Welcome once again to Week 3 of the Model 284 Friday Fantasy Preview. If you are looking for a blend of numbers and subjectivity to help guide your lineup, then this is the right place for you.
Week 3 Studs:
Chris Carson: This pick is a little bit counter-intuitive on the surface. The Seahawks will be road dogs in Tennessee on Sunday against a Titan’s defense who was much stronger against the run than the pass last year. Over the first two games of the year, however, the Titans have been average on both accounts. The Seahawks are a run-first team, and as you would expect, they have been much stronger on the ground so far this season. With Russell Wilson destined to continue his struggles, (I will touch more on this later) the ‘Hawks only chance to pull off this road “upset” is on the ground. And at the moment, Carson looks like the clear-cut favorite to be the lead back in Week 3.
DeSean Jackson: As a Vikings fan, you can trust me when I tell you that Trae Waynes is an absolute liability at cornerback because I have unfortunately seen every professional snap of his career. Not for one moment has Waynes looked like a player worthy of the 11th overall pick. Considering the rate that at which he gets beat or commits pass interference, I would be surprised to see him make it through the whole game this week before Zimmer sits him down. This is a matchup made in heaven for a veteran deep-threat like D-Jax.
Dak Prescott: It hasn’t been a flashy start to 2017 for Prescott. However, he hasn’t exactly had it easy in either of his first two games, facing off against the Giants and the Broncos to start the season isn’t ideal, but Dak has shown he can hang in there and deliver a performance that won’t ruin your fantasy week when faced with challenges. This week against Arizona will be another early season test, but the Cardinals aren’t quite on the level of either defense Dak has seen thus far. Our QB projection model ranks Prescott as the #1 QB this week, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that prediction came true.
Week 3 Duds:
Jordan Howard: If you own Jordan Howard in any of your leagues, then you are probably already aware of a man named Tarik Cohen. Cohen has outscored Howard in both games this year and is the clear passing down back in the Bear’s offense. Against an always-dangerous Steelers team, the Bears figure to be playing from behind for a large portion of the game. That doesn’t bode well for Howard, especially if he is hampered by his shoulder injury. If you have other options this week, I would take them.
The Colts: I know I touched on the Colts last week, but Indianapolis is a mess this year -plain and simple. The defense is bad, and the offense is worse. Frank Gore has done nothing in his opportunity to step up. His lone red zone touchdown is the only bright spot he’s had in an otherwise terrible start to the season. Things aren’t looking any better in the receiving game either. T.Y. Hilton is leading the charge for Colt receivers with an absolutely dominant 7 catches for 106 yards over two games. There is no reason to expect anything more until, or if, Andrew Luck comes back. If there is any player on this roster worth a start, Jack Doyle is clearly the man. Doyle ended up with 8 catches for 79 yards in Week 2. When you can’t run the ball and you can’t find your receivers, the only option is to feed the TE. Unfortunately, with how bad this offense has looked, the ceiling is still low for Doyle.
Russell Wilson/Jimmy Graham: As I mentioned earlier, the Seahawks aren’t going to have it easy this week. The Titans defense isn’t great, but it isn’t a slouch either. Russell Wilson has had a forgettable start to the 2017 season and currently sits outside the top 15 for QBs. The Seahawk’s prowess as a pass defense is well known, and with their offensive line playing the way it is, you can expect another rough afternoon for that unit. It would be nice for Wilson if he could lean on his proven tight end. However, Jimmy Graham is fighting through an ankle injury and has only managed 4 catches for 9 yards so far this season. Against top-end safeties and an athletic group of linebackers for Seattle, Graham isn’t going to be able to pick up his QB, and Wilson is going to continue his September to forget. Tennessee has been consistently solid against TEs over their last 7 games – ranking 25th in Fantasy Points Above Expectation to TEs.