You have come to the right place for comprehensive Week Three QB Rankings. Whether you were fortunate enough to have drafted one of the elite QBs, or if you chose to exercise patience and selected your signal callers in the middle rounds.
If you own any of the premier QBs you are already starting them. But this column will provide additional insight into their upcoming matchups. And if your QB options are not as straightforward, you will find facts and statistics to guide you toward the best decision.
The five QBs that will be discussed immediately below have the best matchups this week, among those who merit consideration as a starter. It does not necessarily mean that they are the top five signal callers from a ranking standpoint, although that might actually be the case in certain weeks. With that, here are the five most enticing matchups, which are followed immediately by the top 20 rankings for week three. Also, make sure to check out our other positional rankings, including running backs: https://fantasyknuckleheads.com/2012-week-three-running-back-rankings-michael-bush-cj-spiller-and-more/ and wide receivers: https://fantasyknuckleheads.com/2012-week-3-wr-rankings-victor-cruz-versus-steve-smith/
5 BEST MATCHUPS
Drew Brees vs. Chiefs
In the past two weeks, Brees has passed for 664 yards, and appears to be on his way to a sixth 5,000 yard season in the past seven years. Brees’ yardage total is the NFL’s fourth best, and ties him for third with four TDs. He should continue his weekly dissection of opposing LBs and DBs when he lines up against the same Kansas City unit that has permitted eight TDs in two games. Only one team has allowed more TD passes than the Chiefs, whose defensive inadequacies were not erased by the week two return of LB Tamba Hali and CB Brandon Flowers. Brees should continue his weekly dissection of opposing defenses by adding four more TDs to his escalating total.
Cam Newton vs. Giants
First, the G-Men enabled Tony Romo to carve them up for 307 yards and three TDs in their home opener. They followed up that abysmal performance by exhibiting similar shortcomings in coverage versus Tampa Bay as Vincent Jackson collected 128 yards and a TD on five receptions (25.6 YPC). But despite the opportunity for more big plays, Josh Freeman did not possess the physical ability, or the supporting cast to fully and consistently exploit them. But Newton will have no such problem. He should connect with Steve Smith and the emerging Brandon LaFell with enough regularity to supplement what should be another excellent day as a runner. The result will be a hefty number of fantasy points.
Tony Romo vs. Buccaneers
Romo owners are in for a treat, watching him dissect a Tampa Bay defense that has yielded the most passing yardage of any team in the league (801). Eli Manning produced a career high 510 yards against them in week two, with nearly 400 of them being generated by Hakeem Nicks, and Victor Cruz alone. Buccaneer CB Aqib Talib failed to contain Nicks, who fell just one yard short of 200. Meanwhile Cruz simultaneously blazed by Eric Wright and Ronde Barber for 179 additional yards. This tandem will be beaten repeatedly by Dez Bryant and Miles Austin in similar fashion during the Cowboys’ home opener, and Romo will stockpile yardage and TDs.
Robert Griffin III vs. Bengals
Cincinnati just allowed Brandon Weeden to carve them up for 322 yards and two scores in only his second career start. This after Weeden struggled to generate a mere 118 yards in his debut one week earlier. The Bengals had already yielded 299 yards to Joe Flacco in their season opener, and now rank a lowly 29th versus the pass, allowing 309 YPG. They have also surrendered four TDs already, and supply RG3 with an inviting matchup. He is now fifth with a 111.6 passer rating, and has thrown for three TDs. Plus, his 82 rushing yards in St. Louis elevated his season total to 124, which leads all QBs. He has also generated two additional TDs on the ground, and should be starting in all lineups.
The Raiders have major talent deficiencies on both sides of the ball, with the CB position residing near the top of that list. In their first two contests, they had trouble handling middling wideouts Robert Meachem and Brian Hartline, which makes it easy to visualize the exceptionally talented Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace collectively igniting for massive numbers. Particularly since Roethlisberger will have a sizable number of opportunities to work against what will become an exhausted Oakland defensive unit. The Raiders have also managed only two sacks, and just allowed Ryan Tannehill to comfortably connect on 18 of his 30 passes in his second career start. Start Big Ben, and watch him pile up fantasy points.
TOP 20 RANKINGS
1. Drew Brees (vs. Chiefs)
In addition to Kansas City’s unfavorable numbers that were presented in the matchup section, let’s add the fact that they are dead last in sacks with only one. Just another reason to savor having Brees as your QB this week.
Not only are the Bucs dead last in pass defense by a large margin, but they are 31st in total defense, while permitting yards to be accumulated in huge chunks. Romo should deliver excellent numbers.
3. Cam Newton (vs. Giants)
Newton's unique physical attributes enable him to generate yardage and much needed fantasy points regardless of his opponent. A Giant secondary that has allowed 259 YPG makes this matchup all that more enticing.
Ryan is currently the NFL's top rated passer. He has amassed 518 passing yards, a league leading five TDs, and has yet to throw an INT. Even though San Diego's defense has been respectable, there is no reason to think that Ryan will be slowing down anytime soon.
Stafford owners should be able to exhale and watch him accumulate outstanding stats again a Tennessee defense that allows teams to convert 55.2% of third down plays.
6. Robert Griffin III (vs. Bengals)
RGIII has now assembled two impressive performances, and should manufacture another against a Cincy defense that ranks 30th overall.
7. Aaron Rodgers (vs. Seahawks)
Rodgers will provide owners with decent numbers, but this is a daunting matchup versus a Seattle pass defense that just held Romo to 251 yards in week two, and will be energized at home on Monday night.
The Raiders' substandard CBs were unable to cover the less than stellar WRs of San Diego and Miami. Big Ben should find Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown running free with great consistency.
9. Eli Manning (vs. Panthers)
The absence of Nicks is a huge loss, as he is tied for the NFL lead in receiving yards. Fortunately, the man who shares that lead is Cruz, who will be kept very busy by Manning. Martellus Bennett will also be heavily involved.
10. Tom Brady (vs. Ravens)
He becomes reacquainted with a Raven defense that limited him to no TDs and two INTs when they last met in January. This unit will provide a major test. But Brady is 4-0 versus Baltimore in the regular season, and you are still starting him.
11. Jay Cutler (vs. Rams)
The Packers supplied the blueprint on how to stifle Chicago’s passing attack and frustrate Cutler. While it’s unlikely that the Rams have the personnel to replicate it, but I’m downgrading Cutler based upon his performance and inability to rise above adversity.
12. Philip Rivers (vs. Falcons)
Rivers is quietly off to an excellent start. He is tied for second with four TD passes, and is fifth with a 110 rating. His success should continue against Atlanta.
13. Michael Vick (vs. Cardinals)
Not only did Vick struggle mightily when he faced the Cardinals last November (16-for-34, 128 yards, two interceptions), but he also suffered broken ribs in a surprising loss. He should experience a better day, but temper your expectations against a unit that frustrated Brady frequently in week two.
14. Peyton Manning (vs. Texans)
He is 16-2 in his career against Houston, and has thrown a whopping 42 TD passes, with just nine INTs. But the top ranked Texans' pass defense will provide major resistance.
15. Andrew Luck (vs. Jaguars)
He is off to a respectable start, and should supply owners with acceptable numbers versus the Jacksonville defense. The Jags have just two sacks, and have failed to intercept a pass.
We now know that Baltimore is firmly committed to allowing Flacco to throw with frequency, and his owners should rejoice. But he will be facing a Patriot pass defense that is currently ranked seventh, while permitting just 202 YPG.
His success in week one was achieved primarily because he was throwing against an awful pass defense. When he does face a talented secondary his numbers become merely adequate.
18. Andy Dalton (vs. Redskins)
Dalton has a great opportunity to amass sizable yardage against the league’s 30th ranked pass defenders, who are yielding 314 YPG.
19. Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Browns)
No Joe Haden means no Brown can contain Stevie Johnson. Mix in a little Scott Chandler, and some short tosses to the ultra-dangerous C. J. Spiller, and you have a nice recipe for a productive day by Fitzpatrick.
20. Carson Palmer (vs. Steelers)
He is actually third in passing yards (670) with many of those occurring after Oakland has fallen far behind. The same scenario will occur this week, and he should accumulate fourth quarter yardage.