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Week 3 fantasy rankings: Best, QB, RB, WR and TEs to start, sit

The first two weeks of the 2023 NFL season are in the books, meaning we have more data points and film to put together our Week 3 fantasy rankings. As always, we’ll provide analysis and fantasy football advice for some of the top players at each position.

We’re keeping an eye on the NFL injury report for Week 3, as always. Running backs like Austin Ekeler and Kenneth Gainwell missed Week 2. Meanwhile, wide receivers Jakobi Meyers, Christian Watson and Amari Cooper are all dealing with injuries.

Related: Heisman Watch

Let’s dive into our Week 3 fantasy rankings. Updates will be provided leading up to Sunday’s games.

Week 3 fantasy QB rankings

RANKPLAYEROPPONENT
1Patrick Mahomesvs CHI
2Lamar Jacksonvs IND
3Josh Allen@ WAS
4Jalen Hurts@ TB
5Justin Herbert@ MIN
6Tua Tagovailoavs DEN
7Trevor Lawrencevs HOU
8Dak Prescott@ ARZ
9Geno Smithvs CAR
10Anthony Richardson – (OUT)@ BAL
11Joe Burrowvs LAR
12Brock Purdyvs NYG
13Kirk Cousinsvs LAC
14Jared Goffvs ATL
15Justin Fields@ KC
16Matthew Stafford@ CIN
17Baker Mayfieldvs PHI
18Deshaun Watsonvs TEN
19Daniel Jones@ SF
20.Jordan Lovevs NO
Week 3 fantasy QB rankings based on 4 points per passing touchdown
  1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs – It’s hard to imagine a better get-right game for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense than this. The only thing that will slow Kansas City down against the Chicago Bears is a first-half blowout.
  2. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens – The Indianapolis Colts defense has been devastated through the air by Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Stroud. Add in Jackson’s rushing ability, he could finish Week 3 as QB1.
  3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills – We just witnessed Washington’s defense just allow 308 passing yards and three touchdowns to Russell Wilson. Even if Josh Allen gets sacked multiple times and throws a pick, it can come with MVP-caliber numbers to carry you to a victory.
  4. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense is above-average, but high-end playmakers often win one-on-one matchups against Tampa Bay. With Dallas Goedert, AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith in his arsenal, Hurts is always going to be an elite fantasy football quarterback.
  5. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers – This is the matchup we’ve been waiting for. There won’t be many better opportunities than this for Justin Herbert to air it out. Assuming Austin Ekeler is back, that’s three offensive weapons that can create big plays against Minnesota’s defense.
  6. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins – It is strictly about health with Tua Tagovailoa. If he’s starting for the Miami Dolphins, fantasy managers need to start him because his production over the last year-plus is MVP-caliber.
  7. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars – The Houston Texans defense is better than you think, but Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars offense will view Week 3 as a rebound opportunity. Lawrence might not replicate his Week 1 stats, but he’ll perform a lot better for fantasy managers than he did in Week 2.
  8. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys – While Dak Prescott might not do what Daniel Jones did to Arizona, we’re chasing touchdowns. Dallas is going to put up a lot of points in Week 3 and Prescott offers an extremely safe floor.
  9. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks – Allow Week 2 to demonstrate that the 2022 season wasn’t a fluke for Geno Smith. If Seattle can buy him time to throw, even with two backup offensive tackles, Smith is going to be a top-10 option in our fantasy QB rankings more often than not.
  10. Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts – With Anthony Richardson ruled out for Weel 3, Gardner Minshew draws the start. We don’t advise starting Minshew anywhere in fantasy, but he should help Michael Pittman Jr. retain his fantasy value on Sunday.
  11. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals – There’s elevated concern with Joe Burrow after he aggravated his calf injury this past Sunday. Even if he plays, the past two games proved that Burrow isn’t the same quarterback right now, It deals a sizable blow to his ceiling and hurts both Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase.
  12. Brock Purdy, San Francisco Giants – New York’s defense has already demonstrated this year that it struggles with the fundamentals. That’s the last problem you want to have when facing Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Brock Purdy is an every-week fantasy starter moving forward, too.
  13. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings – The early turnovers are a surprise from Kirk Cousins, but we can live with it as long as he keeps connecting with Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison for big plays.
  14. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions – Through his first two games, Jared Goff has nearly eclipsed 600 passing yards with a 4-1 TD-INT line. As long as he’s not under constant pressure, Goff will deliver accurate dimes to his playmakers. We’re not concerned about the Falcons’ pass rush bothering Goff.
  15. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears – Justin Fields isn’t a good quarterback, that’s the bottom line. However, his rushing ability and the likely requirement to air it out a lot when trying to catch up to the Chiefs’ offense will sustain Fields’ fantasy value.

Week 3 fantasy RB rankings

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
RANKPLAYEROPPONENT
1Christian McCaffreyvs NYG
2Bijan Robinson@ DET
3Tony Pollard@ ARZ
4Derrick Henry@ CLE
5Travis Etiennevs HOU
6Rhamondre Stevenson@ NYJ
7Kenneth Walkervs CAR
8Josh Jacobsvs PIT
9Miles Sanders@ SEA
10Joe Mixonvs LAR
11Jahmyr Gibbsvs ATL
12James Cook@ WAS
13Joshua Kelley@ MIN
14Aaron Jones (Q – Hamstring)vs NO
15Najee Harrisvs LV
16D’Andre Swift@ TB
17Isiah Pachecovs CHI
18Jerome Fordvs TEN
19Breece Hallvs NE
20.Alexander Mattisonvs LAC
21.Dameon Pierce@ JAX
22.Brian Robinson Jrvs BUF
23.Javonte Williams@ MIA
24.Raheem Mostertvs DEN
25.Kyren Williams@ CIN
26.Gus Edwardsvs IND
27.James Connervs DAL
28.Rachaad Whitevs PHI
29.Matt Breida@ SF
30.Dalvin Cookvs NE
31.Zack Moss@ BAL
32.Roschon Johnson@ KC
33.Jaylen Warren@ LV
34.Tyler Allgeier@ DET
35.Tony Jones@ GB
36.Kendre Miller@ GB
37.AJ Dillonvs NO
38.Craig Reynoldsvs ATL
39.Samaje Perine@ MIA
40.Khalil Herbert@ KC
Week 3 fantasy rankings based on 0.5 PPR scoring
  1. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers – The New York Giants have already allowed 178 rushing yards and three touchdowns to opposing running backs this season. Christian McCaffrey is in his own tier for our Week 3 fantasy rankings in this delightful matchup.
  2. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons – Arthur Smith fed Bijan Robinson this past Sunday and the rookie turned it into 170 scrimmage yards. While a Week 3 matchup against the Detroit Lions is less advantageous, Robinson’s workload and skills make him an elite fantasy player.
  3. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys – Mike McCarthy has already proven that he’s comfortable having Tony Pollard handle 25-plus touches. So, against an Arizona defense that just allowed 4.7 ypc to the New York Giants, fire up Barkley as a high-end RB1 with a very favorable game script.
  4. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans – Tennessee has obviously changed its approach with Derrick Henry, not putting the entire rushing offense on his shoulders. While that does mean less volume, it could also increase his efficiency. Cleveland’s biggest weakness is its run defense, so we’ll fire up Henry as a top-five play with Saquon Barkley likely out in Week 3.
  5. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars – Facing a Houston Texans defense that just allowed over 100 scrimmage yards to Zack Moss, Travis Etienne is in a prime position for a blowup spot next Sunday. Plus, with Jacksonville a heavy favorite, he could see one of his highest workloads of the season.
  6. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots – The backfield split from the Patriots isn’t what we want to see for Rhamondre Stevenson, but his talent remains undeniable. New England will get a lot of 3-and-outs versus Zach Wilson, meaning more touches for Stevenson against the Jets’ run defense. Plus, a few catches.
  7. Kenneth Walker, Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks have fed Kenneth Walker 32 touches this season, providing a workload large enough for him to be one of the best running backs in fantasy football. Seattle’s offense should have the football a lot in Week 3 and we’re willing to bet on Walker contributing 60-plus yards and a score.
  8. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders – We’re giving Josh Jacobs another week. Sunday against the Bills was a disappointment, but he stood no chance behind an offensive line that let just about every defender get through. Jacobs’ pass-catching role elevates his for, but even that won’t be enough to earn our trust again if Week 3 is a bust.
  9. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles – Through two games, Seattle’s defense has already ceded 193 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Operating as Carolina’s workhorse running back, fire up Miles Sanders as a low-end RB1.
  10. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals – The Los Angeles Rams defense has been better than expected in 2023, but it can still give up some big plays on the ground. With Joe Mixon still “the guy” in Cincinnati and the Bengals in must-win territory, Mixon qualifies as a high-end RB2 on Monday Night Football.
  11. Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions – With David Montgomery (thigh) uncertain for Week 3, Jahmyr Gibbs finally has a shot to receive the volume fantasy football managers have been waiting for. This isn’t a fantastic fantasy matchup, but players with Gibbs’ explosiveness can erupt against any defense with just one play.
  12. James Cook, Buffalo Bills – Coming off a breakout performance, Bills’ running back James Cook now squares off against a Commanders’ defense that allowed 122 rushing yards to the Denver Broncos. Cook won’t receive an RB1 workload, but this is a solid matchup and feeding him the football will help slow down Washington’s pass rush.
  13. Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers – With Brandon Staley announcing that Austin Ekeler is without a timeline to return, we’re moving forward with the belief that Joshua Kelley is the starter. After facing the best run defense in the NFL last week, Kelley will have a lot more room to run in Week 3 versus Minnesota. Kelley should be a high-end RB2, but the lack of involvement as a pass-catcher lowers his ceiling.
  14. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers – If Aaron Jones is fully cleared for a return in Week 3 without limitations on his workload, he’s a top-10 running back. However, Green Bay has a tendency to ease players back after soft-tissue injuries and that could result in a reduced workload for Jones.
  15. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers – While Najee Harris would typically be lower in our fantasy RB rankings, this matchup is in his favor. Las Vegas has one of the worst run defenses in the NFL this year and Pittsburgh has a viable shot to beat the Raiders. As long as things are close, Harris should get 15-plus touches and that’s more than enough to do damage against Las Vegas.
  16. D’Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles – There’s some risk here with D’Andre Swift considering how high the Eagles’ coaching staff is on Kenneth Gainwell. However, Swift also proved why he was once a top pick. We’ll consider him a mid-tier RB2, but there is more upside.
  17. Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs – Kansas City still hasn’t provided Pacheco with a full workload, limiting him to 12 carries last week. However, Sunday’s matchup against the Bears’ defense is a perfect opportunity for the Chiefs to get something going on the ground. In a game Kansas City figures to lead from start to finish, Pacheco is a high-end fantasy starter.
  18. Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns – With Nick Chubb lost for the season, Jerome Form presumably steps in as Cleveland’s primary running back. He’s a good player and could be a top-15 fantasy running back the rest of the way, but not in Week 3. The Tennessee Titans held opponents to 65 rushing yards per game through their first two contests and they were just as good last season. Pass-catching work is what saves Ford’s fantasy value.
  19. Breece Hall, New York Jets – We’ll get an early answer for whether or not the Jets grease the squeaky wheel. Breece Hall is deserving of more carries and he’ll likely see an expanded workload, but defenses are now focused entirely on stopping the run when facing New York.

Week 3 fantasy WR rankings

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
RANKPLAYEROPPONENT
1Justin Jeffersonvs LAC
2Stefon Diggs@ WAS
3CeeDee Lamb@ ARZ
4Tyreek Hillvs DEN
5Davante Adams (Q – Head)vs PIT
6Amon-Ra St. Brownvs ATL
7Jaylen Waddlevs DEN
8DeVonta Smith@ TB
9Chris Olave@ GB
10A.J. Brown@ TB
11Amari Cooper (Q – Groin)vs TEN
12Ja’Marr Chasevs LAR
13Calvin Ridleyvs HOU
14DK Metcalfvs CAR
15Mike Evansvs PHI
16Puka Nacua@ CIN
17.Tee Higginsvs LAR
18.Tyler Lockettvs CAR
19.Keenan Allen@ MIN
20.Brandon Aiyukvs NYG
21.Zay Flowers Jrvs IND
22.Deebo Samuelvs NYG
23.Garrett Wilsonvs NE
24.Drake London@ DET
24.Christian Watson (Q)vs NO
25.Mike Williams@ MIN
26.Michael Pittman Jr@ BAL
27.Terry McLaurinvs BUF
28.Jordan Addisonvs LAC
29.DeAndre Hopkins@ CLE
30.Nico Collins@ JAX
31.Chris Godwinvs PHI
32.Jakobi Meyersvs PIT
33.Tutu Atwell@ CIN
34.DJ Moore@ KC
35.Jerry Jeudy@MIA
36.Gabe Davisvs WAS
37.Christian Kirkvs HOU
38.Josh Reynoldsvs ATL
39.Rashid Shaheed@ GB
40.Jahan Dotsonvs BUF
Week 3 WR fantasy rankings based on 0.5 PPR scoring

Week 3 fantasy TE rankings

NFL: Preseason-Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
RANKPLAYEROPPONENT
1Travis Kelcevs CHI
2T.J. Hockensonvs LAC
3Dallas Goedert@ TB
4Mark Andrewsvs IND
5Darren Waller@ SF
6Evan Engramvs HOU
7George Kittlevs NYG
8Hunter Henry@ NYJ
9Hayden Hurst@ SEA
10Kyle Pitts@ DET
11Pat Freiermuth@ LV
12Jake Fferguson@ ARZ
13Zach Ertzvs DAL
14Luke Musgravevs NO
15David Njokuvs TEN
16Dalton Kincaid@ WAS
17Chigoziem Okonkwo@ CLE
18Sam LaPortavs ATL
19Tyler Higbee@ CIN
20.Irv Smith Jr.vs LAR
Week 3 fantasy rankings based on 0.5 PPR scoring
  1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs – In his first game back, Travis Kelce did enough to make fantasy managers happy. He’ll presumably play a larger role in Week 3 and the Chiefs’ offense should “Shake It Off” after two disappointing weeks to open the season.
  2. T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings – T.J. Hockenson has already drawn 17 targets this season, snagging 15 receptions for 101 receiving yards. Even if he doesn’t find the end zone, Cousins’ insistence on feeding Hockenson makes him the second-best tight end in fantasy football.
  3. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles – The arrow is pointed upward for Dallas Goedert, even if he averaged just 3.7 yards per catch last week. What matters is Jalen Hurts is looking to target him and we want all of the shares in the Eagles’ offense this week.
  4. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens – It wasn’t the crispest season-opening performance from Mark Andrews in Week 2, but he remains Lamar Jackson’s guy. While he’s not a lock for a touchdown every week, 50-plus receiving yards or a score seems to be his floor.
  5. Darren Waller, New York Giants – Fantasy managers will need to monitor Waller’s hamstring issue for the season, but it didn’t stop him from finishing with 76 receiving yards over Arizona. The ceiling isn’t quite as high versus San Francisco, but Waller can offer solid numbers for fantasy managers.
  6. Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars – Consecutive weeks with five-plus receptions and 45-plus receiving yards for Evan Engram. Even if his touchdown-less streak extends to three games, Engram’s offering you a high probability of double-digit fantasy points.
  7. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers – There are just too many mouths to feed in the San Francisco 49ers offense. You’re starting George Kittle if you have him, but 49 combined receiving yards in two games is a reminder of just how often Kittle’s real-life impact far exceeds his fantasy output.
  8. Hunter Henry, New England Patriots – Once we hit the fourth tier in the fantasy TE rankings, it becomes a game of dart throws. Hunter Henry has scored a touchdown in consecutive weeks and he already has 13 targets and 108 receiving yards on the year.
  9. Hayden Hurst, Carolina Panthers – Young quarterbacks love using the tight end as a safety blanket and Hunter Henry filled that role perfectly for Bryce Young in Week 1. After facing a Saints’ defense in Week 2 that is stout against tight ends, Hurst draws an easier matchup next week.
  10. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons – Two consecutive games with only two receptions is a disappointment, but Kyle Pitts drew five targets in Week 2 including some end-zone looks. With the scarcity at the position, you just have to roll the dice on Pitts’ athleticism with the hope he scores a touchdown or makes a 30-yard play.

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Week 3 fantasy rankings – Best fantasy defenses for Week 3

You can check out our D/ST rankings for Week 3, with evaluations on the top matchups, below.

Week 3 fantasy rankings – Best fantasy kickers Week 3

Dive into our K rankings for the upcoming week below.

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