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NFL Rankings

Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings: TE, K, DEF

by Patrick Daugherty
Updated On: September 26, 2021, 11:28 am ET

Kyle Pitts eyes the next step in his top-five progression while Dallas Goedert takes in an A+ matchup in the Cowboys as Zach Ertz sits on the shelf. 

Other positions: Quarterback | Running Back | Receiver     

Week 3 Tight Ends

RK

Player

Opp

1

Travis Kelce

LAC

2

Darren Waller

MIA

3

George Kittle

GB

4

T.J. Hockenson

BAL

5

Kyle Pitts

@NYG

6

Mark Andrews

@DET

7

Noah Fant

NYJ

8

Rob Gronkowski

@LA

9

Logan Thomas

@BUF

10

Tyler Higbee

TB

11

Robert Tonyan

@SF

12

Dallas Goedert

@DAL

13

Jared Cook

@KC

14

Jonnu Smith

NO

15

Cole Kmet

@CLE

16

Hunter Henry

NO

17

Austin Hooper

CHI

18

Blake Jarwin

PHI

19

Evan Engram

ATL

20

Mike Gesicki

@LV

21

Gerald Everett

@MIN

22

Tyler Conklin

SEA

23

Albert Okwuegbunam

NYJ

24

Jack Doyle

@TEN

25

Juwan Johnson

@NE

26

Dawson Knox

WAS

27

Adam Trautman

@NE

28

Tyler Kroft

@DEN

29

Zach Ertz

@DAL

30

Dalton Schultz

PHI

31

David Njoku

CHI

32

Pat Freiermuth

CIN

33

Dan Arnold

@HOU

34

Eric Ebron

CIN

35

Maxx Williams

@JAC

 

TE Notes: A slow-starting George Kittle gets a Packers defense allowing the third most tight end fantasy points after dates with the Saints and T.J. Hockenson. Kittle’s early lack of volume is distressing, but where else is this Brandon Aiyuk-denying team going to funnel its looks? Week 3 is a perfect time for Kittle to wake up. … I was tempted to install T.J. Hockenson as the TE3 over Kittle, but he still has a final test to pass. Teams were obviously already operating under the assumption that Hock was the Lions’ No. 1 weapon, but it has now been vividly demonstrated. Can he handle the coverage that is about to be rolled his way? On paper, the Ravens are an excellent matchup after serving up the most tight end fantasy points between Weeks 1 and 2, though they were facing Travis Kelce and Darren Waller. A big game this week will have Hock looking close to matchup proof. … Kyle Pitts’ usage has been nothing but positive. The Falcons need him in the worst way, and he appears up for the challenge. The concern is how much Matt Ryan has left in the tank. The Giants had a bad day against Noah Fant in Week 1 and a decent one vs. Logan Thomas in Week 2. 

Mark Andrews has joined Kittle in the slow start department. Andrews’ Week 3 opponent Detroit held its own vs. both Kittle and Robert Tonyan. Only a perfect Aaron Rodgers throw could spring Tonyan. … Noah Fant’s 14 targets are tied for fourth up the seam. 6-8 weekly looks is a highly realistic floor. Ceiling efforts are coming, too. … I can’t decide if I am underreacting or overreacting to Rob Gronkowski’s first two weeks. I do think we are seeing a more fluid player after last year’s return. Gronk never stopped dunking on people in the red zone. If he is more dynamic between the 20s this season, a return to the top five probably isn’t far away. … With Zach Ertz on the COVID-19 list, Dallas Goedert could have the Eagles’ seam to himself for a likely shootout with the Cowboys. The ‘Boys were memorably Gronk spiked twice in Week 1. This rank won’t hold if Ertz manages to suit up. … It’s been a sleepy start for Logan Thomas. The snaps and targets point to an eventual breakout. 

The snaps have not been enough for Tyler Higbee. Where there is playing time, production usually follows. The Bucs’ linebackers and safeties are not the most giving up the seam. … As mentioned earlier, Robert Tonyan Gronk spiked on the Lions. Seven targets in two games is not going to cut it, but 5-7 weekly looks is still an entirely reasonable expectation. … Jonnu Smith is narrowly out-targeting Hunter Henry. We are in wait-and-see mode. I continue to believe Henry will triumph in the all-important red zone. … With consummate compiler Jarvis Landry on injured reserve, it will be almost impossible for Austin Hooper not to start garnering more looks. … Perhaps we are being hasty about putting Gerald Everett on top-18 probation. Do you really see another option? … Albert Okwuegbunam for random touchdowns, Jack Doyle for empty calorie floor. … We can’t overreact to Maxx Williams, but we can’t act like it didn’t happen, either. He is going to be a volatile TE2 bet, but we know this offense will at least supply targets potential. There are worse rocks to look under.   

 

Week 3 Kickers 

RK

Player

Opp

1

Matt Gay

TB

2

Justin Tucker

@DET

3

Daniel Carlson

MIA

4

Brandon McManus

NYJ

5

Greg Zuerlein

PHI

6

Harrison Butker

LAC

7

Matt Prater

@JAC

8

Ryan Succop

@LA

9

Graham Gano

ATL

10

Nick Folk

NO

11

Tristan Vizcaino

@KC

12

Younghoe Koo

@NYG

13

Mason Crosby

@SF

14

Chris Boswell

CIN

15

Tyler Bass

WAS

16

Robbie Gould

GB

17

Dustin Hopkins

@BUF

18

Chase McLaughlin

CHI

19

Jason Myers

@MIN

20

Jake Elliott

@DAL

21

Aldrick Rosas

@NE

22

Evan McPherson

@PIT

23

Zane Gonzalez

@HOU

24

Jason Sanders

@LV

25

Rodrigo Blankenship

@TEN

26

Cairo Santos

@CLE

27

Randy Bullock

IND

28

Joey Slye

CAR

29

Greg Joseph

SEA

30

Austin Seibert

BAL

31

Josh Lambo

ARI

32

Matt Ammendola

@DEN

 

Week 3 Defense/Special Teams

RK

Player

Opp

1

New England Patriots

NO

2

Denver Broncos

NYJ

3

Carolina Panthers

@HOU

4

Buffalo Bills

WAS

5

Pittsburgh Steelers

CIN

6

Arizona Cardinals

@JAC

7

Baltimore Ravens

@DET

8

Tennessee Titans

IND

9

Cleveland Browns

CHI

10

New York Giants

ATL

11

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

@LA

12

Chicago Bears

@CLE

13

Kansas City Chiefs

LAC

14

Indianapolis Colts

@TEN

15

Los Angeles Rams

TB

16

Dallas Cowboys

PHI

17

Washington Football Team

@BUF

18

Las Vegas Raiders

MIA

19

Miami Dolphins

@LV

20

New Orleans Saints

@NE

21

Green Bay Packers

@SF

22

Atlanta Falcons

@NYG

23

Seattle Seahawks

@MIN

24

Minnesota Vikings

SEA

25

Philadelphia Eagles

@DAL

26

Cincinnati Bengals

@PIT

27

San Francisco 49ers

GB

28

Los Angeles Chargers

@KC

29

Jacksonville Jaguars

ARI

30

New York Jets

@DEN

31

Houston Texans

CAR

32

Detroit Lions

BAL

Patrick Daugherty

Patrick Daugherty is the Senior Fantasy Football content creator for NBC Sports EDGE. You can find him on Twitter @RotoPat.