Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings: 3 Players You Must Start at Every Position
Fantasy football has thrown us some curveballs through the first two weeks of the season.
If you've managed to make it this far without losing Jamaal Charles or Michael Vick, my congratulations go to you.
It may be a little early to nail down your final roster due to injuries developing or healing during the week, but if you have one of the following players, it would be in your best interest to start them on your team.
Today we will be looking at Week 3 fantasy football rankings and three players that you must start at every fantasy position.
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1) Drew Brees vs. Houston Texans
Even though the Houston Texans' defense has looked impressive through the first two games, one must remember who their opponents have been.
They first played the Indianapolis Colts without Peyton Manning and then took on the Chad Henne-led Miami Dolphins.
Neither is as talented on offense as Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
This game is going to be a shootout, and Brees has looked excellent in his first two games. He will probably be the highest-scoring player this week.
2) Philip Rivers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Basically, any quarterback who plays the Chiefs will be a definite starter. All you have to do is look at what Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matthew Stafford were able to do against their defense.
Rivers had a fairly normal fantasy week for him against the New England Patriots, but I think we will see him light it up this week against Kansas City.
3) Matthew Stafford vs. Minnesota Vikings
Stafford has turned into a fantasy stud already this season, and he should be able to keep things rolling against the Vikings. Calvin Johnson will hopefully be back to full strength, which will only help Stafford's numbers.
This young quarterback is extremely talented and has the Detroit Lions playing like a playoff team.
Surprise Missing Player: Tom Brady
I love what Tom Brady is doing, but he has to cool down sometime, right? Right? RIGHT!!!?
I'm gonna hate myself for leaving him off this list, aren't I?
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1) Rashard Mendenhall vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts have been punished on the ground by Peyton Hillis and Ben Tate.
Neither of those players is as dangerous as Mendenhall, who bounced back nicely last week after a horrid performance against the Baltimore Ravens.
Indianapolis looks like a punching bag right now for opposing offenses, and Mendenhall should be able to have a big game against them.
2) Michael Turner vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers gave up 120 yards and two touchdowns to Adrian Peterson last week and will have similar difficulties stopping Turner this week.
After putting up 100 yards against the Chicago Bears in Week 1, Turner went over 100 yards again this week and added a touchdown.
A third straight 100-yard rushing effort will definitely happen, and two touchdowns isn't a far stretch, either.
3) Matt Forte vs. Green Bay Packers
As much as I hate to put Forte on here against my beloved Packers, the truth is that Green Bay has some major issues in their secondary.
If Jonathan Stewart can get 100 receiving yards against this defense, Forte might be able to get 200 yards. There simply isn't a better running back catching the ball out of the backfield right now than Forte.
With that said, I don't think he will have a monster game running the ball, but his total yards should be pretty high, and he will add a touchdown or two to that total.
Surprise Missing Player: Jamaal Charles
I'm just kidding. I know that was cruel to all of you who had Charles as the key player on your fantasy team.
The real surprise missing player is Adrian Peterson, who rarely finds himself out of the top three in anything in life.
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1) Andre Johnson vs. New Orleans Saints
This game is going to be a shootout, which plays well for fantasy owners of members of both teams.
Of all the talented wide receivers in the game, none are as talented as Johnson. He is the ideal receiver and has all the tools to dominate a game.
There is no doubt that he is Matt Schaub's favorite target, and with the Houston Texans having to score more than 30 points to win this one, Johnson should rack up plenty of catches, yards and touchdowns.
2) Calvin Johnson vs. Minnesota Vikings
If Calvin Johnson is good for two touchdowns while playing injured, imagine how many he will get when he is completely healthy this week against the Vikings?
It's no coincidence that both Johnson and Matthew Stafford are going to have huge fantasy weeks, as this duo appears to have some serious chemistry going between them right now.
Don't be surprised to consistently see Megatron as a top fantasy wide receiver every week of the season this year.
3) DeSean Jackson vs. New York Giants
I know Jackson has been disappointing so far this season, but so has the New York Giants' pass defense. Even without Michael Vick, I like Jackson to get plenty of fantasy points.
Whoever starts in place of Vick—Vince Young or Mike Kafka—is going to be playing it safe all game long.
That means short passes, including slants and screens, which happen to be Jackson's forte. If he can turn one or two short passes into huge gains, he will have a stellar fantasy week.
Surprise Missing Player: Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald is playing against a much weaker team in the Seattle Seahawks, but the game is on the road and I still don't trust Kevin Kolb. It will be an average week for Fitzgerald.
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1) Jason Witten vs. Washington Redskins
What do you get when you lose your best wide receiver and starting quarterback?
A monster game from your tight end.
Without Miles Austin and possibly Tony Romo, the Dallas Cowboys' aerial attack will go through Witten.
Even with Dez Bryant's likely return, Witten is still the safest option for whoever ends up playing quarterback this week for Dallas.
The Cowboys could be handed a loss, but Witten will have a very strong game.
2) Aaron Hernandez vs. Buffalo Bills
To put it simply, Aaron Hernandez looks like an absolute star at tight end. He's already caught 14 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns, and he doesn't appear to be slowing anytime soon.
Rob Gronkowski would have been another option here, but Brady has been targeting Hernandez more and should continue to do so against the Bills.
3) Tony Gonzalez vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
All I have to say about Tony Gonzalez is that the man is consistent.
Gonzalez has at least one reception in more than 160 consecutive games. He probably won't lead all tight ends for receiving yards, but he might for receptions and touchdowns.
Expect Mr. Consistent to have another strong performance this week against the Buccaneers.
Surprise Missing Player: Antonio Gates
I expected Antonio Gates to have a huge fantasy season. But so far, he has been a major disappointment. That doesn't mean he won't eventually regain his status as the best tight end in the game, but I think he struggles one more week before doing so.
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There isn't much analysis to say about kickers, other than they will kick it long and straight.
I think that each of these three kickers will get plenty of opportunities at field goals, which is why I have them on this list.
For a surprise missing player for this position, just add any kicker in the league.
1) Nick Folk vs. Oakland Raiders
2) Rob Bironas vs. Denver Broncos
3) Neil Rackers vs. New Orleans Saints
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1) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis' offense is lost without Peyton Manning and the Steelers defense just pitched a shutout against another pitiful offense.
This unit recovered nicely after getting blown out by the Baltimore Ravens and should keep their momentum going into Week 3.
Expect plenty of fumbles and sacks and very little points by the Colts.
2) San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
I hate to pick on the Chiefs, but the truth is that they have only scored 10 points in two games, and they lost their best player in Jamaal Charles for what will likely be the rest of the season.
This is going to be a hard game to watch for Kansas City fans.
3) Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Even though I expect Matt Forte to have a big fantasy day, I also expect Jay Cutler to throw a few interceptions and for Clay Matthews to wreak havoc.
The Bears only put up 13 points against the New Orleans Saints, who allowed 42 points to the Packers in Week 1.
Chicago's offense appears to be weaker than originally thought after they crushed the Atlanta Falcons.
Surprise Missing Defense: Detroit Lions
Even though the Lions take on the Minnesota Vikings and Donovan McNabb, I don't think their defense will cause as many turnovers as the teams ranked above them.
They may hold the Vikings to less than 10 points, but turnovers are the key to super fantasy weeks from a defense.