Week three of the National Football League season told us one thing. The 2016 Philadelphia Eagles are for real. In a surprisingly lopsided matchup, the Eagles handily beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-3 in the battle of Pennsylvania.
Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz was effective in Philadelphia’s wins earlier this season over Chicago and Cleveland, but deserved significant credit for being poised against a formidable Steelers defense. Wentz completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile Ben Roethlisberger was terrible as he was constantly under pressure and could only find Antonio Brown on a regular basis. The Steelers were so bad last week in Philadelphia, they have a significant lack of momentum heading into Sunday night’s matchup when they host Kansas City. I clearly like the Chiefs here.
It is clear the Eagles have made significant strides under new head coach Doug Pederson. One area that seems to be working is the productivity of all four of their running backs—Wendell Smallwood, Kenjon Barner, and veterans Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews. This has however become a nightmare for fantasy owners because you never know what running back will be used throughout any given contest.
In week three, I posted a record of 9-7. Another thing we learned from last week is that the Arizona Cardinals struggle in the Eastern Time zone. The Cardinals came out sluggish against the Buffalo Bills in a 33-18 loss.
In analyzing the week four schedule, do not be surprised if the Seattle Seahawks struggle in the Eastern Time zone this week. The Seahawks play the New York Jets, who should be considered a stronger team than the Bills at this point of the season. Seattle showed signs of getting out of their offensive funk last week against the San Francisco 49ers and it will be interesting to see how effective Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin will be in the Big Apple.
It will also be interesting to watch the Seahawks running game over the next month while Thomas Rawls is out with a broken leg. Christine Michael was excellent last week (106 yards, two touchdowns), and now Seattle has signed former Saints and Bills running back C.J. Spiller for insurance purposes.
Another intriguing matchup this week is Denver at Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have got their passing game going so far this season as Jameis Winston and Mike Evans have been on the same page. The Broncos are perfect at 3-0, but it would not surprise me that the Buccaneers pull off an upset here. I can see the Broncos defense struggle a little bit in containing Winston.
One wide receiver who could be on your waiver wire this week in fantasy football is Chargers playmaker Tyrell Williams. Since the Chargers lost Keenan Allen in week one, Williams has stepped up admirably and provided the Chargers a legitimate second receiving option to complement Travis Benjamin.
In week four expect big weeks from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, Denver Broncos wide receiver DeMaryius Thomas and Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson. All should meet current fantasy projections.