Week 3 QB Rankings, Projections and Analysis
Week 3 Quarterback Sleepers
Week 3 Start N' Sit
Week 4 Waiver Wire Tips



QBs title bar graphic
Lions QB Matt Stafford
By Greg Buchphoto of journalist Greg Buch
Greg develops and updates FFSwami's website. He's played in various fantasy football leagues the last 15 years and is a life-long Cincinnati Bengals fan.
This is how we rank the QBs for Week 3 of the fantasy season. Our rankings aren't just based on name value or past performance - each week we take a comprehensive look at the match-ups and each QBs past performance and factor that into our projections. Just click on the links to read our rationale behind the ranking. The ratings are based on a standard league where 25 passing yards equal 1 point, passing and rushing TDs equal 6 pts. and INTs or fumbles deduct 2 points.

QB Rankings
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
By Greg Buchphoto of journalist Greg Buch
Greg develops and updates FFSwami's website. He's played in various fantasy football leagues the last 15 years and is a life-long Cincinnati Bengals fan.
Paying attention to the match-ups each week can help you identify less heralded players with the upside to surprise and help you avoid some potential land mines. This is our list of players we expect to surpass expectations, along with a few stud QBs who may fail to deliver:

Start
Kirk Cousins
Redskins QB Kirk Cousins
Cousins has taken over for an injured RGIII and will be auditioning for the starting job over the next few weeks, so he should be extra-motivated to perform. He has an outstanding match-up against an Eagles defense that ranked dead-last in the league last year against the pass and I have a feeling the footballs are going to be flying around like caffeine-addicted bunnies on speed.

Russell Wilson
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
Wilson was a recommended start last week and had a nice, efficient game with 220 total yards and 2 TDs in a losing effort in San Diego. If you liked him last week, you should love him this week, as he goes up against a Broncos defense that allowed 254 passing yards a game a game last year. They're on pace to yield even more this year - so far they've allowed just over 300 passing yards a game. I don't think this is going to be an especially high-scoring game but believe Wilson should add some rushing yards and maybe a TD on a scramble and will end up posting some nice fantasy stats.

Matt Ryan
Falcons QB Matt Ryan
Ryan looked on fire in Week 1 and dreadful in Week 2. He was harassed all day by a fierce Bengals pass rush and made several ill-advised passes that resulted in INTs. I think he bounces back in the familiar surroundings of the Georgia Dome and turns in a fine performance against a Buccaneers pass defense that's middle-of-the-road. This should be a game in which the Falcons put up close to 30 points, so I expect Ryan to throw at least 2 or 3 TDs. Don't be afraid to start him because of a rough showing against one of the better defenses in the NFL.


Sit
Peyton Manning
Broncos QB Peyton Manning
The last time Manning faced Seattle, it didn't go too well. I think he'll do better here but not by a huge margin. The Seahawks top-ranked pass defense was humiliated in San Diego and Richard Sherman & Co. will be feeling like they have a chip on their shoulder in this game. Qwest field is also a difficult environment to play in due to the crowd noise and even though Manning's a wizard when it comes to using hand signals to audible plays, it's definitely one of the more hostile places to play. If you have another solid QB, I'd recommend sitting Peyton this week and not testing the Legion of Boom.

Andy Dalton
Bengals QB Andy Dalton
Dalton has looked surprisingly efficient the first two games of the season but it was against two pass defenses that are struggling. This week he faces an underrated Titans defense that has allowed the fewest passing yards a game so far this year (and the 11th-fewest a year ago). I'm worried about the pass protection he'll get, as he'll be missing his stud RG, Kevin Zeitler, and TE Alex Smith, who's an excellent blocker. Add to that a hobbled A.J. Green, who may not even suit up, and there's plenty of reason for concern. Call it instinct or a sixth sense but I just have a feeling the Bengals lay an egg this week against a mediocre Titans team.

Tony Romo
Cowboys QB Tony Romo
Romo has not really looked like himself and appears to be suffering from the lack of practice reps due to the back surgery. The Cowboys must realize he's not yet 100% because they've gone from one of the teams with the lowest percentage of running plays to the highest percentage of runs. I'm not shying away from a match-up with the Rams defense, which has been exhausted from being on the field so much, but teams have been running all over them, so I think we'll see a lot of DeMarco Murray in this game and not so much of Tony Romo.


Ryan Tannehill
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill hasn't done much the first two weeks from a fantasy perspective, averaging around 13 points a contest, but has a nice match-up against a porous Chiefs secondary that allowed 248 passing yards a contest last year. I also like him as a starter because I believe the Dolphins OC has to be thinking about altering his game plan and passing more with Knowshon Moreno out and back-up Lamar Miller in at RB. This should be one of those games that goes down to the wire and I think both teams should put around 24-30 points on the board with Tannehill scoring a couple times.

Josh McCown
Buccaneers QB Josh McCown
McCown hasn't looked as dominant as he did last year with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery at his disposal but has quietly put up around 16 fantasy points a game. He's got a real nice match-up against an Atlanta defense that's just not very good defending the pass. They allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs last year and are on track so far this season to rank 31st in the league in passing yards allowed. This may be the game where rookie WR Mike Evans comes of age and I see both him and V-Jax imposing their will on the Falcons' undersized CBs and safeties.

E.J. Manuel
Bills QB E.J. Manuel
Manuel has yet to deliver on his promise this season, as the Bills have stuck with a run-heavy game plan that's been working for them. I really like him in this match-up however, as the Chargers have been much better against the run than the pass. They ranked 29th in the league in passing yards allowed last year and have allowed Carson Palmer and Russ Wilson to turn in nice performances in Week 1 and 2. He should have some of his best passing numbers of the year and is worth a start if you don't own one of the top quarterbacks.

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins
By Greg Buchphoto of journalist Greg Buch
Greg develops and updates FFSwami's website. He's played in various fantasy football leagues the last 15 years and is a life-long Cincinnati Bengals fan.
Don't get too discouraged if your draft didn't work out as you planned. Fantasy success isn't the exclusive result of a solid draft - often it's the in-season waiver wire moves that determines who makes it to the post-season. We've got some hot tips for you that should help you improve your roster and catch up to those lucky sons-of-guns who always seem to draft the right players:

Must Adds

Kirk Cousins
If you haven't already followed our advice and added Cousins, it may not be too late. Entering Week 3, he was only owned in 28% of ESPN leagues and in just 20% of NFL.com leagues. Cousins followed up a nice performance in Week 2 with an even better one, throwing for 427 yards and 3 TDs against 1 INT, which depending on how your league values passing TDs was either good for around 27 or 33 points. The caveat is that it was against the Eagles deficient pass defense; however, it does suggest he's not just a one-game wonder. He's worth a pick-up as a QB2 who should be played when the match-up is favorable (or as a bye week replacement). Next week would be one of those weeks, as he has a home game against a Giants defense that's allowing 18.3 fantasy points a contest to opposing QBs.

Watch List

Austin Davis
Davis had a more productive performance than he did in Week 2 in Tampa Bay. He threw for 327 yards and 3 TDs with 2 game-changing INTs against a Dallas pass defense that was 2nd worst in the league against opposing QBs last year. He's off this week but could be a sneaky match-up play after the bye when he faces a porous Eagles pass defense and a struggling 49ers secondary. He's played well enough to keep the starting gig so I don't expect the Rams to switch back to Shaun Hill.

Drew Stanton/ Carson Palmer
Stanton put up some nice stats filling in for Carson Palmer, who still can't grip a football, against a 49ers defense that's been struggling without their best playmakers. The Cardinals are off this week but have a favorable schedule coming off the bye with games against the Broncos, Redskins, and Raiders. Keep an eye on Palmer's injury status and consider adding whichever QB is going to start in Week 5. Palmer is currently owned in 19% of NFL.com leagues and 17% of ESPN leagues, as a lot of players dropped him following his injury.

Drops

Ryan Tannehill
If you drafted or picked up Tannehill expecting improvement in his 3rd season, now's the time to fish or cut bait. He's thrown for just an average of 208 yards a game with just 4 TDs and has had accuracy issues with a completion percentage under 60%. Add to this the fact coach Joe Philbin is refusing to confirm he's starting this week and you've got more than enough reasons to jettison him. I'd drop him in favor of one of the above QBs or even a promising rookie like Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr.

Jake Locker
Locker, who was owned in 13% of NFL.com and 14% of ESPN leagues, is dropping like a rock in most fantasy leagues after a dreadful, error-plagued performance against the Bengals in which he threw for just 185 yards with 2 INTs. He wasn't much better in a dream match-up with the Cowboys the week before, throwing for 234 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs. The owners who picked him up were intrigued by his upside and ability to put up some rushing yards but it's time for a reality check - even if he can cut down on his mistakes, the Titans are one of the most run-heavy teams in the league, so he's seldom going to exceed around 200 passing yards.

Trade Bait

Tom Brady
Brady's been a disappointment so far this year, throwing for 211 yards and just 1 TD a contest, and scoring less fantasy points than studs like Austin Davis, Brian Hoyer, and Derek Carr. The Patriots offense hasn't looked the same and it all starts up front with the departure of Logan Mankins. The line is suffering protection breakdowns and New England's been unable to get the running game going, averaging only 2.3 yards per carry. I don't see a quick fix to these issues and would dangle Brady out there for an underrated QB without the name recognition (e.g. Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, Russell Wilson, or Kirk Cousins). Act now or wait a few more weeks and perhaps you'll get a bag of chips and a soda! He's got a fairly favorable match-up this week against a Chiefs defense that's yielding 18.2 fantasy points a game to opposing QBs but draws a tough match-up with the Bengals in Week 6, so be sure to unload him before then or you may find tepid interest around your league.