Depending on who you talk with, last week was either one of the worst or one of the best weeks of football. I think the majority of us would say it was one of the worst, but try telling that to the guys who won big here on DraftKings in Week Two. But, as a not so loveable coach from a particular football team I enjoy rooting for says, “We’re onto Week Three” (or something like that). As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
The Vegas Lines
Highest Scoring Games
Below are the three highest scoring projected games and individual teams based on Vegas Lines.
1) Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots
Over/Under: 48 Points
Oh boy, this one could be ugly folks. With the biggest favorite of the week, the Patriots are 14 point favorites heading into their week three matchup against the Jaguars. Even if I wasn’t from Boston, how can you not love this game for New England? Playing at home against an extremely weak Jaguars defense. Coming into week three, Tom Brady currently leads the league in passing yard with 754, and is tied with Carson Palmer with seven touchdowns. Against the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins, the Jaguars defense has allowed three touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks, throwing for 534 yards. They’ve only registered four sacks and one interception in those two games. This game is truly going to be a high scoring affair, at least for one side, which begs the question about starting Brady or not. Of course, in the early going, it will be beneficial to have Brady on the team. But we also have to consider how much Brady will be utilized once this game, potentially, gets out of hand. Starting Brady is such an obvious choice, but just make sure to keep that in mind. If Brady was able to throw for 466 yards and three touchdowns against a tough Buffalo defense, what is he capable of against a weak Jacksonville defense?
2) Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers
Over/Under: 48 Points
This game will be the Monday night game, with Alex Smith set to take on Aaron Rodgers at home. Smith had a tough matchup in week two against the elite Denver pass rush. Coming off a hot start in week one, Smith wasn’t able to throw for a single touchdown in week two, which saw him throw for only 191 yards with 16-25 completed passes. Luckily for Smith, the Green Bay defense isn’t the Broncos, which opens up an easier week for Smith. Smith comes into this Monday night matchup as the underdog by a touchdown, one that I can see being more by the time this one ends.
Rodgers had another nice game against Seattle last week, which saw him throw for 249 yards and two touchdowns with a nice 25-33 in completed passes. It will be interesting to see the status of Eddie Lacy and Davante Adams for this one, as both were injured during last week’s contest. Adams was able to return mid game with his ankle injury, but that’s of course one injury you want to keep an eye on. Lacy seems to be the bigger issue with a sprained ankle, which leave him questionable for Monday. If he can’t go, look for James Starks to be a sneaky play in week three. The Chiefs defense has already given up 590 yards to opposing quarterbacks this season, which is the 9th most in the league. Look for Rodgers to take full advantage of that on Monday.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams
Over/Under: 48 Points
This is a game I’m really looking forward to watching. We have the red hot Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown welcoming the St. Louis Rams and Nick Foles. Foles hasn’t exactly made an impressive mark on his first two games with the Rams, but he’s going up against a team that has given up 623 yards to quarterbacks to go with six touchdowns. Mix in the fact that the Steelers also have struggles with the tight end position, which just so happens to have Foles favorite target in Jared Cook, and we might have something brewing here.
The Steelers are coming off a huge week from Roehtlisberger and Brown, with Brown grabbing 195 yards and a touchdown. It will be interesting to see how the Rams fare against Brown, as they’ve been especially tough against wide receivers in the early going. Brown, however, is basically matchup proof in my mind. I would never see myself fading him completely no matter who his opponent is. As one of the top projected scoring games of the week, I would certainly look this way for some exposure, as I think Cook will be a fine play in this one besides the obvious choices.
Oh, did I mention Le’Veon Bell is back in action this week?
Lowest Scoring Games
Below are the two lowest scoring projected games and individual teams based on Vegas Lines.
1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans
Over/Under: 40 Points
Call me crazy, but this one sounds like a snooze fest to me. The Buccaneers are coming off a big win against a less than healthy Saints team. They take on a Houston secondary that has really been the opposite of what was expected. Allowing five touchdowns passes already this season, Jameis Winston has an opportunity to exploit this in week three. It would also be nice to see something from Mike Evans as well.
As for Houston, they truly are just a mess offensively. Is it Mallett or Hoyer? Does it really matter? Both have been equally bad this season, with Mallett completing less than 50% of his passes last week. It’s no wonder that this game is being tagged as the lowest projected game of the week. Personally, if I were to look anywhere in this game, I might take a flier on Evans, hoping a bounce back game is in line for him. For not recoding a catch in three targets last week, it’s completely understandable to see a huge drop off in the amount of teams looking to roster him. I think that will be a big advantage to everyone who does give him one more shot in week three. Other than that, I’m looking to skip this game all together.
2) Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns
Over/Under: 41.5 Points
Another snooze fest, the Raiders and Browns look to do battle here in week three. The obvious appeal for people in this one is Johnny Manziel, who made Travis Benjamin look like an all star last week. Benjamin caught three passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Not to shabby, right? I don’t think that type of production is going to be sustainable, as we will certainly see the owned percentage of Benjamin and Manziel skyrocket this week, in my opinion. I really don’t see a lot of plays here, and I’ll also be off of this game as well. One thing is for sure though, if Manziel can stay locked in, he certainly can pick up some yards against this Oakland defense. A defense that’s already allowed four passing touchdowns on the season on 653 yards.
Defense vs. Position Matchup Breakdown
With two weeks under our belt now, we’ll be switching up the stats, focusing just on 2015.
Best DvP Matchups – Quarterbacks
1) Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions – The Broncs may be having their offensive woes with their quarterback, but against opposing one, they’ve had a strangle hold on them. The Broncos have yet to give up a passing touchdown by a quarterback and only 308 yards passing. They’ve also nabbed four interceptions in two weeks, tied for first in the league. This does not sound like a good week for Matt Stafford.
2) Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons – Talk about a team with offensive woes, the Cowboys at least can contain opposing quarterbacks. Matt Ryan will face a defense that has allowed 417 passing yards and only one touchdown so far in 2015. The Cowboys have also picked off opposing quarterbacks twice.
3) New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles – The Jets get an Eagles team that is still searching for their identity. This is not the week for them to try and figure that out. The Jets have allowed 481 passing yards and two touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. They’ve also picked them off four times, tied with Denver and New England for most in the league.
Worst DvP Matchups – Quarterbacks
1) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. St. Louis Rams – The Steelers seem to have this motto that defense doesn’t win games, offense wins game. At least it seems that way, as Pittsburgh has allowed 623 passing yards and six touchdowns thus far this season. Anything you can do I can do better, right Ben?
*2) Houston Texans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers * -Call me crazy, but Houston wasn’t supposed to be THIS bad right? I mean, I had them ranked a lot higher than these numbers are telling me. The Texans have allowed 438 passing yard to opposing quarterbacks, which isn’t that bad, it’s the five touchdowns that becomes a problem. At least they only get Tampa Bay this week.
3) Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins – Here’s the problem with running these numbers with only two games played. You certainly get a couple of inflated numbers that won’t sustain. Hence, the Bills being one of the worst defenses against quarterbacks. As of week two, the Bills have allowed 709 passing yards and five touchdowns on the season. Just remember though, 466 yards and three of those touchdowns came from Brady. This defense is not THAT bad.
Best DvP Matchups – Running Backs
1) Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants – This game is the Thursday night game, and if you expect the Giants to run, just make sure they have something to take down the stone wall they’re about to run into. The Redskins have allowed only 79 rushing yards on the season with no touchdowns.
2) New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles – In what was once going to be a stellar running game for the Philadelphia Eagles, has turned into anything but that. With DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews running for a combined 15 yards in two games (not a typo) they’re going to have a tough time getting anything going against the Jets. The Jets have allowed only 115 yards to RB thus while holding them scoreless.
3) Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers – With Eddie Lacy’s status in flux, the Packers may not be relying on the running game much at all. I mean, why would you when you have Rodgers at the helm anyways? With a possible Lacy/Starks combo if Lacy can play, the Chiefs have been solid against the run, allowing 153 yards with no scores thus far.
Worst DvP Matchups – Running Backs
1) Atlanta Falcons vs. Dallas Cowboys – No surprise here, as the Falcons have been the worst against the run thus far this season. They’ve allowed 137 yards and two touchdowns to RB in their first two contests. Even worse, they’ve allowed 199 receiving yards to RB with a touchdown as well. The Cowboys just have to figure out who they’ll have healthy for this matchup.
2) Oakland Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns – The only reason the Raiders aren’t the worst against the run thus far is because of how poorly the Falcons have done against receptions to running backs. Otherwise, the Raiders are by far the worst. Allowing 233 yards and three touchdowns already in 2015, it feels like business as usual for Oakland. They can at least breathe a bit with the Browns on tap for week three.
3) Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos – The difference a single year can make. Once one of the best against the run, the Lions are getting trampled in the early going of 2015. They’ve allowed 246 yards with three touchdowns on the year. It doesn’t help that Lions have allowed 10 receptions for 111 yards to running backs either.
Best DvP Matchups – Wide Receivers
1) Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions – As we dig further and further into the stats, doesn’t this just look like such an awful week for the Lions? The Broncos have kept wide receivers on lock down this season, only allowing 102 yards on 10 receptions, while keeping teams WR scoreless! This is going to be a tough defense that continues to be underpriced in my opinion.
2) Minnesota Vikings vs. San Diego Chargers – I think we can agree that this stat might be in correlation with their friendly schedule thus far. Matching up against the 49ers and then the Lions, I’d say they’ve had it fairly easy thus far. Regardless, the Vikings have held wide receivers to just 229 yards and only one touchdown.
3) St. Louis Rams vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Rams were certainly coming into 2015 as one of the best defensive in the league. Hard to disagree with that and thus far, they’ve done their job against wide receivers. They’ve allowed 228 yards with one touchdown. They have a tough matchup this week, so I’ll be interested to see where they end up heading into week four.
Worst DvP Matchups – Wide Receivers
1) Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers – I’m not sure if the Chiefs got the memo that you’re supposed to defend against the opposing wide receivers. They’ve given up 506 yards to wide receivers in just two games! Remarkably, they’ve “only” given up four touchdowns. Truly, I figured that would be higher. Going against Green Bay, this could get ugly.
2) Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks – Wow, the Bears have given up quite a few touchdowns this season. With a whopping seven to wide receivers in just two games this season, this is going to be a long season if they don’t figure out something. What makes it even worse, is that the 325 yards allowed to wide receivers is on the lower end when compared to the rest of the league.
3) New England Patriots vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – This would have to be expected, when the Patriots basically lost all of their entire secondary from 2014. The Patriots have allowed 424 yards to wide receivers with three touchdowns. All joking aside, this might be a sneaky game for the Jaguars, as they’ll certainly be playing from behind the entire time.
Best DvP Matchups – Tight Ends
1) Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals – This section is a little tough, because truly, if you don’t have Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce or Greg Olsen, well, who do you got? After a big week one for Tyler Eifert, he’s come back to earth against the Chargers. Week three might be another tough one for him, as the Ravens have only allowed 30 yards on seven catches to TE.
2) Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks – Well, at least the Bears aren’t allowing TE to beat them in 2015. The Bears have held TE to 32 yard this season, although they’ve caught 100% of their targets, even though it’s only been four. It will be interesting to see how Jimmy Graham fares in this one.
3) Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans -Almost identical to the Bears, the Colts have allowed 43 yards to TE this season, even though they are a perfect 4-4 in receptions. With Delanie Walker questionable in this one, I’d be staying far far away.
Worst DvP Matchups – Tight Ends
1) Oakland Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns – The Raiders have been getting burned by tight ends this season. Already allowing 200 yards on 15 receptions this season, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’ve also given up four touchdowns as well. However, this week, they get a much easier matchup against the Browns.
2) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. St. Louis Rams – The Steelers have been equally as bad against the tight end as the Raiders. Allowing 189 yards on 14 receptions with four touchdowns. With Jared Cook emerging as Foles favorite target, this could be a good spot for him.
3) New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins – Rounding out the worst of the worst against tight ends, the Giants have allowed 145 yards on 14 receptions with three touchdowns. With this Thursday night game set to kick off week three, Jordan Reed should be able to feast in this one.
Lineup Quick Hits
One Quarterback You Should Build Lineups Around…
Tom Brady vs. Jacksonville Jaguars($7700) – I know, this is a SUPER obvious pick, I’ve you read any of my baseball stuff, you know that I’m really not into throwing out the obvious picks. But truly, if I didn’t put Brady in this spot, I think I wouldn’t be putting the top quarterback in this spot. Brady comes into week three with the most passing yards out of every quarterback in the league with 754 yards. Brady carved up the Buffalo defense last week throwing for 466 yards with three touchdowns, completing 38-59 passes. In a game that has New England projected to win by 14, I do worry about if Brady will get pulled or not in this. The only reason that makes me feel better about this, is that if that’s the case, Brady will have already done his work and got us the points we needed and expected.
And the Wide Receiver You Should Pair Him With…
Julian Edelman ($7000) – This is a no brainer. Edelman is a target MONSTER for Brady and this week should be no different. Getting 19 targets last week, Edelman was able to take down 11 for 97 yards and two touchdowns. He even threw in 12 rushing yards because, why not? In two games this season, Edelman now has 31 targets. I realize Gronkowski is the obvious one to pair with Brady, but I think with the targets the Edelman is receiving, he’s the smart choice here. He should bring another huge score on Sunday.
The Highest Scoring Running Back This Week Will Be…
Le’Veon Bell vs. St. Louis Rams ($7500) -Man, I’m not really going crazy this week with picks, am I? When you take a look at the matchups this week, I think we have a tough one for running backs. Jamaal Charles has a nice looking matchup on paper, but I fully expect them to be playing from behind. Bell, coming back from suspension, I’m sure with something to prove, I think will run train on the St. Louis defense. Thus far this season, the Rams have given up 275 yards, which is the second most on any team in the NFL. To go with that, they’ve allowed two rushing touchdowns. Not numbers that blow you away, but I expect the Steelers to be up in this one, which makes Bell more enticing. As a receiver, the Rams have given up 12 passes on 14 targets thus far. Just add it onto an already enticing matchup for the returning Bell.
The Biggest Bust of the Week Will Be…
Matt Forte($7,200) – With Jay Cutler out for a few weeks, this really puts the Bears offense in a state of uncertainty. With how good the Seahawks are against the run, Forte may be looked at more as a receiver than a running back. With that being said, I think the Seahawks will make a point to put a stop to anything Forte attempts. On the season, Seattle has allowed 8 receptions on 11 targets for 88 yards and no touchdowns. Not anything impressive by any means. With Jimmy Clausen at the helm this week, I don’t like my chances with Forte at all, especially with that salary.