Maybe Marvin Jones Jr. can do this weekend what Jared Goff did last weekend.
Goff, a former Cal star now the Los Angeles Rams quarterback, was projected to have a lousy Fantasy game last week against the Eagles, but he produced one of his best games in a three-touchdown, no-interception game in which he completed his first 13 pass attempts.
This week, the Fantasy experts are projecting bad things for Jones, another former Cal standout out who is now a Detroit Lions wide receiver.
Jones collected just 78 receiving yards in his first two games combined, so Sports Illustrated Michael Fabiano, NFL.com's Adam Rank, CBS Sports' David Richard and The Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer advise Fantasy players to sit Jones for this week's road game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Fabiano had this to say about Jones:
The Lions are expected to get Kenny Golladay back this week, so Matthew Stafford will have his favorite target back in the mix. That could mean fewer targets for Jones, who faces a Cardinals defense that’s surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to enemy receivers lined out wide after two weeks. Arizona also held Jones to just 10 fantasy points in their Week 1 matchup in 2019, so the Cal product could be in for a modest stat line.
And Rank added this:
The Redbirds have been pretty good against wide receivers this year. And yes, that’s even with Terry McLaurin having a huge game in Week 2. Still, on average, the Cardinals have allowed the fewest points per game to receivers this year. And they have also allowed the second-fewest receiving yards per game to the position as well. And for the second-consecutive week Kenny Golladay missed the game. His status needs to be monitored this week.
While listing Jones as a "weaker start," Iyer said this:
He scored in Week 2 but hasn’t done much without Kenny Golladay (hamstring).
There was no such unanimity for any other former Golden Bears player, but several got a mention.
Goff did not receive poor Fantasy projections across the board like he did a week ago, but there are still some non-believers.
CBS Sports Jamey Eisenberg advised Fantasy players to bench Goff this week against the Bills with this assessment:
Goff was great against the Eagles in Week 2 with 267 passing yards and three touchdowns, and he scored 29 Fantasy points. The Bills also just got lit up by Fitzpatrick for 28 Fantasy points, and Buffalo seemed to miss linebackers Tremaine Edmunds (shoulder) and Matt Milano (hamstring), especially in coverage against Matt Gesicki. This is back-to-back road games for the Rams on the East Coast, and Goff should have minimal production. He's only a low-end starter in all leagues for Week 3.
ESPN's Matthew Berry was lukewarm on Goff with this appraisal:
[Atlanta's Matt] Ryan could easily toss multiple touchdowns. As could the Rams' Jared Goff against the Bills. Not running out to put him in my lineups considering he struggles with pressure and Buffalo is eighth in pressure rate (30.2%) since the start of 2019, but it's also unlikely Goff gets completely shut down.
The Sporting News' Iyer put Goff among his "weaker starts," saying:
This is a bad cross-country matchup for QBs with a limited ceiling and questionable floor.
CBS Sports' Richard put in a good word to start Aarong Rodgers this week against the Saints:
I know it seems useless to start Rodgers without his best receiver, but had you done exactly that in three of four games last season without Adams, you would have missed out on some big games. Rodgers had 275-plus yards and multiple scores in three matchups without Adams in 2019, leaning on Jones and Jamaal Williams to help shoulder some of the receiving load. In an effort to see if he could replicate that in 2020, I checked how the Saints cover running backs out of the backfield. Most of the time they play zone defense, which both runners can exploit. I also don't think the Saints have someone who could line up with Jones in man coverage (Malcolm Jenkins usually draws faster running backs). Assuming Rodgers targets those backs again without Adams on the field, he should find at least good totals against the Saints.
But ESPN's Fantasy quarterback rankings don't give much love to either Rodgers or Goff this week:
Former Cal wide receiver DeSean Jackson, now with the Eagles, got some Fantasy support for this Sunday's home game against the Bengals.
Eisenberg called Jackson a "sleeper" with this assessment:
Jalen Reagor (thumb) is out for several weeks, which will hopefully lead to better games ahead for Jackson, at least until Alshon Jeffery (foot) is back. We know the Eagles will use plenty of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, but Jackson showed signs of life in Week 2 against the Rams with six catches for 64 yards on nine targets. He's a useful No. 3 Fantasy receiver in this matchup at home.
And Iyer called Jackson a "stronger starter" because of this:
He has a good shot to make a big scoring play off play-action against the Bengals weaker cornerbacks.
Finally, Eisenberg mentioned Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen as a player Frantasy players should start against the Panthers:
In the first game for Allen with Justin Herbert starting in Week 2 against Kansas City, Allen was back to playing at a high level. He had seven catches for 96 yards on 10 targets, and hopefully this is a connection that will be great for as long as Tyrod Taylor (chest) is out. The Panthers haven't been challenged much in the passing game with their run defense being so bad, but Carolina shouldn't slow down Allen if Herbert gives him enough chances to succeed.
Now all we have to do is actually play the games.
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
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