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Fantasy Football: Week 3 Quarterback Matchup Report

After a wacky first week of football, Week 2 seemed to be a little closer to what we expected. Tom Brady dominated the Saints to the tune of 447 yards and three touchdowns while things continue to look really bad for every New York team. There are some interesting matchups to look forward to in Week 3, including a trio of matchups between top-10 fantasy QBs. It certainly should be an exciting week of football, so let’s dive right into it.

Favorable Matchups

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants

Through two games, Carson Wentz is becoming a personal favorite of mine. He has thrown for 640 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions this season while completing 60% of his passes. His 85 pass attempts are tied for third in the NFL, only behind Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott. The Eagles don’t have much of a running game to speak of, so expect Wentz to continue to throw the ball a lot this season.

His matchup this week might not look great on paper, but when you dig deeper, there’s a very good chance Wentz is going to put up some solid stats this week. Matthew Stafford had an efficient line against the Giants last week, completing 15/21 passes for 122 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Detroit was able to get away with throwing that little because they have a legit running game. The Eagles definitely do not. Wentz should throw around twice as many passes and have some good success this weekend. The Giants haven’t picked off a pass yet, and I don’t expect them to start Sunday.

My colleague, Ryan Cook, had Wentz as his #14 QB in his Week 3 rankings. I like him a little more than that and would consider starting him in single QB leagues depending on who your other option is.

Week 3 Projection: 305 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT

Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Here’s a general rule of thumb. Any QB that plays the Jets this season has a favorable matchup. Dang it, last week I said I wouldn’t do any more comments about the Jets’ futility. It’s just too easy. Just wait until Tom Brady rides into town and drops 50 fantasy points on them while downing a bowl of avocado ice cream. This week’s opposing signal caller, Jay Cutler, is far from an elite QB like Brady, but he should be able to put up some strong numbers this week against the weak Jets defense.

Through the first two weeks of the season, the Jets have allowed the 13th most passing yards and the 3rd most passing touchdowns with five. Expect Cutler to really attack this swiss cheese defense and put up some big numbers especially in the first half while the game is still moderately close. Consider Cutler a back-end QB2 in Week 3.

Week 3 Projection: 280 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Unfavorable Matchups

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills vs. Denver

Remember when I said that last week was going to be one of Tyrod Taylor’s worst games of the season? Well, this week will be his worst game of the season hands down. You need a plethora of weapons to do anything positive against this Denver defense, and the Bills do not have those weapons at their disposal. The Broncos limited star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, to only eight yards rushing in Week 2 and thoroughly dominated a good Dallas offense.

Buffalo does have LeSean McCoy, but that’s pretty much it. Jordan Matthews is the top receiving option for Taylor, and he has been mostly a disappointment in his career and has been a non-factor in 2017 with only five catches for 91 yards through the first two games. There’s just simply not enough talent on this Buffalo team, including Taylor, to get the job done against Denver. This could get really ugly, really quickly.

Week 3 Projection: 135 yards (Plus 20 rushing), 0 TD, 2 INT

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans vs Seattle

Something just doesn’t look quite right with this Tennessee Titans offense this year, especially in the passing game. Marcus Mariota has thrown for 471 yards so far but has found the end zone only once through the air in two games. Thankfully, he’s already added 50 yards and one score on the ground, which has helped his overall fantasy point production.

This game might not be up in Seattle, but the Seahawks are going to be a tough matchup for Mariota and the Titans this week. The Seahawks have allowed only one passing touchdown through two games while picking off two passes in the process. Surprisingly, Seattle hasn’t been that good against the run this season, allowing 243 yards and one touchdown on the ground over the first two weeks. It makes sense for the Titans to feature DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry a lot this week and limit Mariota’s pass attempts.

I would consider benching Mariota this week in single QB leagues. I have him and Wentz in one league, and after reading this article, I bet you can guess which is in my starting lineup this week.

Week 3 Projection: 225 yards (Plus 25 rushing), 1 TD, 1 INT.

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore

Just a quick blurb on Blake Bortles here, as he’s not even on the QB2 radar anymore after Allen Robinson went down for the season. If you’re even considering starting him in a 2-QB league, don’t. Just don’t. Baltimore already has eight interceptions this season, and Jacksonville is going to go run-heavy in their game plan most games this season. Stay as far away from Bortles as you can this week.

Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos at Buffalo

There are only two teams in the NFL that have not allowed a passing touchdown so far this season. One is the Carolina Panthers, and the other is the Buffalo Bills, who Trevor Siemian will face this week. The Broncos have been a tough team to beat this year. A lot of that is because of their defense, but another big reason why is the play of Siemian at quarterback. He’s thrown for 450 yards, six touchdowns (plus one rushing, and two interceptions during the Broncos’ two wins so far).

Siemian has certainly been a nice story so far, but don’t expect that to continue against the Bills’ formidable defense. Opposing QBs (granted, one was Josh McCown) have only managed a 68.7 QB rating against Buffalo, which is the third-lowest mark in the NFL.  I still expect Denver to get the job done this week and move to 3-0 but probably will do so with a more run-heavy approach.

Week 3 projection: 205 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Sleeper of the Week

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans at New England

The Patriots defense has vastly underperformed this season. Their secondary appeared to be one of the best in the NFL coming into the season but has allowed the 2nd most passing yards through the first two weeks. The combination of Alex Smith and Drew Brees put an even 700 yards on the New England secondary. Brees was to be expected, put Smith carving up Matt Patricia’s defense was a bit of a shocker.

Deshaun Watson is only starting in his second game as a pro and a rookie QB hasn’t won in New England since Abraham Lincoln was in office. I don’t expect him to throw for more than 150-175 yards, but his feet will help him put up some solid fantasy points. Especially since the New England front seven isn’t as strong this year as usual. Watson is a borderline starter in 2-QB leagues.

Week 3 Projection: (150 yards (Plus 40 rushing), 2 TD (1 rush), 1 INT

Thank you for reading this week’s quarterback matchup report on Fantrax. I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members.  Got a question about a player not covered here? Ask in the comments below or follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there. Make sure you check back in next Friday as we break down quarterbacks for Week 4.

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