Position Ranks Preview, Week 3


Make no mistake: If you feel that it's necessary to commit to a fantasy lineup before the weekend, then you're kind of a fool. Please wait until Sunday morning to make the big decisions. Get your hands on the inactives list. Watch some Fantasy Football Live. Have a Pop-Tart. Consult the Magic 8-Ball. Develop a ritual, then respect the ritual. But don't make the tough calls until the last possible moment, after you've processed all available information.

The ranks below are hardly final. We'll publish the officially official all-expert composite rankings on Friday, then I'll update as needed here on the blog.

Consider these Week 3 position ranks to be a rough draft…


As you can probably tell, I'm thinking that a few points might be scored by Jacksonville and Houston. The Texans have allowed 430 rushing yards over two games, the highest total in the NFL, and the Jaguars have allowed 559 passing yards (seventh most).

If we eventually hear that Brian Westbrook(notes) (ankle) has the green light for Sunday, then I'll be forced to rank him somewhere. But he's a scary option. The Eagles' junior varsity squad – led by LeSean McCoy(notes) and Kevin Kolb(notes) – should be able to handle Kansas City with only a modest dose of Westbrook.

Marion Barber(notes) (quad) practiced on Wednesday and told the Dallas Morning News, "I can't complain." Thus he's ranked as though he'll get a healthy man's workload on Monday night, facing a Carolina defense that allows 4.9 yards per carry. Felix Jones(notes) could make a serious move up the board, however.

The Saints' backfield remains a three-man mess, as reserve Lynell Hamilton(notes) reportedly shared reps with the first team in practice. But Pierre Thomas(notes) is downsizing the brace on his knee and he told the Times-Picayune, "I feel a lot more comfortable this week and I'm ready to go."

In his last Lynch-less start, Fred Jackson(notes) should get a massive workload versus New Orleans. He had 34 touches in Week 2 against the Bucs, gaining 188 yards.

It seems odd to rank two Ravens among the top-25 RB plays (and another at No. 45), but that offense will clearly support more than one useful fantasy back, and Cleveland is on deck. Be careful making declarations about how John Harbaugh will deploy his backfield weapons, as if you know. Harbaugh broke us all last year. It's entirely possible for Willis McGahee(notes) and Ray Rice(notes) to coexist. (No one's placing bounties. Dial it back there, champ).

There have been reports suggesting that Wes Welker(notes) is expected to play against Atlanta, but we obviously expected him to be active last week, too. Welker didn't practice on Wednesday; he's headed for a "questionable" tag. The Pats won't talk.

You're starting Eli Manning(notes) and Mario Manningham(notes) against Tampa Bay. That defense has allowed 564 passing yards and five long TDs so far.

If you think that Cedric Benson(notes) is an every-week workhorse back, then by all means, trade for him. I'm urging you to do it. Now. Whatever it takes. Get him. GET HIM. It's a steal. A filthy steal! (To me, in the red zone, he still looks like Cedric Benson. I suppose that means the answer to Question No. 18 is "No, we do not all agree." And Silver, I reject the use of the word "revival.")

Reminder: The Jets' D hasn't allowed an opponent to score an offensive touchdown. But they've only faced the Texans and Patriots, so it's not like they've really been tested.



Photo via US Presswire

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