By Steve Silverman
Injuries are beginning to take their toll for some teams, but no team was hit as hard as the San Francisco 49ers, who lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the season with a torn ACL. With Garoppolo out of the lineup, C.J. Beathard steps into the starting QB role. That changes how you look at matchups and, to be honest, the 49ers supporting cast going forward. Beathard is still projected for the most daily fantasy points based on the fact that he does play QB, but you may want to stay away from the Niners, especially this week against the Chargers.
New England Patriots- Tom Brady vs. Miami Dolphins, FD Proj.-22.7 points
Many fantasy owners are wondering what’s going on with the Patriots, and it’s a fair question. We say it’s nothing more than a tough start, and Brady will get it together shortly.
Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen at Green Bay Packers, FD Proj. – 16.4 points
The Bills have been written off as one of the worst teams in the league, but they didn’t believe it last Sunday in Minnesota. Allen has much to learn as a rookie quarterback, but he has one of the strongest arms in the league.
Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill at New England Patriots, FD Proj. – 20.1 points
Miami’s 3-0 start is one of the most surprising aspects of the young 2018 season. Tannehill looks like an effective quarterback after missing all of last season, and he has completed 73.0 percent of his passes and he has a 7-2 TD-interception ratio.
New York Jets – Sam Darnold @ Jacksonville Jaguars, FD proj. – 10.2 points
The Jets have a tough matchup here, largely because the Jaguars are coming off a loss to the Titans. They are likely to come with a nasty defensive effort and Darnold could have a tough afternoon vs. Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue.
Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco @ Pittsburgh Steelers, FD proj. – 16.9 points
The Steelers woke up from their malaise against Tampa Bay Monday night, and they are likely to keep their offense in gear against the Ravens. That means Flacco must come close to matching Ben Roethlisberger TD pass for TD pass.
Cincinnati Bengals — Andy Dalton @ Atlanta Falcons, FD proj. – 18.8 points
This game has the feel of an old-fashioned shoot out. Dalton has thrown eight TD passes in his first three games, and he appears to be a more consistent quarterback than he has been in the past.
Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield @ Oakland Raiders, FD proj. – 18.5 points
It hasn’t taken long for Mayfield to become a fan favorite in Cleveland. Now he must show he can perform as a starter, and he should get some cooperation from the generous Raiders defense.
Pittsburgh Steelers — Ben Roethlisberger vs. Baltimore Ravens, FD proj. – 20.6 points
The Steelers found their offense for the first time in the win over the Bucs, and while there are still issues as running back Le’Veon Bell stays home, the team should be focused against the archrival Ravens.
Houston Texans – Deshaun Watson @ Indianapolis Colts, FD proj. – 23.6 points
Awful start for the Texans may be causing a panic among the team’s supporters who came into the season expecting a big season. It’s a long season and there’s no reason to write off Houston or Watson at this point. Look for a turnaround game here.
Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck vs. Houston Texans, FD proj. – 22.2 points
The Colts have just one win at this point, but Luck has been solid. He is completing 68.5 percent of his passes with five TD passes and he should get sharper as the season moves along.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles vs. N.Y. Jets, FD proj. – 19.6 points
After their big win against the Patriots, the Jaguars fell back down to earth in their loss to the Titans. The Jaguars are hoping that Bortles can be a consistent producer, but he may have a hard time producing against Jets defense that can get after the passer.
Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota vs. Philadelphia Eagles, FD proj. – 17.4 points
The Titans will have a better idea after Wednesday’s practice if Mariota’s balky right elbow will allow him to play against the defending Super Bowl champions.
Denver Broncos – Case Keenum vs. Kansas City Chiefs, FD proj. – 19.0 points
Keenum does not have good numbers yet – 3-5 TD-interception ratio – but he finds a way to make plays when the game is on the line.
Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes at Denver Broncos, FD proj. – 25.6 points
At one point or another Mahomes is likely to show that he is human, but he has been performing like an MVP candidate. He has already thrown 13 touchdowns and he has yet to throw an interception.
Los Angeles Chargers – Philip Rivers vs. San Francisco 49ers, FD proj. – 23.5 points
Based on the way Rivers has played to this point in the season, the Chargers should have a big year. While the 1-2 start is disappointing, Rivers has an 8-1 TD-interception ratio and he could have a huge game against the Niners.
Oakland Raiders – Derek Carr vs. Cleveland Browns, FD proj. – 17.4 points
The Raiders have been able to get off to solid starts in all three of their games, but they haven’t won any of them and the pressure on Carr and head coach Jon Gruden is fairly significant. The quarterback should be able to get things started in a positive direction against the Browns.
Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott vs. Detroit Lions, FD proj. – 18.3 points
The start of Year 3 has been difficult for Prescott and one of the reasons for that is Prescott’s lack of big-time pass-catching targets. He could find some open spaces against the Detroit defense.
New York Giants – Eli Manning vs. New Orleans Saints, FD proj. 18.9 points
Manning and teammates Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley could have huge fantasy games against the Saints, who are struggling badly on defense. This game looks like a shootout since both offenses have the advantage.
Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz @ Tennessee Titans, FD proj. – 20.5 points
The Eagles are breathing easier now that their No. 1 quarterback is back in the lineup. The offense is far more efficient with Wentz in the lineup, but it may take him a few more weeks to hit his stride.
Washington Redskins – Bye week
Chicago Bears – Mitchell Trubisky vs. Tampa Bay Bucs, FD proj. – 19.6 points
Thanks to the Chicago defense, the Bears are in first place in the NFC North. However, the Bears have not gotten the kind of production from Trubisky yet because his accuracy and big-play ability are questionable at this point. He should have a much better opportunity against the yielding Tampa Bay defense.
Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford at Dallas Cowboys, FD proj. – 20.2 points
A powerful win over the New England Patriots has given the Lions a strong pulse for the first time this season. Stafford should be ready for a solid game if he gets similar support from rookie Kerryon Johnson and the running game that he did against the Pats.
Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers vs. Buffalo Bills, FD proj. – 23.3 points
The best thing that happened to the Packers last week is that the Bills hammered the Vikings last week. In addition to seeing their primary division rival suffer a loss, the Packers know they will have to come with their best effort to avoid a similar fate.
Minnesota Vikings – Kirk Cousins @ L.A. Rams, FD proj. – 20.2 points
The Vikings are at something of an early cross-road this week. After getting blown out at home against the Bills, they must put that game behind them. The Rams look like the NFL’s best team at this point, so Cousins, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen must show they can get back on track and compete for 60 minutes.
Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan vs. Cincinnati Bengals, FD proj. – 21.5 points
The Falcons were in top form from an offensive perspective against the Saints in Week 3, but they lost the game in overtime. Ryan was brilliant with five TD passes and look for him to have another powerful game here.
Carolina Panthers – Bye week
New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees @ N.Y. Giants, FD proj. – 24.3 points
This could be the highest scoring game of the week and Brees could engage Manning in a duel that will leave fans talking well into Sunday night. Brees is still one of the most accurate and best passers in the game, and he can take advantage of the New York defense.
Tampa Bay Bucs — Ryan Fitzpatrick @ Chicago Bears, FD proj. – 19.2 points
Fitzpatrick showed that he may not be “Fitzmagic” in the Week 3 Monday night loss to the Steelers as he threw three first-half interceptions. However, he bounced back with a strong second half and he has shown the ability to make big plays through Tampa Bay’s first three games.
Arizona Cardinals – David Johnson vs. Seattle Seahawks, FD proj. — 12.0 points
Johnson is hoping that Josh Rosen has a solid effort because that could open things up for the rest of the offense. If he can, that would help Johnson get to the outside and show off his speed and ability to make big plays.
Los Angeles Rams – Todd Gurley vs. Minnesota Vikings, FD proj. — 19.1 points
The Rams have been explosive in getting off to a 3-0 start, and Gurley has established himself as the best running back in the game. While he might have been neck-and-neck with Le’Veon Bell last year, he has bypassed the Pittsburgh holdout.
San Francisco 49ers – C.J. Beathard at Los Angeles Chargers, FD proj. – 15.5 points
High hopes have disappeared in San Francisco after Jimmy Garoppolo’s knee injury. C.J. Beathard takes over and it seems unlikely that he will be able to trade TD passes with the Chargers’ Rivers.
Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson at Arizona Cardinals, FD proj. – 21.9 points
After opening with back-to-back losses, the Seahawks rallied with a solid win in Week 3 vs. the Dallas Cowboys, and Wilson should have an excellent chance at keeping Seattle on the winning track and putting good numbers on the board against the Cardinals.