Two Quarterback Rankings: Week 2
September 16, 2015 | Chet
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We’re a week into the imaginary football landscape, and already the quarterback position has seen the long coming possible demise of one of fantasy’s most dominating icons, the beginning of what can be a meteoric rise for a quarterback coming off of two ACL tears, and the wet blanket thrown on the next up and coming offense. It’s important to manage expectations in all situations. Peyton Manning obviously isn’t throwing another 50 touchdowns, but he’s more likely than not better than 60% of the quarterbacks playing. Teddy Bridgewater is still on the same offense he was a week ago that many predicted would take the NFL by storm.
As Joshua Lake put it perfectly on Twitter “If you liked a player last week, don’t let anything change today. It’s one week. Simmer down. Stick to your guns.”
This is exactly why I’m kicking the tires on every Peyton Manning and Teddy Bridgewater owner. Maybe their week one performances popped the bubble a bit, but sometimes as fantasy football players we need to actually see the inherent risks players carry to help us gauge their true value. Some owners, however, are going to overreact. I challenge all of you, if you can use a quarterback, to throw an offer out for Manning and Bridgewater that you might not have made a week ago and see what you get. If you’re a Sam Bradford or Marcus Mariota owner, and you can afford to do it, go see what you can get for them.
If you own anyone who struggled in week one, don’t jump ship just yet. Remember how over people were of Tom Brady last year? How’d that turn out? I’m sure plenty of championships were won because of trades like “Julius Thomas for Tom Brady”
Anywho, this week I really like Colin Kaepernick. I have him ranked as my QB6. No, I am not on drugs, but it looks like many of the Steelers were last week against the Patriots. Cortez Allen is not a starting NFL corner, and when you mix in blown assignments with downright stupidity (who leaves Gronk uncovered in the red zone!?) you get one of the most appealing matchups in a week where there aren’t too many. By no means did Kaepernick have an inspiring performance on Monday night, but given his weapons and a running game to protect him, and it’s not a stretch to think Kap can blow up here. I can just see Torrey Smith now blowing by Cortez Allen in single coverage, and it makes me giddy. If you have Kap as a part of your QBBC, start him with extreme confidence.
- Aaron Rodgers (vs SEA) – Seattle’s defense has taken a step back, particularly without Kam Chancellor, allowing 297 passing yards and a score last week to the mercurial Nick Foles.
- Drew Brees (vs TB) – If Tampa Bay was able to be shredded by Marcus Mariota in his debut, one can only salivate at the thought of what Brees is about to do.
- Andrew Luck (vs NYJ) – As we saw last week in Buffalo, the Colts will struggle to run. The Jets gave up some big plays to Johnny Manziel last week, and are without Antonio Cromartie against a deep receiving corps.
- Matt Ryan (@ NYG) – Start Ryan with confidence against an extremely soft Giants defense that only hit Tony Romo once last week. There’s a good shot he leads all QBs in production in Week Two.
- Sam Bradford (vs DAL) – Last week’s performance was all I needed to see from Bradford to prove that he can be a top ten quarterback. In what will most likely be the shootout of the week, expect Bradford to sling it another 40 times.
- Colin Kaepernick (@ PIT) – Call me crazy, but after seeing how bad the Steelers defense is, I think Kap has one of the highest ceilings in all of FF this week.
- Tony Romo (@ PHI) – He should probably be ranked above Kap, but I’m legitimately worried about his upside without Dez. Luckily he gets an Eagles defense that just gave up 298 passing yards and a pair of scores to Matt Ryan, and finished as the 31st ranked pass defense last season.
- Ben Roethlisberger (vs SF) – Looks like the 49ers defense isn’t as dead as we all thought. A tougher matchup for Big Ben than owners had hoped for.
- Cam Newton (vs HOU) – Ran it a promising 14 times against the Jaguars. He’ll be running plenty more from Watt and Clowney all game, as Carolina knows to let the offense go through their biggest playmaker.
- Russell Wilson (@ GB) – After watching how Matt Forte ran all over the Packers, expect a heavy dose of Marshawn Lynch this week. That doesn’t mean Wilson can’t produce, however.
- Eli Manning (vs ATL) – Expect him to rebound against the Falcons, but until we see more from his cast beyond OBJ, it’s tough to rank him any higher than this.
- Peyton Manning (@ KC) – Credit to @AdamPfeifer for this telling stat: Over his last seven games, Manning is averaging 222 passing yards a game and .8 TDs per game. I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet, but it’s pretty clear he isn’t the money in the bank he used to be. A tough matchup on a short week on the road is not promising for a rebound.
- Tom Brady (@ BUF) – Even after last week’s massacre, Brady isn’t a slam dunk start. Rex Ryan knows how to get to Brady, especially over the last two seasons.
- Carson Palmer (@ CHI) – With the injury to Andre Ellington, Palmer should see a slight uptick in volume. If you’re streaming, this should be one of the last sure fire weeks to start him until he plays the Steelers in week six.
- Ryan Tannehill (@ JAX) – It was a bit surprising to see the Dolphin’s offense struggle last week, but one can argue that Tannehill would have faired better if the Dolphins had the ball longer than 22 minutes for the entire game.
- Philip Rivers (@ CIN) – With a very tough matchup on the road, Rivers is a total wild card this week.
- Marcus Mariota (@ CLE) – He obviously won’t maintain the hyper efficient pace from last week, but the Browns were easily beat last week against the mehtastic Ryan Fitzpatrick.
- Joe Flacco (@ OAK) – Another year, another defense that gives opposing quarterbacks must start status.
- Matthew Stafford (@ MIN) – Minnesota didn’t give up much to Kap last week, but then again Kap will never touch the passing volume that Stafford can.
- Jameis Winston (@ NO) – As @FantasyDouche pointed out, his debut really wasn’t that bad for fantasy purposes. He put up 18 points without Mike Evans. With Evans in a game where they’ll be trailing early, expect plenty of garbage time for Jameis.
Mid Range QB2s:
- Tyrod Taylor (@ NE) – He’s probably the ultimate boom or bust play this week, but after displaying nice accuracy last week and rushing for 41 yards, I like his chances of putting up a repeat performance.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ IND) – The Jets offense looked really good once it got rolling. Too bad Fitzpatrick has struggled against the Colts during his AFC South stints.
- Teddy Bridgewater (vs DET) – He never seemed to get comfortable against the 49ers until late, but I think he rebounds in a nice way against a defense that was just carved up by Philip Rivers for over 400 yards and 2 TDS.
- Andy Dalton (vs SD) – If Tyler Eifert is legit, this offense is about to take off. Owners should take a wait and see approach though with a much more difficult matchup for Dalton.
Low End QB2s:
- Jay Cutler (vs ARI) – His 15 fantasy points from last week are even more disappointing when you realiz that it is inflated by 31 rushing yards. The Cardinals are beatable but it’s not the best matchup.
- Alex Smith (vs DEN) – While his three score game against the Texans is extremely promising for his 2015 outlook, don’t expect him to repeat against the Broncos stingy defense, which allowed only 100 passing yards last week to Baltimore.
- Johnny Manziel (vs TEN) – A sneaky play in week two assuming he starts. He was able to beat the Jets at times last week and ran the ball five times. Tennessee looks much improved but by all means isn’t a scary matchup.
- Nick Foles (@ WAS) – He threw for nearly 300 yards against the Seahawks and looked good. Another sneaky play this week if you don’t have many options. If Brian Quick is active, I’d probably bump him up a spot or two.
- Blake Bortles (vs MIA) – After an extremely promising preseason, Bortles turned back into a pumpkin when it mattered most. There will be flashes, but this isn’t a week where there will be many.
- Kirk Cousins (vs STL) – About as bad of a matchup as it gets, especially without DJax, unless you are….
- Derek Carr/Matt McGloin (vs BAL) – …whichever of these two that has the misfortune of going against the defense that just stymied Peyton Manning.
- Brian Hoyer/Ryan Mallett (@ CAR) – Expect Bill O’Brien to roll with Hoyer, who was pulled more because the team was getting blown out (although his awful play didn’t help). Without a run game or weapons beyond DeAndre Hopkins, this quagmire is best left avoided.