Taking a quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games with a fantasy perspective.
WAS 21, BUF 43
This game was never in doubt. Antonio Gibson turned in plenty of fantasy points thanks to his only catch for a 73-yard touchdown. He only ran for 31 yards on 12 carries, but the one catch salvaged an otherwise dismal day. Taylor Heinicke passed for 212 yards and two scores although the second happened at the end of the game. He also threw two interceptions and ran in a score. Terry McLaurin (4-62) and Logan Thomas (4-42, TD) were the top receivers, but Washington was never in this one. The 1-2 Football Team heads to Atlanta for Week 4.
Everything worked for the Bills this week, and Josh Allen was near-perfect when he threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns. Cole Beasley (11-98), Emmanuel Sanders (5-94, 2 TD), and Stefon Diggs (6-62) all shared in the bounty. Just when Devin Singletary seems to be coming around, he only totals 27 yards on 12 touches while Zack Moss ran for 60 yards, caught three passes for 31 yards, and scored once. So no use getting comfortable with anything about the Bills backfield. The 2-1 Bills host the Texans for some fun in Week 4.
CHI 6, CLE 26
Well. He’s going to get better. Justin Fields debut consisted of 12 rushing yards and 6-of-20 for 68 passing yards. He had no turnovers, which surprised since he was sacked nine times. David Montgomery was held to only 34 rushing yards and two catches for 21 yards. His fantasy value took a hit with the rookie quarterback. Allen Robinson was held to only two catches for 28 yards but was the leading receiver. While Fields looked good in the preseason, it’s all different in the regular season. The 1-2 Bears host the heart-broken Lions this week.
The Browns were without Jarvis Landry but had Odell Beckham (5-77) back for his 2021 debut. Baker Mayfield threw for 246 yards and one score while also rushing for 31 yards. Kareem Hunt enjoyed a big day, rushing for 81 yards and a touchdown on ten carries while added six receptions for 74 yards. Nick Chubb gained 84 yards on 22 rushes but had no receptions or scores. All combined, the Browns rushed for 216 yards. Beckham was the leading receiver, but Hunt was the only other player that mattered as a receiver. The 2-1 Browns head to Minnesota for Week 4.
ARI 31, JAC 19
The Jaguars led this 19-10 near the end of the third quarter. Trevor Lawrence ended with 219 passing yards and one score but two interceptions. Marvin Jones (6-62) and DJ Chark (3-49, TD) were the top receivers. James Robinson started the game slowly but ran for 88 yards and a score on 15 rushes, plus caught six passes for 46 yards for his best showing of the young year. The Jaguars were competitive throughout, and Lawrence threw a fourth-quarter interception that was returned for a back-breaking score. The 0-3 Jaguars head to Cincinnati this week looking for their first win since September of 2020.
Kyler Murray passed for 316 yards but no passing touchdowns. He ran in one score, of course, but only gained 19 yards on seven runs. A.J. Green (5-112) and Christian Kirk (7-104) both broke the century mark while the gimpy DeAndre Hopkins (3-21) turned in the rare fantasy dud. Chase Edmonds ran for 26 yards and caught seven passes for 49 yards, while James Conner gained 43 yards and ran in two touchdowns. The 3-0 Cardinals played like they knew they could win but needed a bigger fourth quarter to get the job done. The 3-0 Cardinals get their biggest challenge of the year playing at the Rams for Week 4.
LAC 30, KC 24
The Chargers pulled an upset and handed the Chiefs their first losing record since 2015. Justin Herbert threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns that went directly to fantasy studs. Mike Williams (7-122, 2 TD), Austin Ekeler (6-52, TD), and Keenan Allen 8-50, TD) were all productive. Ekeler also ran for 55 yards on 11 runs, but the backfield did little this week. The difference-maker was that the Chargers had no turnovers while the Chiefs lost the ball four times. The win sends the 2-1 Bolts home to host the Raiders.
This is new territory for a Patrick Mahomes team. And the loss was to a divisional rival. He threw for 260 yards and three scores but threw two interceptions. Travis Kelce (7-104) and Tyreek Hill (5-56) were the top receivers but Hill lost a fumble. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had one of his best games with 100 yards on 17 carries and two catches for nine yards and a touchdown – and he lost a fumble. There are no alarm bells to sound yet, but there is concern with the defense. Andy Reid was brought to the hospital after the game because of an illness. The 1-2 (gasp) Chiefs play in Philadelphia for Week 4.
NO 28, NE 13
There were very few notable performances in this matchup. Alvin Kamara came back to life with 89 yards on 24 rushes, and he added three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown. But Jameis Winston passed for just 128 yards and two touchdowns. Marquez Callaway was the top receiver with only four catches for 41 yards and one score. Taysom Hill ran in a score on his six rushes for 31 yards. But aside from Kamara, nothing much from the rest. But at least Kamara showed up. The 2-1 Saints host the Giants this week.
Mac Jones ended with 270 yards and one score, but he started slowly and threw three interceptions including a pick-six. Kendrick Bourne (6-96, TD) and Jakobi Meyers (9-94) were the top receivers, and that’s encouraging that he didn’t resort to throwing short to running backs and tight ends. The rushing effort was anemic, with only 21 yards on 11 carries spread over four different running backs. The 1-2 Patriots have their monster matchup next week when they host the Tom Brady Buccaneers.
ATL 17, NYG 14
Two struggling franchises still struggled. Matt Ryan threw for 243 yards and two scores though few fantasy leaguers relied on Olamide Zaccheaus (3-32, TD) or No. 4 tight end Lee Smith (3-7, TD). Calvin Ridley (8-61) was busy, and Cordarrelle Patterson again made a difference with 20 rushing yards and six receptions for 82 yards. Mike Davis ran for 50 and added four receptions for 20 yards. The offense is still being installed and sputters but finally recorded their first win. The 1-2 Falcons return home to face Washington this week.
The Giants are still searching for that first win, and the visiting Falcons was their weakest opponent maybe all season. Saquon Barkley ran for 51 yards and a score on 16 carries, plus caught six passes for 43 yards. He was sidelined temporarily but finished the game. Daniel Jones threw for 266 yards but no scores. Kenny Golladay was expected to be limited with a bad hip but led the team with four receptions for 64 yards. Sterling Shepard left the game injured and was replaced by Collin Johnson (5-51). The 0-3 Giants head to New Orleans for Week 4.
CIN 24, PIT 10
These are divisional rivals that are heading in different directions. Joe Mixon rushed for 90 yards on 18 carries. Joe Burrow threw for 172 yards and three touchdowns. Missing Tee Higgins didn’t matter. Ja’Marr Chase (4-65, 2 TD) and Tyler Boyd (4-36, TD) did a lot with just a few receptions versus the normally stout Steeler secondary. The success of Mixon combined with the play of the Bengals defense was more than the Steelers could handle. The 2-1 Bengals host the Jaguars this week.
The Steelers rolled up 318 passing yards and one score, but Ben Roethlisberger threw 58 passes, two interceptions and was sacked four times. Chase Claypool (9-96) helped replace Diontae Johnson, but JuJu Smith-Schuster (3-25) didn’t help much. The rookie Pat Freiermuth caught three passes for 22 yards and a score. The poor blocking caused Najee Harris to only gain 40 yards on 14 rushes but he led the team with 19 targets for 14 catches and 102 yards. The rookie needs the ball, and if he cannot get the running lanes, he’s great as a receiver. The 1-2 Steelers play in Green Bay for Week 4.
IND 16, TEN 25
Carson Wentz was able to play despite sprained ankles, but he didn’t make much difference with 194 passing yards and no scores. Michael Pittman (6-68) was the top receiver, but Nyheim Hines (5-54) was the only other receiver with more than 31 yards. He also ran in a touchdown on his 25 yards on six rushes, if only to ruin the day for Jonathan Taylor gained 64 yards on just ten carries. This was a lighter matchup and the struggles that the Colts had moving the ball is a bad sign for the season. The 0-3 Colts look to right the ship in Miami for Week 4.
Derrick Henry at home usually runs well and he gained 113 yards plus caught three passes for 31 yards in his new-ish role as a receiver. Ryan Tannehill threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns but had two interceptions. AJ Brown left injured, and the best receivers were Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (4-53, TD) and Julio Jones (3-47). This was a very close game until the fourth quarter, when the Titans pulled away. The 2-1 Titans travel to face the Jets this week.
NYJ 0, DEN 26
The Jets are off to yet another rough start, and the new coaching regime experienced their first shut out. Zach Wilson only threw for 160 yards and two interceptions. Corey Davis (5-41) was the top receiver and Keelan Cole (2-30) is active for games now. Michael Carter ran nine times for 24 yards while Ty Johnson only gained 17 yards on his three carries. There’s still a lack of any offensive punch and the blocking is still poor. Wilson was sacked another five times. The 0-3 Jets host the Titans this week.
The Broncos didn’t have to do much to secure this win. Teddy Bridgewater passed for 235 yards but only threw 25 passes. The top receivers were Tim Patrick (5-98) and Courtland Sutton (5-37). Melvin Gordon (18-61, TD) and Javonte Williams (12-29, TD) split the backfield, and Gordon added a 21-yard catch while Williams netted three receptions for 33 yards. No Bronco had a big performance because none of them needed it in this shut-out win. The 3-0 Broncos host the Ravens for Week 4.
MIA 28, LV 31 OT
The Dolphins may have missed Tua Tagovailoa, but they gave the Raiders plenty to handle making up an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to send the game into overtime and then matching the Raiders’ field goal with their own to tie the score yet again. Jacoby Brissett passed for 215 yards and ran for 37 yards and a score on seven rushes. Mike Gesicki (10-86) and Jaylen Waddle (12-58) didn’t gain many yards but totaled 22 receptions between them. Myles Gaskin ran for 65 yards but only nine yards on three catches. The Fins stayed in the game by their defense and absence of turnovers. The 1-2 Dolphins host the Colts this weekend.
The Raiders are undefeated by the slimmest of weekly margins. Three weeks in, and they already had two overtimes. Josh Jacobs was out, but Peyton Barber ran for 111 yards and a touchdown on 23 rushes and caught three passes for 31 yards. Kenyan Drake ran eight times for 24 yards and also caught three passes for 34 yards. Derek Carr passed for 386 yards and two touchdowns while his season continues to burn brightly. Bryan Edwards (3-89) keeps improving and showing up just when they need him most. Henry Ruggs (4-78) and Hunter Renfrow (5-77, TD) were both more productive than Darren Waller (5-54). The 3-0 Raiders look to continue their impressive start playing at the Chargers in Week 4.
TB 24, LAR 34
The Buccaneers experienced their first loss since last November, but they had plenty of success passing, just not scoring. Tom Brady passed for 432 yards and one score, and there were plenty of fantasy points to spread around. Mike Evans (8-106), Chris Godwin (6-74, TD), Tyler Johnson (3-63), Rob Gronkowski (4-55), and Giovani Bernard (9-51, TD) were all involved. Brady also ran in a score, and his 14 yards on three rushes led the team. The backfield only totaled 19 yards on nine runs. The 1-2 Buccaneers head to New England this week, where the media will likely have their heads explode at the prospect of Tom Brady playing as the opponent against his old team.
The Rams were without Darrell Henderson and relied on Sony Michel (20-67) for all but one carry in the backfield. Matt Stafford proved his worth when he passed for 343 yards and four touchdowns with no turnovers. DeSean Jackson (3-120, TD) scored from 75 yards out, Cooper Kupp (9-96, 2 TD) continues to have tremendous chemistry with Stafford, and Tyler Higbee (5-40, TD) were all bigger factors than Robert Woods (3-33). The Buccaneers have a great rush defense, but Stafford carved up their secondary. The 3-0 Rams host the Cardinals in an important divisional matchup this weekend.
SEA 17, MIN 30
The Seahawks haven’t had the hot start to the season as they normally do. Russell Wilson threw for 298 yards but only one touchdown. He found DK Metcalf (6-107, TD) again but lost Tyler Lockett (4-31) for the week. Gerald Everett (5-54) and Will Dissly (1-39) are producing better than past tight ends but still not making a difference. Chris Carson ran for 80 yards, and a score on just 12 carries but the offense under new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s offense isn’t producing nearly enough touchdowns. The 1-2 Seahawks try to get back on track while playing at the 49ers for Week 4.
The Vikings were without Dalvin Cook, but Alexander Mattison (26-112) ran well and caught six passes for 59 yards. Kirk Cousins threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns in one of his better performances. Justin Jefferson (9-118, TD), Tyler Conklin (7-70, TD), and Adam Thielen (6-50, TD) took care of the scoring while K.J. Osborn (2-26) finally realized that he was just a No. 3 wide receiver. The 1-2 Vikings finally get their first win and host the Browns on Sunday.
BAL 19, DET 17
Sure, the scoring wasn’t much, and a few fantasy starters flopped. But hey, what about that Justin Tucker? The Ravens gave up ten points in the fourth quarter and trailed 16-17 on their 16-yard line with 26 seconds left on fourth down and 19 yards to go. But Lamar Jackson completed a 36-yard pass to Sammy Watkins to reach the Lions 48-yard line with six seconds. He threw an incompletion and Justin Tucker came on to try a 66-yard field goal as time expired. He walked off a winner when it hit the cross bar, bounced up, and fell behind.
Jackson ran for 58 yards and passed for 287 yards and one score. Marquise Brown (3-53) dropped three passes, two of which would have been touchdowns, if not all three. Mark Andrews (5-109) was the leading receiver, while the rushing effort only contained 12 carries for 40 yards. Jackson threw better than usual, even if Brown was interested in catching very many. The 2-1 Ravens head to Denver for Week 4.
The Lions cannot catch a break. Jared Goff threw for 217 yards and no scores, while Kalif Raymond (6-68) was the top receiver, and T.J. Hockenson was limited to only two catches for ten yards. Jamaal Williams ran for 42 yards and a score and caught two passes for 25 yards. D’Andre Swift only gained 47 yards on 14 carries but scored once and caught seven passes for 60 yards for one of his better performances. The 0-3 Lions lost to a 66-yard field goal. That says all you need to know about how their luck is going. They play in Chicago for Week 4.
GB 30, SF 28
That’s the way to end a great day of NFL football! The Packers led 17-0 in the second quarter, but the 49ers kept coming back and still trailed 14-24 in the fourth quarter when they drew to within three points, 21-24 with seven minutes left to play. But the Packers kicked a field goal with just 2:39 left to play for a 27-21 lead. Jimmy Garoppolo drove the field and threw a touchdown to Kyle Juszczyk with only 43 seconds left to play. And the Packers had no time-outs. But they had Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams.
Rodgers connected with Adams for 25 yards to reach midfield with 21 seconds left. After an incompletion to Adams, he threw to Adams (notice the pattern)for a 17-yard gain to the SF 33-yard line with four seconds left, and Mason Crosby nailed the 51-yard winning kick.
Rodgers finished with 261 yards and two scores between Adams (12-132, TD) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (3-59, TD). Aaron Jones ran for 82 yards on 19 rushes with one touchdown but only two catches for 14 yards. The win sends the 2-1 Packers back home host the Steelers.
Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 257 yards and one score, and George Kittle (7-92) finally had his big performance. Deebo Samuel (5-52) and Brandon Aiyuk (4-37, TD) were both marginally involved but four catches was a big step up for Aiyuk. Trey Sermon finally started and gained 31 yards and a touchdown on ten carries, plus caught two short passes. The homefield 2-1 49ers lost a heartbreaker and host the Seahawks for Week 4.