The early part of the NFL season is as much an attempt to avoid confirmation bias for fantasy players as anything else, and many people were skeptical of Alvin Kamara entering this season. It looks pretty smart, as he only scored 16.9 PPRs in two games. But I’m not too worried about Kamara yet.
This is partly because I was higher on Camara than the consensus at the beginning of the season, so I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, Kamara also suffered a rib injury in the first week which was severe enough to force him to miss week 2, which seems like a pretty good reason to give some good to the doubt. Kamara only had nine carries in his first week with three catches for 7 yards, and a rib injury seems like a pretty good excuse.
His usage was a lot more promising in week 3 as he had 15 carries and seven targets – which is about what you would expect from Kamara in most weeks. However, he only had a 7.3 PPR because he only caught two of those seven targets and allowed fumbles – none of which seem to be too much of a problem going forward. Of course, Jameis Winston isn’t the most accurate quarterback – and he notably beat Kamara in what could have been a touchdown on Sunday, but Kamara caught 26 of 34 passes for 76% catch and 9.5 yards. for Winston’s catch last season, comparable to what we’ve seen from Camara throughout his career. So I don’t think that explains it.
What I think we’ve seen is the lower end of Kamara’s range of results. Winston missed a few key passes and Camara made a poor fumble, only the eighth time in his career. On Sunday, Mark Ingram actually managed to get a touchdown off Kamara, and that could be an embarrassing situation, especially considering Tysome Hill’s use of the red zone as well. However, while this potentially limits Kamara’s height at times, I don’t think it explains his difficulties so far.
Kamara has better days ahead and I still see him as a top 12 RB in week 4. Here is the rest of my RB ranking in week 4.
- Jonathan Taylor vs. TEN – The Colts have been talking a lot about not wanting to pound Taylor to the ground this offseason, but he’s played at least 74% of snaps in each of his first three games and played decently in a passing game. This is all well and good, and there is reason to be optimistic that his strangely underperforming start will not continue.
- Saquon Barkley vs CHI. This offense is poor, but Barkley blew off long runs early in the game, showing he still has the physical ability to make a difference. And the Giants cleverly portray him as one of them. It’s hard to get out of a bad situation, but Barkley is good enough to do it.
- Austin Eckeler @HOU — The Chargers played 16 games from the 10-yard line in three games, and Eckeler was on the field in 11 of them — 69%. Last season, he was on the field in 61% of those snaps. Count just plays from behind the 5-yard line and has been on the field five times out of seven – 71% up from 67% last season. I have seen some concern from Eckeler about this, but it is too early to draw any conclusions.
- Nick Chubb @ATL — If Chubb gets 20 carries a game, he’ll be a great option for fantasy, and so far the schedule has been pretty good for him. It will most likely happen again in the 4th week. The question is whether the Browns can keep up with the pace of upcoming matches against the Chargers, Ravens and Bengals leading up to a week 9 bye and then the Dolphins, Bills and Buccaneers looming. He could be a candidate for high sales.
- Christian McCaffrey vs. ARI. In 2019, McCaffrey was losing 80% of the Panthers’ passing plays; this season it has dropped to 69%. He has a lot of carries, but McCaffrey’s edge has always been about 100+ throws, and now he doesn’t have that. He obviously can still be good with his current usage, but he’s not going to be fighting for 25 PPR per game with this role. Hopefully the Panthers realize they’re cutting their hamstrings here, and hopefully McCaffrey’s hip injury isn’t bad enough to keep him out. I threw him a few lines about it.
- Leonard Furnett vs. KC
- Joe Mixon vs MIA. On the one hand, Mixon capitalized on the opposing defense’s insistence on taking deep ball away, as his current 113-goal pace would beat his career high of 55. Of course, there’s a trade-off here. , because scoring opportunities were rare as the Bengals attack struggled to move the ball. And Mixon’s dashing efficiency – never high – really took a hit. It’s a compromise that we in the fantasy world will mostly accept, but it’s worth acknowledging.
- Alexander Mattison @NO — Reports say Dalwyn Cooke will play with a shoulder injury with a seatbelt on, but my guess is that Mattison will be the starter until I see Cooke, at least in practice. The nice thing is that if Cooke does play, you can imagine that he will take about the same place in the rankings as Mattison, because the Vikings expect to use them in the same way, and Mattison turned out to be a very good player. effective player when given the opportunity.
- Khalil Herbert @NYG — Herbert can’t be expected to continue to average 7.3 yards per carry, but if David Montgomery’s injury keeps him out this week, Herbert will be the mandatory starter for Fantasy RB — he rushed for 197 yards in the previous two starts and should be queued for somewhere around 20 touches – and that could be the bottom line, even in a small Bears offense.
- Aaron Jones vs New York. The Packers had a hard time in Week 3 against the Buccaneers, and we saw that the Jones/A.J. Dillon combination had a downside. That being said, they still had 24 carries and seven targets in between, which is more than half of the team’s attacking games. Both remain high-end fantasy options even against a tough Patriot defense because the Packers need to be able to control the ball in it.
- Alvin Camara vs. MIN
- Derrick Henry @IND – Henry’s role in the game in Week 3 was incredibly promising, but it’s hard to tell if it was real. He had only been targeted once in the previous two games, so it was impossible to predict a six-target game. Considering how often he was attacked in the beginning, this was clearly an important part of the game plan, but will it happen every week? It’s harder to say. Henry looked better in the third week, which is an important part.
- Naji Harris vs New York. I think Harris actually looked pretty good in week 3 and that resulted in 3.73 YPCs and 5 yards per three catches, which tells you about the state of the Steelers’ offense. There’s clearly talent here, but not enough on offense or quarterback, at least not with Mitchell Trubisky. Harris’ role makes him a must-have starting RB, but it’s more like an RB2 variation than the elite guy you’d expect, especially if the Steelers don’t involve him more in the passing game – his target share is 11%. is not going to do it.
- Jamaal Williams vs SEA. It looks like D’Andre Swift’s shoulder sprain could put him out of action for weeks, raising concerns about whether he can handle the kind of workload the Lions want him to. Swift’s absence is a big loss for this offense, which relies on his ability to catch passes and play big, but it should push Williams into a pretty significant role. Williams had 19 and 17 carries in two games without Swift last season, although he only had one goal – however, it’s worth noting that those two games were jammed around a few games that Williams missed due to his own injury, so he maybe otherwise they played an even bigger role. This offense looks much better from the second half of last season and I see Williams as a must-have player to start the game without Swift.
- Javonte Williams @LV — The Broncos drafted Mike Boone in Week 3, and Melvin Gordon rode the same number of routes as Williams, which is the worst-case scenario for his fantasy performance. He still had 15 carries and four and five goals in his last two games, so if this offense starts to turn things around, Williams will be a solid fantasy option; However, the use of Gordon probably prevents him from being great.
- James Conner @CAR — Conner more or less played his usual role in week three despite an ankle injury and now has 15 goals in two and a half games. He is in the top 12 RB if this offense starts to figure out.
- Josh Jacobs vs DEN. There isn’t much to say here. Josh Jacobs is a very boring 10-15 PPR player and if he manages to find a end zone he will have an advantage which he has yet to do this season. At some point he will, but right now he’s just not in the spotlight on that offense.
- AJ Dillon vs. NO
- Jeff Wilson vs. LAR. Wilson handled the ball very well in Week 3 and played a few passes just in case. He looks pretty solid as the 49ers lead back, and while he will always have a limited ceiling as a pass catcher and touchdown scorer given the team’s other options, he looks like a pretty solid RB2 for the Fantasy going forward.
- Cordarrell Patterson vs. CLE. The only issue with Patterson is that his usage can be a bit inconsistent as the Falcons try to keep him fresh – he followed up his 22-carry in week one with just 10 touches in week two. Can we see something similar after he hit 18 in week 3? This is a risk.
- James Robinson @PHI — I still think Etienne’s long-term upside remains significant if something happens to James Robinson, but as long as the latter is healthy, Etienne seems to be the second back. He could have a decent game if the Jaguars were forced to throw a ton against the Eagles, but I’m not ready to trust him as a JD McKissic-type PPR specialist just yet.
- Miles Sanders vs Jax…