A deep and thorough analysis for week 3.
Every week in our recap podcast episode we cover who we think will be standouts in fantasy. This is great but if you are a diehard fantasy football player or a DFS player, you are going to want a bit more insight. So this week we are introducing the Fantasy Deep Dive Series. In this series, I will cover my top rankings for every position, players to bench and much much more. Let’s get started.
QB Top 10 Rankings
1 – Lamar Jackson vs Chiefs
The showdown of the top 2 QBs in the NFL will lead to a ton of points. The only reason Lamar Jackson goes ahead of Mahomes for me is the fact that I think he’ll have to run the football more than Mahomes will and in most standard fantasy leagues, rushing yards are worth more than passing yards.
2 – Patrick Mahomes II vs Ravens
Like I said in the above Lamar Jackson post, I think it’s going to be close in the race for the QB1 spot this week but the edge goes to Jackson due to his legs. Expect a typical Mahomes game.
3 – Dak Prescott vs Dolphins
Not to take anything away from the great start to the season that Prescott has had this year, but any QB that is facing this awful Dolphins team has to be in consideration for the #1 QB. To me, the only thing keeping him from the #1 spot is the fact that I think they are up so big in the second half that they don’t do a lot of passing late in this game.
4 – Deshaun Watson vs Chargers
If you listened to our podcast this week, you’ll know that the Chargers secondary is in rough shape. They have an undrafted rookie from last year at 1 corner and they are missing both their starting safety in Derwin James and his backup in Adrian Phillips. I expect Watson to connect with Hopkins early and often against this defense.
5 – Tom Brady vs Jets
If Darnold was playing, I think I would rank Brady much lower, but if you look at the simple fact that the more the Patriots have the football the more chances for Brady to connect with his receivers. With Luke Falk starting for the Jets I expect Brady to get plenty of opportunities.
6 – Russell Wilson vs Saints
So this situation is similar to the Tom Brady situation. There’s a new QB starting for the Saints so I expect Wilson to have plenty of time with the ball.
7 – Aaron Rodgers vs Broncos
The simple fact here is that Rodgers will tear a defense up if he has a clean pocket. The Broncos defense has the talent to get to the QB but through the first 2 games they have 0 sacks and they didn’t touch Derek Carr in week 1. If he stays clean I expect Rodgers to connect with his receivers often this week.
8 – Matt Ryan vs Colts
Matt Ryan and Julio Jones connected big in week 2 and I fully expect that momentum to carry them through the Colts in week 3.
9 – Josh Allen vs Bengals
Josh Allen breaks into the top 10 for me this week after putting up a solid week 2 after his dramatic comeback against the Jets in week 1. The Bills are 2-0 on the road so far and play a very suspect Bengals defense in their home opener. I expect the Bills fans to be jacked at home and Allen moves the Bills to 3-0.
10 – Kyler Murray vs Panthers
Kyler Murray has put up the yards this year but he needs to find the end zone more this week. It looks as of now that Cam Newton will miss this game so the Panthers offense could struggle. With the fast pace that Kingsbury plays with, Murray may but up numbers via quantity of plays and not quality.
Notable QBs to stay away from.
Carson Wentz looks like he is going to be without the majority of his weapons including Desean Jackson, Alshon Jeffrey, and Dallas Goedert due to injuries. Wentz got beat up in the pocket last week against the Falcons.
Even though Minshew should only be an option if you’re covering an injury or you’re in a 2 QB starting league, I would avoid him this week. He’s going against a stout pass defense in the Titans.
Winston did look better in week 2 in the Bucs victory over the Panthers but he has underperformed his projections both weeks. He is coming off an ankle injury and is going to play week 3 but I would only play him if you are covering an injury or don’t have any other options.
RB Top 10 Rankings
1 – Ezekiel Elliot vs Dolphins
The only thing that could keep Zeke from taking the top spot against the terrible Dolphins defense is the fact they may be able to rest him in the 2nd half and let the backups run the clock out. Even if that happens I think he puts up a monster 1st half.
2 – Dalvin Cook vs Raiders
Look, Dalvin Cook leads the league in snaps played at the RB position and the Vikings look like they would rather put the ball in his hands than Kirk Cousins’ even when they are trailing big. I expect them to run him early and often against the Raiders.
3 – Christian McCaffrey vs Cardinals
Just based on the volume of touches McCaffrey gets when Newton is in the game makes him one of the top options week in and week out. Even though I don’t think the Panthers can win this game without Cam playing, I see the offense running through McCaffrey even more than it usually does.
4 – Saquon Barkley vs Bucs
With the benching of Eli Manning, the Giants are going to have to make this the Barkley show while Daniel Jones gets some time in this offense. I expect him to catch a few more balls out of the backfield as Jones looks at his check down routes.
5 – Austin Ekeler vs Texans
He may not be Melvin Gordon but he is damn sure making it easier to move on from him. He has been one of the best RBs in the league this year and in PPR leagues he is the best receiving back fantasy.
6 – Alvin Kamara vs Seahawks
I’ve been a fan of Kamara’s all offseason and that doesn’t change this week. With Brees out I expect him to catch a lot of balls out of the backfield this week. Expect a big week from him in PPR leagues.
7 – David Johnson vs Panthers
David Johnson’s season so far has been a disappointment and his last minute touchdown run last week salvaged what was a really bad fantasy performance. I expect him to have a bounce back game against the Panthers defense that has given up some points to opposing RBs this week.
8 – Derrick Henry vs Jaguars
Henry carried the momentum he gained at the end of last season into this season. He is #2 in snaps played and touches this season. The Jaguars defense is good but I think the sheer volume of touches will give Henry a big day.
9 – Nick Chubb vs Rams
The coaches in Cleveland have said they want to get Chubb more touches this week. I see the Rams throwing some new defensive looks at Mayfield that prevent him from having a big day. That translates to a more run based offense this week.
10 – Mark Ingram vs Chiefs
Ingram is my surprise pick to round out my top 10. The Chiefs aren’t great against the run and with the fear of Lamar Jackson’s legs I expect Ingram to have a little room to run.
Notable RBs to stay away from
I have liked Chris Carson all offseason and have plenty of shares of him on my fantasy teams, but last week officially scared me. He has a fumbling problem that may let Rashad Penny steal more of his touches. The last fumble of the game was a big one. Up in the 4th quarter and trying to run out the clock, he fumbles on his own 6 yard line and allows the Steelers to score. Penny came in and had more yards on fewer carries and a TD. He still has a chance to stay the #1 back in Seattle but he has to prove it to me first.
On paper Leveon Bell looks like a decent play this week but with Luke Falk starting at QB for the Jets I expect the Patriots to load the box and make Falk pass. The only way for Bell to have a big week this week is if he does it out of the backfield catching.
Conner is coming off an injury and has a touch matchup against a stout 49ers defense. I think Jalen Samuels steals some of his touches as he comes back from the injury.
1 – DeAndre Hopkins vs Chargers
If the Chargers have any hopes to stop Hopkins from having a huge day, it rests on the shoulders of Casey Hayward. He won’t have much safety help over the top so he has to have a big game.
2 – Amari Cooper vs Dolphins
Just like Zeke, I see Dak finding Cooper all day against this dolphins defense on their way to a blowout victory.
3 – Julio Jones vs Colts
Julio put up a big game against the Eagles on Sunday night football. I expect him to keep that momentum building against this Colts defense.
4 – Davante Adams vs Broncos
I said in the QB rankings that if the Broncos don’t get pressure on Rodgers it’s going to be a long day. Adams will be the recipient of Rodgers big day.
5 – Odell Beckham Jr. vs Rams
While I don’t expect Beckham will have as good of a game as he did last week, I do expect to see a lot of points scored in this one. He should have a solid game for this reason only.
6 – Keenan Allen vs Texans
The Texans defense has developed a bad habit of getting beat deep this year. I expect this game to be a shootout and look to Allen for a big game.
7 – Chris Godwin vs Giants
This pick is based solely on how many targets Godwin gets from Winston. In a PPR league he should have a solid game on catches alone. I expect about 8 catches and a TD for Godwin this week.
8 – Antonio Brown vs Jets
Brown scored a TD in his first game as a Patriot and has cleared the legal hurdle to play again this week. The Pats offense will get a lot of opportunities this week against the Jets and Brown should develop some chemistry with Brady.
9 – Sammy Watkins vs Ravens
Mahomes is going to throw touchdowns every week and somebody has to catch them. Last week was Demarcus Robinson but Sammy Watkins is looking like a renewed player and I expect him to have a good game this week.
10 – Kenny Golladay vs Eagles
Golladay has been one of Matt Stafford’s favorite targets this season and has recorded a touchdown in both games this season. The Eagles secondary hasn’t looked good this season so far and I expect Golladay to have a great day.
Notable WRs to stay away from
It seems this year the coaches in Minnesota have decided to put the ball in Dalvin Cook’s hands as much as possible which has led to Diggs recording only 3 catches between the first two games. I think he’s still a good flex option on your team and could bounce back if Cousins fixes his play.
JuJu has struggled to start the season and has only recorded 11 catches and no TDs. Now Big Ben is out and Mason Rudolph is in. I don’t have him ranked as anything but a flex option until we know how his chemistry with Rudolph is.
Ross has been one of the best breakout stars in fantasy this season but if not for a late garbage time 66 yard TD, he would have had 3 catches for 50 yds and 0 TDs in week 2. This week he is facing a surprisingly stingy 49er defense.
1 – Travis Kelce vs Ravens
Travis Kelce is for all intents and purposes a WR in this high flying Chiefs offense. Look for Mahomes to target Kelce early and often in this high scoring game.
2 – Mark Andrews vs Chiefs
Mark Andrews on the other side of that matchup is coming off of 2 straight games of 100+ yds and 1 td. Unless the Chiefs defense comes up with a scheme that slows him down I expect that trend to continue.
3 – George Kittle vs Steelers
George Kittle is having a slow start to the season but I don’t think that is reflective of his skill. He honestly just hasn’t been needed much as the 49ers have had a couple of blowout wins. I expect this game to be a little more competitive and for Kittle to rebound.
4 – Zach Ertz vs Lions
Zach Ertz hasn’t had a massive game yet but I like that he had a whopping 16 targets in week 2. I expect him to have at least that many again this week with the injuries to the wideout group and the backup TE.
5 – Evan Engram vs Bucs
Evan Engram is having a solid start to the season and is going into a favorable matchup with the Bucs. With a new QB in Daniel Jones, I expect him to be the security blanket. Look for Ingram to get into the teens on targets this week.
6 – Delanie Walker vs Jaguars
Walker has proven to be Mariota’s favorite target this season and I expect that to stay the case in a tough divisional matchup against the Jags.
7 – Darren Waller vs Vikings
Waller is getting the targets and catches this season but hasn’t found the end zone yet. I expect that to change this week as the Raiders look to rebound against the Vikings.
8 – OJ Howard vs Giants
Howard has been the biggest disappointment this season at the TE position with only 4 catches for 32 yds and 0 tds through 2 games. The coaching staff has said they plan on getting more balls to Howard and I expect this is the week he can start to turn some heads against the Giants.
9 – TJ Hockensen vs Eagles
Hockensen fell back down to earth after a massive week 1 performance. I expect him to get back in gear this week vs the Eagles.
10 – Austin Hooper vs Colts
Hooper has had a lot of targets come his way this season so far but has yet to find the end zone. I expect that to change this week against this Colts defense.
Notable TEs to stay away from
Olsen is still looking for his first TD of the season and he won’t have Cam Newton throwing him the ball this week. I expect him to struggle with Kyle Allen at QB.
As the Vikings passing game continues to struggle I don’t expect him to get many targets this week.
Jared Cook has been quiet this season so far and now he doesn’t have Drew Brees throwing to him.
Let me know what you guys think about the rankings this week in the comments below. Check back next week for the Week 4 fantasy deep dive.