The Rundown: Week 3

Sep 23, 2020
The Rundown: Week 3

Remember last week when I opined that there were some injuries early on? Well, apparently I was seven days too early. It’s hard to even pick a place to begin. Courtland Sutton, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Drew Lock, Parris Campbell, Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, and Tevin Coleman are just a shortlist of players who are looking at injuries ranging from a few weeks to the entire season. This is abnormal chaos, but also a fun time for those who enjoy mining the waiver wire, navigating the trade landscape, and cobbling together lineups at the last minute on Sunday.

Of the players who stayed healthy mentioned in last week’s Rundown, we had a few nice wins. Matt Ryan put up another scorcher of a game and Jonathan Taylor reminded us why he is the real deal. There was also Jonnu Smith who took advantage of the absence of A.J. Brown with a pair of touchdown catches. We can admit being wrong on the Steelers backfield and Kerryon Johnson showed he can be a factor if given a chance.

This article will leverage the wide array of 4for4’s data library including snaps, touches, targets, fantasy scoring, and red zone information. Lucky for you, this article will put everything in one place in time for those weekly matchup decisions.

Quarterbacks Trending Up

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

The return of Kenny Golladay (likely) for Week 3 will certainly help, especially in the red zone. Right now, Stafford is only completing 30% of his passes there so far, roughly half the rate in 2019 and something that should level out with Golladay and more attempts. This week, he gets the Cardinals, who represent a favorable matchup and a game that should feature plenty of offensive plays and scoring chances. His first top-12 week of the season is a possibility with a safe enough floor to take a chance on.

Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars

Through two weeks, Minshew is the 11th highest-scoring quarterback, but the more impressive stat is that he has two top-12 finishes already. He had four total last season. It helps that five of the six red zone touchdowns have come via the pass and the playmaking of the wide receiving group, they have three of the top 33 fantasy receivers, has maximized every opportunity. The Dolphins allowed over 400 passing yards last week, which likely won’t happen here, but a third top-12 finish is a real possibility.

Quarterbacks Trending Down

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

I’m not ready to bury Brees as a result of two games but things are falling apart around him. The absence of Michael Thomas has been brutal with no other wide receiver stepping up, so hopefully, he returns soon. That has forced Brees into relying on his running backs more, targeting them on 34% of his passes, up from 27% last year. That means fewer downfield plays and a greater ability to crowd the line. The Packers have held down the Vikings and Lions in the pass game and while Brees should do better, he could struggle to provide a starting fantasy week once again.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Much like Brees, Jones has been off to a slow start with injuries dampening the outlook. For Jones, he now loses Saquon Barkley, which will hurt every facet of the offense. He does lead the league in red-zone pass attempts, but has just one touchdown to show for it and now faces the prospect of manning a one-dimensional offense. The Giants aren’t built as a pass-first team so the personnel is going to struggle here. Their first test is the 49ers and their top-five pass defense with an offense that’ll be missing Jimmy Garoppolo, likely leading to a slow pace that will limit Jones’ offensive chances.

Running Backs Trending Up

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