Last updated: September 19th at 1:36pm ET.
Team Totals: Packers 25.5, Broncos 17.5
Broncos-Packers is Week 3’s fourth-lowest-totaled affair (43) pitting against each other teams that have combined for lowly point totals of 10 > 16 > 21 > 14 two games in. No. 8 in sacks (6) and No. 3 in QB hits (17), Green Bay’s D/ST is firmly in play at home against statuesque Joe Flacco, whose Weeks 1-2 fantasy outcomes were QB20 and QB17. Broncos LT Garret Bolles committed four holding penalties in last week’s loss to the Bears and has yet to block anyone this year. DC Mike Pettine’s red-hot Packers defense has already forced five turnovers and held its first two opponents to a combined 51% completion rate and 58.0 passer rating. … Green Bay has been more giving on the ground, coughing up a league-high 18 running back catches and 37/218/2 (5.89 YPC) combined rushing to Bears and Vikings RBs. Unfortunately, Denver’s equal backfield timeshare is severely capping Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman’s individual ceilings. In last week’s two-point loss, Freeman logged 16 touches on 52% of the snaps versus Lindsay’s 17 touches and 48% playing-time clip. Freeman’s rushing efficiency was superior to Lindsay’s in each of the first two games. Freeman has run 42 pass routes; Lindsay 41. Despite the plus matchup, both Broncos backs are low-floor RB2/flex options as road underdogs at Lambeau Field.
Flacco’s target distribution: Emmanuel Sanders 20; Courtland Sutton 15; Lindsay 13; DaeSean Hamilton 10; Freeman and Noah Fant 8; Jeff Heuerman 5. … I’m taking the “L” on Sanders, who I faded in season-long fantasy after last December’s Achilles’ tear. Sanders has looked fantastic and drawn enough volume to warrant every-week WR2 treatment. With that said, Pettine would be silly to not chase him with top CB Jaire Alexander, who has yielded completions on just 6-of-16 targets (37.5%) for 86 scoreless yards (5.4 YPA). … Sutton still leads Denver in Air Yards (177) and has the most big-play potential on the team, notable against a Packers secondary that yielded five completions of 27 or more yards in its first two games. Sutton is a volatile if fairly high-ceiling WR3/flex play. … Hamilton is playing 70% of the Broncos’ offensive snaps but ranks an atrocious 81st among 84 qualified receivers in yards per route run (0.30). He doesn’t belong on season-long rosters. … Fant has little to show for it yet, but he’s sixth among tight ends in total routes run (63) and has room to grow into TE1 value as his rapport with Flacco develops.
Even after he frustratingly lost a first-drive touchdown to Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones took a step forward following his concerning Week 1, out-touching Williams 27 to 12 and out-snapping him 59% to 45% in Green Bay’s Week 2 win over Minnesota. This remains a timeshare backfield, but Jones is the clear leader on a Matt LaFleur-coached team intent on establishing the run. In Week 3, Jones is a high-ceiling RB2 play favored at home facing a Broncos defense that surrendered 253 rushing yards and two rushing TDs in Weeks 1-2. … LaFleur’s offense appeared ready for liftoff when it jumped out to an early 21-0 lead in last week’s win over the Vikings, only to fail to score a single point thereafter. The passing game clearly still a work in progress, Aaron Rodgers has managed fantasy results of QB23 and QB19, and now draws a Vic Fangio-coached Broncos defense that has shown small-sample run-funnel tendencies by checking Derek Carr (QB21) and Mitchell Trubisky (QB31). Fangio, of course, knows Rodgers’ strengths and weaknesses well after coaching against him eight times as Bears defensive coordinator over the past four years. Until we see tangible evidence of Green Bay’s revised offense hitting on all cylinders, Rodgers will merely be a fringe QB1 and contrarian DFS-tournament start.
Rodgers’ Weeks 1-2 target distribution: Davante Adams 19; Marquez Valdes-Scantling 12; Jimmy Graham 8; Jones 7; Williams 6; Geronimo Allison 5; Marcedes Lewis 4; Jake Kumerow and Robert Tonyan 1. … Adams predictably rebounded from his slow opener for last week’s 7/106/0 result versus Minnesota, as Rodgers made it a point to get Adams going early with 81 first-quarter yards. Adams’ last three stat lines against Fangio’s defenses are 8/119/0 > 5/88/1 > 5/90/1. … MVS ranks second on the team in Air Yards (143) behind Adams (190) but has just 71 yards to show for it. Unsurprisingly, Valdes-Scantling popped on Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model as a Week 3 buy low. He’s a WR4/flex boom-bust play against Denver. … Allison hit pay dirt on Green Bay’s second drive last week, but lost a second-quarter fumble and has just 16 Air Yards two games in. He’s waiver-wire fodder. … I always feel like I’m too partial to Graham but like him this week as a TE1 streamer nevertheless. He’s No. 6 among NFL tight ends in Air Yards (141), while Denver has allowed the NFL’s sixth-most yards to Graham’s position (143). Graham also checks in as Week 3’s No. 3 buy-low tight end in Josh Hermsmeyer’s predictive Air Yards Model. … Update: We should scratch Graham off any Week 3 sleeper lists; the Packers are concerned enough about a groin injury he picked up that they signed TE Evan Baylis off the practice squad Thursday. Graham’s top backups are Lewis and Tonyan.
Score Prediction: Packers 24, Broncos 13