The Playbook: Your fantasy football guide for Week 3

  • Fantasy football, NFL analyst for ESPN.com
  • Member of Pro Football Writers of America
  • Founding director of Pro Football Focus Fantasy
  • 2013 FSTA award winner for most accurate preseason rankings

Welcome to the Week 3 Fantasy Football Playbook!

This will be your game-by-game guide to the week’s slate of NFL games, featuring score projections, over/unders, win probabilities and, of course, easily digestible fantasy advice for both season-long and DFS leagues. This guide should help you with all sorts of decision-making, including sit/start options, last-minute waiver adds and lineup choices.

The advice is centered on 12-team PPR leagues with relatively standard scoring and lineup settings (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 Flex, 1 K, 1 D/ST), although I’ll often mention “shallow” or “deep” leagues for borderline starters. The charts show all players who have been projected for at least 6.0 fantasy points this week, as well as all D/STs. “Matchup” is automatically determined using a proprietary metric that factors in both raw and volume-adjusted fantasy points allowed to each position by the opposing defense this season.

(Editor’s note: Projections and rankings will align almost perfectly, but sometimes when a projection is close, a player may be ranked slightly higher or lower due to other factors, including upside or risk. This column is subject to possible updates during the weekend, though at the very minimum, rankings will updated on the site and projections will always be updated inside the game leading up to kickoff.)

Washington Football Team @ Buffalo Bills

  • This game will feature a pair of very good defenses and projects to be a relatively low-scoring affair. Josh Allen is off to a slow start, but the reigning top-scoring fantasy quarterback has handled a ton of volume and remains a strong fantasy starter.

  • Devin Singletary has emerged as the Bills’ lead back, but he’s best viewed as a flex with Zack Moss back in the fold. Moss scored twice in Week 2, but he needs more touches to warrant flex consideration.

  • Stefon Diggs is the only lineup lock among Buffalo’s wide receivers, but Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley are both flex options in deeper leagues. Dawson Knox is a name to monitor, but we need consistent volume before considering him for our TE slot.

  • QB Taylor Heinicke impressed in place of Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, but he’s a poor fantasy play against a good Buffalo defense.

  • Antonio Gibson is off to a slow start, but consider that he’s playing on 64% of snaps and is on pace for 323 touches. This comes after he produced top-10 fantasy numbers in 2020 while playing on only 47% of snaps and managing just 206 touches. Better days are ahead, but this is a tough matchup, so consider him a solid RB2. J.D. McKissic has some deep-league PPR appeal, especially since Washington is an underdog.

  • Terry McLaurin is a lineup lock, but he also has a tough matchup and could be shadowed by star corner Tre’Davious White. He’s the only Washington wideout who should be in lineups. Logan Thomas has played on 98% of Washington’s snaps over his past 12 games and remains a mid-to-back-end TE1.

Over/under: 43.6 (12th highest in Week 3)
Win probability: Bills 72% (sixth highest)

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