Foxy’s Fantasy Forecast – Week 3

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Chicago Bears

Andy Dalton (QB)

Projected Points: OUT

With Andy Dalton going down with a knee injury, this game will be the first opportunity for Justin Fields to start for the Bears. No offense to Andy, but I think we’re all hoping he gets healthy so he can be a quality back up to Fields.

Verdict: OUT

Justin Fields (QB)

Projected Points: 20.79

This is the day, week and game so many Bears fans have been waiting for since April 29th of this year when the Bears took Justin Fields 11th overall in the NFL Draft. Many predicted Fields would start Week 4 against the Lions, but due to Dalton’s unfortunate knee injury, Fields will get his first start in Week 3 against a tough defensive front in the Browns. Fields will have, for the first time, the entire week to practice with the starters and it should help him look better than he did last week when he was thrust into the QB1 role. Though the stats didn’t jump off the page last week, Fields should look a lot better with all the practice reps this week. The O-Line will need to play a crucial role this week in stopping Garrett, Clowney, Jackson and Co. It should be a close game, so Fields will be in a good position for fantasy relevance. I wouldn’t play him in 1 QB fantasy leagues, but would be happy to start him as my QB2 in 2 QB leagues.

Verdict: Start (unless you have a better option or play in a 2 QB league)

David Montgomery (RB)

Projected Points: 15.58

Monty didn’t look as good Week 2 as he did Week 1, in a more favorable matchup. The offense in general didn’t look as good against Cincinnati compared to LA. Though the defensive front for the Browns is fierce, Nagy needs to run this offense through Montgomery to create opportunities for Fields down the field. If they can leverage the run to set up the pass and get Monty a few receptions in space, he should be in line for a nice game this week.

Verdict: Start (with confidence)

Damien Williams (RB)

Projected Points: 4.86

Williams saw his involvement in the game plan decline from Week 1. Two carries and one reception won’t do it for providing any fantasy value. As long as Montgomery is healthy, Williams can only expect to get about 4-5 touches per game seriously limiting his fantasy upside.

Verdict: Sit (until he gets more involved in the game plan)

Allen Robinson (WR)

Projected Points: 16.67

A-Rob had another tough fantasy day in Week 2. It would have been a much more productive day had he pulled down that TD catch from Fields in the 2nd half. It was an uncharacteristic drop for Robinson which we don’t see often. With a full week of practice to get his timing with Fields down, we should see much better chemistry between the two leading to a more productive fantasy performance. You may be disappointed with Robinson through the first two weeks of the season, but he was one dropped TD catch away from a good week last week. If he can pull down 1+ TD this week, you’ll be happy.

Verdict: Start (and hope that week of practice w/ Fields leads to better production)

Darnell Mooney (WR)

Projected Points: 11.65

Through two weeks Mooney has a combined 15 targets. That’s great for a WR2, no matter which team you’re playing for. He turned that into 6 catches for 66 yards last week which included a couple of real nice throws from Fields. As Fields is a guy who likes to take more deep shots, that should translate well with Mooney’s downfield speed. Cleveland has one decent CB, but the rest of the matchups can be exploited with the type of speed Mooney has. All it takes is one deep shot converting to a TD for a Mooney start to pay off. I’ll take my chances if he’s on my roster.

Verdict: Start (knowing Fields will take at least 2-3 shots down field with Mooney)

Cole Kmet (TE)

Projected Points: 8.16

After getting seven targets in Week 1 against the Rams, Kmet was only targeted once in Week 2 leading to a total dud of a day. Though he caught his only target of the day, it was for no gain which comes out to 0 points in standard and 1 point in PPR. Though he gets a decent matchup against Cleveland, I’m still not convinced Kmet is a game changing type of TE. He’s a good blocker and has enough athleticism to make plays with the ball in his hands, but he’s not at all a focal point of the offense. He needs to string a few fantasy relevant games together for me to consider for any format.

Verdict: Sit (until he shows he can be a reliable starter)

Jimmy Graham (TE)

Projected Points: 5.61

Jimmy only played 34% of snaps in Week 2 to Cole Kmet’s 72%. It’s clear that the TE1 job is solely in Kmets possession. Graham didn’t even see a target in Week 2 after getting two targets in Week 1. A report came out earlier this week that said Graham isn’t happy with his role in the offense with the Bears. Jimmy should know that blown blocks equal fewer snaps and fewer targets. 

Side Note: Can we see some Jesse James in these Justin Fields starts?? They had great chemistry during the preseason.

Verdict: Sit (he’s not worth a start unless Kmet gets hurt)

Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield (QB)

Projected Points: 19.80

The Kevin Stefanski/Cleveland Browns offense is a run first offense. With Nick Chubb and Karim Hunt in the backfield, it’s understandable why. The Browns lost their WR1 in Jarvis Landry last week, but get back Odell Beckham this week to take the WR1 reins. Over the last few seasons, it’s been apparent that Baker has better chemistry with Landry than he does with Beckham, but ODB is a playmaker. He’ll likely be the focal point of their passing game even though he’s coming off a torn ACL last season. Baker has the talent and potential to put up big games when they need him to, but this offense revolves around the run. He’s a great QB2 start in two QB leagues, but I won’t be starting him in redrafts or DFS formats against a strong Bears front seven.

Verdict: Sit (unless he’s your QB2 in two QB formats)

Nick Chubb (RB)

Projected Points: 16.59

Nick Chubb comes into Week 3 with the fourth most rushing yards in the NFL on only 26 carries through two weeks (6.8 YPC). He’s Derrick Henry light. He’s one of the best pure RBs in the league. If you love football, you love watching this guy play as he’s tough to take down, carries a huge load, breaks off big runs and is a prototypical NFL back. After watching the Bears hold Joe Mixon to 69 yds on 20 carries last week, they’ve shown they can contain a good RB. However, the Browns O-Line is superior to that of the Bengals. The success of the Browns run game will be dictated in the trenches in what should be a great battle between the Bears D-Line and the Browns O-Line.

Verdict: Start (he’s a top-5 RB in the league. You have to start him.)

Karim Hunt (RB)

Projected Points: 11.71

Karim Hunt is the RB2 for arguably the best 1-2 RB punch in the league. He actually ended up having more carries in last week’s game than Chubb (13 to 11). His forte is more as a 3rd down, pass catching back though. That makes him a DFS darling. Unfortunately, he’s only seen four targets through the first two games (catching all four targets). In a game that should be a close one, he definitely has DFS and PPR appeal. Roquan Smith will have his head on a swivel every time Hunt comes on the field to prevent any big gains.

Verdict: Start (and hope his targets go up in a close game)

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR)

Projected Points: 14.07

Odell Beckham came into the league and had one of the best rookie seasons in league history. Since then, he’s been all over the place. Great one week, invisible the next. He’s also dealt with injuries, including a torn ACL last season. Week 3 will be his 2021 debut and it couldn’t come at a better time for the Browns as they just lost ODB’s LSU teammate and BFF, Jarvis Landry, for a few weeks. Coming off an ACL tear is tough for any player, but a player of ODB’s caliber who is used to cutting and juking will have an impact on his game. With Jaylon Johnson likely assigned to cover ODB throughout the game, I’d temper my expectations. I don’t have him rostered in any of my leagues, but would likely play a wait and see approach if I did.

Verdict: Sit (but it’s totally up to you if you think he’s good to go)

Donovan Peopels-Jones (WR)

Projected Points: 4.78

DPJ only has two targets through two weeks. This is indicative of the Browns offensive game plan and devotion to the run game. He’s caught both balls, but he’s not a focal point of the offense and shouldn’t be rostered. Don’t start him even though he has a decent matchup with the Bears CB2/3 position.

Verdict: Sit (no thanks)

Rashard Higgins (WR)

Projected Points: 4.67

Higgins is a better WR than Peoples-Jones, but has been targeted at the same rate through two weeks (two targets), including a donut in Week 1. He’s flashed at moments in previous seasons and may get a deep shot against the Bears, but the historical data suggests starting him would be a huge reach. Starting him would be a huge stretch in any and all formats.

Verdict: Sit (just not worth it)

Austin Hooper (TE)

Projected Points: 8.68

Hooper had a pretty decent game last week with 5 catches on 5 targets for 40 yds. He’s gotten eight targets through two weeks and looks like he’s getting more involved in the Browns offensive game plan. The Bears D has not been great historically against TEs, so there is an opportunity here for a sneaky DFS play with Hooper. I’ll likely start him in a couple of DFS lineups due to his low cost. PPR formats could be a good place to start him as well, but you likely have better options available.

Verdict: Start (depending on format and availability of other options)

Other Notes:

This should be a run heavy game script for both offenses this week. I’m predicting a low scoring game with a running clock. If that’s the case, both defenses should be in line for a middle of the road performance. Again, like with Hooper, there are better options out there to target for defense than either the Bears or Browns. I’d prefer Denver, Las Vegas or Tennessee (even if Carson Wentz starts as he’s banged up).

Good luck to all you fantasy football players in Week 3. Check back next week for another fantasy forecast against the Lions. I’m looking forward to Justin Fields getting a start against the Lions. The offense AND defense should eat next week.

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