball too long but hasn’t been getting the big-play opportunities that drove this offense last season. If that remains a trend against the Jets, there is going to be some panic here. 
Both of the quarterbacks here are playing incredibly well right now, but it’s a lot easier for me to buy into Jalen Hurts than Carson Wentz — I hope that goes without saying. Wentz has averaged 8.6 yards per attempt when not pressured, compared to a 3.9 yard mark when pressured, per PFF, and the Lions and Jaguars were both bottom-eight in terms of pass rush grade last season — the Eagles were top five, again, per PFF. The pass volume and solid playmakers make Wentz a decent option, but don’t be surprised if he flops. It’s coming. 
Jameis Winston looked like the Buccaneers version of himself in Week 2, and there are pros and cons to that. Winston has always had a big arm and a willingness to chuck the ball down the field, but he’s also earned his erratic reputation — since 2017, he ranks 35th out of 45 qualifiers in completion percentage on passes 20-plus yards down the field. I was happy to see the Saints be willing to let him rip after they were weirdly conservative with him last season — and it could make Chris Olave especially valuable if he remains the primary downfield option — but there are downsides to letting Jameis be Jameis, as we saw last week.  
I’m surprised that the line is this close, and I wonder if it might not creep up if and when it becomes clear Justin Herbert will play. The Jaguars have been feisty, and their offense especially looks much-improved — Christian Kirk has been big enough for the moment as the No. 1 option, and Trevor Lawrence‘s bad-throw rate has dropped from 20.5% to 13%. Still, the Chargers should be able to handle this one as long as Herbert is healthy. 
If it weren’t for Kyler Murray‘s individual brilliance and some good luck on a late fumble, the Cardinals would be staring down 0-3 against arguably their toughest divisional opponent. Murray is off to a rough start as a passer, however, averaging 5.7 yards per attempt with a 3.6% touchdown rate. I’m willing to continue to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he might really be missing DeAndre Hopkins and Kirk. Still, you’d like to see him take a leap at some point. 
The Seahawks were dead last in the NFL in offensive plays run at 56.1 last season, and they’ve been even more low volume so far this season, having run a league-low 96 snaps — 48 per game. That pace probably won’t sustain, but this is a team that wants to play slow, clock-control football and they’re probably not going to be good at picking up first downs consistently, so I think they’re the favorite to run the fewest snaps. Seeing as it seems like they have both a split backfield and no real hierarchy between Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, this looks like an offense to avoid, even in good matchups. 
Maybe the weirdest thing about Week 3 is that the game with Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers playing quarterback has the same over/under as the game with Marcus Mariota and Geno Smith. And I can’t even necessarily disagree with it — the Buccaneers receiving corps is a mess due to injuries, while the Packers receiving corps is a mess seemingly by choice. These teams seem like they’re comfortable being pretty run heavy while they figure things out, and their defenses should both be excellent. The individual brilliance of two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time may be enough to overcome it, but it’s no surprise the O/U is so low. 
The Broncos have scored just 32 points through two games, and the passing game has been pretty feast-or-famine — their nine completions of 20 or more yards is the second-most in the league, but Russell Wilson has completed just 59% of his passes overall. If you’re wondering why this offense has been a disappointment, that — and their 0-for-6 start on touchdowns in the red zone — is why. But that’s also reason to have faith they’ll figure it out. 
The over/under in this game is one of the lowest of the week, and it makes sense: The Cowboys have their backup quarterback in and the Giants, well … they’ve still got Daniel Jones
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