NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 3 Preview: Fantasy football advice, betting tips and matchups to watch

2KA0926 Inglewood, California, USA. 30th Oct, 2022. San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey #23 in action during the NFL football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers in Inglewood, California. Mandatory Photo Credit : Charles Baus/CSM/Alamy Live News

• A battle in the trenches on TNF: Trent Williams is still the best left tackle in the NFL, which is bad news for second-year EDGE rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. The former No. 5 pick from Oregon has struggled over the first two weeks, totaling just two pressures on 43 pass-rush snaps.

Christian McCaffrey Under 113.5 Total Yards (-115): McCaffrey has racked up over 300 all-purpose yards over the first two games of the season, but he's also leading the NFL in touches with 48. It only makes sense that Kyle Shanahan limits his touches on TNF on a short week.

• Get ahead of the game: PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market. Click here to see the best bets for this week.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers (-10)

Matchup to watch: 49ers LT Trent Williams vs. Giants edge Kayvon Thibodeaux

Williams is still the best left tackle in the NFL, which is bad news for second-year EDGE rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. The former No. 5 pick from Oregon has struggled over the first two weeks, totaling just two pressures on 43 pass-rush snaps. If Thibodeaux can't generate pressure on Thursday, the Giants could struggle to pressure Brock Purdy.

Fantasy fade: TE Darren Waller

No team is better at covering tight ends than the San Francisco 49ers — and that's because of Fred Warner, who has earned a 70.0-plus coverage grade in each of the last three years. The 49ers should be able to take away Waller, forcing Daniel Jones to throw elsewhere. If you have a better option for Week 3, consider starting them over Waller against one of the league’s top defenses.

Favorite bet: Christian McCaffrey Under 113.5 Total Yards (-115)

McCaffrey has racked up over 300 all-purpose yards over the first two games of the season, but he's also leading the NFL in touches with 48. It only makes sense that Kyle Shanahan limits his touches on TNF on a short week. Expect him to still be effective but to come under his massive yards from scrimmage total.

Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins (-6.5)

Matchup to watch: Broncos RT Mike McGlinchey vs. Dolphins EDGE Jaelan Phillips

McGlinchey was one of the league's biggest free-agent winners this offseason, as he signed a huge deal with the Broncos. But through two games, he’s played like a below-average tackle. In Week 3, he’ll face one of the young stars at the edge position in Jaelan Phillips, who ranked top-10 at the position in pass-rush grade a season ago.

Fantasy breakout: WR Jaylen Waddle

This one is tricky, as Waddle might miss Week 3 due to a concussion. But if he plays, he should have a monster stat line, as he’ll likely see a ton of Damarri Mathis. Through two games, Mathis is PFF’s lowest-graded cornerback (29.9). If he’s on the field, Waddle should have a huge day.

Favorite bet: Under 48 (-110)

The Dolphins will score points, but watch out for the Broncos' pass rush. Denver can create pressure with its front four, which could lead to the overall scoring being down. Miami’s defense is also improved and should be able to keep the Broncos under 21 points.

PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market. Click here to see the best bets for this game.

Buffalo Bills (-6.5) vs. Washington Commanders

Matchup to watch: Commanders WR Jahan Dotson vs. Bills CB Tre’Davious White

Jahan Dotson has gotten off to a slow start this season, catching eight passes for 62 yards and no touchdowns. He’ll have another tough matchup this week, as he’ll see a ton of Tre’Davious White. While White has struggled some to start the year, this is an excellent test to see where the former Pro Bowl cornerback is at this stage of his career.

Fantasy Fade: RB Brian Robinson

Robinson has been productive in the first two games of the season, totaling 195 yards and three touchdowns. But the Bills just held All-Pro RB Josh Jacobs to -2 yards on nine carries. Robinson will surely have a better day on the ground, but he isn’t someone you want in your fantasy lineups this week.

Favorite bet: Bills QB Josh Allen Under 1.5 passing touchdowns (+112)

The Bills will score points on Sunday — that much we know. But the Bills have been a run-heavy team inside the 5-yard-line with Josh Allen under center. While he could certainly have a big day through the air, look for their touchdowns to come on the ground.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens (-7.5)

Matchup to watch: Colts LT Bernhard Raimann vs. Ravens EDGE Odafe Oweh

Don’t look now, but Bernhard Raimann is becoming one of the league's best left tackles. He's allowed just one pressure through two games and enters this one with a 76.9 PFF grade that ranks 11th at the position. He’ll have a fantastic test on Sunday as Odafe Oweh is in the midst of a breakout season. Can Raimann hold up against Oweh’s incredible athleticism? It should be fascinating to watch.

Fantasy fade: RB Justice Hill and Gus Edwards

The Colts are loaded in their front seven as Shaq Leonard is healthy and playing at a high level again. With the Ravens likely missing multiple starters on the offensive line, look for them to have more success through the air rather than on the ground with their running backs.

Favorite bet: Under 44.5 (-110)

With Anthony Richardson still in the concussion protocol, it seems unlikely that the Colts will be able to generate a ton of points on Sunday. However, their defense is pretty talented in the front seven and should be able to keep the overall scoring down. Expect the Ravens to win this game but for it to be pretty ugly and low-scoring.

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Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (-9.5)

Matchup to watch: Texans RT George Fant vs. Jaguars edge Travon Walker

At some point, Walker has to have a breakout performance, right? Across 17 career games, he has earned just two 70.0-plus PFF grades and has come in below 60.0 eight times. There is no better time than in Week 3, as he'll face Fant, who will be replacing Tytus Howard (hand) in the starting lineup. Fant has had a nice start to the season, but he is still just an average offensive tackle. If it doesn't happen for Walker on Sunday, it's officially time to start getting worried about the No. 1 pick from the 2022 NFL Draft.

Fantasy fade: Texans WR Nico Collins

Collins had a huge game in Week 2, and there is now a reason to consider putting him into your starting lineup. However, the Jaguars are loaded at cornerback, and Collins will likely see a ton of Tyson Campbell on Sunday. It's not a good matchup for Collins, especially with a rookie quarterback who could be under siege all game.

Favorite bet: Texans +9.5

Nothing we've seen from Jacksonville this season has been all that impressive. While they are certainly the better team with the better quarterback, they find ways to keep bad teams in games. With this being a divisional matchup, expect the Texans to hang around and cover the 9.5-point spread.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage, or the individual defenders.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions (-3.5)

Matchup to watch: Falcons WR Drake London vs. Lions CB Cameron Sutton

London bounced back in Week 2 after being shut out in Week 1. This should be another strong performance by him, as he has a significant size advantage over all of the cornerbacks for the Lions. Expect the Lions to use Sutton on London, as he is their top cornerback heading into Week 3. Sutton has been targeted 12 times on the year, but he is yet to allow a touchdown.

Fantasy breakout: TE Kyle Pitts

It’s tough to trust Pitts right now. Over his last 13 starts, he’s averaging just 32.5 receiving yards per game and has found the end zone just twice. For his career, quarterbacks have just a 77.6 passer rating when throwing Pitts' way, with those passes resulting in twice as many interceptions (6) as touchdowns (3).

With Chauncey Gardner-Johnson out due to a pectoral injury, Pitts has a strong matchup in Week 3 against the Lions' inexperienced safeties and linebackers. If Pitts can’t perform well in this matchup, there is absolutely no reason to trust him in your fantasy lineups anytime soon.

Favorite bet: Over 46.5 (-110)

Can we really trust Falcons head coach Arthur Smith to open up the offense and score points on Sunday? Probably not, but the running game should be highly effective for the Falcons. Both teams are great on the offensive line and should be able to move the ball up and down the field.

The TE Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool that you can use to help you set your best lineups.

New England Patriots (-2.5) vs. New York Jets

Matchup to watch: Jets RT Mekhi Becton vs. Patriots EDGE Josh Uche

Becton has struggled to make the switch from left tackle to right tackle so far, and it won't get any easier for him on Sunday. He'll see a ton of Josh Uche, an undersized pass-rusher with a ton of speed. Uche will be outweighed by about 120 pounds on Sunday, but his speed and bend should give Becton fits in the passing game. Uche enters Week 3 with an 89.0 pass-rush grade, sixth among players at his position.

Fantasy Fade: WR Garrett Wilson

It’s hard to fade Garrett Wilson, as he is one of the most talented receivers in the league. As we saw last week, all it takes is one accurate pass for him to have a useful fantasy day. But Wilson has just seven receptions in two games, and you can bet Bill Belichick will take him away on Sunday. Better days are coming for Wilson, but this is a tough matchup. Leave him on your bench in Week 3.

Garrett Wilson: Receiving stats since 2022
Vs. New England Vs. The rest of the NFL
72.1 PFF Grade 86.2
1.79 Yards per route run 1.87
14.1% Target rate 24.2%
Favorite bet: Patriots -2.5

Belichick knows how to beat the Jets. And coming off back-to-back losses, you know he will have his team fired up and ready to go for this one. New England's defense has dominated Zach Wilson in the past, and there is nothing to suggest that won't happen again. The Patriots' moneyline and the under-37 are strong bets in Week 3.

Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns (-3)

Matchup to watch: Browns RT Dawand Jones vs. Titans EDGE HAROLD LANDRY III

Jones did a decent job holding up against T.J. Watt in Week 2, but he’ll have another tough assignment in Week 3. Landry has had a slow start to the season as he’s overcoming a knee injury from 2022, but he knows how to get to the quarterback. Look for his speed and bend to give Jones some issues in this contest.

Fantasy fade: RB Jerome Ford

Ford had an incredible 69-yard run where he reserved field and nearly scored against Pittsburgh last Monday night. But he was highly inefficient on his other carries, totaling just 37 yards on 15 carries (2.46 yards per attempt). Ford will face another top run defense in Week 3, and his volume alone won’t make him a great fantasy option.

Favorite bet: Titans +3

The Browns are coming off a short week in which multiple players, including star RB Nick Chubb, left the game with injuries. They'll face another highly physical team that should be able to push them around in the trenches. Expect this game to be close, so take the Titans and the points on Sunday.

New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers (-2)

Matchup to watch: Saints WR Chris Olave vs. Packers CB Jaire Alexander

The biggest question for this game is, will Jaire Alexander follow Chris Olave to the slot in Week 3? Olave is the best player on the field for the Saints and plays a heavy amount in the slot. Alexander is one of the league’s best cornerbacks but has played only two snaps in the slot this season. If the Packers leave Alexander on the outside, it could be a big game for Olave, as Keisean Nixon (56.2 coverage grade) will likely cover him in the slot.

Fantasy fade: WR Romeo Doubs

After a two-touchdown game in Week 1, Doubs came back down to earth in Week 2. He saw just three targets and was out-produced by several other Packers’ receivers. Doubs will likely see a ton of Marshon Lattimore, the No. 1 graded cornerback (87.9) through two games. Leave Doubs on your bench this week, as this is a tough matchup for him on Sunday.

Favorite bet: Under 43 (-110)

The Saints have been incredible on defense in the first two games of the season, allowing just 16 points per game and a seventh-ranked -0.137 expected points added (EPA) per play. They should have no problem controlling the game on defense on Sunday, even if Christian Watson returns to the field for the Packers. Look for both teams to run the ball a ton, keeping the score down in Green Bay.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage, or the individual defenders.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Minnesota Vikings (-1)

Matchup to watch: Vikings RT Brian O'Neill vs. Chargers EDGE Khalil Mack

The Vikings have had a lot of issues on their offensive line through two games, but O'Neill has yet to be one of them. He's graded out as the NFL's top tackle (86.2), but can that hold up in Week 3 against Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa?

Fantasy Breakout: WR Jordan Addison

Addison has made a big touchdown reception in each of the past two weeks, and his role in the offense should only grow with time. He'll face J.C. Jackson and Asante Samuel Jr. in Week 3, who have both struggled out of the gate. Addison is a must-start option, as the Vikings could lead the NFL in passing attempts and yards this season.

Favorite bet: Under 54.5

Both of these offenses have been really good this season, but 54.5 points is a ton. Plus, the Vikings have some major issues on their offensive line that could lead to sacks, turnovers and sloppy play. Expect both sides to be able to score 20-plus points but for the under to ultimately hit in Minnesota.

Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks (-6)

Matchup to watch: Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf vs. Panthers CB C.J. Henderson

With Jaycee Horn out of the lineup, Henderson will get even more opportunities as an outside cornerback for the Panthers. So far, that has been an issue for Carolina, as he’s allowed a passer rating of 118.8 in coverage on seven targets. Look for Geno Smith to target Metcalf early and often in this matchup.

Fantasy breakout: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Smith-Njigba has yet to make a big impact for the Seahawks, but it isn't for a lack of trying. He has 11 targets through two games but has managed to total just 47 yards. He is now a month removed from his wrist surgery and should be close to 100%. Call it a hunch, but this feels like a breakout game for the first-round slot receiver of the Seahawks.

Favorite bet: Over 42 points (-110)

With Shaq Thompson and Jaycee Horn out of the Panthers' lineup, the defense isn't quite as dynamic as it was heading into Week 1. And with the Panthers coming off a short week and having to travel across the country, it's shaping as a game where the Seahawks could score a lot of points. Take the over in the NFC battle, as both offenses should have no problem moving the ball.

Dallas Cowboys (-12) vs. Arizona Cardinals

Matchup to watch: Cardinals RT Paris Johnson Jr. vs. Cowboys EDGE Micah Parsons

Johnson has looked solid in his first two NFL starts. But his “Welcome to the NFL” moment might be on Sunday, as he’ll face Micah Parsons (and DeMarcus Lawrence). Look for the Cardinals to give a lot of help to Johnson, but if he can hold up well, Arizona will know that they made the right decision to move up to acquire Johnson in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Fantasy fade: WR Marquise Brown

Brown had a solid performance in Week 2, catching six passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. But he’s averaging just 9.0 yards per reception this season. The pass rush for the Cowboys likely won’t allow Josh Dobbs much time to throw down the field, limiting any big-play opportunities for Hollywood.

Favorite bet: Under 43.5 (-110)

The Cowboys have the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL through two games, as they've allowed just 10 points. Against Josh Dobbs and the Cardinals, it's hard to imagine they give up much more than that in Week 3. Look for Dallas to keep this game moving as much as possible, allowing the under to hit in Arizona.

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Chicago Bears vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5)

Matchup to watch: Bears WR Chase Claypool vs. Chiefs CB Trent McDuffie

After being called out for a perceived lack of effort, Chase Claypool performed better in Week 2. Still, the Bears haven't gotten anything close to value on Claypool after trading away the No. 32 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He’ll have a tough matchup this week against McDuffie, but his size and speed advantage will be massive. For the Bears to have a chance on Sunday, they need a big day from Claypool.

Fantasy breakout: QB Justin Fields

It’s been a tough few weeks for Justin Fields, but this just feels like a chance for him to bounce back in a big way. Look for Fields to use more of his legs to keep the offense moving, as the Bears need to design more QB runs for him. Kansas City’s defense has been solid in the first two weeks of the season, but they might not be able to handle Fields’ rushing ability on Sunday.

Favorite bet: Under 47.5 (-110)

The Chiefs have been stellar on defense through the first two weeks of the season, allowing only 22 points on that side of the ball. The offense for the Bears has been among the worst in the league, so scoring could be difficult in this one. Expect Patrick Mahomes to have a big day but for the under to ultimately hit in Kansas City.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5)

Matchup to watch: Raiders LT Kolton Miller vs. Alex Highsmith

T.J. Watt had a big day in Week 2, but Alex Highsmith had the better performance against the Browns. He was a nightmare all day long for Cleveland, but he gets a tougher matchup in Week 3 against Kolton Miller. If Highsmith can beat one of the best pass-protecting offensive tackles in the league, Pittsburgh should have no problem shutting down the offense of Las Vegas.

Fantasy Fade: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

This is a tough matchup for Garoppolo, as the Steelers have one of the best pass-rush duos in the league with Highsmith and Watt. Garoppolo really struggles when he's under pressure, and that's bad news for the Raiders in Week 3. Even in superflex and two QB leagues, consider leaving Garoppolo on your bench.

Favorite bet: Steelers +2.5

The Steelers are coming off a short week and do have to travel to Las Vegas, but they are the more talented team. Pittsburgh's defense should be able to win this game single-handedly, as they did in Week 2. If the Steelers can avoid turnovers on offense, they should be able to win this game outright.

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Matchup to watch: Buccaneers LG Matt Feiler vs. Eagles DI Jalen Carter

It hasn’t taken long for Jalen Carter to show that he is already one of the NFL’s best defensive tackles. He's already recorded 11 pressures and 10 hurries in two games, grading out as the No. 3 interior defensive lineman (90.2). He gets a fantastic matchup in Week 3, as all three interior offensive linemen for the Buccaneers have grades below 60.0 after the first two weeks of the season.

Fantasy breakout: WR A.J. Brown

Brown was held in check by the Vikings in Week 2, and a sideline disagreement between him and the coaches was shown on the broadcast. This feels like a “squeaky wheel gets the grease” game for Brown, as Jalen Hurts will be sure to feed him early and often in this matchup.

Favorite bet: Eagles -4.5

The Buccaneers have been one of the most fun stories through the first two weeks of the season. But the talent differential in this game is pretty significant. The Eagles have had 11 days to prepare for this matchup and should be able to keep Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers under 17 points. Take the Eagles -5 on Monday Night Football, as this game could turn into a blowout.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-2)

Matchup to watch: Bengals RG Alex Cappa vs. Rams DT Aaron Donald

The Rams have only one player on defense who is worth mentioning, and that is Aaron Donald. If the Bengals can shut him down, they should be able to win this game, regardless of who is at quarterback. But if they can't, Donald can single-handedly wreck this game himself. He is a must-watch every week as we are seeing arguably the greatest defensive tackle in NFL history.

Fantasy fade: WR Ja’Marr Chase

With Joe Burrow still limited with a calf injury, he just can't push the ball down the field to Chase. And there aren't any explosive plays coming from this offense right now. Consider benching Chase until Burrow is closer to 100% healthy. It's hard to bench your studs, but this might be the best choice, especially with Burrow's status still being determined for Monday.

Favorite bet: Over 43.5

Burrow's calf injury is a big factor in this low total, but the Bengals have to find a way to be more successful on offense, even if he doesn't play. The Rams struggle to stop the run, so we could see a lot of Joe Mixon on Monday. Expect both teams to find a way to score 20-plus points and for the over to ultimately hit in Cincinnati.


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