Last week, our Fantrax fantasy football contributors hit big with bold predictions citing big performances from Rachaad White, Nico Collins, Daniel Jones, and Evan Engram. So, let’s keep the momentum of our Week 2 bold predictions heading into Week 3! These bold predictions won’t always have a 100% success rate, but should at least help sway decision-making for your dynasty, redraft, or even Daily Fantasy Sports lineups.
2023 NFL Week 3 Bold Predictions for Fantasy Football
Jaylen Warren, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bold Prediction: 10 carries, 55 yards; 6 receptions, 55 yards, 1 touchdown
23.0 fantasy points
Fantrax Writer: Colin McTamany, @Colin_McT
Colin’s Breakdown: Steelers running back, Najee Harris, has 76 total yards on 19 total touches this season. Meanwhile, his presumed backup, Jaylen Warren, has 104 total yards on 18 total touches. While it’s not a massive difference in production, Warren simply looks more explosive when he does get opportunities. Consider, too, that Warren is outproducing Harris on exactly eight fewer snaps per game through the first two weeks.
I think it’s only a matter of time before Warren is playing more snaps for the Steelers and consistently locked into fantasy football lineups. My bold prediction is that Warren gets the upper hand in Week 3 when Pittsburgh hosts the Las Vegas Raiders. Even Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin acknowledges that Jaylen Warren deserves more touches.
In Weeks 1 and 2, the Raiders have allowed the fifth-most points to opposing running backs. That includes the second-most receptions allowed to the position. Coincidentally, Jaylen Warren is tied for the second-most receptions amongst all running backs (9) through two games this season.
I’m not suggesting putting Najee Harris on your bench in Week 3. Rather, I’m making the case that Warren is a worthy flex play with upside given the matchup. Both Steelers backs have an opportunity to put up double-digit fantasy scores in Points Per Reception formats. My bold prediction suggests Warren outscores Harris on Sunday Night Football in Week 3 and perhaps continues to the rest of the season.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bold Prediction: 320 passing yards, 3 touchdowns; 5 carries, 10 yards
25.8 Fantasy Points
Fantrax Writer: Michael Reedy, @MikeReedyFF
Michael’s Breakdown: The Buccaneers play against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3. The Eagles look like a Super Bowl contender thus far with a high-powered offense. You have to throw a lot when playing against the Eagles which is partially why their defense has given up the most fantasy points to opposing teams’ quarterbacks so far this season. The Eagles have given up an average of 340 yards and 3.5 touchdowns per game this season. This game is one of the highest Over/Under on the week at 46.0 points, which means Las Vegas also believes it will be high scoring.
In Week 1, New England Patriots quarterback, Mac Jones, threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns against this Philly defense. In Week 2. Minnesota Vikings quarterback, Kirk Cousins, passed for 364 yards and four touchdowns. Baker Mayfield has thrown for either multiple touchdowns or over 300 yards in each of the first two games this season. My bold prediction falls right in line with this trend as I believe Baker Mayfield will pass for over 300 yards and multiple touchdowns in Week 3.
Kenneth Walker, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Bold Prediction: 16 carries, 78 yards, 2 touchdowns
Fantrax Writer: Nick Skrip, @p2wfantasy
Nick’s Breakdown: Kenneth Walker and the Seattle Seahawks play host to the Carolina Panthers in Week 3. The matchup is a big reason for my bold prediction of a big day for Walker. Carolina’s defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs through the first two weeks. That’s mostly a result of allowing the eighth-most rushing yards per game to the position, as well.
Tony Jones Jr., called up from the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad, rushed for two touchdowns against Carolina’s defense in Week 2. In Week 1, the Atlanta Falcons backfield of Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier combined for 131 rushing yards and two trips to the end zone against the Panthers, as well.
There was fear that Seahawks rookie running back Zach Charbonnet would cut into Kenneth Walker’s workload, but Walker has played 63% and 61% of the snaps respectively each week. He’s logged 16 or more touches in his first two games, as well. Another full day of work is in store for the second-year back. He’s a set-and-forget starter in almost every format, but don’t be afraid to plug him confidently into DFS lineups, as well.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Las Vegas Raiders
Bold Prediction: 250 passing yards, 3 touchdowns
Fantrax Writer: Mark Strausberg, @MarkStrausberg
Mark’s Breakdown: I’ve never understood the hate for Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s a smart quarterback with a solid arm who can run if necessary. At absolute worst, he’s a very competent “game manager.” But I think this game manager absolutely shreds the Pittsburgh defense this weekend, hence the bold prediction of more than 20.0 fantasy points.
Sam LaPorta, TE, Detroit Lions
Bold Prediction: 6 receptions, 50 yards, 1 touchdown
Fantrax Writer: Colin McTamany, @Colin_McT
Colin’s Breakdown: Who said rookie tight ends can’t have fantasy value in their first season? So far, the 34th overall pick, Sam LaPorta, is squashing that stigma. He has exactly five receptions in each of his first two games. With a 16% team target share, LaPorta is averaging 10.1 fantasy points per game which ranks him at TE6 ahead of Week 3. My bold prediction gives LaPorta that one extra reception for an early, single-game career high while also predicting he scores his first career touchdown.
It’s still up in the air as to whether or not Lions lead receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is going to play in Week 3. He left their Week 2 matchup with cramping, but it’s since been reported he’s dealing with a toe injury. Either way, LaPorta has earned enough of a role to attack the Atlanta Falcons’ defense.
The Falcons have faced rookie Bryce Young and Jordan Love at quarterback thus far this season, both games taking place in Atlanta. I have faith Jared Goff, who’s averaging over 22.0 points per game in his last 13 home games, to take advantage of this matchup in Detroit. The Falcons tend to struggle against tight ends, as well. Panthers tight end posted a five catch, 41 yard and one touchdown stat line in Week 1 against them.
LaPorta is a top-10 tight end in Week 3 with top-five or higher upside. There’s a short list of players I would start over LaPorta. In fact, I would play him over Kyle Pitts at this point who’s playing in this same matchup.
Everyone in the Minnesota Vikings v. Los Angeles Chargers Game
Bold Prediction: Justin Herbert and Kirk Cousins both over 300 passing yards and two or more passing touchdowns.
Fantrax Writer: Colin McTamany, @Colin_McT
I know this isn’t the same structure as a typical bold prediction for this weekly column, but let me take the chance to urge you to start whoever you can from this Week 3 matchup. You’re already going to start Justin Herbert, Justin Jefferson, Keenan Allen, and T.J. Hockenson. Whether you’re on the fence or not, Mike Williams, Jordan Addison, and Kirk Cousins should be in lineups, as well. While this game is mostly played through the air, the high-scoring potential should provide red zone opportunities to running backs Joshua Kelley and Alexander Mattison on either team.
Both the Vikings and Chargers rank in the top-seven of points allowed per game through two weeks this season. They’ve both allowed 27.0 or more points per game. Additionally, the Los Angeles Chargers have allowed the most passing yards (333.0) per game this season to their opponents. They are 0-2 and heading to Minnesota, who are also 0-2 this season.
Each defense has also allowed a receiving touchdown of 35 or more yards. Vikings rookie receiver, Jordan Addison, has a 39-yard and 62-yard touchdown over his first two games. Meanwhile, both of their Chargers’ top options, Allen and Williams, are legitimate threats downfield, especially in offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s offense.
This game’s Over/Under heading into the weekend is 54.0 points, give or take, depending on which book you look at. That’s by far the highest line of any Week 3 matchup. With some Week 3 games facing tough East Coast weather, this one will be played indoors in Minnesota. Both Kirk Cousins (QB1) and Justin Herbert (QB3) rank inside the top three quarterbacks on a points-per-game basis thus far. They should continue their success on Sunday with a heavy dose of passing from each team as both look to avoid an 0-3 record.
If you want a true bold prediction from this one, I’ll say Justin Jefferson is long overdue in finding the end zone this season. I could see him scoring not once, not twice, but three times on Sunday.