Fantasy Football Week 3: Rankings, Stat Projections and Top Waiver-Wire Adds

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 18, 2017

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons makes a reception during the first half against the Green Bay Packers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 17, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

If you started your fantasy football season with two straight losses, you need to keep in mind that the campaign is a marathon, not a sprint.

Much like the 1993 Dallas Cowboys or 2007 New York Giants, two eventual Super Bowl-winning teams that started 0-2, you still have a shot at the championship. Maybe a few adds and drops will do the trick, or perhaps a little more research (provided you have the time) will help.

The important thing is to be forward-thinking and forget about past lineup mistakes and performances.

Here's a look at some Week 3 rankings along with a few notable waiver-wide adds (via Yahoo) that are taking place around fantasy football leagues.

        

Top Quarterbacks

1. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 350 passing yards, 4 TD, 20 rushing yards (32 points)

2. Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers) vs. Kansas City Chiefs: 325 passing yards, 3 TD (25 points)

3. Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. New York Giants: 250 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 40 rushing yards, 1 TD (23 points)

4. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) at Detroit Lions: 300 passing yards, 3 TD, 1 INT (23 points)

5. Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans) vs. Seattle Seahawks: 200 passing yards, 1 TD, 50 rushing yards, 1 TD (23 points)

6. Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) vs. New Orleans Saints: 200 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 40 rushing yards, 1 TD (21 points)

7. Alex Smith (Kansas City Chiefs) at Los Angeles Chargers: 275 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 30 rushing yards (21 points)

8. Derek Carr (Oakland Raiders) at Washington Redskins: 325 passing yards, 2 TD (21 points)

9. Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills) vs. Denver Broncos: 150 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 50 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 1 INT (20 points)

10. Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) at Chicago Bears: 250 passing yards, 2 TD (18 points)

11. Matt Stafford (Detroit Lions) vs. Atlanta Falcons: 250 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT (17 points)

12. Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins) vs. Oakland Raiders: 250 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT (17 points)

13. Tom Brady (New England Patriots) vs. Houston Texans: 250 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT (17 points)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is quickly becoming one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in football thanks to his elusiveness, which helps him rack up extra yards rushing or throwing on the run to open receivers on broken plays.

The New York Giants pose a tough task, but Wentz is finally at home after two road games to start the year, and his legs pose a problem for any defense.

          

Top QB Waiver-Wire Adds: Trevor Siemian and Alex Smith

Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian is a popular pickup after he threw four touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday. He looks like the real deal, and he has an established rapport with wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. If he's available in your league, consider rostering him.

          

Top Running Backs

1. Jay Ajayi (Miami Dolphins) at New York Jets: 130 rushing yards, 2 TD (25 points)

2. Le'Veon Bell (Pittsburgh Steelers) at Chicago Bears: 120 rushing yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 50 receiving yards (23 points)

3. Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys) at Arizona Cardinals: 120 rushing yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 40 yards (20 points)

4. LeSean McCoy (Buffalo Bills) vs. Denver Broncos: 80 rushing yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 50 receiving yards (19 points)

5. Ty Montgomery (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 60 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards, 1 TD (17 points)

6. Kareem Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs) at Los Angeles Chargers: 80 rushing yards, 1 TD, 3 catches, 30 receiving yards (17 points)

7. Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams) at San Francisco 49ers: 60 rushing yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 40 receiving yards (16 points)

8. Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers) vs. Kansas City Chiefs: 50 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 50 receiving yards, 1 TD (16 points)

9. Devonta Freeman (Atlanta Falcons) at Detroit Lions: 60 rushing yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 40 receiving yards (16 points)

10. Mike Gillislee (New England Patriots) vs. Houston Texans: 40 rushing yards, 2 TD (16 points)

11. Tarik Cohen (Chicago Bears) at Pittsburgh Steelers: 30 rushing yards, 8 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 TD (15 points)

12. Carlos Hyde (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Los Angeles Rams: 60 rushing yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 20 receiving yards (14 points)

13. Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. Baltimore Ravens (in London): 60 rushing yards, 1 TD, 2 catches, 20 receiving yards (14 points)

14. Duke Johnson (Cleveland Browns) at Indianapolis Colts: 30 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 50 receiving yards, 1 TD (14 points)

15. Chris Thompson (Washington Redskins) vs. Oakland Raiders: 30 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards, 1 TD (14 points)

16. Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders) at Washington Redskins: 70 rushing yards, 1 TD (13 points)

17. Frank Gore (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Cleveland Browns: 60 rushing yards, 1 TD (12 points)

18. Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers) vs. New Orleans Saints: 60 rushing yards, 1 TD (12 points)

19. Terrance West (Baltimore Ravens) at Jacksonville Jaguars (in London): 50 rushing yards, 1 TD (11 points)

20. Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans) vs. Seattle Seahawks: 50 rushing yards, 1 TD (11 points)

21. Buck Allen (Baltimore Ravens) at Jacksonville Jaguars (in London): 50 rushing yards, 5 catches, 50 receiving yards (10 points)

22. C.J. Anderson (Denver Broncos) at Buffalo Bills: 75 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 25 receiving yards (10 points)

23. Chris Johnson (Arizona Cardinals) vs. Dallas Cowboys: 40 rushing yards, 1 TD (10 points)

The New York Jets offense was predicted to be poor before the season, but the defense may be in even worse shape right now as it has not fared well in two opening games. In particular, the run defense has been porous, as they have given up nearly 400 yards on the ground thus far.

That's a bad sign coming into a game with the Miami Dolphins, who want to ride running back Jay Ajayi to grinding victories where they control the time of possession. With the way the Jets have been playing, it shouldn't be a problem to get that done this week.

         

Top RB Waiver-Wire Adds: Chris Thompson and Chris Carson

Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson and Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson should get plenty of touches moving forward, the former because of incumbent starter Rob Kelley's fractured rib and the latter because other backs simply haven't gotten it going in the Pacific Northwest.

Thompson is a big pass-catching threat who can rack up cheap points in points-per-reception leagues, while Carson could see 15-20 touches per game, especially if the pass game continues to sputter behind an offensive line that isn't protecting quarterback Russell Wilson well.

     

Top Wide Receivers

1. Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons) at Detroit Lions: 10 receptions, 130 yards, 2 TD (25 points)

2. Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) at Minnesota Vikings: 10 receptions, 130 yards, 1 TD (19 points)

3. A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals) at Green Bay Packers: 9 receptions, 120 yards, 1 TD (18 points)

4. Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers) at Chicago Bears: 7 receptions, 110 yards, 1 TD (17 points)

5. Michael Crabtree (Oakland Raiders) at Washington Redskins: 8 receptions, 100 yards, 1 TD (16 points)

6. Keenan Allen (Los Angeles Chargers) vs. Kansas City Chiefs: 7 receptions, 90 yards, 1 TD (15 points)

7. Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 8 catches, 90 yards, 1 TD (15 points)

8. Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants) at Philadelphia Eagles: 6 receptions, 80 yards, 1 TD (14 points)

9. Golden Tate (Detroit Lions) vs. Atlanta Falcons: 7 receptions, 80 yards, 1 TD (14 points)

10. T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Cleveland Browns: 7 receptions, 80 yards, 1 TD (14 points)

11. Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys) vs. Arizona Cardinals: 6 receptions, 80 yards, 1 TD (14 points)

12. Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos) at Buffalo Bills: 6 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD (13 points)

13. Robby Anderson (New York Jets) vs. Miami Dolphins: 4 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD (13 points)

14. DeVante Parker (Miami Dolphins) at New York Jets: 6 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD (13 points)

15. Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints) vs. Carolina Panthers: 5 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD (13 points)

16. Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs) at Los Angeles Chargers: 4 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD (13 points)

17. Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 7 catches, 70 yards, 1 TD (13 points)

18. Kelvin Benjamin (Carolina Panthers) vs. New Orleans Saints: 6 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD (13 points)

19. Martavis Bryant (Pittsburgh Steelers) at Chicago Bears: 3 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD (13 points)

20. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) vs. Dallas Cowboys: 7 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD (13 points)

21. DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans) at New England Patriots: 5 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD (12 points)

22. Chris Hogan (New England Patriots) vs. Houston Texans: 3 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD (12 points)

Every so often, we see Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones put up video-game numbers. It occurred last year when he caught 12 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers.

The guess here is that we see such a game on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. On paper, this could be a shootout at Ford Field, which means we could see plenty of Jones as both teams keep throwing deep into the fourth quarter.

Jones is one of the toughest covers in football, and Detroit will be hard-pressed to stop him.

         

Top WR Waiver-Wire Adds: J.J. Nelson and Marqise Lee

Like Thompson and Carson in the running back section, these two players are being picked up because of the new opportunities presented.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver J.J. Nelson may have bought himself more playing time with a five-catch, 120-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Indianapolis Colts, and Marqise Lee should see more time with Jags' No. 1 wide receiver Allen Robinson unfortunately lost for the year with a torn ACL.

They'll each get their fair share of targets moving forward, although their respective quarterbacks (Carson Palmer and Blake Bortles) have been struggling this season.

         

Top Tight Ends

1. Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. New York Giants: 7 receptions, 100 receiving yards, 1 TD (16 points)

2. Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs) at Los Angeles Chargers: 7 receptions, 80 yards, 1 TD (14 points)

3. Jordan Reed (Washington Redskins) vs. Oakland Raiders: 6 reception, 80 yards, 1 TD (14 points)

4. Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots) vs. Houston Texans: 5 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD (13 points)

5. Evan Engram (New York Giants) at Philadelphia Eagles: 4 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD (11 points)

6. Charles Clay (Buffalo Bills) vs. Denver Broncos: 4 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD (11 points)

7. Hunter Henry (Los Angeles Chargers) vs. Kansas City Chiefs: 4 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD (11 points)

8. Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans) vs. Seattle Seahawks: 4 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD (11 points)

9. Benjamin Watson (Baltimore Ravens) at Jacksonville Jaguars (in London): 4 receptions, 50 receiving yards, 1 TD (11 points)

10. Jared Cook (Oakland Raiders) at Washington Redskins: 4 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD (10 points)

11. Martellus Bennett (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 4 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD (10 points)

12. Austin Hooper (Atlanta Falcons) at Detroit Lions: 2 receptions, 30 yards, 1 TD (9 points)

13. Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions) vs. Atlanta Falcons: 3 receptions, 30 yards, 1 TD (9 points)

Don't be surprised if Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is a top-three fantasy producer at his position by the end of the year. He is a frequent target of quarterback Carson Wentz, who seems to have improved much between his rookie and sophomore campaigns.

Ertz moves the chains 10-15 yards at a time, and he's a trusty security blanket who is doing a great job in 2017. Even against a tough New York Giants defense, Ertz can still get it done simply because he'll likely numerous opportunities to do so (18 targets in his first two games).

        

Top TE Waiver-Wire Adds: Jesse James and Jared Cook

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James is undoubtedly on this list after his two-touchdown performance against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, but there are better fantasy options at the position, especially considering all the players James has to compete with for scores in Pittsburgh (e.g. running back Le'Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown).

The same goes for Oakland Raiders tight end Jared Cook, although in fairness, Cook has been a frequent target of quarterback Derek Carr, who has thrown his way 11 times in two games.

         

Top Kickers

1. Greg Zuerlein (Los Angeles Rams) at San Francisco 49ers: 2 FG (39-and-under), 1 FG (40-49), 1 FG (50-and-over), 1 PAT (16 points)

2. Matt Prater (Detroit Lions) vs. Atlanta Falcons: 2 FG (40-49), 1 FG (50-and-over), 2 PAT (15 points)

3. Dan Bailey (Dallas Cowboys) at Arizona Cardinals: 3 FG (39-and-under), 1 FG (40-49), 2 PAT (15 points)

4. Giorgio Tavecchio (Oakland Raiders) vs. Washington Redskins: 2 FG (39-and-under), 1 FG (40-49), 3 PAT (13 points)

5. Chris Boswell (Pittsburgh Steelers) at Chicago Bears: 2 FG (40-49), 3 PAT (11 points)

6. Blair Walsh (Seattle Seahawks) vs. Tennessee Titans: 1 FG (39-and-under), 2 FG (40-49) (11 points)

7. Adam Vinatieri (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Cleveland Browns: 2 FG (40-49), 2 PAT (10 points)

8. Matt Bryant (Atlanta Falcons) at Detroit Lions: 2 FG (39-and-under), 4 PAT (10 points)

9. Mason Crosby (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 2 FG (39-and-under), 4 PAT (10 points)

10. Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens) at Jacksonville Jaguars in London: 1 FG (39-and-under), 1 FG (40-49), 2 PAT (9 points)

11. Phil Dawson (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Los Angeles Rams: 2 FG (40-49), 1 PAT (9 points)

12. Graham Gano (Carolina Panthers) vs. New Orleans Saints: 2 FG (39-and-under), 3 PAT (9 points)

Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein hasn't missed a field goal or extra point since November 20, 2016, a streak that has lasted for eight full games.

Granted, the Los Angeles Rams of last year were one of the worst offensive teams in football, but Zuerlein is still establishing himself as one of the more consistent kickers in the game.

         

Top K Waiver-Wire Adds: Giorgio Tavecchio and Phil Dawson

There are two separate schools of thought surrounding these two popular waiver-wire adds.

Oakland Raiders kicker Giorgio Tavecchio is getting plenty of scoring opportunities simply because his team's offense is astounding.

On the flip side, Arizona Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson isn't on a team with a solid offense following the loss of star running back David Johnson. However, stalled drives can lead to long field-goal chances, meaning more points for Dawson.

        

Top Defense/Special Teams Units

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (at Chicago Bears): 3 sacks, 3 INT, 7-13 PA (16 points)

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Minnesota Vikings): 2 sacks, 3 INT, 1-6 PA (15 points)

3. Carolina Panthers (vs. New Orleans Saints): 3 sacks, 2 INT, 7-13 PA (11 points)

4. Minnesota Vikings (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers): 3 sacks, 2 INT, 7-13 PA (11 points)

5. Baltimore Ravens (at Jacksonville Jaguars in London): 2 sacks, 2 INT, 7-13 PA (10 points)

6. Green Bay Packers (vs. Cincinnati Bengals): 2 sacks, 2 INT, 7-13 PA (10 points)

7. Buffalo Bills (vs. Denver Broncos): 4 sacks, 1 INT, 7-13 PA (10 points)

8. Tennessee Titans (vs. Seattle Seahawks): 4 sacks, 1 INT, 7-13 PA (10 points)

9. Miami Dolphins (at New York Jets): 3 sacks, 1 INT, 7-13 PA (9 points)

10. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. New York Giants): 3 sacks, 2 INT, 14-20 PA (8 points)

The Chicago Bears' offense looked inept in a 29-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that would have ended in a shutout if not for a late touchdown.

The loss of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency in addition to Cameron Meredith's season-ending preseason injury look like losses that the team simply won't be able to overcome this year.

Therefore, the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense, which might be one of the best units in football, is the top Week 3 play.

        

Top D/ST Waiver-Wire Adds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders

Speaking of those Bucs, their performance against Chicago may not be a fluke. They have some great talent, led by defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebackers Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander. Their front seven is quite good overall and should give plenty of teams fits.

Oakland posted an impressive Week 1 performance in holding the Tennessee Titans, who have one of the better offenses in the league, to just 16 points in Nashville.

But the Raiders still have struggles in pass defense, as noted by a pair of Jermaine Kearse touchdowns in a 45-20 defeat of the New York Jets. They also will face tough AFC West foes six times this year, so there are better options than Oakland's defense.