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Fantasy football QB rankings, Week 3: Underperforming quarterbacks causing concern

Ron Antonelli

Several big name quarterbacks have been underperforming. We look at those disappointing situations and share our Week 3 quarterback rankings.

Editor's Note: The Browns announced Brian Hoyer will start on Sunday over an injured Brandon Weeden and ahead of Jason Campbell. Of course, if you were starting a Browns QB this week, you probably had roster problems anyway.

The quarterback position continues to produce great point totals, but a few highly-drafted quarterbacks have started off slowly to start 2013.

I'm not one to recommend overreacting to a slow start because we're only two games into a sixteen game season. There is a lot of football left to be played my friends. On the other hand, however, who wants to be left holding a poor-producing quarterback when other owners are going to the waiver wire and snagging a hot quarterback?

Let's examine four situations.

Tom Brady and the Patriots have been synonymous with high-scoring fantasy passing numbers for the past few seasons. He is usually one of the first quarterbacks picked after Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, but his fantasy numbers thus far though have placed him outside the top 20 fantasy quarterbacks. The losses of Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have hurt his numbers more than it seemed they would. Welker and Hernandez obviously will not be returning to the Patriots anytime soon, but Gronk's return is within sight. New England's replacement for Welker, Danny Amendola, has also been out of action, but will hopefully return within the next few weeks. Brady should bounce back strong over the next month and a half, but this passing offense won't be as prolific as past seasons. If there are owners in your league that covet Brady, wait until mid- to late-October and then sell high.

The Panthers offense has been ugly and that has crushed Cam Newton's production. In the past, his owners benefited from at least his rushing yards and touchdowns. Thus far those sources of points have dried up. Carolina faces the Giants this week and, in this matchup last year, Newton looked lost and performed very poorly. Newton and his skill set are very valuable, but 2013 is not looking like his year. His Week 6 matchup against Minnesota is a big game for him: If the Newton's output continues to sputter leading up to that game, start him in Week 6 and then cut your losses.

Tony Romo was the poster boy for waiting on a quarterback. He hasn't been super bad, but his points certainly need to increase. It hasn't been all his fault, however, as it seems the coaches need to balance the offense and open up vertically in the passing game. The schedule falls for Romo well and we recommend sticking with him. There are a few troublesome spots, but those should be easily dealt with by savvy owners.

Russell Wilson was usually one of the first ten quarterbacks drafted this year. He had a decent opener against Carolina and then faced the tough 49ers defense last week. Wilson's totals will get stronger as the season progresses because the schedule sets up very nicely. I also think he'll be involved more on the ground, padding his stats with some rushing touchdowns. Don't give up on Wilson, but do be patient.

My sleeper this week is Eli Manning. His point totals don't really reflect what he's done so far this season because of his interceptions. He's thrown for 812 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions. A visit to Carolina is just what is needed. With the Giants running game still getting sorted out, Eli should torch the Panthers for at least 330 yards and three touchdowns.

Listed below are the top five quarterbacks for passing touchdowns:

1. Peyton Manning - 9
2. Philip Rivers - 7
3. Aaron Rodgers - 7
4. Matt Schaub - 6
5. E. Manning, Bradford, Cutler and Griffin III (tied) - 5

And the top five quarterbacks for passing yards:

1. Aaron Rodgers - 813
2. Eli Manning - 812
3. Peyton Manning - 769
4. Drew Brees - 679
5. Matt Ryan - 678

Quick Notes: Blaine Gabbert will likely miss the Jaguars game this week against Seattle ... Brandon Weeden will likely sit out Cleveland's game against Minnesota this week so Jason Campbell will likely get the start ... The Washington Redskins will not replace Robert Griffin III with Kirk Cousins as long as Griffin is healthy.

1 Peyton Manning
2 Aaron Rodgers
3 Colin Kaepernick
4 Drew Brees
5 Matthew Stafford
6 Michael Vick
7 Matt Ryan
8 Robert Griffin III
9 Cam Newton
10 Tony Romo
11 Eli Manning
12 Tom Brady
13 Andrew Luck
14 Alex Smith
15 Sam Bradford
16 Russell Wilson
17 Matt Schaub
18 Carson Palmer
19 Andy Dalton
20 Ryan Tannehill
21 Philip Rivers
22 Joe Flacco
23 Jake Locker
24 Terrelle Pryor
25 Jay Cutler
26 Ben Roethlisberger
27 Geno Smith
28 Josh Freeman
29 E.J. Manuel
30 Christian Ponder
31 Brandon Weeden
32 Chad Henne
33 Jason Campbell

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