Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings: Top 50 Flex and PPR Players

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2016

Chargers receiver Travis Benjamin was a fantasy star in Week 2.
Chargers receiver Travis Benjamin was a fantasy star in Week 2.Ryan Kang/Associated Press

The second week of the 2016 NFL season concluded on Monday night, as the Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) cruised past the Chicago Bears (0-2) 29-14.

Now that we're two weeks into the season, we're beginning to see some developing trends relevant to the fantasy football world. We know that guys like Julio Jones and A.J. Green are quality fantasy producers, but some lesser-known players (Willie Snead, anyone?) are staking their claims as top fantasy options as well.

It's time to take what we've learned in the first two weeks of the season and use it to begin preparation for Week 3, which is only a couple of days away. We're here to help with our fantasy flex and point-per-reception rankings

We'll be looking at the top 50 position players for fantasy heading into Week 3. We'll be basing our decisions on players' performances from the past two weeks, upcoming opponents and roster situations. Injuries will also be factored in where applicable.

We will provide separate lists for standard and PPR formats, and we'll also examine some of the top fantasy storylines coming out of Week 2 and moving forward.

          

Week 3 Flex Rankings

2016 Week 3 Fantasy Football Flex Standard/PPR Rankings
RankStandard FlexPPR Flex
1DeAngelo Williams, RB, PITJulio Jones ,WR, ATL
2David Johnson, RB, ARIAntonio Brown, WR, PIT
3Julio Jones, WR, ATLDeAngelo Williams, RB, PIT
4Antonio Brown, WR, PITDavid Johnson, RB, ARI
5Melvin Gordon, RB, SDEric Decker, WR, NYJ
6Theo Riddick, RB, DETKelvin Benjamin, WR, CAR
7Spencer Ware, RB, KCTravis Benjamin, WR, SD
8Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DALTheo Riddick, RB, DET
9Eric Decker, WR, NYJSpencer Ware, RB, KC
10Kelvin Benjamin, WR, CARMelvin Gordon, RB, SD
11Todd Gurley, RB, LALarry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
12Frank Gore, RB, INDEzekiel Elliott, RB, DAL
13Matt Forte, RB, NYJMatt Forte, RB, NYJ
14Travis Benjamin, WR, SDTodd Gurley, RB, LA
15Lamar Miller, RB, HOUFrank Gore, RB, IND
16LeGarrette Blount, RB, NEJarvis Landry, WR, MIA
17Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARIStefon Diggs, WR, MIN
18Jarvis Landry, WR, MIALamar Miller, RB, HOU
19DeMarco Murray, RB, TENMike Evans, WR, TB
20Stefon Diggs, WR, MINDeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU
21Mike Evans, WR, TBOdell Beckham Jr., WR, NYG
22Isaiah Crowell, RB, CLELeGarrette Blount, RB, NE
23Greg Olsen, TE, CARDeMarco Murray, RB, TEN
24DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOUGreg Olsen, TE, CAR
25Odell Beckham Jr., WR, NYGMarvin Jones, WR, DET
26T.J. Yeldon, RB, JAXDemaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
27Ryan Mathews, RB, PHIBrandin Cooks, WR, NO
28Latavius Murray, RB, OAKIsaiah Crowell, RB, CLE
29Devonta Freeman, RB, ATLDez Bryant, WR, DAL
30Jay Ajayi, RB, MIAJordan Matthews, WR, PHI
31Jeremy Hill, RB, CINRyan Mathews, RB, PHI
32Christine Michael, RB, SEALatavius Murray, RB, OAK
33Marvin Jones, WR, DETAllen Robinson, WR, JAX
34Demaryius Thomas, WR, DENDevonta Freeman, RB, ATL
35Brandin Cooks, WR, NOJay Ajayi, RB, MIA
36Tevin Coleman, RB, ATLMohamed Sanu, WR, ATL
37Fozzy Whittaker, RB, CARAmari Cooper, WR, OAK
38Jeremy Langford, RB, CHIBrandon Marshall, WR, NYJ
39LeSean McCoy, RB, BUFCharles Sims, RB, TB
40Carlos Hyde, RB, SFA.J. Green, WR, CIN
41Dez Bryant, WR, DALJacob Tamme, TE, ATL
42Jordan Matthews, WR, PHIChristine Michael, RB, SEA
43Mohamed Sanu, WR, ATLJulius Thomas, TE, JAX
44Allen Robinson, WR, JAXJulian Edelman, WR, NE
45Amari Cooper, WR, OAKAndre Johnson, WR, TEN
46Brandon Marshall, WR, NYJJeremy Maclin, WR, KC
47Mark Ingram, RB, NOWillie Snead, WR, NO
48A.J. Green, WR, CINJordy Nelson, WR, GB
49Charles Sims, RB, TBGolden Tate, WR, DET
50Jerick McKinnon, RB, MINWill Fuller, WR, HOU

We're going to start by addressing probably the biggest storyline to come out of Week 2: injuries. A number of notable fantasy stars were injured over the weekend, including a bunch of quality starting running backs.

This rash of injuries at running back could leave you without one of your favorite fantasy players, but it could also open up some fresh opportunities.

San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, for example, should see a rise in value now that Danny Woodhead is out for the year with a torn ACL. Owners of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Charles Sims will probably see a boost in production if Doug Martin misses a significant length of time.

If you're looking for a quality waiver-wire pickup, keep an eye on the wonderfully named Fozzy Whittaker. If Jonathan Stewart misses time, Whittaker is likely to be the one carrying the load—as he did on Sunday with 100 yards rushing.

If you're looking for a replacement for Adrian Peterson...well, things might be a little trickier. The Minnesota Vikings have announced that Peterson has a torn meniscus, which could mean he's going to be out for a while.

The mystery is which running back the Vikings will choose to lean on in Peterson's absence. Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon were the tandem the last time Peterson was off the field, but there's no guaranteeing that one will see more fantasy action than the other.

Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune believes that McKinnon will see more carries but that Asiata will see the most goal-line work:

Don't feel bad if this potential split doesn't clarify much for you.

There were some notable quarterback injuries in Week 2 as well. The most significant is the injured shoulder suffered by New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo had been playing well for the Patriots—498 yards and four touchdowns in less than two games—before the injury. This means that some of you could be without a quarterback this week. This is also why you won't find a ton of Patriots pass-catchers in our rankings.

New England gets to host a talented Houston Texans defense this week, and the team will be relying on rookie signal-caller Jacoby Brissett to lead the offense on a short week.

Brissett does have his supporters, including Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

"I think he did a lot of good things, not perfect," Belichick said of Brissett's relief performance on Sunday, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. "Lot of things to work on, probably true for everybody. I thought he handled himself pretty well. It wasn't an easy situation, but he did a good job with it."

It's hard to bet against Belichick's ability to get his guys prepared, but this is still an inexperienced rookie on a short week going against J.J. Watt and Co.

We're still waiting to see when Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski can make his return. If he can go against Houston, he may see a lot of work as an outlet receiver. We're not sure any other Patriots pass-catchers will come away with a big day.

One receiver who probably can come away with a big day in Week 3 is Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones. Though Jones tweaked his ankle on Sunday, the Falcons don't believe the issue is serious.