Caplan's Week 3 Insider Fantasy Notebook


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Caplan's Week 3 Insider Fantasy Notebook

Here’s an inside look at the defensive injuries that could impact your fantasy players (in a positive way) in today’s games and in the Monday night game.


The Falcons will be without their top CB A.J. Terrell (concussion), which will likely force CB Isaiah Oliver, who had moved to the slot, back to the outside. The team has no depth at the position with 3rd-year pro Kendall Sheffield on IR. And let’s not forget the Falcons have one of the NFL’s worst pass rushes.

All of this adds up well in DFS for QB Daniel Jones and his WRs.


On paper, it didn’t look good for the Lions offense to start the week.

However, the Ravens will be without several key players in this matchup: DT Brandon Williams, perhaps one of the better run stopping DLs in the AFC. He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list along with veteran OLB Justin Houston and 2nd-year DT Justin Madubuike. Houston had become one of their top-3 OLBs to start the season and Madubuike would have provided depth behind veteran DE Calais Campbell today.

And let’s not forget that starting CB Marcus Peters was for the season due to a torn ACL.

At the very least, this matchup is looking more favorable for the Lion offense than it once did.


The Steelers will be without both of their starting OLBs today: Alex Highsmith (groin) and T.J. Watt (groin).

What’s odd about this is that two other defensive starters were out last week with groin injuries: ILB Devin Bush and CB Joe Haden and their absences (especially Haden’s) impacted the Steeler defense against QB Derek Carr, who had an outstanding game. Watt was downgraded on Saturday and Highsmith, a 2nd-year player, is one player the team feels is headed for a breakout season. And Watt is not only one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, but forces QBs to get rid of the ball earlier than they want even when he’s not recording a sack.

All of this is good news for Bengal QB Joe Burrow and his WRs. The hope here is that they can actually protect him well today. There’s really no excuse here now without the Steelers best pass rushers on the field.


The Eagle offense took a big step back last week at home against the 49ers, but they’re getting a big break on Monday night.

The Cowboys will be down several players on their front-four: DTs Neville Gallimore (dislocated elbow-IR), Carlos Watkins (knee-out), DEs DeMarcus Lawrence (broken foot-IR), Dorance Armstrong (ankle-out), Bradlee Anae (reserve/COVID-19).

Watkins and Armstrong started last week against the Chargers. Gallimore was a projected starter this season before he suffered his injury and Lawrence is their best pass rusher. And Anae, in limited snaps, has shown good upside. He dropped in last year’s draft to the 5th round due to a slow 40-time, I’m told. Which is ridiculous considering a 40-time for a DE shouldn’t matter. The 10-yard time is way more important (short area quickness).

The only good news for the Cowboys on their front-four: They will be getting back DE Randy Gregory, who came off the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week.

Also out are LB Keanu Neal, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list late this week along with starting S Donavan Wilson (groin-doubtful). Wilson has not practiced since Week 1 and is not expected to play.

While the Eagles have two starting OLs out: G Brandon Brooks (pectoral strain-IR) and LT Jordan Mailata (MCL sprain-out), their matchups against the Cowboys defense are looking really good based on the personnel absences.

Dynasty League Alerts

As the season progresses, here are some players to trade for who figure to have a very good shot to start later in the season or in 2022 and beyond (I’ll add to this list every week as I get more information):

- Michael Carter/RB/Jets: He did get 13 touches last week, but Carter’s role still doesn’t seem to be set just yet. With veteran RB Tevin Coleman (illness) out today, Carter could wind up starting.

However, the real story here is for the long-term. Carter, out of all their RBs, is best suited to be the starter for years to come as GM Joe Douglas rebuilds the roster around QB Zach Wilson.

- Dyami Brown/WR/WFT: He’s technically starting for the time being with WR Curtis Samuel on IR with a groin injury. Brown opened some eyes in training camp with his ability to make splash plays down field.

The rookie has a chance to play significant snaps even if he’s not starting in future years because of his big play ability and I’m told the coaching staff is very high on him.

- Harrison Bryant/TE/Browns: Keep in mind starting TE Austin Hooper, while he has two years left in his contract (signed through 2023), has no more guaranteed money left in his deal after this season. Hooper will earn $9.5m next season and carries a high salary cap number ($13.25m).

And TE David Njoku is not signed past this season. The team is very high on Bryant, I’m told, and could have a real shot to start down the road. He’s a perfect dynasty league prospect for future seasons.