Fantasy Noise: Week 3 Recap
Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Week 3 is a rap and hopefully you came away with another win, because injuries are still mounting. It’s unfortunate, but everyone is in the same boat so I’m moving on from the injury news to focus more on player performance and trends this week.
Last week, tight ends had a monster week. This week I’ll highlight some running backs trending up, some trending down, and some surprises. Also, there’s a quarterback that’s been cooking and another who discovered his kryptonite.
Like Phillip Lindsay before him, James Robinson was an undrafted running back out of a non Power 5 conference. And like Lindsay, Robinson stepped into his team’s starting running back role despite this.
Robinson did have to wait for his chance though. First, Leonard Fournette had to be released. Then both Devine Ozigbo and Ryquell Armstead had to be placed on the I.R. for various reasons. Since then, Robinson has been off and running with his opportunity.
Through 3 weeks, he’s averaging 23.8 points per game, good for 8th at running back. Despite increasing his scoring every game though his snap count has actually decreased every game from 61% to 51% to 45%. Quite an unusual stat but obviously his efficiency is increasing because of this. Last game against Miami, in a negative game script, Robinson showed he could be effective as well catching the ball. With 6 catches for 83 yards, he led Jacksonville in receiving.
Overall, he’s rushed 43 times for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns. He, also, has 10 catches for another 129 yards. Not bad for a guy not even drafted.
Next up is the 2nd worst rushing defense in the league in the Bengals. Start him without hesitation as he may have started off as a surprise but he won’t be sneaking up on anybody any more.
Bouncing Back RB
After battling ankle and knee injuries in 2019, which caused him to miss 2 games, Alvin Kamara is looking to reestablish himself as a top 5 fantasy running back. After finishing 2018 as the 4th highest scoring running back, Kamara dipped to 9th in 2019 partly because of these injuries.
Through the first 3 games, Kamara has 6 total touchdowns, is averaging 39 fantasy points per game and is the number 1 scoring running back in football. Most of his damage though is coming through the air where he has 27 receptions for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns.
With whispers about Drew Brees’s ability to push the ball downfield, Kamara could be in for a busy season receiving out of the backfield. We’ll have to wait and see though how Michael Thomas’s return from an ankle injury affects Kamara’s receiving work.
With Detroit and the 3rd worst rushing defense up next, Kamara could be in for a big game on the ground this week. Either way he does it though, Kamara is looking like his old self.
Joe Mixon was routinely drafted at the end of the 1st round or beginning of the 2nd in fantasy drafts all off season. He was, on average, drafted as an RB1, going between the 9th and 12th running back off the board.
His production through 3 games does not justify his draft position and fantasy managers are getting antsy. Averaging 12.5 fantasy points per game and only playing 60% of snaps is not what you want out of your RB1.
His next matchup against Jacksonville isn’t as enticing as originally thought either. They have only given up 1 rushing touchdown to a running back and no 100 yard rushers this season. Also, after Jacksonville, the Bengals get Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Cleveland. All top 10 defenses against the run.
We’ve seen this from Mixon before though. The first 8 games of 2019 he averaged 8.8 fantasy points per game and the last 8 games he averaged 19.1 fantasy points per game.
Can fantasy managers afford to wait on another turn around from Mixon like last year? Or with an unforgiving schedule ahead, will a turn around even come this year?
A common narrative going into 2019 was “free Aaron Jones” and in deed he was freed. A common narrative going into 2020 was “let Russ Cook.” Well through 3 games Russell Wilson is in deed cooking. He is averaging 45.6 fantasy points per game and his efficiency is startling. He is only throwing about 2 more passes per game than in 2019, but he is completing 77% of them and his touchdown rate has more than doubled. With back to back 5 touchdown pass games, he has 14 TD’s and 1 interception on the year.
Having arguable 2 of the top 12 wide receivers in Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, Wilson has a luxury most quarterbacks don’t. And now with Chris Carson hobbled by a knee sprain, Seattle may have to lean on him and his passing even more. Next up are the lowly Dolphins as Russ will look to keep things cooking.
Everyone has weaknesses. Superman’s is kryptonite and Kansas City is apparently Lamar Jackson’s kryptonite. After losing to the Chiefs for the 2nd year in a row in week 3 of the season, Jackson said as much at the post game press conference.
Throwing for only 97 yards on 15 for 28 passing and 1 touchdown is not a good game. And to be more specific about Jackson’s kryptonite, it appears to be putting him in a negative game script and forcing him to pass.
Jackson is now 0-6, since entering the league in 2018, when trailing at half time. This is the exact situation he found himself in against the Chiefs. Down 27-10 at half, the Ravens and Jackson could never get it going as they were only able to run 49 plays total compared to 73 plays for the Chiefs.
To be fair, the Chiefs are going to make a lot of teams look bad.
Jackson, also, played at such a high level last season that regression was expected. Through 3 games, though, his pass attempts per game and passing yards per game are down significantly.
Jackson averaged 35.3 fantasy points last year and after scoring only 17.1 against the Chiefs, he’ll be looking to rebound against a surprisingly good Washington pass defense.
Back up phenom Nick Foles went 16/29 188 yards with 3 TDS, leading a comeback win . . . . Rams/Bills produced 11 double digit fantasy scorers, Tyler Higbee wasn’t one . . . . Mike Evans was efficient as possible Sunday, 2 receptions 2 yards 2 TDS . . . . Darren Waller had 2 catches for 9 yards a week after having 12 catches for 105 yards and 1 TD . . . . In his 1st week replacing McCaffery, Mike Davis went 13 for 46 rushing and 8 for 45 and 1 TD receiving . . . .Derrick Henry had 2 TDS . . . . Greg Ward had 12 targets . . . . Tyler Boyd had 13 targets . . . . Keenan Allen had 19 targets . . . . Jonathan Taylor only played 40% of snaps . . . . After playing 75% of snaps and scoring 18.9 fantasy points, Myles Gaskin is a thing now.