Two Quarterback Rankings: Week 15 December 17, 2015  |  Chet


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Everybody loves an underdog. This week, I’m rooting for the man who has hit rock bottom: Matt Ryan. As the team’s season has spiraled out of control after a 5-0 start, Ryan’s play has been a huge disappointment. Since Week 4, Ryan has been wildly inconsistent, lacking the ceiling owners had hoped for when drafting him — and proving to have an even lower floor. This week, however, Ryan should turn it around. Going against a cupcake defense, I fully expect this to be a statement game for not just the Ryan, but the entire Falcons’ team. The Jaguars are already giving up 262 passing yards per game and have a mere 7 interceptions on the year. Don’t overlook Matty Ice this week. The same was said by many about Russell Wilson (including myself) weeks ago, and he quickly turned it around. I don’t foresee the repeated success Wilson is having, but I do think Ryan can erupt in this spot when so many people are counting him out as a viable option.


Elite QB1s:

  1. Cam Newton (@ NYG) – The loss of Jonathan Stewart only means that there are more opportunities for Cam to score against one of the most generous defenses in football.
  2. Carson Palmer (@ PHI) – Expect another day in the office for one of the most consistent quarterbacks of the entire season against an already struggling defense that might be without its top two corners.
  3. Aaron Rodgers (@ OAK) – While fixing the running game has seemed to be a priority for the Packers the last several weeks, this should be an easy game for Rodgers, as the Raiders have allowed nine quarterbacks to throw for at least two scores.
  4. Matthew Stafford (@ NO) – H/T to @LordReebs for this one: The last three games played in New Orleans have had a point totals of 101, 62, and 79 points between the two teams. If I can, I’m getting some action in that game.
  5. Russell Wilson (vs CLE) – He’s now scored a whopping 32 in three straight games, and has peaked at the perfect time. Let it ride against a defense that has been obliterated as of late and just put it’s best corner on IR.
  6. Tom Brady (vs TEN) – He’s losing ground to Cam as the QB1, but he’s thrown multiple scores in his last three games, has lost yet another running back to injury, and gets a returning Gronk. Expect the volume to go up.


Solid QB1s:

  1. Drew Brees (vs DET) – His last three games at home: 391 passing ypg, 4 tds per game.
  2. Tyrod Taylor (@ WAS) – He “underwhelmed” against the Eagles last week by scoring 19, but he’s had eight scores his last three games.


Fringe QB1s:

  1. Blake Bortles (vs ATL) – Bortles’ play has been trending well of late (eight TDs/0 INTs over his last 2), but this feels like a trap game as the Falcons have lost 6 straight and just got blown out by the Panthers. Despite the losing streak, they’ve allowed the fifth fewest points per game to opposing QBs.
  2. Ben Roethlisberger (vs DEN) – As brutal of a matchup as this seems, he has arguably the best wide receiver duo to combat Denver’s physical corners.
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ DAL) – He’s been phenomenal over his past three (nine TDs/0 INTs), but Dallas has only allowed 14 passing touchdowns on the year.
  4. Derek Carr (vs GB) – This is another difficult matchup, but not nearly as tough as last week’s. There’s a good chance this game turns to a shootout with Aaron Rodgers on the other side of the field, which bodes well for Carr here.


Solid QB2s:

  1. Philip Rivers (vs MIA) – He’s now thrown for zero touchdowns in three of his last four games, but this is a nice matchup for him to turn it around, even with a limited supporting cast. Miami is giving up the tenth most points to quarterbacks and he should be over his flu, which affected him last game.
  2. Alex Smith (@ BAL) – Insert quarterback playing Baltimore. It’s amazing that this is still a thing.


Mid QB2s:

  1. Jay Cutler (@MIN) – Has been struggling a bit as of late, but so has the Vikings’ injury riddled pass defense, which is giving up 25 ppg over its last four.
  2. Eli Manning (vs CAR) – With Odell Beckham, you can never truly count him out, but this is an absolutely brutal matchup. Besides OBJ, the lone bright spot is the thought of the Giants throwing a lot if they begin to trail early.
  3. Matt Ryan (@ JAX) – He seemed to bottom out last week, but this is about as perfect a matchup for Ryan to turn things around as there is, against a Jaguars defense who are giving up the third most points per game to quarterbacks.
  4. Ryan Tannehill (@ SD) – He’s managed to throw just two touchdowns against two of the most dreadful passing defenses in the entire league in back to back weeks. He’s nothing more than a middling QB2 in this below average matchup.


Low End QB2s:

  1. Marcus Mariota (@ NE) – A fluky touchdown padded his stat line last week, and this is a tougher matchup than one might like to think.
  2. Brock Osweiler (@ PIT) – The Steelers are giving up the second most passing ypg to quarterbacks. This is a nice spot for Osweiler if you need him, as he’s had a moderately decent floor for a QB2.
  3. Kirk Cousins (vs BUF) – It’s a nice matchup on paper considering the Bills just lost their top corner for the season, but he’s been average as of late and was aided last week by a rushing score.


High Risk QB2s:

  1. AJ McCarron (@ SF) – At the end of the day, he posted a respectable 280/2/2 in his first real appearance as a quarterback. Even if he will most likely be a game manager, he has the weapons around him to cushion his floor against a weak defense.
  2. Jameis Winston (@STL) – He seems to have slowed down a bit, with three passing scores over his last three games. This will be a big test for him, as he notoriously struggles when facing constant pressure. I’d avoid him if I can.
  3. Teddy Bridgewater (vs CHI) – Aside from his final drive blunder, last week was one of the more encouraging performances for Teddy. He posted a 187/1/1 line against them last time, and just doesn’t have the ceiling you’d want in a playoff matchup.
  4. Sam Bradford (vs ARI) – Just to illustrate how poorly he’s played; he’s outscored Andrew Luck by 10 points. He’s played in three more games than Luck. Another guy without the ceiling you want come playoff time.
  5. TJ Yates (@ IND) – Played well in his relief spots against the Bengals and Jets, but this ranking is more indicative of how bad the options below him get.


Dumpster Diving:

  1. Johnny Manziel (vs SEA) – Was more boom than bust last week, and this could be the game where we finally see his legs unleashed. Other than that, this is a brutal matchup for Manziel.
  2. Blaine Gabbert (vs CIN) – Finally disappointed last week, even with a garbage time score. This last tier of QBs has a depressingly low floor and low ceiling.


They Who Shall Not Be Named:

  1. BAL QB (vs KC) – Does it matter at this point? No QB and no weapons. This offense will run through Buck Allen.
  2. STL QB (vs TB) – See above; just substitute Gurley for Allen.
  3. Matt Cassell (vs NYJ) – He’s hit double digits just once in his last four starts. That time he scored 10 points.
  4. IND QB (vs HOU) – Matt Hasselbeck will not last the game if he plays. Clipboard Jesus cannot save the Colts if he has to step in.


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