Game Previews: All Fantasy Relevant Players For Week 3
Packers vs. Redskins
Will Aaron Rodgers Be Worth a Fantasy Start?
Blasphemy to many, Week Three may be a good week to bench Aaron Rodgers in favor of a better quarterback matchup. In a brief season review, Rodgers’ Week One fantasy value came in a handful of plays in the fourth quarter. Rodgers was at best average in Week Two against a good defense and limited by a knee injury. His knee injury will still be there in Week Three and he will have a tougher matchup against Washington.
How many snaps will Aaron Jones see?
In his first game back from a two game suspension, Aaron Jones will assume some degree of work from the underwhelming Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery. To what degree he is involved initially will be of note as he is expected to assume a full time role at some point this season barring an equally uninspiring performance. Williams had two weeks to demonstrate the lead back was his to lose and he lost it. Week Three will likely be a fantasy irrelevant one for all Green Bay running backs, except if one steals away a rushing touchdown (something Green Bay has yet to do in 2018).
Who is #2 in Green Bay?
Jimmy Graham’s targets doubled to eight in Week Two (12 in 2018), Randall Cobb is averaging eight targets per game and Geronimo Allison is averaging seven. Green Bay is adopting a situational approach to their receivers and until a trend develops, makes Green Bay a flex heavy lineup (with Graham as a safe tight end play). Aaron Rodgers is known for spreading the ball around and to their credit, his receivers have stepped up and all found success.Who Rodger’s will consistently look to after Davante Adams remains to be seen is anyone’s to earn.
Truth be told guys, I’m not even a fan of the Redskins and last week was downright PAINFUL. Redskins OC Mike Cavanaugh, and head coach Jay Gruden seemingly wanted to see just how good they could make a subpar Colts defense look by eliminating any running lanes and limiting Alex Smith to only a handful of pass attempts greater than 7 yards. While the playbook seemed to open up a bit in the second half, owners of the ‘Skins fantasy studs still paid the price of a truly awful first half. What will the ‘Skins offense show this week against the far superior Packers? Let’s dig in and find out….
Will the Gunslinger be Holstered or Firing?
To me, this is the main question coming into this week’s matchup with a young but extremely talented Packers secondary. The Vikings’ former Redskins QB already showed that the Packers secondary CAN be taken advantage of to some degree, but that wasn’t without a couple “generous” calls and clearly elite receiving options across the board. In the ‘Skins case, they have a far superior O-line and run game, a similarly talented TE, and a markedly less talented receiving corps. However, Smith statistically is a more accurate QB than Kirk Cousins, and in my opinion, a better QB overall. I expect the Redskins coaching staff to learn from last week’s mistakes and allow Smith to sling the rock freely in this one. I expect Smith to possibly even exceed his 46 pass attempts from last week, as the Redskins will likely be playing from behind for most of the game, and for Smith to leverage those attempts toward high-level numbers.
So Who’s the Redskins’ Gunslinger Shooting at?
Good question. Last week, Jamison Crowder went invisible as Paul Richardson and Chris Thompson receiver the bulk of the mid/short range looks, while raw talent Josh Doctson stepped into fantasy relevance as he handled the bulk of the deep range looks with 7 targets. I expect much of the same this week from the wideouts, as the Redskins look to stretch the field with Doctson and Richardson in order to open the run/screen game up. As for the Redskins TE Jordan Reed, this week should be a fun one. What do you do when you need to gain yards through the air against a talented secondary and a strong run defense? Exploit coverage linebackers of course! Last week saw Kyle Rudolph exploit coverage by the likes of Oren Burks and Nick Perry for 7 rec, 72 yards, and I would argue that a healthy Jordan Reed possesses greater receiving talent than the Vikings moving mattress. Look for a big game from the ‘Skins TE, barring an injury as always.
Can the Running Game Return to Form?
Well, your guess is as good as mine. Nothing is wrong with the resurgent Adrian Peterson, or human swiss army knife Chris Thompson, but the Redskins offensive line notably struggled in their week 2 loss to the Colts. With Trent Williams, and Brandon Scherff nicked up with knee injuries in their week 2 loss, they’ll join Morgan Moses as a full-fledged trio of ‘Skins lineman that will be playing through knee injuries in this one. While that doesn’t bode particularly well toward a bounce-back attempt against a far superior run defense, a week to get healthy, get taped, and get angry should be enough to open lanes big enough for AP to rip through. Look for a solid performance by the ‘Skins running backs on the ground and the usual high-level stat line for Chris Thompson.
And the ‘Skins Defense….
It’s the Packers. Don’t do this to yourself.
Look for a tight game, similar to that of last week’s Vikings vs Packers game, where the stats are solid, but the ‘Skins take the L.
Alex Smith: 38/48, 395 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 Forced Fumble
Jordan Reed: 9 rec, 110 yards, 1 TD
Adrian Peterson: 17 rushes, 80 yards, 1 TD, 3 rec, 30 yards
Chris Thompson: 6 rushes, 30 yards, 6 rec, 65 yards, 1 rec TD
Paul Richardson: 7 rec, 65 yards
Josh Doctson: 5 rec, 95 yards, 1 TD
Jamison Crowder: 3 rec, 28 yards, 1 rush, 15 yards