Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 3 Recap: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from Sunday's games

2RXC754 Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball ahead of Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II (2) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

• The Miami Dolphins offense is unstoppable: Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane scored four touchdowns each as the Dolphins put up 70 points against the Denver Broncos.

Justin Jefferson and Tyreek Hill continue their historic seasons: Both wide receivers combined for 300 yards and two touchdowns as they both continue their quest to be the first 2,000-yard receiver.

• Dominate your fantasy league in 2023: For up-to-date fantasy draft rankings and projections, check out PFF’s fantasy rankings tool!

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2023.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns

  • Jerome Ford: 10 carries, 18 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 receptions, 33 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
  • Amari Cooper: 7 receptions, 116 yards, 1 touchdown

Jerome Ford takes over the Browns backfield: Nick Chubb suffered season-ending injuries on Monday Night Football, leading Ford to become the Browns' lead back.

  • His usage was exactly what fantasy managers wanted, as he played the majority of snaps on early and third downs while also taking the one goalline opportunity. 
  • He wasn’t all that effective running with the ball, but it was against a strong Titans run defense. We can expect better rushing performances from him going forward.
  • Kareem Hunt, who was signed earlier in the week, was the primary backup. He was reportedly on a snap count for this game.
  • The former Patriot Pierre Strong Jr. was also involved, but five of his eight snaps occurred within the last five minutes while Cleveland maintained a 24-point lead.
  • There is a chance Hunt cuts a little into Ford’s playing time more in the future, but Ford should still be a weekly starter in fantasy football.
  • The Browns have several difficult matchups in the near future and some relatively easy ones late in the season. Ford might be a good buy-low target if he experiences a bad game in the next week or two.

Tyjae Spears leads the Titans backfield in snaps: The Titans were playing from behind for the entire game, leading their passing-down back to play more snaps.

  • Spears didn’t see many touches considering his playing time. He caught four passes for three yards and recorded four carries for six yards.
  • Two of those carries occurred on the last two meaningless plays of the game.
  • Henry wasn’t any more effective as a ball carrier, running 11 times for 20 yards.
  • The former All-Pro hasn’t been nearly as effective this season and will be turning 30 years old before the end of the season.
  • It’s certainly possible Spears starts to see more playing time as the season progresses, so he should be considered a waiver wire target.

DeAndre Hopkins remains limited: Hopkins went from a full participant in practice on Wednesday to limited on Thursday, and he didn’t participate on Friday.

  • Hopkins didn’t practice at all the previous week. He was used mostly in 11 personnel in Week 2 and rarely in Week 3.
  • The Titans stayed in 11 personnel for most of this game while they were playing from behind, so he was just rotated out in 11 personnel more frequently than usual.
  • That didn’t stop him from leading the team in targets with seven, bringing in three of those passes for 48 yards.
  • The combination of the Titans’ offense in general mixed with Hopkins’ injury are reasons to be concerned about Hopkins over the rest of the season. It’s fine to consider benching him if you have alternative options until he’s able to practice more.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Titans wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine led the Titans in routes run but didn’t see a single target.
  • Chigoziem Okonkwo is still seeing the playing time necessary to be a fantasy starting tight end, but he’s not seeing the same target share as last season and the offense isn’t playing well enough.

Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens

  • Zack Moss: 30 carries, 122 yards; 2 receptions, 23 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
  • Michael Pittman Jr.: 9 receptions, 77 receiving yards

Gus Edwards starts with Justice Hill out: Hill didn’t practice all week due to a foot injury and was inactive for this game.

  • To no surprise, Edwards was the primary running back on early downs. He ran the ball 10 times for 49 yards.
  • Both Melvin Gordon III and Kenyan Drake were brought up from the practice squad for this game. Gordon was with the team throughout the preseason while Drake was on the team last season.
  • It was a little surprising to see Edwards as the primary passing-down back considering he averages one catch every three games, but the increase in routes run didn’t lead to any additional targets.
  • Edwards went to the blue medical tent in the fourth quarter and didn’t return, presumably due to a concussion.
  • Gordon took over as the primary running back over the rest of the game.
  • Hill’s injury isn’t expected to be serious. He’s the best long-term fantasy option in the backfield. Gordon is also worth a waiver wire target in case both Hill and Edwards can’t play next week.

The Ravens use two wide receivers to replace Odell Beckham Jr.: Both Rashod Bateman and Nelson Agholor played more snaps this week.

  • Beckham didn’t practice all week due to an ankle injury.
  • Devin Duvernay was also on the injury report due to a shoulder injury, which could have contributed to his relatively low snap total.
  • Aghlor played more than Bateman in 11 personnel while Bateman played more than Agholor in most other personnel groupings.
  • This makes it seem unlikely that Bateman has a path to being an every-down player this season considering how much the Ravens will rotate receivers not named Zay Flowers.

Zack Moss continues to dominate the Colts backfield: He played over 60 offensive snaps for the second straight week.

  • Deon Jackson was the primary backup for Indianapolis last week, but he didn’t play an offensive snap and was cut a few days ago.
  • Trey Sermon was added to the active roster from the practice squad and overtook Jake Funk as the primary backup running back.
  • Moss has historically been an early-down running back only, so it wasn’t surprising to see Sermon taking half of the snaps on third down.
  • It wouldn’t be surprising to see Sermon take more snaps on third downs and potentially the two-minute drill snaps going forward.
  • Even if this happens, Moss will remain a weekly fantasy starter. The only thing likely to stop him now is Jonathan Taylor’s return to the team.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Isaiah Likely’s playing time has slowly but surely declined with Mark Andrews closer to 100% now compared to the start of the season. Also, the Ravens trusting their wide receivers more this season.
  • The Colts were the healthiest they’ve been since the start of Week 1 with Kylen Granson and Andrew Ogletree both healthy. Granson barely played over 50% of offensive snaps, and they are still expecting the return of Jelani Woods soon.

Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions


Jahmyr Gibbs role increases without David Montgomery: The first-round rookie set career highs in carries (17) and rushing yards (80)

  • Last week after Montgomery left with injury, it seemed like Gibbs would remain the receiving back while Craig Reynolds could see significant work on early downs.
  • Instead, Gibbs took over as the primary running back on early downs while Reynolds played in most passing situations.
  • Zonovan Knight was called up from the practice squad to serve as the third running back, which also led to playing time.
  • This role should help Gibbs play on a consistent basis from one week to another while Montgomery is out, but it will hurt his ceiling.
  • It will also be interesting how snaps will be distributed once Montgomery is back, considering Montgomery had been the early down back in Week 2 and Gibbs the receiving back.

Kyle Pitts continues to underwhelm fantasy managers: This game seemed to be the perfect situation for Pitts to succeed, but he was still held under 50 receiving yards.

  • He ran a route on 42 of 47 pass plays which is excellent and was targeted on 21.4% of pass plays. That target rate isn’t elite, but still typically good enough for fantasy starters.
  • He only brought in five of his nine targets for 41 yards.
  • The problem is his average depth of target is too high so he’s not getting short passes and making the most after the catch. Those passes are going to Jonnu Smith.
  • His 12.0 average depth of target is a full yard higher than any other tight end this season.
  • None of the incomplete passes thrown his way were catchable.
  • Pitts is still among the top-10 fantasy tight ends in receiving yards so he’s still a fantasy starter going forward, but he probably won’t reach his potential without improved quarterback play.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson wasn’t on the injury report to start the week, but later showed up with a thigh injury and was ultimately inactive for a third-straight game.
  • The Falcons running backs were used the same way they have the first two weeks, but because Atlanta was in a lot more passing situations, Bijan Robinson outsnapped Tyler Allgeier significantly.
  • Lions tight end Sam LaPorta has 18 career receptions, the most for a rookie tight end over the first three weeks in the PFF era. The next best is 13.
  • Josh Reynolds had been a waiver wire target and he still received plenty of playing time, but he wasn’t targeted on any of his 25 pass routes.

New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers

Kendre Miller makes his NFL debut: Jamaal Williams was placed on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury, which allowed Miller to see significant opportunities in his debut.

  • Veteran Tony Jones Jr. made the start for New Orleans and was essentially the passing down back and secondary option on early downs while Miller played significantly on early downs.
  • Similarly to previous weeks, there were also plays where Taysom Hill was involved in the run game, and third downs where fullback Adam Prentice was on the field.
  • Alvin Kamara’s three-game suspension has now come to an end, and he will likely take all of the passing-down work and most of the early-down work.
  • Miller should still play a lot of early-down snaps but probably not enough to be relevant for fantasy managers unless Kamara is off to a slow start or suffers an injury.

A.J. Dillon underwhelms again with Aaron Jones out: Jones missed his second-straight game, but that wasn’t enough to make Dillon worth starting in fantasy leagues.

  • Dillon ran the ball 11 times and gained 33 yards on those carries. He also didn’t receive a target.
  • Patrick Taylor played a larger role this week because the Packers needed to pass the ball frequently throughout the second half.
  • Taylor played the goalline snaps, but they all came on the same drive where Green Bay stayed in passing situations and still needed to preserve the clock. Dillon likely would have been the goalline back if they simply wanted to run it in for a touchdown.
  • Dillon is at the point where he can be dropped in some leagues. He’s not a fantasy starter when Jones is healthy and hasn’t been while Jones has been out.

Add the Packers' young receivers: Christian Watson missed his third-straight game while other young receivers stepped out.

  • Romeo Doubs was finally healthy enough to play a relatively normal amount of offensive snaps for Green Bay. This allowed him to reach double-digit targets and lead the team in receiving yards.
  • Jayden Reed continues to make big plays from the slot, catching three passes for 63 yards, which set a new career high in receiving yards.
  • Rookie tight end Luke Musgrave continues to play the vast majority of offensive snaps, and he caught six of eight targets for 49 yards. He was the target on what would have been a deep touchdown had it not been for a poor throw.
  • While their target shares will likely all decline somewhat once Watson and Aaron Jones are healthy, they should also improve as the season progresses.
  • All three players should be among the top waiver wire targets at their respective positions.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Derek Carr left the game in the third quarter due to a shoulder injury and was quickly ruled out.
  • Once Jameis Winston entered the game, he only threw to three players. Michael Thomas achieved a 43.8% target rate, Chris Olave finished at 31.3% and Juwan Johnson put together a 23.1% on a sample of 15 passes.
  • The Saints didn’t have Foster Moreau due to an ankle injury and ironically, Juwan Johnson played few snaps. Jimmy Graham also scored a touchdown that Johnson probably would have scored if Graham wasn’t on the roster.

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Multiple wide receivers step up without Zay Jones: Jones didn’t practice all week due to a knee injury.

  • Christian Kirk played nearly all of Jones’ snaps in 12 personnel. Kirk had seen a decrease in snaps in 12 personnel this season with the addition of Calvin Ridley in the first two weeks.
  • He was off to a slow start with one reception over the first three quarters, but then he caught three passes in the fourth quarter, including his touchdown.
  • Jamal Agnew was the primary replacement for Jones in 11 personnel, with Tim Jones also playing more snaps than usual.
  • If Jones misses another game, it will give Kirk another opportunity to be a must-start wide receiver, but his value will dip again once Jones returns.

Tank Dell is the Texans' top wide receiver: Dell lead the team in targets for a second straight week.

  • Dell played the clear majority of the available snaps in most situations for the second straight week.
  • The main reason he played a lower percentage of snaps this week compared to last is that the Texans had a large lead and ran seven plays out of 22 personnel. John Metchie III was the wide receiver in that personnel grouping, and the Texans ran the ball every time.
  • Metchie and Collins typically split snaps in two receiver sets while Robert Woods stayed on the field so again, the reason Woods played more than the other receivers had more to do with his run blocking.
  • Dell was arguably the top waiver target among wide receivers last season after his breakout game, and he will likely take that title for a second straight week.
  • The only concern is if the Houston Texans wide receivers rotate even more once Noah Brown is healthy or once they trust John Metchie III more, but ideally, that rotation doesn’t come at the expense of Dell.

Buy low on Dameon Pierce: Devin Singletary led the Texans in receiving yards, but this was mostly due to work in garbage time.

  • The Texans running back rotation was relatively similar to the last two weeks.
  • The main difference has been who is playing on passing downs. It was Mike Boone in Week 1, but he was inactive in Week 2, leading to Devin Singletary and Dare Ogunbowale taking those snaps.
  • This week, Ogunobale was the healthy inactive, leading to Boone playing a few snaps on third downs again. 
  • Singletary only ran the ball twice over the first three quarters. Six of his carries occurred in the last seven minutes while Houston maintained a 17-point lead, which the Texans extended to 20 points.
  • Houston was still without starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil while starting right tackle Tytus Howard and center Juice Scruggs are on injured reserve and eligible to return after Week 4. Once they are back, Pierce should be more effective rushing the ball.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Dalton Schultz is reaching a point where he could be droppable. He was held under a 10% target rate for the second time this season while catching one pass for 9 yards. There is still time for him to gain chemistry with C.J. Stroud, but it hasn’t been great so far.
  • While Travis Etienne Jr. remains the Jaguars' feature back, Tank Bigsby took the one goalline opportunity and scored the Jaguars' first touchdown. Bigsby now has three carries this season when the Jaguars are within five yards of scoring to Etienne's zero.

Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins

  • De’Von Achane: 18 carries, 203 yards, 2 touchdowns; 4 receptions, 30 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
  • Raheem Mostert: 13 carries, 82 yards, 3 touchdowns, 7 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Add De’Von Achane: The rookie back and the rest of the Dolphins put up an incredible performance, making Achane a must-add for fantasy purposes.

  • Achane was off to a slow start to his career after dealing with injury in training camp and falling behind Salvon Ahmed on the depth chart. Achane only played offensive snaps last week after Ahmed went down due to injury. Ahmed was inactive for this game.
  • While Mostert took every offensive snap on the Dolphins' first drive, Achane started mixing in significantly on the second drive. The two were used interchangeably throughout the game.
  • If anything, Mostert was used more in passing situations while Achane played more in short-yardage situations. We could probably expect the opposite on a larger sample of plays.
  • Achane is no sure thing going forward. Ahmed should be back from injury sooner rather than later, Jeff Wilson Jr. should be returning from injured reserve soon, and Raheem Mostert certainly isn’t going away after a performance like this.
  • The third-round rookie is too exciting to not prioritize adding to your fantasy roster because he has the potential to have a game like this again.

The Dolphins didn’t miss Jaylen Waddle: A concussion kept Waddle out of the lineup this week, leading to the Dolphins shuffling up their wide receiver rotation.

  • River Cracraft and Erik Ezukanma were expected to be the primary replacements for Waddle, but Ezukanma was a healthy inactive.
  • Cracraft tied Tyreek Hill for the most offensive snaps among Dolphins wide receivers in the first half with 25, but he suffered a shoulder injury near the end of the half and was ruled out.
  • Robbie Chosen was called up off the practice squad for this game while Cedrick Wilson Jr., who had been inactive in previous weeks, was active for this game.
  • Both players played double-digit snaps in the first half and led the wide receiver room in offensive snaps in the second half. Chosen scored a 68-yard touchdown.
  • Hopefully, Waddle is back for next week, but we could see some combination of Chosen and Wilson as the primary backups going forward rather than Cracraft and Ezukanma. 
  • Braxton Berrios remained the third wide receiver in 11 personnel all game while barely playing in other personnel groupings. This was consistent with the first two games of the season.

Add Julian Hill in deeper leagues: The undrafted rookie from Campbell University appears to be the Dolphins’ primary receiving tight end going forward.

  • Hill had been inactive the first two weeks of the season due to an ankle injury.
  • In his NFL debut, he took 30 of a possible 32 snaps in 11 personnel, every snap in two tight end sets and slightly over half of the offensive snaps in 21 personnel.
  • He overtook Durham Smythe, who played 100% of the available snaps in Week 1 and 97% of the snaps in Week 2. He can be dropped in all leagues.
  • Hill didn’t catch his only target, but Smythe had been targeted 10 times over the first two weeks. Those targets will now be going mostly to Hill.
  • He should be available in even the deepest of leagues and could have some big games while the defense has to focus on everyone else in the offense.

The Broncos wide receiver usage changes only slightly: Both Jerry Jeudy and Marvin Mims played less than some fantasy managers would have liked last week.

  • Both players put up big numbers in this game, partially due to the blowout. Jeudy gained 81 yards on five receptions while Mims produced 73 on three catches.
  • Jeudy was returning from injury, which explained his decreased role last week. His playing time bounced back a little bit this week, but he still wasn’t reaching the same heights he reached last season while healthy.
  • The Broncos kept their usual wide receiver rotation in the fourth quarter despite the blowout, so his snaps weren’t impacted by the game script.
  • Mims was targeted on nearly half of his routes, but the Broncos have only kept him on the field for roughly 25% of the team’s offensive snaps in each of the first three weeks.
  • Ideally, Mims sees plays more offensive snaps sooner rather than later but until then, he needs to remain on rosters but on the bench in all fantasy leagues.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Raheem Mostert has only caught more than four passes twice in his career — Week 17 last season and Sunday. Both games occurred after he turned 30 years old.
  • Given that this game was a blowout, the snap counts should be taken with more of a grain of salt than usual.
  • For example, Jaleel McLaughlin played over half of his offensive snaps and four of his five carries in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings

Joshua Kelley continues to replace Austin Ekeler: An ankle injury kept Ekeler out for a second straight week.

  • Kelley remained the Chargers' primary running back but only gained 12 yards on 11 carries. 
  • He also caught his only target for five yards. That was his first target of the season.
  • He only averaged 3.0 yards per carry last week.
  • If Ekeler misses another game, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Isaiah Spiller play more or Los Angeles try to get a different running back involved.
  • Kelley should still remain on fantasy rosters because every running back who is currently a starter shouldn’t be on the waiver wire.

Monitor Mike Williams’ health: Williams was helped off the field, carted to the locker room and spotted in a leg brace after the game.

  • Williams was off to an excellent start before the injury, catching seven passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.
  • After the injury, Joshua Palmer became an every-down player, playing 11 of a possible 13 snaps including every passing play.
  • Palmer will be among the top waiver wire targets this week, especially if the injury is serious.
  • Quentin Johnston and Derius Davis split time as the third receiver.
  • Johnston was already started to play more snaps prior to Williams’ injury. He played 12 out of the first 51 snaps after only playing 10 snaps last week.
  • Johnston was getting dropped from several rosters after the slow start. He should get back on rosters, but it’s too early to start him.

Alexander Mattison makes the case to keep his starting job: Minnesota traded for Cam Akers earlier in the week.

  • Akers was inactive for this game likely because he’s still learning the offense and probably won’t be helping much on special teams.
  • Mattison’s playing time has slightly increased each week while being the primary running back in every situation in Minnesota. That suggests the trade for Akers has just as much to do with the backups as it does Mattison. 
  • He put together his best numbers of the season, running 20 times for 93 yards despite not producing a long run. He also caught five passes for 32 yards.
  • It’s probably safe to leave Mattison in fantasy starting lineups until we see Akers take significant snaps away from him.

New England Patriots @ New York Jets

Breece Hall sees an increased role: Hall finally started to see his role increase after returning from an ACL tear.

  • Hall split early-down work with Dalvin Cook over the first two weeks while Michael Carter played on third downs. Cook had also taken nearly all of the short-yardage snaps.
  • This week, Hall played in more than half of the early down snaps as well as half of the short yardage situations and a snap on the goal line.
  • He ran the ball 12 times for 18 yards, averaging -0.3 yards before contact per carry. He also fumbled the ball.
  • Carter remained the primary third-down back, but Hall also played more third-down snaps than the first two weeks combined.
  • Despite the poor performance, Hall will be safer to start going forward in this increased role. On the other hand, Cook seems like he will mostly be a handcuff for Hall going forward. It’s fine to wait a week, but Cook could potentially be cut in shallower leagues.

JuJu Smith-Schuster deceptively leads the Patriots wide receivers: Smith-Schuster led the team in this game, but it’s unlikely to happen next week.

  • New England played 18 snaps out of 13 personnel, and Smith-Schuster was the solo wide receiver on 16 of those 18 plays.
  • The Patriots only ran six plays out of 13 personnel over the first two weeks and didn’t use that personnel grouping at all last season.
  • He was still rotated out significantly in 11 personnel. Rookie Demario Douglas ran 12 routes out of 11 personnel compared to Smith-Schuster's 10.
  • Smith-Schuster was targeted three times and caught one pass for five yards.
  • After three straight weeks of under 35 receiving yards, it’s probably OK to cut him off your fantasy roster.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Jets wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. seemed like he would be more involved in the offense going forward after catching a six-yard pass last week while Randall Cobb was held without a catch. Instead, Hardman only played two offensive snaps while Cobb played 46.
  • The Patriots running backs were used nearly identically to past weeks. The one difference is Ezekiel Elliott got to play during the two-minute drill this week after Stevenson took those snaps the last two weeks.
  • Pharaoh Brown has primarily played as a run-blocking tight end in recent seasons. That was his role Sunday, but he happened to catch a 58-yard touchdown pass. He can be left on the waiver wire.

Buffalo Bills @ Washington Commanders

Cole Turner steps up without Logan Thomas: The veteran tight end is currently in the concussion protocol.

  • Both Turner and John Bates split the started job as expected. Turner played a little more in passing situations while Bates played more on run plays.
  • Turner ended up leading the Commanders in targets while catching four passes for 35 yards.
  • Thomas will ideally be back next week but even if he isn’t, both younger tight ends should be left on the waiver wire.
  • Turner is still an intriguing name in dynasty leagues, as he could very well end up as the top tight end on the depth chart in 2024.

Cut Antonio Gibson: This was the best possible game script for Gibson, and he still didn’t produce for fantasy managers.

  • He ran the ball twice for 17 yards and caught three of five targets for seven yards.
  • In future games where Washington isn’t constantly playing from behind, Brian Robinson will go back to playing the majority of early-down snaps.
  • This was his third straight game with three or fewer rushing attempts and three or fewer receptions.
  • He can still be kept on fantasy rosters in larger leagues, as he would likely take over as the primary rusher if Robinson suffers an injury.

Dalton Kincaid only sees two targets: Kincaid’s role continues to evolve in the Bills offense.

  • The bad news for Kincaid is Quintin Morris started to get more involved in the Bills offense, as 11 of his 19 snaps came in garbage time with Kyle Allen. Nonetheless, he also took snaps from Kincaid in 11 and 12 personnel earlier in the game in run situations.
  • The good news is Kincaid ran the same number of routes as Dawson Knox in 11 personnel with eight each.
  • Knox had run more routes out of 11 personnel compared to Kincaid each of the first two weeks.
  • The Bills will likely need to rely on Kincaid in more competitive games, and the Bills play the Miami Dolphins next week, so we will ideally see more passing and more targets to Kincaid then.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Khalil Shakir took more offensive snaps with Kyle Allen at quarterback than Josh Allen at quarterback.
  • Trent Sherfield played significantly more than Deonte Harty even in three-receiver sets, but this was largely because of his run blocking. Harty still ran more routes in this game, including more routes out of 11 personnel.

Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks

Zach Charbonnet continues to get passing-down opportunities: Charbonnet continues to play significantly on third downs or during the two-minute drills.

  • This week, he took every snap in the two-minute drill, although that resulted in only one reception on two targets.
  • He was impressive in the run game, taking nine carries for 46 yards. Five of his attempts came in the fourth quarter while Seattle was holding onto the lead.
  • Kenneth Walker III is playing well enough that Charbonnet might not carve out a bigger role on earlier downs anytime soon, but Charbonnet can take the passing snaps completely from DeeJay Dallas. Dallas also caught only one pass.
  • If he’s available off the waiver wire, he’s worth picking up for his potential.
  • He could have standalone value if he fully takes the passing role but would also be a potential top-15 fantasy running back if Walker suffers an injury.

Monitor the health of Jonathan Mingo: The second-round rookie suffered a concussion late in the second quarter and didn’t return.

  • Both Adam Thielen and Mingo achieved a 33.3% target rate in the first half before the injury.
  • Terrace Marshall completely took over his role in the second half.
  • Most players in the Panthers offense had great target numbers, but that was mostly because Andy Dalton attempted 58 passes.
  • Thielen took advantage of those opportunities the most, while D.J. Chark also caught four passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.
  • While Marshall will start next week if Mingo misses the game, it probably will lead to more upside for both Thielen and Chark.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Seahawks tight end Will Dissly missed this game with a shoulder injury. Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson ran a route on roughly 50% of pass plays despite going to a two-man committee from a three-man committee.
  • Hayden Hurst had a 25.9% target rate in Week 1. That decreased significantly to 12.5% for Week 2 and decreased again to 7.7% today.

Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals

  • James Conner: 14 carries, 98 yards, 1 touchdown; 2 receptions, 18 receiving yards
  • Tony Pollard: 23 carries, 122 yards; 3 receptions, -1 receiving yards

The Zach Ertz party may be over: The veteran tight end's workload has decreased each week.

  • Ertz started the season as the Cardinals’ primary tight end. He ran a route on all 24 pass plays in 11 personnel in Week 1 and was a primary tight end in every other personnel grouping.
  • That decreased significantly last week to 12-of-19, and it remained low this week at 11-of-16.
  • His decrease this week came from 12 personnel, where he took the field on only six of a possible 14 plays after playing the majority of snaps in those situations over the last two weeks.
  • The Cardinals didn’t throw the ball much, but he was only targeted twice. He caught both passes for 6 yards.
  • Trey McBride has averaged 1.78 yards per route run this season compared to 1.17 by Ertz, so it wouldn’t be surprising if his snaps continue to decline.

Jake Ferguson remains a player to monitor: Ferguson was tied for the team lead in targets, but his role in the offense might not lead to long-term success.

  • He caught five passes for 48 yards.
  • He caught five passes over his first two games of the season and scored a touchdown last week.
  • The problem is he only ran a route on 61.7% of the Cowboys’ pass plays.
  • This is largely because Peyton Hendershot is still playing significantly in 11 personnel, particularly on third downs. Ferguson has run 13 routes on third downs from 11 personnel this season compared to 11 by Hendershot.
  • Ferguson’s 27.4% target rate is one of the highest marks in the league, but it will be hard for fantasy managers to trust him unless he starts playing a higher percentage of third-down snaps.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Brandin Cooks had missed last week due to injury, but he returned to his normal workload this week. He was tied for the team lead in targets.
  • Tony Pollard set a career-high in rushing attempts last week at 25. Today, he ran 23 times, which is the second-most for him in a game in his career.
  • Michael Wilson was a clear starting wide receiver in Week 1. He split time with Zach Pascal to begin last week, but earned his job back by the end of the game and kept it throughout this game. He was only targeted twice but caught both passes for 86 yards to lead the team in receiving yards.

Chicago Bears @ Kansas City Chiefs

  • Isiah Pacheco: 15 carries, 62 yards, 1 touchdown; 2 receptions, 16 receiving yards
  • Travis Kelce: 7 receptions, 69 yards, 1 touchdown

Rashee Rice takes advantage of increased opportunities: Rice led the wide receiver room in targets while other wide receivers dealt with injuries.

  • Richie James Jr. landed on injured reserve with a knee injury yesterday, which will keep him out until at least Week 7. That means the Chiefs' seven-man wide receiver rotation is down to a six-man rotation.
  • A toe injury kept Kadarius Toney out of practice for most of the week. He was a true game-time decision but was ultimately active for the game, but he played only two first-quarter snaps.
  • Rice became the clear fourth wide receiver on the depth chart. He ran 16 of a possible 36 routes while Patrick Mahomes was still playing. He was targeted on 25% of those routes, four times in total. He tied with Skyy Moore for the second-most targets with Mahomes still in the game, behind only Travis Kelce.
  • The Chiefs didn't pass much when Blaine Gabbert took over in garbage time, but Rice was Gabbert’s favorite target.
  • Rice will probably see his playing time dip back down once Toney is healthy again, but the Chiefs' wide receiver rotation is worth monitoring, as always

Roschon Johnson outproduces Khalil Herbert: The two running backs were used almost interchangeably in this game.

  • Heading into this game, Herbert had tended to play more on early downs and Johnson more on passing downs, but those tendencies were a lot less strong in this game.
  • Johnson ran the ball eight times for 38 yards, while Herbert ran seven times for 31 yards.
  • Both running backs were targeted twice. All of those passes were caught, with Johnson gaining 11 yards compared to 4 yards by Herbert.
  • Johnson’s playing time has slowly but surely increased each week. It would not be surprising if he overtakes Herbert sooner rather than later.
  • He might not be worth putting in fantasy starting lineups until the Bears offense starts playing better, but he could be a consistent fantasy starter over the second half of the season if things go right.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Isiah Pacheco was dominated playing time while Patrick Mahomes was still playing, taking 32 of a possible 55 snaps. The main reason Clyde Edwards-Helaire saw similar numbers was because of garbage time, not because Pacheco was on the injury report earlier in the week.
  • Travis Kelce has now scored a touchdown in five straight games dating back to last season’s playoffs. It’s the third time in his career he’s had a touchdown streak of five games or more.
  • Cole Kmet saw a sharp decrease in playing time as both Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis carved out bigger roles for themselves. Kmet’s playing time bounced back slightly, but still not close to where it was.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Las Vegas Raiders

The Steelers backfield has reached a 50/50 split: Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren had both played 25 offensive snaps with five minutes left in the game.

  • Warren has been inching closer and closer to the 50/50 split since the start of the season.
  • This is the highest percentage Warren has played in a win for Pittsburgh.
  • Warren averaged more yards per carry in this game. Generally, Harris has been getting stuffed in the backfield more often but has also made more big plays in the run game.
  • Warren has been the much bigger factor in the passing game. He caught three passes for 23 yards.
  • This is the third straight week Warren has outscored Harris in PPR leagues.

The Raiders wide receivers are at full strength: There was some concern about both Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers a week ago but both played their usual roles in Week 3.

  • The Raiders had been using more of a rotation for their third wide receiver spot, but Kristian Wilkerson was a healthy inactive.
  • This allowed Hunter Renfrow to be the clear third wide receiver in three-receiver sets.
  • Renfrow was also their clear slot receiver in the game, with Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers almost always lining up out wide in 11 personnel.
  • Adams is a must-start every week, while Meyers should be a little more predictable than most wide receivers because we can better anticipate his matchups knowing he is consistently lining up outside.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Raiders tight ends have only been targeted five times so far this season. The league average is around 19.
  • George Pickens gained 75-plus receiving yards for the second straight game, making this the best two-game stretch of his NFL career.

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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