The first thing to note about Kirk Cousins' blistering start is that nothing he's done efficiency-wise thus far is that outlandish. His completion percentage and touchdown rate may regress a little, but neither is way above his previous career high. His yards per attempt fits right inf his career norms. The numbers are awesome, for sure, but he's a good NFL quarterback playing under an innovative offensive mind with Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, and Jordan Addison making plays. Awesome should not be that surprising.
- Week 3 previews: | |
What is outlandish so far is the Vikings pass rate of 78%. Well, that and their turnover rate. The two are probably related, but not because all the passing is leading to more turnovers. I'd argue the opposite. Either way, you shouldn't expect them to keep turning it over as often or passing quite as much. But they'll keep throwing it more than anyone else.
The Vikings threw the ball at a well-above average clip in 2022 when they won 13 games, and we were expecting them to throw it even more. We also know that no team has ever maintained a rate that high, which is why I lowered it to 70% for Week 3...and Cousins still came out as QB1. Why? Because he's facing the Los Angeles Chargers at home in a game with an over/under of 54. Even if Cousins wasn't QB1, I would expect an offensive explosion in this spot.
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I am not trying to imply that Cousins has a legitimate chance to finish the year as QB1, and I am not actually ranking him over Patrick Mahomes this season. I do think Cousins has a pretty great chance of being a league winner at cost, and I wouldn't be all that surprised if he finishes as a top-five QB. If you drafted him and Tua Tagovailoa or Anthony Richardson, I think I would be trying to trade the young stud to upgrade another position. Cousins might be better than them anyway.
Let's get to the rest of the preview:
Week 3 QB Preview
Numbers to know
- 8 -- Kirk Cousins has already lost eight points in a standard CBS league to turnovers. He would be averaging 30 FPPG if not for that.
- 2.8 -- Justin Fields averages almost three seconds per drop back in the pocket, the longest time in the NFL.
- 0 -- Jimmy Garoppolo has still not been sacked this season. That may neutralize Pittsburgh's pass rush.
- 25% -- 25% of Jordan Love's passes have been bad throws, per Pro Football Reference. The six touchdowns don't tell the whole story.
- 69.1 -- Deshaun Watson's 69.1 passer rating is actually 10 points lower than last year's disaster.
- 8.3% -- A league-high 8.3% of Zach Wilson's throws have been turnover worthy. It's been hard to spot the progress.
- 6.1 -- Joe Burrow is averaging a career-low 6.1 intended air yards per attempt and has a career-low 56.9% completion percentage.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
Once again there is not a quarterback in my top 15 this week who is also available in even a third of leagues; we'll probably have to wait for the byes for that. I do think we get to see a little more of preseason Kenny Pickett in Week 3 against a Raiders defense that is once again getting gashed by QBs. Las Vegas ranks dead last in both QB knockdown percentage (1.4%) and pressure percentage (10.5%). This is a much better matchup than the 49ers or Browns.
LV Las Vegas • #10
Age: 32 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Garoppolo is getting the ball out on time in Josh McDaniels offense, which is taking away the threat of the pass rush. This week he's at home against a Pittsburgh defense coming off an emotional win on a short week. This game has low-key shootout appeal, and Garoppolo is a solid streamer, especially if he gets Jakobi Meyers back.
IND Indianapolis • #10
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
If you're in a two-QB league, make sure Minshew is rostered. If Anthony Richardson misses Week 3, Minshew would be a fine QB2 option. Minshew completed 82% of his passes in Week 2 against Houston and had a passer rating of 112.1.
LAR L.A. Rams • #9
Age: 35 • Experience: 15 yrs.
The way Puka Nacua is rolling, the return of Cooper Kupp could turn Matthew Stafford into a borderline top-12 QB. For now, he's not quite as good a streaming option as he appears because volume has inflated his production. The efficiency hasn't been much better than last year, so regression could come any week. I'll feel better about him once Kupp is back.
When someone in Cousins' price range comes out as QB1 overall in the projections, the only choice for me is to just play him everywhere. At home, great matchup, huge implied total, elite weapons ... and a middling price tag.
DEN Denver • #3
Age: 35 • Experience: 12 yrs.
The Dolphins defense is nothing to be scared of, Wilson should be playing from behind, and he's currently QB3 on the season. Wilson has his full complement of weapons and we have at least some indication that Sean Payton is having a positive impact. We may be a week or two away from accepting Wilson as a legitimate starting Fantasy QB again.
My full set of Week 3 Fantasy football projections for every position are now available on SportsLine. Find out which of my favorite plays are projected to score higher than consensus rankings and which don't live up to their draft hype, at least in Week 3. Projected stats for all starting quarterbacks are available, so be sure to check out the full set of projections at SportsLine.