Fantasy QB Rankings Week 3: Who to start, sit at quarterback in fantasy football

Week 3 is approaching, and studs like Kyler Murray (@ Jaguars), Lamar Jackson (@ Lions), and Patrick Mahomes (vs. Chargers) continue to tighten their grip at the top of our weekly rankings. As always, we’ll base our rankings on matchups, injuries to surrounding skill players, and any other factors that could come into play. Our Week 3 fantasy QB rankings once again see a bunch of dual-threat QBs toward the top of the list, and some of the matchups will have their owners salivating. After two weeks of play, it’s still hard to completely use fantasy points allowed as a major benchmark, but we can take those with a little more significance. So, here we go again, armed ready to help you decide who to start and who to sit at quarterback in fantasy football.

Of course, there are plenty of sleepers, too. Teddy Bridgewater (vs. Jets) and Kirk Cousins (vs. Seahawks) are both legit QB1 candidates. It might be jarring to see, but they’ve produced like that thus far and once again have favorable matchups heading into this week. Carson Wentz (@ TEN), if healthy, Sam Darnold (@ HOU), and Daniel Jones (vs. Atlanta) are also notable risers and qualify as potential streamers. Derek Carr (vs. Dolphins) is also in the QB1 conversation after he’s carved up Baltimore and Pittsburgh in back-to-back weeks.

Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

For now, we have Jones as a mid-tier QB2, but let’s be real — his upside is a top-10 QB with such an atrocious defense on the other side of the ball. As a fantasy community, we probably are too skittish about ranking Jones higher, waiting for the inevitable collapse, but what if it never happens? He hasn’t even been a must-start in two-QB/superflex leagues, but it sure feels like he is this week. Bridgewater draws the Jets, who again look to contend for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and Darnold gets back to facing a cupcake on a short week. Cousins is making the case to be a must-start regardless of your league format, if for nothing else than he has to attempt 50 passes to keep his team in the game. Trevor Lawrence (vs. Cardinals) is also a streamer consideration given the matchup.

Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Baker Mayfield (vs. Chicago) will likely have to pass more than he did vs. Houston, but he’s falling as other QBs rise. Same with Matt Ryan (@ Giants) and Ben Roethlisberger (@ Bengals). Josh Allen (vs. WAS) once again faces what should be a good defense in Week 3. He looked more like what we expected in Week 2 at Miami, but he still hasn’t hit his season-long ceiling. Until he completely stinks it up, you’re still inserting him in your lineups, no questions asked, especially with Washington disappointing so far. 

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It’s safe to say you’re fading Jameis Winston (@ New England), Ryan Tannehill (vs. Indianapolis), and Joe Burrow (@ Pittsburgh) this week if you have the means to do so, though Tannehill is right on the bubble. He looked better in Week 2, but the Colts’ defense is a different animal than Seattle’s. Burrow struggled against Chicago in Week 2, so even though the Steelers just got roasted by Carr, we’re worried about Burrow getting rattled and beat up after 60 minutes of football on the road vs. the Terrible Towels.

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Jared Goff (vs. Ravens), Mac Jones (vs. Saints), and Taylor Heinicke (@ Bills) have exceeded expectations in fantasy thus far, but their matchups look tough this week, and it would be tough to start any of them with the utmost confidence. The same goes for Justin Fields (@ Browns), who could be filling in for Andy Dalton (knee) but looked terrible in two-plus quarters of action last week. Give him at least one more game before taking the plunge on his dual-threat talent.

WEEK 3 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts | Start ’em, sit ’em

Note: We’ll be updating these QB rankings as needed throughout the week, so check back for the latest changes and analysis.

Fantasy QB Rankings Week 3: Who to start at quarterback

Rankings are based on standard, four-point passing TD scoring formats.

Rank Player
1 Kyler Murray, ARI @ JAX
2 Lamar Jackson, BAL @ DET
3 Patrick Mahomes, KC vs. LAC
4 Russell Wilson, SEA @ MIN
5 Jalen Hurts, PHI @ DAL
6 Josh Allen, BUF vs. WAS. Allen faces a third straight formidable defense (we think), so this should be the last week he’s not inside the top five.
7 Tom Brady, TB @ LAR. Brady is the QB2 after two weeks of the regular season, but he faces his first real test this season on the road in Los Angeles. We still like him inside the top 10, but Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey are different animals than what he’s seen with the Cowboys or Falcons defense.
8 Dak Prescott, DAL vs. PHI. After last week’s complete dude, we expect Prescott to bounce back in what’s statistically a poor matchup. However, we’re not totally sold on Philly, and Prescott simply has too much upside.
9 Kirk Cousins, MIN vs. SEA. Cousins sits as the QB9 after Weeks 1 and 2, and that spot feels appropriate for his Week 3 matchup with Seattle. While Seattle had Ryan Tannehill’s number early in Week 2, he finished with 347 yards on the day. The Vikings’ passing attack is clicking on all cylinders right now, and Cousins should feast once again. He’s on pace for another quiet QB1 season.
10 Matthew Stafford, LAR vs. TB. This could go one of two ways for Stafford. The Rams could do what the Cowboys did to the Bucs — pass nearly every play with success — or he could see his first struggle-filled game as a Ram. He’s been great so far this year (21.3 FPPG), so we still rank him inside the top 10. After all, the Bucs only weakness on defense comes at their cornerback positions.
11 Justin Herbert, LAC @ KC. Herbert has been underwhelming thus far, averaging only 15.6 FPPG during the first two weeks of the year. Daniel Jones scored more points vs. Washington than Herbert did, and Herbert disappointed in what was supposed to be a huge performance against the Cowboys’ defense. This matchup with Kansas City should be a shootout, but we have to rank him outside the top 10 based on early signs this year.
12 Aaron Rodgers, GB @ SF
13 Teddy Bridgewater, DEN vs. NYJ. Who would’ve guessed Bridgewater would be a QB1 through Weeks 1 and 2? He’s pushing the ball downfield like we haven’t seen from him before, and the Jets travel to Denver in what should be another stellar game for Bridgewater. He’s averaged 20.8 FPPG so far, and that feels like an easily attainable figure this week.
14 Sam Darnold, CAR @ HOU. Yes, Darnold is on the edge of a QB1 in our rankings. It’s shocking, but look what he has done so far against bad defenses. He’s thrown for around 300 yards in Weeks 1 and 2 and averaged 19.5 FPPG thus far. Houston is yet another team with a bad defense. so why can’t Darnold keep up his pace? He’s a must-start in superflex leagues, but in a crazy turn of events, he draws starter consideration in single-QB leagues.
15 Derek Carr, LV vs. MIA. If the MVP was voted on after Week 2, Carr would probably be one of the top choices. He’s looked impressive in the first two weeks, torching Baltimore and Pittsburgh in what looked like scary matchups leading up to the season. He’s the QB8 leading up to this week, scoring 24.6 FPPG. Still, we’ll temper expectations a little bit, but if he goes off again, he might have to be a fixture inside the top 10 moving forward
16 Ryan Tannehill, TEN vs. IND. Tannehill has only averaged 14.9 FFPG and has obviously been a major disappointment thus far. However, he hasn’t been as bad as the fantasy stat sheet suggests. In Week 1 vs. Arizona, he was bullied all game to the tune of five sacks from Chandler Jones. Against Seattle, he struggled early but ended up with 347 passing yards and 27 rushing yards. Derrick Henry took over this game, so Tannehill was held without a single touchdown — a rare occurrence during his time in Tennessee. Although the Colts’ secondary has been exposed by the Rams and Seahawks, we know those teams are among the best in the league in passing. We’ll give them one more chance and assume they’ll get their defense in order, but A.J. Brown and Julio Jones might have something to say about that. Tannehill has a higher upside than guys like Carr and Bridgwater, but his matchup and early season struggles leave him at QB16.
17 Daniel Jones, NYG vs. ATL. Jones’ dual-threat ability has been on display this year, with rushing TDs in each game and 122 total rushing yards. Against Atlanta’s porous pass defense, Jones has major upside, but we’re still somewhat cautious with him given his propensity to disappoint in the past. If he can continue putting up points when he’s supposed to, Jones could hover close to QB1 territory in most matchups.
18 Trevor Lawrence, JAX vs. ARI. While we knew rookie QBs often struggle, Lawrence has surprisingly been flat-out awful during his first two NFL games. In Week 2, he completed just 14 of 33 attempts, for 118 yards. He threw one touchdown to two interceptions, as well. Although the Cardinals’ defense looked bad against the Vikings, Kirk Cousins and his weaponry is far superior to what the Jags have shown so far.
19 Carson Wentz, IND @ TEN. Wentz somehow has two injured ankles so his health may keep him from having a nice performance against a bad Titans’ defense. Keep an eye on his injury reports, but for now, he’s tough to trust. He did find moderate success against the Rams, though.
20 Matt Ryan, ATL @ NYG. Ryan has someone of a high ceiling with the number of pass attempts he gets on a weekly basis, but his floor is also extremely low. If the offense isn’t clicking, he has no rushing ability to offset save his fantasy performance. His entire fantasy outlook is built on passing touchdowns, and he has just two of those through two weeks to go along with three interceptions.
21 Baker Mayfield, CLE vs. CHI. Mayfield has thrown just one touchdown so far, but he did rush for one in Week 2. Put simply, the Browns are always going to prioritize running the football, and the Bears defense (vs. Bengals) looked better than they did in Week 1 (@ Rams.) The Rams might just be a tough matchup for everyone, so the Bears’ defensive struggles might be overstated. We shall see.
22 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. CIN. The matchup is pretty, but Big Ben’s play is ugly. He’s completing just over 60-percent of his passes and averaging 6.7 yards/attempt. We knew he’d look bad this year, but not this bad. If you’re a pure matchup person, go ahead and play him — but do so at your own risk.
23 Joe Burrow, CIN @ PIT. If Burrow looked rattled vs. Chicago, just imagine what Pittsburgh is going to do to him.
24 Justin Fields, CHI @ CLE. Fields didn’t look great in his increased role after an Andy Dalton knee injury. He completed just six of 13 passes for 60 yards and threw an interception — a whopping 27.7 passer rating. Heading into this week, he’ll get real reps with the first-team offense, so we’ll see how he looks. If you’re a risk-taker, he definitely possesses the upside to be a solid fantasy contributor. However, he will have Myles Garrett breathing down his neck in Week 3.
25 Jameis Winston, NO @ NE. Winston looked bad in Week 2 (@ Carolina), but he didn’t even get the deep ball shots and impressive passing yards that he usually does when he has a bad game. This week, he goes against Bill Belichick on the road, so steer clear.
26 Taylor Heinicke, WAS @ BUF. Heinicke looked poised at some points during the Giants game, but playing at Buffalo is a whole different animal. Expect some struggles here. If he does have a solid day, he’ll have to move up down the road.
27 Jacoby Brissett, MIA @ LV.
28 Jimmy Garoppolo, SF vs. GB
29 Jared Goff, DET vs. BAL
30 Mac Jones, NE vs. NO
31 Zach Wilson, NYJ @ DEN
32 Davis Mills, HOU vs. CAR

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