We had our first set of byes this week, leading to just a dozen games being played on Sunday. It was almost peaceful. Not on the fantasy side, however, as between injuries and byes, it seems the 2021 fantasy season may come down to the Whoever Can Manage To Field Two Healthy RBs Bowl. If you, like many, are reeling from injuries to Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb, Antonio Gibson and more, or just need to catch up on all the action, read on!

Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)

  • With Will Fuller, DeVante Parker and Preston Williams all out and Tua Tagovailoa back on the field, the stage was set for a Jaylen Waddle breakout game. And he delivered, hauling in 10 of 13 targets for 70 yards and two scores. I wouldn’t expect weekly consistency from Waddle in tougher matchups and with Williams and Parker both likely to return shortly. Move him now if you can.
  • Keep an eye on Dan Arnold. In only his second week with the team, the former Cardinal ran 30 routes. He didn’t see many targets as Jacksonville’s receivers had their way with Miami’s backup corners, but signs are encouraging. If you’re desperate at TE in deep leagues, he’s worth a dart throw stash.
  • The Miami backfield is still a mess. Myles Gaskin may have given hope last week, but he fumbled early on and ended with only five carries on the day. Gaskin is still worth holding, as he did dominate prior to the fumble and see five targets, but expect a lot more games like this week than last.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

  • If you just look at Aaron Rodgers’ points per game, he looks like a mild bust so far, ranking at just 15th among quarterbacks. However, excluding his miserable Week 1 showing, he ranks eighth, solidly in QB1 territory. He also hasn’t had any true boom weeks, so you still may have a chance to get him for cheap if his current manager is easily convinced.
  • Justin Fields showed signs of fantasy life against Green Bay as he finally flashed the rushing upside that managers covet, finishing with 43 yards. However, he is averaging less than four carries per start. The rushing volume isn’t there for Fields, and he certainly isn’t an elite volume passer who can make due without it. Leave him on your bench, or even the waiver wire.
  • Darnell Mooney again paced the Bears in snaps, routes, targets and receptions. He turned that role into another solid fantasy day, finishing with 13 in half-PPR. He’s a flex option with upside for huge weeks if he connects with Fields on a deep shot or two and should be rostered in all leagues.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Detroit Lions

  • With Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase all healthy, the Bengals have quite the three-headed monster at wide receiver. Unfortunately for fantasy players, it’s unclear if the volume will be there to support all three each week. Chase’s undeniable chemistry with Burrow makes him the most reliable, but don’t be surprised if all three alternate big games with off weeks.
  • This is the T.J. Hockenson everyone was hoping to see. Sure he finished with just 74 yards and no scores, but he saw 11 targets and hauled in eight of them. This is much more promising than the weeks of just a few targets we’ve been seeing. Since he didn’t hit pay dirt, the window may still be open to get him cheap. Do it. 
  • Coming into Sunday, rookie WR Amon-Ra St. Brown had many people hoping for a breakout game after he saw eight targets in each of the last two weeks. While he did see seven targets, St. Brown was actually out-snapped by Kalif Raymond and Khadarel Hodge. The volume is encouraging; his role in a struggling Lions offense is not.

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts

  • After a couple of lackluster performances, Brandin Cooks seems back to his early-season role of target hog and PPR performer. He’s now seventh in the league in targets. Even if they’re coming from Davis Mills, that amount of looks makes him a WR2.
  • I wouldn’t worry too much about Michael Pittman Jr. Yes, T.Y. Hilton paced the team in targets and yards on his return while Pittman caught just one of three looks. But, Pittman still led in snaps and routes run, even as the Colts salted away a massive lead over the hapless Texans. He’s the WR1 on this team, which will more often be playing catchup than milking the clock against non-Texan teams.
  • The good on Mo Alie-Cox: He’s an athletic freak and has scored three touchdowns in the last three games. The bad on Mo Alie-Cox: He’s never caught more than three passes in a game this year, and he only sees the field for about half of Indy’s snaps. Even if you need to take a TE gamble, there are still better options with higher floors available in every league.

Los Angeles Rams @ New York Giants

  • After a week off, the Matthew Stafford-Cooper Kupp breakfast connection returned to form yesterday as Kupp finished with 130 yards and two touchdowns on 12 targets, more than double any other Ram. Kupp is a top-five WR, at least.
  • While Kupp is a WR1, Darrell Henderson is an RB1. Sony Michel is clearly not going to demand more than a few touches a game, and Henderson is a threat for a score on the ground every week with the Rams rolling. Even better, he’s clearly trusted in the receiving game: His 25-yard touchdown grab came not on a screen or a dump-off but on a legit double move run from outside where Stafford looked his way the whole play. 
  • Just as quickly as he burst onto the scene, Kadarius Toney was sidelined again, as his ankle injury flared up, and he was ruled out early in the game. With Toney, Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton all out, the Giants receiving game is the Sterling Shepard show. He received 14 targets and should see similar volume until others get healthy, making him a solid high-floor flex or even WR2 in PPR.

Looking to access our premium podcasts and articles? Use the Promo Code: Doc to lock in an early-bird deal on one of our four awesome packages. Dominate your competition and gain access to our members-only Discord channel with your subscription!

Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Football Team

  • Taylor Heinicke was many fantasy analysts’ favorite QB streamer this week going up against the abysmal Chiefs defense. Unfortunately, the matchup wasn’t as good as advertised, as he passed for under 200 yards and just one touchdown to go with one interception. With less than ten fantasy points in two straight games, Heinicke doesn’t belong on rosters in 1-QB leagues.
  • There’s not much to say about the Chiefs because their offense is pretty much a known commodity. Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are must-start elite options. Whoever is starting in the backfield is an RB2 for TD upside alone. Everyone else is a DFS dart throw or flex play if you’re really desperate. 
  • Ricky Seals-Jones played every single snap for the WFT and ran nearly 40 routes for six targets. That kind of volume at the TE position is gold, and he’s a solid streamer until Logan Thomas returns.

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers

  • Sam Darnold’s day was disappointing, as he managed just 15 fantasy points and struggled to move the ball against the Vikings defense. But it wasn’t entirely his fault. Both D.J. Moore and especially Robby Anderson had multiple drops, often killing drives before they got started. Expect a bounceback from Darnold and the whole Panthers offense.
  • I mentioned K.J. Osborn weeks ago, and he continues to look good, finishing a solid day Sunday with the OT game-winning touchdown. However, he was still on the field for about half as many snaps as the Vikings' top two receivers, and it took Kirk Cousins throwing 48 times for him to reach seven targets. I wouldn’t add him in most leagues unless Adam Thielen or Justin Jefferson is set to miss time.
  • In last week’s Vikings recap, I mentioned that Alexander Mattison could not be expected to maintain any value at all when Dalvin Cook returned. Sure enough, Mattison saw just three touches as Cook absolutely dominated the backfield. He can be rostered as a handcuff, but please don’t start him.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Baltimore Ravens

  • Just write this game off for the entire Chargers offense and move on. They were absolutely dominated by the Ravens, and not one of their stars managed to salvage a decent fantasy performance. But, like the Packers after Week 1, this team is too talented to stay down for long.
  • The Ravens looked more like the Ravens of last year today, as they ran for nearly 200 yards as a team, and Lamar Jackson attempted less than 30 passes. However, even with that shift in philosophy, today was a bad day for anyone hoping to get value out of Ravens running backs. With Ty’Son Williams inactive again, Le’Veon Bell, Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman each had over 20 snaps (but less than 30) and at least eight carries (but no more than nine). That is the definition of running back by committee, and each will be TD-dependent flexes at best.
  • The return to run-heavy days for Baltimore meant a return to disappointment for Marquise Brown, who caught just four passes for 35 yards, his worst outing of the season. I’d still start him again next week, but monitor Lamar Jackson’s pass attempts. If they stay closer to 25 than 35, Hollywood might have more bust weeks than big games going forward.

Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns

  • It’s sad to say, as he still looks electric on his touches, but Rondale Moore might be droppable. With Zach Ertz on his way over from Philadelphia and Moore still firmly fourth in line among Cardinals receivers, the volume just isn’t there. 
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones had a huge day, with two touchdowns and over 100 yards. To be fair, much of that production came on a 57-yard Hail Mary to end the half. Regardless, with Jarvis Landry already sidelined and Odell Beckham Jr. leaving midway through this contest, DPJ is worth adding and would be a flex option as Baker Mayfield’s top target.
  • DeAndre Hopkins scored two touchdowns, and they couldn’t have been more different. One featured incredible after-the-catch maneuvering as he dodged three Browns defenders to scamper into the endzone. On the other, a blown coverage had the announcer calling him “the loneliest man in Cleveland” as he hung out in the back of the end zone. Hopkins continues to see fewer targets than managers are likely hoping for, but his talent and redzone opportunity should keep him in WR1 territory. 

Las Vegas Raiders @ Denver Broncos

  • Kenyan Drake is the most obvious trade-now candidate of the season so far. He’s been essentially a non-factor this season, but produced 73 total yards and two touchdowns yesterday. But he did so on just 11 snaps, completely unsustainable. If you can convince someone that Jon Gruden’s departure means Drake will perform like this again, do it.
  • I just want to shout out Kendall Hinton. No, he’s not fantasy-relevant, but it’s cool to see last year’s emergency QB starter getting some work at his actual position. He’s already in the Hall of Fame, and now he’s got a touchdown and some receptions to his name as well. 
  • I’m just so excited for Jerry Jeudy. Teddy Bridgewater continues to keep the Broncos offense humming along at a respectable rate, and recent reports say Jeudy has a chance to return as early as Thursday. If he’s somehow still available in your league, add him yesterday. 

Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots

  • Jakobi Meyers is cursed. He’s already far and away the all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards without a touchdown. Yesterday he reached the end zone, but it was for a two-point conversion. Eventually, the TDs have to come with the volume he’s getting, and when they do, his value will skyrocket. He’s a solid target in trades this week.
  • Damien Harris had another quality outing but limped off a couple of times with apparent ankle issues. He finished the game, but it’s something to monitor. If he has to miss time, rookie Rhamondre Stevenson will slot in as a low-end RB2. 
  • Dak Prescott and Dallas offense are going to score points every single week. Unfortunately, outside of Ezekiel Elliot and Dak himself, it’s no guarantee who will be doing the scoring. CeeDee Lamb just had a huge game but has had a couple of duds. Amari Cooper, Tony Pollard and Dalton Schultz are all in similar positions. They should each be started every week (except maybe Pollard) but will likely be frustrating as well as productive. 

Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers

  • This was exactly what investors in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett didn’t want to see. With Geno Smith starting in place of Russell Wilson, neither star wideout eclipsed 60 yards or scored a TD. While both were near WR1 territory with Wilson, they’re closer to flex plays with Smith.
  • Chase Claypool’s first game without JuJu Smith-Schuster wasn’t great in terms of stats, but his usage was encouraging. He was on the field for 84% of snaps, up from just 55% the week before. Expect that snap share to turn into production in the future.
  • Pat Freiermuth might be taking over at TE in Pittsburgh. His 60% snap share was the highest of his career, and he saw seven targets to Eric Ebron’s two. He’ll also benefit from JuJu’s injury and projects as a valid streaming tight end going forward.

Looking to access our premium podcasts and articles? Use the Promo Code: Doc to lock in an early-bird deal on one of our four awesome packages. Dominate your competition and gain access to our members-only Discord channel with your subscription!