Analysis

9/19/23

16 min read

2023 NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings

Below are my 2023 Week 3 fantasy rankings for points per reception (PPR) and half-PPR leagues. Included are my top 32 quarterback, top 50 running back, top 74 wide receiver and top 26 tight end rankings.

At the bottom, you’ll find the top 13 defense rankings from Ryan Reynolds.

For each player, you can view their ranking, matchup and implied team total according to Las Vegas sportsbooks. For example, the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions have a Vegas game total of 45.5, with the Lions favored by 3.5 points (21 points implied for the Falcons, 24.5 points implied for the Lions). Seeing the implied point totals can help you understand which games are projected to be high-scoring.

Meanwhile, xPPR (expected PPR points) looks strictly at usage rather than a player’s ability. Think of this as each player’s average expected fantasy points per game based on the type of touches they are getting.

Detailed player write-ups appear below each set of positional rankings for additional context.

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>>READ: Week 3 Waiver Wire Targets

Week 3 Fantasy Rankings

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes

Top 32 Quarterbacks

Rank Name Team Opp Team Total xPPR
1 Patrick Mahomes KC CHI 30.5 21.4
2 Justin Herbert LAC MIN 27.5 21.5
3 Jalen Hurts PHI TB 25.75 21
4 Josh Allen BUF WAS 25.5 19
5 Lamar Jackson BAL IND 25.75 16.6
6 Kirk Cousins MIN LAC 26.5 15.8
7 Tua Tagovailoa MIA DEN 27.25 21.2
8 Justin Fields CHI KC 17.5 16.1
9 Dak Prescott DAL ARI 27.75 16.1
10 Trevor Lawrence JAX HOU 26.25 20.2
11 Deshaun Watson CLE TEN 22.75 18.6
12 Geno Smith SEA CAR 23.5 14.9
13 Matthew Stafford LA CIN 21 18.6
14 Joe Burrow CIN LA 23 12.8
15 Brock Purdy SF NYG 27.75 15.5
16 Jared Goff DET ATL 24.5 13.2
17 Russell Wilson DEN MIA 20.75 17.1
18 Jordan Love GB NO 22.5 13
19 Sam Howell WAS BUF 19 13.3
20 Derek Carr NO GB 21 19.3
21 Desmond Ridder ATL DET 21 13.8
22 C.J. Stroud HOU JAX 17.75 16.2
23 Kenny Pickett PIT LV 22.5 14.8
24 Baker Mayfield TB PHI 20.25 18.1
25 Gardner Minshew IND BAL 18.25 4.5
26 Daniel Jones NYG SF 17.25 22.3
27 Jimmy Garoppolo LV PIT 21.5 15.4
28 Ryan Tannehill TEN CLE 18.75 15.2
29 Andy Dalton CAR SEA 19
30 Mac Jones NE NYJ 20 16.4
31 Zach Wilson NYJ NE 17 11.6
32 Joshua Dobbs ARI DAL 15.75 13.6

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes has been a relative disappointment through two games but has reached 20 fantasy points in both. Now, he gets a Chicago Bears defense hell-bent on allowing big plays. The Bears most recently let Baker Mayfield throw for more than 300 yards against them this past Sunday. You can expect 325 yards and three passing touchdowns from Mahomes, and don’t be surprised if he goes for 350 and four.

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers 

Justin Herbert has just a four percent passing touchdown rate through two weeks and should hover closer to 5.5 or six percent by season’s end. He faces a Minnesota Vikings defense that should get steamrolled in Week 3. Vegas has this game projected for 54 total points, by far the highest on the Week 3 slate.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins is on pace for more than 6,000 yards, thanks to Minnesota’s dreadful defense and a non-existent running game courtesy of Alexander Mattison. Cousins should flirt with 300 passing yards again this week in a likely shootout with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow is at risk of missing Week 3 (calf), so his status will be monitored closely.

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

Matthew Stafford has thrown just one touchdown on 93 pass attempts, and regression should help him massively moving forward. He’s thrown for more than 300 yards both weeks and is potentially a top-12 quarterback for the rest of the season because he gets Cooper Kupp back after two more games.

Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers

Brock Purdy has been a high-efficiency game manager and distributor since becoming the starter late last season. He faces a New York Giants team that should allow four or five scores to this San Francisco 49ers offense. Purdy is a great Week 3 streamer.

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

C.J. Stroud has thrown for 242 and 384 passing yards in his two games, and the Houston Texans should play catch-up all afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He can be streamed in Week 3 if you’re searching for a fantasy points floor of 15 points. 

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

So far, we’ve gone two for two predicting Daniel Jones correctly, sitting him in Week 1 (6.5 fantasy points vs. the Dallas Cowboys) before starting him in Week 2 (31.7 fantasy points vs. the Arizona Cardinals). Week 3 is another opportunity to sit the pressure-sensitive Jones as he faces the 49ers front on Thursday night.


Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard

Top 50 Running Backs

Rank Name Team Opp Team Total xPPR
1 Tony Pollard DAL ARI 27.75 22.8
2 Christian McCaffrey SF NYG 27.75 17.4
3 Bijan Robinson ATL DET 21.00 18.4
4 Travis Etienne JAX HOU 26.25 13.3
5 Kenneth Walker SEA CAR 23.50 14.8
6 Joe Mixon CIN LA 23.00 13.8
7 Derrick Henry TEN CLE 18.75 18.3
8 Jahmyr Gibbs DET ATL 24.50 9.4
9 Joshua Kelley LAC MIN 27.50 10.9
10 Rhamondre Stevenson NE NYJ 20.00 14.4
11 Kyren Williams LA CIN 21.00 20.4
12 Alexander Mattison MIN LAC 26.50 13.3
13 Josh Jacobs LV PIT 21.50 14.1
14 Raheem Mostert MIA DEN 27.25 14.8
15 Rachaad White TB PHI 20.25 15.6
16 Miles Sanders CAR SEA 19.00 13.8
17 James Cook BUF WAS 25.50 13
18 Brian Robinson WAS BUF 19.00 16.6
19 D’Andre Swift PHI TB 25.75 14
20 Breece Hall NYJ NE 17.00 5.5
21 Najee Harris PIT LV 22.50 7
22 Zack Moss IND BAL 18.25 16.8
23 AJ Dillon GB NO 22.50 11
24 Jerome Ford CLE TEN 22.75 11.4
25 Isiah Pacheco KC CHI 30.50 10.4
26 Dameon Pierce HOU JAX 17.75 10.2
27 Gus Edwards BAL IND 25.75 6.1
28 Tyler Allgeier ATL DET 21.00 14.1
29 Dalvin Cook NYJ NE 17.00 7.2
30 James Conner ARI DAL 15.75 14.9
31 Javonte Williams DEN MIA 20.75 12.1
32 Jaylen Warren PIT LV 22.50 10.6
33 Roschon Johnson CHI KC 17.50 11.1
34 Kenneth Gainwell PHI TB 25.75 14.1
35 Khalil Herbert CHI KC 17.50 9
36 Tony Jones NO GB 21.00 6.8
37 Samaje Perine DEN MIA 20.75 7.2
38 Tyjae Spears TEN CLE 18.75 7.6
39 Antonio Gibson WAS BUF 19.00 4.6
40 Chuba Hubbard CAR SEA 19.00 7.7
41 Latavius Murray BUF WAS 25.50 6.8
42 Craig Reynolds DET ATL 24.50 2.1
43 Kareem Hunt CLE TEN 22.75
44 Kendre Miller NO GB 21.00
45 Matt Breida NYG SF 17.25 1.4
46 Ezekiel Elliott NE NYJ 20.00 6.2
47 De’Von Achane MIA DEN 27.25 1.7
48 Eric Gray NYG SF 17.25
49 Zach Charbonnet SEA CAR 23.50 4
50 Elijah Mitchell SF NYG 27.75 3

Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

Tony Pollard has the best role in fantasy football among all running backs, averaging 20 carries and 5.5 targets per game. This week, he gets a Cardinals team that he could gash for 200 all-purpose yards.

Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons 

Bijan Robinson is pacing for 1,530 rushing yards, 85 receptions, and 638 receiving yards this season.

Kenneth Walker, Seattle Seahawks

Kenneth Walker has 29 carries and seven targets, to Zach Charbonnet’s seven carries and two targets. Walker also has 80 percent of the team’s red zone and goal-line touches. He’s a bell cow on a Seattle Seahawks offense that showed life in Week 2 against Detroit.

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Mixon has 26 carries and 10 targets through two games. No other runner on the roster has more than two carries or two targets. The Cincinnati Bengals offense should correct this week against the Los Angeles Rams, and Mixon should be one of the primary beneficiaries.

Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers

Joshua Kelley ran into the intimidating Tennessee Titans run defense in Week 2 but he gets a Vikings team in Week 3 that just allowed nearly 200 yards to D’Andre Swift. Last week, Kelley handled 13 of 18 running back carries and 29 of 36 running back routes. Think of him as a workhorse in a great offense, playing in a game Vegas projects for more than 50 points.

Detroit Lions Backfield

David Montgomery will be sidelined in Week 3 (thigh), and Jahmyr Gibbs may handle a few more carries in his absence. Gibbs led the team in Week 2 with nine targets (27 percent share), and he’ll probably have 10-12 carries against Atlanta this week. Craig Reynolds likely takes on 15 carries himself because the Lions seem intent on focusing Gibbs’ usage toward the passing game.

Cleveland Browns Backfield

Nick Chubb’s season is already over and Jerome Ford is in line for a significant workload. On Monday night, Ford handled 16 carries, running for 106 yards (69 on one big run). He also caught three of four targets for 25 yards and a touchdown (22.1 PPR points). The Titans are a tough matchup, but his pass-game involvement should be enough to keep him in the fantasy RB2 range. Pierre Strong is a blazing back formerly with the New England Patriots. He should mix in for 10 carries between the 20-yard lines and is probably not fantasy-relevant.

James Cook, Buffalo Bills

James Cook ran 17 times for 123 yards and caught all four targets for 36 yards, scoring 19.9 fantasy points. However, he was taken out at the goal line, with Latavius Murray and Damien Harris combining for five goal-line attempts in Week 2. Cook has incredible usage, but he’ll have difficulty posting elite fantasy numbers without the touchdown upside.

D’Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles

Swift carries 28 times for 175 yards and a touchdown on Thursday night. He also ran 17 routes, catching all three targets for six yards. Whether or not Kenneth Gainwell is healthy, I’d imagine Swift played his way into the starting role ahead of Week 3. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a solid defense, but Swift’s dynamic speed, combined with the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line, makes him a priority start in Week 3.

Washington Commanders Backfield

Brian Robinson has out-touched Antonio Gibson 40 to nine through two games.

New York Giants Backfield

With Saquon Barkley on the shelf for three weeks, this projects to be a gross committee for fantasy football. Matt Breida should handle early down work, with Gary Brightwell mixing in. The upside play these next three weeks is rookie Eric Gray, who has a solid pass-catching background from college. Fantasy managers shouldn’t start any of these backs in Week 3 against the 49ers defense.


Top 74 Wide Receivers

Rank Name Team Opp Team Total xPPR
1 Justin Jefferson MIN LAC 26.50 17.9
2 Tyreek Hill MIA DEN 27.25 23
3 Stefon Diggs BUF WAS 25.50 16.1
4 Keenan Allen LAC MIN 27.50 18.2
5 Amon-Ra St. Brown DET ATL 24.50 12.9
6 Ja’Marr Chase CIN LA 23.00 13.5
7 CeeDee Lamb DAL ARI 27.75 10.9
8 Davante Adams LV PIT 21.50 13.8
9 Calvin Ridley JAX HOU 26.25 16.8
10 A.J. Brown PHI TB 25.75 13.7
11 Chris Olave NO GB 21.00 16.3
12 DeVonta Smith PHI TB 25.75 14.5
13 Tee Higgins CIN LA 23.00 18.6
14 Puka Nacua LA CIN 21.00 23.4
15 DK Metcalf SEA CAR 23.50 11.3
16 Deebo Samuel SF NYG 27.75 15.6
17 Mike Evans TB PHI 20.25 15.3
18 Michael Pittman IND BAL 18.25 17.2
19 Mike Williams LAC MIN 27.50 15.1
20 Tyler Lockett SEA CAR 23.50 15.3
21 Amari Cooper CLE TEN 22.75 13.9
22 Zay Flowers BAL IND 25.75 12.6
23 Jerry Jeudy DEN MIA 20.75 7.4
24 Nico Collins HOU JAX 17.75 15.5
25 DeAndre Hopkins TEN CLE 18.75 14.1
26 DJ Moore CHI KC 17.50 6.9
27 Jordan Addison MIN LAC 26.50 10.4
28 Chris Godwin TB PHI 20.25 12.5
29 Garrett Wilson NYJ NE 17.00 11.5
30 Jakobi Meyers LV PIT 21.50 20.7
31 George Pickens PIT LV 22.50 13.4
32 Terry McLaurin WAS BUF 19.00 7.8
33 Drake London ATL DET 21.00 7.1
34 Tutu Atwell LA CIN 21.00 13.3
35 Michael Thomas NO GB 21.00 14.4
36 Christian Kirk JAX HOU 26.25 9.9
37 Jayden Reed GB NO 22.50 11.6
38 Elijah Moore CLE TEN 22.75 12.9
39 Josh Reynolds DET ATL 24.50 11.4
40 Jahan Dotson WAS BUF 19.00 8.9
41 Gabe Davis BUF WAS 25.50 10.2
42 Courtland Sutton DEN MIA 20.75 10.1
43 Rashod Bateman BAL IND 25.75 4.2
44 Robert Woods TEN CLE 18.75 14.8
45 K.J. Osborn MIN LAC 26.50 11.1
46 Romeo Doubs GB NO 22.50 9.2
47 Marquise Brown ARI DAL 15.75 13.4
48 Darnell Mooney CHI KC 17.50 6.1
49 Tank Dell HOU JAX 17.75 9.6
50 Kendrick Bourne NE NYJ 20.00 15.3
51 Brandin Cooks DAL ARI 27.75 5.8
52 Treylon Burks TEN CLE 18.75 7.2
53 Jaxon Smith-Njigba SEA CAR 23.50 7.5
54 Allen Robinson PIT LV 22.50 7.6
55 Marquez Valdes-Scantling KC CHI 30.50 4.1
56 Rashid Shaheed NO GB 21.00 11.3
57 Skyy Moore KC CHI 30.50 6.8
58 Adam Thielen CAR SEA 19.00 8.5
59 Michael Gallup DAL ARI 27.75 3.3
60 Darius Slayton NYG SF 17.25 9.1
61 Isaiah Hodgins NYG SF 17.25 8.3
62 Tyler Boyd CIN LA 23.00 7.9
63 Donovan Peoples-Jones CLE TEN 22.75 4.3
64 Josh Downs IND BAL 18.25 9.5
65 Curtis Samuel WAS BUF 19.00 8.8
66 Josh Palmer LAC MIN 27.50 4.9
67 Chase Claypool CHI KC 17.50 7.3
68 Jalin Hyatt NYG SF 17.25 3.8
69 DeVante Parker NE NYJ 20.00 11
70 Marvin Mims DEN MIA 20.75 7.6
71 DJ Chark CAR SEA 19.00 2
72 Kadarius Toney KC CHI 30.50 7.8
73 Jonathan Mingo CAR SEA 19.00 10.1
74 Calvin Austin PIT LV 22.50 7.6

Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

There’s some chance Burrow misses Week 3 (calf), but if he plays, it’s a clear game to get back on track facing a porous Rams defense. Tee Higgins had a massive Week 2 game (12 targets, eight catches for 89 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, 28.9 PPR points), and Ja’Marr Chase had at least eight targets in both contests.

Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams

Puka Nacua had at least 15 targets, 10 receptions, and 119 receiving yards in each game, and Week 2 was particularly impressive, considering he did it against the 49ers. He should excel again, facing the Bengals in Week 3.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans led the team in targets both weeks, topping 110 air yards and 18.6 fantasy points in both contests. Early on, he has better chemistry with Mayfield than Chris Godwin.

Michael Pittman, Indianapolis Colts

Michael Pittman has reached 11 targets in both games, and Gardner Minshew should start over Anthony Richardson (concussion) in Week 3, which likely results in more volume for the passing game.

Nico Collins, Houston Texans

Nico Collins is pacing for 170 targets and 1,921 receiving yards through two games. While that pace won’t last, the Texans offense should be in garbage-time situations each week. They face a Jaguars team that could blow them out in Week 3, giving Collins a nice floor and ceiling in this matchup.

Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings

Jordan Addison has run fewer routes than K.J. Osborn in both games, but he’s also out-produced him in both weeks. A high-scoring game against the Chargers, coupled with motivation from Minnesota’s 0-2 start, could lead to Addison’s first start of the season. He’s already averaged 3.5 receptions and 67 yards per game in a part-time role, scoring in each contest. 

Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens

The Colts might have the NFL’s worst cornerback group, and Zay Flowers is the Ravens’ top wide receiver. Expect a big game from him since he’s hit 62 yards in both games to start the year. Flowers also has an impressive five red zone targets.

Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

Garrett Wilson is pacing for just 110 targets and 60 catches. However, he’s scored a touchdown in both games. He’s averaged 15.4 fantasy points per game (WR23), but his 11.5 expected fantasy points per game on usage is just WR35. With Zach Wilson at quarterback, expect Garrett Wilson to generally perform below expectations moving forward.

Drake London, Atlanta Falcons

The team force-fed Drake London in Week 2, but his team-leading seven targets is still not much to get excited about. He caught six for 67 yards and a touchdown, but that feels like a ceiling game in this offensive environment. Until the Falcons pass more, London is nothing more than a low-floor WR3/WR4 type.

George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers

George Pickens led the team with 10 targets on Monday night, catching just four of them for 127 yards and a touchdown — the majority of that production came on one play. He’s a shaky option each week, given the state of the passing offense, but the 10 targets were very encouraging with WR Diontae Johnson headed to IR.

Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars

Christian Kirk led the team in routes, targets (14), receptions (11), and receiving yards (110) in Week 2 after a disappointing Week 1. Zay Jones and Calvin Ridley were banged up in Week 2, and Kirk should be in line for a strong role again in Week 3. 

Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers

After tying with Romeo Doubs for the team lead with five targets in Week 1, Jayden Reed separated himself in Week 2. His eight targets (32 percent share) led the team, and he caught four passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns. The touchdowns won’t be there most weeks, but seeing him already appear to usurp Doubs in the pecking order is exciting for the young, second-round rookie receiver.

Tank Dell, Houston Texans

Tank Dell drew the start with WR Noah Brown on IR and likely cemented himself as a rest-of-season starter with his performance. He led the team with 10 targets, catching seven for 72 yards and a touchdown. While some small receivers like Rondale Moore only operate close to the line of scrimmage, Dell is more like Tutu Atwell, where he’s operating vertically rather than strictly horizontally — a plus for Dell’s rest-of-season outlook.


Top 26 Tight Ends

Rank Name Team Opp Team Total xPPR
1 Travis Kelce KC CHI 30.50 15.6
2 T.J. Hockenson MIN LAC 26.50 12.7
3 Mark Andrews BAL IND 25.75 11.9
4 George Kittle SF NYG 27.75 7
5 Darren Waller NYG SF 17.25 11.1
6 Evan Engram JAX HOU 26.25 8.7
7 Dallas Goedert PHI TB 25.75 5.4
8 Pat Freiermuth PIT LV 22.50 5.7
9 Zach Ertz ARI DAL 15.75 13.2
10 Hunter Henry NE NYJ 20.00 11.7
11 Sam LaPorta DET ATL 24.50 7.4
12 Cole Kmet CHI KC 17.50 9.4
13 Dalton Kincaid BUF WAS 25.50 8.9
14 David Njoku CLE TEN 22.75 5
15 Kyle Pitts ATL DET 21.00 8.2
16 Jake Ferguson DAL ARI 27.75 9.7
17 Kylen Granson IND BAL 18.25 7.2
18 Durham Smythe MIA DEN 27.25 8.2
19 Tyler Higbee LA CIN 21.00 7.6
20 Chigoziem Okonkwo TEN CLE 18.75 4.9
21 Luke Musgrave GB NO 22.50 7
22 Dalton Schultz HOU JAX 17.75 8.8
23 Irv Smith CIN LA 23.00 6.9
24 Juwan Johnson NO GB 21.00 6.9
25 Hayden Hurst CAR SEA 19.00 7.7
26 Adam Trautman DEN MIA 20.75 6.2

Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals

Zach Ertz caught six passes in Week 1 and Week 2, and his 18 targets through two weeks are the most at the position. He faces a tough Cowboys defense that should put pressure on QB Josh Dobbs all game, forcing him to find his security blanket, Ertz.

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots

Hunter Henry has at least five catches, 52 yards, and a touchdown in both games. He’s on the verge of being a weekly top-eight option.

Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions

Speedy Lions rookie Sam LaPorta has five catches in his first two games and offers a nice floor at the position.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

Cole Kmet leads the Bears with 13 targets through two games. The ceiling is lacking most weeks, but Chicago should be playing catch-up all game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and Kmet should see at least four catches in this contest.

Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

Kyle Pitts has eight targets, four receptions, and 59 yards through two weeks. He’s no longer a must-start option, as the Falcons don’t intend to pass the ball.

Kylen Granson, Indianapolis Colts

Kylen Granson finished third in targets behind Pittman and Josh Downs in both weeks and will have Minshew at quarterback for Week 3. Granson is a solid floor play for teams needing production this week.


Top 13 Defenses

Rank Name Opp Opp Total
1 San Francisco 49ers NYG 17.25
2 Dallas Cowboys ARI 15.75
3 Kansas City Chiefs CHI 17.5
4 Cleveland Browns TEN 18.75
5 New England Patriots NYJ 17
6 Baltimore Ravens IND 18.25
7 Pittsburgh Steelers LV 21.5
8 Philadelphia Eagles TB 20.25
9 Buffalo Bills WAS 19
10 Miami Dolphins DEN 20.75
11 Jacksonville Jaguars HOU 17.75
12 New York Jets NE 20
13 Seattle Seahawks CAR 19

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City is a -13 point home favorite against a Bears offense that has underwhelmed to this point in the season.

Cleveland Browns

Cleveland’s defense has a trench advantage in this contest, which could lead to multiple sacks and turnover opportunities. However, The Browns’ offense has been so unreliable they could put their defense in precarious positions.

New England Patriots

Not only do we get Bill Belichick’s defense against Zach Wilson, but New England’s pass rush has a plus matchup against the Jets.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The defense has played well through the first two weeks. More importantly, Houston’s injury-ravaged offensive line has been a liability early this season.

New York Jets

The Jets still have a great defense, but their offense is bad enough that it may consistently hurt their defense in fantasy. For instance, New England will likely be more conservative on offense in what we expect to be a close game.

Seattle Seahawks

Normally, we only go with 12 options, but this week, we’re going with 13 because of this matchup. Bryce Young’s offense has been non-functional, and he’ll now travel across the country as a six-point underdog.


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