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

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2021

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

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    Talent reigns supreme when it comes to setting a fantasy football lineup, but matchups might be the second-most important factor to consider.

    A great matchup can elevate a good player to a great performer and so on down the line.

    With that in mind, we'll spotlight the best Week 3 matchups at each skill position while compiling positional rankings for every spot.


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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Top 10

    1. Kyler Murray, ARI (at JAX)

    2. Patrick Mahomes, KC (vs. LAC)

    3. Lamar Jackson, BAL (at DET)

    4. Russell Wilson, SEA (at MIN)

    5. Dak Prescott DAL (vs. PHI)

    6. Josh Allen, BUF (vs. WAS)

    7. Tom Brady, TB (at LAR)

    8. Jalen Hurts, PHI (at DAL)

    9. Justin Herbert, LAC (at KC)

    10. Matthew Stafford, LAR (vs. TB)


    Best Matchup: Russell Wilson at Minnesota Vikings

    For anyone still taking advantage of the #LetRussCook hashtag, this week should be a feast.

    Opposing quarterbacks have devoured the Vikings defense buffet-style so far. In Week 1, Joe Burrow completed 20 of his 27 pass attempts for 261 yards and two scores. In Week 2, Kyler Murray went Madden-mode with 400 passing yards, three touchdowns (four if you count his rushing score) and an 81 completion percentage.

    Russell Wilson, who has thrown for at least 250 yards and two scores in each of his first two contests, could be eyeing silly stats on Sunday.

Running Back

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    Top 20

    1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (at HOU)

    2. Dalvin Cook, MIN (vs. SEA)

    3. Derrick Henry, TEN (vs. IND)

    4. Alvin Kamara, NO (at NE)

    5. Nick Chubb, CLE (vs. CHI)

    6. Aaron Jones, GB (at SF)

    7. Joe Mixon, CIN (at PIT)

    8. Jonathan Taylor, IND (at TEN)

    9. Najee Harris, PIT (vs. CIN)

    10. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (vs. PHI)

    11. Antonio Gibson, WAS (at BUF)

    12. Damien Harris, NE (vs. NO)

    13. Austin Ekeler, LAC (at KC)

    14. Chris Carson, SEA (at MIN)

    15. David Montgomery, CHI (at CLE)

    16. D'Andre Swfit, DET (vs. BAL)

    17. Saquon Barkley, NYG (vs. ATL)

    18. Miles Sanders, PHI (at DAL)

    19. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (vs. LAC)

    20. Ty'Son Williams, BAL (at DET)


    Best Matchup: Dalvin Cook vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Opposing running backs have averaged 42.7 points against the Seahawks so far, per The Detroit Lions are the next-most generous defense at 37.4, then it drops all the way to the 49ers at 31.8.

    In other words, Seattle has been the matchup of all matchups for opposing backs. The Seahawks have been both gouged on the ground and thrashed through the air, letting Derrick Henry run for 182 yards and three scores in Week 2, just after allowing Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines combine for 12 receptions and 108 yards in the opener.

    There are multiple ways to expose this defense, and Dalvin Cook can access all of them. He has already tallied 192 yards and a score on 42 carries to go along with eight catches on 10 targets for another 60 yards.

    It's not out of the question for the 26-year-old to compile 150 scrimmage yards and multiple scores against Seattle.

Wide Receiver

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    Top 20

    1. Davante Adams, GB (at SF)

    2. Tyreek Hill, KC (vs. LAC)

    3. Stefon Diggs, BUF (vs. WAS)

    4. DeAndre Hopkins, ARI (at JAX)

    5. Calvin Ridley, ATL (at NYG)

    6. DK Metcalf, SEA (at MIN)

    7. Justin Jefferson, MIN (vs. SEA)

    8. CeeDee Lamb, DAL (vs. PHI)

    9. Amari Cooper, DAL (vs. PHI)

    10. A.J. Brown, TEN (vs. IND)

    11. Keenan Allen, LAC (at KC)

    12. Tyler Lockett, SEA (at MIN)

    13. Chris Godwin, TB (at LAR)

    14. Cooper Kupp, LAR (vs. TB)

    15. D.J. Moore, CAR (at HOU)

    16. Adam Thielen, MIN (vs. SEA)

    17. Terry McLaurin, WAS (at BUF)

    18. Mike Evans, TB (at LAR)

    19. Deebo Samuel, SF (vs. GB)

    20. Allen Robinson, CHI (at CLE)


    Best Matchup: Cooper Kupp vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Are the Buccaneers bad against the pass or so good with it that they force teams to air it out early and often? Don't spend too much time on that question, because in fantasy terms, it does not matter.

    Tampa has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers despite not being one of the five defenses to surrender five-plus touchdowns to the position. How? Because the Bucs have yielded the most receptions (43) and targets (66) to wide receivers.

    Assuming the Bucs and Ramstwo of the NFL's five highest-scoring teamsare headed toward a shootout, Cooper Kupp should be in line for yet another huge output.

    The 28-year-old has cleared the century mark in each of his first two contests, totaling 16 receptions for 271 yards and three scores.

Tight End

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    Top 10

    1. Travis Kelce, KC (vs. LAC)

    2. Darren Waller, LV (vs. MIA)

    3. George Kittle, SF (vs. GB)

    4. T.J. Hockenson, DET (vs. BAL)

    5. Kyle Pitts, ATL (at NYG)

    6. Rob Gronkowski, TB (at LAR)

    7. Mark Andrews, BAL (at DET)

    8. Noah Fant, DEN (vs. NYJ)

    9. Tyler Higbee, LAR (vs. TB)

    10. Dallas Goedert, PHI (at DAL)


    Best Matchup: T.J. Hockenson vs. Baltimore Ravens

    After a relatively quiet rookie season, T.J. Hockenson, the eighth overall pick in 2019, spent much of last season hinting at a breakout. If the first two weeks are any indication, he's well on his way to joining the fantasy elites at tight end.

    The 24-year-old has been targeted 19 times already and collected 16 of those passes. His 163 receiving yards are third-best at the position, and he's one of only four TEs with multiple touchdown receptions.

    Hockenson's good times should keep rolling against the Ravens, who have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends through two weeks.

Defense/Special Teams

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    Top 10

    1. Denver Broncos vs. NYJ

    2. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. CIN

    3. New England Patriots vs. NO

    4. Baltimore Ravens at DET

    5. Carolina Panthers at HOU

    6. Arizona Cardinals at JAX

    7. Buffalo Bills vs. WAS

    8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at LAR

    9. Washington Football Team at BUF

    10. Los Angeles Rams vs. TB


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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Top 10

    1. Justin Tucker, BAL (at DET)

    2. Matt Prater, ARI (at JAX)

    3. Harrison Butker, KC (vs. LAC)

    4. Ryan Succop, TB (at LAR)

    5. Brandon McManus, DEN (vs. NYJ)

    6. Matt Gay, LAR (vs. TB)

    7. Jason Myers, SEA (at MIN)

    8. Greg Zuerlein, DAL (vs. PHI)

    9. Robbie Gould, SF (vs. GB)

    10. Tyler Bass, BUF (vs. WAS)