What a WILD week of NFL and fantasy football action we all witnessed in Week 3 of the 2022 regular season. Some of the biggest stars lived up to high expectations, while others flopped. Some rookies made their presence known while others failed to live up to the hype.
Let’s break it all down with my fantasy football Week 3 takeaways.
Fantasy Football Week 3 Takeaways
- We’re seeing a lot more Jamaal Williams this week in the Lions’ backfield. He out-touched D’Andre Swift 22 to 10 and scored both of Detroit’s rushing touchdowns. I wouldn’t panic yet if you have Swift. The former Georgia Bulldog dominated the snap count when he was healthy in Week 1 and has been banged up since. However, while Swift is still on the injury report, Williams is at least worthy of being in the second FLEX conversation.
- It’s been a frustrating last two weeks for Justin Jefferson. Jefferson was held in check for the second straight week after exploding in the first half of Week 1. In the last 10 quarters, Jefferson has 12 catches for 88 yards and no touchdowns. There’s no actionable advice here—you’re never going to bench Jefferson—but this could be a buy-low opportunity if you have a frustrated, impatient fantasy manager in your league.
- Be patient with J.K. Dobbins in his return from injury. He’s missed a ton of time and wasn’t going to receive a big workload right away. He should remain on your bench for another week or two until we see him return to full health and a full workload.
- Lamar Jackson was always a must-start QB1 and was drafted as such, but he’s now in the overall QB1 conversation. In fact, he is the QB1 right now after his five-touchdown performance on Sunday. We rarely see what a top QB can do in a true contract year, but so far the “career year” trend may hold—a true boon for Jackson’s fantasy managers and Jackson’s MVP candidacy/wallet.
- Speaking of MVP performances, Jalen Hurts is playing at an MVP level himself right now. That is being aided by the phenomenal play of DeVonta Smith. The Week 1 goose egg feels like a lifetime ago, as he followed up his seven-catch, 80-yard game with an eight-catch, 169-yards, one-touchdown performance in Week 3. Both he and A.J. Brown are getting a ton of targets each week and are having no issue co-existing as weekly fantasy starters in the same offense.
- DeVante Parker looked to be in 2019 form on Sunday. He caught five passes for 156 yards on his 10 targets after coming into the game with just one catch for nine yards on the season. While this is the player the Patriots envisioned getting when they made the trade with the Miami Dolphins a few months ago, I’d save my FAAB budget. Mac Jones left the game late with an injury and there is no Patriots wide receiver you can trust right now.
- After showing flashes in the first two games of his career, we finally saw the breakout game for rookie WR Chris Olave. His sizable target share continued from last week, receiving a baker’s dozen on Sunday. He caught nine passes for 147 yards. Olave is not only seeing the volume of targets but the right kind of targets (down the field). He’s a weekly FLEX play going forward.
- Despite his immense talent, D.J. Moore is sliding down my rankings… FAST. He’s gotten exactly six targets in all three games this season, but few down the field. His 18 targets have resulted in a grand total of seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown through three weeks. While Moore should be a weekly WR2, he’s now a flex at best and you likely won’t feel super confident playing him at all next week.
- Khalil Herbert is a name to watch, whether David Montgomery misses time or not. While the second-year RB may be the hottest name on the waiver wire this week after rushing for 157 yards and two scores against the Houston Texans, Herbert will continue to get touches all season long even when Montgomery is healthy. There have been rumblings about the Chicago Bears’ new coaching staff being enamored with Herbert and we saw glimmers of that with Herbert’s 15 touches in Weeks 1 and 2 combined. He may be too expensive on the FAAB market, but he has value for the rest of the year regardless of Montgomery’s health status.
- Tyler Conklin is a name to watch if you’re TE-needy. His role in the offense has been building each and every week and it culminated in an 8/80/0 game on Sunday. He’s as involved in the offense as any of the Jets’ wide receivers and can be a top-three target on a team throwing a bunch any given week. He’s a fine flier to take as needed.
- The Raiders have had a dreadful start to their season, but there’s a new name to watch for fantasy purposes. Mack Hollins deserves your attention after getting 18 targets over the last two weeks. QB Derek Carr is looking for the big receiver often, and Hollins had a career day with 8/158/1 against Tennessee. He’s worth an add this week, even if he’s likely tethered to your bench until bye weeks begin.
- After having a dreadful rookie fantasy season, Trevor Lawrence is starting to look like a viable fantasy option. While he’s still nothing more than a QB2/SFLEX right now, he could be a matchup-based starter during bye weeks.
- Zay Jones set a new career high with 10 catches on Sunday and is worthy of a bench spot in your league. With Lawrence looking better in year two, Jones has some upside. He has 24 targets through three games this season and always has the chance to create an explosive play.
- Man, Cordarrelle Patterson looks good as a runner this year. You may have seen the highlight of his leap over Seahawks defenders, but he was a major factor all day on the ground. He rushed 17 times for 141 yards and a score, his second 100-yard rushing performance of the season. With no competition for carries, another productive fantasy season should be on the way in 2022.
- Quick shout out to Kyle Pitts and Pitts fantasy managers who saw their patience start to pay off a bit this week. Pitts didn’t have a monster game or anything—five catches for 87 yards—but he did lead all Falcons with eight targets as Arthur Smith and Co. made a concerted effort to get him the ball.
- We heard that Romeo Doubs would play more this week and boy did he. Doubs led all Packers with eight targets, eight catches, and 73 receiving yards—he also scored. Doubs was expected to set up this week and he did, which is a great sign for his potential future workload. He’s still likely just a bench player for now, but he could be a second FLEX in the right matchup.
- Three games, three single-touchdown performances for Tom Brady to start the season. While I expect things to get better when Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones return, Brady should be considered a high-end QB2 until we see otherwise.
- While 12 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown may not jump out on the box score, Cam Akers looked better than he has all season via the eye test. He ran hard, physical, and looked a bit like the pre-Achilles injury Akers of old. He’s still just a FLEX right now, but he flashed on Sunday and his fantasy managers should be optimistic.
- Marquise Brown soaked up a massive target share as Kyler Murray was forced to throw the ball 58 times in a loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Brown got 17 targets, catching 14 for 140 yards. Brown is not an easy fantasy player to roster but he has this kind of upside in this offense. His upside used to be tied more to big plays and touchdown upside, so it’s good to see him pop off without scoring.
- Courtland Sutton appears to be the WR1 in the Broncos’ offense over Jerry Jeudy. While one could argue that he Week 2 target share was boosted by Jeudy leaving with injury, for the second straight week Sutton was who Russell Wilson looked for in all areas of the field.
If you have any specific fantasy football questions or want to know more about what I think of certain players in my fantasy football rankings this week, follow me on Twitter (@JaimeEisner) or Instagram (@JaimeEisnerTDN). I’d be happy to chat with you!