Stars of Week 3

QB: Matt Ryan, ATL: 26-35, 374 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs 

RB: Adrian Peterson, WAS: 19 carries, 120 yards, 2 TDs 

WR: Calvin Ridley, ATL: 7 catches, 146 yards, 3 TDs

TE: Dallas Goedert, PHI: 7 catches, 73 yards, 1 TD

Week 3 brought about surprise results (Buffalo beating Minnesota in US Bank Stadium?!), the debut of Baker Mayfield, and some new names onto the fantasy forefront. As for this week’s honor role, we’ve got a mainline top quarterback, a generational running back, a prized rookie wide receiver and a lesser heralded rookie tight end hailing from South Dakota. Matt Ryan took top QB honors this week with his five TD tosses. Ryan remains a solid option in a deep QB pool. The newest WR to come from Alabama to the NFL, Calvin Ridley was the recipient of three of Ryan’s TDs. We’ll take a closer look at Ridley below. Adrian Peterson has turned out to be a perfect fit in the Redskins’ offense, and has filled in quite nicely since Derrius Guice’s season ending injury. He’s a solid RB2 this year. Last, second round tight end Dallas Goedert took top tight end honors this week, catching Carson Wentz’s first TD pass since returning from last year’s season ending injury. We’ll look at Goedert below as well. 

Week 3 Takeaways – A Closer Look 

Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.

- Baker Mayfield, QB - CLE: 17-23, 201 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs

Analysis: The question was when, not if, Baker Mayfield would end up starting for the Browns this season. We received our answer this past week against the Jets, when Mayfield replaced an ineffective Tyrod Taylor and led the Browns to their first victory since December 2016. Mayfield looked electric out there against the Jets, displaying great moxie along with strong accuracy on his throws. The Browns have got their franchise QB in place, and should rejoice! As for Mayfield’s fantasy outlook, we’ve got some good and bad news. First, the good news – out of this year’s rookie crop of QBs, Mayfield is the one to own. Now for the bad news – Mayfield will go through standard rookie growing pains like any other QB. Mayfield provides an immediate upgrade to the Browns’ skill players (especially Juice Landry, Antonio Callaway and David Njoku). Mayfield himself should be considered a QB2, startable in great matchups and to cover bye weeks. 

- Chris Carson, RB - SEA: 32 carries, 102 yards, 1 TD 

Analysis: The Seahawks handling of the RB position had been a mess going into Week 3. Despite 2017 seventh round pick Chris Carson dramatically outperforming 2018 first round Rashaad Penny, Pete Carroll has inexplicably split carries between the two RBs coming into the game against the Cowboys. The situation reached bizarro world when Carroll claimed to sit Carson in the second half of the Week 2 matchup against the Bears, due to thinking that Carson was tired from playing special teams. Carson played in two special teams plays in that game. Alright, well Carroll finally stopped being stubborn and gave his better RB the bulk of the carries. And guess what? Carson crossed the 100-yard plateau and the Seahawks won their first game of the year? Yup, it’s crazy how your chances of winning a game increase when you play your best players! Anyways, Chris Carson can run, catch and block, and fits perfectly in Seattle’s offense. Rashaad Penny fits perfectly as an Eddie Lacy stand-in – not the Green Bay Packers version of Eddie Lacy, but the two-yards-a-carry Seahawks version from last year. Carson is a clear RB2 and should be started in all but the shallowest of leagues. Rashaad Penny can be dropped from your roster.

- Kerryon Johnson, RB – DET: 16 carries, 101 yards, 0 TDs 

Analysis: You’ve likely heard by now that Kerryon Johnson is the first Lions’ RB to surpass 100 rushing yards in a game since 2013!  Johnson passed the eye test as well, showing good shake and burst movement in running over the Patriots’ defense this past Sunday. The biggest problem that Johnson faces is the crowd in the Lions backfield. Theo Riddick is their established third down back, and LeGarrette Blount remains firmly in the RB carousel – for now at least. Both Johnson and Blount carried the rock 16 times against the Patriots, but it was clear that Johnson was much more effective, outgaining Blount by more than 50 yards. The distribution of carries requires further watching, but Johnson will hopefully wrestle away more carries from Blount. Johnson needs to be added in all leagues, and should be viewed as a flex option for now, with RB2 upside. 

- Calvin Ridley, WR – ATL: 7 catches, 146 yards, 3 TDs

Analysis: Rookie wide receivers often struggle to make hay in their first NFL seasons – and even more so from a fantasy football perspective. If you need convincing, look at Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross, who were all top 10 picks in the 2017 draft. Falcons rookie WR Calvin Ridley made his Week 1 debut and went catchless. Well, over the last two weeks, Ridley has 210 yards and 4 TDs. Ridley landed in a passing friendly offense, one that offensive coordinator Steve Sarkesian is finally learning how to maximize. With Julio Jones on the other side, Ridley will often see one-on-one coverage, which he will exploit. It’s still way early to declare Ridley a must start, but he’s a must own in standard and deep leagues. Ridley is WR3/flex material going forward, dependent upon matchups.

- Dallas Goedert, TE - PHI: 7 catches, 73 yards, 1 TD 

Analysis: It’s no surprise that an Eagles’ tight end earned a gold star for his performance this week, but who would have thought that it would be a tight end other than Zach Ertz? The Eagles have one of the most creative offenses, and they envisioned dynamic two tight end sets with Ertz and second round pick Dallas Goedert. It took three games and the return of Carson Wentz, but we received a preview of just what Doug Pederson had in mind. Goedert trailed only Ertz in targets (10 for Ertz and 7 for Goedert), and each target resulted in a completion. The Eagles could very well have a different offensive hero every week, which limits Goedert’s upside, but he’s got TE2 upside. If you’re in a deep league or need a bye week fill-in, you could do worse than Goedert. 

Rapid Fire Pickups

Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in most leagues.

QB: Ryan Tannehill, MIA

RB: Wendell Smallwood, PHI

RB: Javorius Allen, BAL

WR: Tyler Boyd, CIN

WR: Mike Williams, LAC

TE: Mark Andrews, BAL

Week 4 Rankings 


  1. Patrick Mahomes, KC       @Den
  2. Aaron Rodgers, GB          Buf
  3. Drew Brees, NO              @NYG
  4. Philip Rivers, LAC            SF
  5. Tom Brady, NE                Mia
  6. Matt Ryan, Atl                 Cin
  7. Russell Wilson, Sea         @Ari
  8. Andy Dalton, Cin             @Atl
  9. Deshaun Watson, Hou     @Ind
  10. Carson Wentz, Phi           @Ten
  11. Ben Roethlisberger, Pit     Bal
  12. Matthew Stafford, Det     @Dal
  13. Andrew Luck, Ind            Hou
  14. Case Keenum, Den          KC
  15. Ryan Tannehill, Mia         @NE
  16. Joe Flacco, Bal                @Pit
  17. Baker Mayfield, Cle         @Oak
  18. Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB        @Chi
  19. Mitchell Trubisky, Chi       TB
  20. Eli Manning, NYG             NO

Running Backs:

  1. Alvin Kamara, NO           @NYG
  2. Ezekiel Elliot, DAL           Det
  3. Melvin Gordon, LAC        SF
  4. Saquon Barkley, NYG      NO
  5. David Johnson, Ari          Sea
  6. Kareem Hunt, KC            @Den
  7. Leonard Fournette, Jax    NYJ
  8. Jordan Howard, Chi         TB
  9. Giovani Bernard, Cin       @Atl
  10. James Conner, Pit           Bal
  11. Carlos Hyde, Cle             @Oak
  12. Lamar Miller, Hou            @Ind
  13. Marshawn Lynch, Oak      Cle
  14. Chris Carson, Sea            @Ari
  15. Alex Collins, Bal              @Pit
  16. Kenyan Drake, Mia          @NE
  17. Tevin Coleman, Atl           Cin
  18. James White, NE              Mia
  19. Phillip Lindsay, Den          KC
  20. LeSean McCoy, Buf          @GB
  21. Jay Ajayi, Phi                  @Ten
  22. Dion Lewis, Ten               Phi
  23. Sony Michel, NE               Mia
  24. Matt Breida, SF                @LAC
  25. Royce Freeman, Den        KC
  26. Isaiah Crowell, NYJ          @Jax
  27. Kerryon Johnson, Det       @Dal
  28. Javorius Allen, Bal           @Pit
  29. Bilal Powell, NYJ              @Jax
  30. Austin Ekeler, LAC            SF
  31. Derrick Henry, Ten           Phi
  32. Alfred Morris, SF              @LAC
  33. Peyton Barber, TB            @Chi
  34. Aaron Jones, GB              Buf
  35. Tarik Cohen, Chi              TB
  36. Corey Clement, Phi         @Ten
  37. Jamaal Williams, GB        Buf
  38. Duke Johnson Jr., Cle      @Oak
  39. Theo Riddick, Det           @Dal
  40. Ty Montgomery, GB        Buf

Wide Receivers:

  1. Antonio Brown, Pit          Bal
  2. Michael Thomas, NO       @NYG
  3. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG   NO
  4. Julio Jones, Atl               Cin
  5. DeAndre Hopkins, Hou   @Ind
  6. Keenan Allen, LAC          SF
  7. A.J. Green, Cin               @Atl
  8. Tyreek Hill, KC                @Den
  9. Davante Adams, GB         Buf
  10. Mike Evans, TB                @Chi
  11. J. Smith-Schuster, Pit      Bal
  12. Jarvis Landry, Cle            @Oak
  13. T.Y. Hilton, Ind                 Hou
  14. E. Sanders, Den               KC
  15. Allen Robinson, Chi          TB
  16. D. Thomas, Den               KC
  17. Golden Tate, Det              @Dal
  18. Will Fuller V, Hou             @Ind
  19. Amari Cooper, Oak          Cle
  20. Sterling Shepard, NYG     NO
  21. Kenny Golladay, Det        @Dal
  22. Larry Fitzgerald, Ari         Sea
  23. Marvin Jones Jr., Det        @Dal
  24. Sammy Watkins, KC        @Den
  25. John Brown, Bal              @Pit
  26. Michael Crabtree, Bal       @Pit
  27. Nelson Agholor, Phi          @Ten
  28. Tyler Boyd, Cin                @Atl
  29. Calvin Ridley, Atl             Cin
  30. Kenny Stills, Mia              @NE
  31. Doug Baldwin, Sea           @Ari
  32. Randall Cobb, GB             Buf
  33. Corey Davis, Ten             Phi
  34. Tyler Lockett, Sea            @Ari
  35. Mike Williams, LAC           SF
  36. Keelan Cole, Jax               NYJ
  37. Quincy Enunwa, NYJ        @Jax
  38. Chris Hogan, NE              Mia
  39. Chris Godwin TB              @Chi
  40. Geronimo Allison GB        Buf

Tight End:

  1. Rob Gronkowski, NE         Mia
  2. Travis Kelce, KC               @Den
  3. Zach Ertz, Phi                  @Ten
  4. Jimmy Graham, GB          Buf
  5. Trey Burton, Chi              TB
  6. Jared Cook, Oak              Cle
  7. David Njoku, Cle              @Oak
  8. O.J. Howard, TB               @Chi
  9. George Kittle, SF              @LAC
  10. Eric Ebron, Ind                 Hou
  11. Austin Hooper, Atl             Cin
  12. Tyler Eifert, Cin                @Atl
  13. Benjamin Watson, NO       @NYG
  14. Will Dissly, Sea                 @Ari
  15. Ricky Seals-Jones, Ari       Sea
  16. Vance McDonald, Pit         Bal
  17. A. Seferian-Jenkins, Jax    NYJ
  18. Dallas Goedert, Phi          @Ten
  19. Jesse James, Pit               Bal
  20. Charles Clay, Buf             @GB

Defense/Special Teams:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars        NYJ
  2. Los Angeles Chargers      SF
  3. Green Bay Packers          Buf
  4. Philadelphia Eagles          @Ten
  5. Chicago Bears                 TB
  6. Houston Texans               @Ind
  7. Cleveland Browns            @Oak
  8. Seattle Seahawks            @Ari
  9. Arizona Cardinals            Sea
  10. New York Jets                 @Jax
  11. New England Patriots       Mia
  12. Detroit Lions                   @Dal
  13. New Orleans Saints         @NYG
  14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers    @Chi
  15. Pittsburgh Steelers         Bal