Week three of the NFL season is (mostly) in the books! And the Miami Dolphins are the talk of the town, scoring ten touchdowns to break the NFL record for touchdowns, but mercifully eschewing a field goal to keep the Broncos out of the record books for the most dunked-on defense in NFL history. A lot of other stuff happened this weekend, and the Dolphins won’t score 70 points a week every week, so let’s dive into some pressing questions facing our fantasy football teams in the 2023 season.
Is Jordan Love For Real?
Entering week three, Jordan Love led the NFL in quarterback rating and was averaging 215 total yards and 3 touchdowns per game. That drove his 23 points in week one and his 20.3 points in week two. But, those games came against the iffy Falcons defense and the truly dreadful Bears defense, so the game against the Saints was a real test. In the first three quarters, he was failing the test, as the Packers had zero points. But, Love led a roaring comeback, winning the game 18-17 at the end of regulation. We also saw more of a by-hook-or-by-crook game from Jordan Love, which gave me encouragement.
Any jamoke can stand back and pick off a bad defense, but it takes a true multitalented quarterback to pull victory from the jaws of defeat, which is exactly what Love did, against a bad defense. He rushed for 39 yards, including a 25-yard scramble, longer than he had run in any game in his career. He also finished with his first career rushing touchdown and an absolute gem of a touchdown pass to Romeo Doubs in the front corner of the end zone. Not only did he finish the game with the victory, but he scored 25.26 fantasy points, which—as of writing—is QB6 on the week. That’s his second top-six finish, with his other finish coming at QB15 (and he had 20 points in that game!). If I have Jordan Love, I’m fully happy with what I’ve gotten, and I feel comfortable starting him going forward.
Can Kendre Miller & Alvin Kamara Co-Exist?
Headed into this season, after we knew of the Alvin Kamara suspension, we wondered what an Alvin Kamara/Kendre Miller/Jamaal Williams backfield would look like. With Jamaal Williams on the shelf for the time being, and Alvin Kamara not returning until next week, we had the Miller/Tony Jones Jr. Show. Unfortunately for the Saints, neither did a lot on the ground (9/34 for Miller & 8/31 for Tony Jones Jr.), but Kendre Miller did nothing through the air (0/1 on targets going his direction).
So, with that in mind (Miller had no targets and led the team in rushes): can he and Alvin Kamara co-exist? First, let’s take a look at what I wrote about Miller during the pre-draft process:
“Miller has great straight-line speed and does an excellent job at setting up blockers to try to get himself to the second level. Unfortunately, he also struggles with muddier lines of scrimmage and can get himself killed trying to happy feet his way to the correct move. Still, he’s very strong and displayed that straight-line speed against Texas on a long touchdown run. He is going to be an above-average NFL back for a long time (or he could be terrible, who knows). Still, he has a lot that I like to see. In addition to the strength and speed, he has a good amount of agility to manipulate defenders in the open field, and is strong enough to carry tacklers.”
Miller profiled as a strong runner between the tackles, and a guy who would work well in a Thunder & Lightning approach to the running back room. Sounds a lot like… Mark Ingram, who Alvin Kamara co-existed with for two years in New Orleans. Ingram handled the carries, averaging 223 per 17 games, and Kamara handled the targets, averaging 112 targets per 17 games. Granted, it was a different offense, but the Saints still have a lot of Sean Payton in their DNA (it’s the only explanation for Taysom Hill still having a job). Therefore, I see a lot of Kendre Miller & Alvin Kamara existing in a very similar role to Mark Ingram & Alvin Kamara in the past, in two seasons where Alvin Kamara finished 4th in fantasy points per game in both 2017 and 2018, and where Ingram finished 8th in fantasy points per game in 2017 and 28th in fantasy points per game in 2018. So yes, they can co-exist.
What’s Going Wrong With My Dalton Kincaid Shares?
He was supposed to be different. The latest Prince That Was Promised, the rookie tight end that bucks the overwhelming trend. Dalton Kincaid (not Sam LaPorta, who is the truth) was supposed to be a top-twelve TE (and I heard as high as top-seven or top-eight!). But, through three weeks, he has only 6.1 PPR points per game, which puts him well outside the top-20 at the position, definitely not a playable option. So what exactly is going on?
Dawson Knox is going on, the same thing that was always going to be going on with Dalton Kincaid to start the season. Knox and Kincaid are essentially splitting the role this year, with Dawson Knox sitting at 154 snaps (of 210 available) 78 routes (of 89 available), and 11 targets (of 107 available). On the flip side, Dalton Kincaid is cruising along with 137 snaps, 77 routes, and 12 targets. So, what’s happening to your Dalton Kincaid shares? He’s on the field a ton, running routes and playing snaps with and without Dawson Knox on the field. The main problem is Kincaid’s 11.2% target share leaving him falling short, and a lot of that has to do with Dawson Knox’s 10.2% target share. If Kincaid had Knox’s targets, he would be sitting at 21.4% target share, which would put him on par with guys like George Kittle, Darren Waller, and T.J. Hockenson.
So, in short, you’re getting Knoxxed.