Four years ago, we began honoring radio legend Steve Czaban — who was surprisingly booted from the SB Nation Radio morning lineup in 2016, despite having perhaps the most engaging program in the radio marketplace — with a “You Are Looking Live!” preview of each NFL weekend.
The bit was so well-received, so roundly praised by media pundits (including a few SB Nation writers) and Czabe’s legion of fans alike, that we decided to make You Are Looking Live! a permanent Friday staple of the BATSBY Sports Network programming.
As such, it makes perfect sense to include Brent Musburger and Joey Porter into the presentation, via YouTube:
LAS VEGAS (2-0) @ NEW ENGLAND (1-1)
TIME: 1 p.m. EST
LINE: Patriots (-5 1/2) … Over/Under: 47.5
REFEREE: Ron Torbert
TV ANALYSTS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (CBS)
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: New Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has accomplished a lot in his 10-year career, most recently last week’s epic outing of 444 total yards (397 passing) and three total TDs against the Seahawks.
In fact, did you know … last Sunday marked the first time that Newton had ever recorded multiple RUSHING touchdowns in back-to-back games.
L.A. RAMS (2-0) @ BUFFALO (2-0)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Bills (-2) … Over/Under: 46.5
REFEREE: Alex Kemp
TV: Chris Myers, Brock Huard, Greg Jennings, Jen Hale (FOX)
SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE: It’s weird how Rams receiver Robert Woods (two-year average: 88 catches, 135 targets, 1,177 yards, 5.5 TDs) was a relative afterthought in his time with the Bills (2013-16).
Perhaps even more surreal, the Bills now feature one of the NFL’s best vertical attacks, thanks to quarterback Josh Allen (729 yards passing, 7 total TDs), Stefon Diggs (16 catches, 239 yards, 1 TD), John Brown (10 catches, 152 yards, 2 TDs) and Cole Beasley (9 catches, 128 yards).
Which brings us to this …
The Rams are one of four NFL defenses (along with the Bears, Eagles, Ravens) that have yet to surrender a touchdown to an opposing wideout.
FUN FACTOID: In his last seven outings, dating back to last year, Tyler Higbee has collected double-digit targets four times, caught seven-plus balls five times and posted four 100-yard efforts.
And for good measure, the Rams tight end scored five times during this prolific stretch.
WEEK 3 PREP WORK
PASSING FANCY: Lamar Jackson leads the QB rankings for Week 3
RUN TO DAYLIGHT: Alvin Kamara headlines the top 60 PPR tailbacks
TARGET PRACTICE: DeAndre Hopkins carries the Top 70 PPR wideouts
BIG LOVE: Travis Kelce, Tyler Higbee dominate the top 30 tight ends
GET ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE HOT: Top 30 waiver-wire pickups for Week 3
ACT NOW: 7 buy-low fantasy assets to acquire as soon as possible
SHAKING THE 0-2 BLUES: 4 remedies for enhancing your winless roster
‘YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE’: The gold-standard preview of NFL Week 3
FUN FACTS: Conner, Ridley, Aaron Jones lead the Week 3 dynamos
GOOD BEATS: 15 betting picks for the NFL, College Football weekend
HOUSTON (1-1) @ PITTSBURGH (2-0)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Steelers (-4) … Over/Under: 45
REFEREE: Shawn Smith
TV ANNOUNCERS: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn (CBS)
FUN FACT: Steelers tailback James Conner has an ongoing streak of eight consecutive non-divisional home games with at least one touchdown.
During this impressive span, Conner holds strong Heinz Field averages of 95 total yards and 1.2 TDs versus non-AFC North foes.
CHICAGO (2-0) @ ATLANTA (0-2)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Falcons (-3) … Over/Under: 47
REFEREE: Jerome Boger
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake (FOX)
NO SECOND FIDDLE HERE: Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley has amassed elite-level averages of 7.2 catches, 106 yards and 1.1 touchdowns in his previous six games.
It’s also worth noting: During this prolific stretch, Ridley’s teammate Julio Jones attracted double-digit targets four times and thrice crossed the 130-yard threshold.
TENNESSEE (2-0) @ MINNESOTA (0-2)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Vikings (+2 1/2) … Over/Under: 50
REFEREE: Clete Blakeman
TV ANNOUNCERS: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, A.J. Ross (CBS)
CHECK THIS OUT: Titans tailback Derrick Henry (NFL’s reigning rushing king) played three games indoors last season … and enjoyed otherworldly averages of 162 total yards and 1.3 touchdowns.
WASHINGTON (1-1) @ CLEVELAND (1-1)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Browns (-7) … Over/Under: 45
REFEREE: Shawn Hochuli
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman, Laura Okmin (FOX)
START MCLAURIN, NO MATTER WHAT: We’re going all-in on Washington Football Team receiver Terry McLaurin this week (No. 5 positional ranking).
a) To date, the Browns have had to endure bottom-7 tallies with opposing wideouts, citing the categories of targets, receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
b) Charting his seven career road outings, McLaurin reached the elite-level threshold of 100 yards receiving and/or one touchdown four times.
c) Cleveland’s defense ranks third overall in rush defense, with opposing tailbacks posting meager averages of 3.1 yards per carry.
d) McLaurin has already tallied scores in consecutive games three times for his career; and Sunday could mark the Ohio State product’s first chance of collecting double-digit targets in back-to-back outings.
CINCINNATI (0-2) @ PHILADELPHIA (0-2)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Eagles (-4 1/2) … Over/Under: 47.5
REFEREE: Adrian Hill
TV ANNOUNCERS: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta (CBS)
BETTOR’S HUNCH: Sunday’s over-under figure (47.5) doesn’t make much sense, citing three reasons:
a) The Bengals are averaging 21.5 points this season, whereas the Eagles have yet to cross the 20-point threshold in 2020.
b) Through two weeks of action, Cincinnati and Philadelphia rank 5th and 6th, respectively, with fewest passing yards allowed.
c) For what it’s worth, the last five Bengals-Eagles meetings have produced a combined average of 38 points.
SAN FRANCISCO (1-1) @ N.Y. GIANTS (0-2)
TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Giants (+3 1/2) … Over/Under: 41.5
REFEREE: Clay Martin
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Burkhardt, Darryl Johnston, Pam Oliver (FOX)
HEED THIS WARNING: With Saquon Barkley done for the season (torn ACL), you’d think tight end Evan Engram (6 catches, 65 yards last week) would become the focal point of the Giants offense.
But not this week … at least on paper.
After two weeks, the 49ers defense has yielded the fewest catches, targets, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
For the year, San Francisco has surrendered just one catch (off six targets) to that position. Whoa!
N.Y. JETS (0-2) @ INDIANAPOLIS (1-1)
TIME: 4:05 p.m. EST
LINE: Colts (-11 1/2) … Over/Under: 44
REFEREE: Craig Wrolstad
TV ANALYSTS: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Melanie Collins (CBS)
DEFLATING FUN FACT: The Colts have yielded the fewest passing yards this season, a super-low clip of 143 yards per outing.
And as luck would have it, the sad-sack Jets (31st in scoring offense) have registered the third-fewest passing yards.
Sounds like a real barn-burner for Sunday, huh? Ugh.
CAROLINA (0-2) @ L.A. CHARGERS (1-1)
TIME: 4:05 p.m.
LINE: Chargers (-6 1/2) … Over/Under: 43.5
REFEREE: Tony Corrente
TV ANNOUNCERS: Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon, Jay Feely (CBS)
FUN FACT: The Panthers defense ranks dead-last versus opposing tailbacks, citing the categories of rushing touchdowns, receiving targets and receptions allowed.
This all bodes extremely well for Chargers tailback Austin Ekeler, who ranked either first or second in positional catches, targets, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns last season.
What’s more, Ekeler demonstrated solid early rapport with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert (first NFL start last week), accounting for 148 total yards (93 rushing) and four receptions.
Put it all together, and aside from the Saints’ Alvin Kamara, there isn’t a stronger Sunday/Monday option among running backs in Week 3.
DETROIT (0-2) @ ARIZONA (2-0)
TIME: 4:25 p.m. EST
LINE: Cardinals (-5 1/2) … Over/Under: 55.5
REFEREE: Scott Novak
TV ANNOUNCERS: Dick Stockton, Brady Quinn, Sara Walsh (FOX)
FUN FACT: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has accounted for multiple touchdowns in seven of his last 10 games, averaging 267 total yards and two scores during this robust period.
Adding to the fun, the red-hot Cards have a Sunday home meeting with the schizophrenic Lions, who have surrendered the second-most passing touchdowns this season (5) … despite also ranking fifth overall in fewest completions allowed.
The only drawback to Murray’s fantasy ranking for Week 3: Detroit’s porous defense, which ranks 30th in scoring defense, also holds bottom-10 tallies with opposing tailbacks, covering the categories of rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and receiving yards surrendered.
TAMPA BAY (1-1) @ DENVER (0-2)
TIME: 4:25 p.m.
LINE: Broncos (+5 1/2) … Over/Under: 43
REFEREE: Land Clark
TV ANALYSTS: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Lindsay Czarniak (FOX)
RUN TO DAYLIGHT: It’s been nearly 48 months since Melvin Gordon (then of the Chargers) logged 25 or more carries in a single game.
However, this type of Herculean effort may be required on Sunday, as the injury-depleted Broncos (no Drew Lock or Courtland Sutton) look to the triumvirate of Gordon, rookie wideout Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant to end Denver’s winless run in 2020.
Can Gordon handle a major workload this week?
Here’s some motivation for doing so:
a) For the young season, the Bucs defense claims bottom-4 tallies with rushing touchdowns, catches, targets and receiving yards allowed to opposing tailbacks.
b) Citing his 13 career outings of 20-plus carries, Gordon reached the elite-level threshold of 100 total yards and/or one touchdown 11 times.
DALLAS (1-1) @ SEATTLE (2-0)
TIME: 4:25 p.m.
LINE: Seahawks (-5) … Over/Under: 56.5
REFEREE: Carl Cheffers
TV ANNOUNCERS: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (FOX)
TAKE THIS WITH A GRAIN OF SALT: Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (83-percent passing, 610 yards passing, 9 TDs) has enjoyed a white-hot start, playing nicely into Seattle’s 2-0 record.
Going back further, charting his last 16 regular-season outings, Wilson has notched four-plus touchdowns five different times.
So, how might this play out Sunday, encountering a Cowboys defense which yielded 570 total yards (445 passing) and 39 points last weekend?
Well, in six career meetings, Wilson has never passed for 250 yards or tallied three touchdowns versus Dallas.
GREEN BAY (2-0) @ NEW ORLEANS (1-1)
TIME: 8:20 p.m. EST
LINE: Saints (-3) … Over/Under: 52.5
REFEREE: Brad Rogers
TV CREW: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Michelle Tafoya (NBC)
INSIDE JOB: Aaron Jones racked up 19 touchdowns for Green Bay last year; and yet, back in August, fantasy owners were leery about his 2020 prospects — even though Jones enjoyed more success with red-zone touchdowns than Ezekiel Elliott last season (14-11 advantage) … despite considerably fewer red-zone carries (59-33).
For his encore, Jones currently leads all fantasy backs in rushing yards (234), scrimmage yards (312) and total touchdowns (4, tied with Alvin Kamara).
Here’s another thing worth celebrating: Charting his last five games played indoors, Jones boasts supreme averages of 131 total yards and 1.2 TDs.
KANSAS CITY (2-0) @ BALTIMORE (2-0)
TIME: 8:15 p.m. EST
LINE: Ravens (-3 1/2) … Over/Under: 54.5
REFEREE: John Hussey
TV: Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters (ESPN)
NITPICKERS ANONYMOUS: There’s a good news/bad news proposition with installing Lamar Jackson as this week’s No. 1 fantasy quarterback.
On the plus side, Jackson boasts otherworldly averages of 284 total yards and 3.2 touchdowns in his last five non-divisional home games during the regular season.
And keep in mind, that nugget doesn’t factor in Jackson’s superhuman effort of 508 total yards (365 passing) and one touchdown in the January playoff loss to the Titans.
On the down side, Jackson has encountered the Chiefs twice in the last 21 months (excluding Sunday’s highly anticipated matchup).
For those meetings, the reigning NFL MVP posted softer averages of 263 total yards and 1.5 TDs.