As is always the case, there have been many expected and unexpected outcomes during the first two weeks of the NFL season, and this trend will undoubtedly continue. Going into Week 3, one never knows what to expect in both real and fantasy football, so deciding who to play and who to bench on your fantasy team can be difficult. Opponents, weather conditions and a host of other factors all come into play. Given that it is basically all hit-or-miss, here are my choices for the five best and five worst Week 3 fantasy matchups. (Try DRAFT on iOS or Android.)
Baltimore Ravens Defense at Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)
Already this season, the Ravens' DST has scored 42 fantasy points. This week, across the pond, they face the Jaguars and Blake Bortles who threw two interceptions and lost a fumble last week versus the Titans. This is, quite frankly, an easy decision, especially considered Bortles threw 16 interceptions last season.
Keenan Allen (WR, LAC) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Despite the Los Angeles Chargers starting the season at 0-2, Allen is back from reconstructive knee surgery and currently ranks sixth in PPR points among wide receivers. On the other side of the field are the 2-0 Chiefs; however, Kansas City's defense has allowed an average of just over 39 PPR points to opponents' receivers, especially number one receivers. Still not convinced? The Chiefs are also without safety extraordinaire Eric Berry.
Benjamin Watson (TE, BAL) at Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)
Jacksonville has already allowed 34 receptions, 379 yards and five touchdowns this season. Of these, 12 catches, 151 yards, and two touchdowns have been by opposing tight ends. Joe Flacco and Watson connected last week eight times for 91 yards. Look for this on-field bromance to continue this week against a troubled Jags' defense and jet lag.
Hunter Henry (TE, LAC) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Now that TE legend Antonio Gates got his record-breaking 112th career touchdown, maybe it's time for the changing of the guard in San Diego, er Los Angeles (I curse you Dean Spanos!) Last week, Henry was targeted seven times and snagged them all for 80 yards. While the division rival Chiefs are a tough team, as mentioned, they are sans Eric Berry, so Henry remains an excellent option in your lineup.
Jay Cutler (QB, MIA) at New York Jets
Last week versus the Los Angeles Chargers, Cutler went 24-of-33 for 230 yards with one touchdown. Additionally, Cutler connected with his two best receivers: Jarvis Landry (13 catches for 78 yards) and DeVante Parker (4 receptions for 85 yards). While not Aaron Rodgers-esque numbers, they are respectable, nonetheless. This week, the Jets pose zero threat to Cutler's fantasy value.
Devin Funchess (WR, CAR) vs. New Orleans Saints
Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR) vs. New Orleans Saints
Theo Riddick (RB, DET) vs. Atlanta Falcons
Alex Smith (QB, KC) at Los Angeles Chargers
Thomas Rawls (RB, SEA) at Tennessee Titans
Even with Eddy Lacy's healthy scratch last week against San Francisco, Rawls saw only five touches and one-fifth of the snaps. Instead, the majority of activity went to rookie Chris Carson who was Seattle's best-looking runner and someone you should start instead of Rawls if you have him.
Jameis Winston (QB, TB) at Minnesota Vikings
Winston didn't really need to throw much last week versus the Bears; however, this week is a different story. Minnesota held perennial fantasy superstar Drew Brees to only 15.64 fantasy points in Week 1. Additionally, last season, quarterbacks who played against the Vikings in Minnesota averaged a paltry 12.39 points per game.
Frank Gore (RB, IND) vs. Cleveland Browns
I know you may be thinking why on Earth would I want to bench anyone playing against the Browns? Hear me out. In two games thus far, Gore has a measly 24 carries for a paltry 88 yards and has been missing in action in the passing game. Granted, he did score once; but he seems to be an all-or-nothing player, and there are many stronger options from which to choose. Also, this season, the Colts have the fourth-fewest offensive yards and sixth-fewest points. So yeah, bench him.
T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND) vs. Cleveland Browns
Yeah, yeah, another Colt versus the Browns. First of all, Scott Tolzien is no Andrew Luck. Secondly, Hilton has managed only seven receptions for 106 yards through two games. Third, as mentioned above, Indianapolis is having a difficult time amassing yardage and scoring. Until Luck returns, you can do better than Hilton in your fantasy lineup.
Dak Prescott (QB, DAL) at Arizona Cardinals
I'm sure this will be another unpopular opinion; however, we are all familiar with the sophomore slump that has historically plagued many quarterbacks over the years. The Cardinals have Patrick Peterson, one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Chances are that Dez Bryant will get an uber dose of Peterson, and while Jason Witten and Cole Beasley are decent players, Prescott may play like he did against a strong Denver defense last week where he managed only fewer than five yards per attempt and tossed two interceptions.
DeAndre Hopkins (WR, HOU) at New England Patriots
Tyrod Taylor (QB, BUF) vs. Denver Broncos
Eli Manning (QB, NYG) at Philadelphia Eagles
Tyler Eifert (TE, CIN) at Green Bay Packers