A WEEK OF BIG WINS, BIG LOSSES AND BIG CELEBRITY APPEARANCES
By Martin Richardson
What a big week in the NFL season. We have 0-3 teams that look beyond awful. We have records nearly being broken. We have the Cowboys doing Cowboys things. And we have a new celebrity power couple on the horizon. Add to the mix that the rookie class of ’23 seem to be settling down and announcing themselves for the NFL to see, week three was a big week all round.
So let’s dive right in. Who in week three looked the part and could be worth a waiver claim based on what happened, as well as who seemed to cause more headaches for your fantasy lineups. Let’s take a look:
DE’VON ACHANE AND RAHEEM MOSTERT
203 rushing yards
30 receiving yards
82 yards rushing
60 yards receiving
3 rushing touchdowns
Wow. Wow. Wow. What a performance. The Dolphins duo seem to be the place to start. Totalling over 70 points as a pair, the running backs absolutely smashed the Broncos on Sunday by halftime. It was an incredible performance and one that may not be seen for some time. Mike McDaniel had the pair cooking from minute one and then just kept on hitting that end zone until the end of the 4th quarter. Without Waddle, that offence still performed perfectly, and their run game was superb. So are one or two of the pair worth a waiver claim if they’re not on rosters, I think so. Whatever McDaniel does at the moment seems to be working for the Dolphins on offence and now is the time to capitalise. It may appear like a committee system in the backfield, but it works and it’s clear to see it works well. Bye weeks are looming and with the red hot Dolphins not on a bye until week 10, one or both of these could well fill in that FLEX or RB2 role comfortably.
And I know what some people may be thinking: it was the Broncos; and as I discuss later, they are just woeful at the moment. Which may well be the counter argument to those incredible fantasy numbers. This week they travel to Buffalo, whose defence just single-handedly destroyed the Commanders. If one or both of them can come away with solid yardage and a TD, then we know they’re legitimate options.
Overall, I still think a waiver claim to stash for the byes is a must try this week as Achane has shown he can step up in his rookie year, and Mostert could well make it harder for Jeff Wilson to be the immediate RB1 when he’s back healthy.
Like previous weeks, I look at the numbers of touchdowns and yards etc, but when a player who has consecutive 20+ point weeks, you know to pay attention. What’s interesting is that he is only rostered by 30% of players, which is mad and that he is available on waivers seems crazy to me.
With nearly 700 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2 games, Stroud has announced his arrival in the NFL in a big way. This week against the Steelers could be a big test for the rookie QB, but after that there’s a winnable game against the Falcons who may well be jet lagged from the game against the Jags. If he’s kicking about on your waiver wire, get him in as streaming option for those bye weeks.
With this in mind, keep an eye on what Tank Dell does over the next few weeks. He looks like he could be a real steal if you manage to snag him on waivers in the next week or two.
Players who get a second chance- My Mulligan of the week
How on earth do you learn anything from the Chargers and Vikings game? I thought the Chargers would do what the Chargers do best and throw away a game they were in a position to win. But it was Kirk Cousins who did a Kirk Cousins special and throw an interception with the game on the line.
In terms of fantasy, Justin Jefferson was back to his usual self, with 149 yards and a touchdown. But this was to the detriment of Addison who had a quieter week. TJ Hockenson had yet another solid week at tight end with nearly 80 yards and is beginning to establish himself as a good fantasy player every week.
What this means is that I want to see a big game from the Vikings and the Panthers present such an opportunity to do just that. They allowed the Seahawks to march all over them with Metcalf going for over 100 yards and both Walker and Charbonnet having impressive games too.
As for the Chargers, without Ekeler the run game was a bit limited, but Keenan Allen had a great game and the now injured Mike Williams had a great game too. This now means that I would be taking a punt on Quentin Johnston or Josh Palmer as the next WR2 for Justin Herbert. We know Herbert is an elite QB and can get the ball moving down the field all the time, so that is not in doubt. Get those waiver claims in for either one of those.
This week they play the Raiders; a team totally lost and could easily be in the Caleb Williams hunt. The Chargers could easily pull back a poor start to the season and be 2-2 if they put away the bizarre looking Raiders team.
My final take on these two would be to give both teams a mulligan, as neither have proved they are looking better, and see what happens next week. If it’s anything less than two wins, then there could be real problems for the rest of the season.
Who should we worry about: The Denver Broncos
Imagine when Nathanial Hackett was at his peak poor performance, Broncos fans must have assumed the only way is up. Sean Payton comes in. Up, up, up. They splashed big in the off season. Up, up, up? Right?
Wrong. 0-3 is the reality of the Broncos and they look bereft of ideas. Post humiliation, Peyton was snapping at reporters who dared ask him questions about the loss and has not exactly been the coach we all saw in New Orleans.
How does this tie to fantasy? Well, we only have to look at their RB to see the answers. Ok, Javonte Williams is perhaps coming back to full fitness after a horrendous injury. But, even Samaje Perine looks a shadow of his former self from when he stepped up at the Bengals. Williams hasn’t hit double figures in fantasy and Perine is only getting snaps when Peyton appears to be running out of ideas or confidence in Williams.
I really don’t know what to make of the receivers and what Russell Wilson is doing for them. He has 6 touchdowns over the three weeks, but all to different people, which didn’t help Jeudy and Sutton fantasy owners. Mims is now questionable and may not play this week, which could help those two wideouts, but the Broncos need to strip it all back and get back to basics to get a much-needed win. Maybe this week against the Bears will help get Russ cooking and his core WR some much needed points.
However, should the Broncos come away with a poor showing against the Bears, we will have even more questions than answers.
A Yorkshireman living in Lancashire, Martin is a massive NFL fan but his heart belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also a huge Fantasy Football enthusiast and spends far too long crunching the numbers! Follow him at @MRBucsFan31