Ater adding the totals up, in 6 weeks, we have already seen 34 different QBs register a top-12 performance in 6-point passing leagues. That list includes every team in the league… EXCEPT for the Arizona Cardinals. Maybe Josh Rosen has something up his sleeve Thursday night in Denver. Ok, probably not.
Last week’s article went above 50% for the 2nd time this year but honestly didn’t see Dak or Brock Osweiler even come close to making it to my final cut. 7-out-12 moves the decoder ever closer to 55%.
Here’s your reminder how I categorize decoding the top-12 list each week. Remember this isn’t about predicting the order of the top-12 nor who is a safer option but who is likely to 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. CIN
I don’t have to tell you much about this guy. Mahomes is the QB1 and has been a top-12 guy every week except Week 5 against Jacksonville. He has 18 passing TDs to 4 INTs and gets to play at home. This is the highest team implied total (32.3) of any team this year and the Chiefs rank 20th in defensive DVOA. Slam dunk.
Matt Ryan vs. NYG
Ryan has the 3rd most passing yards in the league to go with 4 QB1 performances. The Giants rank 25th in defensive DVOA and 25th against the pass. They’re also not getting any pressure on the QB averaging just 1.2 sacks per game, dead last in the league. It’s Monday night at home in a dome with a 30 point team implied total. He should be good for 300 and 2+ TDs.
Tom Brady @ CHI
Listen the matchup isn’t super great but hey Brock Osweiler made this #1 ranked defense look silly last week. He’s more than earned his place to perform big in tough spots. This could easily turn into a James White game as the Bears rank 4th against the run. Follow the Vegas line as the Patriots are 3-point favorites on the road with a 26.3 team implied total.
Cam Newton @ PHI
Newton is almost matchup-proof each week. Don’t let Philadelphia’s defensive front or SB vibes scared you off. Since Week 1’s domination of Matt Ryan and Atlanta, the Eagles have given up 24.1 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs and the 10th most passing yards per game. Philadelphia had major trouble against another running QB, Marcus Mariota, earlier in the year giving up 47 yards on the ground, 3 total scores, and a top-5 overall performance.
Carson Wentz vs. CAR
Wentz has transitioned well and looked like his QB1 self posting back-to-back top-12 performances. He should be in the running this week against a Carolina defense that carries a name but has failed to follow through in 2018. The Panthers rank 21st in defensive DVOA and are especially exploitable to fantasy TEs, ranking 25th against the position. The Eagles funnel more targets to the TE position than any other team and carry a healthy 25 point team implied total.
Jared Goff @ SF
Remember that LAR/SF matchup last year on Thursday night… the teams went for almost 90 points! The 49ers have given up the 8th most fantasy points to opposing QBs and rank 25th in DVOA against the pass. Goff ranks 2nd in the league in yards per completion (9.9) as his efficiency metrics have been stellar all year long. The 49ers also are not forcing turnovers seeing only 1 INT and getting killed in the red zone. Sounds like a Jared GARF kinda week.
Andy Dalton @ KC
We’ve been picking on the Chiefs all year long and it’s not time to stop this week. In Vegas’ highest over/under, the Bengals carry the 5th highest team implied total (26.3) against a unit ranked 28th in defensive DVOA. Other than Case Keenum‘s Week 4 stinker, the Chiefs have given up a top-12 performance every week and the 2nd most passing yards in the league. Dalton has the best RZ completion percentage in the league and should get ample opportunities. The only wrench to throw in is if Joe Mixon gets in the end zone multiple times on the ground as the Chiefs are also terrible against the run.
Philip Rivers vs. TEN
Rivers has been the model of consistency and I think this is the week it finally comes together for Keenan Allen. Titans CB Malcolm Butler has given up the MOST passing yards since the beginning of 2017 (a span of 22 games) and will be matched up with Allen. While the Titans’ pace might slow things down, Rivers has one of the safest floors averaging 24.2 fantasy points per contest this year.
Four In the Door
Jameis Winston vs CLE
If you picked him last week, he came through for you with a monster performance against Atlanta. He’ll be at home against a Browns team that was just destroyed by the Chargers passing attack. The Bucs have the 4th highest team implied total (26.5) of the weekend and this offense is throwing for the most passing yards per game (368.4) and I don’t see that gameplan stopping now.
Joe Flacco vs NO
I know it sounds gross, but Flacco has been a decent fantasy QB this year. The Saints have given up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBS this year and rank 31st in DVOA against the pass. They’re giving up the most fantasy points to WRs and the 2nd most yards per completion (9.1). This game will involve points so feel free to slot in Flacco. He’s Andy’s “Stream of the Week”.
Eli Manning at ATL
It’s hard to trust Eli in any given week and especially on the road in a Primetime matchup. But the Falcons defense is laughable this year as they rank 31st in defensive DVOA, 29th against the pass, and a 70.4% completion rate to QBs. They also have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Eli is Mike’s “Stream of the Week” and a huge ceiling play for sure.
Baker Mayfield at TB
If there was ever a week to see Mayfield breakthrough, this is it. Tampa Bay ranks dead last in defensive DVOA, DVOA against the pass and allowed the most fantasy points to opposing QBs on the year. They bad. Mayfield has struggled with accuracy thus far but never fear, the Bucs are also the worst at that giving up a 76.8 completion percentage. To put that into perspective, Drew Brees set the single-season record last year at 72%. Don’t be afraid to fire him up in a game with a 49.5 over/under.
Drew Brees @ BAL
Coming off the bye, the Saints find themselves in a dangerous spot. The Ravens have the 2nd highest adjusted sack rate (10.1%) in the league, rank 2nd in defensive DVOA and 5th against the pass. It’s rare to put Brees in this spot but the matchup on the road isn’t inviting at all.
Mitchell Trubisky vs. NE
I’m saying the momentum of 9 TD passes in the last 2 games stops here. Although they’ll be at home, I’m not excited to roll out Trubisky against the likes of Bill Belichick and the Patriots. THey’ve forced 8 INTs on the year and have limited the upside of mobile QBs (Deshaun Watson) this year.
Deshaun Watson @ JAX
Watson is trending in the wrong direction with an injury and two subpar performances back-to-back. This is a nightmare matchup on the road. Yes, the Jaguars got exposed by Dak Prescott, Cole Beasley and the Cowboys (how?) last week. But it’s time to reset and realize they still rank 5th in defensive DVOA and the Texans have the 3rd worst offensive line per adjusted sack rate according to Football Outsiders. Watson has taken 25 sacks this year, by far the most in the league. No thanks.
Dak Prescott @ WAS
Don’t try to recreate last week’s 3 TDs on the road in Washington. This is a Zeke game as the Redskins rank 30th against the run while 13th against the pass. They also are allowing just 236 passing yards per game, 9th best in the league. Sorry, but he’s only had 2 QB1 performances in his last 14 weeks.
Previous Week’s Record: 7/12
2018 Overall Percentage: 52.78%