The Week 3 rankings are certainly missing a few names that usually are here as Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley will not be back for a while. Michael Thomas and George Kittle are names to monitor throughout the week, and the same goes for Davante Adams who pulled up late with a hamstring injury. With these names out there are some tremendous matchups for a few players that will kick them into the top ten this week like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Jonathan Taylor.
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Week 3 Quarterback Rankings
The big showdown on Monday Night Football is going to be a big one to cap off the week as Pat Mahomes and Lamar Jackson square off. Baltimore took a slight hit in the secondary last week and this is not the week to start losing defensive players. Jackson had a bit of a down week against Houston despite the strong matchup but a shootout looms here. I like Jackson as the number one option each and every week while a few others are ahead of Mahomes just due to matchup and the volume they’ve been throwing throughout the season.
Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson also face off this weekend in what is another big-time quarterback battle. Wilson has been on fire with nine touchdowns through the first two games and the Dallas defense has been carved up two weeks in a row. Seattle’s defense is certainly not what it used to be and they were exposed by a lesser pass offense with New England. With CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Amari Cooper, the Seahawks will have a tough task.
Kyler Murray continues to show he took another step this offseason and has been electric for fantasy football even dating back to last season. The Lions have allowed five passing touchdowns through two weeks and nearly 500 passing yards. The Cardinals offense is certainly one of the elite fantasy teams right now. The Lions haven’t played well through two weeks but I do like Matthew Stafford as a top-ten guy this week.
Cam Newton gets a Week Las Vegas secondary on a short week back at home. Newton and this Patriots offense have certainly proved that they can up tup big numbers. Ryan Tannehill is another one and the receiving core is vastly underrated with Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis taking a step up in Brown’s absence this past week.
Week 3 Running Backs Rankings
The list of top bell-cow backs got thinner this week with Saquon Barkley out for the season and Christian McCaffrey out for 4-6 weeks. Ezekiel Elliott is likely going to be the number one ranked back over the next few weeks. The volume is very high for Elliott and that is the key. He gets a Seattle defense that is not much of a threat against the run. Alvin Kamara is the other one as he gets Green Bay this week. We have yet to see if they truly improved the run defense, but Kamara has so much value as a receiver anyway. His involvement in this offense makes him a top-five fantasy play every week.
There are a lot of great spots for backs who are working their way back from injury or have yet to make a huge splash yet this season. Austin Ekeler had a tremendous game against the Chiefs but didn’t find the end zone. He gets a Panthers defense that has allowed 73 PPR points so far to opposing running backs. Carolina was a defense was an easy target before the season even started. Miles Sanders had a full workload in his 2020 debut and that was quite the surprise. He had 20 carries and seven targets. Now he gets a Cincinnati defense that was just shredded by both Browns backs in Week 2.
Kenyan Drake has had strong volume but has yet to put together that big fantasy week. That should change this week. Detroit’s run defense was already bottom-ten coming into the season and they were bottom ten in fantasy points allowed. Aaron Jones as able to have a career day against them this week and Drake has that same potential. Speaking of Jones, it is a tougher matchup this week but if that wide receiver usage continues he will be a top ten play each week moving forward.
Week 3 Wide Receivers Rankings
We will monitor Michael Thomas again as it is a week-to-week deal but he likely will not crack the top ten even if he does suit up. This is a great week for a lot of wide receivers and DeAndre Hopkins is coming in this week as the number one guy. The volume continues to be there and he gets an average Detroit secondary. I am not willing to put Jeff Okudah as a name to limit wideouts just yet. Davante Adams has yet to have any information come out about the injury so in the meantime he is the number two guy this week. It was a down Week 2 but the run game was what crushed. This would be a week where the Packers offense has to pass more.
Now Seattle has put teams in a pass-happy mode because of the score but allowing 50-731-2 to wide receivers through two games is not good. Amari Cooper is coming off a solid Week 2 and had a terrific one-handed grab. I love this game on both sides as there are five wide receivers that all have gotten bumped up this week. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf just sit on the cusp of being top ten guys and it would not surprise me to see them finish inside the top ten.
Allen Robinson has been too quiet through the first two weeks, but facing the Falcons is a great way to get out of that. They have allowed the 4th most PPR points to opposing wide receivers through two weeks and that is all with them allowing just one touchdown. Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones continue to be top ten options even in a tougher spot against Chicago. This offense is putting up monster numbers through the air and that will continue this week.
Week 3 Tight Ends Rankings
Some of the younger tight ends are carving out a name for themselves. Jonnu Smith has three touchdowns in two games and is a top ten option this week. Smith was one of my favorite late-round tight ends during the regular season and he is living up to the hype. Even with AJ Brown returning at some point, this Titans offense can move the ball. Noah Fant is the other top tight end and with Courtland Sutton out for the year, there is a lot of targets up for grabs. Jeff Driskel looked his way a lot down the stretch and he is not the worst back to consider.
The usual suspects are up there, although Zach Ertz has had a quiet start to the season. It is a good spot for him to bounce back but I rank him a few names below where he usually sits. Tyler Higbee is coming off a monster week and Week 2 was interesting for the Bills because they had no answer for Mike Gesicki. Their front seven is a bit banged up and the wide receivers will have their hands full with the cornerbacks.
Mark Andrews is in a bounce-back spot as the Chiefs have allowed the 9th most yards to tight ends in the first two weeks. However, this team also allowed the third most receptions to tight ends last year as the secondary funneled a lot down to them.
Week 3 Kicker Rankings
Once again we are targeting the higher scoring games and two premium fantasy kickers square off against each other. Harrison Butker is coming off a monster week, while Justin Tucker had some success himself. We always want to find those high scoring teams and shootout games. Detroit and Arizona have Zane Gonzalez and Matt Prater both in the top ten for projected scoring this week. Mike Badgley is in a sneaky good spot against the Panthers, who have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to kickers this season.
Week 3 Defense Rankings
The Patriots defense is going to be more in play against lesser teams because we saw the effect of their offseason moves. It is a great bounce-back spot for them against the Raiders. The Colts take a massive jump in the rankings this week and they are coming off a very strong game against Minnesota. The Jets offense is toast as they look like a practice squad. I expect the Colts to produce another big week. Tampa Bay will be able to take advantage of the Broncos injuries and it is tough to get excited about the Broncos offense outside of a few names. They and the Eagles are mid-tier plays that take a jump up this week. The 49ers lost Nick Bosa for the year but face the turnover-prone Giants.
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