Jeff Haynes/Associated Press
The first two weeks of the NFL season have been a bit bizarre.
The Kansas City Chiefs have scored 80 points in two games. The Arizona Cardinals could only muster six.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who went 5-11 last year, are 2-0. The Pittsburgh Steelers, who went 12-4 last year, have started 0-1-1.
Two quarterbacks who were primarily backups in 2017 (the Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes) are the league leaders in passing yards and touchdowns, respectively. A rookie leads the way in tackles (Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, with 28).
Week 3 already got off to a strange start as the Cleveland Browns won their first game since December 24, 2016, thanks to rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, who led a 14-point comeback in a 21-17 win over the New York Jets.
We’ll see what happens when the rest of the games kick off Sunday and Monday, but until then, here’s a look at some top-10 fantasy rankings for quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and flex spots for point-per-reception leagues.
Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes vs. San Francisco 49ers
2. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady at Detroit Lions
3. New Orleans QB Drew Brees at Atlanta Falcons
4. Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton vs. Cincinnati Bengals
5. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers at Washington Redskins
6. Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan vs. New Orleans Saints
7. San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo at Kansas City Chiefs
8. Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson vs. New York Giants
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
10. Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has thrown 10 touchdowns through two games. He won’t sustain that mark through a 16-game regular season, but he could be in line for another massive output on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
Per OddsShark, the Chiefs have a 30.75-point implied team total. If Kansas City does surpass four touchdowns, then Mahomes should be heavily involved. The Chiefs passing attack is tremendous, with Mahomes having deep threats Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins and Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce to choose from on a given play.
The 49ers’ pass defense has not fared well thus far, ranking 22nd in efficiency per Football Outsiders. It doesn’t help that cornerbacks Richard Sherman (heel) and Ahkello Witherspoon (ankle, hip) are battling injuries. Both should play Sunday, however.
If Mahomes isn’t the top fantasy quarterback for the second straight week, look for him to be top five at minimum.
1. New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara at Atlanta Falcons
2. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley vs. Los Angeles Chargers
3. Los Angeles Chargers RB Melvin Gordon at Los Angeles Rams
4. Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson vs. Chicago Bears
5. Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey vs. Cincinnati Bengals
6. New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley at Houston Texans
7. Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette vs. Tennessee Titans
8. Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9. Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott at Seattle Seahawks
10. Washington Redskins RB Chris Thompson vs. Green Bay Packers
The New York Giants offensive line has struggled through two games. In particular, they allowed six sacks against the Dallas Cowboys, and running back Saquon Barkley hasn’t had any room to run.
Although the Giants are struggling in real life, Barkley is still a hot fantasy commodity and should be through Week 3 at the Houston Texans. He’s touched the ball 45 times through two weeks, including a 14-catch effort against Dallas when the Giants had trouble moving the ball in the air.
If Barkley is going to see that much volume, then he’s a tremendous asset in point-per-reception leagues, where he’ll still amass a half-point or full point for every short reception.
There’s also the possibility that he breaks off a monster play, which he did often at Penn State and showed in the pros on a 68-yard touchdown rush versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1.
1. Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones vs. New Orleans Saints
2. New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas at Atlanta Falcons
3. Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins vs. New York Giants
4. Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green at Carolina Panthers
5. Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams at Washington Redskins
6. Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
8. New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. at Houston Texans
9. Los Angeles Rams WR Brandin Cooks vs. Los Angeles Chargers
10. Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Many of the NFL’s early-season headlines have been stolen by the Chiefs, Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns and various interpretations of certain penalties.
But the Los Angeles Rams deserve more accolades, as they won their first two games by a combined 67-13 score.
It’s been a total team effort in L.A., but wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been phenomenal in particular. Through two games, the deep threat has caught 12 passes for 246 yards. That includes a seven-catch, 159-yard effort against the Arizona Cardinals.
Head coach Sean McVay has clearly figured out how to best use Cooks. In turn, Cooks has used his sure hands and blazing speed to be the fourth-leading receiver in the league through two weeks. He could have another big game against the Los Angeles Chargers, who had issues containing a similar player (Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs) in Week 1.
1. New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski at Detroit Lions
2. Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce vs. San Francisco 49ers
3. Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz vs. Indianapolis Colts
4. Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham at Washington Redskins
5. San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle at Kansas City Chiefs
6. Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed vs. Green Bay Packers
7. Indianapolis Colts TE Eric Ebron at Philadelphia Eagles
8. Oakland Raiders TE Jared Cook at Miami Dolphins
9. Chicago Bears TE Trey Burton at Arizona Cardinals
10. Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert at Carolina Panthers
The top three tight ends are in prime scoring spots this week.
The Detroit Lions defense has been responsible for 64 of the team’s 78 points allowed. Now they face the New England Patriots and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is a matchup nightmare for any team, let alone a struggling defense. Gronk was slowed down by the tough Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday but managed seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown in the season opener versus the Houston Texans.
The Chiefs may put up a point total in the neighborhood of 40 for the third straight week at home against the San Francisco 49ers. That could mean another big game for Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce against a 49ers defense that has allowed touchdowns to tight ends in each of their first two games. Kelce is coming off a seven-catch, 109-yard, two-touchdown day.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz may have more opportunities to shine on Sunday, however, as the Eagles skill-position core is decimated with injuries. Running backs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles are out, wide receiver Mike Wallace is on injured reserve and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and running back Corey Clement are questionable.
That could mean a ton of targets for Ertz, who will look to re-establish his excellent rapport with returning quarterback Carson Wentz.
1. Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones vs. New Orleans Saints
2. New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara at Atlanta Falcons
3. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley vs. Los Angeles Chargers
4. New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas at Atlanta Falcons
5. Los Angeles Chargers RB Melvin Gordon at Los Angeles Rams
6. Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson vs. Chicago Bears
7. Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey vs. Cincinnati Bengals
8. Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins vs. New York Giants
9. New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley at Houston Texans
10. Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green at Carolina Panthers
Every so often, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones reminds the NFL why he’s one of the best players the league has seen this decade. That happened two years ago when the eight-year pro caught 12 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers.
Jones may be due for another one of those performances against the New Orleans Saints, who have given up four touchdowns of 36 yards or more in two games. The New Orleans pass defense has struggled mightily thus far, and they realistically don’t have anyone who can match up with Jones (which team can?).
While it’s concerning that the Falcons’ red-zone issues have hindered Jones to the point where he’s scored just three touchdowns since the beginning of the 2017 season, he can still be the top fantasy scorer of the week thanks to some deep passes from quarterback Matt Ryan.