NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football and Betting Advice with Matthew Berry originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Did you see Steelers rookie wide receiver George Pickens catch Thursday night!? That was OBJ-style.
In the fantasy realm, there wasn’t much to ride with Pickens early on, but I’m not going to take anything away from his great catch against the Cleveland Browns. Speaking of the Browns, Nick Chubb just continues to dominate in both real-world football and fantasy football. Chubb is currently the overall RB1 in the Yahoo Standard Leagues (Half PPR). It’s early days, but it’s not far-fetched to think his pace can put him in the top five or three running backs. My goodness.
We’re back with another week of advice from NBC Sports’ Matthew Berry. He was willing to revisit it this week to chat with advice on the Week 3 lineup, thoughts on struggling players, the offbeat idea that Miles Sanders is better than Alvin Kamara (in fantasy) and why he thinks so that his Washington Commanders will absolutely perish at the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Let’s get straight to that.
Should I start or bench these players in week 3?
Garrett Wilson vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Jets rookie absolutely prevailed against the Browns last Sunday. He performed in Cleveland, which happens to be home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It was fitting. He finished the day with eight catches for 102 yards and had two touchdowns. In his second NFL career game, he was targeted 14 times. Talk about trust.
“Make no mistake, Garrett Wilson is legit,” Berry said. “There’s a reason he was such a high draft pick.”
Veteran QB Joe Flacco clearly trusts the rookie receiver. With reports that sophomore Zach Wilson could potentially return in Week 4, would it be prudent for fantasy managers to temper expectations for the remainder of the season?
“I think the talent and the stock he’s aiming for will make him some quarterback proof,” he said.
Berry went on to say that it’s pretty clear that the Jets offensive staff have faith in him. Garrett’s target stock has already seen a bounce in the first two games. The rookie’s snap rate increased from 46% in week 1 to 63% in week 2.
Matthew Berry: Start Garrett Wilson
Jahan Dotson vs Philadelphia Eagles
Speaking of rookies, we’ve got another one here that’s certainly gotten on the radar. Dotson is a Penn State native and has 70 total yards and three touchdowns on seven catches. It’s clear the Commanders want to use more of him on offense going forward. He seems to have chemistry with QB Carson Wentz and would be smart to build on that in the future.
“The proof is in the pudding,” Berry said. “He was as advertised.”
There was a lot of hype about the rookie returning to training camp and it certainly seems to be true. Should managers still bench Dotson in Week 3 when they face a tight-fisted Eagles secondary?
Berry is lower at the rookie this week. He currently has him ranked in WR50 for week 3. He credits Darius Slay and James Bradberry as integral to Philly’s defense in front of goal and believes they could limit Dotson on Sunday.
“My expectations here are for the Eagles defense to play well,” Berry said. “As a Commanders fan, I hate to admit it, but it’s true.”
He wonders if the commanders will have any success attacking through the middle of the field this week. He’s way better than Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas against the Birds.
Matthew Berry: Put Jahan Dotson
George Kittle vs. Denver Broncos
It was a difficult start for Kittle and the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners lost their lead back to Elijah Mitchell in Week 1. In Week 2, starting QB Trey Lance suffered a season-ending injury. You never want anyone’s season to end that quickly, but if there ever was such a thing as the ultimate insurance policy, San Francisco certainly has it in veteran QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
Kittle, on the other hand, missed the first two games as he continues to struggle with a groin injury. We know more or less from previous seasons what to expect from this 49ers offense with Jimmy G down the middle, but should managers try to sell Kittle for what they can at this point?
“George Kittle has a big name,” Berry said. “…I wouldn’t just give it away, but if you can trade it for something fairly valuable, I would.”
He points out that former NFL coach Mike Ryan has highlighted that Kittle’s injury could last all season. This is not ideal and something fantasy managers don’t want to work with.
He is currently considered questionable ahead of his team’s Sunday Night Football showdown against the Denver Broncos. Berry rated him TE4 should he play. It’s a tight situation to watch for both Fantasy and the Niners.
Matthew Berry: Start George Kittle if active
Rhamondre Stevenson vs Ravens
Early in the season there was justifiable hype about the sophomore jamming out of Oklahoma. The Sooners product will see its potential towards the end of the 2021 season with the New England Patriots. With James White retiring, it was expected that the remaining workload would have to increase that of Damien Harris and Stevenson. Stevenson probably should have seen more goals in the passing game given his catching ability, but that wasn’t the case.
Stevenson has totaled just 72 rushing yards and just three catches for six yards in two games. Not exactly like projections had made him think.
“I think there’s no question that the Patriots’ offense is in flux right now,” Berry said. “It’s hard to rely on a Rhamondre Stevenson fantasy product, especially in a tough Week 3 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.”
Still, Berry is urging managers to be patient with Stevenson as he has proven he can come up with fantasy numbers. The talent is there for the running back and with the coaching behind the Patriots thinks it’s a matter of time before the team’s offense picks up. Berry is confident that New England staff will find out.
“The advantage of Stevenson playing right now is a lot bigger than backups,” he said.
Don’t drop Stevenson just yet in the hope that patience will soon be rewarded.
Matthew Berry: Bank Rhamondre Stevenson
Ezekiel Elliott versus the New York Giants
Speaking of fighting fantasy RB, we turn our attention to another one in Dallas. While Zeke’s draft daily price might not be that of an RB1, surely fantasy executives thought there was a lot of potential to be harvested there. In the first two games, however, that was far from the case.
Elliott has totaled just 17 carries and three receptions across both games. That’s right, only 17 carries. He didn’t do much in the early days to warrant confidence in a division game against the 2-0 New York Giants. Should managers bench him until we see otherwise?
“It’s an RB2 that it was drafted as,” Berry said. “He always has a chance to get into the end zone.”
Though the Cowboys currently have Cooper Rush in center QB, it looks like the team’s offense can still get by until Dak Prescott returns.
“He’ll get the early work,” Berry said. “He will get any goal-line work. I think he’s going into the end zone.”
Matthew Berry: Start Ezekiel Elliott
Life is a Risk – NFL betting value for week 3
Fantasy Football isn’t the only game in town these days. Let’s dig into Berry’s brain to find the betting value for a few games on the week 3 chart.
49ers (-1.5) (-115) at Broncos – O/U
“I think that line is about right,” Berry said. “I think it will come down to the last possession.”
Still, he would shy away from setting a one-point line here. Instead, he’s getting too good here and thinks Broncos QB Russell Wilson will get it going with that offense and win at home as an underdog.
“This defense is too good,” he said.
Matthew Berry’s choice: Broncos ML +100
Eagle (-6.5) (-300) at Commanders – O/U47.5
Berry sees this as a one-sided contest in favor of the Eagles. Because the Eagles moneyline price is so high, it tends to take over this.
“Nothing about the Washington Commanders’ defense gives me confidence that they will be able to stop Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert and the storming attack,” he said.
He points out how Washington’s defenses were dismembered by both Jacksonville and Detroit in the first two weeks and how things could quickly get ugly for the commanders.
Matthew Berry’s choice: About 47-47.5
Texans at Bears (-2.5) (-145) – O/U39.5
This might not be a matchup that offers much fantasy production and/or value, but we were still curious to see how bettors could potentially take a stab at this game.
“There is literally nothing about it [the Chicago Bears’] Offense that makes you excited,” Beere said.
The Texans’ defense may not be great, but they played narrowly against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, keeping Wilson and the Broncos on the road to just 16 points. You don’t seem like a wimp.
He points out that Chicago’s last 17 home games have been under 12-5. That says a lot about what we could potentially see at Soldier Field this Sunday.
Matthew Berry’s choice: Under 39.5
Miles Sanders Rest of Season Talk
To be clear, that was an actual question I came across on Twitter. I won’t mention it here, but I was curious to bring it up to Berry because I knew he’d probably laugh about it, but would also kind of understand how anyone could think Eagles’ Miles Sanders could finish better than Alvin Kamara’s Saints.
Kamara has been one of the premium running backs in recent years. After a bad 2021 by his standards, he’s off to a slow start in 2022. Granted, he missed his Week 2 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so fantasy managers are quick to hit the panic button on him.
Meanwhile, Philly is looking like a true Super Bowl contender. This offense clicks on all cylinders under hurts. Sanders has been productive and is currently RB12 in the Yahoo leagues. This is RB1 territory. Meanwhile, Kamara is RB62 and is currently listed as questionable in week 3. Maybe now you can understand why someone thought to ask this question.
“I don’t see why that’s a question,” Berry said.
He highlights how much of a workhorse and top RB Kamara was to fantasy managers and how Sanders wasn’t. He points out that despite a convincing win in Week 2 against the Vikings, he only amassed 10.1 fantasy points despite Sanders’ 17 carries and three targets.
“He has competition for touchdowns between Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell and Jalen Hurts,” Berry said.
Berry argues that due to Sanders’ lack of fantasy production as the workload increases, this is reason enough for him to shy away from having him on his rosters.
“The idea that someone would say, ‘I don’t want Alvin Kamara anymore. I want Miles Sanders to be insane to me after a week of Kamara missing time,” he said.
Sanders warned fantasy executives not to call him up back in June.
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