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NFL Matchups: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles Fantasy Football Preview

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Matt Savoca breaks down every single fantasy football matchup for Week 3 fantasy football and NFL DFS | Eagles vs Browns incl. Miles Sanders.

This a snippet of Adam Pfeifer’s NFL matchups column, previews the Detroit Lions vs. Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles for Fantasy Football Lineups. Fantasy rosters needed protective spray because players were bit hard by the injury bug in Week 2. Multiple starting quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers all suffered injuries this past weekend, with a handful of key offensive linemen also going down. As a result, we missed on plenty in this article, but we hit on plenty, as well. Back on the horse. With that in mind, let’s dig into some NFL matchups and NFL game breakdowns for your Week 3 Fantasy Football Lineups.

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Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles

Total: 46.5

Line: PHI -7

Lions passing game

I really wasn’t too interested in Matthew Stafford entering the season but he’s been strong so far, throwing for 630 yards, five touchdowns and two picks. The Lions are no longer a 650 pass attempt team and are playing at one of the slowest paces in the NFL, which is keeping Stafford from having monster games. Yes, his Week 1 outing was great but it was also in five quarters. Having said all that, this could be a game where he throws the football 45-50 times, as the Lions enter Philadelphia as rather large road dogs. They are also facing a team that funnels so much production to the passing game. In 2018, 73.5 percent of all yardage allowed by the Eagles came via the pass, the fourth-highest rate in the league.

Through two weeks of 2019, that number is sitting at 88.8 percent, which is the second-highest rate. This run defense is so good that opposing offenses just abandon it entirely, as they are calling pass 74.7 percent of the time against Philadelphia so far, the fourth-highest rate in football. Meanwhile, all of the touchdowns surrendered by the Eagles thus far have been through the air. I think this is one of those vintage 45 to 50 pass attempt games from Stafford and his wide receivers are absolute mismatches against these Philadelphia cornerbacks on Sunday. If I’m not going below $5,000 with one of the new starting passers, Stafford will be someone I’m targeting.

Kenny Golladay has now found the end zone in each of the team’s first two games. He was fantastic last week, going for 117 yards and an impressive 31-yard touchdown against a tough Los Angeles secondary. As much as it pains me to say it, Golladay is clearly the number-one option in this passing game, seeing 19 targets through two weeks. This is a great spot for him to keep it going, as the Eagles allowed over 100 yards and two touchdowns to Julio Jones and then over 100 yards and a touchdown to Redskins rookie Terry McLaurin, who are both the number-one receivers for their teams.

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Ever since the start of last season they have really struggled to defend opposing top wideouts, surrendering either 100 yards or a touchdown to 10 of the last top receivers they’ve faced since Week 1 of 2018. I like Golladay quite a bit here, especially with Detroit likely to be pass heavy here.

Through two weeks, Marvin Jones hasn’t been fantastic, though when he’s been thrown at, he’s made plays. Jones looked really good last week and while he will be up-and-down this year with the additions of T.J. Hockenson and Danny Amendola but he could go off in this spot. Jones will line up against Ronald Darby, who has struggled immensely in 2019, surrendering 10 catches for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns in coverage. He is also allowing 2.23 yards per cover snap, the ninth-most among all cornerbacks that have played in both games this season. Jones has three or four inches on Darby and I think he finds the end zone for the first time this weekend. Don’t forget about him in DFS and for seasonal, considering him a high-upside WR3.

After a historic debut, Hockenson caught just one pass for seven yards, which was surprising. He still played a solid 47 snaps but only ran 22 routes, the 18th-most among all tight ends in Week 2. His price jumped up $500, despite the poor showing. The Eagles did allow that crazy touchdown to Vernon Davis in Week 1 but it was fluky and they have been good against the position for the most part. We know what the upside is when Hockenson is involved, making him a fine GPP play most weeks, especially when he’s so much cheaper than most other tight ends.

Lions running game

Kerryon Johnson found the end zone in Week 2 on a 30-yard screen pass but the usage was still underwhelming. Johnson played just 33 snaps and touched the football just 14 times, which is concerning considering that for the second straight week, the Lions were in either a positive or neutral game script. The team did just release veteran C.J. Anderson but they added Paul Perkins and continue to give both Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic meaningful snaps.

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Perhaps the release of Anderson means they will give Johnson more early-down work but it remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the matchup is terrible, as the Eagles are one of the three-best run defenses in the NFL, surrendering just 2.8 yards per carry through two weeks. The Eagles allowed just four 100-yard rushing games all of last year and three of them were to Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley. And if the Lions have to abandon the run, Johnson’s playing time will likely leave much to be desired. Johnson is a low-end RB2 in seasonal leagues and an avoid in DFS contests this weekend.

Eagles passing game

Sunday night was a war and the Eagles offense saw some casualties. They are likely going to miss their top two wide receivers, which will present value for fantasy purposes. More on that later but how does this impact Carson Wentz? He got off to a horrible start last week but was much better in the second half, especially the fourth quarter. He took shot after shot and hopefully his ribs don’t bother him in this one. Assuming he is missing three key players, there is no denying that Wentz sees a downgrade. The Lions have a solid defensive unit and a strong pass rush that could pressure Wentz this weekend. He’s very cheap at just $5,600 but I worry about his ceiling in this game, especially since I see Philadelphia trying to get the ground game going. At that price tag on DK, I don’t have an issue with Wentz but I’m not exactly running towards him.

DeSean Jackson (abdominal strain) will miss at least the next two weeks. Meanwhile, Alshon Jeffery is dealing with a calf injury and while he’s considered day-to-day, it appears that he is more likely doubtful for this game. Tight end Dallas Goedert is also dealing with a calf injury and might sit out. Yikes. That leaves tight end Zach Ertz as the top option in the passing game, as he saw over 35 percent of the targets last Sunday night and should be a lock for double-digit targets if all of these guys sit this weekend. He saw 16 targets last week and at under $6,000 on DK, I don’t know how you don’t get to a lot of Ertz here.

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Nelson Agholor will likely be Philadelphia’s top wide receiver for this game and he is very cheap across the industry. Agholor caught eight of 11 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown last week, though his game should have been a lot bigger, as he dropped a potential game-winning 40-yard touchdown pass down the sideline. Still, Agholor sets up nicely to see 8-10 targets this week and if he remains in the slot (81.5%), he will avoid Darius Slay in coverage. Agholor profiles as one of the premiere value plays and is a borderline top-35 wide receiver in Week 3.

Meanwhile, rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside played 75 snaps last week with the Eagles ailing and should continue to play a lot with Jeffery and Jackson sidelined. I’d still avoid the rookie in seasonal leagues, but he isn’t the worst punt option in DFS because of the opportunity and talent. Arcega-Whiteside is 6-foot-2, 225 pounds with a fantastic catch radius, presenting him with touchdown potential, though he will likely see Slay. Finally, Mack Hollins would also continue to see more work and he saw a healthy eight targets last week. He’s just $3,200 on DK this weekend. Keep an eye on the status of Jeffery and Goedert throughout the week, but both look highly questionable.

Eagles running game

I think this could be the breakout week for rookie Miles Sanders. It hasn’t been the most exciting start to his career and the team said they want him to look for the holes, rather than bouncing everything outside. Sanders has played 45.8 percent of the snaps through two weeks, more than both Darren Sproles (32.2%) and Jordan Howard (22.5%). Detroit profiles as a good run defense but they haven’t been great through two weeks, allowing two touchdowns to opposing backs (one rushing, one receiving). They also allowed to long touchdowns to the Chargers backs last week but they were called back due to penalty. Given the injuries, I think we see Sanders flirt with 15 touches this week and a solid amount of targets in the passing game. I’ll be using him in some DFS lineups at $3,900 and flexing him in seasonal leagues.

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