Fantasy News & Analysis

Immediate fantasy football takeaways from NFL Week 3 Thursday Night Football

Houston, Texas, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard (30) is tackled by Houston Texans inside linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) after a reception during the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers defeated the Houston Texans 24-9 to kick off Week 3. D.J. Moore was the center of Carolina’s offense, but the big story was the Panthers' rookies. Chuba Hubbard saw significant playing time after a Christian McCaffrey injury while Terrace Marshall Jr. also saw an extended look.

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Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans

Carolina Panthers Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
D.J. Moore 54 35 12 1
Robby Anderson 47 32 2 0
Terrace Marshall Jr. 44 26 4 0
Brandon Zylstra 19 4 0 0
Alex Erickson 6 3 1 0
Ian Thomas 37 9 0 0
Dan Arnold 28 22 4 0
Colin Thompson 20 1 0 0
Tommy Tremble 19 7 1 1
Chuba Hubbard 40 20 5 11
Christian McCaffrey 22 10 2 7
Royce Freeman 11 4 1 5
Total 73 38 32 32
Houston Texans Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Brandin Cooks 52 31 10 1
Chris Conley 49 32 1 0
Anthony Miller 35 25 6 0
Chris Moore 2 0 0 0
Jordan Akins 34 23 5 0
Pharaoh Brown 31 9 0 0
Antony Auclair 13 0 0 0
David Johnson 21 11 0 2
Mark Ingram II 19 7 1 6
Phillip Lindsay 9 2 0 7
Rex Burkhead 8 5 1 0
Total 55 32 24 17
Table Notes
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, such as offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear throw-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

Be prepared to spend a lot of FAB on Chuba Hubbard: Christian McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury and was ruled out for the game in the middle of the second quarter. PFF's injury expert Mario Pilato expects him to miss three or more weeks, but we will likely find out the full extent of the injury in the coming days.

Hubbard was a top-five handcuff coming into the season and played in over 75% of the snaps once McCaffrey left the game. If he plays at an average-to-below-average level, he should still be a top-20 fantasy running back. He wasn’t very effective as a runner in this game, but he did gain 27 yards on three catches. There are enough by-committee backfields that any back seeing 70+% of snaps and a decent number of touches will be top 20. If he plays better than expected, his fantasy potential is even higher.

Also pickup Terrace Marshall Jr.: The second-round pick was the talk of the preseason, as he finished with the best grade among rookie wide receivers. He began the season largely only playing in 11 personnel. He was on the field for just two of 17 snaps in 12 personnel Week 1 and three of 17 in Week 2.

His playing time increased tonight, as he played even more frequently out of 12 personnel, taking significant snaps away from Robby Anderson. Marshall caught four passes to Anderson’s one. Marshall is worth picking up in case he becomes an every-down starter for Carolina. This is bad news for Anderson fantasy managers.

Monitor the Texans wide receivers: The Texans lost both Danny Amendola and Nico Collins to injury last week. Anthony Miller took over as the Texans slot receiver and caught four passes for 20 yards and a touchdown. If he’s able to maintain the slot role and a high target share, he could be worth a spot on fantasy rosters. It’s probably not worth picking him up until we see how the snaps are distributed once Amendola is back.

Avoid all tight ends from this game: Jordan Akins and Dan Arnold are mostly playing in 11 personnel. They aren’t playing much, if at all, in other personnel groups. It’s impossible to maintain top-12 fantasy value only playing in 11 personnel.

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