Rest of season rankings: Week 3

Rest of season rankings: Week 3

Player Rankings

Rest of season rankings: Week 3

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(Stew Milne, USA TODAY Sports)

NOTE: These player rankings track a player’s value for the remainder of the season and are intended to be used as a tool, not necessarily a definitive guide to player valuation. The scoring system is performance PPR.

There is no exact science behind season-long rankings, considering all of the variables and situational uncertainties at work. Defensive teams have been added but will not have analysis.

QUARTERBACKS

Rk
Mv
Player
Team
Bye
1
Patrick Mahomes
KC
12
2
Deshaun Watson
HOU
10
3
Aaron Rodgers
GB
11
4
Baker Mayfield
CLE
7
5
Matt Ryan
ATL
9
6
Up10
Lamar Jackson
BAL
8
7
Jared Goff
LAR
9
8
Carson Wentz
PHI
10
9
Dak Prescott
DAL
8
10
Russell Wilson
SEA
11
11
Tom Brady
NE
10
12
Down6
Cam Newton
CAR
7
13
Up17
Kyler Murray
ARI
12
14
Philip Rivers
LAC
12
15
Jameis Winston
TB
7
16
Derek Carr
OAK
6
17
Andy Dalton
CIN
9
18
M. Stafford
DET
5
19
Down18
Kirk Cousins
MIN
12
20
Josh Allen
BUF
6
21
Jimmy Garoppolo
SF
4
22
Down9
Drew Brees
NO
9
23
Down19
M. Trubisky
CHI
6
24
Jacoby Brissett
IND
6
25
Joe Flacco
DEN
10
26
Up36
Daniel Jones
NYG
11
27
Marcus Mariota
TEN
11
28
Up33
Gardner Minshew
JAC
10
29
NR
Mason Rudolph
PIT
7
30
NR
Teddy Bridgewater
NO
9
31
Down23
Sam Darnold
NYJ
4
32
Dwayne Haskins
WAS
10
33
Up35
Josh Rosen
MIA
5
34
Down31
R. Fitzpatrick
MIA
5
35
Case Keenum
WAS
10
36
Down28
Eli Manning
NYG
11
37
Nick Foles
JAC
10
38
Ryan Tannehill
TEN
11

QUARTERBACK MOVEMENT

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Injuries were the big news item on Sunday, and that starts with Roethlisberger, who will undergo elbow surgery and miss the rest of the season. Minus Big Ben, the Steelers will turn their offense over to Mason Rudolph, who looked capable in passing for 112 yards and two scores in relief. The smart money says we’ll see a more balanced attack going forward, but I still saw enough from Rudolph to add him to my watch list.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Brees (hand) is set to miss multiple games for the first time since he joined the Saints in 2006. Initial reports are saying six weeks, so I’m eyeing Week 10 (eight weeks, six games) as a likely return point for Brees and dropping him to low-end QB2 range. New Orleans paid a premium for Teddy Bridgewater, and I think he can keep the team afloat. Bridgewater was always more of a game manager than a difference maker, though, so I’m adding him to the rankings as a QB3 until he proves otherwise.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

I don’t know what’s wrong with Newton, but if you didn’t come away from Thursday night thinking there was something amiss we were watching different games. Newton looked like he was moving around in quicksand, and while he did throw for 300-plus yards and showed more arm strength, his accuracy was atrocious at times, and he hasn’t thrown a TD pass in four straight games. Perhaps the extra rest helps Newton get back on track.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

After completing eight passes in Week 1, Cousins increased that to 14 on Sunday … on 22 more attempts. As bad as the final numbers were, they don’t do the performance justice: 136 of his 230 passing yards came on three plays, two of which probably should’ve been intercepted. In fact, with worse luck (or better hands from Jaire Alexander), Cousins could’ve turned the ball over seven times against the Packers. It’s hard to imagine this doesn’t mean more Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison.

Others of note

Kyler Murray gets a bump after throwing for 349 yards against the Ravens, even if I doubt that 11 runs in a game is a sustainable approach … The training wheels were officially back on Mitchell Trubisky this week as he didn’t top 100 passing yards until his final throw of the game. That offense looks Fox-esque thus far, and I think a run-heavy approach is the direction that the Bears are going … If you contract a middle-school kissing disease you get dropped in the rankings. Sorry, Sam Darnold. And no, I would not add Luke Falk in any format … You had my curiosity Gardner Minshew, but now you have my attention.

RUNNING BACKS

Rk
Mv
Player
Team
Bye
1
C. McCaffrey
CAR
7
2
Saquon Barkley
NYG
11
3
Ezekiel Elliott
DAL
8
4
Up7
Dalvin Cook
MIN
12
5
Alvin Kamara
NO
9
6
David Johnson
ARI
12
7
Joe Mixon
CIN
9
8
James Conner
PIT
7
9
Todd Gurley II
LAR
9
10
Le’Veon Bell
NYJ
4
11
Josh Jacobs
OAK
6
12
Nick Chubb
CLE
7
13
Aaron Jones
GB
11
14
Chris Carson
SEA
11
15
Kerryon Johnson
DET
5
16
Derrick Henry
TEN
11
17
Up19
Sony Michel
NE
10
18
L. Fournette
JAC
10
19
Down13
Devonta Freeman
ATL
9
20
M. Gordon III
LAC
12
21
D. Montgomery
CHI
6
22
James White
NE
10
23
Mark Ingram II
BAL
8
24
Austin Ekeler
LAC
12
25
Marlon Mack
IND
6
26
Down21
Duke Johnson
HOU
10
27
Phillip Lindsay
DEN
10
28
Damien Williams
KC
12
29
Up33
Matt Breida
SF
4
30
D. Singletary
BUF
6
31
Up50
Carlos Hyde
HOU
10
32
Up43
Peyton Barber
TB
7
33
Tarik Cohen
CHI
6
34
Up38
Royce Freeman
DEN
10
35
Miles Sanders
PHI
10
36
Latavius Murray
NO
9
37
LeSean McCoy
KC
12
38
Kenyan Drake
MIA
5
39
Rashaad Penny
SEA
11
40
Down37
Tevin Coleman
SF
4
41
Malcolm Brown
LAR
9
42
Up49
A. Mattison
MIN
12
43
Down36
Jordan Howard
PHI
10
44
Kareem Hunt
CLE
7
45
Ronald Jones II
TB
7
46
Kalen Ballage
MIA
5
47
Jaylen Samuels
PIT
7
48
Up66
Adrian Peterson
WAS
10
49
Up53
Frank Gore
BUF
6
50
Up62
Raheem Mostert
SF
4
51
Justice Hill
BAL
8
52
Tony Pollard
DAL
8
53
Up59
Chris Thompson
WAS
10
54
Justin Jackson
LAC
12
55
Darwin Thompson
KC
12
56
Up58
Jamaal Williams
GB
11
57
Up70
Ito Smith
ATL
9
58
D. Henderson
LAR
9
59
Nyheim Hines
IND
6
60
Down54
Dion Lewis
TEN
11
61
Jalen Richard
OAK
6
62
Down26
Derrius Guice
WAS
10
63
Darren Sproles
PHI
10
64
C.J. Anderson
DET
5
65
Damien Harris
NE
10
66
Ty Montgomery
NYJ
4
67
Giovani Bernard
CIN
9
68
R. Armstead
JAC
10
69
T.J. Yeldon
BUF
6
70
Chase Edmonds
ARI
12
71
Mike Davis
CHI
6
72
Wayne Gallman
NYG
11
73
Jordan Scarlett
CAR
7

RUNNING BACK MOVEMENT

Washington Redskins

It turns out Derrius Guice’s injury was more severe than originally believed, and he’s not eligible to return until Week 11 after being placed on IR. That obviously sends him tumbling down my rankings, and brings Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson up. The two backs will have defined roles with AD being the early-down bruiser, and Thompson operating in passing downs. I don’t expect huge things from either guy, but they could have value in plus matchups. As for Guice, it’s hard not to be skeptical as to what he’ll offer for the rest of 2019.

Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans

Through two weeks, Hyde has 31 touches for 175 yards to Duke Johnson’s 19 for 121. It certainly looks like Hyde is going to do the heavy lifting with Johnson sprinkled in as a change of pace and passing down specialist — that was pretty much the role he filled in Cleveland. I’m moving Hyde way up and dropping Johnson a bit to bring them closer together, and if the trend continues I’ll be flipping them with Hyde being the top back to own in Houston.

David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

I didn’t move Montgomery off a quiet Week 1, and I’m not moving him this week either despite operating as the centerpiece of Chicago’s offense. I really do like his upside and all-around ability, but it’s hard to get too excited about anyone on a team that’s scored 19 points in two games.

Others of note

Minnesota’s offensive approach going forward: run, run, run and then run. As such, Dalvin Cook enters my top five and Alexander Mattison bumps up as well … I’m not moving Joe Mixon or David Johnson yet as both have been dinged up, but the clock is ticking to show me something, especially Mixon … James Conner‘s knee injury doesn’t sound serious, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his role expanded with Rudolph under center … A week after taking a backseat to Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber had 24 touches to Jones’ four so it looks like Barber is still the top back in Tampa … Devin Singletary looked good against the G-Men before injuring his hammy; minus a recovery time frame he stays where he is … I’m taking the same approach with the Chiefs, though Damien Williams has inspired zero confidence with his running this year before his knee trouble … Austin Ekeler had a critical fumble, but I don’t see that affecting Melvin Gordon’s holdout one way or the other. I’m keeping them both in the RB2/RB3 range.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Rk
Mv
Player
Team
Bye
1
DeAndre Hopkins
HOU
10
2
Davante Adams
GB
11
3
Julio Jones
ATL
9
4
Michael Thomas
NO
9
5
J. Smith-Schuster
PIT
7
6
O. Beckham Jr.
CLE
7
7
Mike Evans
TB
7
8
Antonio Brown
NE
6
9
Brandin Cooks
LAR
9
10
Keenan Allen
LAC
12
11
Down8
Adam Thielen
MIN
12
12
Up16
Cooper Kupp
LAR
9
13
Amari Cooper
DAL
8
14
Up19
Chris Godwin
TB
7
15
Kenny Golladay
DET
5
16
Tyler Lockett
SEA
11
17
Down13
Robert Woods
LAR
9
18
Julian Edelman
NE
10
19
Down12
Tyreek Hill
KC
12
20
DJ Moore
CAR
7
21
Tyler Boyd
CIN
9
22
Down18
Stefon Diggs
MIN
12
23
T.Y. Hilton
IND
6
24
Mike Williams
LAC
12
25
Tyrell Williams
OAK
6
26
Up32
L. Fitzgerald
ARI
12
27
Calvin Ridley
ATL
9
28
Down24
A. Robinson II
CHI
6
29
Sammy Watkins
KC
12
30
Down21
Robby Anderson
NYJ
4
31
S. Shepard
NYG
11
32
A.J. Green
CIN
9
33
Up38
Marquise Brown
BAL
8
34
Dede Westbrook
JAC
10
35
Jarvis Landry
CLE
7
36
Josh Gordon
NE
10
37
E. Sanders
DEN
10
38
Will Fuller V
HOU
10
39
Alshon Jeffery
PHI
10
40
Curtis Samuel
CAR
7
41
Up47
Christian Kirk
ARI
12
42
Down35
Corey Davis
TEN
11
43
M. Valdes-Scantling
GB
11
44
DeSean Jackson
PHI
10
45
Up74
John Ross
CIN
9
46
C. Sutton
DEN
10
47
Michael Gallup
DAL
8
48
Up67
Terry McLaurin
WAS
10
49
Jamison Crowder
NYJ
4
50
Up61
DK Metcalf
SEA
11
51
John Brown
BUF
6
52
Up57
DJ Chark Jr.
JAC
10
53
Kenny Stills
HOU
10
54
M. Jones Jr.
DET
5
55
J. Washington
PIT
7
56
Up70
Deebo Samuel
SF
4
57
Anthony Miller
CHI
6
58
G. Allison
GB
11
59
Tre’quan Smith
NO
9
60
Down44
Donte Moncrief
PIT
7
61
Down49
Dante Pettis
SF
4
62
Golden Tate
NYG
11
63
Trey Quinn
WAS
10
64
DeVante Parker
MIA
5
65
Up91
Nelson Agholor
PHI
10
66
Randall Cobb
DAL
8
67
Chris Conley
JAC
10
68
Mohamed Sanu
ATL
9
69
Rashard Higgins
CLE
7
70
P. Richardson Jr.
WAS
10
71
Danny Amendola
DET
5
72
KeeSean Johnson
ARI
12
73
Up84
Mecole Hardman
KC
12
74
Keke Coutee
HOU
10
75
Adam Humphries
TEN
11
76
Hunter Renfrow
OAK
6
77
Willie Snead IV
BAL
8
78
P. Dorsett II
NE
10
79
Zay Jones
BUF
6
80
A.J. Brown
TEN
11
81
Albert Wilson
MIA
5
82
Robert Foster
BUF
6
83
Ted Ginn Jr.
NO
9
84
M. Goodwin
SF
4
85
Miles Boykin
BAL
8
86
B. Perriman
TB
7
87
D. Hamilton
DEN
10
88
P. Williams
MIA
5
89
Taylor Gabriel
CHI
6
90
Chad Beebe
MIN
12
91
Andy Isabella
ARI
12
92
Jalen Hurd
SF
4
93
D. Thomas
NYJ
10
94
Devin Funchess
IND
6

WIDE RECEIVER MOVEMENT

Philadelphia Eagles

If thought the injury bug was done snacking on prominent NFL talent for the week, think again. The Eagles lost Alshon Jeffery (calf) and DeSean Jackson (groin) early in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, and it sounds as though Jeffery could miss the next two games — Philly plays on Thursday in Week 4, which increases the likelihood he’ll be held out. There’s been nothing new on D-Jax, but it wouldn’t be surprising for him to end up on the same timetable as Jeffery. In their absence we’re moving Nelson Agholor up despite some brutal plays Sunday night. Understand, however, that his value is likely to be short lived.

Minnesota Vikings

Despite the individual and collective talent of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, I feel compelled to move both players down in the rankings due primarily to Cousins’ struggles and what that likely means to the run-pass distribution. Thielen (8-118-1) is the preferred option, and I’m keeping him in fringe WR1 territory. Diggs (3-86-1) is more concerning as he’s struggled late in each of his four seasons. If that trend continues this would become a hugely disappointing year for Diggs.

Kansas City Chiefs

With Tyreek Hill (shoulder) expected to miss several more weeks I’m moving him down a few spots. Minus Hill, I’m not sure there’s an alpha in Kansas City, which has already produced standout performances from Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman. Bottom line, Patrick Mahomes is the star, and he’s finding whoever the defense ignores, which could make week-to-week value for non-Hill wideouts tough to anticipate.

Others of note

Michael Thomas will stay put for now while we see how he works with Bridgewater after a week’s worth of preparation … Michael Gallup will have arthroscopic knee surgery and miss a few weeks, but since I already had him ranked pretty conservatively I won’t be adjusting him … The Jets’ quarterback situation pushes Robby Anderson down, despite Luke Falk zeroing in on him. Defenses will wise to that. I’m using the season-ending injury to Quincy Enunwa to keep Jamison Crowder where he is … I’m not moving JuJu Smith-Schuster. If anything, I could see Rudolph throwing his way even more often than Big Ben … Cooper Kupp is the most reliable of the Rams receivers right now, so I’m essentially swapping him and Robert Woods, though all three remain viable WR2s … I’m still not fully on the John Ross bandwagon, but 270 receiving yards and three TDs have to count for something … It’s not a great time for receivers named Donte (or Dante).

TIGHT ENDS

Rk
Mv
Player
Team
1
Travis Kelce
KC
2
Zach Ertz
PHI
3
Evan Engram
NYG
4
George Kittle
SF
5
Up12
Mark Andrews
BAL
6
Austin Hooper
ATL
7
Down5
O.J. Howard
TB
8
Jared Cook
NO
9
Up11
Vance McDonald
PIT
10
Darren Waller
OAK
11
T.J. Hockenson
DET
12
Down6
Hunter Henry
LAC
13
Delanie Walker
TEN
14
Jimmy Graham
GB
15
Eric Ebron
IND
16
Up21
Greg Olsen
CAR
17
David Njoku
CLE
18
Trey Burton
CHI
19
Up31
Jason Witten
DAL
20
Kyle Rudolph
MIN
21
Jack Doyle
IND
22
Jordan Reed
WAS
23
NR
Will Dissly
SEA
24
Mike Gesicki
MIA
25
Dallas Goedert
PHI
26
Chris Herndon
NYJ
27
Noah Fant
DEN
28
Tyler Eifert
CIN
29
Cameron Brate
TB
30
Gerald Everett
LAR
31
Matt LaCosse
NE
32
Jonnu Smith
TEN
33
Tyler Higbee
LAR
34
Nick Vannett
SEA
35
C.J. Uzomah
CIN
36
Vernon Davis
WAS
37
Hayden Hurst
BAL

TIGHT END MOVEMENT

Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers

Tight ends can be a young quarterback’s best friend, and Rudolph found McDonald for a pair of touchdowns after replacing Roethlisberger on Sunday. Granted, the yards weren’t there (his seven grabs covered a mere 38 yards), but the Steelers are short on reliable options in the passing game. I think McDonald could be a busy target in the weeks to come.

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Howard’s initial placement in the top five was based more on talent than past production, but he’s off to a terrible start with only four receptions (none in Week 2) and one “he can play a heck of a lot better” comment from head coach Bruce Arians. I’m officially worried about Howard am moving him down a couple pegs with another drop pending if there’s no improvement in Week 3.

Others of note

Hunter Henry is set to miss about a month with a knee fracture, which pushes him out of the top 10, but with so few contributors at the position you shouldn’t even entertain the notion of cutting him … Mark Andrews has topped 100 yards and scored in each of Baltimore’s first two games. With their passing game better than anticipated it’s time to elevate Andrews, albeit with the caveat that he has faced some truly uninspired competition … I wrote last week that there were going to be ups and downs with T.J. Hockenson. Consider Week 2 a reminder … Greg Olsen went for 110 yards Sunday, marking just his second 100-plus-yard performance since October 2016. He could be worth a speculative pickup … Jason Witten scored for the second straight week. You could probably do worse.

DEFENSE

Rk
Mv
Team
Team
Bye
1
Bears
CHI
6
2
Rams
LAR
9
3
Ravens
BAL
8
4
Patriots
NE
10
5
Vikings
MIN
12
6
Chargers
LAC
12
7
Cowboys
DAL
8
8
Texans
HOU
10
9
Jaguars
JAC
10
10
Up14
Packers
GB
11
11
Eagles
PHI
10
12
Seahawks
SEA
11
13
Saints
NO
9
14
Up17
49ers
SF
4
15
Chiefs
KC
12
16
Browns
CLE
7
17
Down11
Broncos
DEN
10
18
Titans
TEN
11
19
Jets
NYJ
4
20
Up25
Lions
DET
9
21
Panthers
CAR
6
22
Colts
IND
6
23
Up28
Bills
BUF
9
24
Raiders
OAK
11
25
Falcons
ATL
5
26
Cardinals
ARI
5
27
Down19
Redskins
WAS
10
28
Steelers
PIT
6
29
Buccaneers
TB
7
30
Down27
Bengals
CIN
12
31
Giants
NYG
7
32
Dolphins
MIA
7

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