Happy Week 3! We have 120 minutes of film and metrics on all 32 teams, so opinions and rankings need to be adjusted accordingly.
What follows are my Week 3 QB rankings. Note that these are not season-long lists or projections; I’m purely ranking based on who I believe will score more fantasy points this week with a focus on 1) What the QB has achieved in recent weeks, 2) Injuries or workload changes that could impact their production, and 3) This week’s matchup.
1. BALTIMORE RAVENS QB LAMAR JACKSON VS. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (BAL -3, 52.5)
Jackson underwhelmed by his standards in Week 2, throwing for 204 yards and a score to go along with a 16-54-0 rushing line. The Ravens certainly weren’t any worse for the wear, as they still managed to tally a convincing 33-16 victory over the Texans despite the 2019 MVP’s lack of explosive plays.
Jackson is the fantasy QB11 through two weeks, but he’s the QB3 in fantasy points per dropback. He remains largely a fantasy cheat code thanks to his high-end rushing production; only Cam Newton (26) has more rush attempts than Jackson (23) through two weeks.
Don’t expect Jackson’s to remain outside of the position’s top-five producers for much longer. Week 3’s Monday night matchup against a Chiefs defense that has already yielded solid rushing performances to both Deshaun Watson (6-27-1) and Justin Herbert (4-18-1).
DFS Note: Death, taxes, play Jackson in showdown slate formats.
2. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QB CAM NEWTON VS. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (NE -6, 46.5)
Newton’s performance Sunday night against the Seahawks was nothing short of magnificent.
Cam Newton laser show pic.twitter.com/DjFAFSOYxr
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) September 21, 2020
Still, it’s the wildly fantasy-friendly rushing usage that earns Newton this week’s No. 2 spot. He joins Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Dalvin Cook, Peyton Barber, Jordan Howard and Ezekiel Elliott as the only players with at least five rush attempts inside the 5-yard line this season. This will continue to be good for fantasy business considering Newton’s 69% conversion rate on rushes inside the 5 is the single-highest rate among 83 players with at least 20-such rushes since 2010. It truly wouldn’t be shocking if Newton finds his way into the end zone upwards of 15 times on the ground this season.
Up next is a Raiders defense that hasn’t shown the ability to slow down really anybody to this point. Don’t expect Newton to continue to see upwards of 15 carries every week, but the Patriots are clearly happy to feed him all the work he can handle around the goal line. Jackson still seems like the better bet to see more rushing usage on a more-consistent basis, although the fantasy gap between the pair of generational dual-threat talents is shrinking by the week.
DFS Note: Newton ($6,700) comes in as the QB5 and figures to be quite popular after the primetime show he put on last Sunday night. Ultimately, each of the slate’s top-five highest-priced signal callers are worthy of their elevated price tags in their respective matchups, but Newton might just be facing the softest defense of the group.