Underdog Battle Royale Week 3 Rankings

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  1. Patrick Mahomes

  2. Justin Herbert

  3. Lamar Jackson

  4. Josh Allen

  5. Kirk Cousins

  6. Dak Prescott

Sleepers: Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence, Jared Goff, Geno Smith, Russell Wilson


This feels like another particularly strong QB week, as many of the top offenses are facing some of the worst defenses. The concern with many of them is that they could turn into a blowout, and the passer won’t reach the ceiling. The one game that has real shootout potential is the Chargers/Vikings, making both Herbert and Cousins prime options in pass first offenses going against defenses that can’t stop anyone. Mahomes is going against a fantasy defense that has been an absolute source of fantasy points for opposing QBs going back to last season, this could be a real “get right” spot for this offense.

Lamar Jackson is in an interesting spot as he now is in his 3rd game in this new offense and you are starting to see things begin to click for him. He faces a Colts secondary that hasn’t been able to stop anyone through the air, and Indy has run up-tempo which could lead to more plays in this game.  Allen faces the top defense among these QBs, but there are holes in Washington’s secondary and they just gave up 30+ points to the Broncos.

Speaking of the Broncos, Wilson showed he still has some talent to produce fantasy points. He is in another spot this week where he will likely need to throw 40+ times, which makes him viable. Prescott, Lawrence, and Smith are all in these blowout scenarios, at least one probably gets there, but who is tough to say. I don’t have him listed because I don’t have a lot of faith, but Deshaun Watson has a great match-up vs the Titans if you want a QB that won’t carry much ownership.



Running Backs:

  1. Tony Pollard

  2. Bijan Robinson

  3. Travis Etienne

  4. Kenneth Walker III

  5. Raheem Mostert

  6. Brian Robinson

  7. Austin Ekler/Josh Kelley

  8. James Cook

  9. Derrick Henry

  10. Isiah Pacheco

Sleepers: Jahmyr Gibbs, Zack Moss, James Conner, Miles Sanders, Gus Edwards, Dameon Pierce, Jerome Ford, Rhamondre Stevenson, Alexander Mattison

We are still waiting on the Austin Ekler news, but most reports expect him to miss another week. If that is officially the case I couldn’t rank Kelley above 7th despite me loving this match-up. Pollard, Bijan, and Etienne have the three standout match-ups this week, that have the potential to break the slate. Kenneth Walker III and Raheem Mostert are pretty close as well, and I like them even more if Metcalf and Waddle are out.

Brian Robinson, James Cook, and Derrick Henry have the usage we want, but the match-ups aren’t favorable making it tough to give us that premier outcome we are looking for. Pacheco is in a great spot against the Bears, we just aren’t entirely sure how they will split up the workload or decide to score against Chicago.

I’m not as high on Gibbs this week, though if ASB is out as well as Montgomery that could improve his outlook. The Lions are going to use some other back to take the majority of Montgomery’s workload, and this game could be slower pace. Zack Moss looked great last week, but we don’t know if Richardson will be back, which could vulture him.

Sanders, Stevenson, Conner, Pierce, and Ford are all talented backs with bad match-ups (Pierce is also dealing with a banged-up OL). Mattison is a bell-cow back in a decent match-up, but he’s looked bad to start the year.



Wide Receivers:

  1. Justin Jefferson

  2. Keenan Allen

  3. Tyreek Hill

  4. CeeDee Lamb

  5. Calvin Ridley

  6. Mike Williams

  7. Stefon Diggs

  8. Nico Collins

  9. Amari Cooper

  10. Tyler Lockett

  11. Jordan Addison

  12. Chris Olave

  13. Amon-Ra St. Brown/Josh Reynolds

  14. Zay Flowers

  15. Michael Pittman

Sleepers: D.K. Metcalf, Jaylen Waddle, Gabe Davis, Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Christian Kirk, DJ Moore, Tank Dell

Receiver is very top-heavy this week and dependent on a number of injury situations, including Metcalf, Waddle, and ASB. I’m currently projecting Waddle to likely be out (still included him in Sleepers) and Metcalf and ASB to be more limited.

Despite the injury concerns, I don’t think that changes the top of the receiver board, Jefferson, Allen, and Hill should be the top 3 players off the board in some order. Lamb, Ridley, and Mike Williams should all follow pretty closely behind. The match-ups and upside are too good to ignore.

I think the most interesting group of receivers is in my 8-11 range (particularly if Metcalf is out). Collins had a break-out game last week, and his target volume should only continue vs Jacksonville. On a per route/target basis Addison has been fantastic, and he saw his snaps go up in week 2. If that continues in this potential shootout, maybe he will get double-digit targets against this Chargers defense who will mainly be focused on Jefferson.  I don’t love the Browns’ passing offense, but they are going up against the Titans who can’t stop anyone through the air, and Cleveland just lost Nick Chubb. This has all the earmarks of a major Amari Cooper game.

Tight Ends:

  1. Travis Kelce

  2. T.J. Hockenson

  3. Mark Andrews

  4. Sam LaPorta

  5. Hunter Henry

  6. Evan Engram

Sleepers: David Njoku, Dalton Kincaid, Jake Ferguson, Zach Ertz, Luke Musgrave, Durham Smythe

Honestly no real surprises in the top 6 tight ends and after Kelce and Hockenson you can really make any case how you rank them. I could see Henry’s ownership being lower than expected given the match-up vs the Jets, but that shouldn’t scare you off too much. If New England is near the goal line he’s getting targeted. LaPorta could benefit if ASB is limited, but he’s a strong play regardless.

As for the other TEs, it’s really just trying to guess who will get a touchdown. There is a lot of solid usage for Ertz even in a tough match-up, but Arizona might not have many scoring chances. I like Njoku a lot to step up here, and did consider ranking him in the top 6. Just not sure I can trust Watson and this coaching staff.

Ferguson is interesting, his usage has been good so far, and Arizona has given up a good number of catches to TEs. The biggest sleeper though is probably Smythe. His route % is what we are looking for, and we know this offense can score. If Waddle is out that boosts him even more, and he will likely be extremely low-owned.

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