by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
With two weeks of data it’s impossible to say the picture is crystal clear, but we are definitely starting to gain clarity. Whether it’s how good a quarterback and their offense is or if it’s which defense you want to try and capitalize on, the decisions are getting a little bit easier. Of course injuries, and the subsequent, return to health blur the lines. Who are the quarterbacks to trust in Week 3? Who should we shy away from? Let’s take a look:
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – at Detroit
- Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. San Francisco
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Tampa Bay
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – at Washington
- Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Buffalo
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Dallas
- Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers – at Kansas City
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. Cincinnati
- Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans – vs. New York Giants
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Pittsburgh
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. New England
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
- Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Indianapolis
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Carolina
- Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers – at Los Angeles Rams
- Alex Smith – Washington Redskins – vs. Green Bay
- Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tennessee
- Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – at Philadelphia
- Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – at Seattle
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Denver
- Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins – vs. Oakland
- Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – at Arizona
- Tyrod Taylor – Cleveland Browns – vs. New York Jets
- Did Week 2 bring questions about Tom Brady and company or did it show just how good Jacksonville’s defense is? It’s probably a mix of the two, though it’s obvious how underwhelming the Patriots’ receiving corps is without Julian Edelman (though the addition of Josh Gordon will help significantly, though we’ll have to wait and see if he’s healthy enough to play in Week 3). We would expect Brady to take advantage of a Detroit defense that poses a significantly easier matchup, so don’t downgrade him quite yet.
- Can anyone slow down Patrick Mahomes and the dynamic Chiefs’ offense? It’s impossible to expect anyone to continue this type of torrid pace, as he’s thrown for 10 TD over the first two weeks, but he’s got a favorable matchup and should keep the good times rolling. He’s quickly emerging as a Top 5 quarterback each and every week, and a matchup for the 49ers thrusts him even higher.
- Is it a surprise that James Conner took a significant step backwards in Week 2 (8 carries for 17 yards)? The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle of his first two weeks (think 75-80 yards), while there’s no reason to think that Roethlisberger and company won’t continue to carry the offense (he’s averaged just over 50 attempts/game to open the year). Eventually Le’Veon Bell is going to return and things could change, but for now value Roethlisberger as one of the better options.
- We all know that the Buffalo Bills are among the worst teams in the NFL and their secondary is no exception. They’ve allowed 6 TD vs. 0 INT over the first two weeks, as well as 516 passing yards. Cousins is coming off a big day against the Packers (425 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT) and while there’s a risk of getting out to a big lead and taking a ground-based approach, he should put up big stats before that happens.
- While Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t put up the type of numbers we’d have expected (467 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT), the 49ers are going to have to throw early and often to try and keep pace with the Chiefs. Considering the type of games they’ve been playing it’s no surprise that Kansas City has allowed the most points per week to opposing quarterbacks and look for Garoppolo to be the latest to take advantage. Consider him a QB1 in all formats.
- Blake Bortles didn’t look like the same quarterback in Week 2, he looked like one of the elite throwing for 377 yards, 4 TD and 1 INT against the Patriots. He has far too long of a track record for us to think that will continue, and a return to health of Leonard Fournette will help to limit his opportunities. He looks like a viable QB2, but don’t push him too high until he proves this wasn’t an aberration.
- Philip Rivers has the unenviable matchup with the Rams in Week 3, who have 4 INT and have yet to allow a passing TD over the first two weeks. While Rivers shouldn’t be considered a must sit, as he’s thrown for 3 TD in each of the first two weeks, his value drops significantly due to matchup concerns.
- The Philadelphia Eagles’ defense should be out to prove that their Week 2 performance was a fluke, while Andrew Luck continues to struggle making big plays (he’s averaging under 6 yards per attempt). While Luck’s name is going to draw you in, he’s simply not an ideal play for the coming week.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings: