Sunday Night Preview
Sunday Night Preview:
Philadelphia Eagles @ San Francisco 49ers
Vegas Odds: 49ers -7, O/U 46
Oh how the occasionally mighty have fallen. Carson Wentz and Jimmy Garoppolo both came into the season with Super Bowl and fantasy hype. Jimmy G was off to a hot start (4 TDs,0 INTs, 67% completions) before his week 2 ankle injury, while Wentz has struggled mightily (3 TDs/6 INTs) behind a makeshift offensive line and injured weapons galore. For week 3 our rankings crew does not have either Wentz or effective but uninspiring 9er Nick Mullens ranked in our top 20. I would play Wentz over Mullens if you are desperate, mainly because he offers more with his legs. I will say Mullens has more talent around him and a better matchup, so I wouldn’t be surprised either way with who ends up with more points. In general I just hope you had better options at the position that have already lead your squad to a commanding lead.
We’ll start with Miles Sanders checking in as our consensus ranked #16 RB for this week. Sanders has the talent and workload to rack up impressive RB1 numbers for you every week, but this dreadful OLine and supporting cast in general has lowered both his ceiling and floor. Brighter days are ahead but for now temper your expectations until the team as a whole shows some improvement. On the other side injuries have opened the doors for both Jerick McKinnon (RB21) and Jeff Wilson (RB31) to share a very valuable backfield for at least one more week. Jerick shined last week with 77 total yards and a score. Note that he is 4th on the team with 10 targets and has a TD in all 3 games this year, so even when Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman are healthy he should continue to have a solid role. Wilson is not nearly as elusive or effective as McKinnon (1.8 yards per carry compared to 7!), but given that he scored 2 TDs last week and was used fairly often as a surprise goal line back last year he is as strong of a bet to score as any other committee back in the league. Boston Scott and Jamycal Hasty are not relevant for this week.
Both teams came into 2020 with talented and seemly deep WR corps. That has quickly changed, even before the season began. Jalen Reagor, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Jalen Hurd are all MIA for now and the foreseeable future. Sam Fran comes into the game with rookie Brandon Aiyuk as their de facto #1 WR, and his performance last week has earned him a ranking as our #24 wideout for this week. His 5 catches on 8 targets for 80 yards was impressive enough, but adding 3 carries for 31 yards and a score gives him a higher rushing floor than almost any WR out there besides Robert Woods and a handful of less relevant gadget players. Word is that Deebo Samuel will also make his 2020 debut tonight, but I would hold off on playing him until we know if he will get a decent workload. Foot injuries are some of the worst to recover from in sports. None of the other receivers for SF have scored a TD, put up impressive yardage or carried the ball, leaving them all unstartable. The Eagles now ragtag bunch is led by Greg Ward, who is coming off of an impressive 8 catches, 11 targets, 72 yards and a TD versus the Bengals. He’s flexible this week off of sheer volume alone. Outside of Ward it gets very questionable. Rookie John Hightower is looking like the other starter, which means he has an opportunity but you’re better off taking your chances elsewhere. No one else is a recommended play in this strange game during the strangest year.
Two Pro Bowl, record setting tight ends take the field and are far and away the stars of tonight’s show. George Kittle and Zach Ertz were both drafted as top 4 TEs in your league and for good reason. This week we have Ertz ranked as #2 and Kittle #3. This may be surprising to some that it is not in reversed order, but know that this is a coin flip. Ertz receives a boost from other weeks as he is the clear #1 target of the offense this week due to WR injuries (almost a guarantee for 10+ targets), while Kittle is slightly downgraded after missing the last 2 games and adjusting to the QB change. Fire them both up with incredible confidence, and really they may be top 2 now with Travis Kelce’s game looking questionable. Beyond these starters note that productive yet fragile flash in the pan Jordan Reed is now on IR, but much respect to him getting it done for me and others who were brave enough to start him week 2. Week 3 did not have the same payoff. For the Eagles #2 TE Dallas Goedert (probably a top 5 talent at the position) is now also on IR and is replaced by former Packer Richard Rodgers. Rodgers has a chance for a nice role with all the Eagles targets up for grabs, so feel free to use him if you are feeling brave. High risk but also potential for reward.