Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football Recap: Immediate takeaways from Monday's game

East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) reacts during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

  • The star running backs steal the show: Both Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott received double-digit carries and scored the game's first two touchdowns.
  • Jalen Tolbert’s quiet debut: The third-round rookie made his season debut, but only caught one pass as the Dallas Cowboys‘ third wide receiver.
  • Daniel Bellinger’s best game yet: Both teams relied on rookie tight ends, but Bellinger shined the brightest with a career-high four catches and 40 yards.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

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Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

  • Saquon Barkley: 14 carries, 81 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 receptions, 45 receiving yards
  • CeeDee Lamb: 8 receptions, 87 yards, 1 touchdown

Jalen Tolbert’s debut: Tolbert was a healthy inactive the first two weeks of the season but made his debut Monday night.

    • Michael Gallup seemed on track to play, but the Cowboys decided to have him wait one more week.
    • Undrafted rookie Dennis Houston was the Cowboys' third wide receiver first two weeks, but Dallas cut him and put him on the practice squad.
    • Tolbert emerged as the team's No. 3 receiver, although Dallas used all five wide receivers at some point in time.
    • He caught one of his two targets for four yards.
    • There is a chance he’s inactive again each week if Gallup returns next week.
    • Tolbert can be left on the waiver wire after a quiet day and because he will fall back down the depth chart next week most likely.

Dallas without Dalton Schultz: The Cowboys' star tight end suffered a sprained PCL in Week 2, leading him to miss this game. 

    • The Cowboys relied on a pair of rookies in fourth-round pick Jake Ferguson and undrafted Peyton Hendershot.
    • Ferguson played on early downs while Henderson played on third downs, as the two shared time in two tight end sets.
    • Veteran Sean McKeon was elevated off the practice squad to play in three-tight end sets.
    • Henderson caught three passes for 43 yards while Ferguson recorded an eight-yard catch.
    • Neither player should be considered in re-draft leagues if Schultz misses another game, but Hendershot is probably the better DFS play.

The Giants' ever-changing wide receiver room: The Giants wide receiver room looks very different than we thought in the preseason — and even looks different than last week.

    • Both Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson missed this game due to injury.
    • Sterling Shepard remained the Giants' lead outside wide receiver, finishing with the most snaps, routes, targets, receptions and yards on the team.
    • Richie James remained the team's slot receiver but will lose anywhere from a few to all of his snaps once Robinson is healthy again.
    • David Sills and Kenny Golladay rotated as the team’s third wide receiver. That position will become even more complicated once Toney is back.
    • Darius Slayton served as the fifth wide receiver and seems unlikely to move up the depth chart anytime soon.
    • Shepard should be on fantasy rosters in most leagues barring injury, Toney still has some upside that may or may not be reached this season, and Robinson is a waiver target in deep leagues.
    • Shepard was down on the field holding his knee on the Giants' last play of the game. It was a non-contact injury. The cart quickly came out for him to take him off the field. That will be an injury worth monitoring.
    • If Shepard misses time, that would mean more playing time for Sills, Golladay and Toney. It would increase the chances Toney can live up to his potential this season.

Keep an eye on Daniel Bellinger: The Giants' rookie tight end has slowly but surely gained more playing time.

    • Bellinger had consistently played the clear majority of snaps in every situation outside of third downs in 11 personnel over the first two weeks.
    • The Giants still used Tanner Hudson on most third downs, but Bellinger was able to play some snaps in this situation.
    • He already set a career-high in routes run before the fourth quarter started.
    • He caught four passes for 40 yards, which was more than all of the Giants' tight ends put together in the first two weeks.
    • His good game will likely lead to even more snaps. If he sees the majority of third-down snaps in the future, he would be worth having on fantasy rosters.

Table Notes

  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including 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 thrown-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.
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