This article is part of our Exploiting the Matchups series.
The big story of Week 2 was injuries, which means the big story of Week 3 — at least for fantasy football purposes — is figuring out how teams will replace their missing players. Some cases, like Mike Davis filling in for Christian McCaffrey, come with a reasonably high level of confidence regarding playing time, while other situations — the Giants backfield comes to mind — appear rather messy.
Here we focus on weekly matchups rather than injuries or hot waiver adds, but I'll also include some important information on player roles and usage, often borrowing the work I did earlier this week in Hidden Stat Line: Week 2 Backfield Usage and Hidden Stat Line: Targets, Routes & Snaps. I normally recommend checking those out before waivers/FAAB, but they also come in handy for difficult lineup decisions later in the week.
Hopefully we can also help with some of those below, identifying the best and worst individual matchups of Week 3. If it feels like there aren't a ton of players with difficult matchups, that might be because scoring is way up across the league, with only a select few defenses appearing formidable. I mentioned it in the intro section of this same column last week, and took another look in my Week 3 Streaming Defenses article:
Injuries were the dominant story of Week 2, impacting NFL franchises and fantasy teams alike. We also saw the continuation of a couple trends from Week 1, with penalties and turnovers