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

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2020

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) drops back to pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

Matchups can make or break a fantasy footballer's week.

In Week 2, a favorable draw with the Cleveland Browns allowed Joe Burrow to throw for 316 yards and three scores. Leonard Fournette erupted for 103 yards and two scores on just 12 carries against a vulnerable Carolina Panthers run defense. Julian Edelman (eight catches for 179 yards), N'Keal Harry (eight for 72) and Damiere Byrd (six for 72) all exploited the Seattle Seahawks secondary.

While a good matchup doesn't guarantee a sleeper will awaken, and a tough draw doesn't preclude a fantasy star from delivering huge numbers, it's another factor to consider when establishing projections ahead of the weekend.

We'll help you make some of your roster decisions with two different tools here by providing player rankings for every position and the best matchup at each skill spot.



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1. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (vs. KC)

2. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (vs. DET)

3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. DAL)

4. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (at SEA)

5. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (at BAL)

6. Cam Newton, New England Patriots (vs. LV)

7. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (vs. LAR)

8. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (at NO)

9. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CHI)

10. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. HOU)


Best Matchup: Dak Prescott at Seattle

Technically, the Falcons have the most generous defense for opposing fantasy quarterbacks so far, per Yahoo Sports, but that's only relevant if a lot of folks are planning to play Mitchell Trubisky. Let's hope people aren't that desperate, although if you need to throw a dart for some reason, he did have three touchdown passes without a pick in the season opener.

The fantasy starter who should really feast this weekend is Prescott.

Seattle's first two opponents have scored a combined 55 points, and tons of that production has come through the air. The Seahawks have surrendered a league-worst 831 passing yards so far. The Falcons are the only other team to allow more than 600 (744). Cam Newton just passed for 397 yards and a score and rushed for 47 yards and two more touchdowns against this defense. Prescott's forecast is blindingly bright.


Running Back

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (at SEA)

2. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (at MIN)

3. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (vs. TEN)

4. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (vs. GB)

5. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (at NO)

6. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (vs. NYJ)

7. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders (at NE)

8. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. CIN)

9. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns (vs. WAS)

10. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (at BAL)

11. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals (vs. DET)

12. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. DAL)

13. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (at PHI)

14. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. CAR)

15. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. HOU)

16. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears (at ATL)

17. Melvin Gordon III, Denver Broncos (vs. TB)

18. Todd Gurley II, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CHI)

19. David Johnson, Houston Texans (at PIT)

20. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. MIA)


Best Matchup: Austin Ekeler vs. Carolina Panthers

It's never easy to tell when a sample size is large enough to trust, but Carolina's issues against fantasy running backs extend beyond this season.

The Panthers allowed the most points to the position last season by nearly two per game. This year, they're back in the cellar, only now they're surrendering almost six extra points per game than anyone else.

Three different running backs already have a touchdown against this defense. Two of them have more than one (Josh Jacobs and Leonard Fournette). The stars are aligning for Ekeler to score his first touchdown of the season, and he might not stop at one.


Wide Receiver

1. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals (vs. DET)

2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (at NO)

3. Tyreek Hill, Baltimore Ravens (at BAL)

4. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CHI)

5. Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears (at ATL)

6. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at DEN)

7. Terry McLaurin, Washington (at CLE)

8. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (at SEA)

9. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CHI)

10. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (vs. TEN)

11. D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (vs. DAL)

12. DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers (at LAC)

13. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns (vs. WAS)

14. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. HOU)

15. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (vs. DAL)

16. Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (vs. KC)

17. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (at BUF)

18. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. HOU)

19. DJ Chark Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. MIA)

20. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. CAR)


Best Matchup: Amari Cooper at Seattle Seahawks

If it's good for Prescott, it's probably good for Cooper too, right?

While wide receivers only have two touchdown catches against the Seahawks, they've already collected a whopping 50 receptions through two games. No other secondary has allowed even 40 catches to opposing wideouts.

Truth be told, it's surprising more receivers haven't found the end zone against this defense, since six pass-catchers have topped 70 receiving yards and four have cleared triple-digits. Cooper, who opened the campaign with a 10-reception performance and delivered 100 receiving yards in Week 2, could be looking at another 100-yard outing with his first touchdown catch (or catches) of the campaign.


Tight End

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (at BAL)

2. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (vs. KC)

3. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. CIN)

4. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams (at BUF)

5. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. CAR)

6. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders (at NE)

7. Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (at MIN)

8. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints (vs. GB)

9. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (at ARI)

10. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. CIN)


Best Matchup: Travis Kelce at Baltimore Ravens

By the numbers, the best tight end matchups may not factor into most fantasy tilts, as the most vulnerable defenses are going against players not found on most rosters. But if you happen to have Logan Thomas or Marcedes Lewis for some reason, this is the week to play them.

If not, you can trust the ultra-reliable Kelce to deliver in a big way.

Granted, you're probably banking on that anyway, since he already has 15 receptions for 140 yards and two scores. But Baltimore's defense has already struggled to contain David Njoku (three catches for 50 yards and a score), Darren Fells (touchdown) and Jordan Akins (seven receptions for 55 yards). Kelce could have a field day.


Defense/Special Teams

1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans

2. San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants

3. Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos

5. Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Rams

6. Los Angeles Chargers vs. Carolina Panthers

7. New England Patriots vs. Las Vegas Raiders

8. Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings

9. Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills

10. Cleveland Browns vs. Washington



1. Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs (at BAL)

2. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens (vs. KC)

3. Greg Zuerlein, Dallas Cowboys (at SEA)

4. Zane Gonzalez, Arizona Cardinals (vs. DET)

5. Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints (vs. GB)

6. Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons (vs. CHI)

7. Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers (at NYG)

8. Jason Myers, Seattle Seahawks (vs. DAL)

9. Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (at ARI)

10. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers (at NO)