by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Two games aren’t quite enough to draw “definitive” conclusions (then again, in the constantly changing NFL 12 games may not actually be enough), but we are at least starting to get a little bit of clarity. Which defenses can we exploit? Which should we avoid? Which quarterbacks appear primed for monster games? Let’s take a look at how what we’ve learned, when coupled with injuries and other news, come together to form our rankings for the coming week:
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – vs. Detroit
- Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – vs. San Diego
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Philadelphia
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. Minnesota
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – vs. Washington
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. San Francisco
- Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals – at Buffalo
- Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – at Indianapolis
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Baltimore
- Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – at Tennessee
- Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins – vs. Cleveland
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – at Green Bay
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – at Jacksonville
- Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – vs. Oakland
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – New York Jets – at Kansas City
- Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – at Dallas
- Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. New York Jets
- Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Chicago
- Brock Osweiler – Houston Texans – at New England
- Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – at New York Giants
- Sam Bradford – Minnesota Vikings – at Carolina
- Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Los Angeles
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Denver
- Aaron Rodgers hasn’t passed for more than 213 yards in either of his first two games, though both of those have come on the road. He’s taking on a Lions’ defense that he torched for 606 yards, 4 TD and 1 INT in two games last season and has allowed 6 passing TD over the first two weeks. Throw in that it’s his first home start of the season (where he averaged 265.3 yards per game in ’15) and it’s easy to envision a “breakout” performance.
- Maybe Drew Brees didn’t post big numbers against the Giants, but the matchup and locale for Week 3 (he’ll be playing at home) screams of a potential shootout. Atlanta has already allowed 7 passing TD on the season and Brees has thrown for at least 275 yards in fourteen straight starts against them (300+ in eleven of those). In fact, the last time he didn’t throw for at least 275 yards against the Falcons came on December 7, 2008!
- It was a big day for Ryan Tannehill in Week 2, throwing for 389 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT. Of course he was playing from behind all day, coupled with the injury to Arian Foster, which caused him to throw the ball 45 times. We can’t bank on that many pass attempts once again, though a matchup with the Browns and the potential for Foster to miss the game should lead to plenty of opportunities. He’s a borderline QB1, depending on your alternatives.
- Regardless of who makes up the receiving corps, Philip Rivers always manages to find a way doesn’t he? Taking on a Colts’ secondary that’s allowed 606 yards over the first two weeks and there’s little reason to think that he can’t continue posting big numbers.
- While Jameis Winston has shown potential, tossing 4 interceptions in Week 2 has got to get fantasy owners to readjust their thought process. Does he have the upside? Absolutely, but he’s still learning, developing and is going to be inconsistent. The Rams are going to be a difficult matchup, so keep expectations in check.
- Andy Dalton is banged up and draws a tough Broncos defense on the road. If he plays, don’t consider him anything more than a QB2 at this point.
- Marcus Mariota will be the next QB who gets a chance to torch the Raiders swiss cheese pass defense (819 yards, 7 TD). In what should be a run-based offense we still need to keep our expectations in check, but there’s also enough upside to make him a solid QB2 in all formats.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings: