Week 3 Fantasy Football Start Rankings

September 23, 2009 | Thyrl Nelson

This week’s formulary rankings have gotten a bit interesting, with a number of surprises. As always, the rankings are based on 2 parts player performance and expectations, and 1 part based on the defense that’s opposing them. For the first 2 weeks, I used the defensive tendencies from last season, but this week, I averaged the defense’s performance from last season against what they’ve done so far this year. There are also a few minor adjustments made based simply on my gut.

 

As always, these rankings aren’t meant to make you do anything crazy, like benching Tom Brady this week because he’s ranked 12th.They’re meant instead to be used as a guideline for tough decisions, to find sleepers on the waiver wire, and to caution you to temper your expectations in cases where the match ups may be less than favorable.

 

Remember that the formulary numbers are in parentheses behind each player. The lower the number, the better it looks for your player, with a lowest possible score of 3.

 

Quarterbacks

 

I’m staying off of both Donavan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck this week with their respective rib injuries. Their backups are ranked as if they’re starting. If the backups aren’t starting, I’m off of the starters, as I have my doubts about either of them finishing.

 

1. Drew Brees @ BUF (13)

2. Tony Romo vs. CAR (17)

3. Peyton Manning @ AZ (18)

4. Matt Ryan @ AZ (19)

5. Joe Flacco vs. CLE (20)

6. Phillip Rivers vs. MIA (24)

7. Matt Schaub vs. JAX (24)

8. Trent Edwards vs. NO (26)

9. Aaron Rodgers @ St.L (31)

10. Eli Manning @ TB (33)

11. Ben Roethlisberger @ CIN (35)

12. Tom Brady vs. ATL (41)

13. Jason Campbell @ DET (46)

14. Kyle Orton @ OAK (49)

15. Jay Cutler @ SEA (49)

16. David Garrard @ HOU (53)

17. Kurt Warner vs. IND (54)

18. Byron Leftwich vs. NYG (54)

19. Carson Palmer vs. PIT (55)

20. Brett Favre vs. SF (55)

21. Mark Sanchez vs. TEN (57)

22. Kerry Collins @ NYJ (59)

23. Kevin Kolb vs. KC (62)

24. Marc Bulger vs. GB (63)

25. Chad Pennington @ SD (68)

26. Shaun Hill @ MIN (74)

27. Matthew Stafford vs. WAS (76)

28. Seneca Wallace vs. CHI (76)

29. Brady Quinn @ BAL (78)

30. Jake Delhomme @ DAL (78)

31. JaMarcus Russell vs. DEN (79)

32. Matt Cassell @ PHI (84)

 

Running Backs

 

Injuries will have a lot to do with how these rankings wind up looking by game day. So far though, it would seem that the running backs without committees behind them are most valuable, while the committee approach remains much more hit or miss. Willis McGahee is obviously the biggest surprise here, and should still be looked at cautiously, because of the shared carries situation, but high-ranking sleepers abound on this week’s list.

 

1. Willis McGahee vs. CLE (13)

2. Adrian Peterson vs. SF (18)

3. Fred Jackson vs. NO (30)

4. Tim Hightower vs. IND (30)

5. Frank Gore @ MIN (31) *assuming he’s probable or better

6. Ronnie Brown @ SD (31)

7. Chris Johnson @ NYJ (36)

8. Marion Barber vs. CAR (36) *assuming he’s probable or better

9. Maurice Jones-Drew @ HOU (37)

10. DeAngelo Williams @ DAL (39)

11. Darren Sproles vs. MIA (42) *drop him 4 or 5 spots if LT is probable or better

12. Ryan Grant @ St.L (43)

13. Cedric Benson vs. PIT (48)

14. Thomas Jones vs. TEN (48)

15. Ray Rice vs. CLE (49)

16. Brian Westbrook vs. KC (50) *assuming he’s probable or better

17. Cadillac Williams vs. NYG (51)

18. Julius Jones vs. CHI (52) *assuming he’s probable or better

19. Michael Turner @ NE (53)

20. Matt Forte @ SEA (54)

21. Clinton Portis @ DET (57)

22. Mike Bell @ BUF (57)

23. Steven Jackson vs. GB (62)

24. Kevin Smith vs. WAS (62)

25. Derrick Ward vs. NYG (63)

26. Darren McFadden vs. DEN (64)

27. Felix Jones vs. CAR (64) *put him around #12 if he’s starting

28. Brandon Jacobs @ TB (64)

29. LeSean McCoy vs. KC (65) *put him around #20 if he’s starting

30. Steve Slaton vs. JAX (66)

31. Reggie Bush @ BUF (68)

32. Knowshon Moreno @ OAK (68)

33. Ricky Williams @ SD (69)

34. Michael Bush vs. DEN (70)

35. Fred Taylor vs. ATL (71)

36. LeRon McClain vs. CLE (71)

37. Joseph Addai @ AZ (72)

38. LaDanian Tomlinson vs. MIA (72) *bump him up 5 spots if he’s probable or better

39. Larry Johnson @ PHI (73)

40. Jonathan Stewart @ DAL (75)

41. Correll Buckhalter @ OAK (76)

42. Ahmad Bradshaw @ TB (78)

43. Chris Wells vs. IND (80)

44. Kevin Faulk vs. ATL (81)

45. Donald Brown @ AZ (82)

46. Jason Wright vs. IND (82)

47. Ladell Betts @ DET (87)

48. Lawrence Maroney vs. ATL (87)

49. Jamal Lewis @ BAL (88)

50. Sammy Morris vs. ATL (88)

 

 

Wide Receivers

 

1. Andre Johnson vs. JAX (12)

2. Reggie Wayne @ AZ (13)

3. Santonio Holmes @ CIN (17)

4. Marques Colston @ BUF (21)

5. Vincent Jackson vs. MIA (21)

6. DeSean Jackson vs. KC (28)

7. Steve Smith @ TB (29)

8. Terrell Owens vs. NO (29)

9. Percy Harvin vs. SF (35)

10. Larry Fitzgerald vs. IND (36)

11. Devery Henderson @ BUF (37)

12. Chad Ocho-Cinco vs. PIT (37)

13. Greg Jennings @ St.L (37)

14. Calvin Johnson vs. WAS (38)

15. Randy Moss vs. ATL (41)

16. Mike Sims-Walker @ HOU (41)

17. DeWayne Bowe @ PHI (42)

18. Donald Driver @ St.L (45)

19. Jehrico Cotchery vs. TEN (45)

20. Mario Manningham @ TB (45)

21. Devin Hester @ SEA (48)

22. Johnny Knox @ SEA (50)

23. Derrick Mason vs. CLE (54)

24. Wes Welker vs. AZ (55) *assuming he’s probable or better

25. Brandon Stokley @ CAR (56)

26. Roy Williams vs. CAR (56)

27. Patrick Crayton vs. CLE (62)

28. Steve Smith @ DAL (58)

29. Mark Clayton vs. CLE (62)

30. Hines Ward @ CIN (63)

31. Louis Murphy vs. DEN (64)

32. Roddy White @ NE (64)

33. Antoine Randle-El @ DET (65)

34. Anquan Boldin vs. IND (66) *bump him up 5 spots or so if he’s probable or better

35. Laurent Robinson @ NE (66)

36. Nate Burleson vs. CHI (67)

37. Justin Gage @ NYJ (68)

38. Jacoby Jones vs. JAX (68)

39. Ted Ginn Jr. @ SD (72)

40. Robert Meachem @ BUF (73)

41. Lee Evans vs. NO (73)

42. Chansi Stuckey vs. TEN (75)

43. Pierre Garcon @ AZ (75)

44. Laverneus Coles vs. PIT (76)

45. Myles Austin vs. CAR (78)

46. Braylon Edwards @ BAL (78)

47. Jason Avant vs. KC (82)

48. TJ Houshmandzadeh vs. CHI (85)

49. Tory Holt @ HOU (87)

50. Brandon Marshall @ OAK (92)

 

 

Tight Ends

 

1. Tony Gonzalez @ NE (13)

2. Chris Cooley @ DET (15)

3. Dallas Clark @ AZ (18)

4. Jason Witten vs. CAR (25)

5. Jeremy Shockey @ BUF (26)

6. Kellen Winslow Jr. vs. NYG (27)

7. Brent Celek vs. KC (30)

8. Dustin Keller vs. TEN (31)

9. Benjamin Watson vs. ATL (32)

10. John Carlson vs. CHI (33)

11. Antonio Gates vs. MIA (34)

12. Todd Heap vs. CLE (38)

13. Owen Daniels vs. JAX (38)

14. Mercedes Lewis @ HOU (41)

15. Robert Royal @ BAL (50)

16. Jeremy Stevens vs. NYG (51)

17. Vernon Davis @ MIN (51)

18. Zach Miller vs. DEN (53)

19. Dante Rosario @ DAL (55)

20. Heath Miller @ CIN (55)

21. Derek Schouman vs. NO (58)

22. Kevin Boss @ TB (60)

23. Greg Olsen @ SEA (61)

24. Matt Spaeth @ CIN (63)

25. Jermichael Finley @ St.L (63)

26. Sean Ryan @ PHI (63)

27. Tony Scheffler @ OAK (64)

28. Visanthe Schiancoe vs. SF (69)

29. Alge Crumpler @ NYJ (72)

30. Randy McMichael vs. GB (73)

 

 

Defense / Special Teams

 

1. Eagles vs. KC (15)

2. Broncos vs. OAK (15)

3. Packers @ St.L (20)

4. Giants @ TB (22)

5. Steelers @ CIN (22)

6. Vikings vs. SF (25)

7. Ravens vs. CLE (25)

8. Falcons @ NE (26)

9. Saints @ BUF (32)

10. Cardinals vs. IND (33)

11. Seahawks vs. CHI (36)

12. Bengals vs. PIT (36)

13. 49ers @ MIN (39)

14. Lions vs. WAS (41)

15. Bills vs. NO (43)

16. Raiders vs. DEN (43)

17. Titans @ NYJ (44)

18. Bears @ SEA (47)

19. Jets vs. TEN (48)

20. Redskins @ DET (48)

21. Chiefs @ PHI (55)

22. Texans vs. JAX (56)

23. Rams vs. GB (63)

24. Chargers vs. MIA (68)

25. Colts @ AZ (70)

26. Patriots vs. ATL (72)

27. Browns @ BAL (74)

28. Dolphins @ SD (77)

29. Panthers @ DAL (77)

30. Jaguars @ HOU (78)

31. Cowboys vs. CAR (85)

32. Buccaneers vs. NYG (93)

 

 

Kickers

 

1. Lawrence Tynes @ TB (9)

2. Rian Lindell vs. NO (12)

3. Nate Kaeding vs. MIA (18)

4. Joe Nedney @ MIN (21)

5. Ryan Longwell vs. SF (22)

6. Neil Rackers vs. IND (22)

7. David Akers vs. KC (26)

8. John Carney @ BUF (28)

9. Nick Folk vs. CAR (37)

10. Sebastian Janikowski vs. DEN (38)

11. Jason Hanson vs. WAS (41)

12. John Kasay @ DAL (43)

13. Shaun Suisham @ DET (43)

14. Jay Feeley vs. TEN (44)

15. Phil Dawson @ BAL (45)

16. Stephen Hauschka vs. CLE (49)

17. Matt Prater @ OAK (50)

18. Robbie Gould @ SEA (50)

19. Stephen Gostkowski vs. ATL (51)

20. Mason Crosby @ St.L (51)

21. Dan Carpenter @ SD (62)

22. Adam Vinatieri @ AZ (62)

23. Ryan Succop @ PHI (63)

24. Jason Elam @ NE (68)

25. Josh Scobee @ HOU (69)

26. Kris Brown vs. JAX (72)

27. Rob Bironas @ NYJ (73)

28. Josh Brown vs. GB (77)

29. Jeff Reed @ CIN (78)

30. Olindo Mare vs. CHI (80)

31. Shayne Graham vs. PIT (84)

32. Mike Nugent vs. NYG (87)

 

As always, keep an eye on the injury report. And Good Luck this week.

 

 

 

 

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