Magnificent seven: You can definitely count on these players in Week 3

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Our analysts reveal the fantasy football takes they have the most conviction for heading into Week 3 to help you feel more confident about the lineup decisions ahead. For more sit-start advice, check out our rankings hub.

Williams hasn’t scored yet this season but saw 13 targets last week, including the second-most unrealized air yards (113). The Chargers skewed far more to the pass without Austin Ekeler, who remains without a timeline to return. Big Mike had the third-most expected fantasy points among receivers last week, and while the pass-funnel Tennessee defense helped, Williams racked up a 33% target share. L.A. gets a fast-paced matchup indoors this week with by far the highest over/under (54) on the slate, so expect plenty of scoring in Minnesota. Williams tops 100 yards and scores at least once Sunday. — Dalton Del Don

So far this season, Vikings RB Alexander Mattison has been outscored by… *checks notes*… Tyler Allgeier, Chuba Hubbard and Tony Jones Jr. However, Mattison sees a decent matchup in Week 3 against the Chargers to right the ship, even with the team’s acquisition of Cam Akers on Wednesday.

Through two weeks, the Chargers rank 29th among NFL teams in run defense grade, one of just 10 teams this season to allow five or more rush attempts of 10+ yards to opposing running backs. There should be plenty of scoring opportunities, too, with the over/under installed at 54 total points. This Chargers defense has allowed nine red-zone drives so far this season, tied for the third-most among teams, having allowed a score on six of those occasions. Mattison has maintained the workhorse role in this offense, with over 82% market share on RB rush attempts and 100% of team carries in the red zone and inside the five. Though his efficiency has been concerning over the past weeks, those weeks have come against two very strong rushing defenses between the Buccaneers and Eagles. Go back to the well in Week 3. — Kate Magdziuk

Captain Kirk to the rescue

Kirk Cousins has already passed for over 700 yards with a league-high six touchdowns and now he gets a home date with the Chargers? Sign me up. L.A. has already allowed huge fantasy performances to Tua Tagovailoa and Ryan Tannehill, so I’m confident Cousins can light this team up as well. The Chargers currently rank last in the league against the pass, allowing 333.0 YPG and 10.3 yards per attempt.

When has Kirk Cousins ever let you down? Never, that’s when. He deserves our full trust in Week 3. — Andy Behrens

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Tank Dell continues momentum

We’ve been celebrating the Nico Collins breakout in Houston, and it’s glorious. But there’s certainly more room on this passing bandwagon, especially when you consider that Houston will be in a negative game script almost every week. There’s volume to be had.

The Texans aren’t handling rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud with kid gloves, and this enabled three different receivers to be heavily targeted last week, including Dell, who led the team with 10 looks. Dell already shows keen understanding of how to get open on short and intermediate routes, and I’m expecting another eight or more targets for him as the Texans chase the game against the Jaguars this week. — Scott Pianowski

London goes for 80 yards and scores again in Week 3. Look, all we’re asking from Desmond Ridder is simply to be a functional NFL quarterback. That’s exactly what we got in Week 2 and we should feel quite encouraged. Ridder ranks 14th in catchable pass rate through two games, a marked improvement over what the Falcons rolled out last season. Meanwhile, the remade Lions secondary continues to sustain injuries and this group could once again turn into a unit we’re attacking. London’s breakout season is officially on track after leading the team with a 25% target share in Week 2. The Lions at home are the perfect opponent to bring Atlanta out of its shell offensively. — Matt Harmon

Pacheco quietly saw his role improve Week 2. He went from seeing 47% of the rushes in Week 1 to 63% in Week 2. His production also increased as he earned 70 yards on 12 carries. He’s trending in the right direction at the perfect time because in Week 3 the Chiefs face the Bears.

Kansas City opened as 13-point favorites at home vs. Chicago. They have the highest team total on the week at 30.5 points, 10% higher than any other team. In five similar spots in his career, Pacheco has averaged 90 total yards on 17.2 touches. — Sal Vetri

It’s hard to believe, but Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, has passed for 300 yards in a game just four times in his career. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in a dozen games. He’s about to add to his passing total for the first time since hitting 318 in Week 2 last season.

Jackson has both of his top pass catchers, Mark Andrews and Zay Flowers, healthy and already in tune with him. Flowers has been targeted 15 times and caught 13 for 140 yards combined. Andrews returned to action last week and turned eight targets into five catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.

These two will boost Jackson to new heights against a young Colts secondary that just gave up 384 passing yards to rookie C.J. Stroud. In a home game, this is a smash spot for Jackson to roll past that magic 300-yard mark. — Jorge Martin

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