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Redskins-Giants Week 3 fantasy football preview

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Week 3 kicks off with an NFC East rivalry played in primetime, as the Washington Redskins head to the Big Apple to take on the New York Giants. Fantasy fans have plenty to fret about in this one, as the emergence of Matt Jones (Week 2's second highest scoring running back) raising questions about a true committee backfield between him and Alfred Morris. Meanwhile, on the other side, it appears the committee we all knew about this offseason could be getting a new lead dog, as Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings have been battling for touches in the first two weeks of the season. There's also that Odell Beckham Jr. kid, but we're guessing you don't have too many questions about him.

Anyway, before setting your Week 3 fantasy lineup be sure to take a look at our rankings and the player-by-player previews below. And as always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @AlexGelhar and I'll try to answer your last-minute lineup questions.

Washington Redskins:


Kirk Cousins, QB

Cousins played well in Week 2, completing over 85 percent of his passes with one touchdown and no interceptions, but all of that real-world goodness only equated to 12.12 fantasy points. The Giants have been generous to opposing passers so far this year, but Cousins will be the most inexperienced signal-caller they've faced, who is also missing his top wideout (DeSean Jackson). You can look elsewhere for a streaming QB option this week.

Alfred Morris, RB

While we love Morris as a player, it appears as if his fantasy ceiling is coming crashing down with each passing week. His 121-yard outburst in Week 1 could have been that ceiling, as the emergence of rookie Matt Jones has made this into a backfield committee. Morris will need touchdowns to pay off as a starter, since the volume alone likely won't be there for him. For now, he's a flex option against the Giants' soft run defense until we get more clarity about how this backfield will split work moving forward.

Matt Jones, RB

Jones showed that his impressive preseason wasn't a fluke when he steamrolled the Rams for 146 total yards and two touchdowns in Week 2. He had one more carry than Morris last week, and figures to at the very least get a 50-50 share of the touches in this backfield moving forward. Since he was drafted by the current coaching regime in Washington, it's possible that the team favors Jones as the season rolls on. However, until we see that come to light in the snap count and touches split, Jones is at best a flex play as well.

Pierre Garcon, WR

With DeSean Jackson out, many hoped Garcon would turn back the clock to his target-monster ways of 2013. Funny enough, he actually had fewer targets in Week 2 than he did in Week 1, when DJax played part of the game (seven to eight). It appears the team is committed to running the football as a key to victory, which will limit Garcon's weekly ceiling. However, as the top option in the passing attack against a banged up Giants secondary, Garcon is a fringe WR2 this week, and definite flex play.

CHARGERS AT RAIDERS
Jordan Reed, TE

Reed has proven again in 2015 that when healthy, he's one of the better tight ends in the NFL. After two weeks, his 145 receiving yards rank fourth at his position, and he's been targeted a ton by Kirk Cousins. The aging Jason Witten was able to find enough space for 60 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 against this Giant defense, which could bode well for Reed. He's our sixth-ranked tight end this week.

New York Giants:


Eli Manning, QB

Through two weeks, Manning is currently the QB23 in fantasy, but that's largely because he laid an egg in Week 1 with only 8.52 fantasy points. He and Odell Beckham Jr. finally got on the same page in Week 2, and that should carry over into this Thursday Night Football tilt. Washington has been tough to score on fantasy wise, but they've shut down Ryan Tannehill and Nick Foles -- not exactly a murderers row of signal-callers. Manning figures to be a high-end QB2 this week, but there are better options to start or stream in 10 or even 12 team leagues.

Rashad Jennings, RB

While Jennings has been presumed to be the starter, the only thing he leads the team in is rush attempts after two weeks, and even then, he's only turned those 22 attempts into 64 yards (3.7 ypc). To make matters worse, Jennings has been out-snapped by Shane Vereen over the first two weeks, 64 to 41. Jennings has limited value this week against a stout front seven in Washington. He's too touchdown-dependent to trust as anything more than a desperation flex play.

Shane Vereen, RB

If Week 2 was any indication, Vereen could be headed for a larger role in the Giants offense. He saw 14 touches to 11 for Jennings, catching all eight of his targets for 76 yards, and averaged more than twice as many yards per carry as Jennings (3.2 to 1.3). Vereen is a sneaky flex play this week in PPR formats, as the Giants could fall behind (yes, to Washington). But if you have a more reliable option, you'd be wise to look elsewhere. Washington has done a great job shutting down running backs so far, allowing a league-low 6.75 fantasy points to the position through two weeks in 2015.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR

OBJ + an average secondary = fantasy gold. There's no point in us writing anything else -- you're starting OBJ this week.

-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar

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