Fantasy Football Week 3 Cheat Sheet: Waiver-Wire Rankings and Flex Projections

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2017

Aaron Rodgers should get on a roll against the Bengals in Week Three.
Aaron Rodgers should get on a roll against the Bengals in Week Three.David Goldman/Associated Press

While we advised against making panic moves for your fantasy football roster following Week 1, there are legitimate issues that need to be addressed after Week 2 and moves that must be made.

If you have players like Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall or Eli Manning on your roster, you are beyond disappointed with their production. While Beckham is likely to come around and Manning may have better moments in the weeks ahead, wash your hands of Marshall, who appears to have little to contribute at this point in his career.

Ezekiel Elliott may be getting help from the legal system when it comes to his suspension, but the alarm bells are ringing after his eight-yard rushing effort against the Broncos. Fantasy owners are beyond disappointed, but it's not time to cut him from your roster.

Here's a look at our rankings of top performers at all four fantasy positions, along with waiver wire rankings and top flex projections for Week 3.

Atlanta QB Matt Ryan
Atlanta QB Matt RyanKevin C. Cox/Getty Images



1. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
2. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) at Detroit Lions
3. Derek Carr (Oakland Raiders) at Washington Redskins
4. Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins) vs. Oakland Raiders
5. Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
6. Alex Smith (Kansas City Chiefs) at Los Angeles Chargers
7. Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) at Chicago Bears
8. Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. New York Giants
8. Tom Brady (New England Patriots) vs. Houston Texans
9. Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans) vs. Seattle Seahawks
10. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions) vs. Atlanta Falcons

Some may want to diminish the Packers after another loss to the Falcons, but that would be a mistake. This team will likely have a banner season, and Rodgers should have a dominating game against a Cincinnati team that is going to struggle this season. Mark him down for a 300-yard game and three touchdowns.

The Falcons are off to a sharp start, and Ryan is likely to engage in a shootout with Stafford in Week 3. Ryan's accuracy is his greatest asset, and as long as doesn't get hammered by the Detroit defense early in the game, he will put together another top-level performance.

Look for Carr and Cousins to bring out the best in each other as they engage each other Sunday night in Washington. This should be one of the most exciting games of the early season, and both quarterbacks have a lot riding on it. Carr may have the advantage because the Washington defense may not be quick enough to keep up with the Raiders' weapons.


RB Le'Veon Bell will have his best game vs. the Bears.
RB Le'Veon Bell will have his best game vs. the Bears.Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Running backs

1. Le'Veon Bell (Pittsburgh Steelers) at Chicago Bears
2. Jay Ajayi (Miami Dolphins) at New York Jets
3. Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
4. Kareem Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs) at Los Angeles Chargers
5. Ty Montgomery (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
6. Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys) at Arizona Cardinals
7. LeSean McCoy (Buffalo Bills) vs. Denver Broncos
8. Devonta Freeman (Atlanta Falcons) at Detroit Lions
9. Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. Baltimore Ravens
10. Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers) vs. New Orleans Saints

Bell looked much better in Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings than he did in the opener against the Cleveland Browns. Bell should be able to build on the 87-yard rushing effort and get over the 100-yard mark with at least one touchdown.

Ajayi is a hungry back who will punish opponents with his ability to get to the outside and his hard-hitting style. He should be able to put up brilliant numbers against the Jets, who simply don't have the tools to slow him down.

The Chargers have dropped two hard-luck games, and they have an excellent chance to turn things around this week against a Kansas City team that may take this game somewhat lightly. Gordon has the speed and quickness to get through small cracks and make big plays.


Wide receivers

1. Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) at Minnesota Vikings
2. Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers) at Chicago Bears
3. Michael Crabtree (Oakland Raiders) at Washington Redskins
4. Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons) at Detroit Lions
5. Chris Hogan (New England Patriots) vs. Houston Texans
6. Golden Tate (Detroit Lions) vs. Atlanta Falcons
7. Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
8. A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals) at Green Bay Packers
9. Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs) at Los Angeles Chargers
10. Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Evans and the Bucs opened the season in stellar fashion against the overmatched Bears. Look for an even better effort against a solid defensive team like the Vikings. The Bucs will start to show that they are a team that must be reckoned with this season and Evans will have a huge day.

Brown is the best overall receiver in the NFL. There are those that would take Jones, but the Atlanta receiver is not as consistent nor does he work the sidelines as well as Brown. Basically, he is an unstoppable force when Ben Roethlisberger is healthy.

Crabtree is off to a wonderful start and he is coming off a three-TD effort against the Jets. While he may not be able to match that here, he should find open spaces in a high-scoring game by running through the Washington secondary.


Tight ends

1. Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs) at Los Angeles Chargers
2. Jordan Reed (Washington Redskins) vs. Oakland Raiders
3. Martellus Bennett (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
4. Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. New York Giants
5. Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans) vs. Seattle Seahawks
6. Jared Cook (Oakland Raiders) at Washington Redskins
7. Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions) vs. Atlanta Falcons
8. Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots) vs. Houston Texans
9. Austin Hooper (Atlanta Falcons) at Detroit Lions
10. Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kelce is a high-strung and emotional receiver who seems intent on battling Gronkowski for the No. 1 tight end position in the league. While he won't get there if Gronkowski is healthy, he is capable of stringing together big plays and knocking over smaller defensive backs.

Reed has a bit of a chest injury, but he will play effectively against an Oakland defense that will be vulnerable to his red-zone ability.

The Packers should be able to have their way with the lowly Bengals, and Rodgers will find Bennett throughout the game. He will be a key red-zone factor from the tight end position.


Waiver rankings

1. RB Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens
2. WR J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals
3. RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
4. RB Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
5. RB Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins

Allen has become the No. 1 back for the Ravens and he will be a factor as a runner and a receiver. He may not be a tremendous breakaway threat, but Joe Flacco will feed him the ball.

Nelson has the speed to be a major factor in the scoring column from this point in the season. He has been targeted 13 times in the first two games and he has 10 receptions. Nelson has found the end zone twice, and he has the ability to be a leading factor in the Arizona passing game.

Kamara figures to be the No. 1 RB option for the Saints, much to the consternation of Adrian Peterson. Kamara has just eight carries in his first two games, but Drew Brees has targeted him 13 times and he has shown he can get open in the passing game.


Flex projections (RB/WR/TE)

1. WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay
2. RB Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
3. WR Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
4. WR Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders
5. RB Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins
6. TE Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
7. RB Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers
8. WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
9. WR Chris Hogan, New England Patriots
10. TE Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins


    Pats Are Doomed If Gordon Doesn't Fit

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    Pats Are Doomed If Gordon Doesn't Fit

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report

    Gronk: 'I'm Not Going Anywhere Without Brady'

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    Gronk: 'I'm Not Going Anywhere Without Brady'

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Pats' Struggles Continue in Loss to Lions

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    Pats' Struggles Continue in Loss to Lions

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Lions’ Sideline Is HYPED 🤩🎥

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    Lions’ Sideline Is HYPED 🤩🎥

    via Twitter