Two Quarterback Rankings: Week 6
October 14, 2015 | Chet
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The hate has gone too far people. Yes, he’s a mediocre quarterback. Yes, he’s had the benefit of throwing to arguably the greatest wide receiver ever for his entire career. Yes, the Lions are on the verge of being a dumpster fire. SO WHAT, I SAY!
Matthew Stafford has been left for dead by the fantasy community, except for me. His demise this season from a fantasy perspective has been greatly exaggerated. After two decent outings to start the season, Stafford’s point totals have nosedived over the last three weeks. He’s even been benched. In the case of Matthew Stafford, context, however, is key. His last three opponents (Arizona, Seattle, Denver) currently rank first, fourth, and twelfth in points allowed to quarterbacks. In other words, Stafford isn’t the only one who’s struggled against these teams. His coaching staff hasn’t done him any favors either. They continually trot out Joique Bell when healthy (along with his terrible yards per carry clip), but more importantly they refuse to call plays to get Calvin Johnson the ball down the field.
Fortunately for Stafford and the Lions, the schedule lightens up a great deal, especially after the bye. Since his value is near rock bottom, I love him as a buy-low candidate. Given the numerous injuries at quarterback, he makes for a solid QB2 option moving forward for those lacking depth at the position and, in my eyes, is still a better investment than the likes of Brian Hoyer (sorry not sorry) . He still has Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, and I think if the coaching staff wants to keep their jobs, they’ll start putting Stafford in a position to once again make big plays down the field, rather than orchestrate a dink and dunk offense. If he can get close to the level of play we are accustomed to, he would be a major steal for any owner with the cajones to make a play for him. He’s also one of my recommended starts in week six.
- Tom Brady (@ IND) – The Patriots have manhandled the Colts over the last few seasons. Expect it to continue as no end is in sight of Tom Brady’s warpath.
- Aaron Rodgers (vs SD) – San Diego has been tougher on opposing quarterbacks, but expect ARod to bounce back after a below elite level performance last week.
- Matt Ryan (@ NO) – Predictably came down to earth a bit against the Redskins, but the Saints are giving up the third most points to opposing quarterbacks.
- Andy Dalton (@ BUF) – Currently sitting at QB1, Dalton has looked like a changed man with his full cast of weapons, but Buffalo did manage to pump the brakes on Mariota last week.
- Carson Palmer (vs PIT) – Palmer has been making it look easy since week one, and Rivers just dropped over 350 yards and a pair of scores on the Steelers. A performance like that has been the norm for Palmer this season.
- Philip Rivers (@ GB) – This game bodes well for Rivers. It’s a tough matchup but if they fall behind there will be garbage time; with the struggles of the ground game, they should lean on Rivers to move the ball from the start.
- Eli Manning (@ PHI) – Four straight multi TD games, and this game has an over/under of 50. Start with extreme confidence.
- Drew Brees (vs ATL) – Has looked pretty bad, but has benefited from sheer volume (has attempted no fewer than 38 in each game). I like him on the short week.
- Sam Bradford (vs NYG) – After a sluggish start, he now has thrown for at least 250 and a pair of scores in back to back games. There’s room to improve (two red zone INTs last week), but you couldn’t ask for a better matchup.
- Andrew Luck (vs NE) – After two below standard performances and two last minute DNPs, it’s tough to completely trust him, but that doesn’t mean he should be benched.
- Peyton Manning (@ CLE) – His QB1 status is on life support, as he struggled to move the ball against the Raiders. The Browns have been getting roasted by opposing quarterbacks (fifth most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks), but as we saw last week, Peyton isn’t even a given in plus matchups anymore.
- Cam Newton (@ SEA) – Cam has really struggled against Seattle in his career (12 fantasy points fewer than his career average in 3 games), but he’s been a one man wrecking crew this season.
- Russell Wilson (vs CAR) – His scoring has gone down in four straight games, and the Panthers have been dominant against opposing quarterbacks. Unless he runs more or learns to use Jimmy Graham, Wilson looks to be no more than a middling fantasy QB this season.
High End QB2s:
- Jay Cutler (@DET) – Has put up three solid performances in his three complete games, and now looks set to get his top weapon back against a defense that has been generous to quarterbacks.
- Joe Flacco (@ SF) – Here’s your “start quarterback facing 49ers” of the week.
- Matthew Stafford (vs CHI) – After hitting rock bottom last week, I think Stafford and the Lions are in for a huge bounce back performance against a Bears defense that’s given up 11 touchdowns through the air.
- Ryan Tannehill (@ TEN) – Not the best nor worst matchup, but after a coaching change during the bye week, expect the staff to focus on the strengths of their offense.
- Blake Bortles (vs HOU) – Has four straight QB1 performances, is facing a defense that’s been lit up the last two names, but injured his shoulder in last week’s win.
- Marcus Mariota (vs MIA) – We finally saw what he’s capable of when he begins to use his legs, as the Titans ran some read options last week. Unfortunately, that came with some rookie growing pains (two interceptions).
- Teddy Bridgewater (vs KC) – Fresh off the bye, Teddy gets to face off against the second most friendly defense to opposing quarterbacks. Unfortunately, his wideouts are still beat up, but he made major strides two weeks ago against Denver.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs WAS) – The Redskins have been a major headache for opposing quarterbacks. As good as Fitzmagic has been, this sets up to be another big game for Ivory.
- Colin Kaepernick (vs BAL) – The 49ers managed to give Kap a gameplan that he was able to take advantage of last week. Against a Ravens’ defense that just made Josh McCown look like pre-2015 Peyton Manning (457 and two scores), Kap stands another fighting chance at a nice week.
- Alex Smith (@ MIN) – Losing Jamaal Charles forces Alex Smith to step up, but as we’ve seen in San Francisco, carrying an offense isn’t his strong suit. If the volume goes up against an improving defense, I don’t like Smith’s chances of having a very helpful day.
- Brian Hoyer (@ JAX) – In his last two relief spots, he’s put up at least 17 points. You can certainly do worse this week if you’re in a jam.
- Josh McCown (vs DEN) – He’s been abducted and replaced by some super QB, but the Broncos should find the McCown of old this week. They’ve been the toughest defense on quarterbacks all season, so avoid at all costs.
- Kirk Cousins (@ NYJ) – After Denver, the Jets are the next toughest matchup for opposing quarterbacks. Even if DJax does return, he’s no more than a desperation start.
- Michael Vick (@ ARI) – The fact that on the last play of the game, the Steelers were in the wildcat says all you need to know about his ability.
- EJ Manuel (vs CIN) – If he is called upon, he’s shown nothing to make us think he won’t be dreadful.
Matt Cassel (Sorry, BW), Derek Carr, Nick Foles, Jameis Winston