Week 3 Rankings (2016): Top 25 Quarterbacks

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:

  1. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
  2. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – vs. Detroit
  3. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – vs. San Diego
  4. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Philadelphia
  5. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
  6. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. Minnesota
  7. Eli Manning – New York Giants – vs. Washington
  8. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. San Francisco
  9. Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals – at Buffalo
  10. Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – at Indianapolis
  11. Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Baltimore
  12. Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – at Tennessee
  13. Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins – vs. Cleveland
  14. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – at Green Bay
  15. Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – at Jacksonville
  16. Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – vs. Oakland
  17. Ryan Fitzpatrick – New York Jets – at Kansas City
  18. Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – at Dallas
  19. Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. New York Jets
  20. Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Chicago
  21. Brock Osweiler – Houston Texans – at New England
  22. Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – at New York Giants
  23. Sam Bradford – Minnesota Vikings – at Carolina
  24. Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Los Angeles
  25. Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Denver

Thoughts:

  • 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:

Week 3 Rankings (2016): Top 20 Tight Ends
Week 2 Rankings (2016): Top 15 Kickers

9 comments

  1. Sam says:

    Which side:
    Gurley/Matthews (Ryan) or Cooper/Diggs/Langford/Dixon

  2. Stephen says:

    What do you think about trading Will Fuller for either Blount or M. Gordon?

  3. Matt says:

    Hi Prof,

    I’ve got Eli and Wilson as my two QBs. Only start one in my league. What are your thoughts on dropping one of these to pick up Matt Ryan long term. He’s been rolling. Thanjs

  4. Matt says:

    And also is Rawls still b the man in Seattle? . THANKS Prof

  5. Randy says:

    In a 12-team standard where were start 2RB/2WR+flex, I have Rivers/Flacco; McCoy/Ingram/Ware/M Gordon/T Coleman/Kenjon Barner; Antonio/Cobb/Marvin J/J Gordon/Dorsett/Tyrell W; and Dwayne Allen. Would you make any moves (Barner obviously being the first drop) for T-West, Dixon, CAP, Asiata, D Washington at RB or Cruz/Parker at WR. Pitta also available at TE; Tannehill at QB. Thanks!

  6. Dron says:

    Traded Isaiah Crowell for Stefon Diggs in 0.5ppr? Good or bad?

  7. Sam – Gurley side because he’s the best player, unless you really need RB

    Stephen – I’d take Gordon for him in a heartbeat

    Matt – I’d still prefer the guys that you have, but Ryan is getting pretty alluring; And yes, Rawls will round into form

    Randy – I like Parker, but you don’t need him. Washington is an intriguing stash with the potential to emerge in Detroit

    Dron – Cleveland is a mess, so that’s a nice deal

  8. bill says:

    Play Fitzpatrick with his banged up receivers with tough matchup at KC, or Russell Wilson with his lackluster play against San Fran? I don’t like either one, but which has the bigger potential for big game?

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