Pat Fitzmaurice has you covered each week with his rankings and positional tiers. This will help guide your lineup decisions. You can find Fitz’s full Week 3 fantasy football rankings and tiers article here. And below we dive into a few players of note ahead of this weekend’s games.
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Fantasy Football Outlook (Week 3)
It would be melodramatic to suggest that Justin Fields has reached a career crossroads, but it feels like he’s reached a crossroads for his 2023 season. The QB16 in fantasy scoring after two weeks, Fields has thrown three interceptions and taken 10 sacks. He has 62 rushing yards and a TD run, but Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has called only a handful of designed runs for a quarterback who had 1,143 rushing yards last season. Fields has vowed to play less robotically and more instinctively. I interpret that as an indication he’ll run more aggressively on Sunday when the Bears face the Chiefs in Kansas City. Fields is sure to be at the crux of many start/sit dilemmas this week. I’m ranking him aggressively and recommending that you start him despite the bad start to his season.
Conditions may be right for a perfect storm of Kirk Cousins fantasy points this season. Cousins’ yearly finishes in fantasy scoring since joining the Vikings in 2018: QB13, QB18, QB11, QB11, QB7. It’s possible Cousins could crack the top five this year — an impressive feat for a quarterback who adds little value with his rushing. The Vikings’ defense is bad, which isn’t exactly a new development, but this year it’s “make Baker Mayfield look like Drew Brees” bad. The Vikings’ running game has been completely ineffective, and the trade for Cam Akers is a sign that the team is panicking about it. A substandard defense and running game set up Cousins for weekly shootouts. A bad offensive line could potentially short-circuit the Cousins’ fireworks, but in Minnesota’s offensive line held up well (despite dealing with injuries) last week against an Eagles pass rush that was historically good in 2022, and Cousins went off for 364 passing yards and four TDs. I think we’re close to classifying Cousins as a weekly must-start, and you should absolutely play him this week at home vs. a Chargers defense that currently ranks dead last in DVOA against the pass.
Dak Prescott might be the bizarro Kirk Cousins in terms of 2023 setups. While everything is pointing to high pass volume for Cousins, the Cowboys might not need Prescott to be much more than a game manager. The Dallas defense is top-drawer, and Cowboys had coach Mike McCarthy has already fed RB Tony Pollard 39 carries. Prescott threw only 24 passes in the Cowboys 40-0 destruction of the Cardinals in Week 1 and finished QB29 that week. He threw 37 passes in Week 2, but only because the Cowboys ran a whopping 87 offensive plays when the Zach Wilson-led Jets offense proved incapable of holding the ball. Prescott has a nice matchup against the Cardinals this week, but he may have to pile up points early in order to have a decent day, since the Cowboys are 12.5-point favorites and might be able to take the air out of the ball in the second half.
Clearly hindered by the lingering effects of a calf injury, Joe Burrow is averaging 152 passing yards per game and 4.2 yards per attempt. There’s been speculation that Burrow might not play against the Rams on Monday. Even if he does play, I’d be inclined to sit him despite the favorable matchup. Nothing we’ve seen so far suggests that a big Joe Burrow game is just around the corner.