Here we go! It’s time to kick it into gear. This is the part of the season where you start to know what your team is like. Make sure to analyze every one of your player’s matchups this week. We have a ton of great games lined up, but you have to be careful with some of those big names with tough matchups this week. Good luck, and happy FANTASYING.
- Daniel Jones (vs ATL) Can you believe that Jones is the QB4 through the first two weeks of the season? He’s ahead of players like Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, and Dak Prescott. His Week 3 matchup against Atlanta should serve him well once again. The Falcons have surrendered the most fantasy points to the QB position this season so far. For those of you that don’t believe in the third-year pro, that’s fine, but you should believe in his fantasy outlook for this week.
- Jalen Hurts (at DAL) There were a ton of questions surrounding Hurts entering his second season. Although his play has been a little shaky, he’s producing fine fantasy numbers to start the season. Hurts sits right behind Jones as the QB5, and a matchup against the Cowboys on Monday night could jump him even higher in the QB rankings. It also helps that he’s second in the league in rushing yards amongst QBs (144). Keep rolling with Hurts in your starting lineups.
Other Notables: Teddy Bridgewater (vs NYJ), Kirk Cousins (vs SEA), Matthew Stafford (vs TB)
- Jameis Winston (at NE) If you placed Winston in your starting lineups last week, you may have contemplated quitting the fantasy season already. In a matchup against an improved Panthers’ defense, the veteran signal-caller produced only 8.3 points, as he served as the QB27. How do you think he will fare against an elite New England defense this Sunday? The Patriots picked off rookie Zach Wilson four times last week. Taking on a defensive-minded defense who leads the league in interceptions forced (5) should automatically indicate that you NEED to sit Winston.
- Joe Burrow (at PIT) The second-year pro is coming off the worst game of his young career. At one point, Burrow tossed three straight interceptions against an overrated Bears defense last week. He served as the QB25, as he finished with only 10.3 fantasy points. This week, he takes on a tougher defense on their home field. Pittsburgh has only allowed three passing touchdowns this season. It also hurts Burrow’s stock considering that Tee Higgins is listed as doubtful for Week 3.
Other Notables: Taylor Heinicke (at BUF), Baker Mayfield (vs CHI), Matt Ryan (at NYG)
- Saquon Barkley (vs ATL) Some of you Barkley owners are starting to panic at this point. Through two games, the once elite RB has only accumulated 12.6 PPR points in 2021. Don’t be shy about keeping him in your starting lineup this week. His matchup against the Falcons looks like a good one, and expect him to be more involved in the receiving game from now on. If he doesn’t produce double-digit fantasy points this week, you can go ahead and blast me all over social media.
- Ty’Son Williams (at DET) Williams is quietly one of the easiest locked-in starts of the week. He has yet to fall short of 11 PPR points in a game, and he’s easily the most involved back in Baltimore’s RB room. He turned 13 carries into 77 yards while also hauling in two receptions for 16 yards last week. Expect even better numbers against a Detroit defense that allowed Aaron Jones to find the endzone FOUR TIMES on Monday night. The Lions have given up the second-most fantasy points to RBs in 2021, and Williams should have his way once again this week.
Other Notables: Jonathan Taylor (at TEN), Antonio Gibson (at BUF), Javonte Williams (vs NYJ)
- Devin Singletary (vs WAS) Singletary found himself in this section last week, and he ultimately made me look like a fool. He finished as the RB12, as he turned 13 carries for 82 yards and one touchdown. BUT Zack Moss’ Week 2 production should scare you a bit. Moss received the goal-line carries, leading to two rushing touchdowns last week. Now that he is fully healthy, expect Buffalo to use both RBs against Washington. If Singletary turns in another solid performance, I promise you that he will not be on the “sit ‘em” section next week.
- Michael Carter (at DEN) Carter is slowly starting to look like the clear RB1 for this Jets team, but he hasn’t done enough to find himself as a “start ‘em” type of player yet. The Jets still give Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman enough work to put a damper on Carter’s fantasy value. He has a tough matchup this week against a solid Denver defense that’s allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to his position this season.
Other Notables: Darrell Henderson (vs TB), J.D. McKissic (at BUF), Leonard Fournette (at LAR)
- D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett (at MIN) You shouldn’t hesitate to start either one of these WRs this week against Minnesota. The Vikings’ secondary looks like the same one from last season, as they are allowing the third-most fantasy points to WRs through two weeks. Expect this matchup to be a high-scoring game, and both WRs should top 15 fantasy points easily. Bold prediction: Lockett and Metcalf will combine for over 200 receiving yards in this game.
- Cooper Kupp (vs TB) I said it last week, and I’ll say it again. START COOPER KUPP IN YOUR FANTASY LINEUPS! He has been Matthew Stafford’s top receiving option, as he currently sits as the WR1 entering Week 3. Tampa Bay has dealt with some secondary injuries, and Kupp should take full advantage of that. In his Week 10 matchup against the Buccaneers last season, he hauled in 11 of his 13 targets for an impressive 145 receiving yards.
Other Notables: JuJu Smith-Schuster (vs CIN), Sterling Shepard (vs ATL), Odell Beckham Jr. (vs CHI)
- Henry Ruggs III (vs MIA) Ruggs III is the Robby Anderson of the Las Vegas Raiders. If he doesn’t haul in a deep ball for more than 40 yards, he doesn’t produce much in fantasy. Expect a down week against an elite Miami secondary that features two All-Pro CBs, Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. Darren Waller is the only pass-catcher you should start this week from the Raiders (maybe Bryan Edwards).
- Marquez Callaway (at NE) This is kind of a “gimme” at this point. After a promising preseason, Callaway has been invisible, as he has only produced three receptions for 22 yards in two games this season. His New England matchup is not the game you can rely on him getting back on track. The Patriots have shut down the passing game thus far this season, and they have given up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to WRs in 2021.
Other Notables: Quintez Cephus (vs BAL), A.J. Green (at JAX), Brandon Aiyuk (vs GB)
- Noah Fant (vs NYJ) The third-year pro has emerged as one of the most consistent TEs in fantasy football. Fant has yet to fall short of 12 PPR points in a game this season, and he currently sits as the TE5 going into Week 3. Go ahead and keep him in your starting lineups against a bad Jets defense. At this point, start him over players like George Kittle, Mark Andrews, and Robert Tonyan.
- Kyle Pitts (at NYG) The hype surrounding Pitts is starting to turn into reality. Last week, he hauled in five of his six targets for 73 yards against a good Buccaneers defense. Outside of Calvin Ridley, Matt Ryan doesn’t have a better receiving option to throw to. The rookie should produce great fantasy numbers against a Giants team that has given up the fifth-most fantasy points to TEs through two weeks.
Other Notables: Dallas Goedert (at DAL), Robert Tonyan (at SF), Jared Cook (at KC)
- Maxx Williams (at JAX) Pump the brakes a little bit with this one. Sure, Williams was great for fantasy last week, as he produced 16.4 PPR points. This marked the highest fantasy point total of his career. His “goose egg” performance in Week 1 should indicate that he won’t produce consistent fantasy numbers every week. Although his matchup against the Jaguars looks good on paper, Arizona has plenty of mouths to feed in their receiving unit. DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, Christian Kirk, and A.J. Green all pose a huge threat to Williams’ fantasy stock.
- Eric Ebron (vs CIN) It looks like rookie Pat Freiermuth has taken over TE1 duties for the Steelers over Ebron already. Through two weeks, the veteran TE has only accumulated one reception for 19 yards. On the other hand, Freiermuth has hauled in a combined five receptions for 60 yards. This isn’t the week Ebron will change the narrative, as Cincinnati is coming off a performance where they limited the Chicago Bears’ TEs to ZERO receiving yards a week ago.
Other Notables: Dawson Knox (vs WAS), Juwan Johnson (at NE), Austin Hooper (vs CHI)
- Denver Broncos (vs NYJ) For the third straight week, the Denver Broncos defense has found themselves at the top of the “start ‘em” section for team defenses. They’ve allowed a combined 26 points through two weeks while also forcing three turnovers and three sacks against opposing offenses. Now they find themselves with a Week 3 matchup against a Jets team that surrendered four interceptions to the Patriots a week ago. Once again, ALWAYS START THE DEFENSE TAKING ON THE NEW YORK JETS.
- Baltimore Ravens (at DET) Baltimore’s defense has struggled so far this season, but they should turn things around this week against Detroit. Don’t expect this contest between the two teams to be close. It’s safe to predict at least eight fantasy points for the Ravens this week, as opposing defenses against the Lions have yet to fall short of six fantasy points.
Other Notables: Bills (vs WAS), Titans (vs IND), Patriots (vs NO)
- Los Angeles Chargers (at KC) What is my rule when it comes to defenses lining up against Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City’s lethal offense? NEVER START THE DEFENSE PLAYING THE CHIEFS! Do you know how defenses have fared against them so far this season? Cleveland scored only one fantasy point in Week 1, and Baltimore’s defense produced a disappointing three-point performance against them last week.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at LAR) Even though Tampa Bay is known to have a good defense, they have struggled a bit to start the 2021 campaign. On the other hand, the Rams have looked unstoppable with Matthew Stafford lining up under center for them. They have torched the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts in their first two matchups, scoring at least 27 in each contest.
Other Notables: Vikings (vs SEA), Seahawks (at MIN), Eagles (at DAL)
Did you enjoy this article and want more fantasy content? Make sure to check out my recent posts, and stay tuned for other positional rankings in the future. You can also follow me on Twitter @dirrim23, where I love talking about all things fantasy football!