Kickoff: Sunday, September 27th at 4:25 PM ET
Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Betting Odds: Arizona -5.5, 54.5 total via Oddsshark
Matthew Stafford (Start QB2)
Matthew Stafford has not begun the 2020 season at a level anywhere close to his 2019 start and now faces a suddenly stingy Arizona defense. Through two games, Arizona has allowed the eighth-fewest passing yards (442) and is behind only Baltimore in points allowed (35). As of this writing, it is expected Stafford will be reunited with his #1 WR following a two-week absence as Kenny Golladay appears to be recovered from his hamstring injury. Despite that bit of positive news, it’s hard to trust Stafford as your QB in traditional leagues as we look to Week 3, but he could sneak into the bottom of the QB1 tier based on volume. Stafford should provide high-end QB2 numbers for leagues that allow a second starting QB, however.
Adrian Peterson (Start Deep Flex), D’Andre Swift (Start Deep Flex), Kerryon Johnson (Sit)
The backfield situation in Detroit is such a mess I can only recommend Adrian Peterson or D’Andre Swift as an emergency-type Flex in very deep leagues even in this injury-riddled season. The reason is that all three players cannibalize each other’s touches, making none of them able to accumulate stats good enough to be trusted in lineups. In Week 2, Peterson saw 15 snaps and garnered seven touches. Swift was in for 20 snaps and received 10 touches, five each rushing and receiving. Kerryon Johnson matched Swift with 20 snaps but managed just eight touches although he did find the end zone. Among the three RBs, those 25 touches totaled 145 yards and one TD; numbers good enough to be a solid starter if it were only one guy handling them all. Unless one begins to separate, this is a backfield to avoid for most fantasy managers.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Kenny Golladay (Start, WR3/ Deep Flex), Marvin Jones (Sit), Danny Amendola (Sit), Quintez Cephus(Sit), T.J. Hockenson (Start, TE2)
There is a steady dose of information indicating Golladay will be healthy and active for Detroit’s matchup with Arizona this week, but that doesn’t make him an auto-start for fantasy managers. Golladay is recovering from a hamstring injury which is notorious for flaring up and has to be a serious concern for anyone with him on their fantasy roster. With the rash of injuries that swept through the NFL last week, he may have to be involved for some fantasy managers, but temper your expectations for this week. If you can slot Golladay in as an upside WR3 or Flex option, that would be ideal but he could return WR2 value if he suffers no setbacks and plays a full allotment of snaps.
Marvin Jones is a better player when Golladay is on the field with him as he’s struggled as Detroit’s #1 WR throughout the first two weeks. Jones has been targeted 14 times, tied for the team lead with Danny Amendola, with eight catches for just 78 yards and one TD. Jones should benefit from the attention Golladay will draw but until we can be assured Golladay is at or near 100% Jones can’t be trusted for fantasy managers as a starting option. Amendola is a nice safety valve for Stafford but he doesn’t have any upside to speak of because of the types of routes he runs and, as such, should be left on benches for Week 3. Quintez Cephus has been a nice real-life find for the Lions but has been barely mediocre for fantasy managers. Assuming Golladay plays as expected, Cephus’s role will be significantly reduced as well as what little value he brought to fantasy managers.
T.J. Hockenson has been the most consistent option for Detroit, catching all nine of his targets this season for 118 yards and one TD. Hockenson had easily his best game of the season last year against the Cardinals, but they’ve been a bit better so far in 2020 against the position. It’s still an area of Arizona’s defense teams have been attacking, with decent result, and fantasy managers can do the same with Hockenson. Given the TD-upside of some other TEs, Hockenson is best viewed as a high-end TE2 with TE1 upside for Week 3.
Kyler Murray (Start, QB1)
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say Kyler Murray is one of the most exciting players in the NFL right now. His escapability and athleticism make him a threat to score on the ground or through the air from virtually anywhere on the field. Somewhat surprisingly, however, his passing statistics are almost identical despite the addition of DeAndre Hopkins as evidenced by this table courtesy of Pro Football Reference. It’s the rushing upside Murray brings that is so enticing to fantasy managers. This season, Murray is averaging more than 75 rushing yards per game and already has three rushing TDs. Murray is about as close to a plug-and-play QB as there is for Week 3 and fantasy managers can start him with confidence.
Kenyan Drake (Start, RB2), Chase Edmonds (Sit)
Kenyan Drake was one of the more polarizing players during fantasy drafts earlier this year after his scintillating finish to the 2019 season. Skeptics pointed to his struggles in Miami and called his success in Arizona an aberration. Pundits argued Drake would continue to excel in Kliff Kingsbury‘s offense and he was miscast in Miami. Through two games, it turns out the truth may well be somewhere in the middle. Drake has been serviceable as an RB2 but a bit of a letdown for fantasy managers relying on him to be their RB1. Detroit has allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL so far this season (408), so it makes sense to trust Drake as a high-end RB2 with RB1 upside.
Had Chase Edmonds not gotten hurt following his Week 7 explosion in 2019, Drake may never have been brought in to get his chance. Edmonds racked up 150 total yards and three TDs during that game and looked like he was going to be the breakout RB for fantasy managers to ride to fantasy glory. Edmonds only gets about half the snaps as Drake but those are just enough to bring Drake out of being a consistent RB1. Edmonds doesn’t see enough use to be trusted for fantasy managers weekly and the contest against Detroit in Week 3 is no different. Edmonds should stay on your bench.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DeAndre Hopkins (Start, WR1), Christian Kirk (Sit), Larry Fitzgerald (Sit), Dan Arnold (Sit)
Through two weeks, DeAndre Hopkins leads the NFL in targets and receptions (25 and 22, respectively) and there is no danger of that changing anytime soon. Hopkins has been a target sponge for years but his 2020 catch percentage of nearly 90% is well above his career average and should normalize going forward, although that normalization might not happen this week. Detroit has had terrible injury luck in their defensive backfield and it remains to be seen who will suit up against Arizona. Regardless, Hopkins should have no trouble finishing as a WR1 this week and is an easy start for fantasy managers in Week 3.
Christian Kirk hasn’t gotten many opportunities to show off his big-play ability as he sees only a handful of targets each game. Also, he’s struggled to take advantage of the limited opportunities by catching just one-third of his targets. Kirk is the clear number two WR in Arizona’s offense but his lack of targets makes him a sit for this week for fantasy managers despite the plus matchup. The wily veteran Larry Fitzgerald is still pulling down passes in the Arizona desert, albeit at a much slower clip than in past seasons. Fitzgerald is on pace for his first sub-100 target season and his average of 7.6 yards per reception is a career-low. Fitzgerald is still an integral part of the Arizona franchise but his days of being a reliable fantasy option seem to be behind him. Keep Fitzgerald on your bench in Week 3. Dan Arnold is Arizona’s starting TE but his usage in the passing game is nearly non-existent. Arnold has the build to be a viable red-zone threat but the presence of Hopkins and the running ability of Murray minimize those chances. Arnold is an easy sit in Week 3.
Snap counts courtesy of Fantasy Data.
-Bryan Sweet (@FantasyFreakTN on Twitter)