The Week 3 matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Buffalo Bills features a Super Bowl contender looking to prove they still deserve that title against a team that needs a victory badly. We've got the fantasy projections courtesy of numberFire.
After dropping a season-opening game to a shorthanded New England Patriots squad, the Arizona Cardinals needed to win in decisive fashion against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week to prove that the team is still a Super Bowl worthy contender. They did just that thanks to quarterback Carson Palmer, which satisfied his fantasy owners in the process. Given that New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick scorched Buffalo last week, Palmer will be a popular addition to fantasy lineups in both season long and daily fantasy leagues. A second game in a row with 300 passing yards and a trio of touchdowns is not that far out of reach, even in a road game against the defensive minded coaching staff of Rex and Rob Ryan.
If Palmer does indeed throw up big numbers for the second straight game, ageless wonder wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald should benefit as a result. He has been an absolute dynamite this year, especially in PPR formats. Playing the slot receiver position the last few seasons has prolonged his career, to say the least. Fitzgerald has 14 catches for 162 yards and three touchdowns through two games, and he’s been targeted at least 10 times in both of those contests. That kind of volume makes him a must start. Considering the Jets had three receivers flirt with 100 yards in Buffalo last week, Fitzgerald is the Cardinal’s best bet to do that this week, and could reach well above his projected totals.
Going up against one of the best secondary units in football this week, it will be interesting to see how the Buffalo Bills react on offense in Week 3. The team’s offensive coordinator was let go following last week’s loss, and wide receiver Sammy Watkins seems hopeful that the change will result in him getting more targets. He has struggled this year to play through a foot injury and missed time last season for the same reason. He will undoubtedly be in for a tough matchup against Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu this week. However, in a game that figures to be slanted in favor of the Cardinals, there has to be at least one reliable pass catcher that Tyrod Taylor can depend on when the Bills need a big play. Look for Watkins to be that guy. He’s simply too good to be held to six catches through two games. He has not been practicing during the week, but fantasy owners should still factor in his talent and his ceiling.
If Watkins’ involvement on Sunday is limited, it means the team will have to rely on LeSean McCoy. The running back’s production was limited thanks to game flow last week as the team’s loss to the New York Jets turned out to be a shootout. McCoy has failed to top 60 yards rushing in game this season. He does get a slight boost in PPR leagues because he will catch a few passes each game, but if his days as a premier fantasy option weren’t already done, it appears his time in Buffalo may just put the nail in that coffin. In deeper leagues you have to start him, but if you have other options, they are worth a look.