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We’re heading into Week 3 and the first two weeks of the NFL season have been full of highs and lows, injuries, and explosive debuts. As each week passes, defensive identities start becoming a bit clearer, which makes our start and sits decisions just a tad easier. We still have a small sample size, but even that little bit of data helps narrow down our choices.
Here are five players you should look to fade for Week 3. Remember, this article is about fading players for this week. That doesn’t mean you have to sit them, you may not be in a position to do. These players have rough matchups this weekend that you should either avoid or structure your roster with high-upside players if it’s not possible to bench them.
Devin Singletary – RB Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills have been downright explosive through the first two weeks of the season and that doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. To keep QB Josh Allen healthy, the Bills have moved to a heavier passing attack, keeping Allen in the pocket as opposed to using him as much in the running game as we are used to. Their offense is now more balanced, ranking 17th in passing attempts and 18th in rushing attempts so far in 2022.
Last season, the Bills ranked 13th in rushing attempts and Singletary was electric to finish out the season. Many had high hopes that this trend would continue. However, Buffalo is utilizing a true running back by committee. Singletary, rookie James Cook, and Zach Moss have rushed 14, 12, and nine times respectively and Allen also has 11 rush attempts to add to the mix. That has downgraded Singletary’s production to single-digit production in half-PPR scoring.
A 3.1 and 7.2 fantasy finish in Weeks 1 and 2 is enough to fade Singletary. The final straw comes in the form of Miami’s stout defense against the run. Through two games, the Dolphins have allowed just 106 yards to running backs, second only to the 49ers who have allowed 105. They have held the Falcons’ and the Ravens’ backs to zero touchdowns during that time.
Singletary has yet to find the end zone this season and this week likely won’t be it either. He has only logged two touches in the red zone while Allen airs the ball out to Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis.
Rashaad Penny – RB Seattle Seahawks
Rashaad Penny has been the beneficiary of a healing Kenneth Walker in the Seahawks’ running back room through two weeks, but even that has not been enough to make him a fantasy producer. Granted, Seattle faced the Broncos and the 49ers who are in the top-6 of defenses against the run.
After amassing a serviceable 7.7 points against Denver in Week 1, Penny bottomed out with only six carries for 15 yards that totaled a whopping 1.5 points in Week 2 against San Francisco.
In fantasy football, we rely on volume, and that is diminishing quickly as Walker gets more and more involved. The rookie outscored Penny last week, albeit 2.5 to Penny’s 1.5, and was involved in both the run and passing game.
The matchup this week isn’t great for Seattle, either. While as porous as swiss cheese against the passing game, the Falcons have held strong against the run. They have held opponents to 152 yards on 38 attempts for only one touchdown so far this season. That is only six more yards allowed than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who rank fourth-best versus running backs.
Penny will continue to be a fade, especially in bad matchups, as Walker continues to heal and get more work each week.
Corey Davis – WR New York Jets
It was sad news in New York when Zach Wilson underwent surgery on his knee. To clarify, it was sad news for Wilson. The Jets have done just fine with veteran Joe Flacco. He did struggle in Week 1 against Baltimore, getting benched in favor of Mike Wight, but he redeemed himself wholeheartedly in Week 2 with a miraculous come-from-behind win against the Browns.
Flacco has been around the block a time or two, and he is likely the most elite backup in the league. However, as we saw in Week 1, he is not invulnerable to a good defense, or even a mediocre one.
The Jets face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3 who have allowed the third-fewest points to wide receivers this season. Rookie Garrett Wilson has exploded onto the scene and made mincemeat out of the Cleveland defense with eight receptions, 108 yards, and two touchdowns on 14 targets.
Corey Davis also found the end zone in that game, but it was on just four targets. Wilson dominated the red zone looks with five to Davis’ zero in Week 2. As long as Wilson is on the field, he is a threat no matter where he is. Davis also has to compete with Elijah Moore who had one more target, reception, and ten more yards than he. Davis is squarely in WR3 territory in the pecking order and should be avoided in bad matchups like this one against the Bengals.
Brandon Aiyuk – WR San Francisco 49ers
Speaking of sad news for a quarterback, the loss of Trey Lance in San Francisco is heartbreaking. With Jimmy Garoppolo back at the helm, the offense can move forward with some semblance of familiarity.
Admittedly, this player fade is a little risky, since Brandon Aiyuk was Garoppolo’s third-favorite target behind Deebo Samuel and George Kittle last season. Kittle missed last week with a groin injury but is expected to suit up this week against the Broncos. If he is a full-go with no limitations, then Aiyuk as a fade is stronger.
Whether Kittle is on the field or not, it is going to be tough for Garoppolo and his receivers on the road in Denver. The Broncos have allowed the fewest yards to wide receivers and have yet to allow a touchdown to the position. Samuel is an auto-start, regardless of the matchup, but Aiyuk is a riskier option. If you have an alternate for your WR3 or Flex position, I would make that call.
Carson Wentz – QB Washington Commanders
Who would have thought that a battle royale would ensue between the Washington Commanders and the Detroit Lions? Carson Wentz lit up the stat sheet with 337 passing yards, three touchdowns, just one interception, and logged 23 yards rushing for 27.78 points.
Granted, the Lions are third-worst against the position, but Wentz had to capitalize on the good matchup and he certainly came through.
Unfortunately, this week is going to be a far cry from the fantasy fest in Week 2. The Commanders face the Philadelphia Eagles who have significantly improved their defense. Just ask Kirk Cousins whose favorite target on Monday night was Eagles’ Darius Slay.
In addition to three interceptions, the City of Brotherly Love sacked Cousins twice, logged seven QB hits, four tackles for loss, and only allowed seven points to the likes of Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. It was TE Irv Smith who got the only score in that game.
This is not good news for Wentz who has struggled against good defenses, let alone a division rival, or the fact that this is his old team. The revenge narrative could work both ways, but the Eagles have the upper hand in this matchup on the road in Washington.
You may be in a position where you have to start Wentz, whether it’s in a 2QB league or he was the only option after Lance went down for the year. If you can avoid starting him, I would do so.