Fantasy Football: The TRUTH About QBs in 2018 Pt. 2
After diving into the top-5 QBs on Tuesday’s podcast, the Ballers dive into the rest of fantasy QBs to find out the TRUTH behind their end of year stat lines and fantasy finishes. These are valuable names to remember as the Ballers subscribe to the late-round QB strategy.
Check out previous TRUTH episodes including RBs and WRs. Get the full QB breakdown from Andy, Mike, and Jason on the podcast: Part 1 / Part 2.
The TRUTH Scoring
Player finish, fantasy points, and consistency percentages are based on a minimum 6 games started and based on 4 points per passing TD leagues.
Great Games are more than 25 points (top-3 on average)
Good Games are more than 17 points (top-12 on average)
Bust Games are fewer than 15 points (outside top-16 on average)
6. Aaron Rodgers – Consistency Rank #11
16 games — 372/597 for 4442/25/2 — 43/269/2
Great 19% | Good 56% | Bust 19%
Defenses: -4.38 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
9 weeks vs Top 16 (21.96)/7 weeks vs Bot 16 (26.34)
Home (21.56)/Road (26.19) Split: -4.63 at Home
From where you drafted Rodgers as the QB1, you likely were disappointed with the lack of major “week-winning” performances coupled with the Packers overall mediocrity. Despite leading the league in INT% (0.34) and having the 2nd most passing attempts of his career (597), Rodgers only threw 25 TDs on the season. That is abnormally low when considering his career TD rate is 6.2%. He will rebound especially with a new offensive-minded head coach in Matt LaFleur. However, you will probably still have to pay a hefty draft price as the likely QB2 behind Patrick Mahomes.
7. Jared Goff – Consistency Rank #13
16 games — 364/561 for 4688/32/12 — 43/108/2
Great 31% | Good 63% | Bust 31%
Defenses: -1.32 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
8 weeks vs Top 16 (23.79)/8 weeks vs Bot 16 (25.11)
Home (31.23)/Road (17.67) Split: +13.56 at Home
Jared GARF! What a year for Goff and the Sean McVay-led Rams offense. For most of the season, you could’ve ridden Goff as he was the QB2 in total points from Weeks 2-11 including THE QB1 from mid-October to Thanksgiving. The wheels fell off after his Week 12 bye as Goff was the QB26 in that span. Goff is someone Jason is targeting going into drafts as he believes the beginning of the year is more indicative of his 2019 fantasy outlook.
8. Drew Brees – Consistency Rank #14
15 games — 364/489 for 3992/32/5 — 31/22/4 rushing
Great 40% | Good 53% | Bust 33%
Defenses: –7.98 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
8 weeks vs Top 16 (21.31)/7 weeks vs Bot 16 (29.29)
Home (30.95)/Road (19.86) Split: +11.09 at Home
Brees’ bust rate of 33% is frightening given the fact he led such a high-octane offense. There was debate whether he lost his arm strength at the end of the year. Brees was another victim of an end of season swoon as he was the QB24 in his final 4 games. His efficiency is legendary but in terms of week-in week-out consistency definitely puts a damper on his fantasy prospects for 2018.
9. Russell Wilson – Consistency Rank #8
16 games — 280/427 for 3448/35/7 — 67/376/0 rushing
Great 13% | Good 69% | Bust 25%
Defenses: -7.15 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
10 weeks vs Top 16 (20.51)/6 weeks vs Bot 16 (27.66)
Home (21.77)/Road (24.6) Split: – 2.83 at Home
Wilson has continued the trend of his 2nd half explosion for the 3rd year in a row. From Weeks 8-16, he was the QB3. Despite having an absurdly low 427 passing attempts, he posted the highest TD rate (8.2%) of his career. It’s hard for him to repeat this season in an offense that is bent on giving the ball to the RBs. We’re used to seeing Wilson make plays with his feet in fantasy but he had ZERO rushing TDs and the fewest rushing attempts (67) of career. He costs a mid-round pick which the Ballers agree is a hefty price for him.
10. Dak Prescott – Consistency Rank #20
16 games — 356/526 for 3885/22/8 — 75/305/6 rushing
Great 19% | Good 44% | Bust 50%
Defenses: +10.08 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
6 weeks vs Top 16 (28.47)/10 weeks vs Bot 16 (18.39)
Home (25.01)/Road (19.32) Split: +5.69 at Home
Listen it was bad. It was sooooo bad during the first 5 weeks of the season was the QB30(!) in fantasy points per game As Amari Cooper arrived in Dallas, Prescott emphatically responded as a top-8 QB in 5 of his next 8 starts. He posted a 71% completion rate from Week 9 until the end of the season as the QB6 during that span. He has a consistent floor with 6 rushing TDs for 3 years in a row. Jason says Dak is Back in 2019 and Mike added that Dakstreet is Back Alright!
11. Philip Rivers – Consistency Rank #9
16 games — 347/508 for 4308/32/12 — 18/7/0 rushing
Great 6% | Good 69% | Bust 25%
Defenses: +0.16 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
8 weeks vs Top 16 (22.09)/8 weeks vs Bot 16 (21.93)
Home (23.39)/Road (20.62) Split: +2.77 at Home
Rivers was solid for a majority of the year throwing 2 or more passing TDs in his 1st 12 games. However, he did not give you the consistent ceiling you wanted. He sunk your squad if you counted on him in the fantasy playoffs as the QB24 in Weeks 14-16. There is an overall offensive philosophy shift as the run game with Melvin Gordon is taking preeminence in the gameplan. Rivers had his lowest total pass attempts (508) in 10 years. He’s the quintessential late-round QB that you can plug-and-play for the beginning of the year while not feeling stung if you need to drop him for a streamer. And yes he’s a Hall of Famer in my opinion :)
12. Kirk Cousins – Consistency Rank #16
16 games — 425/606 for 4298/30/10 — 44/123/1 rushing
Great 19% | Good 56% | Bust 38%
Defenses: -3.65 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
8 weeks vs Top 16 (20.86)/8 weeks vs Bot 16 (24.51)
Home (20.98)/Road (24.38) Split: -3.4 at Home
Cousins is kind of an enigma when thinking about the expectations we had after he signed with Minnesota and the top-end fantasy WRs he supported. In 2017 with Washington, he had 7 QB1 weeks including 4 top-3 performances with 5 “bad” starts. To compare with the Vikings, he had 8 QB1 weeks including 3 top-4 performances with 6 “bad” starts. In other words, very different reactions to similar fantasy results. A huge difference was the sneaky rushing TDs he had in the past 3 years with 5, 4, and 4 rushing TDs compared to only one in 2018. After starting the year pass-happy, the team trended towards running the ball with more authority with the offensive coordinator change in the 2nd half with Dalvin Cook, a gameplan that should continue in 2019. Cousins has the name and high-end ability to be a QB1 but he’s a fringe selection right now.
13. Cam Newton – Consistency Rank #6
14 games — 320/471 for 3395/24/13 — 101/488/4 rushing
Great 29% | Good 64% | Bust 21%
Defenses: -3.19 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
6 weeks vs Top 16 (22.22)/8 weeks vs Bot 16 (25.41)
Home (23.52)/Road (24.56) Split: –1.04 at Home
Newton’s injury status going into next year will be something to monitor this offseason. However, when he was on the field, he is a fantasy difference maker. In 6 pt leagues, he had 9 QB1 weeks trailing only Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, and Patrick Mahomes. He fell off a cliff at the end as the QB26 from Weeks 13-15 and sitting out Weeks 16-17 with that shoulder injury. His draft price might be deflated but as our own Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPt) pointed out in his What’s Wrong With Cam Newton’s Shoulder article, we’ll have to take a wait-and-see approach.
14. Tom Brady – Consistency Rank #18
16 games — 375/570 for 4355/29/11 — 23/35/2 rushing
Great 19% | Good 50% | Bust 38%
Defenses: -8.31 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
7 weeks vs Top 16 (17.59)/9 weeks vs Bot 16 (25.9)
Home (24.04)/Road (20.49) Split: +3.55 at Home
While his overall numbers not far off from 2017 MVP season, Brady as a fantasy asset was borderline irrelevant for much of the season. He threw for 1 TD or fewer in HALF of his games. You couldn’t use him to get the playoffs. From Weeks 8-13, he was the QB25 in fantasy points per game. Because of his name, he will still be drafted in the first 7 or 8 rounds in drafts. The Ballers agree that savvy fantasy players will ignore him at his price.
15. Mitch Trubisky 🐻- Consistency Rank #24
14 games — 289/434 for 3223/24/12 — 68/421/3 rushing
Great 29% | Good 43% | Bust 57%
Defenses: –15.44 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
7 weeks vs Top 16 (14.94)/7 weeks vs Bot 16 (30.38)
Home (27.31)/Road (16.46) Split: +10.85 at Home
Jason called his shot and JayGriz called him out. Trubisky was horrible to start the year until he had the highest scoring fantasy game among QBs in Week 4 against Tampa Bay. He went 19-for-26 for 354 passing yards, 6 TDs and adding 53 rushing yards on the ground. From Weeks 4-10, he averaged the MOST fantasy points per contest (28) including two #1 overall performances and another #2. He busted 57% of the time and feasted on bottom-dwelling defenses. Like many other elite QBs in the middle of the season, his fantasy playoffs were horrible. He was the QB21 from Weeks 14-17 averaging 11.5 fantasy points per game.
16. Baker Mayfield – Consistency Rank #19
14 games — 310/486 for 3725/27/14 — 39/131/0 rushing
Great 14% | Good 50% | Bust 50%
Defenses: -2.01 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
4 weeks vs Top 16 (20.45)/10 weeks vs Bot 16 (22.46)
Home (20.64)/Road (23.12) Split: -2.48 at Home
It was difficult to get going with Tyrod Taylor named the starter and Hue Jackson trying his best to do everything possible wrong. The #1 overall pick was everything Browns fans could’ve hoped for from changing the losing culture to providing some swag and ultimately fantasy value. From Weeks 7-16, he was the QB10 ahead of names such as Jared Goff, Philip Rivers, and Mitch Trubisky. Mayfield set the rookie QB record for passing TDs in a season with 27 while averaging the 3rd most passing yards per game (266.1) ever by a rookie. Baker will be available in the double-digit rounds next year with some upside in this Browns offense.
17. Eli Manning – Consistency Rank #23
16 games — 380/576 for 4299/21/11 — 15/20/1 rushing
Great 0% | Good 50% | Bust 50%
Defenses: -6.43 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
8 weeks vs Top 16 (15.91)/8 weeks vs Bot 16 (22.34)
Home (15.27)/Road (22.98) Split: -6.43 at Home
Listen, the Giant offense was rough outside of Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. We won’t know if Dave Gettleman and this regime are set on a QB in the upcoming draft. But the writing is on the wall for Eli to be shown the door soon. He did have a weird quirk to his season: In 6 point scoring, excluding Week 17, he had as many QB1 weeks (6) as Jared Goff, Mitch Trubisky, and one more than…Tom Brady.
18. Derek Carr – Consistency Rank #32
16 games — 381/553 for 4049/19/10 — 24/47/1 rushing
Great 13% | Good 25% | Bust 63%
Defenses: +0.44 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
8 weeks vs Top 16 (18.23)/8 weeks vs Bot 16 (17.79)
Home (20.88)/Road (15.14) Split: +5.74 at Home
Bleh. Another strange fantasy quirk: In 6 pt leagues, Carr had only 3 QB1 weeks this year. All of them were top-5 finishes (Week 4, 8, and 13). That’s as many top-5 weeks as Cam Newton and Kirk Cousins.
19. Case Keenum – Consistency Rank #33
16 games — 365/586 for 3890/18/15 — 26/93/2 rushing
Great 0% | Good 19% | Bust 63%
Defenses: -3.51 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
8 weeks vs Top 16 (15.45)/8 weeks vs Bot 16 (18.96)
Home (18.62)/Road (15.79) Split: +2.83 at Home
20. Matthew Stafford – Consistency Rank #26
16 games — 367/555 for 3777/21/11 — 25/71/0 rushing
Great 0% | Good 38% | Bust 50%
Defenses: -3.18 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
10 weeks vs Top 16 (16.24)/6 weeks vs Bot 16 (19.42)
Home (15.35)/Road (19.52) Split: -4.17 at Home
What happened? This once mighty and consistent fantasy QB fell off the map in 2018. It was bad my friends. If you don’t count Week 17, he had only 1 QB1 performance, a measly QB9 against San Francisco in Week 2. He wasn’t even in consideration as a streamer in the 2nd half. From Weeks 9-16 he averaged less than 200 passing yards per game. There will be some turnover with OC Jim Bob Cooter (affectionately known as JBC) out. Perhaps Stafford can rediscover his 4,000-yard ways but he’s undraftable to start 2019.
21. Josh Allen – Consistency Rank #17
11 games — 169/320 for 2074/10/12 — 89/631/8 rushing
Great 36% | Good 55% | Bust 45%
Defenses: -4.4 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
6 weeks vs Top 16 (17.87)/6 weeks vs Bot 16 (22.27)
Home (24.38)/Road (15.76) Split: +8.62 at Home
Josh Stallion, as he’s known around these parts, was essentially pooped upon as the Bills selected at the #7 pick in the draft. Everyone (outside of Andy Holloway) left this guy in the trash heap. Allen responded with a “Cam Newton-esque” rookie year with insane rushing upside. Despite only starting 11 games, he posted the 2nd most rushing yards per game (52.6) by a rookie in history, trailing only Robert Griffin. He also was a league winner as the #1 QB in points per game from Week 12 on. He’s a roll of the dice for sure but Jason buys into him being a good “fantasy football” option over real football.
22. Jameis Winston – Consistency Rank #12
11 games — 244/378 for 2992/19/14 — 49/281/1 rushing
Great 22% | Good 67% | Bust 33%
Defenses: -8.37 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
6 weeks vs Top 16 (19.55)/5 weeks vs Bot 16 (27.92)
Home (28.38)/Road (19.17) Split: +9.21 at Home
Winston had one of the biggest swings in terms of public perception, fantasy appeal, and his own franchise’s liking we might have ever seen. As Ryan Fitzpatrick lit the world on fire to start the year, we wrote him off and assumed the Bucs had as well. Winston was solid as a fringe QB1 on the year in terms of consistency. The Bucs QBs (Fitzmagic and Winston) finished the season with the MOST passing yards as a team in the NFL, the 6th-most QB rushing yards, and the 2nd most QB fantasy points per game trailing only the Chiefs. They were such a great combo that the Bucs QB collective posted the 5th-most QB fantasy points at the position since 2006. New head coach Bruce Arians has come out of retirement to endorse Winston as the starter. He’s a worthy late-round selection with upside to put it all together and finish as a top-5 guy.
23. Carson Wentz – Consistency Rank #7
11 games — 279/401 for 3074/21/7 — 34/93/0 rushing
Great 0% | Good 73% | Bust 27%
Defenses: +9.57 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
7 weeks vs Top 16 (26.53)/4 weeks vs Bot 16 (16.96)
Home (22.77)/Road (23.39) Split: -0.62 at Home
There will be great debate all off-season over whether Nick Foles or Carson Wentz deserves this job. It’s clear the franchise believes in Wentz and when he’s on the field, he’s a solid fantasy asset. He had ZERO great games but 73% of the time had “good games”. Wentz averaged 280 pass yards per game, which was a top-10 figure. His TD rate noticeably slipped from his blistering 2017 pace but this team is built around him. He’ll get a solid bump down in ADP due to his back injury but is worth a look later in drafts.
28. Ryan Fitzpatrick – Consistency Rank #15
8 games — 164/246 for 2366/17/12 — 36/152/2 rushing
Great 43% | Good 57% | Bust 43%
Defenses: -9.48 vs Top 16 Pass DEF
4 weeks vs Top 16 (21.07)/4 weeks vs Bot 16 (30.55)
Home (30.02)/Road (23.29) Split: +6.73 at Home
It was an unreal start: QB1, QB6, and QB8 first 3 weeks. In those contests, he had 3 straight games over 400 passing yards and 12 total TDs for the greatest fantasy start to a season ever at the QB position. It will be a fun memory in fantasy lore if you joined the madness of Mr. Crazy-Eyes.
Lamar Jackson – Consistency Rank #10
7 games started — 99/170 for 1201/6/3 — 147/695/5 rushing
Great 14% | Good 43% | Bust 0%
Defenses: n/a vs : Top 16 Pass DEF: n/a
Home/Road Split: n/a
Jackson’s fantasy finish is irrelevant giving the fact he didn’t get the starting nod until later on in the season. Jackson was a solid performer as the QB #8 from Weeks 11-17. He never gave you a week-winning, monster game but his rushing baseline was something to bank on with ZERO bust weeks. Jackson had the 11th most QB rushing yards (695) of all time in only 7 games played. He does carry some risk including averaging 1.7 fumbles per game started, the MOST EVER by a rookie QB. Jason would take him over Josh Allen at this point.