Games like this are exactly what fantasy football and NFL betting exist. This might not be the most visually appealing of games, and with Saquon Barkley sidelined, gone is some of the star power, but there are plenty of lineup decisions to be made and prop bets to cash!
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TNF Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
- Spread: 49ers -10
- Total: 44.5
- Giants implied points: 27.3
- 49ers implied points: 17.3
“Danny Dimes” checked every box fantasy football managers could possibly ask for in the Giants’ comeback win over the Arizona Cardinals last weekend, and that was great to see.
The former Duke Blue Devil totaled 321 pass yards and two touchdowns through the air and nine carries for 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground. But by “great to see,” I mean for October.
New York’s final game of September comes on short rest against one of the elite defenses in the league without their top playmaker. San Francisco has allowed just two touchdown passes on 101 attempts this season, and they have coughed up under six yards per pass in both weeks to open the season. Jones is a top-15 QB the rest of the season — just not this week.
For the first time in his career, Brock Purdy didn’t come through for fantasy managers. Even on a down week, a rushing touchdown helped his fantasy box score. If a swing pass to WR Deebo Samuel goes a few inches forward instead of a few inches backward, we’re talking about another 18+ point fantasy day.
I like Purdy over Jones if you’re picking a QB in this game to play, but I’m not sold on either being viable in anything but the deepest of leagues.
New York’s star exited late last week with an ankle injury after only tallying 23 touches for 92 yards and two touchdowns. While Saquon Barkley avoided serious injury, he’s still expected to miss three weeks. Make sure he’s OUT of your Week 3 lineups.
Kyren Williams posted 100 total yards and two scores against this 49ers defense last week, leaving the door open for hope in this spot. That said, Matt Breida hasn’t had a double-digit carry on his résumé since December 2020.
I expect that streak to end this weekend, but leading this team in rushing attempts doesn’t mean he’s anywhere near starting lineups. You can roster Breida if you’d like, but I just don’t see him being anything more than “in case of emergency” depth.
Stopping Christian McCaffrey is borderline impossible. He played every single offensive snap last week against the Rams and has opened the season with consecutive games in which he had 20 carries, a 50-yard rush, and three catches.
McCaffrey’s floor/ceiling combination cannot be matched by any skill player in the game.
Christian McCaffrey unconcerned about heavy workload. https://t.co/HsBHSrRFDd
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 20, 2023
We had some hope that Elijah Mitchell could carve out a Flex-worthy role in this offense, but that’s nothing but a pipe dream at this point.
Talk in San Francisco is that the team will look to give McCaffrey a breather now and again, which is something that should get Mitchell on the field. That’s a start, and he remains roster-worthy due to my trust in Kyle Shanahan — just don’t expect standalone value.
Darius Slayton saw six targets and narrowly missed a 40-yard touchdown in a game that was more encouraging than his stat line (three catches for 62 yards) suggests.
The thought process remains the same here — Jones’ downfield completion rate has increased each season of his career, and Slayton is a one-trick pony. He continues to have one-week spike potential, but that role might be disappearing.
The rookie saw only a pair of targets, but when they result in 31- and 58-yard receptions, can we really argue? This is who Jalin Hyatt is.
The six-foot burner, who is averaging 18.9 yards per catch and had 15 scores last season at Tennessee, is unlikely to hold consistent value at any point this season. That said, as bye weeks kick in and injuries begin to pile up, an upside profile like this becomes more interesting.
The targets are spread thin in New York these days, which is something that makes all pieces of this passing game risky. Isaiah Hodgins totaled 40 yards and a score on his five opportunities — a nice showing in a good matchup.
If I had to bet on which WR will lead this team in targets the rest of the way, Hodgins would get my money. But don’t take that as me saying I expect him to be viable on any sort of regular basis. The distribution of looks in this passing game is simply too variable for me to ever rank one of these receivers inside the top 40 at the position.
Cue the eyes emoji. For the first time in 670 days, Deebo Samuel posted a game with at least five catches, five carries, and a touchdown. Ironically, the last time he did it was also against the Rams.
From the nine targets and the 11 touches to the creative play call to get him the ball in space in the red zone, everything we saw on Sunday was encouraging. Sell.
Samuel hasn’t been efficient as a receiver during the Purdy era, and while the rushing dynamic is valuable, it becomes dangerous if his fantasy value hinges on it. I said this last week with Brandon Aiyuk, and I’ll say it whenever we get the inevitable big TE George Kittle game: Moving on from these San Francisco weapons following a big game is savvy.
The volume through the air for this offense is not high enough to consistently support three options, and that has me always looking to cash in these chips. Samuel is a top-20 receiver for me in this matchup, and I’m confident I’m either 10 spots too low or 10 spots too high. I’ll embrace variance at my Flex spot, not as my WR2.
After a massive Week 1 in Pittsburgh with eight catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns, Aiyuk was quiet on his six targets, with just 5.8 fantasy points, because, of course, he was.
Whether you like Aiyuk over Samuel or vice versa, there’s no denying the risk that comes with considering either a weekly option.
The question of whether Aiyuk will play in Week 3 is yet to be answered, so make sure you’re tracking inactives as kickoff approaches.
Aiyuk was a top-five WR in Week 1 and finished outside of the top 50 this past week. Split the difference, and that’s likely where Aiyuk he the season, but it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Personally, I prefer consistency in both fantasy football and in life. I’m not one to order steak or go to the beach when there’s a risk of rain. I avoid risk, and I avoid receivers like Aiyuk (and Samuel).
I’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen thus far from Darren Waller as he battles through this hamstring issue, and I see no reason to expect any dip moving forward.
This is a tough matchup for the Giants as a whole, but at this position, Waller’s usage is enough to land him inside my top eight tight ends, regardless of the matchup.
Waller has a 20+ yard catch in both games this season, and with a 69.2% catch rate two games into his Giants career, the connection with Jones seems to be just fine. He’s my preferred tight end in this game and my TE6 for the week.
Through two weeks, the 49ers have scored 60 points, and Kittle has totaled 7.9 fantasy points. That could easily be had on a single 14-yard catch, and that’s what Kittle has done for the elite offense through two entire games.
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We preached it in the PFN Fantasy Discord this summer that Kittle’s path to failure at his ADP was concerningly clear, and we’ve seen that up to this point. Even with his struggles, the upside for a big week is there, and that will keep him inside my top 10 at the position every week.
Copy and paste the analysis for Aiyuk last week and for Samuel this week. You wait for a big game and then attempt to get out of the Kittle business — even if you have to take 90¢ on the dollar. I’d rather have an RB or WR with a consistent role and have to stream the TE position than have Kittle and a risky RB/WR.
Who Should You Start in Week 3?
Should I Start Matt Breida or Tyler Allgeier?
Breida has managed to find the end zone just four times over his past 41 games and pretty clearly won’t step into the exact role left vacated by Barkley. Is he likely to lead this backfield in touches? Yes, but where that number settles and the value of those touches is a major unknown.
Tyler Allgeier’s ceiling isn’t overly appealing on a week-to-week basis with Bijan Robinson clearly the alpha in that backfield, but we’re talking a commitment to the ground game in a game we expect to be close against a hit-and-miss defense. For me, he’s the Flex play over the trend.
Should I Start George Kittle or Sam LaPorta?
With the injury to Aiyuk and the lack of efficiency Samuel has shown as a pass catcher under Purdy, give me Kittle in this spot.
I understand that he’s underwhelmed up to this point, but the dud weeks are part of what you sign up for when playing pass catchers in this diverse and conservative offense. Kittle should see his fair share of targets across the middle of the field, and he simply offers more catch upside than Sam LaPorta.
That said, I do think both are capable of producing top-10 numbers this week, so if this is a decision you have, maybe look to move LaPorta for some Flex depth.
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