What We Saw: Week 3 Monday Night Edition

Two sloppy games still resulted in some A+ fantasy performances

Rams @ Bengals

Final Score: Bengals 19, Rams 16

Writer: Chad Simpson (@CaoChadTTV on Twitter)

The Bengals survive 3 bad quarters from Joe Burrow and grind Matthew Stafford into dust. The Bengals D capitalized on an inaccurate and uncomfortable Stafford to land 6 sacks and 2 INT. On offense, Burrow mirrored Stafford for the better part of 3 quarters but with a couple of strong drives accentuated by a monster game from Ja’Marr Chase and a masterful outing for Joe Mixon he was able to salvage some of his final line.

Three Up

  • Tutu Atwell – Atwell was the lone bright spot on either team in the 1st half with a dynamic end around that could have been ruled a TD and then a deep catch after that. His night was limited beyond that due to the issues of Matthew Stafford before cashing in for a last-minute goal-line TD. It will be interesting to see how Atwell is used if Cooper Kupp returns.
  • Ja’Marr Chase – Chase had a monster night but one that would have been significantly stronger if Burrow hadn’t spent 3 quarters struggling to string together accurate throws. Still, it is good to see Chase finally arrive in 2023, and let us hope for many more games like that this year.
  • Joe Mixon – As impressive as Chase and his box score looked, I came away more impressed with Mixon. Mixon looked like he was walking on water on several plays, effortlessly weaving through the defense and securing a TD.

Three Down

  • Joe Burrow – Burrow did not look right most of the night. Overthrows, underthrows, throws into coverage. It was a buffet of bad looks for Burrow. He did get things going on the back of Ja’marr Chase ascending back to his throne as top dog. Time will tell if this is due to the injury or if this Bengals offense has taken a massive step backwards after two strong years.
  • Matthew Stafford – Stafford threw more sidearm passes than he had completions through 3 quarters, Frequently out of sync, he airmailed a bunch of throws to Kyren Williams in the 1st half and failed to get any receiver outside of Tyler Higbee going during that time frame. A bad INT and several sacks destroyed an immeasurable number of drives.
  • Kyren Williams – Williams is here mostly as a victim except for one play. For most of this game Stafford sailed throws over him, but on one third quarter play Stafford made a good throw and Williams bobbled it into a defender’s hands who, luckily for Williams, dropped it.


Los Angeles Rams




Matthew Stafford: 18/33, 269 yards, TD, 2 INT| 1 CAR, 7 Yards

Stafford started out confident and aggressive but quickly faded into a pattern of bad throws, brutal sacks and boneheaded mistakes. He is clearly capable of a better night and the Bengals defense was very strong so this is likely just a blip and not something to worry about going forward. Though he might want to avoid Kyren Williams for the next few days after airmailing a bunch of screens to him.


  • Fearlessly throwing into tight windows on b2b plays to open the game.
  • Dumb sidearm while avoiding sack results in ugly INT.
  • Absolutely murdered on a sack late in the 2nd quarter. Barely even started read progression before he was getting slammed.
  • Finally connects with Kyren. Is momentum next?
  • Nope immediately sacked but bailed out by facemask call.
  • Should have had 2nd int on Kyren bobbled pass.
  • Drive squandered with another sack.
  • Good deep ball to Jefferson.
  • Immediately follows up with an INT on tipped pass.

Missed Opportunities

  • Bad sack on 1st and Goal after the Tutu call could kill the momentum.
  • Bad screen to Kyren the next play.
  • Bad throw to Kyren on the third play as well squandering a golden opportunity settling for a FG.
  • Bad throw bailed out by Puka Nacua
  • ANOTHER bad throw to Kyren.
  • Bad throw that Puka couldn’t bail out


Running Back


Kyren Williams: 10 CAR, 38 Yards | 7 Targets, 2 Receptions, 27 Yards

Williams had an underwhelming stat line but its one that is firmly on the QB. with 10 touches in the backfield and 7 targets in the passing game Williams should have had a monster game but whether it was Stafford sailing balls over his head or an ugly drop in the middle of the game things just did not go his way.


  • Finally gets a catchable ball and explodes for 18 yards.
  • Should have caused a brutal turnover on bad drop.

Missed Opportunities

  • 100 targets in the 1st half that weren’t catchable


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Puka Nacua: 7 Targets, 5 Receptions, 72 Yards

Nacua had a rough night through no fault of his own. Stafford was an outright mess for 58 minutes in this game. Nacua still looked to be one of the top options in the offense and the future Offensive Rookie of the Year showed no signs of talent being less than what we thought over the 1st 2 weeks.


  • Catches missile from Stafford
  • Great catch on bad Stafford throw.
  • Comes up big with huge catch near goal line on ball thrown behind him.


Tutu Atwell: 1 CAR, 22 Yards | 9 Targets, 4 Receptions, 50 Yards, TD

Atwell was a stick of dynamite early in the 1st half. With some insane high level athletic plays, Atwell tried all he could to breathe life into the offense. He also managed to get a gimme touchdown with a minute left in the game to further boost his numbers. There is concern as to what his role is when Kupp returns but his long term value is on the rise.


  • Wow just wow (see above)
  • Wide open for another massive gain.

Missed Opportunities

  • He was ruled out of bounds at the 2 yard line.


Tyler Higbee:  5 Targets 5 Receptions 71 Yards

Higbee has a few bright moments but is ultimately done in by Stafford’s struggles. Higbee showed flashes of potentially leading this offense through the air but the offense spinning out of control derailed that train. Higbee is a relatively safe floor but it is maddeningly hard to tell when a ceiling game will occur.


  • Strong catch to open 1st drive carrying defenders several yards after catch albeit lateral yards.
  • Nice big catch to start the 2nd half.


Van Jefferson : 1 CAR, 4 Yards | 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 46 Yards

Jefferson shows up for one big play and then disappears behind better players. Like his fellow multi-year breakout candidate Gabe Davis, Jefferson has big playmaking ability but no consistency. He is firmly off the radar in fantasy especially when Kupp returns.



Cincinnati Bengals




Joe Burrow: 26/49, 259 Yards, INT| 3 CAR, -2 Yards

Burrow looked immobile and inaccurate all night. If not for Chase bailing him out with tons of great catches, Burrow might have had a night only rivaled by Zach Wilson. It is crucial for the Bengals, Burrow and Chase that Burrow get right soon otherwise we are looking at a lost season and tons of wasted fantasy potential.


  • Great throw into coverage up the middle to Boyd to move the chains on opening drive.
  • Bailed out by Chase on bad throw.
  • 4th quarter INT was no fault as defender ripped the ball right from the receivers hands while going down to the ground.

Missed Opportunities

  • Bad throw to Chase could have been disastrous.
  • Up and down 1st drive ends in missed FG. Not a great start for Burrow shaking off the injury
  • Nothing going on 2nd drive.
  • Yet another bad drive despite the clock chewing they did and despite coming away with a FG.
  • This is grim.


Running Back


Joe Mixon : 19 CAR, 65 Yards, TD| 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 5 Yards

Mixon looked like an elite RB despite the mess of a game around him. On seemingly every touch, Mixon was gliding around defenders like he was figure skating. With Chase finding his groove helping his cause, Mixon could be in line for some very big games.


  • Turns sure loss into nice gain on short pass.
  • Looking spry and elusive on 3rd drive bringing the first semblance of momentum to the team.
  • Mixon with a beautiful TD weaving through the defense.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Ja’Marr Chase: 15 Targets, 12 Receptions, 141 Yards

Chase has a “what could have been” night. Chase had a massive 12 catch game leading the Bengals in receiving. The what could have been is that he did it despite Burrow’s miserable night. If Burrow had been on, Chase could have been in line for a night to rival what the Dolphins did on Sunday,


  • Bails out Burrow on bad throw.
  • Starting to heat up in 3rd quarter despite the QB play.


Tee Higgins: 8 Targets, 2 Receptions, 21 Yards

While Burrow struggled immensely tonight, that was not the reason Higgins had a bad night. Higgins committed some huge mistakes with a bad drop and a blatant push off that looked more like a Marshawn Lynch stiff arm. He then left for the locker room to start the 4th quarter. Better nights ahead for Higgins, but Tyler Boyd showed tonight that he was still in the mix to hinder Higgins fantasy value.

Missed Opportunities

  • Bad drop derails a drive that was starting to pick up momentum.
  • Throws away a chance at a TD with blatant interference.
  • Gets a 2nd chance but Burrow overthrows


Tanner Hudson: 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 30 Yards

With Irv Smith Jr. out with injury, Hudson had a couple flashes but Joe Burrows limitations prevented any further production. It will be interesting to see how he is utilized going forward though.


Tyler Boyd: 9 Targets, 5 Receptions, 39 Yards

Boyd was the featured receiver in the 1st half. Unfortunately for Boyd, the 1st half was when Burrow was at his least effective so it resulted in minimal outcome. The targets are unreliable week to week making Boyd one of the more frustrating players in fantasy football.


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