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Week 3 Rankings

By Cody Smith

Week 2 sure was interesting… and not necessarily in a good way. Many fantasy owners find themselves scrambling for a quarterback after two perennial top-10 guys (Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees) went down with injuries.

For anybody streaming this position going forward, take a look below to find out who I’m high on this week.

Also scroll to the bottom of the page to see how my Week 2 likes and dislikes fared.

Without further ado, here are my Week 3 ranks.

Quarterbacks I like

Jimmy Garoppolo threw for nearly 300 yards in a blowout road victory against Cincinnati. The QB will return home Sunday to play in the 49ers home opener against the 0-2 Steelers. An addition of Minkah Fitzpatrick may help sure up the Pittsburgh secondary that currently ranks 28th in the league against the pass, but I think Jimmy G lights it up in San Fran.

My Rank: QB8

ESPN Rank: QB17

Matthew Stafford had a nice game in Week 1 against a soft secondary and will get another chance this weekend at Philly. The Eagles have been carved up by Case Keenum and Matt Ryan for 700 yards and six passing touchdowns through two weeks. I’m firing up Stafford without any worries this week.

My Rank: QB10

ESPN Rank: QB20

Andy Dalton is quietly hanging on the border of top-10 QB territory on a team that seems likely to be playing from behind most of the season. Though the Buffalo pass defense poses a threat, Dalton has thrown the ball 93 times in two games. Dalton surprisingly has many weapons at his disposal with the newly emerging John Ross III along side Tyler Boyd. Just wait until A.J. Green comes back.

My Rank: QB21

ESPN Rank: QB24

Quarterbacks to avoid

Carson Wentz briefly left Sunday night’s game after getting banged up, as did nearly every other Eagles' playmaker. We’re still unsure if Philly will have Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson or Dallas Goedert this weekend. Losing any combination of these three players could spell trouble for the Eagles offense. I’m lowering my expectations for Wentz this weekend.

My Rank: QB17

ESPN Rank: QB10

Jameis Winston is off to a great start right? Not exactly. The fifth-year quarterback out of Florida State has more turnovers than touchdowns through two games and has barely eclipsed 200 passing yards in a single game. Still, people insist on playing him against soft defenses. This week he gets the Giants who are currently ranked 30th against the pass, but c’mon, how many times are you going to go back to the well when you know it’s going to be dry?

My Rank: QB18

ESPN Rank: QB11

To put it nicely, Mitchell Trubisky has not been good. Just like Jameis, Trubisky has barely eclipsed the 200 yard mark in a game and is yet to throw a touchdown pass. He also hasn’t recorded double digit fantasy points. He faces a beatable defense this week in Washington, but I have to see a quality game out of Trubisky before I trust him in my lineup.

My Rank: QB20

ESPN Rank: QB16

Quarterback Rankings

1. Lamar Jackson @KC

2. Patrick Mahomes vs. Bal

3. Dak Prescott vs. Mia

4. Tom Brady vs. NYJ

5. Russell Wilson vs. NO

6. Josh Allen vs. Cin

7. Matt Ryan @Ind

8. Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Pit

9. Deshaun Watson @LAC

10. Matthew Stafford @Phi

11. Philip Rivers vs. Hou

12. Aaron Rodgers vs. Den

13. Jared Goff @Cle

14. Kyler Murray vs. Car

15. Cam Newton @Ari

16. Baker Mayfield vs. LAR

17. Carson Wentz vs. Det

18. Jameis Winston vs. NYG

19. Kirk Cousins vs. Oak

20. Mitchell Trubisky @Was

21. Andy Dalton @Buf

22. Derek Carr @Min

23. Jacoby Brissett vs. Atl

24. Marcus Mariota @Jax

25. Daniel Jones @TB

26. Case Keenum vs. Chi

27. Gardner Minshew vs. Ten

28. Ryan Fitzpatrick @Dal

29. Joe Flacco @GB

30. Teddy Bridgewater @Sea

31. Mason Rudolph @SF

32. Luke Falk @NE

Running Backs I Like

I’m not going out on a huge limb here with my RB picks, but the first player I really like this week is Le’Veon Bell. In a Week 2 game where the Jets were reduced down to their third string quarterback, Bell touched the ball 31 times! Volume is key in fantasy and Bell is going to get just that. The veteran back will likely be playing from behind this week against New England, but his 10 receptions in a blow-out loss to the Browns proves he can still produce even in a negative game script.

My Rank: RB3

ESPN Rank: RB8

Todd Gurley is off to a bit of a slow start in his new, slightly reduced, role in the Rams' offense. This week he’ll get the Browns, who as you see above, allowed Le’Veon Bell to record 129 total yards on 31 touches. Though Gurley won’t see this amount of touches, I still believe he will find room to run against an exploitable Browns defense, especially if the Rams can take a late lead and run some clock.

My Rank: RB8

ESPN Rank: RB13

Josh Jacobs comes with a lot of “ifs” this week. If Jacobs is healthy and if he sees the same amount of touches as a 100% healthy Jacobs should, the rookie is primed for a big game. Jacobs takes on the Minnesota defense that Aaron Jones torched for 116 yards and a touchdown last week. Jacobs’ groin may hold him back, and if it does, I wouldn’t be quite as optimistic, but there aren’t many other options in Oakland, so if he is 100% I believe he is an RB1.

My Rank: RB10

ESPN Rank: RB19

Running Backs to Avoid

Sony Michel has had a bit of a rough start as he hasn’t yet rushed for 100 total yards through two games this season. Michel is limited in the passing game thanks to James White and Rex Burkhead which also caps his value. Michel was not even targeted in the passing game last week against Miami. New England faces the Jets this week, so I would expect a similar game script to last week.

My Rank: RB26

ESPN Rank: RB20

Damien Williams is banged up with a knee injury and is yet to practice this week. He carried the ball nine times for eight yards last week, but salvaged borderline decent numbers with three catches for 48 yards out of the backfield. I expect the match-up with the Ravens to be a shootout with little happening on the ground against the current No.1 defense against the run.

My Rank: RB33

ESPN Rank: RB22

After rushing for over 1,000 yards last season, Phillip Lindsay finds himself in a timeshare with Royce Freeman early this season. Even worse yet, Freeman looks like the better of the two running back I expect Freeman to continue getting at least 50% of the work, which really limits Lindsay. The Broncos offense has also looked abysmal at best on a few occasions this year. I wouldn’t expect a huge game from Lindsay even if the team does find itself behind to Green Bay.

My Rank: RB28

ESPN Rank: RB26

Runningback Rankings

1. Ezekiel Elliott vs. Mia

2. Christian McCaffrey @Ari

3. Le’Veon Bell @NE

4. Saquan Barkley @TB

5. Austin Ekeler vs. Hou

6. Alvin Kamara @Sea

7. Dalvin Cook vs. Oak

8. Todd Gurley @Cle

9. Nick Chubb vs. LAR

10. Josh Jacobs @Min

11. David Johnson vs. Car

12. Marlon Mack vs. Atl

13. Leonard Fournette vs. Ten

14. Chris Carson vs. NO

15. Derrick Henry @Jax

16. Aaron Jones vs. Den

17. James Connor @SF

18. Mark Ingram @KC

19. Kerryon Johnson @Phi

20. Devonta Freeman @Ind

21. Joe Mixon @Buf

22. Peyton Barber vs. NYG

23. Royce Freeman @GB

24. James White vs. NYJ

25. David Montgomery @Wsh

26. Sony Michel vs. NYJ

27. Carlos Hyde @LAC

28. Phillip Lindsay @GB

29. Frank Gore vs. Cin

30. Matt Breida vs. Pit

31. Chris Thompson vs. Chi

32. Miles Sanders vs. Det

33. Damien WIlliams vs. Bal

34. Tarik Cohen @Wsh

35. Duke Johnson @LAC

36. Rashaad Penny vs. NO

37. Kenyan Drake @Dal

38. Jamaal Williams vs. Den

39. Devin Singletary vs. Cin

40. LeSean McCoy vs. Bal

41. Raheem Mostert vs. Pit

42. Adrian Peterson vs. Chi

43. Justin Jackson vs. Hou

44. Ronald Jones vs. NYG

45. Jordan Howard vs. Det

46. Giovani Bernard @Buf

47. Darren Sproles vs. Det

48. Rex Burkhead vs. NYJ

49. Ito Smith @Ind

50. Malcolm Brown @Cle

Wide Receivers I Like

Sammy Watkins may have disappointed last week, but I expect the half-man, half-lizard to have a bounce back week. Watkins ought to find himself in a shootout with Baltimore which will keep Mahomes throwing the ball all game long. I expect Watkins to post numbers closer to his week 1 totals than his week 2 totals in week 3.

My Rank: WR2

ESPN Rank: WR12

Amari Cooper made my list last week and disappointed, but I’m going back to the well this week in a plus-matchup with the Dolphins. I expect Cooper to extend his touchdown streak to three games against a team that has allowed a ton of points in the first two weeks. Expect Cooper to see more targets with Gallup out for a few weeks with a knee injury.

My Rank: WR7

ESPN Rank: WR10

Allen Robinson also let me down last week and I’m not exactly sure why I’m so high on him this week. The Bears offense needs to figure something out quick if the team plans on winning the NFC North again this season and earning a playoff berth. I’m hoping a prime-time match-up against the worst pass defense in the league will spark the Chicago offense this season.

My Rank: WR16

ESPN Rank: WR28

Wide Receivers to Avoid

Tyler Boyd had a huge game last week, catching all of his targets in a 10 catch, 122 yard performance. I’m not yet buying Boyd because his catch rate on the season of 81% is unsustainable (Michael Thomas set the NFL record last year with 75%). The Bills also aren’t too shabby against the pass, leading the NFL in 2018 in passing defense. I think Boyd may struggle this week.

My Rank: WR27

ESPN Rank: WR19

Mike Williams is no longer on the injury report, but the injury-prone wide-out only has five catches this year. I’m not utilizing Williams until I see that he can handle a full workload.

My Rank: WR41

ESPN Rank: WR32

Wide Reciever Rankings

1. Michael Thomas @Sea

2. Sammy Watkins vs. Bal

3. DeAndre Hopkins @LAC

4. Keenan Allen vs. Hou

5. Julio Jones @Ind

6. Odell Beckham Jr. vs. LAR

7. Amari Cooper vs. Mia

8. Tyler Lockett vs. NO

9. Juju Smith-Schuster @SF

10. Davante Adams @Den

11. Adam Thielen vs. Oak

12. Antonio Brown vs. NYJ

13. Kenny Golladay @Phi

14. Cooper Kupp @Cle

15. Julian Edleman vs. NYJ

16. Allen Robinson @Wsh

17. Emmanuel Sanders @GB

18. Chris Godwin vs. NYG

19. Mike Evans vs. NYG

20. Robert Woods @Cle

21. Brandin Cooks @Cle

22. Larry Fitzgerald vs. Car

23. T.Y. Hilton vs. Atl

24. Stefon Diggs vs. Oak

25. Marquise Brown @KC

26. Christian Kirk vs. Car

27. Tyrell Williams @Min

28. Tyler Boyd @Buf

29. Calvin Ridley @Ind

30. D.J. Moore @Ari

31. Nelson Agholor vs. Det

32. John Brown vs. Cin

33. Jarvis Landry vs. LAR

34. Courtland Sutton @GB

35. Randall Cobb vs. Mia

36. Mecole Hardman vs. Bal

37. Marvin Jones @Phi

38. Terry McLaurin vs. Chi

39. Jamison Crowder @NE

40. Curtis Samuel @Ari

41. Mike Williams vs. Hou

42. DK Metcalf vs. NO

43. John Ross III @Buf

44. Demarcus Robinson vs. Bal

45. Sterling Shepard @TB

46. D.J. Chark vs. Ten

47. Robby Anderson @NE

48. WIll Fuller V @LAC

49. Chris Conley vs. Ten

50. Dede Westbrook vs. Ten

Tight Ends I Like

Gerald Everett isn’t a tight end I believe is worth a start except for the deepest of leagues, but fellow Rams tight end Tyler Higbee is questionable with an “injured lung” which does not sound good. If Higbee misses time, Everett is a sneaky play. He already has a touchdown this season.

My Rank: TE20


Tight Ends To Avoid

T.J. Hockenson was on this list last week and posted a 1-7 line. I’m going to leave him here until the hype dies down.

My Rank: TE18

ESPN Rank: TE12

Tightend Rankings

1. Mark Andrews @KC

2. Travis Kelce vs. Bal

3. Zach Ertz vs. Det

4. Evan Engram @TB

5. Vance McDonald @SF

6. George Kittle vs. Pit

7. Greg Olsen @Ari

8. Delanie Walker @Jax

9. Darren Waller @Min

10. Jared Cook @Sea

11. O.J. Howard vs. NYG

12. Austin Hooper @Ind

13. Jason Witten vs. Mia

14. Jimmy Graham vs. Den

15. Jordan Reed vs. Chi

16. Will Dissly vs. NO

17. Tyler Eifert @Buf

18. T.J. Hockenson @Phi

19. Trey Burton @Wsh

20. Gerald Everett @Cle

21. Eric Ebron vs. Atl

22. Noah Fant @GB

23. Kyle Rudolph vs. Oak

24. Jack Doyle vs. Atl

25. Mike Gesicki @Dal

Week 2 likes/dislikes

Quarterback likes

Dak Prescott: My Rank - QB2; ESPN Rank - QB7; Actual finish - QB3

Drew Brees: My Rank - QB4; ESPN Rank - QB13; Actual finish - QB37

Russell Wilson: My Rank - QB6; ESPN Rank - QB12; Actual finish - QB5

Jared Goff: My Rank - QB10; ESPN Rank - QB15; Actual finish - QB11

Quarterback dislikes

Cam Newton: My Rank - QB20; ESPN Rank - QB4; Actual finish - QB27

Derek Carr: My Rank - QB21; ESPN Rank - QB14; Actual finish - QB26

Jameis WInston: My Rank - QB22; ESPN Rank - QB18; Actual finish - QB21

Running Back likes

Dalvin Cook: My Rank - RB6; ESPN Rank - RB9; Actual finish - RB1

Derrick Henry: My Rank - RB7; ESPN Rank - RB13; Actual finish - RB9

Chris Carson: My Rank - RB9; ESPN Rank - RB12; Actual finish - RB30

Mark Ingram: My Rank - RB11; ESPN Rank - RB19; Actual finish - RB30

Sony Michel: My Rank - RB14; ESPN Rank - RB23; Actual finish - RB22

Running Back dislikes

David Johnson: My Rank - RB16; ESPN Rank - RB7; Actual finish - RB37

James Connor: My Rank - RB17; ESPN Rank - RB8; Actual finish - RB18

Justin Jackson: My Rank - RB45; ESPN Rank - RB38; Actual finish - RB40

Wide Receiver likes

Amari Cooper: My Rank - WR2; ESPN Rank - WR12; Actual finish - WR30

Alshon Jeffery: My Rank - WR12; ESPN Rank - WR21; Actual finish - WR116

Tyler Boyd: My Rank - WR14; ESPN Rank - WR16; Actual finish - WR9

Allen Robinson: My Rank - WR17; ESPN Rank - WR25; Actual finish - WR58

Wide Receiver dislikes

Stefon Diggs: My Rank - WR21; ESPN Rank - WR15; Actual finish - WR51

Robert Woods: My Rank - WR19; ESPN Rank - WR13; Actual finish - WR69

Brandin Cooks: My Rank - WR22; ESPN Rank - WR14; Actual finish - WR22

DJ Moore: My Rank - WR25; ESPN Rank - WR22; Actual finish - WR14

Tight End likes

Vance McDonald: My Rank - TE8; ESPN Rank - TE11; Actual finish - TE3

Mark Andrews: My Rank - TE5; ESPN Rank - TE12; Actual finish - TE1

Tight End dislikes

Jared Cook: My Rank - TE11; ESPN Rank - TE5; Actual finish - TE25

T.J. Hockenson: My Rank - TE16; ESPN Rank - TE14; Actual finish - TE47

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