Our own Pat Fitzmaurice has been among the most accurate fantasy football experts in the industry over the last several years. Fitz was THE most accurate in-season ranker in 2020. What better way to prepare for your fantasy football start/sit lineup decisions than by reviewing his rankings? You can do just that below.
You can also find our expert consensus fantasy football rankings for the week here. And you can sync your fantasy football league for free using our My Playbook tool for custom advice, rankings, and analysis.
Fantasy Football Rankings
Fitz’s Fantasy Football Takes
Two weeks into the 2023 NFL season …
- Jordan Love leads all QBs in passer rating.
- Kyren Williams is the RB2 in half-PPR fantasy scoring.
- Hunter Henry is the TE1 half-PPR fantasy scoring.
- Joe Burrow is QB32 in fantasy scoring, one spot behind Zach Wilson.
- Puka Nacua is on pace for 213 receptions.
- Ja’Marr Chase is on pace for 595 receiving yards.
It’s funny how confident we are in August about our ability to make accurate predictions about what will happen in the NFL and in fantasy football. Then the curtain opens on the new season, and …
“Oh wow, I didn’t see that coming.”
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.
Congratulations if you had the good sense to draft Raheem Mostert this year. Available cheaply in almost every fantasy draft, Mostert is the valuable RB who was hiding in plain sight. He’s currently the RB5 in half-PPR fantasy scoring, with three touchdowns in his first two games. Last week, Mostert ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns against a New England defense that gave up only three TD runs to running backs last season. Maybe Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel will work in Jeff Wilson when he comes off IR or try to get rookie De’Von Achane more involved. But Mostert is intimately familiar with McDaniel’s system since they’ve been together for years, first in San Francisco, now in Miami, and he’s a better RB than he’s given credit for. Mostert is notoriously brittle, but you have to start him as long as he’s healthy.
The trade that sent Cam Akers from the Rams to the Vikings solidifies Kyren Williams‘ status as a must-start in fantasy. Williams is leading all RBs in snaps (129) and routes run (76), and he’s RB2 in half-PPR fantasy scoring behind only Christian McCaffrey. Rams head coach Sean Payton seems fully committed to Williams. The only question is whether the 5-9, 195-pound Williams will be able to withstand this sort of usage. It’s possible we’ll see McVay start to work in No. 2 RB Ronnie Rivers, but Williams is fantasy gold as long as his usage remains so robust. (Mea culpa: I thought Williams was too small and slow to ever be more than a bit player. Whoops.)
George Pickens reportedly tweaked a hamstring last weekend, but he played against the Browns on Monday night and had 4-127-1 on 10 targets, highlighted by a 71-yard catch-and-run touchdown on which his hamstring looked just fine, thank you very much. A long touchdown spritzes perfume on any underlying inefficiency, but we should still consider it a good sign that Pickens drew 10 targets in the Steelers’ first game without Diontae Johnson (hamstring). The inability to consistently draw targets was the most worrisome blemish on Pickens’ profile coming into the 2023 season. As a rookie, Pickens didn’t draw more than eight targets in any game, and he didn’t draw more than six targets in any game from Week 6 on. It was good to see Steelers QB Kenny Pickett force-feeding Pickens on Monday night. Start the young receiver with confidence this week against the Raiders, even though the Pittsburgh offense as a whole has been extremely wobbly over the first two weeks.
Mike Evans had a smash game last week, racking up 6-171-1 against the Bears, but maybe it’s Chris Godwin‘s turn this week. The Buccaneers’ difficult Week 3 matchup against the Eagles actually sets up well for Godwin. The Eagles had 70 sacks last season, two off the all-time record held by the 1984 Chicago Bears. Bucs QB Baker Mayfield will want to make quick throws this week to keep the Philly pass rush at bay, and that’s probably better for Godwin, a slot receiver than it is for Evans, a boundary receiver. And Godwin isn’t going to be running most of his routes against the Eagles’ outside cornerbacks, Darius Slay and James Bradbury, as Evans will be. Godwin is going to be running most of his routes into the coverage of slot corner Mario Goodrich, a former undrafted free agent who’s in his second season.
This could be a good week to play Taysom Hill. The Saints will be without RBs Jamaal Williams (hamstring) and Alvin Kamara (suspension). Rookie Kendre Miller is coming back from a hamstring injury of his own and probably won’t get a big workload in his NFL debut, and veteran RB Tony Jones is just a jobber. Hill had 9-75-0 rushing against the Panthers in Week 2, and we might see a lot of him when the Saints visit Green Bay on Sunday. I have Hill ranked inside the top 10 at the TE position this week.
Hunter Henry already has two TD catches, and he’s been heavily involved in the New England passing game, with 11 catches for 108 yards on 13 targets. Henry has a nice matchup this week against the Dolphins, who have given up the second-most receptions (16) to tight ends this season. Miami has also given up a pair of TD catches to tight ends this season after yielding 10 touchdowns to TEs a year ago.