What We Learned From Last Week
Knees are an important part of a GOAT’s body.
Aaron Rodgers does not look like himself out there with half of a knee, he still looks better than 75% of the league’s starting quarterbacks, but he is not the Aaron Rodgers we know. Rodgers is still a QB1, Devante Adams is still a WR1, but in Rodgers’ current state they do not have the ‘no.1 at the position’ upside they would usually have.
Working with alongside Bill Belichick for 13 years may be the key to beating the Patriots.
Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions looked like a completely different team in week three compared to the first two weeks, is this due to Patricia’s familiarity with every facet of the Patriots organization or have the Lions turned a corner? The main takeaways from this game are that Kenny Golladay is a stud, and Kerryon Johnson is almost definitely the next Barry Sanders or the next Reggie Bush.
The Vikings may not be the team we thought they were.
There are surprises every single week in the NFL, but every now and again we see a result which destroys every survivor pool, DFS lineup and pick’em contest in the land. This blip could have been the Vikings expecting this to be an easy game, or maybe the Vikings are feeling all of the offseason changes within their organization. Time will tell, but with the suddenly talent-rich Chicago Bears, the revitalized Detroit Lions and the Aaron Rodgers led Packers as division mates this could be a long season for the Vikings.
The Chicago Bears may be the best team in the NFC North.
The Bears defense is for real and Khalil Mack is on a whole other level. Their offense is full of talent too, with playmakers at every position in Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, and Trey Burton. They lead the NFC North for the first time since 2014 and face the Bucs and Dolphins in the next two weeks; they may prove tough to catch.
What to Watch For
Green Bay Packers vs. Buffalo Bills –
The BIlls turned out to be a giant banana skin for the Minnesota Vikings last week; the Packers will be careful not to underestimate them. With the return of Aaron Jones this past week the Green Bay backfield was split slightly in Jones’ favor, but with the Packers chasing the game they only ran the ball 17 times. Look out for which of the Green Bay running backs takes advantage of Buffalo’s run defense this week, which has allowed the 6th most points to RBs so far this year.
Minnesota Vikings @ LA Rams –
The last place you want to go following the biggest upset in football since 1995 is to the toughest defense in the NFL, but that’s exactly where the Vikings find themselves. All eyes will be on Kirk Cousins and his buttery fingers after he fumbled three times against Buffalo. This is a tricky week for any Vikings fantasy owners, as you have to start pretty much all of their offensive options. The Rams have allowed the least Fantasy Points to QBs and WRs in the league through 3 weeks, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Kirk Cousins will almost definitely be in your line-ups this week, but you will not be happy about it for one second.
Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys –
Can the Lions carry the momentum from beating the Patriots last week into Dallas? The Cowboys offense have not found their rhythm yet, scoring just 41 points through 3 weeks. Watch out this week to see if young guns Kenny Golladay and Kerryon Johnson continue to dominate this offense. Golladay is the WR13 on the season so far, he looks like a superstar and seems to be Stafford’s favorite weapon. Kerryon Johnson became the Lions’ first 100-yard rusher in over five years, that should guarantee him the starting job until he doesn’t want it anymore.
Chicago Bears vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers –
Can the new and improved Bears defense do as the Steelers did and slow down Ryan Fitzpatrick? Only Aaron Rodgers has managed to score more than 15 fantasy points vs. the Bears this season, and that took one of the most miraculous performances in the history of the NFL. I can see the bears being the reason Jameis Winston gets his job back.
Who Brings the Boom
Jordan Howard is 7th in the NFL in total touches at the RB through 3 weeks, averaging 21 per game. The Buccs have allowed the 7th most fantasy points to RBs so far this season. The one thing missing from Howard’s game before this season was involvement in the passing game, so far this year he has averaged 3.5 targets per game and has caught ten passes for 78 yards in 3 games. Howard should be involved in all phases and could have his best game of the season in week 4.
Who Drops the Ball
Kirk Cousins, frequently. The Rams have shut down every quarterback they have faced so far this season, and they have only given up more than the 17 points they allowed to Philip Rivers last week once since week 4 of last season.
Green Bay Packers 30 vs. 17 Buffalo Bills
Detroit Lions 27 @ Dallas Cowboys 16
Minnesota Vikings 20 @ LA Rams 31
Chicago Bears 27 vs. 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers