It’s Friday, week three already began.
I know, I know.
Confession: No one from Thursday nights molly-whopping (Texas vs. Patriots) was going to be on my list. Not even Jacoby Brissett. Seriously.
Let’s get started.
QB Andrew Luck vs. San Diego — Simple, if he’s not playing Denver, you start him. Denver’s indefatigable defense made Luck have what could potentially be his worst game of the year. Five times he was sacked by the Broncos and his day ended with a completion percentage just a hair above .50 (21-for-40). They’re down 0-2 to start the season. Luck has to be the guy to get it going. Despite Donte Moncrief being out, he still has plenty of weapons. Look for a performance resembling week one against Detroit (385 Passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns).
RB Melvin Gordon vs. Indianapolis — The biggest “ugh…duh, bro” of the week. The Chargers offense is far from elite, and the harsh blows it has seen is now up to two — Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead. With Woodhead out for the season, and Indianapolis allowing 125 rushing yards per game, Gordon is undoubtedly a RB1. Game one he rushed for a career high 102 yards and last week he turned in a combined 146 yards with a touchdown. Start him. Start him now.
WR DaVante Parker vs. Cleveland — Ryan Tannehill is coming off a big performance against New England where he threw for 389 yards, had two touchdowns and completed 32-for-45. And lost. 13 of those 45 went to Parker, who finished with eight receptions and 106 yards. This week, the opposition has minimal fear factor — Browns have given up 286 passing yards per game so far — and, most of all, Tannehill has no one to hand the ball to. Arian Foster is out and the threat of Jay Ajayi remains to be seen. Though Parker has been nursing nagging hamstring issues all week, he is expected to play. The one-two punch of Parker and Jarvis Landry will likely give the Browns significant trouble.
QB Andy Dalton vs. Denver — Because Von Miller, and Brandon Marshall, and Aqib Talib, and the rest of the punishing defense. While they’re run defense sits closer to the bottom of the rankings (22nd), they’re stellar in applying pressure to the pass. Denver’s allowed just 346 yards off 73 attempts. That’s an NFL second best and just nine yards behind Baltimore. Only Baltimore’s is based on 55 attempts. Couple that force with their already-eight-sacks and you got quite the hurdle — one Dalton will struggle to get over.
RB Ryan Mathews vs. Pittsburgh — Matthews is coming off a nice week where he managed to record two touchdowns on just 32 yards and nine carries. He’s expected to be splitting reps with Darren Sproles. Consider this a twofer and keep both of them off your starting roster. Matching up against Pittsburgh stingy front seven is a tall order — they’ve allowed just 101 yards in two games (NFL second best).
WR Sammy Watkins vs. Arizona – Owners, give yourself a break — some breathing room, a step back, if you will. You deserve it. Watkins has severely underperformed, thus far. It’s no secret he’s dealing with a pesky foot injury, and he is in fact still listed as questionable — so, if nothing else, let uncertainty act as your thoughtful deterrent. And know that, if he is out there, he’ll be seeing plenty of all-pro cornerback Patrick Peterson. 11 catches for Watkins. That’s it. 11 catches, in two games.