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2023 Fantasy Football: Takeaways From Every Week 3 Game

Sep 24, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins running back De'Von Achane (28) runs for a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The article below details one need-to-know takeaway from each NFL Week 3 contest, aimed at providing readers with immediately actionable fantasy football information. Let’s dive into Week 3’s learnings:  

Top 3 Takeaways

Denver Broncos 20 vs. Miami Dolphins 70

The Miami Dolphins’ offense exploded for 350 yards passing, 376 yards rushing and 70 points scored against Denver. Third-round rookie RB De’Von Achane (5-foot-9, 185 pounds) erased size-related concerns, totaling 233 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. He had four receptions (via four targets) and a team-high 18 rushing attempts. 

Among 22 Week 3 running backs with at least 15 rushing attempts, Achane’s 11.3 yards per rushing attempt rank No. 1. His 3.75 yards after contact per rushing attempt rank No. 3.

Achane carries a shaky floor, given Miami’s star-studded offense. His elite ceiling, coupled with coach Mike McDaniel’s brilliance, makes him a high-upside weekly start though.

Houston Texans 37 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 17

Houston Texans’ third-round rookie WR Tank Dell established himself as an NFL-level talent, catching five of seven targets for 145 yards and one touchdown in Week 3. Dell can be started in points-per-reception (PPR) formats as a flex option.

Veteran WR Robert Woods’ 74 routes in Weeks 2-3 lead Dell’s (69) and Nico Collins’ (62) routes runs. Fantasy managers should add Dell via the waiver wire and monitor Woods’ Week 4 involvement. His route participation could negatively impact Dell’s access to two-wide receiver sets. 

Among 31 NFL wide receivers with at least 20 targets, Dell’s 2.67 yards per route run (YPRR) ranks No. 7, and his 30.4 percent 20-plus-yard receiving play rate ranks No. 2.

Tennessee Titans 3 vs. Cleveland Browns 27

Cleveland Browns RB Jerome Ford flopped in his starting debut. Backups Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong are serious threats to his weekly touch volume, although Ford maintained a robust passing-down and scoring-position role. 

The table below reflects Cleveland’s Week 3 running back usage. “3rd/4th-&-Long” refers to third and fourth downs with 3 or more yards to go.

Cleveland Browns RBs  Jerome Ford Kareem Hunt Pierre Strong
Rush Att. – YPC 10 – 1.8 5 – 2.6 6 – 4.5
Targets – TPRR 3 – 14.3% 3 – 60.0% 0 – 0.0%
3rd/4th-&-Long Snaps 6 2 1
2-Min. Drill Snaps 2 0 0
Snaps: Red Zone – Green Zone 3 – 1 0 – 0 0 – 0

Ford profiles as more of a matchup-based RB2/3 than a talent-and-usage-based RB2. 

Remaining Storylines

New York Giants 12 vs. San Francisco 49ers 30

New York’s opponents have attempted 20 passes 15-plus yards downfield, tied for 13th most in the NFL. The New York Giants defense’s 9.5 percent 20-plus-yard passing plays allowed rate is the ninth highest. The unit should be targeted in matchup-based wide receiver start-and-sit decisions moving forward.

Indianapolis Colts 22 vs. Baltimore Ravens 19

Indianapolis Colts third-round rookie Josh Downs is taking the No. 2  wide receiver role from Alec Pierce. Both players have cleared 100 routes run on the year, but Downs’ 23.1 percent TPRR is significantly higher than Pierce’s embarrassing 9.8 percent rate. 

Atlanta Falcons 6 vs. Detroit Lions 20

Detroit Lions TE Sam LaPorta solidified his status as a mid-to-high TE1, catching 11 of 12 targets for 84 yards and one touchdown. His 14.20 PPR points per game rank No. 2 among tight ends. His ceiling would increase if WR Amon-Ra St. Brown re-aggravates his Week 2 toe injury. 

New Orleans Saints 17 vs. Green Bay Packers 18

New Orleans Saints QB Derek Carr suffered an AC joint sprain against Green Bay. Per Doctor of Physical Therapy Adam Hutchison’s injury Report, quarterbacks average 2.5 games missed due to the injury. 

Los Angeles Chargers 28 vs. Minnesota Vikings 24

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams suffered a worrying Week 3 knee injury. An MRI exam will provide a clearer diagnosis, but the mechanism is consistent with an ACL tear, per Doctor of Physical Therapy Edwin Porras.


New England Patriots 15 vs. New York Jets 10

New England Patriots No. 2 RB Ezekiel Elliott has taken hold as the team’s primary passing-down running back, logging nine snaps in third-and-fourth-and-long situations and seven two-minute drill snaps. No. 1 RB Rhamondre Stevenson’s tallied four and zero snaps, respectively.

Buffalo Bills 37 vs. Washington Commanders 3

Washington Commanders WR Jahan Dotson (6.10 total PPR points, WR73) failed to capitalize on No. 1 WR Terry McLaurin’s Weeks 1-2 limitations (turf toe) and is trending toward bust status. Among 49 NFL wide receivers with at least 15 targets this year, Dotson’s 13.8 percent targets per route run rate (TPRR) and 0.72 YPRR rank in the bottom three. 

Carolina Panthers 27 vs. Seattle Seahawks 37

Carolina Panthers RB Miles Sanders stole the two-minute drill role from Chuba Hubbard this week, out-snapping Hubbard four to one. Sanders’ passing-game efficiency points signal an untapped PPR upside if the usage holds. Among 21 NFL running backs, Sanders’ 1.35-yard average depth of target (aDot) and 29.9 percent TPRR rank in the top four. 

Dallas Cowboys 16 vs. Arizona Cardinals 28

Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown is the PPR WR12 (34.50 points) over the last two weeks, efficiently averaging 2.13 YYPR while catching passes from upstart QB Josh Dobbs, whose 42.28 fantasy points during that span rank No. 7. Dobbs’ increasing reliability helps Brown maintain weekly fantasy viability, regardless of the matchup. 

Chicago Bears 10 vs. Kansas City Chiefs 41

Chicago Bears edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue delivered a late hit to Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’ lower right leg, resulting in a likely inversion ankle sprain per DPTs Adam Hutchison and Jeff Mueller. The injury occurred late in the first half, but Mahomes returned to play after halftime for a productive third quarter before being pulled when the score hit 41-0. Fantasy managers should remain optimistic for Mahomes’ Week 4 availability.

Pittsburgh Steelers 23 vs. Las Vegas Raiders 18

Las Vegas’ inside/outside WR Jakobi Meyers earned double-digit targets in both active games this season. He missed Week 2 after suffering a concussion. The mid-to-late round pick’s 22.30 PPR points per game, YPRR (3.13) and TPRR (41.5 percent) all rank in the top six among 34 NFL wide receivers with at least 20 targets.

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