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Fantasy Football Reactions, Ramblings, and Quick Hitters from Week 3

Tua Tagovailoa - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Ok...now we're cooking. After what I'd consider a fairly benign first two weeks of the season, Week 3 provided plenty of excitement, shocks, and disappointments for fantasy managers.

We'll start out with Miami's eye-opening dominance and close with Dallas' surprising debacle in the desert while touching on several other fantasy-relevant topics along the way.

This will be an article that features my initial reactions to the week's fantasy slate in somewhat of a free-flowing format. Hopefully, you guys find it interesting and fun to read, while also being helpful when considering your fantasy decisions for the week ahead. Let's jump into what went down in Week 3!

Be sure to also check our other Week 14 fantasy football waiver wire pickups articles:


The Miami Dolphins Are A Wagon

The Miami Dolphins offense had been really, really good through the first two weeks of the season, but I don't know that anyone had the 'Fins putting up 70 (!) on their Week 3 Bingo card.

Mike McDaniel has crafted this Miami offense around speed and that philosophy was readily apparent in the team's Week 3 beatdown of the Denver Broncos. McDaniel has the cupboards stocked with elite burners such as Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert, and now, rookie De'Von Achane, who dropped a nice little 50 burger for those fantasy managers lucky enough to have in their starting lineups for his NFL debut.

With Waddle sidelined in Week 3, the backfield combination of Mostert and Achane combined for nearly 100 fantasy points against the Broncos. It's a performance that places Mostert as the overall fantasy RB1 through the first three weeks of the season and makes Achane an "all-in" play on Week 4 waiver wires.

Oh, by the way, the Dolphins also continued to shred through the air. Hill finished the day with 157 yards and a score on nine catches, while Tua Tagovailoa was nearly perfect, going 23 for 26 to amass 309 passing yards and four TDs.

As we exit Week 3 of the season, Miami now has a player within the top three overall in fantasy scoring at the QB, RB, and WR positions. Both Tagovailoa and Mostert have been injury-prone in the past, but if they stay healthy in 2023, this team will continue to provide tons of fantasy goodness.


Where Have You Gone, Davis Mills?

Don't look now, but the Houston Texans are actually...fun. When the organization handed their vacant head coaching position to former Texans linebacker and San Francisco 49ers defense coordinator DeMeco Ryans, it was fair to assume that Houston's rebuild would consist of Ryans focusing on building a great defense while playing conservatively on the offensive side of the ball in an effort to keep games close and ease top 2023 draft pick C.J. Stroud in at the quarterback position. That assumption would be wrong.

Through the first three weeks of the season, Houston has averaged 40.3 pass attempts per game - the sixth-most in the NFL - while playing at one of the league's fastest paces. Stroud has looked like the real deal, passing for 904 yards, four TDs, and zero INTs behind a bad offensive line. The rookie has now posted back-to-back 20+ point fantasy outings.

Aiding Stroud and the Texans' passing attack is an eclectic, but effective group of pass catchers. Third-year wide receiver Nico Collins is the most "prototypical" wideout of the bunch. At 6'4", 215lbs, Collins has shown flashes across his first two NFL seasons but appears ready to make a significant leap in production with Stroud under center and is currently the fantasy football WR17.

Collins is flanked by the steady veteran Robert Woods, who is quietly averaging 10.5 fantasy points per game in PPR formats. The wild card is rookie wideout Tank Dell. An undersized dynamo out of the University of Houston, Dell and fellow rookie Stroud have formed an already-obvious chemistry that has led to 217 receiving yards and two TDs on 12 catches over the last two weeks. The surprising rookie out of the University of Houston is currently fantasy football's WR11 and should be rostered in all leagues.


Injury Woes Continue For The Chargers

Are the Chargers and Brandon Staley cursed? Although L.A. finally won a close game against Minnesota to move to 1-2, they left Week 3 with another key offensive player suffering what appears to be a significant injury.

With fantasy superstar Austin Ekeler already missing the Chargers' last two, wide receiver Mike Williams was carted off in Week 3 with what many fear is a significant knee injury.

While fantasy managers who drafted Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen are smiling from ear-to-ear with Allen standing as the top overall WR in PPR scoring, those with Ekeler and Williams have to be extremely concerned. Ekeler's backup, Joshua Kelley, has proven to be a fantasy handcuff bust, while Williams' managers will be forced to look to the waiver wire this week. Williams owners can consider either Josh Palmer - who scored 14.6 fantasy points against Minnesota after Big Mike left the game - or first-round rookie Quentin Johnston, who has underwhelmed to this point.


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Jerome Ford In Charge Of Browns Backfield

One of the bigger questions heading into Week 3 was how the Cleveland Browns would attempt to replace Nick Chubb. Fantasy managers likely spent large chunks of last week debating whether to cast their FAAB with unproven Jerome Ford or veteran Kareem Hunt, who the Browns resigned after Chubb's season-ending injury.

If Cleveland's first game without Chubb is an indicator of what to expect for the rest of the season, Ford appears to have the upper hand. The second-year back logged 40 snaps against Tennessee in Week 3, while Hunt was on the field for just 14.

Ford struggled running the ball against a rugged Titans front, though his fantasy production (19.1 points PPR) was rock solid and his usage (10 carries, 22 routes run) was exactly what his fantasy managers were hoping for. While Hunt's role could increase as he settles back in with the team, this looks to be Ford's backfield for the moment, which makes the 24-year-old a borderline fantasy must-start.


Leave The Wins, Take The Fantasy Points

Veteran fantasy managers don't really care who wins the actual football games we spend so much time analyzing. Sure, we all might have a favorite or hometown team that we root for, but at the end of the day, it's all about the fantasy points.

While we all know that great "real-life" teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers have valuable fantasy assets, there were plenty of losing teams in Week 3 with players that packed lots of fantasy punch. It's a nice reminder that fantasy value can often be found in overlooked places.

Some notable fantasy performances from players on teams that lost in Week 3:


Quick Hitters

Alexander MattisonAfter a week in which he was abused on social media for his Week 2 performance and the Minnesota front office traded for Cam Akers, congrats to Mattison for stepping up and posting his most productive outing of 2023 in Week 3. He notched 125 total yards on 27 opportunities. Akers' presence will make Mattison's fantasy managers sweat, but this was an encouraging outing.

Sam LaPortaFantasy managers have learned to be leery of rookie tight ends, but don't let that stop you from making a move for Lions rookie TE Sam LaPorta. If he's somehow still available in your league, grab him. Throw out some trade offers. He's a rest-of-season TE1.

Alvin KamaraKamara's three-game suspension is now up and he's expected to return to the Saints lineup in Week 4. Those fantasy managers who stashed him should be excited, as he could step into elite, workhorse usage with Jamaal Williams on IR.

Derrick Henry - Experienced fantasy managers know that there's a cliff that every running back eventually falls off of... is Derrick Henry at the edge of that precipice? The Titans legend will turn 30 before this season ends and he's looked it through the first three weeks of the season. Henry has always performed better in the cold weather and in divisional clashes, so we don't want to jump the gun just yet. That said, fantasy managers might want to consider stashing Tennessee rookie Tyjae Spears, who has noticeably cut into Henry's workload this season.

Justin FieldsFor those fantasy managers who heavily invested in the Bears quarterback after what appeared to be a breakout season in 2022, I'm sorry, he might be broken. Fields continues to lose fantasy relevancy with each brutal Bears outing.

Dallas Cowboys - I say this from a completely neutral view of the Cowboys... what a classic Dallas loss in Week 3. The 'Boys headed to Arizona flying high at 2-0 and proceeded to lose to a winless, tanking Cardinals squad. Dallas players will continue to be fantasy-relevant in 2023, but fantasy managers shouldn't forget that this Cowboys team is like a box of chocolates, you never really know what you're gonna get.

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