Welcome to Week 3, friends. As always, we’re here to provide you with some Quick Grades (or Start/Sit Grades, if you prefer) for the week.
We tapped into our consensus projections and rankings and Derek Brown’s weekly Primer to generate this week’s Quick Grades. See below for the results and accompanying notes.
Check out the rest of our weekly fantasy football advice >>
Week 3 QB Start/Sit Grades
|3||A||Patrick Mahomes II||KC||IND|
NotesRead:Is 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo too beautiful to play quarterback?
Matt Ryan: After two games, the Colts’ receiver room has been decimated by injuries. We’ll see if that changes this week, but Ryan has suffered as the QB28 in fantasy. Kansas City might be 22nd in pass defense DVOA, but that’s largely due to their 11th ranking in passing touchdown rate allowed. They are 16th in success rate and EPA per dropback with the eighth-lowest yards per attempt allowed. Their pass rush has been unstoppable, ranking second in hurry rate and third in pressure rate. This is where Ryan crumbles. Through two games among 33 quarterbacks (minimum ten pressured dropbacks), he’s 31st in PFF’s pressured passing grade and 26th in pressured yards per attempt. Ryan is a low-end QB2.
Lamar Jackson: Jackson is a mid-QB1 this week after his smash performance against Miami. New England has surrendered the ninth-lowest explosive pass rate, the 11th-lowest success rate per dropback, and the 12th-lowest EPA per dropback. Last time Jackson faced this defense, he completed 70.5% of his passes with 7.3 yards per attempt while rushing for 55 yards as the QB7. Yes, I know that far in the past has no relevance on depth charts and matchups this season, but I think his stat line this week probably looks eerily similar. I would be more energetic if the Patriots were the man coverage-heavy team of old, but they have been deploying more zone this year. In Week 1, their outside corners played zone on 62-68% of their snaps. Jackson’s splits last year against man and zone were massive. His completion rate (27th) and accuracy rating (23rd) against zone were outside the top 22 quarterbacks in the NFL (against man coverage third and fifth in those metrics).Read:Knicks’ Obi Toppin looking to improve defense, jump shot
Mac Jones: With the slow-moving nature of this Patriots’ offense and heavy instance on rushing, Jones is a low-end QB2 this week. Jones has only finished as a top 12 fantasy quarterback in 31.6% of his NFL starts. Small sample variance: Baltimore’s pass defense looks like a pushover on paper after Tua Tagovailoa and his talented receivers dismantled them in Week 2. In Week 1, the Ravens’ pass defense allowed the ninth-lowest EPA per dropback and 11th-lowest success rate per dropback. Depending on the health of their cornerback unit entering the weekend, I could be revising my stance here. We’ll see.
Davis Mills: Davis Mills is a low-end QB2 at best this week. He has followed up a standout rookie season with a disappointing beginning to 2022. He has only mustered 5.6 yards per attempt at the QB27 in fantasy. The Bears might be a laughing stock in the minds of many, but their defense hasn’t been. They are 17th in pass defense DVOA with the 12th-lowest success rate per dropback. Chicago also is first in pressure rate while only blitzing on 1.6% of their defensive plays. Mills has been pressured at the 12th highest rate this year.
Justin Fields: Justin Fields is another low-end QB2, but he does present some upside. Has it been pretty through two games? No. He’s finished as the QB23 and QB27 with a combined 28 pass attempts. This is a good avenue to ramp up his passing volume to see where he’s at if you’re the Bears. Fields has been the second-most pressured passer in the NFL, but Houston is only 15th in pressure rate. The Texans are seventh-worth in explosive pass rate and passing yards per game. They have relinquished the 12th-highest EPA per dropback. If you have Fields in Superflex or 2QB formats, he could present more upside this week than the Jameis Winstons and Ryan Tannehills of the world.Read:“What a Difference a Year Makes!” – Rich Eisen on the Jaguars' 38-10 Thumping of the Chargers – The Rich Eisen Show
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.
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Week 3 WR Start/Sit Grades
|7||A||Amon-Ra St. Brown||DET||MIN|
|26||B||Allen Robinson II||LAR||ARI|
|32||B-||Michael Pittman Jr.||IND||KC|
|49||C||D.J. Chark Jr.||DET||MIN|
|66||D-||Marvin Jones Jr.||JAC||LAC|
|73||F||Richie James Jr.||NYG||DAL|
|85||F||Equanimeous St. Brown||CHI||HOU|
|102||F||Cedrick Wilson Jr.||MIA||BUF|
|108||F||Terrace Marshall Jr.||CAR||NO|
|111||F||David Sills V||NYG||DAL|
|126||F||James Proche II||BAL||NE|
|153||F||Laviska Shenault Jr.||CAR||NO|
|162||F||Keelan Cole Sr.||LV||TEN|
|163||F||Phillip Dorsett II||HOU||CHI|
Brandin Cooks: Cooks might be another year older, but he’s not ready to be put out to pasture yet. Among 57 wide receivers with ten or more targets, he’s 30th in yards per route run but 47th in PFF receiving grade. These aren’t damning numbers when you marry it with his insane volume and role. He’s 11th in target share (30.1%) and 12th in weighted opportunity with a 36% air yard share. He’ll run about 74% of his routes on the perimeter against Jaylon Johson and Kindle Vildor. Don’t be surprised if the team does move him inside more this week. Johnson and Vildor have combined to allow a 55.5% catch rate and 77.0 passer rating. Teams have picked on slot corner Kyler Gordon through two games. He’s defended the third-most targets in the NFL (18) allowing the most receiving yards in the NFL with a 155.8 passer rating.
JuJu Smith-Schuster: JuJu Smith-Schuster has seen a 15.1% target share running 50% of his routes from the slot. He’s yet to see an endzone target, and his efficiency numbers have been woeful, with a 1.46 yards per route run and 18% target per route run rate. His aDOT (7.8) is the lowest among all the wide receivers on the roster. This is a good matchup to get him going, though. Smith-Schuster main calling card these days is the ability to beat zone coverage. Lucky for him, the Colts have deployed zone on 69-76% of their cornerbacks’ routes. Limited sample, yes, but Smith-Schuster’s splits this year against man and zone have been huge. Against man, he has a 0.91 yards per route run, but that flies up to 2.79 against zone, which is fifth-best (minimum five zone targets). When inside, he’ll match up with Kenny Moore, who allows an 81.8% catch rate and 146.0 passer rating this season. He’s a WR3 with upside this week.
Mecole Hardman: Hardman is a dart throw WR6. He’s splitting routes with Justin Watson with only a 57.1% route run rate. His other peripherals are also yuck, with a 1.48 yards per route run. His target-per-route run rate is at 23%, which is nice, but that’s only amounted to five targets per game. When on the field, he’s alternated with Smith-Schuster in the slot (50%), so he’ll see a good bit of Moore. I would be much higher on him if he were a 100% snap player in Week 3.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Smith-Schuster and Valdes-Scantling have been the only full-time wide receivers for the Chiefs (highest route run rate of 83.1%). The problem for Valdes-Scantling is he’s been the team’s trusted man coverage beater, with 66.7% of his targets coming against this coverage type. With a boatload of zone coverage in store for these receivers in Week 3, you should sit Valdes-Scantling. He’s a WR5/6 type.
Rashod Bateman: Bateman is on his way to a breakout season. He’s currently the WR18 in fantasy. After Week 2, he’s third in yards per route run (minimum ten targets) and 20th in targets per route run. He’s handled a 20.2% target share and 29% of the team’s air yards. He’ll see Jalen Mills and Jonathan Jones on nearly 86% of his routes. Mills and Jones have combined to allow a 60% catch rate and 128.3 passer rating in coverage. Bateman is a top 24 wide receiver.
Robert Woods: Woods is just a mediocre WR5/6 at this juncture. He’s seen a 13.5% target share with the highest route run rate among the wide receivers (75.4%). His 1.13 yards per route run and 0.30 weighted opportunity display a wide receiver that’s sadly cooked at this point. He’ll run about 65% of his routes against Nate Hobbs and Rock Ya-Sin. Hobbs has allowed a 69.2% catch rate and 77.7 passer rating. Ya-Sin is playing well with a 45.5% catch rate and a 66.5 passer rating in coverage.
Amon-Ra St. Brown: St. Brown has been a revelation about betting on talent. He’s fourth among wideouts in target share (34.3%), 15th in weighted opportunity, and 17th in yards per route run. He has a 25.5% air yard share running about 75% of his routes from the slot. He’ll match up with Chandon Sullivan, who has given up a 90% catch rate and 107.9 passer rating. St. Brown is a top-ten wide receiver until further notice (WR4 in fantasy points currently).
D.J. Chark: After a big Week 1 with 52 receiving yards and a score (WR22), Chark disappeared last week. He was targeted four times while failing to record any receptions. He’s outside the top 50 wide receivers in target share (16.9%) and target per route rate (17.9%). 41.6% of his target volume has been on deep targets. Minnesota is 13th in DVOA against deep passing this season. Chark will see Patrick Peterson and Cameron Dantzler on about 85% of his routes. These two corners have combined to allow a 70% catch rate and 85.6 passer rating in coverage. Chark is a WR5.
Check out all of our Week 3 fantasy football content >>
Week 3 RB Start/Sit Grades
|23||B-||Jeff Wilson Jr.||SF||DEN|
|30||C||Darrell Henderson Jr.||LAR||ARI|
|34||C||Travis Etienne Jr.||JAC||LAC|
|36||C||Melvin Gordon III||DEN||SF|
|41||D+||Mark Ingram II||NO||CAR|
|46||F||Ken Walker III||SEA||ATL|
|81||F||Tony Jones Jr.||NO||CAR|
|88||F||Benny Snell Jr.||PIT||CLE|
|89||F||Pierre Strong Jr.||NE||BAL|
Joe Mixon: Mixon has been a volume monster. Despite zero touchdowns on his resume, he’s the RB9 in fantasy. He’s averaged 28 touches and 114 total yards with a 14.8% target share (eighth-best). His efficiency has been good in the passing game (14th in yards per route run) but mediocre as a rusher. He’s 42nd in yards created per touch, 36th in breakaway run rate, and 57th in true yards per carry. Mixon should have another solid day against a plus matchup on the ground. The Jets are second-worst in explosive run rate while also ranking 14th-worst in rush EPA and 12th-worst in rushing yards allowed per game. New York is 22nd and 18th in second-level and open field yards allowed. When Mixon is targeted out of the backfield, he can create some big plays against a team that’s 29th in DVOA against receiving backs. Mixon is a top-ten RB option in Week 3.
Michael Carter: Carter remains the leader of this backfield as one of the most underrated backs in the NFL. He’s averaged 14.5 touches and 75 total yards. He’s a top-13 back in yards created per touch, breakaway run rate, and evaded tackles. While his percentage of the rushing attempts dipped that is likely a one week outlier than signal at this point. His pass game role remained. The Bengals are an atrocious matchup for the second-year back. They have surrendered the fifth-lowest rushing success rate, tenth-lowest rushing EPA, and 13th-fewest fantasy points per game. The good thing is they are only average in explosive run rate (15th) and DVOA (15th). Carter is a low-end RB3/high-end RB4.
Breece Hall: Hall has been rendered a middle-of-the-pack RB4. He’s averaged ten touches and 60.5 total yards. The problem for Hall is the two-way split in passing down work has now become a three-way committee, with Hall losing routes to Ty Johnson. While his early down role is unaffected, with a tough matchup on the ground and an offense that is anything but high-flying, Hall is a low-upside flex.
Josh Jacobs: After getting demolished in Week 1 against Saquon Barkley, the Titan’s run defense bounced back in Week 2. They allowed the fifth-lowest rushing success rate and 11th-lowest rush EPA. These numbers are in line with last year, where they gave up the lowest explosive run rate and rushing yards per game in the NFL. After Josh Jacobs could not take advantage of a cakewalk Arizona run defense last week running behind an offensive line that’s no higher than 17th in any adjusted line yard metric, it doesn’t seem any more promising in Week 3. Jacobs is fifth in opportunity share and 20th in route participation averaging 15.5 touches and 77 total yards. He’s tenth in yards after contact per attempt and fourth in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum ten carries). With 15-20 touch upside in a game that projects for neutral and positive game script, Jacobs is an unspectacular RB2.
Derrick Henry: Has the big dog lost his bite? That’s the worry. Running behind an offensive line that’s 16th in adjusted line yards and 21st in second-level yards, Henry has looked like a mere mortal. He’s averaged 17 touches and 53.5 total yards through two games. Among 51 running backs with at least ten carries, he ranks 27th in yards after contact per attempt, 28th in breakaway percentage, and 36th in PFF’s elusive rating. These aren’t the type of numbers you hoped for when you selected him in the first round of drafts. The matchup this week is tough. The Raiders are top six in adjusted line yards, second-level yards, and open field yards allowed. They have permitted the seventh-lowest rush EPA and sixth-lowest explosive run rate. Henry remains a low-end RB1 based on projected volume and goal-line work, but he could be slipping into RB2 territory in the coming weeks.
Devin Singletary: Singletary is a mid-tier RB3. His snap share (55.3%) and opportunity share (40.8%) are meh marks. The Bills simply aren’t a team that prioritizes getting their running backs work in any facet. Singletary has only seen two high-value touches per game and two total red zone opportunities. Neither of these is enough to push him any higher despite residing in one of the league’s best offenses. He’s averaged nine touches and 41.5 total yards. Despite allowing the tenth-highest explosive run rate, the remaining factors I look at regarding the Dolphins’ run defense don’t paint a pretty picture for Singletary. Miami has allowed the fourth-lowest rushing EPA and sixth-lowest rushing success rate.
Zack Moss: After an eyebrow-raising 12 touches in Week 1, Moss fell back to earth with 19% of the snaps played and three touches (17 total yards) in Week 2. Don’t play Moss.
James Cook: Cook received work in garbage time last week with a season-high 11 carries (42 rushing yards) and 26% of the snaps played. For fantasy, we can’t depend on blow-out clock sapping carries in any week. Stash Cook. Sit Cook.
Week 3 TE Start/Sit Grades
|13||D+||Irv Smith Jr.||MIN||DET|
|90||F||Donald Parham Jr.||LAC||JAC|
Dallas Goedert: I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. Dallas Goedert would be discussed in the same breath as Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews if he received the same volume. He’s 14th in target share and 26th in targets per route run, but he’s fourth in yards per route run and first in YAC. Pick nearly any efficiency metric for the tight end position, and you’ll find Goedert hovering around the top of the list. Washington was eighth in DVOA against the position last year (25th in 2022), but they allowed the ninth-most receiving yards to tight ends. Goedert is a mid TE1.
Logan Thomas: Logan Thomas is a low-end TE1. Thomas is the TE10 in fantasy scoring with a 12.9% target share (19th) and 19.6% target per route rate. If Wentz wants to avoid the Eagles’ sizzling corners in Week 3, he should look to pepper Thomas with targets. Thomas is 13th in yards per route run while also seeing a pair of red zone and deep targets. Philly has allowed the sixth-most reception to tight ends while ranking 12th in receiving yards.
Juwan Johnson: Johnson’s usage remains strong, although his fantasy success hasn’t hit yet. He’s the TE19 in fantasy points per game, commanding a 16.9% target share (13th) and a 79.7% route participation (11th). He has seen one deep target and two red zone targets. He’s been efficient with his routes ranking 14th in yards per route run. The Panthers were ninth in DVOA against the position last year. Johnson is in play as a deep streamer, but there are better options to stream.
Evan Engram: Evan Engram is a top 12 fantasy tight end currently (TE12). Engram is the poster child for the importance of volume and routes regarding tight ends. He’s 12th in targets, tenth in target share, and 11th in routes run. These factors overshadow that he’s 16th in yards per route run and only 32nd in yards per reception. Engram can continue his top 12 ways this week against a pliable Chargers secondary. They are 18th in DVOA against the position after finishing 23rd last season. The Bolts are sixth in receptions and fifth in receiving yards allowed to tight ends. Engram is a top 15 option at tight end this week.
Gerald Everett: Everett was a draft season darling of mine who is putting up solid numbers. He’s the TE4 in fantasy points per game with an 18.4% target share (seventh-best). He’s seventh in yards per route run and second in YAC. He has a tough but not insurmountable matchup this week. The Jaguars are tenth in DVOA this year against tight ends after holding the position to the ninth-fewest receiving touchdowns last year.
Week 3 D/ST Start/Sit Grades
|3||A||New Orleans Saints||NO||CAR|
|6||B||Los Angeles Chargers||LAC||JAC|
|8||B||San Francisco 49ers||SF||DEN|
|9||B-||Los Angeles Rams||LAR||ARI|
|13||C||New York Giants||NYG||DAL|
|15||C||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB||GB|
|17||C-||Kansas City Chiefs||KC||IND|
|18||D+||Green Bay Packers||GB||TB|
|20||D||New York Jets||NYJ||CIN|
|23||D-||New England Patriots||NE||BAL|
|27||F||Las Vegas Raiders||LV||TEN|
Week 3 K Start/Sit Grades