Fantasy football: Six must-start quarterbacks for Week 3

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is an elite fantasy football QB1 in Week 3. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
1 of 5 | Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is an elite fantasy football QB1 in Week 3. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Kirk Cousins and Jared Goff are among my six must-start quarterbacks for Week 3 of the 2022 fantasy football season.

Each of my must-start passers rank inside the Top 14 in my Top 20 weekly rankings, meaning that they should be started in leagues with at least 14 teams. My full Top 20 weekly rankings are listed below.


Matthew Stafford is another high-end QB1 play this week. My list of six must-start quarterbacks also features some streaming options or injury fill-ins.

Josh Allen, Cousins, Lamar Jackson, Stafford and Jalen Hurts make up the Top 5 of my weekly rankings. Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow, Marcus Mariota and Tom Brady also are inside my Top 10.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins can be used as a fantasy football QB1 in Week 3. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI

Kirk Cousins

Cousins totaled nearly 80 pass attempts through the first two weeks of the season, but also found the end zone just three times and totaled three interceptions.

I expect the Minnesota Vikings quarterback to produce his best performance so far this season when he battles the Detroit Lions on Sunday in Minneapolis.

The Lions have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks through two weeks, including a 337-yard and three-score performance to Carson Wentz in Week 2.

The Vikings offense features more potent weapons that the ones Wentz connected with in Week 2. Look for Cousins to utilize those threats for an elite QB1-level performance.

He should total at least 300 yards and three scores in this matchup. Cousins is my No. 2 option this week.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford gets hit by Atlanta Falcons defender Ta'Quon Graham on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI

Matthew Stafford

Stafford threw just one touchdown and logged three interceptions in the Los Angeles Rams' season opener. He responded with a three-touchdown, 272-yard performance in Week 2.


This week, the Rams will face the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks so far this season. They also tied the Baltimore Ravens for allowing a league-high seven touchdowns.

I expect Stafford to take advantage of this beatable defense in what should be a high-scoring matchup. Stafford is my No. 4 option.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota warms up prior to game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI

Marcus Mariota

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota was one of my top waiver wire pickups for this week and can be plugged in as a low-end QB1 if you need help at the position. Mariota threw two touchdown passes in Week 2. He ran for a score in Week 1.

Mariota should continue to provide value with his arm and his legs. I also expect the Falcons to be forced to throw late in games, as they trail. This week, the Falcons will battle the Seattle Seahawks.

The Seahawks allowed just two touchdown passes through their first two games. I expect the Falcons to try to get tight end Kyle Pitts more involved in their offense this week, which should pump up Mariota's passing volume. They also should find the end zone two or three times. He is my No. 9 option.

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) is a fantastic fantasy football streaming option for Week 3. File Photo by Mike Goulding/UPI

Derek Carr

Carr is my No. 11 quarterback for Week 3. The Las Vegas Raiders veteran threw two touchdown passes in each of his first two games.

The Raiders will face the Tennessee Titans in Week 3. The Titans allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and the third-most passing scores to the position through two weeks.

Look for Carr to utilize Davante Adams and the Raiders' other top targets en route to a low-end QB1 performance in Week 3. He is a great streaming option.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws downfield against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Photo by David Tulis/UPI

Tua Tagovailoa

Tagovailoa is coming off a career-best, six-touchdown, 469-yard performance in Week 2. I don't expect him to come close to those totals, but he now warrants QB1 consideration on a weekly basis.

The Miami Dolphins boast two of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL, in Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. They will battle the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Bills will bring the league's top offense into this AFC East division clash.


The Bills allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks through two weeks, but Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense are on fire. The Dolphins quarterback should find the end zone at least twice and near 300 passing yards. Tagovailoa is my No. 12 quarterback this week.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff is a low-end QB1 this week. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI

Jared Goff

Goff is my No. 14 option, but should only be in your lineup if you are extremely desperate for production at the position. The Detroit Lions quarterback threw two touchdowns in Week 1 and found the end zone four times in Week 2.

This week, the Lions will battle the Minnesota Vikings in yet another game with shootout potential.

The Vikings allowed just one passing score through two games, but also surrendered the third-most passing yards (593) in the NFL. Goff should easily total 250 passing yards and could find the end zone multiple times.

Week 3 fantasy football quarterback rankings

1. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at MIA

2. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings vs. DET

3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at NE

4. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams at ARI

5. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles at WAS


6. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs at IND

7. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals vs. LAR

8. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals at NYJ

9. Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons at SEA

10. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. GB

11. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at TEN

12. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins vs. BUF

13. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers vs. JAX

14. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions at MIN

15. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers at TB

16. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. SF

17. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans vs. LV

18. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars at LAC

19. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears vs. HOU

20. Daniel Jones, New York Giants vs. DAL

The week in the National Football League

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Damarion Williams deflects a touchdown pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle during the second half of an NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on September 18, 2022. Miami won 42-38 after scoring four touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

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