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Week 3 Matchups - Fantasy Football Game Breakdowns (Part 2)

Welcome to our Week 3 matchups analysis and starts/sits column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every matchup from every Sunday game to help you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. We'll also be updating this as injury reports come in so check back often.

This article will cover the late slate of games, beginning at 4 PM ET on Sunday as well as the Sunday night game. Click here to see our early game matchups analysis and our MNF matchups analysis.

Check back here each week to get the absolute best advice for your toughest start/sit decisions and take a look at our consensus rankings each week. Find me on Twitter @ChrisMangano for more insight and help to your start/sit questions.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


4:00 PM EST Games

The late slate has just four games this week, culminating in New England at Detroit on Sunday night. Set those lineups in time by analyzing each matchup below to gain the best advantage.


Chargers at Rams

Matchups We Love:

Virgil Green (TE, LAR)
With the loss of third-year tight end Hunter Henry, everyone thought Antonio Gates would be the man to replace him, but it appears it's Virgil Green. Green has now caught all seven of his targets for 89 yards, while Gates has just two catches and 16 yards. The Rams are a great spot for a tight end, having allowed the 27th most points to the position. If Green was seeing more volume he'd be a TE1, but as it stands he is nothing more than a deep league streamer.

Jared Goff (QB, LAR)
Without star pass rusher Joey Bosa, the Chargers pass defense just hasn't been the same. They are giving up 250 yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game, and now get one of the best offenses led by Goff. Goff is a safe QB1 play this week and has top-5 upside.

Matchups We Hate:

Philip Rivers (QB, LAC)
Rivers is off to a great start with 680 yards and six touchdowns through the first two games but will be tested against the Rams elite pass defense. On the year the Rams are allowing the fewest points to quarterbacks, and have yet to give up a passing touchdown. Rivers is best left on benches.

Mike Williams (WR, LAC), Tyrell Williams (WR, LAC)
The Williams duo primarily lines up on the outside, which means they will have to contend with Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Currently ranked eighth and 12th, respectively, by Pro Football Focus, both receivers are in for a tough day. Given their low volume of targets both should be avoided.

Other Matchups:

Melvin Gordon (RB, LAC), Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)
On the season Gordon has just 92 rushing yards but has 15 catches for 140 yards and two scores. The Rams are a good run defense allowing 2.9 YPA (15th) and just 74.5 YPG (5th) on the ground, but allow an average of 9.5 receptions. Gordon may struggle running the ball, but he should be involved enough in the passing game and is still an RB1. Ekeler, meanwhile, has eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown and remains a fine PPR flex play.

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)
While no means a great spot for Allen, he lines up in the slot almost 60% of the time which will give him chances away from Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. Rams slot corner Nickel Robey-Coleman is ranked 48th by Pro Football Focus. Still, this is a tough spot and while you can't bench Allen owners should temper expectations.

Todd Gurley (RB, LAR)
Gurley has picked up right where he left off in 2017 with four touchdowns through two games. He gets a good Chargers defense that allows 3.9 YPA (15th) and 95 YPG (13th) but also has allowed the 23rd most points to the position. Regardless of the matchup, Gurley is a weekly must start.

Brandin Cooks (WR, LAR), Robert Woods (WR, LAR)
Cooks and Woods each have 18 targets, but Cooks has 13 catches to Woods' eight. Woods has more air yards, 268 to 222, which means he is due for a breakout. The Chargers once strong secondary has struggled thus far, and outside corners Trevor Williams and Casey Hayward are ranked 50th and 57th by Pro Football Focus. The defense is allowing the 21st most points to the position, and both receivers make for excellent starts this week.

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)
Slot receiver Kupp gets the toughest matchup against slot corner Desmond King who is ranked 29th by Pro Football Focus. Kupp has caught 11 passes for 115 yards and a score but will need plenty of volume or a score to pay off in this one. Still, he can be considered a WR3 start.


Cowboys at Seahawks

Matchups We Love:


Matchups We Hate:

Russell Wilson (QB, SEA)
Wilson has over 500 yards and five touchdowns through the first two games but also has three interceptions. He gets a tough matchup against a Cowboys defense that has nine sacks (2nd) and is allowing the ninth fewest points to the position. Wilson has tons of talent, but with limited weapons and a shoddy offensive line, he is a risky start this week.

Chris Carson (RB, SEA), Rashaad Penny (RB, SEA)
Penny has out-carried Carson 17 to 13, but Carson has 75 yards to Penny's 38. Against a Cowboys defense that is allowing 3.7 YPA (10th) and 91 YPG (11th) while giving up the ninth fewest points to the position, neither Carson nor Penny should be in lineups this week.

Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA)
With Doug Baldwin out Lockett has been playing from the slot, and draws a tough matchup against slot corner Anthony Brown, Pro Football Focus' 15th ranked corner. The Cowboys are already stingy to receivers, allowing the second fewest points, and Lockett can't be considered more than a flex in this one.

Brandon Marshall (WR, SEA)
Marshall leads the Seahawks with 13 targets but has only turned them into eight catches for 98 yards, though he does have a score. Against the Dallas outside corners who are holding receivers to just eight catches and 97.5 YPG, Marshall is best left on benches.

Other Matchups:

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)
Prescott only has 330 yards and one touchdown through two games and remains little more than a low-end QB2 even in a decent matchup. The Seahawks are allowing the 17th most points to the position, and give up 264 yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game. Still, the Cowboys glacial pace and lack of throwing volume are killing Prescott's value.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)
Elliott is only averaging 16 attempts per game, way below his career average of 22, but has made up for it with eight catches already. He gets a Seahawks defense that is allowing just 3.9 YPA (15th) but 116 YPG (21st). They have yet to give up a rushing touchdown, but Zeke could certainly change that. He is a solid RB1 start.

Cole Beasley (WR, DAL), Deonte Thompson (WR, DAL)
Beasley and Thompson are the only Dallas receivers with more than five targets, each has 11, but neither can be trusted as more than a deep-league flex play. Despite the Seahawks giving up the 21st most points to the position, the lack of volume makes both a risky start.

Will Dissly (TE, SEA)
Dissly has scored in each of his first two games and has six catches for 147 yards. Tight ends are one area the Cowboys defense struggles in, allowing the 20th most points to the position. Dissly comes with risk, but he has upside and is worth a start in deeper leagues or those who are desperate at the position.


Bears at Cardinals 

Matchups We Love:

Jordan Howard (RB, CHI)
Howard has gotten off to a slow start with just 117 yards through the first two games, but as promised in the off-season has been more involved in the passing game with eight catches for 58 yards. He gets a great matchup this week against a Cardinals defense that is allowing just 3.6 YPA (6th) but 136 YPG (27th) and is allowing the most points to the position. With his work in the passing game, Howard is in the RB1 discussion.

Trey Burton (TE, CHI)
Burton only has six catches and 43 yards on 11 targets through two games but found the end zone in Week 2. He gets a great matchup against a Cardinals defense that is allowing the 24th most points to the position and has allowed a tight end touchdown in each of the first two games. Burton could score again and makes for a solid TE1 start.

Matchups We Hate:

David Johnson (RB, ARI)
What has happened to David Johnson? New head coach Mike McCoy seems to have no idea how to use him, and Johnson has just 85 rushing yards and six catches through the first two weeks. Now he must contend with a Bears defense allowing just 3.6 YPA (6th) and 71.5 YPG (4th) while allowing the fewest points to the position. It's tough to bench your first round pick but if you have better options you may want to.

Other Matchups:

Mitch Trubisky (QB, CHI)
Trubisky has been good, not great, thus far in 2018 with only 371 passing yards and two touchdowns. The matchup with the Cardinals is fine, they allow over 300 yards passing per game, but Trubisky just has not shown much of a ceiling. Still, in a good spot, he can be considered a solid QB2.

Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI)
Cohen has barely been used thus far totaling just nine carries and four catches through two games. With the Bears heavy favorites and likely to be winning throughout, it could be another week Cohen gets little work. He is best left on benches.

Allen Robinson (WR, CHI)
Robinson was targeted 14 times in Week 2 hauling in 10 catches but for just 83 yards. He will be seeing plenty of Patrick Peterson, Pro Football Focus' ninth graded corner, but will also get chances against Jamar Taylor ranked 102nd. The Cardinals are allowing the eighth-fewest points to receivers but Robinson should see enough volume to warrant WR3 consideration.

Sam Bradford (QB, ARI)
Bradford has yet to throw for 300 combined yards in the first two games and does not have a touchdown. He's been nothing short of awful thus far but gets a Bears defense allowing 280 yards and 2.5 touchdowns a game to quarterbacks. They do also lead the league in sacks and Bradford is likely to be under tons of pressure. No one was starting him this week anyway, and there is really no reason too.

Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI)
Fitzgerald has been targeted just 15 times so far but by virtue of playing primarily from the slot will avoid the Bears tough outside corners. Instead, he will match up with slot corner Kyle Fuller who Pro Football Focus has ranked 82nd. The Bears are actually allowing the 30th most points to receivers, and Fitzgerald is a sneaky-good start this week.

Ricky Seals-Jones (TE, ARI)
Seals-Jones has seven catches but has totaled just 36 yards as the Cardinals passing attack has struggled. The Bears are not a tough spot for tight ends allowing the 16th most points to the position while allowing 4.5 catches and 43 yards. Still, Seals-Jones is extremely risky at this point and should only be started in very deep leagues.


Sunday Night Football - Patriots at Lions

Matchups We Love:

Sony Michel (RB, NE)
Michel returned from his knee injury and made his NFL debut in Week 2, and while he only played 13 snaps he touched the ball on 11 of them and was targeted on another. Rex Burkhead, meanwhile, played 14 snaps and only carried the ball six times. Michel also got the only two carries inside the 10-yard line. Now he gets a Lions defense that is allowing 5.6 YPA (31st), 179.5 YPG (32nd) and allows the 31st most points to the position. If Michel was guaranteed a larger role he would be an easy RB1, but can still be considered an RB2. Burkhead is a TD dependent flex start.

Matthew Stafford (QB, DET)
After a terrible start to the season in which he threw four interceptions, Stafford rebounded in Week 2 with 347 yards and three touchdowns. Now he gets a Patriots defense that gave up 376 yards and four touchdowns to Blake Bortles a week ago. In a high-volume passing attack, Stafford is a solid QB1.

Matchups We Hate:


Other Matchups:

Tom Brady (QB, NE)
Brady has been his usual great self, with 511 yards and five touchdowns through two weeks. He gets a good matchup against a Lions defense that has given up two touchdowns in each of the first two games. Brady is a locked-in QB1 and a weekly must start.

James White (RB, NE)
White has 17 targets and 11 receptions through two games and gets a Lions defense that gives up five catches and 38.5 yards to receivers. White remains a high-floor flex play in PPR formats.

Phillip Dorsett (WR, NE), Chris Hogan (WR, NE)
Dorsett continues to lead the team with 14 targets and has 12 catches for 110 yards and a score, while Hogan has 11 targets but just four catches and 53 yards, though he did score twice last week. The Lions secondary is good, allowing just the 13th fewest points to receivers. The upside is there in this offense, but neither can be considered more than a WR3 based on the volume they are getting.

Josh Gordon (WR, NE)
We've listed Gordon separately because we feel he warrants his own discussion. After his former team, the Cleveland Browns, announced suddenly that they were going to release him, teams scrambled to offer trades. Somehow the Patriots landed him for nothing more than a fifth-round pick. While Gordon has tons of upside in this offense, he will be hard to trust with a short week to practice. We doubt he sees many snaps this first game and we think he should be benched for at least one week until he acclimates to his new team.

Rob Gronkowski (TE, NE)
Gronk only has 12 targets through two games but has caught nine of them for 138 yards and a score. The Lions are solid against tight ends, ranking 12th in points allowed and giving up an average of just four catches and 39 yards. But this is Gronk, one of, if not the greatest tight end of all time. You start him no matter what.

Kerryon Johnson (RB, DET), LeGarrette Blount (RB, DET)
Johnson and Blount continue to split carries but Johnson has eight receptions on nine targets to Blount's one reception. The Patriots struggle at stopping running backs, allowing 4.7 YPA (25th) and 135.5 YPG (27th). With Johnson's work in the passing game, he is a high-upside flex play, while Blount will likely need a touchdown to pay off.

Theo Riddick (RB, DET)
Riddick had 12 targets and nine receptions in Week 2 as the Lions played from behind, and he may be used in the passing game again as the Lions are seven-point underdogs at home. Riddick is only averaging 4.4 YPR so he doesn't offer a ton of upside, but is a high-floor PPR flex play.

Kenny Golladay (WR, DET), Marvin Jones (WR, DET)
The Patriots primarily play man coverage and Golladay should be matched up with Stephon Gilmore while Jones will be matched up with Jason McCourty. Gilmore is ranked 23rd by Pro Football Focus while McCourty is ranked 14th. Still, both are getting plenty of opportunity in this offense and should not be avoided. Both are in the WR2 discussion.

Golden Tate (WR, DET)
Tate will match up with slot corner Jonathan Jones who is ranked 21st by Pro Football Focus. Tate has 29 targets through two games and should once again be Stafford's favorite target. He is a low-end WR1 start.


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