Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs own top tier in NFL power rankings entering Week 4

Jay Asser 27/09/2018
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Only three undefeated teams remain in the NFL after three weeks, and it’s no coincidence two of them boast dominant offences.

The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs are torching teams with their dynamic attacks, led by young quarterbacks Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes, respectively.

As of now, those two sides are sitting in a tier of their own and are the ones to beat in their respective conferences.

Check out where everyone else ranks in our power rankings heading into Week 4.

1. Los Angeles Rams

Record: 3-0 | Last week: 1

They’ve struggled to stop the run and are now dealing with injuries to their top two cornerbacks, but the offence has been unstoppable.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 3-0 | Last week: 4

The 2007 New England Patriots and 1967 Baltimore Colts are the only other teams to score 38-plus points in each of the first three weeks.

3. Philadelphia Eagles

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 7

Carson Wentz is back in the fold and the defending champions should only get better from here on out.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 2

Their offence took a step back in what was a very winnable game at home against a shorthanded Titans team.

5. New Orleans Saints

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 12

The defence still can’t stop anyone to save their life, but at least the other side of the ball is giving them plenty of room for error.

6. Carolina Panthers

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 14

They head into their bye week looking impressive, though their red-zone defence could stand to improve.

Panthers

7. Minnesota Vikings

Record: 1-1-1 | Last week: 3

They have questions to answer after their defence was gashed and their offence looked inept in a loss to lowly Buffalo.

8. New England Patriots

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 6

It’s way too early to count them out and they’ll start getting players back, but they have to show some improvement this week.

9. Green Bay Packers

Record: 1-1-1 | Last week: 5

Their front seven has done a poor job of containing the run, while safety play has been mediocre.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers

Record: 1-1-1 | Last week: 15

They desperately needed that win over Tampa Bay to bring the team together and head in the right direction.

11. Miami Dolphins

Record: 3-0 | Last week: 16

At 3-0, they have a golden opportunity to create separation on New England in the AFC East this week.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 8

Ryan Fitzpatrick has done enough to maintain the starting role, but the leash should be much shorter now.

13. Cincinnati Bengals

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 10

The offence is missing the versatility and dynamism of running back Joe Mixon, who could be out another couple weeks.

14. Baltimore Ravens

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 17

The run game isn’t helping to take the pressure off Joe Flacco and the air attack as they’re averaging just 3.1 yards per rush.

15. Los Angeles Chargers

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 13

Their two losses have come to two of the best teams and the schedule gets considerably easier from here on out.

16. Washington

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 21

It’s been difficult to make sense of them as they’ve been up and down, and there’s no clarity coming this week as they’re on a bye.

17. Tennessee Titans

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 23

They’ve somehow managed to squeeze out wins the past two weeks with almost no offence, which speaks to their resourcefulness.

Titans

18. Chicago Bears

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 19

They’re not getting nearly enough from Mitchell Trubisky, but their defence has the second-most takeaways in the league.

19. Atlanta Falcons

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 9

It couldn’t be more obvious they’re missing Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, but at least rookie receiver Calvin Ridley has been the real deal.

20. Denver Broncos

Record: 2-1 | Last week: 11

Their record isn’t really indicative of how they’ve looked, which has been shaky in all facets at various times.

21. Cleveland Browns

Record: 1-1-1 | Last week: 27

They finally won a game and now that Baker Mayfield is the starter, the offence has a higher ceiling.

22. Seattle Seahawks

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 25

They looked like the old Seahawks this past weekend, but that may have been the product of who they were facing.

23. Dallas Cowboys

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 20

Dak Prescott has yet to top 170 yards through the air this season and it’s evident the passing game is a huge concern.

24. New York Giants

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 28

Despite the win, their offensive line still looked like pushovers and something that’s going to hold them back.

25. Detroit Lions

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 30

They’ve had three wildly different games, so it’s hard to tell exactly what Matt Patricia’s team is.

Lions

26. Indianapolis Colts

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 24

Andrew Luck continues to dink and dunk and may not be capable of throwing deep as the Colts brought in Jacoby Brissett to attempt a Hail Mary.

27. Buffalo Bills

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 32

Josh Allen showed something in that win over Minnesota, but they still have to prove that wasn’t a fluke.

28. New York Jets

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 26

The offence has stalled out with Sam Darnold, who isn’t putting much pressure on opposing defences.

29. Houston Texans

Record: 0-3 | Last week: 22

They’ve been incredibly underwhelming and it’s a little worrying what’s happening with Deshaun Watson.

30. San Francisco 49ers

Record: 1-2 | Last week: 18

Their season is pretty much over after losing Jimmy Garoppolo because C.J. Beathard isn’t saving them.

31. Oakland Raiders

Record: 0-3 | Last week: 29

The season couldn’t have started any worse for Jon Gruden, who is overseeing a disaster right now.

32. Arizona Cardinals

Record: 0-3 | Last week: 31

They’ve made the necessary move to Josh Rosen, but expectations in the short-term should be kept low.

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Minnesota Vikings' struggling defence braces for Los Angeles Rams' high-powered attack

Jay Asser 26/09/2018
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Just days after being embarrassed by a rookie quarterback, the Minnesota Vikings defence runs into one of the most explosive attacks in the league.

Slowing down the Los Angeles Rams has been a tall order this season, and with Minnesota having limited time to clean up their mistakes from the surprising loss to Buffalo this past weekend, that task appears even more intimidating.

The defence, which was considered one of the top units in the league entering the season, looked flummoxed against Josh Allen in the defeat to the Bills, allowing a passer rating of 111.2 to a quarterback making just the second start of his career.

Now, the Vikings will have to deal with a Rams offence that seemingly has no weakness and ranks third in the NFL in yards (439.3) and points (34.0).

Jared Goff looks like he’s taken another step as he’s posted a passer rating of 111.0, while newcomer Brandin Cooks has been deadly stretching the field to form a three-headed monster alongside Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.

Todd Gurley has picked up where he left off last season, benefiting from an offensive line that’s graded by Pro Football Focus as the best run and pass-blocking group through the first three weeks.

Making matters worse for Minnesota is that they’ll be without Everson Griffen again as the defensive end deals with an ongoing personal situation. According to ESPN, Griffen was evaluated at a hospital after multiple incidents that made the team question his well-being.

Stephen Weatherly will start in place of Griffen on Thursday, as he did against Buffalo last week when he recorded his first career sack. If the Vikings hope to limit the Rams’ offence, it will start with controlling the line of scrimmage, where Weatherly and fellow defensive end Danielle Hunter will need to get penetration.

That will be easier said than done, with Los Angeles’ offensive line coming off a week in which they allowed just three pressures on 38 pass-block snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

KEEPING COUSINS CLEAN

Winning in the trenches will be just as critical for Minnesota on the other side of the ball, where their offensive line allowed 29 total pressures to the Bills.

Twenty of those were credited to Mike Remmers and Riley Reiff, with the latter in danger of missing Thursday’s game with a foot injury.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was constantly harassed and afforded little time in the pocket, which contributed to three fumbles (two lost) and 5.4 yards per pass attempt.

If Reiff can’t play this week – or even if he does in a limited capacity – Minnesota’s offence could be in danger of another disastrous outing against one of the most lethal defensive lines in the league.

If the Vikings can keep Cousins relatively clean, however, the passing game could thrive versus a banged-up Rams secondary that will be without cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib as they nurse injuries.

That affords wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen favourable match-ups against back-ups Sam Shields, Nickell Robey-Coleman and Troy Hill.

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Calvin Ridley, Baker Mayfield and other top fantasy NFL pickups for this week

Jay Asser 25/09/2018
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Here are five players to target on the waiver wire this week, who could be useful in your starting lineup going forward.

Baker Mayfield

It’s Baker Mayfield time in Cleveland, with head coach Hue Jackson naming the rookie the starting quarterback for Week 4.

The number one overall draft pick already validated a strong preseason with his relief appearance this past week, when he completed 17-of-23 passes for 201 yards for a passer rating of 100.1.

He’s not worth a starting spot in one QB leagues just yet, but he’s worth adding as a back-up with upside.

Javorius Allen

He’s clearly second in the pecking order behind starting running back Alex Collins, but Allen has value as a low-end flex play, especially in PPR leagues.

While he’s received six or fewer carries in all three games this season, Allen does have 13 catches and four total touchdowns, with the Ravens unafraid to use him in the red zone.

And if Collins were to ever go down, Allen would be a must-start player.

Calvin Ridley

This is stating the obvious, but you should probably try to pick up a player who just went for 146 yards and three touchdowns.

The rookie wideout probably won’t have a better week this season, but it seems like he’ll definitely be one of Matt Ryan’s favourite targets in the red zone, especially with defences so fixated on Julio Jones.

The opportunities will be there for Ridley in Atlanta’s high-powered attack.

Tyler Boyd

John Ross is the wide receiver many expected to be Andy Dalton’s second option after A.J. Green this season, but Boyd could be seizing that role.

He did in Week 3 at least as he totaled 132 yards and a touchdown, showing why the Bengals used a second-round pick on him 2016.

If Green misses time next week due to his groin injury, Boyd would be a sneaky play in all leagues.

Ricky Seals-Jones

If you’re diving around in the bargain bin for a tight end, Seals-Jones could be worth a look.

Before his end-zone visit on Sunday, his production this season was hardly inspiring, but if Josh Rosen takes over the starting quarterback role, Seals-Jones should get more looks in a Cardinals attack that can’t get much worse.

He’ll probably be touchdown dependent, but many of the tight ends not in the top tier are.

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