In Week 9, there were a couple QBs who unleashed some absolute bananas performances for fantasy. Here was the top-12 from Week 9 and where the decoder hit…
I’m deeply sorry, but I had no idea Nick Mullens was on an active roster before last week much less was going to be the starter at publishing time of last week’s decoder and even way less expected him to put up a QB1 performance. Apologies to your family and loved ones if that caused you pain. A 50% week is par for the course so we move on.
This week is loaded with a ton of great QBs with great matchups. If you don’t see your guy, here’s a reminder of how I categorize decoding the top-12 list each week. This isn’t about predicting the order of the top-12 nor who is a safer option but who could end up as a QB1.
Four-Sures: Top 4 for the week and definite must-starts.
Com-Four-table: Four QBs with relatively safe floors with added upside to be a solid top-12 choice.
Four In the Door: Four QBs who could sneak into the top-12 including the Ballers “Stream of the Week” options and at least one daring dart throw.
Four-Get-About-It: Four QBs I’m fading this week and projecting to finish outside the top 12. Often this includes some higher profile QBs with tougher matchups that could underperform.
Patrick Mahomes vs. ARZ
Mahomes is on pace for 50+ TDs and has thrown for 300+ yards in every game except Week 1. The Chiefs are 16 point home favorites with a 33 point team implied total. I feel bad for the Cardinals.
Cam Newton @ PIT
This is a short week and the matchup on the road is a bit scary. However, Newton has been so consistent this season and is the QB4 in fantasy points per game. You know about the rushing floor as Cam is on pace for the most rushing attempts in his career, averaging over 9 per game. The Steelers rank 23rd in DVOA against the pass and have given up the 5th most fantasy points to QBs on the season. Trust in Cam.
Tom Brady @ TEN
Brady and the Patriots look to be in midseason form rattling off 6 wins in a row despite injuries to weapons Sony Michel and Rob Gronkowski. He’s averaged a very Brady-esque 308 passing yards and almost 2 TDs during the streak and should be good to go against a Titans defense that ranks 21st in DVOA against the pass. The Patriots have a 26.5 team implied total and Brady will be responsible for at least 2 TDs in the air.
Drew Brees @ CIN
Brees flexed his Hall of Fame passing muscles last week and finished as the QB1 at home. Expect more points paired with Alvin Kamara as the Bengals rank 28th in DVOA against pass catching RBs. Brees is completing a LEAGUE-RECORD 76.3% of his passes, breaking his own previous record. Cincinnati has also given up the 4th most fantasy points to QBs and the MOST passing yards per game (319.4) in the league. Points should be flying in a game with the highest over/under (54) of the weekend.
Aaron Rodgers vs. MIA
The Packers have met their match the last two weeks against elite teams (Rams and Patriots) while Rodgers has tried to carry the offense through sheer will. Things should look up in this one against a Dolphins defense that ranks 23rd in DVOA against the pass. Miami is an opportunistic defense that gambles frequently in the secondary and has given up 16 passing TDs on the season. The Packers are 9.5 point home favorites at Lambeau which is always a good thing.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. CAR
Roethlisberger impressed last week in a tough road matchup against Baltimore finishing as the QB6 including a goal-line TD plunge. Big Ben will be Newton’s opponent on Thursday night and you should be excited as a Roethlisberger owner. The Panthers have given up multiple passing TDs every week this year except Week 1 against Dak Prescott. The Panthers rank 20th in DVOA against the pass and the Steelers have a 27.5 team implied total. Trust the big guy.
Philip Rivers @ OAK
Rivers has been automatic this year throwing for multiple TDs in every game this year, the only QB able to make that claim in 2018. He gets a dream matchup even on the road against a Raiders team that has completely mailed it in. They rank DEAD LAST in DVOA against the pass and has given up the 6th most fantasy points to QBs this season. The Chargers have a 30 point team implied total and Rivers is the cover boy for this article for a reason. He has an insane league-leading 112.7 QB Rating when pressured, the next closest is 97.2.
Jared Goff vs. SEA
He’s been money the last two weeks with 2 top-6 performances. Although we sometimes want more volume in the passing game, Goff and the Rams are uber-efficient and he leads the league in completion % on deep passes (20+ yards). The Rams are 10 point home favorites with a 30.5 team implied total, the 2nd highest of the weekend. I’m starting Goff in one of my main leagues and excited to have a high floor with a giant ceiling.
Four In the Door
Matt Ryan @ CLE
Ryan surprised last week on the road shredding the Redskins for 350 yards and 4 TDs and the QB2 finish for the week. He’s locked-in with elite passing volume against the Browns who give up the 5th most points per game (27.4) despite seemingly having elite DVOA numbers. They’ve given up top 12 performances each of the last two weeks and the Falcons have a 27.3 team implied total.
Andy Dalton vs. NO
The Red Rifle is coming off a bye week and will be down A.J. Green who is recovering from a toe injury. He is a low-end QB1 start this week at home against the Saints in Vegas’ highest over/under. New Orleans has given up the 2nd most fantasy points to QBs and the 2nd most passing yards per game (311.4) in the league. The Saints are 29th in DVOA against the pass and 32nd against WR1s and WR2s. If you thought about streaming Dalton, he’s still a viable guy despite losing AJG.
Andrew Luck vs. JAX
Coming off the bye, Luck should have his full availability of healthy weapons against a Jaguars defense that isn’t what it used to be. This matchup would’ve scared us off but Luck has been on fire. Since Week 4, Luck leads the league with 18 passing TDs, and 5 straight QB1 performances. The Jaguars are a mess and averaged giving up 28.5 points per game over the last month. With Luck seeing the most passing attempts per game in the league, I’ll bet on the volume.
Baker Mayfield vs. ATL
Mayfield and the Browns have had to transition their entire offense with new OC Freddie Kitchens. Baker has thrown for multiple TDs 3 weeks in a row and gets a legit matchup at home. The Falcons have given up the 4th most passing yards per game (304.2), rank 28th in DVOA against the pass and given up the 3rd most fantasy points to QBs. BAKER! is Mike’s “Stream of the Week”.
Russell Wilson @ LAR
Wilson’s upside in the past has been propped up by his legs and he’s just not running anymore. The Rams also aren’t allowing anything on the ground for QBs (less than 10 yards a game) and 12th in DVOA against the pass. This is also a giant mismatch in terms of Seattle’s offensive line and Los Angeles’ beast defensive line. Expect Wilson to be running for his life.
Matthew Stafford @ CHI
Stafford and the Lions offense has underwhelmed this year, especially from a fantasy perspective. Stafford is the QB22 on the season (in terms of fantasy points per game) and I don’t want to touch him this week on the road. Chicago ranks 1st in total defensive DVOA and 4th in DVOA against the pass. No thanks.
Alex Smith @ TB
Last week Smith’s empty calorie 300-yard performance was solely based on game flow. He will be a viable option for those seeing the matchup this week. The Bucs rank 32nd in total defensive DVOA and allowed the most fantasy points to opposing QBs on the year. In my opinion, if the Redskins get a lead, it will be because of the ground game with Adrian Peterson. I’m just not comfortable with Smith as his floor is super low.
Nick Mullens vs. NYG
Listen the story is great… but I’m not willing to chase last week’s points (against Oakland) especially at this point of the season. If you are 7-2 or 6-3 on the season and want a glory play, I get it. There’s just so many better options out there on the wire.
Previous Week’s Record: 6/12
2018 Overall Percentage: 54.6%