Jacksonville Jaguars 17

New England Patriots 51 

What Happened: Tom Brady threw for 358 yards with a pair of touchdowns, while Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount combined for four touchdowns on the ground in a blowout win over the Jaguars. Blake Bortles threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns, but a costly interception in the final two minutes of the first half led to 17 unanswered New England points and put the game out of reach. In a game in which the Patriots scored 51 points, neither Julian Edelman nor Rob Gronkowski found the end zone, but still managed to combine for 186 yards on 12 receptions.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

(Scouting the film and the stat line to give you the edge you need to win your league)

The Patriots offense is operating at an unprecedented level. They scored on all nine of their possessions (not counting the kneel downs on the final possession) and have racked up 119 points in three games. If you just glance at the box score, you would assume that it was a “Blount game” but that wasn’t the case. According to Mike Reis of ESPN.com, Lewis was in on 28 of 36 offensive snaps (including a red-zone touchdown) in the first half. All three of Blount’s touchdowns came in the second half with the game well in hand. This is shaping up to be a committee, but Lewis is the unquestioned “starter” and for an offense that is looking to spread the field, he is a legitimate fantasy starter in all formats going forward. If I were a Blount owner, I would only consider using him in matchups like this, where the Patriots have the potential to be up big.

I can’t explain it, but I like what I see from Bortles. I’m not kidding. Sure, he has plenty to work on, most notably eliminating the one or two poor decisions that lead to soul-crushing interceptions, but there is undeniable talent and ability to make the correct reads there. With weapons like Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Julius Thomas (who will be back relatively soon) there is plenty to like here. He’s not someone I would consider in single-quarterback leagues, but in deeper formats or two-quarterback leagues, I would be making a move to acquire him if I didn’t get him already. It’s a tired cliché (#GarbageTime), but this is an offense that is going to be throwing often (especially late in blowouts) and the yards may not impact the outcome of the game, but they can help your fantasy team.

Atlanta Falcons 39

Dallas Cowboys 28

What Happened: Devonta Freeman exploded for 141 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries, adding five receptions for 52 yards as well, as the Falcons came from behind to defeat the Cowboys on the road. The biggest fantasy news storyline belongs to Julio Jones, who caught 12 passes (20 targets) for 164 yards and a pair of touchdowns. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 34 receptions through three games are the most in NFL history. Despite a stellar performance from Joseph Randle (87 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries) it was not enough for Dallas.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

It’s hard to overlook what Freeman did against what had been a stout Cowboys run defense through two games. He’s certainly earned a significant share of the carries even when rookie Tevin Coleman returns from a rib injury. Personally, I had my doubts about Freeman coming into the year, but he’s shown that he has the talent to put up solid fantasy numbers if he gets a full workload. The durability concerns are still there, but he’s in consideration as a RB2 in my book depending on the matchup (and Coleman’s status) going forward. Finally, Roddy White is out there folks. He’s on the field, he’s running around, he’s just not being targeted, which is flat-out bizarre.

It’s all about your expectations with Brandon Weeden. If you were expecting him to do more than just hit checkdowns and short routes, you were probably disappointed. He completed 22-of-26 passes for 232 yards and (predictably) threw a horrible interception when he got flushed out of the pocket and threw into coverage downfield. If you play in a point-per-reception league, it’s clear that the biggest beneficiary of Weeden’s propensity (or requirement) to focus on the short passing game, is Lance Dunbar, who caught 10 passes for 100 yards.  

Indianapolis Colts 35

Tennessee Titans 33

What Happened: Andrew Luck was abysmal (7-of-17 with two interceptions) through the first three quarters, but completed 9-of-11 for 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns to upstarts Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief in the final stanza to lead the Colts to a comeback victory. Marcus Mariota threw for 367 yards with two touchdowns and interceptions, hitting Kendall Wright seven times for 95 yards and a score.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways 

Nice bounce-back for veteran Frank Gore (86 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries), who was more of a victim of tough scheduling in the first two weeks than poor play (with the notable exception of the goal line fumble against the Jets). He’s not done just yet. If you didn’t know by now, Donte Moncrief is really good. I actually wrote about him a ton last season and could not be happier to see him playing well. Andre Johnson. Well, you know. Not good. 

There isn’t much to talk about with Tennessee. Their running back situation is constantly in flux but it is noteworthy that massive rookie Dorial Green-Beckham has caught a touchdown in back-to-back games. Given his size, he might already be one of the best red-zone threats in the league and is worth rostering even in shallow formats. He’s this year’s version of Martavis Bryant.

Oakland Raiders 27

Cleveland Browns 20

What Happened: The Raiders young nucleus of Derek Carr (20-of-32 for 314 yards with two touchdowns), Latavius Murray (139 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries) and Amari Cooper (eight receptions for 134 yards) continue to take the league by storm. Their next four games feature a combination of easy matchups (Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers) and a pair of challenging ones (Denver Broncos and New York Jets). It’s hard to sit any of those three young guns, but I would consider it against Denver.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways 

What can you say about Cleveland? I still trust Isaiah Crowell, but he’s more of a low-end fantasy starter on most weeks. The albatross here was tight end Gary Barnidge, who caught six passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, which was clearly a byproduct of the Raiders inability to cover tight ends this season.

One of the hottest names off the waiver wire last week, Michael Crabtree caught just four passes for 36 yards, but was targeted nine times. There will be days like this, but Crabtree remains a solid option in point-per-reception leagues.

Cincinnati Bengals 28

Baltimore Ravens 24

What Happened: Andy Dalton’s early season surge continued as he completed 20-of-32 passes for 383 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. His main weapon A.J. Green reeled in 10 passes for 227 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Steve Smith renaissance continued against the Bengals as he looked unstoppable at times, finishing with 13 receptions for 186 yards and two touchdowns.  

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

It was another abysmal game for Jeremy Hill (12 carries for 21 yards), but Giovani Bernard (13 carries for 49 yards) didn’t fare much better. It’s fair to be concerned about Hill, because he needs a significant workload if he’s going to be an elite fantasy asset. If you’re in a deep league, Marvin Jones warrants a pickup.

It’s time to pull the metaphorical ripcord on Justin Forsett. It was hard to envision a scenario in which his pass catching prowess would not be put to use by new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, who set an NFL record for receptions by a running back with Matt Forte in Chicago a year ago. It hasn’t happened to this point. Through three games, he has 12 receptions for just 41 yards. He hasn’t fared any better on the ground (39 carries for 124 yards) through three weeks either. Should you sell? Yes. The reason is because I don’t see him turning it around anytime soon. Last season, he averaged 5.39 yards-per-carry and piled up 17 runs over 20 yards. So far this year, he’s averaging just 3.18 yards-per-carry and three of his four runs over 10 yards on the year came against the Raiders. It should have been clear after he wasn’t targeted at all in Week 1, facing a tough Broncos defense, that the point-per-reception monster campaign wasn’t coming. Hopefully you’ve sold him already because he won’t be a highly sought commodity on the trade block going forward.

New Orleans Saints 22

Carolina Panthers 27 

What Happened: Luke McCown, starting in place of an injured Drew Brees, completed 31-of-38 passes for 310 yards, but threw a game-ending interception (a fantastic play by one of the games most underrated cornerbacks Josh Norman) on the Saints final drive. Greg Olsen racked up 134 yards and a pair of scores on eight receptions and Cam Newton got it done with both his arm (315 yards, two touchdowns) and his legs (51 yards, touchdown) in the Panther victory.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

Jonathan Stewart…I’m not sure what else to say at this point after all of these years. He’s the personification of fantasy mediocrity. If you were expecting a fantasy updates superstar, you bought into a narrative that hasn’t panned out. I wrote about it last week, but I would look to move Brandin Cooks if I hadn’t already done so. He was solid (seven catches for 79 yards) in this game, but there just isn’t anyone else to keep defenses from focusing exclusively on shutting him down. He’s going to be a monster at some point in his career, but it’s not happening this year. I’m surprised that C.J. Spiller (two receptions for 22 yards) isn’t a bigger part of the Saints passing game right now.

Philadephia Eagles 24

New York Jets 17

What Happened: Another ugly Eagles game…Shocker? This time they pulled out the win. Full disclosure, I didn’t watch a minute of this game, but I feel like I didn’t miss anything. Darren Sproles found the end zone twice thanks to an 89-yard punt return and a goalline run. Ryan Mathews filling in for DeMarco Murray ran for 108 yards on the ground and scored on a 23-yard reception. Sam Bradford completed only half of his 28 passes for 118 yards and a score. 

Somehow the Jets were worse. Chris Ivory was active, but didn’t get on the field due to a nagging quad injury. Aside from Brandon Marshall, there just isn’t anything else going on fantasy-wise in New York.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

You can drop Nelson Agholor. I wouldn’t take him off my radar just yet, but I’m out in shallower formats. I’m not advocating selling Jordan Matthews, but unless you are in a point-per-reception format, it’s been rough. How the Eagles fix this offense is beyond me. Let’s move on because this offense makes me sad.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9

Houston Texans 19 

What Happened: Mike Evans (seven catches for 101 yards on 17 targets) and DeAndre Hopkins (eight reception for 101 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets) showcased why they are at the very top of the next generation of elite fantasy wide receivers. Alfred Blue (139 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries) showed that he is a relevant fantasy option to stash, but his value should dry up once Arian Foster returns. 

San Diego Chargers 14

Minnesota Vikings 31

What Happened: Adrian Peterson piled up 126 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in a Minnesota victory. On the other side, budding fantasy superstar Keenan Allen caught 12 passes for 133 yards and a pair of touchdowns. If you weren’t sold on him after two polar opposite games to start the year, you should be now. Philip Rivers managed a 30.4 QBR completing 21-of-34 passes for 246 yards with a touchdown and a pick-six.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

Charles Johnson caught one pass for nine yards on two targets before suffering a rib injury and exiting the game. I hate to give up on a talent like Johnson, but this isn’t going to be an explosive passing game with Peterson as their main weapon and I can’t fault you for dropping him if you need the roster space. I would love to buy low here, but you would need to have an extremely deep bench to be able to stash him.

Melvin Gordon (51 yards on 14 carries) got more work than Danny Woodhead, which bodes well for his prospects going forward. This was an ugly game for San Diego, but they should have better days in the near future, especially when you consider their upcoming schedule, which features matchups against porous defenses like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Baltimore and Chicago.   

Pittsburgh Steelers 12

St. Louis Rams 6 

What Happened: Ben Roethlisberger suffered a left knee injury and is expected to miss the next four-to-six weeks. Michael Vick will take over the starting job and will be a hot commodity off the waiver wire, even in shallow leagues, but let’s pump the brakes. He’s 35 and posted an atrocious 21.4 QBR with the Jets last season. I want to see if he still has the ability to make plays with his legs (for the record, I believe he can) but I’m more concerned about his decision-making and ability to get the ball to Antonio Brown than anything else. We will find out on Thursday night against Baltimore if he can get the job done, but I would temper my expectations for now. Le’Veon Bell looked great in his return against the Rams, rushing for 62 yards and a score on 19 carries while adding seven catches for 70 yards as well. Expect the Steelers to lean on him heavily over the next month.

San Francisco 49ers 7

Arizona Cardinals 47

What Happened: Colin Kaepernick threw four interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns) by Cardinal defenders. Carson Palmer continues to amaze, throwing for 311 yards and two touchdowns to Larry Fitzgerald, who reeled in nine passes for 134 yards. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Fitzgerald, who has five touchdowns in the last two games, had just six in his previous 21 contests combined.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

What can you do about Carlos Hyde? Virtually all of my pre-season concerns with the San Francisco offense have come to life before my eyes. I’m not sure how this gets better.

The Arizona running back situation is odd. Chris Johnson, who ran for 110 yards and two scores on 22 carries in this one, is going to remain the starter with David Johnson sprinkled in from time to time. At some point Andre Ellington will be back as well. This is shaping up to be a strange three-headed monster, which I would want to stay away from in fantasy. If you can somehow “buy-low” on John Brown (three catches for 62 yards), absolutely do it.

Buffalo Bills 41

Miami Dolphins 14

What Happened: In sporting news, Tyrod Taylor completed 21-of-29 passes for 277 yards with three touchdowns (95.3 QBR) while rookie Karlos Williams ran for 110 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries in a decisive victory over division rival Miami. The Dolphins running game was non-existent again and Ryan Tannehill threw three interceptions.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

The big story here is Williams. LeSean McCoy left this game when his nagging hamstring injury flared up. There is a chance that he misses some time here in the next few weeks to get fully healthy. Williams is leading the NFL in yards-per-carry (7.8) and has scored in three consecutive games. A fifth rounder out of Florida State, he’s a powerful downhill runner who has enough agility and speed to break off big runs. I’ve been touting him here in this space and on Twitter for some time, so hopefully you’ve already added him already. If not, this is your last chance. 

I’ve always been a fan of Charles Clay, who caught five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown against his former team. He’s out there in plenty of leagues and is a nice bye week fill-in, especially if you’re a Rob Gronkowski owner this week. 

You can call Rishard Matthews (six catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns) statistics so far this season a fluke, but watching him out there, there is no doubt that the talent is real. He’s not going anywhere and he’s clearly their best option outside of Jarvis Landry downfield. If Miami is going to turn this around, they need to run the ball. Running the football isn’t as important as it used to be in the league overall, but it is for Miami, who relies heavily on play-action and getting Tannehill on the move. If there isn’t even the threat of the run, defenses will continue to sit back and give the Dolphins nothing down the field. If you’re a Lamar Miller owner, this season has been brutal so far. 

Chicago Bears 0

Seattle Seahawks 26

What Happened: The Bears punted on all 10 offensive possessions. There is nothing else to say. Marshawn Lynch left early with a hamstring injury, opening the door for rookie Thomas Rawls to run for 104 yards on 16 carries. He’s an interesting speculative pickup and the clear option for Seattle (over veteran Fred Jackson) if Lynch is going to miss significant time. The Seahawks finally got Jimmy Graham (seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown) involved, which was nice to see.

Denver Broncos 24

Detroit Lions 12 

What Happened: The Broncos defense made several plays and Peyton Manning found a way to manufacture 324 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a win on the road. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders combined for 179 yards and a touchdown on 15 catches, making big-time plays when they needed them.

Advanced Sports Logic Fantasy Takeaways

C.J. Anderson left the game early with what looked like a possible concussion, but was ultimately cleared to return. He was starting to look like the guy we saw dominate down the stretch late last season right before taking a direct helmet to helmet him on a run to the left side. He’s too good to just give up on, but it’s been a frustrating season to own Anderson, no doubt. 

Electrifying rookie Ameer Abdullah, who caught a 16-yard touchdown late in the game, was clearly the Lions best option not named Calvin Johnson. He’s scored in two of their first three games. Naturally, he received just 10 touches in this game, which makes no sense. Joique Bell gained four yards on 11 total touches. I’m not sure what offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi is doing, but he needs to get Abdullah the ball in space. He’s simply too quick and shifty for opposing defenders to tackle as a receiver out of the backfield. If the Lions could find a way to double the number of touches he’s getting now, he will be a fantasy superstar. If you play in a point-per-reception league, Theo Riddick should be on your roster. Just saying.

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