Our Week 2 early rankings are ready for your consumption.
However, there is a bit of a warning this week. There are a handful of important players — Drew Brees, Jason Witten, Ladarius Green, Tevin Coleman, etc. — with unknown statuses at this time.
If you play in a league that locks rosters, or if you play on a daily site that doesn’t allow late-swapping — cough, FanDuel, cough — it might be best to avoid them.
Witten magically appeared with knee and ankles injuries. Yes, plural on the ankles. Witten’s no burner so he can probably get taped up and out there, but I’m probably not taking that chance in any lineup where the roster is locked tonight.
Alright, with that out of the way, let’s get to this week’s early rankings. They will be updated Sunday.
Week 3 early rankings for 2015 fantasy football
Click on the tab at the bottom of the sheet to cycle through the positions. Use the arrows on the bottom right to reveal more positions.
We’re a little higher than the rest of the industry on Russell Wilson and Carson Palmer and a little lower on Andrew Luck.
Luck faces the Titans, who have played much better defense so far this season than they did last season. They’ve also faced Tampa Bay and Cleveland, so those numbers might be a mirage. Luck and the Colts are due for a Luck-type game. That’s why we still have him fifth.
Nick Foles is also way higher than he is on a lot of other sites. Pittsburgh’s defensive backfield is a fantasy wonderland for opposing quarterbacks, according to Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, fantasy points allowed and a bunch of other metrics that probably haven’t even been invented yet. I bet he climbs up boards across the rest of the industry as we draw closer to Sunday.
Foles, Wilson, Cam Newton and Josh McCown/Johnny Manziel — McCown is starting, but don’t be surprised if Manziel is in before long, which makes this a situation we should probably avoid this week — have strong matchups.
Le’Veon Bell returns. There should be no surprise seeing him atop the board.
One surprise might be Justin Forsett. He hasn’t been very fruitful for fantasy owners this season and he faces the Bengals, who have been good against runners in the first two games. Cincinnatti was also the worst team in the NFL in the last two weeks against pass-catching backs, giving up an AVERAGE of 75.3 yards on 9.2 pass attempts. Forsett is already second on the team with 11 targets and finished last year, when they still had Torrey Smith, fourth.
We have Devonta Freeman 15th and that’s mostly considering he won’t have any competition for the spot. But scuttlebutt says Tevin Coleman may try to play through his broken rib. That mucks this whole thing up. If that narrative grows between now and Sunday, we’ll probably have to push Freeman down a few spots.
Wide receiver is the most volatile position in the game, except when you own Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Julian Edelman, our top three receivers. I would be surprised if they are usurped by Sunday.
There were some questions surrounding Brandon Marshall, Jarvis Landry and Allen Robinson coming into this season, but I feel like they’re players who will fit in just under the elite tier and will make fantasy owners very happy this season.
We have Pierre Garcon quite a bit higher than everyone else this week, too. That Redskins offense is nothing to get too excited about as long as Matt Jones is in a committee, but I believe the Giants defense is more of a Dumpster fire than they’ve appeared.
The aforementioned Giants have been one of the worst teams in the NFL (72.5 yards per game) at defending tight ends this season, making Jordan Reed a strong play. He’s another guy we have a little higher than the crowds this week.
Same goes for Kyle Rudolph, who we have a few spots higher than the rest because of his matchup with the Chargers, who have allowed 62.5 yards to opposing tight ends this season. According to DVOA, they are the third-least effective team in the NFL against tight ends, which means that 62.5 might be low.