The Fantasy Footballers’ Rankings Audit & Podcast Highlights for Week 3
Welcome in, #Footclan! It’s football time!
With the battle between “The Beard” vs. “The Mustache” decisively won by the magical Ryan Fitzpatrick on Thursday Night Football, we’re once again ready for an exciting slate of games in Week 3 of the National Football League.
As a reminder, this article is another weekly installment where I’ll review the Fantasy Footballers’ player rankings and highlight a few specific players per position that deserve extra attention. I’ll also recap important moments from the past week’s Fantasy Footballers’ podcast episodes with links to each episode provided. So be on the lookout every week for this series!
Also, please keep in mind that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated whenever any breaking news is released. So always refer to their rankings page or click on a specific player below to see their latest rankings!
Now sit back, relax, and…let’s go already!
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
What’s the recipe for QB success in Fantasy Football? It’s likely a combo of the following:
- Pass-heavy offense.
- Passing efficiency.
- Rushing abilities.
Now let’s look at Prescott’s stats so far this year:
- 3rd most passing attempts and 10th most adjusted net yards per pass attempt among all QBs.
- 3rd most completions and 3rd most passing yards, ZERO interceptions.
- Tied for 3rd most rushing TDs among ALL PLAYERS.
Prescott, who just finished as the overall QB1 last week in an amazing comeback against the Falcons, currently has a consensus QB5 ranking by the ‘Ballers gang. He’s listed as a top 12 “Com-Four-table” choice with upside. His QB5 ranking makes sense as he’ll be competing against the expected shootout between (QB1) Lamar Jackson‘s Ravens and (QB4) Patrick Mahomes‘ Chiefs, superstar chef (QB2) Russell Wilson, and dark-horse MVP candidate (QB3) Kyler Murray. However, Prescott’s upcoming matchup against the Seattle Seahawks has the highest projected scoring total of the entire Week 3 slate. He still has exceptional receiving options in Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Ezekiel Elliott (tied for 2nd most receptions by an RB!), and a rising Dalton Schultz (sorry Hitman). And here’s the best part: they’re all healthy. The stars are aligned for Prescott to not only improve on his already high ranking, but to possibly repeat as the overall QB1.
Watch now on @NFLonFOX #ATLvsDAL | #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/XLlNpIolrP
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) September 20, 2020
Jeff Driskel, Denver Broncos
On the other end of the spectrum, there is the Broncos’ new starting QB, Jeff Driskel. Andy, Jason, and Mike all have him ranked as the QB31 this week, sandwiched between the lackluster Dwayne Haskins Jr. and weaponless Sam Darnold. After Drew Lock suffered a rotator cuff strain on his throwing shoulder in the middle of the first quarter, Driskel came in to finish the game. And honestly? He didn’t look that bad. Driskel completed 18 of 34 passes for 256 yards and two TDs with one INT, plus two rushes for five yards. That was good for 22.7 fantasy points, ending as the QB15. Keep in mind, this was against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ brutalizing defense, who previously battered QB Daniel Jones to a QB16 performance in Week 1. As Matthew Stafford‘s backup last year in Weeks 10-12, Driskel was the QB12, QB5, and QB13. It helped that he rushed a combined 22 times for 151 yards and a TD. Though he won’t have Courtland Sutton, he’ll still have Jerry Jeudy (hopefully), a finally healthy K.J. Hamler, Noah Fant, and Melvin Gordon in his arsenal. Add his rushing upside, and you got a sneaky QB2 available for free. It won’t be easy against the Buccaneers, but I believe he’ll be serviceable enough for 2QB or SF leagues. The cherry on top is that he has the New York Jets on the docket for Week 4.
Running Back Rankings
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs’ first-round draft pick, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, makes his debut out of the RB1 echelon with a consensus RB13 ranking. This ranking follows a surprisingly difficult overtime victory last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, where CEH rushed only 10 times for 38 yards and caught six of eight targets for an additional 32 yards. His 10.0 half PPR points made him Week 2’s RB30. This week, he has an even tougher opponent in the Baltimore Ravens, who have given up the LEAST fantasy points to RBs. But let’s take a closer look. His 10 Red Zone rushes are tied for 3rd most among active RBs this week. Despite his recent down-game, his combined 35 carries are tied for 8th–which includes an inactive Christian McCaffrey, as well as James Robinson and Myles Gaskin who’ve already played this week. He’s also 8th in rushing yards per game. Had his 30-yard reception not been called back against the Chargers, he would’ve finished Week 2 as an RB2 instead of an RB3. It’s important to note that this was a divisional match against an underrated defense, which usually leads to betting disasters. It’s also encouraging to see Edwards-Helaire’s targets increase from two to eight, inferring a safe floor regardless of game script. The Ravens defense is ironclad, but they’re not impenetrable. He is due for his first rushing score, and will certainly have his opportunities to do so in a barn burner matchup. There’s a reason this game has the 3rd highest implied scoring total and is scheduled for a featured Monday Night Football spotlight. This is going to be a firefight.
Melvin Gordon III, Denver Broncos
When will the disrespect end? Week after week, the fantasy community continues to stomp all over the good name of Melvin Gordon. The ‘Ballers even have him as their consensus RB21, but he continues to outperform expectations. In Week 1 against the Titans’ stout defense (who had just added stud DE Jadeveon Clowney), Gordon finished as the RB16. But okay, that was because Phillip Lindsay left the game with an injury. In Week 2 against the Steelers’ bulletproof defense, Gordon finished as the RB18 but ended with more fantasy points than the previous week. Now, he faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers underrated yet susceptible defense, who’ve allowed the 7th most points to RBs. Lindsay returned to practice but is expected to be inactive again. The Broncos will be missing QB Drew Lock and WR Courtland Sutton, but replacement QB Jeff Driskel‘s rushing abilities will help disguise Gordon’s runs, and their disintegrating supporting cast should only benefit Gordon with more passes. “Flash” has enough opportunity, talent, and protection to ensure a safe RB2 floor with TD upside. Don’t be scared to play him.
Wide Receiver Rankings
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears
Chicago’s WR Allen Robinson is the definition of trying to “make lemonade out of lemons.” He first had to deal with the oft-ridiculed Blake Bortles during his time with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now, he’s working with the equally mocked Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears. How did he do in both stints?
Allen Robinson's Career Rankings (half PPR):
2017: WR186 (injured)
2020 (so far): WR52
Notice a pattern?…🧐#FantasyFootball
— Peter Chung (@FF_Hypeman) September 25, 2020
Peculiar, right? Although it’s just a cheeky observation, Robinson appears to erupt in his second year of unstable QB play then crashes back to earth the following season. His current ranking is somehow worse than teammate Anthony Miller (WR45), who laid a fat ZERO last week in a lackluster win against the Giants, and is even lower than the last healthy WR for the New York Jets, Braxton Berrios. So why is he the gang’s consensus WR5 and Mike’s Start of the Week? Because he faces the Atlanta Falcons’ charitable defense, that’s why. Their CBs have allowed the 4th most points to WRs. Robinson’s tied for 10th most targets among WRs. This has all the makings for an explosive, get-right game. If you can, trade for him now before he explodes on Sunday.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
The ‘Ballers currently have A.J. Green as their consensus WR29. It’s totally understandable as he’s been a disappointment this year, ranking as the WR65 so far. But he’s poised for a return to fantasy glory this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s expected to be shadowed by CB Darius Slay, who was once menacing but is now vulnerable. His 22 total targets is 7th most among WRs. I’ve mentioned in this week’s Day Trader report that his already-high target count and targeted air yards have increased. He also had a TD called back for debatable reasons against the Chargers, and received two Red Zone passes against the Browns. The blowup game is coming. My bet is that it starts this week against the Eagles.
Tight End Rankings
Jordan Reed, San Francisco 49ers
86 81 is in full effect! With standout TE George Kittle out due to a knee injury, Jordan Reed is set for another wonderful opportunity against the New York Giants. In his last game filling in for Kittle, Reed caught seven of eight targets for 50 yards and two TDs, ending as the TE5. The Giants may appear to be the 5th toughest matchup for TEs, but remember that they’ve only played against the Steelers’ Eric Ebron and the Bears’ Jimmy Graham. Both TEs are struggling vets on new teams and are not heavily involved, unlike the TE for a Kyle Shanahan offense. Reed is currently the ‘Ballers consensus TE16, but I believe he’s a lock to finish higher as a TE1. Follow rule 81, and play him with confidence.
Drew Sample, Cincinnati Bengals
Who? For those that missed TNF last week, Drew Sample is the new leading TE for the Cincinnati Bengals after C.J. Uzomah suffered a torn Achilles in Q4 against the Cleveland Browns. But Sample was outstanding as a backup, nabbing seven of nine targets for 45 yards in less than a quarter of play, including a beautiful one-handed catch:
Drew Sample goin' 1️⃣ handed 😳
📺: #CINvsCLE on @NFLNetwork
📱: Watch free on NFL App // Yahoo Sports App: https://t.co/VR50LZIQwH pic.twitter.com/VW0DN6VsPe
— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2020
Those nine targets were the 5th most for TEs that week. And remember, he did that in essentially half a quarter! With a friendly schedule ahead of him, Sample has the opportunity to thrive under a pass-heavy offense under QB Joe Burrow. He will certainly improve on his consensus TE23 ranking by the guys and should have enough usage to finish as a TE1. If you don’t know, now you know.
Biggest Takeaways from the Week 1 Podcasts
Monday (Week 2 Studs & Stinkers + Injuries, Injuries, Injuries!)
We kick off the week with Andy, Mike, and a remote Jason sharing their favorite Monday Punday submissions at 03:00. Next is a recap of the horrific abundance of injuries suffered on Sunday during the Weekly Rewind at 05:25. The ‘Ballers then discuss all the Week 1 Studs at 22:20, including “Gigantor” TE Mo Alie-Cox at 48:55, before moving to the Week 1 Stinkers at 51:00.
Tuesday (Week 3 Waivers + Full Stream Ahead, Tubular!)
In this episode, Andy, Mike, and Jason recap the Las Vegas Raiders’ shocking victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football at 01:15. They move on to News & Notes at 08:50 before getting to the juiciest part of the episode: the Week 3 Waivers at 21:10. Next up are their choices for Team Defense Streamers at 52:07, before wrapping up the episode with their QB Streamers at 53:05.
Wednesday (Week 3 Buy or Sell + Trending or Ending, Beard vs Mustache)
The ‘Ballers kick off this episode at 01:45 with a Quick Question of the day from Andy’s own son: Who is the number one pick today? We then move onto the Buy or Sell segment at 07:50, discussing wildly debated players like James Conner, David Johnson, and Adam Thielen. They move onto News & Notes at 12:45, discussing the latest news such as who the new starting RB will be for the Giants. Next up at 21:05 is the Trending or Ending segment where the gang predicts the fantasy finishes for T.Y. Hilton, Josh Allen, Cooper Kupp, and Calvin Ridley, including a spicy water bet regarding Ridley and Michael Thomas. Afterward, the guys get into the Thursday Night Breakdown – Dolphins at Jaguars, at 43:45. They then finish up the episode by answering Mailbag questions at 41:30.
Thursday (Starts of the Week + Week 3 Breakdown, V8 Special)
Thursday’s episode starts with the Taking It Up To 100 segment, where the guys discuss Devin Singletary, Drew Sample, and Jerick McKinnon at 04:00. That’s followed by the News & Notes at 08:30, then the ‘Ballers talk about the upcoming matchups in the Fantasy Forecast at 16:00. We then hit the meat & taters of the episode at 49:55, the ‘Ballers Starts of the Week, including special guest, “Smoker” Jason at 50:07:
Watch today's show on YouTube w/ Andy, Mike, and Smoker Jason…https://t.co/btW2QV9qz6 pic.twitter.com/KZWK7jljfR
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) September 24, 2020
And don’t forget Jason Moore’s Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom-Boom Kicker of the Week at 01:00:05!
Friday (Week 3 Matchups + Minsh-eww, In-or-Out)
The ‘Ballers recap Thursday Night Football’s surprisingly fantastic game at 01:11, making note of the Jaguars’ disappointing performances aside from James Robinson‘s breakout game. They discuss Footclan Fridays at 05:50 before hitting the News & Notes at 06:55. Afterward, the crew previews the Fantasy Forecast for the remaining Week 2 matchups at 12:15. They round off the episode at 56:05 with their can’t-miss segment, Prop It Like It’s Hot!
Have a great weekend #Footclan and let’s crush all our matchups! If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you check out the awesome Week 3 DFS Podcast by Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) and Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT). And as always, remember to tune in Sunday for Mike’s livestream where he provides last-minute updates to help you make those crucial roster decisions!