Fantasy Football Rankings Week 3: Top 10 WRs Heading into This Week
We have seen some great offensive performances over the first two weeks of the NFL season.
Passing numbers are up which means that wide receivers are putting up excellent stats as well. We have some of the usual faces putting up huge numbers and topping the rankings.
However, with each week comes a new set of variables. We have a variety of injuries that can impact teams' performances from week to week. We also have matchups that will impact the likely effectiveness of a fantasy player.
Taking all of those factors in to consideration, we assemble our rankings for the week.
Here are the top 10 wide receiver options for Week 3.
10. Wes Welker
Everyone who follows football knows the kind of start New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is off to.
Brady has already thrown for 940 yards and seven touchdowns. The only downside to this from a fantasy perspective is that the spreads the ball around to so many different receivers.
However, with tight end Aaron Hernandez out this week, it will open up chances for the other receivers on the team.
It is likely that most of those touches will go to Wes Welker.
Hernandez has been used in the slot and on screen plays through the first two weeks of the season. Welker can easily fill this role as he has done it in the past.
The Patriots will also be taking on the Buffalo Bills this weekend. They shouldn't have any trouble putting up yards or points.
Consider Welker a great play this weekend.
9. Brandon Marshall
Chad Henne took tons of heat from the media on his performance during the preseason.
There was question about whether Henne would even make it through a full season as the Dolphins starting quarterback.
Henne impressed Week 1 by lighting up the Patriots secondary using his main target Brandon Marshall. Henne came down a bit in Week 2, but Marshall still had six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Now in Week 3 the Dolphins will be facing off against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have a less than impressive defense.
I would expect the Dolphins to be throwing the ball plenty of times again this week.
If this is the case, then Marshall will be the main target.
8. Greg Jennings
Greg Jennings takes the eight spot on my rankings this week.
The Green Bay Packers will be headed to Chicago this weekend to take on their division rival Bears. While Chicago is off to a nice start this season, the Saints showed that they can be thrown on.
Jennings has caught a touchdown pass in each of the first two weeks of the season.
The Packers are not going to hesitate to throw this week either.
Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and with Jennings as his No. 1 target, you can be sure that he will be getting plenty of looks.
You can't go wrong with Jennings this week.
7. Steve Smith
After disappearing from the elite level receivers, Steve Smith has made a comeback with Cam Newton at quarterback.
The Panthers have allowed Newton to open up the offense and throw it down field. Smith had a 178-yard performance in Week 1 and a 156 yard performance in Week 2.
It is clear that when Carolina's rookie quarterback is looking to throw down field, he is looking in Smith's direction.
The Panthers will be taking on the Jaguars in Week 3. This shouldn't be much of a challenge for Newton as he was able to throw for tons of yardage against Green Bay.
Expect Steve Smith to get plenty of targets as well as plenty of chances for big plays down field.
6. Kenny Britt
Kenny Britt suffered some tough offseason trouble with the law and the beginning of his season was in question.
He avoided suspension and has been a force the first two weeks of the season. He has compiled 14 catches for 271 yards and three touchdowns thus far.
In Week 3 the Titans will be matched up against the Denver Broncos.
Denver was able to limit Jason Campbell in Week 1, but rookie quarterback Andy Dalton went off for 332 yards in Week 2.
Matt Hasselbeck isn't the quarterback he once was, but he has proven that he is still talented enough to get the ball to Kenny Britt.
Britt shouldn't have any problems lighting up the Broncos secondary this weekend.
5. Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace broke out last year as the Steelers No. 1 wide receiver.
He is a great deep threat, but he has the ability to be effective anywhere on the field. Wallace had a great two first weeks of the season amassing 16 catches for 233 yards and a touchdown.
The Steelers will be taking on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3.
The Colts haven't exactly been impressive in their pass defense thus far. While they haven't allowed a huge performance from a quarterback, both Matt Schaub and Colt McCoy threw for over 200 yards.
Roethlisberger hasn't been dominant in the passing game this year, but when he has thrown, the targets have gone to Wallace.
Expect Wallace to rack up some solid numbers and a score against the Colts.
4. Larry Fitzgerald
After a disappointing Week 1 against Carolina, Larry Fitzgerald bounced back in Week 2 to his normal form.
There were many questions regarding whether Fitzgerald would even be back with the team if the Cardinals couldn't find a suitable quarterback. A trade with the Eagles to bring in Kevin Kolb did the job for Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald put up 133 yards and a touchdowns against the Redskins in Week 2.
In Week 3, the Cardinals will take on the Seahawks.
The Seahawks are one of the worst teams in the NFL. Their defense struggled to stop Ben Roethlisberger last week, and Kolb will surely come out throwing in Week 3.
Fitzgerald is far and away the best target on Arizona's roster and one of the best receivers in the league. There is no reason not to play him.
3. Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson was able to put on a clinic against the New England Patriots in Week 2.
He used his size and great hands to dominate everyone in the Patriots secondary. Jackson thrived when Antonio Gates took a back seat.
The Chargers will be playing the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.
The Chiefs haven't been able to stop anyone so far this season. They have had 89 points scored on them through the first two weeks of the season.
The Chargers are far too good of an offense to let the Chiefs stop them. If Antonio Gates doesn't have a major role in this week either, then Jackson could be set for a huge day.
Even if Gates is more involved this week, Jackson is sure to get his fair share of looks everywhere on the field.
2. Calvin Johnson
You had to know that "Megatron" would be holding down one of the top spots on this list.
Calvin Johnson has already scored four touchdowns this season. He is one of the most dominating receivers in the league and in one of the best young offenses in the league.
Matthew Stafford has really come into his own this season, and the Lions offense has opened up quite a bit.
While Johnson still hasn't had a huge yardage performance, he is the target they are looking for when in the red zone.
The Lions will be taking on the Vikings in Week 3. Minnesota allowed big passing performances to both Philip Rivers and Josh Freeman in Weeks 1 and 2 respectively.
The Vikings don't have an answer for Johnson on defense, so the question isn't whether he will have a big day. It is more how big of a day can he have?
1. Andre Johnson
While he shares the same name as Calvin, he is certainly not in his shadow.
Andre Johnson takes the spot as the best fantasy wide receiver for Week 3. He has put up two almost identical performances in Weeks 1 and 2. The only difference was two less yards in Week 2.
The Texans have a fantastic offense where Johnson is the clear-cut No. 1 target in the passing game. He has a great quarterback in Matt Schaub throwing to him and the threat of Arian Foster in the backfield to keep defenses honest.
They will be taking on the New Orleans Saints in Week 3.
The Saints have a respectable defense, but they are far from shut down. They were lit up by Aaron Rodgers in Week 1.
The biggest change to Week 2 was the ability to get a pass rush on Jay Cutler.
Expect the Texans to have a performance closer to the Packers game.
If this is the case, then Johnson is going to have plenty of chances to put up huge numbers in New Orleans this weekend.