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Fantasy Masters Week 3

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown (13) celebrates a touchdown run against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, at Soldier Field in Chicago. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

San Francisco 49ers (1-1) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-0) Sunday 3:05 PM CST


Tyler’s Pick: Arizona Cardinals


Why: Arizona’s offense has been explosive this year, and San Francisco just got destroyed by a Pittsburgh offense that operates in the same style. Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer is on a red-hot start and should find holes in a weak San Francisco secondary, and the Cardinals’ defense should shut down the 49ers.


Charlie’s Pick: Arizona Cardinals


Why: Carson Palmer and the Cardinals are coming off of a big game where they shredded a poor Chicago secondary. The 49ers are not much better in that regard and Palmer should have similar success. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals tout a strong defense that should be able to limit an uninspired 49ers offense.


Fantasy Impact: Palmer remains a must-start in all formats, as he has been lighting up scoreboards this year. Arizona receiver John Brown is a strong WR2 and should catch a couple deep balls against a weak 49er secondary. The Cardinals’ back-up running back, David Johnson, is a boom or bust flex play in deep leagues since he has the ability to score anytime he touches the ball. For San Francisco, running back Carlos Hyde is the only must-start, especially against a stingy Arizona defense that has shut down Chicago and New Orleans. Receiver Anquan Boldin is worth a look in deeper leagues since he’s the nominal number one in that offense.


Buffalo Bills (1-1) @ Miami Dolphins (1-1) Sunday 3:25 PM CST


Tyler’s Pick: Buffalo Bills


Why: Both teams are coming off close losses, but Buffalo has the stronger defense and more reliable offense. This game should be a slugfest since neither team has an elite quarterback or receiver, but Buffalo’s elite defensive line of Jerry Hughes, Marcell Dareus, Mario Williams, and Kyle Williams should stifle the Miami offense.


Charlie’s Pick: Miami Dolphins


Why: While the Bill’s defense is one of the most elite in the league, they got burned for 40 points last week by Tom Brady’s spread offense. Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins are like the dollar store version of the Patriots and should be able to score more than the Bills underperforming offense.


Fantasy Impact: Neither team has a star player on offense. Buffalo running back LeSean McCoy has been inconsistent this year, but is worth starting against an average run defense. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins is explosive and could take advantage of a Miami secondary that allowed a big day to Jacksonville wideout Allen Robinson just last week. Miami receiver Jarvis Landry is a must start since he’s the focal point of the Dolphins’ offense and is sure to rack up a ton of yards against a Buffalo secondary that just got abused by Julian Edelman. Neither quarterback is a standout, but both Ryan Tannehill and Tyrod Taylor are capable starters in case of injury or poor performance by other options.


Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) @ Green Bay Packers (2-0) Monday 7:30 PM CST


Tyler’s Pick: Kansas City Chiefs


Why: Kansas City is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Denver and should be fueled to take out their disappointment on Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is an elite quarterback, but Kansas City is famous for their defense, and with Randall Cobb as his only reliable target, the Green Bay passing game should be relatively quiet. Alex Smith is the ideal game manager and the Chiefs have too much talent to be held out of the end zone.


Charlie’s Pick: Green Bay Packers


Why: Aaron Rodgers is an elite quarterback and just came off a strong game against one of the best secondaries in the league. Kansas City struggles to score reliably in the red zone and the Packers look to be one of the only elite units this year.
Fantasy Impact: It’s all about Rodgers. The two-time NFL MVP is off to a hot start and, even without Jordy Nelson, has proven to be effective. Rodgers and Cobb are must start players in any format, while Davante Adams is a solid WR2 and James Jones is a solid flex consideration in deeper leagues. Keep an eye on Eddie Lacy’s status. If he plays, he’s a must start, but if he sits out, James Starks becomes a solid RB2 this week. The Chiefs have three big weapons for Alex Smith: Jamaal Charles, Jeremy Maclin, and Travis Kelce. Jamaal is a top 10 running back, Kelce is a top 5 tight end, and Maclin is a solid flex play. Smith is a QB2; pick him up and play him in deeper leagues or two-QB leagues if you need a replacement for Romo or Cutler.

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