Fantasy football: Cousins, Pickett among must-start QBs for Week 3

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday in Philadelphia. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 5 | Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday in Philadelphia. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Kirk Cousins and Kenny Pickett are among my must-start fantasy football quarterbacks for Week 3.

My Week 3 running back, tight end and wide receiver rankings and waiver-wire additions articles remain available for your preparation. My positional rankings will continue to be updated for developments, including injuries.


Brock Purdy and Daniel Jones are no longer in my Week 3 quarterback rankings because of the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers' Thursday night matchup.

Josh Allen leads my Top 20 quarterback rankings, which are listed below. Dak Prescott and Baker Mayfield join Pickett and Cousins as must-start options. Several streaming options can also be found within my rankings.


Those who roster Joe Burrow and Anthony Richardson should monitor their status before adding them to lineups because of injuries they sustained in Week 2.

Each of my must-start options land inside the Top 14 of my quarterback rankings.

Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson is the No. 3 player in my Week 3 quarterback rankings. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI

Kirk Cousins

Cousins was among the best fantasy football quarterbacks in Week 2, with 364 yards and four touchdown passes in a Minnesota Vikings loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

He also totaled 344 yards and two passing scores in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This week, the Vikings will play the Los Angeles Chargers, who allowed a league-high 712 passing yards through two weeks.

Cousins should again total more than 300 passing yards and three scores. He is my No. 4 option for Week 3.

Quarterback Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys will face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI

Dak Prescott

Prescott failed to throw a touchdown pass in Week 1. He totaled 255 yards and two scores in Week 2 against the New York Jets.


This week, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback will take on the Arizona Cardinals, who allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks through two weeks, when they faced Sam Howell and Daniel Jones.

Jones totaled 321 passing yards, two passing scores and a rushing touchdown against the Cardinals in Week 2. I expect Prescott, my No. 8 play, to have similar success. He should be started in all leagues.

Baker Mayfield

Mayfield was among my waiver-wire additions and must-start quarterbacks in Week 2. The Buccaneers quarterback threw two touchdown passes in Week 1. He totaled 317 passing yards in the Buccaneers' win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday in Tampa, Fla.

This week, the Buccaneers will host the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles own the best run defense in the NFL, but surrendered the second-most passing yards and the most passing touchdowns through two weeks.

I expect the Eagles to shut down the Buccaneers' running game and jump out to a lead. That should lead to more passing attempts for Mayfield. Look for the veteran quarterback to total 300 passing yards for the second-consecutive week.

He could end up as a Top 10 option if he throws multiple touchdown passes.

Quarterback Kenny Pickett and the Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday in Las Vegas. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI

Kenny Pickett

Pickett is the No. 13 player in my Week 3 quarterback rankings, but should only be in your lineup if you are desperate for a streaming option and in a league with at least 14 teams.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback threw just one touchdown pass in each of his first two starts this season, but faced tough defenses in the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns.

This week, Pickett and the Steelers will face a Las Vegas Raiders defense that allowed five touchdown passes and did not log an interception though two weeks.

I expect this to be a high-scoring matchup, with Pickett eclipsing 250 passing yards and throwing at least two scores.

Quarterback Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills will face the Washington Commanders on Sunday in Landover, Md. File Photo by Corey Sipkin/UPI

Week 3 fantasy football quarterback rankings

1. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at WAS

2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. CHI

3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens vs. IND

4. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings vs. LAC

5. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers at MIN

6. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles at TB

7. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys at ARI


8. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. HOU

9. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams at CIN

10. Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. PHI

11. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears at KC

12. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins vs. DEN

13. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers at LV

14. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks vs. CAR

15. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos at MIA

16. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals vs. LAR

17. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions vs. ATL

18. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans at CLE

19. Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers vs. NO

20. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns vs. TEN

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers' defense prevails against Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt celebrates with fans after his fumble recovery and 16-yard run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh on September 18, 2023. The Steelers defeated the Browns 26-22. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

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