Does anyone else feel like the first two weeks of the NFL season went by in 5 minutes? Anyway, welcome to Week 3. Last week, just like Dallas in Week 1, the Pittsburgh Steelers showed out on Monday Night Football and finished with the best score of the week with 26 points. Most of the top-performing units of the week were pretty heavily-owned, except Seattle, who put up a surprising 13 points against a strong Detroit offense. More on them later.
As always, there are some matchups that you can take advantage of to slot in a great defense and steal a win this week. Here are our favorites:
TENNESSEE TITANS (2% ROSTERED ON YAHOO!)
AT CLEVELAND BROWNS | 1 PM
The Titans D hasn’t lit the world on fire in 2023, scoring just six points per game, but they’ve shown some flashes that I like. They’ve faced Derek Carr and Justin Herbert so far and are fifth in the league against the pass, so I don’t see them having any problem with Deshaun Watson, who has the Browns ranked 26th in passing offense in 2023.
Tennessee also sits tied for third against the run in 2023 and was the top team in stopping the run last season, yielding under 77 yards per game in 2022. Nick Chubb is sadly gone for the foreseeable future, and Monday night after he went down, they showed how much they miss guys like Kareem Hunt that they had in the past. Backup Jerome Ford broke a huge 69-yard run late, but aside from that one play, he was under 2.5 YPC on 15 carries.
Toward the end of the game, Cleveland was handing the ball to Elijah Moore just to try and get anything going on the ground. A disheveled run game combined with a team on a short week and a struggling QB who apparently thinks the face mask rule doesn’t apply to quarterbacks, and I like this spot a lot for a Tennessee team that’s available in almost all leagues.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8% ROSTERED)
AT CAROLINA PANTHERS | 4:05 PM
The Seahawks were a pleasant surprise in Week 2, allowing 31 points to the Lions but still racking up 13 fantasy points on the back of two sacks, two fumbles, and a pick-six. Seattle wasn’t phenomenal defensively in 2022, finishing 13th against the pass and close to last in stopping the run, and statistically, they haven’t been a ton better this year — but again, this is a great matchup for Pete Carroll’s squad.
Bryce Young is going through the typical trials and tribulations of a rookie NFL QB. He was actually the only QB that started on Monday night and didn’t throw an interception. Still, he was sacked four times and threw for only 153 yards, and 61 of those came in a 4th quarter touchdown drive when the game was virtually out of reach, and New Orleans was playing a mile off everybody.
Seattle isn’t perfect, but they’re visiting a struggling offense on Sunday with a rookie QB on his first shortened week in the NFL. Seattle also has a matchup next week with the struggling Giants on Monday Night Football, so at only 8% rostered, get them while you can.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (39% ROSTERED)
VS CHICAGO BEARS | 4:25 PM
Kansas City has had an uncharacteristically inconsistent start to 2023. They lost to the Lions on opening night without Travis Kelce and Chris Jones and with both stars back in Week 2, snuck by a good Jaguars team 17-9. Even with Jones only playing about 50% of available snaps — and still logging 1.5 sacks, as he does — the Chiefs put up ten fantasy points with four sacks and a fumble recovery, holding Trevor Lawrence and the high-powered Jags offense to nine points.
Not only do I think Jones will get back to his normal 75%+ snap share and make an even larger impact on the game, but the Bears and Justin Fields haven’t looked good in 2023. They’re tied for third in the league with four giveaways, and while seeing them 25th in pass yards per game isn’t surprising, they’re also 22nd in rushing, where they led the league by a wide margin last year. It seems they miss David Montgomery more than they thought they would, as Khalil Herbert has just 62 yards over two games as the lead back. Kansas City isn’t perfect, but they’re running into a bad Bears team at the right time and should beat them down pretty badly. Kansas City also plays the Jets next week, so this could be a two-week pickup if needed.
Las Vegas Raiders (1%): The Raiders have one total point as a defense through two weeks, but play host to Kenny Pickett and the struggling Steelers offense on Sunday Night Football.
Los Angeles Chargers (8%): The Chargers put up five points last week against Tennessee, and now travel to Minneapolis to face an 0-2 Vikings team that’s been inconsistent offensively.
Jacksonville Jaguars (17%): The Jags are ninth in fantasy scoring at 9.5 PPG and just held Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to 17 points. They’ll travel to their division rival Texans and face Houston’s offense that’s 29th in scoring through two weeks.