Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 3 Recap: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from Monday Night Football

2RXHY8W Philadelphia Eagles' D'Andre Swift runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

D’Andre Swift leads the Eagles to victory: The Eagles rotated their running backs by quarter, but two quarters was enough time for Swift to record his second straight 130-plus-yard rushing performance.

Trey Palmer finally takes the slot role: Palmer was rotating for the third receiving spot, and now the job is his.

• The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals both started slowly: Both offenses have plenty of weapons who have produced before, but both teams were held without a touchdown in the first half, disappointing several fantasy managers.


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

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

D’Andre Swift starts for the Eagles: Kenneth Gainwell returned after missing Week 2 but didn’t regain his starting job.

  • Swift started the game, and the Eagles then rotated by quarter.
  • Swift took the clear majority of snaps in the first and third quarters. Gainwell took the clear majority of snaps in the second and fourth quarters.
  • Gainwell played well enough, but Swift was dominant whenever he touched the football.
  • Unfortunately, neither back was featured in the passing game, and Jalen Hurts will still take all of the 1-yard-touchdown opportunities, leaving both backs without a touchdown.
  • Boston Scott would typically be the third running back, but he was inactive after suffering a concussion last week.
  • Rashaad Penny was active as the third running back but didn’t play an offensive snap.
  • Swift can stay in fantasy starting lineups going forward. At worst, he will keep this same role. At best, it will expand significantly. 
  • Gainwell should at least remain on rosters. He’s the handcuff for a running back with an injury history, and he would be a fantasy starter if something happens to Swift. 
  • Penny can be dropped in leagues with lighter benches.

Trey Palmer takes hold of the third receiver spot: Palmer had been splitting time with Deven Thompkins for the third receiver role.

  • Palmer had played 58 offensive snaps over the first two weeks compared to 50 by Deven Thompkins. That included Palmer having a 51-43 snap lead in 11 personnel.
  • This week, Palmer played just as many offensive snaps as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in 11 personnel, with Thompkins only playing if any of those players needed a break.
  • This didn’t lead to increased receiving production this week, with Palmer catching his only target for 8 yards.
  • Thompkins oddly received more targets despite his decreased role in the offense.
  • Palmer is still unlikely to see much fantasy value playing behind Evans and Godwin, but this makes it more likely Palmer could be a waiver wire target if either top receiver suffers an injury.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Quez Watkins suffered a hamstring injury early in last week’s game, which also kept him out this week. Olamide Zaccheaus took over as the third wide receiver last week, which carried on into this game, leading to Zaccheaus scoring a touchdown.
  • Buccaneers backup running back Chase Edmonds landed on injured reserve. Sean Tucker became the primary backup like last week, but Rachaad White dominated offensive snaps as usual.

Los Angeles Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals

  • Ja’Marr Chase: 12 receptions, 141 receiving yards
  • Joe Mixon: 19 carries, 65 yards, 1 touchdown; 1 reception, 5 receiving yards

Kyren Williams dominates offensive snaps for the second straight week: Williams played every offensive snap for Los Angeles after playing 76 offensive snaps the week before.

  • Cam Akers was traded to the Minnesota Vikings earlier in the week, making it clear that no one on the roster will push Williams for playing time anytime soon.
  • Williams put up 38 rushing yards on 10 attempts and two receptions for 27 yards.
  • The L.A. offense didn't click as much as it did in Week 1 and Week 2. This meant several inaccurate passes to Williams that weren’t catchable and also that the team was never in a position to score a touchdown.
  • Williams needs to be in fantasy starting lineups as long as the Rams don’t add someone to the roster.
  • It wouldn’t be all that surprising if the Rams end up trading for a running back sometime in the next month or two.

The Bengals use a rotation to replace Irv Smith Jr.: The former Minnesota Viking missed this game with a hamstring injury.

  • Drew Sample, Mitchell Wilcox and Tanner Hudson all received significant playing time, with Hudson generally playing in passing situations while Wilcox and Sample were used in running situations.
  • Wilcox and Sample were the primary tight ends whenever they were in 12 personnel, while Hudson was the primary tight end for third downs.
  • Cincinnati also used 02 personnel and 01 personnel, with Sample lining up in the backfield to help in pass protection rather than having a running back on some third-and-longs.
  • The Bengals used a similar strategy of Sample in the backfield for pass protection in 2022 Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys pass rush.
  • It’s been a while since the Bengals have had a reliable fantasy tight end. All of these players should be ignored in fantasy leagues as long as Smith is out.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • The Bengals and Rams are the only two teams to use 11 personnel on over 80% of their offensive snaps dating back to the start of 2022. The league average is 62% over that time.
  • Tee Higgins missed a little bit of time late in the third quarter with a trip to the locker room. He was reportedly being treated for cramps. This shouldn’t be a long-term concern, but it did cause him to miss some playing time.

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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