A wild week three in the NFL wraps up tonight with another double dose of Monday Night Football. The Eagles travel to the Gulf Coast to take on the Bucs in a surprising matchup of undefeated teams and the resurgent Rams face a struggling Bengals team in The 'Nati. Will another 70-burger be put up? Can the Bucs pull a Cardinals-like upset? Will Joe Burrow even play? Does anybody do the Ickey Shuffle? All these questions will be answered by the time the clock strikes midnight, but in the meantime, I've got two players on the Rams that are must-plays tonight for your Monday Night DFS rosters.
Matthew Stafford, LA Rams QB
Lost amidst the excitement of the explosive Miami Dolphins offense, season-ending injuries to players like Aaron Rodgers and Nick Chubb & the Travis Kelce/Taylor Swift romance is the fact that the Los Angeles Rams won't be the horror show they were last season. After a nice in-division road win in Seattle to open the season, the Rams predictably lost to the 49ers in their home opener yet the offense still put-up numbers, albeit mostly in the first half. More specifically, quarterback Matthew Stafford appears to be recapturing some of the magic that propelled the Rams to the heights of the NFL during the 2021 season. Even in a losing effort to a tough San Francisco defense Stafford managed 300+ yards with a touchdown and two picks on a whopping fifty-five targets. I'm sure the emergence of rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua is a huge help and likely giving Stafford Cooper Kupp vibes as it relates to his reliability as a target in the passing game.
Nacua is still listed as questionable for tonight's game with an oblique injury, but coach Sean McVay expects him to suit up and play which would be great for Stafford. Even though Stafford has targeted Nacua thirty-five times in two games he's still managed to spread the wealth as in both games so far this season he's targeted seven different receivers. On the season Stafford has thrown for 641 yards with the lone TD and two picks coming in that 49ers game and his QBR of 70.2 is fifth in the league thus far. The good news for Stafford and the Rams if Nacua can't go is that the Cincinnati Bengals defense is fresh off a loss to Baltimore where they gave up 415 yards of offense and are towards the bottom of the league in yards allowed per game (382.5). What makes Stafford an even more enticing play tonight, with or without Nacua, is that Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow might not play due to a calf injury which would put Jake Browning under center for Cincinnati. Yikes. If that turns out to be the case, then it could be a long night for the Bengals defense as the offense struggles to sustain drives under Browning's leadership. Stafford carries a price tag of $5,600 on DraftKings, far less than Jalen Hurts ($8,000) and a cheaper option than Burrow ($6,600) which leaves plenty of room to pay for top line offensive weapons like AJ Brown ($7,400), DeVonta Smith ($7,300) and potentially the aforementioned Nacua ($6,400).
Kyren Williams, LA Rams RB
With Cam Akers now in Minnesota, second year running back Kyren Williams is THE man for the Rams in the backfield and so far he is capitalizing on the opportunity. The former Notre Dame star is thriving in the Rams offensive resurgence having scored four touchdowns over the first two games of the season. After being buried on the depth chart his rookie season, Williams will now anchor the Rams backfield from here on in. Williams only has 104 yards rushing after two games averaging 3.6 yards per carry but has been a go-to guy in the redzone compiling three rushing scores. In last week's loss to San Francisco, Williams also proved to be a key member in the passing game having been targeted ten times hauling in six of those targets for forty-eight yards and a touchdown, a stat that could be foreshadowing of things to come in the Rams offense. If Nacua can't go tonight Williams could see more passes out of the backfield.
Through the first two weeks of the season the Bengals gave up the second most rushing yards (384) having been torched for 206 and 178 yards rushing by the Browns and Ravens respectively to open up the season. Whether Burrow plays or not I see Williams having a very productive night for LA but if there's no Burrow for the Bengals Williams should be in line for the biggest rushing night of his career. Williams carries a $5,500 price tag on DraftKings DFS, a price less than running back counterparts such as Joe Mixon ($6,300), Rachaad White ($5,900) and D'Andre Swift ($5,800).
Good luck tonight!