Two Quarterback Rankings: Week 4
September 30, 2015 | Chet
Times are dark for 2QB leagues. Many of us are stuck starting the likes of Ryan Mallett, Michael Vick, Kirk Cousins, or *gasp* even Brandon Weeden! As you’ll see when you peek at the rankings below, due to injuries and the overall play of some quarterbacks, there is a massive dropoff right after the QB1/QB2 border. The replacement quarterbacks simply aren’t very good, leaving a massive void to be filled for those who have lost a signal caller this season. My answer to how to deal with this if you are one of the owners?
Buy one of the mid level quarterbacks that have been quietly producing and have favorable upcoming schedules. In no order, three guys I love are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco, and Tyrod Taylor.
Fitzmagic heads to London to face the Dolphins, then has a bye, then gets to face the Redskins, Patriots, Raiders, and Jaguars. If you’re a Big Ben or Romo owner, he’s the ideal target to cover you until they return to health, as he won’t cost you much, is on a talented offense, and has beatable matchups. After the Jaguars, it’s already Week Ten, or conveniently right near the same time as the return of Ben and Romo.
Looking ahead to Flacco’s schedule, we see the Steelers, Browns, and 49ers as favorable matchups followed by two tough tilts with the Cardinals and Chargers. Owners looking for more of an immediate fix can look to acquire Flacco (who is coming off back to back 20 point games) and he shouldn’t cost much at all.
There are still those who doubt Tyrod Taylor, as I see him on the waiver wire in most standard leagues. If this perception holds true, then I’m assuming a good portion of my leaguemates don’t value him as the high floor QB2 that he is. Currently sitting as QB5, Taylor plays the Giants, Titans, Bengals, Jaguars, Dolphins – again – and then the Jets. Taylor will likely cost you more than the previous two names mentioned here, but might be worth it for those who need a more permanent solution at quarterback.
On the flip side, if I own these guys and am not too reliant on them, or have them in a QBBC, I’m offering them straight up for Big Ben and Romo, seeing if I can pry one of those two established QBs from an impatient owner.
Shifting to this week’s matchups, I really like Derek Carr. He’s coming off of back-to-back 300 yard, multi touchdown performances, and gets a Bears defense that is struggling with its transition to a 3-4. While I think Latavius Murray is in line for a big game as the Raiders look to exploit the Bears’ weak front, I still think Carr stands to benefit and can produce for fantasy owners thanks to gameflow. Amari Cooper will run circles around the Bears’ secondary. I see Cooper as the tide that lifts Carr’s boat, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Currently allowing 35 points a game to opposing offenses, the Bears present a matchup Carr owners should absolutely capitalize on.
With that, here are my rankings for Week Four:
- Aaron Rodgers (@ SF) – Money in the bank, and historically turns it up for the team that snubbed him. Oh yeah, and the 49ers defense now is garbage.
- Andrew Luck (vs JAX) – He hasn’t cracked 20 points yet. I’m beginning to wonder when we will stop chasing his 2014 season.
- Cam Newton (@ TB) – Loved him coming into this season, then was skeptical of his cast, but he’s simply getting it done no matter what.
- Matt Ryan (vs HOU) – He’s slaying right now. Looks like he’s on pace for a career year with Kyle Shanahan, but this will be his toughest matchup yet.
- Carson Palmer (vs STL) – Has been insanely efficient thus far, but the Rams have actually played quite well against the pass this season (7th in passing defense and only 2 scores through the air allowed).
- Philip Rivers (vs CLE) – Hasn’t topped 15 points in his last two, but expect that to change if the Browns are in fact without Joe Haden.
- Peyton Manning (vs MIN) – The decline is happening, but Kubiak’s willingness to let him sit back in the shotgun will still make him a viable QB1.
- Tyrod Taylor (vs NYG) – I’m still waiting for the bottom to fall out on TT, but the Giants have the worst pass defense in the league right now.
- Andy Dalton (vs KC)- Kansas City’s secondary is battered, coming off a short week, and Dalton has scored at least 18 in all three games so far.
- Derek Carr (@ CHI) – Chicago is 6th in passing yardage allowed, but has allowed a whopping 8 touchdowns through the air. Carr has steadily improved and is clicking with Cooper.
- Russell Wilson (vs DET) – He’s sitting at QB10 right now, and has the second most rushing attempts in the league. Detroit has allowed 727 passing yards over its last two games, but I don’t see Wilson throwing all that much this week.
- Joe Flacco (@ PIT) – A very sneaky play this week as he faces a struggling pass defense.
- Eli Manning (@ BUF) – Has played mistake free football (aside from the whole don’t score thing), but expect that to change this week as he will have pressure in his face all game from a blitz happy Rex.
High End QB2s:
- Ryan Tannehill (@ NYJ) – Plays a stout defense, but these London games tend to be high scoring, so I’d advise against sitting him.
- Drew Brees (vs DAL) – Hard to trust given the injury and his general play this season, but QB is pretty bad starting with this tier.
- Colin Kaepernick (vs GB) – Has crushed GB in the past, but I’m worried teams have figured him out and that the offense will never see the field.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs MIA) – Bump him a few spots if Decker is back. Has now thrown for 2 scores in every game.
- Sam Bradford (@ WAS) – Washington now has one of the better defenses in the NFL, and he’s now failed to produce in three straight. If he doesn’t show promise here he’s a prime candidate or your virtual pine.
- Blake Bortles (@ IND) – The Colts defense has been beaten by the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tyrod Taylor, and rookie Marcus Mariota. I like Bortles’ chances here, who also currently has more fantasy points than Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, and the Manning brothers.
Low End QB2s:
- Matthew Stafford (@ SEA) – Hasn’t been as awful of a fantasy QB as advertised, but the O is misusing Megatron, can’t run the ball, and now can’t pass protect. It’s getting harder and harder to trot him out there.
- Alex Smith (@ CIN) – Don’t let his 290/1/1 line mislead you; he looked awful last week until garbage time. After lighting it up Week 1, he’s struggled mightily.
- Jameis Winston (vs CAR) – He can certainly be viable, but I just don’t see it as the Panthers have been a really tough matchup for QBs with the emergence of Josh Norman.
- Teddy Bridgewater (@ DEN) – One of the biggest disappointments in 2015 has been outscored by the likes of Ryan Mallett and Kirk Cousins. Denver has absolutely destroyed defenses and has only allowed one score through the air so far.
- Nick Foles (@ ARI) – Couldn’t get it going against a weak Steelers secondary and now faces one of the league’s most feared units.
- Ryan Mallett (@ ATL) – If Arian Foster returns, his production can go up, but at this point he’s a total wild card.
- Josh McCown (@ SD) – I don’t care that he threw for over 300 against the Raiders, he has no weapons and San Diego has allowed the sixth fewest points to quarterbacks.
- Michael Vick (vs BAL) – Don’t go chasing 2004, this man is cooked. Coming off the short week and having been recently signed, I can see him scrambling, but not doing much else.
- Brandon Weeden (@ NO) – I want to like him more as the Saints have given up the second most points to quarterbacks, but he’s just so bad.
- Jimmy Clausen (vs OAK) – If there was EVER a matchup to use him, this would be it.