Fantasy Football Week 3: Matthew Stafford moves up, and Jay Ajayi stays at the top in our expert's positional rankings for QB, RB, WR and TE
Our experts do the rankings so you don't have to. Here are their top plays for each position, and some key takeaways heading into the weekend.
Editor's Note: All rankings updated as of Friday at 5 p.m. EST to reflect the latest news and changes our experts have made.
You don't want to overreact early in the season. We're still only two games in, which just doesn't give us all that much information to go on. Plus, 0-2 isn't really that big a hole to climb out of.
But 0-3 might be.
So, how should you handle Week 2? It's twice as much data as we had a week ago! It's time to go wild, bench your first-round picks and start that hot waiver-wire add who has had two good games, right?
Well, it depends on who you ask. Some players and analysts are more willing to react to the early-season changes in the landscape, while others are going to stick to their guns and believe in the longer track records. You'll get a sense of that with our Week 2 rankings review. Here's who our trio of experts like for this week.
Note: All rankings for Standard scoring.
- Moving up: Dave moved Stafford up to No. 6, for what could be a shootout against the Falcons in Week 3. Stafford is off to a great start, with six touchdowns and only one pick through the first two games. He's sure to slow down, but there's no guarantee he falls off completely; Stafford took a big step forward with his play in 2015, and was building on it before a finger injury sent his 2016 season into a tailspin.
- Moving down: Dave moved Russell Wilson down to 11th, and it's hard to argue with it. Wilson is a notorious slow starter, so it might just take him some time to get going, but the Seahawks' offense has just looked awful so far. He is averaging just 5.4 yards per attempt with one score in two games – though he is running more than he did last season, a good sign for his health.
- Bounceback Alert: I don't blame you if you're worried about Cam Newton after a slow start to the season that has seen him fail to reach 20 points in both games. Add in the loss of Greg Olsen, and it could be a rough season for him. If he can't turn it around against New Orleans' dreadful pass defense, it will officially be time to panic. But nobody here is particularly worried, at least for this week.
- Sleeper alert: He still makes his mistakes, but Carson Wentz looks like he has made a leap. It's too early to say for sure, but he has upped his yards per attempt to 7.5 (from 6.2), and has two touchdowns and 300-plus yards in each of the first two games. The Giants were a tough matchup last season, but they haven't look quite as sharp in the early going. With Philadelphia's completely lackluster running game, expect Wentz to keep airing it out.
- Bench alert: Heath was lower on Jameis Winston than either Dave or Jamey coming into the season, so it's a bit surprising to see Winston inside the top-15 for just him. Dave and Jamey are concerned about his matchup with the Vikings, and for good reason; they just held Ben Roethlisberger to 243 yards at home. This is a great test for Winston in what is expected to be the year he joins the ranks of the elite.
- Still No. 1: Given a full seek to reconsider, none of our trio is backing off their No. 1 pick. The Dolphins force fed Ajayi in Week 1 -- apparently that "sore" knee was just fine -- and he rushed for 122 yards. Now, he gets to go against the same Jets defense that just gave up 180 yards and three touchdowns to Lynch and his Raiders' teammates. Ajayi should run wild against this team.
- Injury update 1: Trying to figure out what to do with Tennessee's backfield? Good luck. Dave has Derrick Henry in his top-12, and isn't planning to change that despite news that DeMarco Murray was able to practice Sunday. Heath isn't quite so sure, moving Murray up to 36th, with Henry at 33rd. Keep a close eye on this one heading into Sunday, because any reports -- positive or negative -- could make this an even more difficult decision. Right now, however, everyone is leaning toward Henry over Murray.
- Injury update 2: Heath is the only one of the three not totally spooked off by Jordan Howard's shoulder. He was removed from the injury report Friday, a clear sign he is expected to play and start Sunday against the Steelers. Of course, he was also expected to play in Week 2, and did, but totaled just 7 yards before exiting with the injury.
- Injury update 3: Nobody moved Terrance West into their top-24, but his improved status heading into the weekend should scare you off Javorius Allen at least a little. He's more of a Flex play.
- Rookie watch: Jamey and Dave are both believers in Joe Mixon, and they think things are about to change in Cincinnati. With a new offensive coordinator, let's hope Mixon starts to see more work, after two weeks of largely playing a supporting role to Giovani Bernard. Mixon has played just 38 of the team's 125 snaps so far. I would wait a week to see how Bill Lazor uses Mixon, but if you want a high-upside play, Mixon is it.
- Watch the injury report ... Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs were the darlings of the Fantasy world after one week, when both dominated the Saints in prime time. However, an injury to Sam Bradford's knee forced Case Keenum into the starting lineup in Week 2 and ... things did not go well. Bradford was ruled out Friday, so Diggs and Thielen -- and this whole Vikings offense, frankly -- can be safely discounted.
- DON'T PANIC ... A.J. Green hasn't been nearly as good as we hoped in the first two games, as the Bengals' offensive ineptitude has dragged him down. You might even be considering the possibility of sitting him. Don't. That would be ridiculous. The Packers' defensive backfield still isn't strong, and even a "bad" A.J. Green still has 141 yards on 10 catches in two games. If that's the floor, then he's gonna be just fine.
- Buying the breakout: J.J. Nelson had his coming out party in Week 2, taking advantage of John Brown's absence for 120 yards and a touchdown. He also had five catches and a touchdown in Week 1, so this isn't just a one-week thing. Dallas is a tough matchup because the Cowboys like to slow the game down, but this is one game where Carson Palmer's offensive line might hold up, giving Nelson the chance for another big one.
- Flash in the pan? Kenny Golladay was the star of Week 1, and then followed it up with one catch for 8 yards. Dave is the only one of our three with Golladay ranked inside the top-48, at No. 37.
- Injury updates: Rob Gronkowski (groin) and Jordan Reed (chest) made progress as the week went on, and could play in Week 1. Reed is more of a question mark than Gronk, though he doesn't seem to be as much of a risk as Jimmy Graham (ankle).
- That's more like it! After being a complete non-factor in Week 1, Hunter Henry went off for 80 yards on seven catches on seven targets. Henry still isn't on the field for every snap, but at least he surpassed Antonio Gates in Week 2. Expect that to be the norm moving forward.
- Flash in the pan? We didn't buy Austin Hooper's big game in Week 1 when he went off for 128 yards. He had just two catches on two targets on Week 2. Turns out, we're smart; he had two catches again, but for just 7 yards this time. Hooper's talent is undeniable, as we saw in Week 1. But if he's only getting a few targets a week, he's too risky to start.
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