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
Colts rookie Anthony Richardson is averaging 0.46 fantasy points per snap. Here’s how that compares to the three highest-drafted QBs so far: Patrick Mahomes 0.36, Josh Allen 0.29, Jalen Hurt 0.27. Granted, 87 snaps amount to a raindrop-sized sample, but it’s still a good reminder that Richardson has already earned must-start status. If you gave Joe Burrow investors a shot of sodium pentothal, nearly all of them would trade Burrow for Richardson straight-up.
The prospect of starting Daniel Jones is frightening after his 5-point performance against the 49ers in Week 3, but a much easier matchup against the Seahawks this week puts Jones in low-end QB1/high-end QB2 territory. The Giants will be at home facing a Seattle defense allowing 328 passing yards per game. The Giants’ offensive line can’t possibly turn in another performance as dreadful as the one they turned in against San Francisco a week ago. The Seahawks have the third-lowest pressure rate in the league (16.7%), so Jones should have time to operate.
It’s understandable that some fantasy managers might be hesitant to start James Conner given his daunting matchup against the 49ers, who have allowed a league-low 111 rushing yards. But Conner is one of the few RBs in the league getting true workhorse usage. He’s averaging 17.0 carries a game and 19.3 touches a game. It’s possible Conner gets 17 carries against the 49ers and finishes with 35 rushing yards. I’d still rather bet the volume with Conner than bet on a committee back in a better offense. Although it’s hard to get optimistic about any element of this matchup, it’s worth noting that San Francisco has given up a league-high 21 receptions to running backs.
Mea culpa: I liked Najee Harris as a draft value this year. Harris got off to a slow start last year, too, but he was dealing with a Lisfranc injury and was much better in the second half of the season. He averaged 59.1 yards from scrimmage over the first eight games of 2022 and 87.8 yards from scrimmage over his last nine. I thought the Pittsburgh offensive line would be better this year after some significant offseason additions, but that hasn’t been the case. PFF has the Steelers 28th in their offensive line rankings this week. The appeal for Harris this week is a matchup against the perennially bad Texans run defense, which has already allowed five touchdown runs to RBs. Harris had 19 carries against the Raiders last week but produced only 65 rushing yards. If Harris can’t turn that sort of usage into good fantasy numbers this week against Houston, park him on your bench.
I thought the 5-9, 165-pound Tutu Atwell would be a gadget player/kick returner for the entirety of his career. But three games into his third NFL season, Atwell is among the league leaders in routes run, he’s drawn at least eight targets in every game, and he’s WR12 in half-point PPF fantasy scoring. Atwell has become a weekly must-start — at least until Cooper Kupp returns from his hamstring injury.
Revenge-game narratives can get a little stale, but I’m admittedly intrigued by Adam Thielen’s return to his native Minnesota. Thielen played college football at Minnesota State and spent nine seasons with the Vikings, but the Vikes elected not to re-sign him in free agency. Now with the Panthers, Thielen has cranked out 18-199-2 on 23 targets over his last two games. This week, he’ll face a Vikings defense that has allowed the third-most receiving yards and third-most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Thielen is a compelling fantasy play this week, though I actually would have felt better about him with Andy Dalton at quarterback for the Panthers rather than rookie Bryce Young. With Young sidelined by a concussion last week, Thielen had 11-145-1 with Dalton at QB.
Despite the absence of WR Diontae Johnson, who’s on IR with a hamstring injury, Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth hasn’t drawn more than four targets in a game this season. Freiermuth checked in with a decent 3-41-1 stat line last week vs. the Raiders, but his lack of involvement is still concerning. I think most of is attributable to Pittsburgh’s overall dysfunction on offense so far. It’s still worth starting Freiermuth this week in a favorable matchup against the Texans, who have given up 17-162-1 to tight ends this season. But if the Steelers’ offense remains stuck in the quagmire and Freiermuth has another puny target total, you might need to consider replacing him.
The Ravens have been tough on tight ends this season, giving up just 8-45-0 to opposing TEs over their first three games. If you’re a David Njoku stakeholder, you might want to consider a pivot this week rather than start Njoku against Baltimore.