Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Fantasy Football Week 3 Wide Receiver Rankings: Who can you trust in an injury-filled week?

Fantasy Football Week 3 Wide Receiver Rankings: Who can you trust in an injury-filled week?

Chris Towers walk through his wide receiver rankings for Week 3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp
Julio Aguilar / Getty Images

When the Chiefs and Packers got rid of Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams without replacing them with viable No. 1 options this past offseason, there was a lot of talk in the Fantasy community about things like “vacated targets,” and a lot written about the “opportunity” guys like Mecole Hardman, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, and JuJu Smith-Schuster (among others) had to step in become must-start Fantasy options because of those absences.

So far, none of those players have managed it yet, and we got some more examples in Week 2 of why vacated targets and opportunity don’t necessarily matter all that much at wide receiver. The Colts were missing Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce, and they had one player reach even 40 receiving yards against the Jaguars this week. Similarly, the Buccaneers were missing Chris Godwin and Julio Jones, and Mike Evans had 61 yards before being ejected from the game. Russell Gage stepped up for 28 yards, while Breshad Perriman had 45 – at least he had a touchdown. 

The point? Unlike at running back, where simply being on the field means you’ve got a pretty good chance of literally being handed the ball a bunch of times, wide receivers have to be good enough to get open often enough for their quarterback to find them and then do something with the targets they inevitably earn. Sometimes, guys really do step up when the opportunity becomes available and emerge as breakouts, but when that’s the primary – let alone the only – case for a player’s Fantasy appeal, you should be pretty skeptical of them.

For what it’s worth, I think Smith-Schuster can still become a viable Fantasy option, and I don’t want to write off Gage entirely – he was one of those players who actually did take advantage of an opportunity for a bigger target share with Atlanta last season. But, it’s worth keeping in mind that, while “opportunity” can be a viable tie-breaker when setting your lineup, you shouldn’t just automatically start a player because his better teammates are out. Lazard, Gage and Smith-Schuster are decent starting options this week, but none of them are owed a spot in your lineup. They’ve still gotta earn it, and none have so far. 

Here are my WR rankings for Week 3. 

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  1. Cooper Kupp @ARI
  2. Davante Adams @TEN
  3. Justin Jefferson vs. DET
  4. Stefon Diggs @MIA
  5. Ja’Marr Chase @NYJ
  6. Amon-Ra St. Brown @MIN
  7. Deebo Samuel @DEN
  8. Tyreek Hill vs. BUF
  9. Tee Higgins @NYJ
  10. A.J. Brown @WAS
  11. Jaylen Waddle vs. BUF
  12. Brandin Cooks @CHI
  13. Michael Pittman Jr. vs. KC
  14. Michael Thomas @CAR
  15. D.J. Moore vs. NO
  16. Christian Kirk @LAC
  17. Keenan Allen vs. JAX
  18. Mike Williams vs. JAX
  19. CeeDee Lamb @NYG
  20. Garrett Wilson vs. CIN
  21. Curtis Samuel vs. PHI
  22. Marquise Brown vs. LAR
  23. Rashod Bateman @NE
  24. Courtland Sutton vs. SF
  25. Elijah Moore vs. CIN
  26. Adam Thielen vs. DET
  27. Allen Robinson @ARI
  28. JuJu Smith-Schuster @IND
  29. Drake London @SEA
  30. Terry McLaurin vs. PHI
  31. D.K. Metcalf vs. ATL
  32. Jerry Jeudy vs. SF
  33. Tyler Lockett vs. ATL
  34. Russell Gage vs. GB
  35. Darnell Mooney vs. HOU
  36. DeVonta Smith @WAS
  37. Brandon Aiyuk @DEN
  38. Gabe Davis @MIA
  39. Treylon Burks vs. LV
  40. Sterling Shepard vs. DAL
  41. Tyler Boyd @NYJ
  42. Robert Woods vs. LV
  43. Allen Lazard @TB
  44. Greg Dortch vs. LAR
  45. Cole Beasley vs. GB
  46. Corey Davis vs. CIN
  47. Chris Olave @CAR
  48. Jarvis Landry @CAR
  49. Jahan Dotson vs. PHI
  50. Zay Jones @LAC
  51. DJ Chark @MIN
  52. Robby Anderson vs. NO
  53. A.J. Green vs. LAR
  54. Nico Collins @CHI
  55. Kyle Phillips vs. LV
  56. DeVante Parker vs. BAL
  57. K.J. Osborn vs. DET

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