Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings: Top Players and Matchups for All Positions

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIISeptember 23, 2015

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 08: Antonio Brown #84 and Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers  celebrate their third quarter touchdown play against the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field on December 8, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Some guys are just fantasy studs you can ride week after week regardless of the matchup. The Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown is one of those guys.

Fresh off back-to-back 100-receptions, 1,000-yard seasons, Brown hasn't missed a beat. Allow this to soak in: Through two games in the 2015 season, he is on pace to have 144 receptions for 2,624 yards and 16 touchdowns. Will he get those numbers? Probably not, but it gives you an example of the type of Madden-like numbers Brown has produced.

In Week 3, Brown and the Steelers head to the Show Me State to take on the St. Louis Rams. The Rams aren't a bad defensive team, but Ben Roethlisberger and Brown have perhaps the best chemistry of any quarterback-wide receiver duo.

They will light it up again on Sunday. Here's a look at the schedule for the week and the rankings at every fantasy position:

NFL Week 3 Schedule
WashingtonNY Giants
JacksonvilleNew England
New OrleansCarolina
PhiladelphiaNY Jets
Tampa BayHouston
San DiegoMinnesota
PittsburghSt. Louis
San FranciscoArizona
Kansas CityGreen Bay


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QB Rankings Week 3
1.Carson PalmerARI
2Ben RoethlisbergerPIT
3Tom BradyNE
4Andrew LuckIND
5Peyton ManningDEN
6Brandon WeedenDAL
7Derek CarrOAK
8Andy DaltonCIN
9Joe FlaccoBAL
10Aaron RodgersGB
11Philip RiversSD
12Russell WilsonSEA
13Teddy BridgewaterMIN
14Ryan TannehillMIA
15Drew BreesNO
Rankings by Mazique

I love Roethlisberger on Sunday, but my top quarterback is the Arizona Cardinals' Carson Palmer. While he hasn't thrown for a ton of yards this season, he has found the end zone with regularity and has barely turned the ball over. He and Tom Brady lead the NFL in touchdown passes with seven, and Palmer has tossed just one interception.

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 20: Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to pass while under pressure from Jarvis Jenkins #96 of the Chicago Bears in the first quarter at Soldier Field on September 20, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Joe Robbins/G
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In Week 3, he has an excellent matchup for fantasy owners. 

A woeful San Francisco 49ers secondary that has allowed a league-high 10.2 yards per pass attempt is an easy mark for Palmer and Co. Expect Arizona to fly high again this week with Palmer finding the end zone at least three more times.

Running Backs

Week 3 Top RBs
1.Matt ForteCHI
2.Adrian PetersonMIN
3.Marshawn LynchSEA
4.Alfred MorrisWAS
5.Joseph RandleDAL
6.Jamal CharlesKC
7.Le’Veon BellPIT
8.Carlos HydeSF
9.Chris IvoryNYJ
10.Giovani BernardCIN
11.Chris JohnsonARI
12.Melvin GordonSD
13.LeSean McCoyBUF
14.C.J. AndersonDEN
15.Dexter McClusterTEN
16.James StarksGB
17.Jonathan StewartCAR
18.Darren McFaddenDAL
19.Jeremy LangfordCHI
20.Frank GoreIND
21.DeAngelo WilliamsPIT
22.Matt JonesWAS
23.TJ YeldonJAX
24.Bishop SankeyTEN
25.Doug MartinTB
Rankings per Mazique

Matt Forte may be the most versatile running back in the NFL. Because of his many talents and the Chicago Bears' lack of weapons, the offense uses him an awful lot. Through two games, he's carried the ball 39 times, caught nine passes and seen 13 targets.

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 20: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by Tony Jefferson #22 of the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter at Soldier Field on September 20, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
Jon Durr/Getty Images

That high amount of usage and Forte's 101 rushing yards per game make him the top player at his position. Chicago is headed to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3.

This isn't meant to convince you that the Bears will beat a desperate—yet superior—Seahawks team. Don't be silly. The Bears are going to get killed. Nevertheless, Forte is going to touch it early and often, and he'll still do his fantasy owners proud with a strong performance.

While Forte is a solid man to start, he doesn't have the best matchup. That distinction belongs to the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson. After a mediocre opening week, Peterson showed us in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions what we can expect for the rest of the season.

He didn't get in the end zone, but he did run the ball 29 times for 134 yards. In Week 3 against a San Diego Chargers run defense that is giving up 4.8 yards per carry, Peterson should follow up Week 2's breakout performance with an even better one.

Wide Receivers

NFL Week 3 WR Rankings
1Antonio Brown
2TY Hilton
3Julio Jones
4Odell Beckham Jr.
5Larry Fitzgerald
6Keenan Allen
7Terrance Williams
8Julian Edelman
9Michael Crabtree
10Calvin Johnson
11Amari Cooper
12Demaryius Thomas
13Nate Washington
14A.J. Green
15Randall Cobb
16James Jones
17Michael Floyd
18.Jordan Matthews
19Allen Robinson
20Steve Smith Sr.
21Emmanuel Sanders
22Travis Benjamin
23Victor Cruz
24Roddy White
25Alshon Jeffery
26Doug Baldwin
27DeAndre Hopkins
28Louis Murphy
29Mike Wallace
30Golden Tate
31Marquess Wilson
32Davante Adams
33Jerricho Cotchery
34Eddie Royal
35Kendall Wright
Rankings per Mazique

If you have Brown, consider yourself fortunate. Aside from him, the best receiver to have in your lineup in Week 3 is T.Y. Hilton.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 21: T.Y Hilton #13  of the Indianapolis Colts runs the ball during the game against the New York Jets  at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 21, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans have only allowed 339 passing yards this season, but that number is a little deceiving. In Week 1 they faced rookie QB Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In Week 2, the Titans took on second-year signal caller Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns.

With two consecutive games against mediocre passing offenses, the Titans haven't been tested through the air this year. That's going to change on Sunday. The Indianapolis Colts have limped out of the gates this year, but this is a matchup they can exploit.

The Titans secondary has been banged up this season. Jason McCourty missed the Week 2 loss to the Browns with a groin injury, as did Cody Riggs (knee). Audra Martin of WKRN in Nashville, Tennessee, tweeted that head coach Ken Whisenhunt said there's a chance McCourty returns to practice this week.

Even if he does play, it doesn't sound as if he'll be 100 percent. He'll need to be fully healthy to help contain Hilton. Indy will bounce back and out of the 0-2 hole with a big day from Andrew Luck and Hilton.

Tight Ends

Week 3 Top Tight Ends
1.Rob GronkowskiNE
2.Travis KelceKC
3.Jared CookSTL
4.Tyler EifertCIN
5.Jimmy GrahamNO
6.Brandon MyersTB
7.Delanie WalkerTEN
8.Martellus BennettCHI
9.Heath MillerPIT
10.Jordan CameronMIA
11.Zach MillerCHI
12.Daniel FellsNYG
rankings by Mazique

The automatic guy at the tight end position is the New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski. With 207 receiving yards, he is third in the NFL in that category. His four touchdown receptions are tops in the league.

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots runs after the catch during NFL game action as he is chased by Preston Brown #52 of the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 20, 2015 in Orchard Park, New York.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars are next on Gronk's hit list. Jacksonville gave up 359 yards through the air in Week 2 to the Miami Dolphins. Don't expect to see anything less than another strong performance from the game's best tight end as Brady takes it to the Jags with Gronk as his top target.

Defense/Special Teams

Week 3 D/ST Rankings
1.Denver Broncos
2.New York Jets
3.Arizona Cardinals
4.Miami Dolphins
5.Seattle Seahawks
6.Dallas Cowboys
7.Cincinnati Bengals
8.Carolina Panthers
9.Cleveland Browns
10.Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11.Pittsburgh Steelers
Rankings per Mazique

The NFL's two best defenses so far this season have been the New York Jets and Denver Broncos. Gang Green is allowing just 8.5 points per game, but what's even more valuable for fantasy owners is the team's penchant for forcing turnovers. Through the first two games, the Jets have four interceptions.

You have to like the Jets defense against a Philadelphia Eagles team that is averaging just 17 points this season. Quarterback Sam Bradford has thrown four interceptions and lost a fumble this season. This dynamic seems to suggest more defensive control for the Jets.

Denver's defense has been less stingy but more opportunistic than the Jets.

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 13: Defensive back Darian Stewart #26 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with Danny Trevathan #59 and Aqib Talib #21 after making a game-ending interception in the fourth quarter of a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sep
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Broncos have six sacks, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries on the season. The Detroit Lions will host the Broncos in Week 3, but there are questions as to whether quarterback Matt Stafford will play. Per Mike Klis of in Colorado, Stafford is listed as questionable.

Even if he does play, the Broncos defense has nothing to fear. Take a look at Stafford's numbers through the first two weeks, per Draft Centric:

Any way you slice it, Denver's defense is a prime play.


Week 3 K Rankings
1.Robbie GouldCHI
2.Stephen GostkowskiNE
3.Justin TuckerBAL
4.Sebastian JanikowskiOAK
5.Greg ZuerleinSTL
6.Ryan SuccopTEN
7.Dan CarpenterBUF
8.Josh LamboSD
9.Dan BaileyDAL
10.Brandon McManusDEN
11.Matt BryantATL
12.Josh BrownNYG
Rankings per Mazique

The Bears have moved the ball well this season, but they haven't been able to punch it in the end zone as often as they would like. Robbie Gould has already attempted and made six field goals this season. 

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 13:  Robbie Gould #9 of the Chicago Bears kicks a kicks a field goal out of the hold of Pat O'Donnell against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on September 13, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Image
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Without Jay Cutler in the lineup, per, the Bears may have trouble on offense. However, because of how well they have created running lanes for Forte, they'll still move the ball against the Seahawks. Finishing drives will still be an issue, though. They will have to settle for Gould's dependable leg.

Stats per Pro-Football