Tuesday - Apr 23, 2019

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THE LOWDOWN: Week 3

Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 3. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

How This Column Works

You know the difference between guys like Thomas Casale and me?

Tom Casale will look at hours of game film, read hundreds of local beat writers and has the Weather Channel on constantly. Then he attempts to put forth his most reasoned opinion on which players you should start and which players you should bench. The guy is a thorough professional, someone who cares tremendously about his readers and how his opinions will effect them.

On the other hand, all my hard work goes into writing complicated computer algorithms during the offseason, testing them and making sure everything adds up. Then during the season, I spend about 10 minutes running queries which will spit out lists of players that I then publish for you guys. I’m a misanthrope that generally keeps to himself and really doesn’t spend much time worrying about what other people think of me.

Which approach is best? That’s sort of like asking which character you like best, Kirk or Spock. This column is for the people who would pick Spock.

Congrats, Cleveland!

Yes, Cleveland Browns fans! Your team has done the unthinkable: the Browns won a game! Thanks to quarterback Tyrod Taylor getting knocked out of the game and being replaced by No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, Cleveland got an earlier-than-planned look at its future – and that future looks bright. Mayfield-to-Jarvis Landry has the potential to be a prolific duo, especially with Josh Gordon shipped to New England.

Ironic, isn’t it? After all, it was New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis who knocked then-New England quarterback Drew Bledsoe out of the game and ushered in the Tom Brady era. Will history repeat itself?

Regardless, enjoy your victory Cleveland.

Interesting Players for This Week

Straight from the flawless algorithms of Mighty Max come the top matchups at every offensive position for this weekend’s games …

Quarterbacks

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, TBB (vs. Pit) – 46.55
2. Patrick Mahomes, KCC (vs. SFO) – 42.71
3. Kirk Cousins, MIN (vs. Buf) – 36.80
4. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. TBB) – 35.81
5. Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. NOS) – 34.24
6. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. Cin) – 33.77
7. Blake Bortles, JAC (vs. Ten) – 32.48
8. Drew Brees, NOS (vs. Atl) – 32.47
9. Andy Dalton, CIN (vs. Car) – 31.09
10. Matthew Stafford, DET (vs. NEP) – 30.15
11. Joe Flacco, BAL (vs. Den) – 29.95
12. Jimmy Garoppolo, SFO (vs. KCC) – 29.83
13. Alex Smith, WAS (vs. GBP) – 29.73
14. Tom Brady, NEP (vs. Det) – 28.38
15. Jared Goff, LAR (vs. LAC) – 28.14

Fitzpatrick and Mahomes are off to incredible starts, and you have to keep starting them until they give you a reason not to … Dalton might be in line for a solid season, especially if wide receivers Tyler Boyd and John Ross continue to develop.

Running Backs

1. James Conner, PIT (vs. TBB) – 45.28
2. Alvin Kamara, NOS (vs. Atl) – 41.49
3. Melvin Gordon, LAC (vs. LAR) – 37.03
4. Todd Gurley, LAR (vs. LAC) – 36.59
5. Jordan Howard, CHI (vs. Ari) – 33.55
6. Matt Breida, SFO (vs. KCC) – 32.83
7. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (vs. Cin) – 32.70
8. Saquon Barkley, NYG (vs. Hou) – 31.90
9. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (vs. Sea) – 29.10
10. Kenyan Drake, MIA (vs. Oak) – 26.34
11. Lamar Miller, HOU (vs. NYG) – 26.02
12. Adrian Peterson, WAS (vs. GBP) – 24.99
13. Rex Burkhead, NEP (vs. Det) – 24.83
14. Latavius Murray, MIN (vs. Buf) – 23.39
15. Chris Thompson, WAS (vs. GBP) – 23.27
16. Kareem Hunt, KCC (vs. SFO) – 23.00
17. Theo Riddick, DET (vs. NEP) – 21.57
18. Austin Ekeler, LAC (vs. LAR) – 20.86
19. Jay Ajayi, PHI (vs. Ind) – 20.61
20. Phillip Lindsay, DEN (vs. Bal) – 20.57
21. Kerryon Johnson, DET (vs. NEP) – 20.27
23. Chris Carson, SEA (vs. Dal) – 20.03
24. Jamaal Williams, GBP (vs. WAS) – 19.96
25. Tarik Cohen, CHI (vs. Ari) – 19.48

Barkley is having an impact for the Giants, but it’s the wrong kind of impact. The talented rookie runner had been racking up the points due to a horrible offensive line forcing Eli Manning to dump off passes … Conner is doing a great job while Le’Veon Bell is holding out, raising some questions about what happens when Bell comes back. If Conner keeps this up, it might spell the end of Bell’s tenure in Pittbsurgh – especially given the resentment that seems to building up against Bell from his teammates.

About John Georgopoulos

John T. Georgopoulos is a 23-year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions. You can also listen to his weekly, non-sports NSFW opinions at The Riot.