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Phinsider Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings

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Welcome to another edition of Justin Hier’s weekly fantasy football rankings!

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2’s chorus of games ended up being more predictable than opening weekend, yet there were a few surprising fantasy performances turned in by some of the top tier players, and not for good reason. Jordan Howard and DeMarco Murray, two running backs who many expected to be safe second-round picks in fantasy drafts, seem to be ceding a considerable number of touches to their backups, a development that is reflected in their respective rankings below.

Each week, I’ll be giving an updated look at where the top players at each fantasy position stand, with matchups and injury concerns taken into account as well. For the sake of continuity, I’ll only be using standard scoring when constructing the rankings, so take that into account when setting your lineups.

Quarterback

  1. Aaron Rodgers - vs Cin
  2. Matt Ryan - @ Det
  3. Tom Brady - vs Hou
  4. Drew Brees - @ Car
  5. Ben Roethlisberger - @ Chi
  6. Derek Carr - @ Was
  7. Cam Newton - vs NO
  8. Kirk Cousins - vs Oak
  9. Matthew Stafford - vs Atl
  10. Philip Rivers - vs KC
  11. Carson Wentz - vs NYG
  12. Russell Wilson - @ Ten
  13. Jay Cutler - @ NYJ
  14. Alex Smith - @ LAC
  15. Trevor Simien - @ Buf
  16. Marcus Mariota - vs Sea
  17. Jameis Winston - @ Min
  18. Dak Prescott - @ Ari
  19. Carson Palmer - vs Dal
  20. Jared Goff - @ SF

One player fantasy owners need to begin taking note of is Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz has been lighting up score boards both in real life and in fantasy leagues as the Eagles have begun to lean more on their passing game. He gets a tough matchup against the Giants in week 3, but should absolutely be picked up if he is not yet owned in your league. Broncos signal caller Trevor Siemian is also worth a look after a stellar showing against the Cowboys last Sunday.

Running Back

  1. Le’Veon Bell - @ Chi
  2. Jay Ajayi - @ NYJ
  3. Devonta Freeman - @ Det
  4. Kareem Hunt - @ LAC
  5. Todd Gurley - @ SF
  6. LeSean McCoy - vs Den
  7. Ezekiel Elliot - @ Ari
  8. Ty Montgomery - vs Cin
  9. C.J. Anderson - @ Buf
  10. Melvin Gordon - vs KC
  11. Leonard Fournette - vs Bal
  12. Dalvin Cook - vs TB
  13. Carlos Hyde - vs LAR
  14. Christian McCaffrey - vs NO
  15. Derrick Henry - vs Sea
  16. Marshawn Lynch - @ Was
  17. Lamar Miller - @ NE
  18. Isaiah Crowell - @ Ind
  19. Mike Gillislee - vs Hou
  20. Tarik Cohen - vs Pit

It would be foolish to give up on Le’Veon Bell this early in the season, and I firmly believe that a breakout performance from the superstar do-everything back is simmering beneath the surface. There’s definitely a bit of movement in this week’s rankings, as players such as DeMarco Murray and Jordan Howard are being supplanted by their backups in the race for touches. Kareem Hunt and Todd Gurley are continuing to impress thus far and are moving up as a result.

Wide Receiver

  1. Antonio Brown - @ Chi
  2. Julio Jones - @ Det
  3. Mike Evans - @ Min
  4. A.J. Green - @ GB
  5. Odell Beckham Jr. - @ Phi
  6. Amari Cooper - @ Was
  7. Michael Thomas - @ Car
  8. Jordy Nelson - vs Cin
  9. Brandin Cooks - vs Hou
  10. Michael Crabtree - @ Was
  11. DeAndre Hopkins - @ NE
  12. Keenan Allen - vs KC
  13. Tyreek Hill - @ LAC
  14. Terrelle Pryor - vs Oak
  15. Doug Baldwin - @ Ten
  16. Dez Bryant - @ Ari
  17. DeVante Parker - @ NYJ
  18. Stefon Diggs - vs TB
  19. Alshon Jeffery - vs NYG
  20. Jarvis Landry - @ NYJ

Due to playing in anemic offenses, some of the league’s top receivers (A.J. Green, Odell Beckham, and Doug Baldwin) have put up sub-par production compared to what we’re used to seeing out of these impressive pass catchers. However, I’m not quite ready to move these players too far down or out of the top 20 altogether just yet. It’s still very early in the season, and I am confident that some teams are still working out the kinks in their offenses (although that excuse won’t hold up much longer).

The real concern here is Beckham. A.J. Green will remain Andy Dalton’s deep threat and one of his top red zone targets all season, while Seattle’s offense historically takes a few weeks to get into gear. Beckham, on the other hand, is dealing with an ankle injury, something that has been known to bog down receivers over the course of an entire season, and his team’s offensive play is simply atrocious. He’ll likely remain a viable option in all leagues, but I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll see super star production out of him moving forward.

Tight End

  1. Travis Kelce - @ LAC
  2. Rob Gronkowski - vs Hou
  3. Zach Ertz - vs NYG
  4. Jordan Reed - vs Oak
  5. Delanie Walker - vs Sea
  6. Kyle Rudolph - vs TB
  7. Coby Fleener - @ Car
  8. Hunter Henry - vs KC
  9. Jason Witten - @ Ari
  10. Jesse James - @ Chi
  11. Jack Doyle - vs Cle
  12. Evan Engram - @ Phi
  13. Martellus Bennett - vs Cin
  14. Eric Ebron - vs Atl
  15. Benjamin Watson - @ Jax
  16. Austin Hooper - @ Det
  17. Charles Clay - vs Den
  18. Zach Miller - vs Pit
  19. Jared Cook - @ Was
  20. Julius Thomas - vs NYJ

The tight end position has taken multiple hits as some of the league’s stars are already beginning to deal with injuries. Rob Gronkowski (groin) and Jordan Reed (toe, chest) have ailments that will necessitate monitoring this week as Sunday rolls closer, and owners of either player will need to have streaming options ready should their starters not be able to go. Jason Witten and Jack Doyle have been two of the more reliable options off of the waiver wire thus far, and Doyle could be this week’s best backup option going up against Cleveland’s suspect pass defense.

Defense/Special Teams

  1. Baltimore - @ Jax
  2. Philadelphia - vs NYG
  3. New York (Giants) - @ Phi
  4. New England - vs Hou
  5. Denver - @ Buf
  6. Los Angeles - @ SF
  7. Seattle - @ Ten
  8. Jacksonville - vs Bal
  9. Miami - @ NYJ
  10. Arizona - vs Dal
  11. Kansas City - @ LAC
  12. Tampa Bay - @ Min
  13. Minnesota - vs TB
  14. Green Bay - vs Cin
  15. Pittsburgh - @ Chi
  16. Tennessee - vs Sea
  17. Los Angeles (Chargers) - vs KC
  18. Houston - @ NE
  19. Carolina - vs NO
  20. Detroit - vs Atl

Despite last week’s shaky showing in a close game against the Chargers and the absence of Lawrence Timmons, the Dolphins will be one of the most popular streaming options as they head to the Meadowlands to take on their division rival Jets. Miami is likely to be on your league’s waiver wire as its defense is owned in just 25% of Yahoo leagues. Miami’s DST is a good pickup for owners of Houston or Carolina, teams that are going into very difficult matchups against the Patriots and Saints respectively.

Kicker

  1. Giorgio Tavecchio - @ Was
  2. Matt Bryant - @ Det
  3. Graham Gano - vs NO
  4. Chris Boswell - @ Chi
  5. Greg Zuerlein - @ SF
  6. Justin Tucker - @ Jax
  7. Adam Vinatieri - vs Cle
  8. Matt Prater - vs Atl
  9. Dan Bailey - @ Ari
  10. Stephen Gostkowski - vs Hou
  11. Cody Parkey - @ NYJ
  12. Mason Crosby - vs Cin
  13. Brandon McManus - @ Buf
  14. Will Lutz - @ Car
  15. Ryan Succop - vs Sea
  16. Cairo Santos - @ LAC
  17. Dustin Hopkins - vs Oak
  18. Phil Dawson - vs Dal
  19. Chandler Catanzaro - vs Mia
  20. Blair Walsh - @ Ten

Giorgio Tavecchio continues to impress for the Raiders, and stays at the top of the rankings as Oakland takes on the Redskins for what should be a very high scoring matchup. The formula for having a successful fantasy kicking game stays the same week after week: find a talented leg on a high scoring offense playing a suspect defense.