Week 3 of the prseason is the closest thing we get to the real deal. We should get a full half of work out of the majority of starters. If you haven’t yet checked out the slate of contests FanDuel and DraftKings have posted for Saturday, go take a look.
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As always, let’s start by taking a look at the Vegas team totals for this slate. As you would expect, fairly little dispersion here, these preseason games have been fairly low scoring this season.
With several solid defenses likely to see extended play in this slate, we are going to look to pick on the Raiders, who have been a defensive dumpster fire this preseason. Dak on the other hand, has looked extremely sharp in year two under Garrett and Linehan. The Rams completed 31 of 42 passes for 292 yards with a 2/0 TD/INT ratio in their preseason week 2 matchup with the Raiders. Dak will likely play the entire first half, he threw the ball 23 times in last season’s preseason week 3 game.
Like Prescott, Winston is another QB that has looked sharp this preseason, has a favorable matchup, and should see a full half of playing time. While the Browns defense hasn’t nearly been as bad as we expected through the first two games of the preseason, we expect Dirk and Jameis to expose them in Tampa on Saturday night.
The Steelers clearly have no reservations about giving Conner a full workload this preseason. In his first game as a Steeler, the rookie received 20 carries and 4 targets. If he is that active this week, with Ben and AB back, look for him to bump that total yardage up even more, and possibly find his way into the end zone.
Despite Jerry Jones coming out this week and saying Elliott could see a few touches this week, we still like McFadden in this matchup with the Raiders. He may also split snaps with Alfred Morris, but will likely see the majority of passing down work for the entire first half. Even if he only puts up a 7/35 type line on the ground, McFadden should be active enough in the passing game to make up for any lack of workload on the ground.
Even if AB and Ben only get one or two drives, I would expect Brown to put up one of the better stat lines we will see in week 3. He put up 4/87/1 in limited action in preseason week 3 last season. The Steelers will likely leave both players in until they are able to get into a rhythm. It shouldn’t take too long.
Evans has clearly taken another step forward this offseason, which is really saying something given the fact that he is coming off of a 96/1,300/12 season. Their is no questioning who the top dog in the Bucs passing game is, so the addition of Desean Jackson will only help to keep coverages from rolling over the top of him. He will see Joe Haden in this matchup, but it shouldn’t matter as the Browns and Haden gave up the 3rd most points to opposing #1 receivers in 2016.
It sounds like Sanders is trending towards playing this week, but there will be plenty of yards to go around in the Broncos new Mike McCoy led offense this season. The Packers chose not to make any massive upgrades to their secondary, which was a complete train wreck last season. In 2016 they gave up the 2nd most passing yards, 3rd most passing touchdowns, and 5th most points to opposing #1 receivers. Thomas should see a full half of work with Siemian, and is our top receiver for this slate.
With a full arsenal of Giants receivers, at least for the majority of the first team’s snaps, Engram still saw 4 targets including a red zone target. It doesn’t seem likely that we will see either Marshall or OBJ in week 3, so expect to see Engram, Shepard, and Lewis quite busy in a favorable matchup with the Jets.