Matchup rankings are hardly actual rankings, more of a “don’t be surprised if” kind of thing.
Should you care? Absolutely. I have Donovan McNabb in several leagues and I’m sweating my starting spot. If you’re in the same boat, and one of these guys is an option, why not take a chance and swing for the fences.
Again, these are based on matchups, not rankings. Please don’t start Jason Campbell over Kurt Warner even though Campbell has the best matchup this week and Warner has the worst. Ninjas don’t condone dumb, and that would fit the profile.
Just expect Warner to have a little tougher go of it than usual, and Campbell to be at least a little better than usual.
On to the matchup rankings for NFL Week 3, listed best to worst:
Jason Campbell, Redskins at Detroit
Jason, it’s up to you. There is no better matchup in fantasy football this week. Santana Moss and Co. are good enough to exploit the defense, you just have to get the ball to them.
Drew Brees, Saints at Buffalo
If you church, say a prayer for the Buffalo secondary on Sunday. Divine intervention might be the only thing that saves them from 600 yards and 6 TDs.
Eli Manning, Giants vs. Tampa Bay
There were probably few QBs happier than Eli Manning after the emergence of his star wide receivers in Week 2. While watching film this week, I’m sure he shed a few tears of joy.
Mark Sanchez, Jets vs. Tennessee
Like the fall of Tampa Bay, the Titans have gone from a top-5 defense against QBs to a must exploit matchup. Now, Sanchez isn’t going to throw for 400 and 3 TDs, so don’t start him unless your stud is among the walking wounded.
Kevin Kolb, Eagles vs. Kansas City
Joe Flacco demolished the Chiefs in Week 1. The only reason the Raiders didn’t do it last week is because JaMarcus Russell is bad. Kolb’s performance should lead to Jeff Garcia’s release.
Matt Schaub, Texans vs. Jacksonville
The buffet continues for Schaub to Andre Johnson in Week 3.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers at St. Louis
Time for Rodgers to get back on track, he and JerMichael Finley are going to be very busy Sunday.
Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Miami
So, Rivers throws the ball a lot. He throws to tight end Antonio Gates a lot. Miami has given up a lot of fantasy points to QBs and a lot to TEs.
Tony Romo, Cowboys vs. Carolina (Monday night)
I’m not ready to give up on Romo. The Giants just had his number. The Panthers D might grab a pick-six, but Romo puts up overall solid fantasy numbers.
Jake Delhomme, Panthers at Dallas (Monday night)
Not sure if you heard, but the Dallas defense is susceptible to big plays from receivers. Delhomme to Smith could be a delightful combo for some fantasy owners.
Brady Quinn, Browns at Baltimore
Funny to see the Ravens this high, but they gave up the fourth-most fantasy points to a QB last week. Maybe they’re aging and not as dominant, but Quinn will have a difficult time taking advantage of it.
David Garrard, Jaguars at Houston
Based on what we know after two weeks, I don’t consider Houston an awful defense or a great defense. However, if they fail to pay attention to Maurice Jones Drew or Mike Sims-Walker like they ignored Chris Johnson, Garrard’s going to post career-high numbers.
Matt Ryan, Falcons at New England
The Patriots D is another one we’ll know more about after Week 3, but I’m not afraid of playing Matt Ryan this week.
Marc Bulger, Rams vs. Green Bay
Laurent Robinson and Donnie Avery just are not getting it done. Do they have a Mario Manningham type player waiting in the wings? No, no they don’t. I don’t care what Bulger’s matchup looks like. You start him, you deserve to lose. Wait until he has a decent game.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Cincinnati
As good as Roethlisberger’s been this year, the Bengals defense looked improved against the Packers last week. I can’t tell you to sit him because this is a middle-of-the-road matchup. But I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Roethlisberger get beat up this week.
Brett Favre, Vikings vs. San Francisco
Favre had one of the best matchups last week (Detroit)and the passing game couldn’t take advantage. The Lions are better, but Favre is just a bye-week filler. And nobody’s on bye yet, so you shouldn’t start him.
Seneca Wallace, Seahawks vs. Chicago
This matchup would have been a little more exciting if it was Matt Hasselbeck and not Wallace. As it is, the Bears defense is a little better than it was last year, so you better have a darn good reason to start Wallace.
Carson Palmer, Bengals vs. Pittsburgh
Weird to have the Steelers up this high on a matchup list, but they’ve been middle of the road so far this year. You already know this, but don’t bench Palmer unless you’ve got a stud ahead of him.
Kyle Orton, Broncos at Oakland
Oakland was somewhat stingy against QBs last season and it has continued this year.
Peyton Manning, Colts at Arizona (Sunday night)
Arizona is one of the more improved defenses this year, but Manning will be himself and skewer the Cardinals’ defensive backs while skewing the defensive stats, because that’s what he does.
Trent Edwards, Bills vs. New Orleans
It’s hard to read the Saints D. They were good against Matthew Stafford and the Lions, but they gave up massive points to the Kevin Kolb-led Eagles in Week 2. We’ll know more this week, but in either case, Edwards will have to try to match that Saints aerial assault.
Chad Pennington, Dolphins at San Diego
As I expected the Chargers defense has been much more stingy this year compared to last. Pennington’s not going to erupt for big games anyway, so this is a matchup ranking that you should follow as a real ranking. Bench’em
Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Atlanta
It’s Tom Brady. You start him against anybody even if he’s throwing to pancakes and orange juice against the best defense in the league. Atlanta should not concern you. And I’m hungry for breakfast.
Matthew Stafford, Lions vs. Washington
Stafford is a rookie QB making rookie mistakes. Washington is not so forgiving against QBs. Like putting ketchup on your breakfast cereal, playing Stafford this week is a bad idea. Really, breakfast would be a good call.
Shaun Hill, 49ers at Minnesota
Minnesota’s a bad matchup across all the skill positions except for tight end. So if you’re doing a revolving door TE thing and want to play Vernon Davis, have at it. Just don’t expect Hill to get too much.
Bryon Leftwich, Buccaneers vs. New York Giants
This is a sneaky pick because Leftwich could be forced to throw the ball a lot and the Giants will be without star safety Kenny Phillips who pillaged and plundered the Cowboys last week.
Matt Cassel, Chiefs at Philadelphia
Word is Cassel’s job isn’t safe. I hope you’re not stuck starting him this week. He’s got a bad matchup and he may only play a half before Brodie Croyle gets a shot. Brodie Croyle.
Joe Flacco, Ravens vs. Cleveland
Despite their relative ineptitude, the Browns defense was among the 10 best against QBs in 2008 and they’ve actually been better than that so far in 2009. They give up a lot of points to RBs and the Ravens have plenty of them.
Kerry Collins, Titans at New York Jets
The Jets won’t ignore Chris Johnson, who is fast, and they’re the most improved fantasy defense against QBs from 2008 to 2009. If you’re thinking about starting Kerry Collins, who is old, you’re probably not online reading Chinstrap Ninjas or any other website for fantasy football advice anyway.
JaMarcus Russell, Raiders vs. Denver
Look up train wreck at the online encyclopedia of your choice and you’ll find Russell vs. Broncos 2009. The QB’s performance against the Raiders last week will be listed as a supporting statement.
Kurt Warner, Cardinals vs. Indianapolis (Sunday night)
The Colts were the second-best team against fantasy QBs in 2008. They were No. 2 in Week 1 and No. 1 in Week 2. Start Warner – because, y’know Fitzgerald and friends – just make sure you don’t take too many other chances with your lineup.
What do you guys think about these matchups? Am I totally off on one? Two? 10? What do you think is the best matchup this week? Let’s discuss it in the comments.