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Week 3 fantasy winners and losers

What players came through for your fantasy teams and which laid an egg?

Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates his touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs #14 of the Buffalo Bills during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Bills Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. Bills beat the Rams 35 to 32. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Fantasy football is a wild game and taking a look at some of the best and worst fantasy performances is always going to be fun, unless you were on the sharp end of a whole bunch of awful games by your usual fantasy studs. We’ll take you through some of those performances below, starting with the early games, then the late games and, well, you know how time works.

Late games

The good news

Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott went fantasy crazy in their late game, with Wilson besting Prescott in real life and fantasy, as he completed 27-of-40 passes for 315 yards and five touchdowns, adding 22 yards on the ground. The only player to best Wilson in fantasy so far this week was his receiver Tyler Lockett, who caught 9-of-13 targets for 100 yards and three touchdowns. Wilson now has thrown for four or more touchdowns in each of his first three games, an NFL record. Let Russ Cook indeed.

Michael Gallup had plenty of fantasy managers crying in their cheese dip after a slow start on Sunday, but he turned on the good news, catching 6-of-9 targets for 138 yards and a touchdown. And instead of Amari Cooper or CeeDee Lamb getting all those other fantasy points through the air, it ended being WR4, Cedrick Wilson, catching 5-of-7 targets for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

Austin Ekeler’s PPR dominance snuck back on the scene this week as he caught all 11 of his targets for 84 yards and ran the ball 12 times for 59 yards and a touchdown. That’s the Ekeler we all were waiting for and he delivered as usual.

Justin Herbert didn’t put up great fantasy numbers, but he did throw for 330 yards and a touchdown and gave Keenan Allen a whopping 19 targets, of which he caught 13 for 132 yards and a touchdown. Getting the ball to Allen and Ekeler is Herbert’s main job in fantasy and he came through.

Christian McCaffrey’s replacement, Mike Davis, helped those who grabbed him up off the waiver wire last week. He ran the ball 13 times for 46 yards and caught 8-of-9 targets for 45 more yards and a touchdown. That’s some fantasy gold in PPR leagues. He’s now caught 16-of-17 targets in the last two games

Kyler Murray didn’t live up to his lofty expectations against a bad Lions team, but we did get to see Andy Isabella step up with Christian Kirk out. He caught all four of his targets for 47 yards and score two touchdowns in the process. Will it be enough to get him on the field more even if Kirk returns soon? I’m not sure, but it sure hasn’t hurt his chances and Kirk didn’t practice once last week with a groin injury.

Tom Brady had his two top receivers healthy for the first time this season and threw three touchdowns in the first half against the Broncos. Chris Godwin unfortunately hurt his hamstring and had to leave the game. Brady could again be without one of his top receivers next week when they take on the Chargers. But, it does look like the offense is getting on track and Brady has some good fantasy numbers in his future.

The not so good news

Leonard Fournette’s big game last week didn’t continue over to this week, as he rushed seven times for 15 yards and caught two passes for seven more yards. Ronald Jones ended up with more work, carrying the ball 13 times for 53 yards and catching 2-of-4 targets for 20 more yards. This situation is going to be a fantasy headache.

D’Andre Swift ended up playing just five snaps in the Lions win over the Cardinals. He caught one pass for 19 yards in a game where he saw a big downgrade in snaps from Weeks 1 and 2. Neither Adrian Peterson or Kerryon Johnson did much to write home about, but Swift is going the wrong way in usage.

I probably shouldn’t even mention a Jets player here, as we already know, but Sam Darnold threw two pick-sixes, which is not so good news. He also made a beautiful touchdown pass after eluding multiple defenders that showed there is ability there, but the Jets are a lost cause and Darnold is floating out in the ocean with no hope for rescue.

Early games

The good news

Josh Allen and the Bills almost lost after getting a 28-3 lead in the third quarter, but even if they had, Allen would have still had yet another huge fantasy day. He ended the day with 24-of-33 completions for 311 yards, four touchdown passes, one interception, one fumble and one rushing touchdown. It was an eventful day, as the Rams were able to get pressure on him in the second half. After putting up big numbers against the Dolphins and Jets, Allen kept up his hot play against a better Rams defense and is still riding high.

Justin Jefferson caught seven passes for 175 yards and a touchdown, as he broke out in the third game of his rookie year. The Vikings very much needed Jefferson to get going, as they looked awful last week against the Colts. We knew Jefferson had the goods, but now he’s gotten the looks and teams will need to account for him and Adam Thielen. This should help Kirk Cousins have some streaming upside this season.

Rex Burkhead has seen a lot of work of late with James White out and this week he made his touches count, finding the end zone three times, twice on the ground and once through the air, as he finished with six rushing attempts for 49 yards and two touchdowns and seven receptions for another 49 yards and another touchdown. Burkhead has always had ability, but hasn’t been able to stay on the field due to injuries. Unfortunately for him, James White and Damien Harris could both be back next week.

The Rams almost came from behind to beat the Bills, but couldn’t hold onto the lead. But, second-year running back Darrell Henderson had another good game this week, as he rushed 20 times for 114 yards and a touchdown and caught 1-of-3 passes for seven yards. I keep hoping for more receptions, but 20 rushing attempts will do. Henderson is obviously ahead of Malcolm Brown now, who ran the ball seven times for 19 yards today. When Cam Akers returns, the backfield could be crowded, but Henderson has made his claim to the starting job with two strong performances in a row.

Brian Hill backed up Todd Gurley again this week, but saw a bigger share of work than usual, as he ran the ball five times for 58 yards and a touchdown, adding a 22-yard catch. Gurley still led the way, rushing 14 times for 80 yards and a touchdown. With Julio Jones and then Russell Gage out, the Falcons were still able to run the ball on what should be a strong Bears defensive line.

Another rookie receiver, Brandon Aiyuk, had a strong game this week, as he caught 5-of-8 targets for 70 yards and ran the ball three times for 31 yards and a touchdown. He’s yet another physical receiver, which the 49ers love to draft. If he can stay healthy, he’s going to continue seeing work in an offense weak at wide receiver.

The not so good news

Joe Mixon can’t buy a touchdown, which has become a theme for him in his career. Of course, the Bengals offensive line has been bad his whole career. Against the Eagles he had 17 carries for 49 yards and caught 2-of-3 targets for 16 more. This has become his usual stat line of late. He has ability, but doesn’t get enough work in the passing game on an offense that throws the ball a ton.

A.J. Green is no longer the Bengals No. 1 receiver, as he caught 5-of-6 passes for 36 yards while Tyler Boyd caught 10-of-13 targets for 125 yards and rookie Tee Higgins caught 5-of-9 targets for 40 yards and two touchdowns. Green has lost a step and he doesn’t look like he’s going to get it back soon. Higgins and Boyd are just younger and healthier.

Logan Thomas was never going to be a world beater, but he’s had so many opportunities that it was hard to ignore him after he caught a touchdown in Week 1. But now, it’s getting easier to ignore him, as he had another down game, catching 4-of-7 targets for 31 yards against the Browns. He’s yet to top four receptions or 37 yards despite getting 8, 9, and 7 targets to start the season.

Evan Engram showed a little life last week, bu once again had a poor game this week, catching 3-of-5 targets for 22 yards against a 49ers defense that was undermanned. He should be able to turn things around, but he’s not giving us much to hang our hats on in the meantime.

Julian Edelman had a huge game in Seattle last week, but was corralled by the Raiders this week, catching just 2-of-5 targets for 23 yards. This Patriots offense is going to take what they’re given and this week Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel took advantage on the ground. Edelman will have fantasy value, but he’s not going to go for 170 yards again anytime soon.

Bill Belichick wasn’t going to let Darren Waller do what he did to the Saints against the Patriots, but 2-of-4 receptions for nine yards was a little less than Waller’s fantasy managers were hoping for.