Weekly Rankings: Ranking Each Position for Week 3

Erik Smith breaks down his Week 3 fantasy football rankings for both PPR and standard leagues.

With Week 2 in the books, its time to turn our attention to Week 3. I’ll rank each position, including both standard and PPR rankings, every Wednesday of the regular season. Below each set of rankings, I will provide commentary on my more interesting decisions of the week. Best of luck in Week 3!


Week 3 QB Rankings


  • I’m looking forward to the matchup of Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson more than any quarterback duel in recent memory. Mahomes is a matchup-proof top overall quarterback, and at home, against a Ravens defense missing cornerback Jimmy Smith, he can be counted on for his typically elite fantasy production. Jackson is so hot that I can’t imagine playing anyone other than Mahomes over him right now, and the shootout potential of this game makes Jackson the QB2 in Week 3.
  • Dak Prescott and Tom Brady are in similar situations, huge home favorites against inferior competition. While each quarterback could take their foot off the gas in the second half, each has such high touchdown potential in these matchups that they are elite options, only topped by the otherworldly Mahomes and Jackson.
  • Coming in at QB9 for Week 3 is Josh Allen, who will be the most popular streaming target among quarterbacks this week. The Bengals displayed one of the worst tackling performances in recent memory at home against the 49ers last week, and a matchup in Buffalo against the physical 2-0 Bills has disaster written all over it. Look for Allen to hit deep threat John Brown for some big plays, while adding his typical rushing ability, which was highlighted in Week 2 by a touchdown run on a designed quarterback sweep. You could argue for Allen being ranked as high as QB5 this week.
  • Cam Newton has a dream matchup in Arizona, but he seems to have reaggravated his foot injury and was seen in a walking boot. Newton looked bad last week, likely due to the injury, as he looked scattershot on his passing attempts. It was an extremely concerning performance, and I would be wary of starting him again until we see a good performance first.
  • Kyle Allen, an undrafted rookie from 2018, would be the starter if Newton misses. He looked decent enough in Week 17 of last season and gets an ideal matchup against a subpar Arizona defense. I don’t have him ranked for now, but if I was desperate in a two-quarterback league, I think I would take my chances with Allen over someone like Case Keenum against the Bears or Derek Carr in Minnesota.
  • The Browns offense certainly looked better on Monday night against the Jets, but their offensive line still struggled at times. A home matchup against the Aaron Donald-led Rams could provide further trouble, forcing the ball out of Baker Mayfield‘s hands quicker than he would prefer. Jared Goff has had much better splits at home as opposed to the road, so I see both teams looking to establish the run in this one, potentially limiting the scoring overall.


Week 3 RB Rankings (PPR)


Week 3 RB Rankings (Standard)


  • Quarterback health has caused a massive shakeup among the top of the running back ranks. Alvin Kamara drops down to RB8 this week, a fairly unthinkable ranking with Drew Brees under center. Without Brees, Kamara may end up falling further. But with a week to prepare a new offense, I’m willing to give Kamara the benefit of the doubt. He’s too unique a talent for Sean Payton not to scheme ways to get him the ball.
  • Dalvin Cook looks great and gets a home matchup against the Raiders that sets up perfectly for him, making him the RB2 this week. Only four teams have given up fewer points to running backs than the Raiders in PPR leagues this year, so they’ve been stout so far. But nothing would please the Vikings more than to run the ball 30 times, and Cook just had an excellent game against a far superior Packers defense on their home turf.
  • As the RB1 overall in PPR leagues after two weeks, its time to give Austin Ekeler his due. Ekeler is my RB6 this week against a Houston defense that has given up a significant amount of catches and receiving yards to running backs this year, which was also the only way for running backs to attack the Texans last year. Philip Rivers leans on running backs in the passing game like few quarterbacks do, which sets up Ekeler to have a nice PPR game in Week 3.
  • Le’Veon Bell is the RB9 in PPR on the back of sheer volume, as a road game in New England with Luke Falk under center is a scary proposition. Dock him significantly in standard leagues this week.
  • Damien Williams seems to have suffered just a knee contusion and may be the preferred running back option in Week 3 as a pass catcher against a Ravens team that is tough against the run. LeSean McCoy‘s injury is a little more uncertain, and his style would force him to run directly into the teeth of the Ravens run defense. The Chiefs may avoid the run altogether in this one. Darwin Thompson could be a desperation play if either running back sits out on Sunday.
  • James Conner, Josh Jacobs, and Devin Singletary are all nursing what are hopefully minor injuries and will need to be monitored throughout the week. Singletary, in particular, would be ranked much higher if 100 percent healthy in a juicy matchup against the Bengals. His status is a concern, however, making the ageless Frank Gore a surprisingly good play at home against the dreadful Bengals defense.
  • Just a hunch, but I could see Justice Hill having his best game of the season if the Ravens are in catch up mode for the first time this year. He seems to be working his way into the number two role and would fit a pass-happy game plan much better than Gus Edwards. He’s not startable, but Week 3 offers a glimmer of hope for those stashing him on their benches.


Week 3 WR Rankings (PPR)


Week 3 WR Rankings (Standard)


  • The top four wide receivers are pretty locked in for now, although all four (DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., and Davante Adams) face fairly tough matchups. The Chargers, Colts, Rams, and Broncos all finished the 2018 season better than average in preventing wide receiver fantasy points to the position, except for the Rams, who allowed the 14th most points overall. Regardless, all four wide receivers are obvious starts in all matchups.
  • Another week without an Antonio Brown suspension (as of Tuesday night) so we can lock him in as a top-end wide receiver, especially in a blowout matchup against the Jets. A full workload this week could vault him into consideration with the previously mentioned wide receivers.
  • The Giants have allowed 550 receiving yards through two games in 2019, good for most in the league. Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are both in a blow-up spot here, and this may be your last chance to buy low on Evans.
  • T.Y. Hilton continues to produce, and I love his matchup against the Falcons in Indianapolis, where Hilton is always a threat to take a deep ball to the house.
  • I have Michael Thomas as a low-end WR1, as I’m a little more down on him than many other analysts seem to be. I don’t doubt that he can provide a nice floor on a weekly basis, but he wasn’t much of a big-play threat to begin with. I worry that his upside may be severely capped, putting him more in the Julian Edleman range without Drew Brees at quarterback.
  • I’m all in on Calvin Ridley until he shows signs of slowing down. He had a supremely underrated rookie year and has taken another step already through two weeks. With Jones around to draw double and triple teams, Ridley should have favorable matchups all year much like JuJu Smith-Schuster did last year with his teammate Brown.
  • Give me all of the big play threats in the Ravens vs Chiefs game, with Marquise Brown, Mecole Hardman, and Demarcus Robinson all startable options. Especially Brown, if he gets another 13 targets this week, fantasy owners will be reaping the rewards in a likely shootout in Arrowhead Stadium.
  • I’m docking Steelers pass-catchers significantly with the injury to Ben Roethlisberger, as only Smith Schuster remains a startable option. Time will tell if he can develop enough chemistry with Mason Rudolph to remain a WR1 in fantasy, but I’m very skeptical.
  • Same goes for Panthers pass-catchers, as Cam Newton looks likely to miss Week 3, or at least will be playing hurt. You probably don’t have better options, but this may be the week to try other receivers, especially for Curtis Samuel owners.
  • Damiere Byrd is worth a pickup in deep leagues, as he seems to be the third most targeted wide receiver in the Cardinals pass-heavy offense. This offense may be able to support three fantasy-relevant wide receivers, especially if Kyler Murray continues to improve.
  • Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson look likely to miss Week 3, making Nelson Agholor a startable PPR option.


Week 3 TE Rankings (PPR & Standard)


  • Kansas City was bad last year covering tight ends, and Mark Andrews is on fire to start the year. In a likely shootout, Andrews is my number two tight end this week.
  • There may be a week coming where we need to bail on O.J. Howard, but not this week. Against a Giants defense that was above average in giving up points to tight ends last year and has continued that trend into 2019, let’s give Howard one last chance. If he doesn’t produce this week it will be time to reevaluate.
  • Austin Hooper jumps ahead of Darren Waller this week, as Hooper has a matchup against the Colts, who allowed the fourth-most points to the tight end position last year, while Waller faces a tough Vikings defense.
  • T.J. Hockenson looks to bounce back after a dud of a Week 2 performance but gets an Eagles defense that allowed the fifth-fewest points to the position in 2018. Temper your expectations for a rebound.
  • Kyle Rudolph sneaks on to the list only because of his matchup against a Raiders defense that is susceptible to the tight end position. He is a desperation stream this week and then can go back to waivers.


Week 3 D Rankings
Week 3 K Rankings

(Photo by Rich Gabrielson/Icon Sportswire)

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