What a week for football! But before we get into the Thankgiving festivities and weekly QB predictions, make sure you go over to YouTube and watch the MEGALODON! episode to listen to all of the Week 13 matchups before you stuff your face full of Turkey.
Last week’s article nailed it on the cover boy highlighting Sam Darnold as a top-10 play and Dak Prescott, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady as a sits. Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, and Carson Wentz were a major flops that killed fantasy owners.
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.
***IMPORTANT NOTE*** There are 15-20 viable QB starts each week. If you don’t see your guy listed on here, that’s ok. This article is about predicting the top-12 not necessarily who is safest. I’d strongly advise you to follow Andy, Mike, and Jason’s advice for where they have QBs ranked for Week 13.
Patrick Mahomes vs OAK
Mahomes looked mortal last week as he threw for only 182 yards against the Chargers. Press delete on last week and remind yourself that the ceiling for this guy is always through the roof. In three career games versus the Raiders, he’s averaged 340 pass yards and 3.3 TDs. Wow. This game has the highest over/under (51.5) of the week and the Chiefs have a 30.8 team implied total. The Raiders have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs and 55(!) passing plays of 20+ yards- the MOST in NFL.
Lamar Jackson vs SF
It’s practically unfair at this point if you are unleashing the buzzsaw that is LJax every week. I have him in two writers leagues and those teams have locked in bye weeks. I’m running out of superlative statistics to explain just how good he is. He has a league-leading 8% TD Rate AND averaging a league-leading 7.1 yards per carry. Purely as a runner, he’s the RB16. You’re basically getting two players in one. Yes, San Francisco is allowing the fewest passing yards per game but Kyler Murray had two top-10 weeks against these 49ers. L-Jax is a suped-up version of Murray and the league MVP at this point.
Drew Brees @ ATL
Brees returned to form last week against Carolina and should feast on this Thanksgiving day divisional matchup. The Saints have the 2nd highest team implied total (28) and don’t worry about the freak defensive stand Atlanta took a couple of weeks back. In 28 career games versus Atlanta, he is averaging 304 and 1.9 TDs per game. Atlanta is allowing the 6th most fantasy points to opposing QBs.
Russell Wilson vs MIN
The Seahawks QB left Philadelphia last week with a victory although fantasy-wise he’s been less than advertised. Wilson has thrown for less than 250 yards in four of his last five games and only one top-12 performance in that timespan. But at home, he’s averaging 2.8 passing TDs per game although he’s been blitzed more than any other QB in the NFL. The Vikings have a defense in name only as the secondary has been exposed allowing the 2nd most WR fantasy pts over their last four games played.
Aaron Rodgers @ NYG
This isn’t the Aaron Rodgers we’ve been used to. He’s finished outside top-20 six times on the season and apart from a five-TD explosion versus the Raiders, the week-winining performances have been few and far between. He’s got the matchup this week as the Packers have the 4th highest team implied total (26.5) on the week. The Giants rank 27th in pass DVOA and 31st against fantasy WRs. Davante Adams should own Janoris Jenkins so be prepared for this Packers stack.
Kirk Cousins @ SEA
Captain Kirk and the Vikings are coming off the bye after throwing eight TDs in his last three games. Since Week 5, he’s the QB6 on the season after a dreadful start. Cousins has the most time in the pocket per play of any QB, which bodes well considering Seattle has the 3rd lowest sack rate in the league. They are allowing the 4th most passing ypg (268.7) and this game is tied for the 2nd highest over/under (49) of the week.
Jameis Winston @ JAX
Winston, despite all his flaws, has been so consistent as a fantasy QBs. In games with two or more turnovers, the dude is averaging 19 fantasy points per game. He’s thrown for over 300+ yards in eight of his last nine games. In other words, he seems to have established a safe floor. The Jaguars were just torched for 42 points by the Titans and Ryan Tannehill and rank 23rd in defensive DVOA. Looking at his upcoming schedule, Winston is a top-10 QB for me for the rest of the season.
Kyler Murray vs LAR
This might’ve been lost in the shuffle of Lamar Jackson mania and the Cardinals being on bye, but Kyler Murray has been historically great as a rookie fantasy QB. I highlighted his range of outcomes at the beginning of the season but the consistency is what is most encouraging. At home this season, Kyler has been the QB11, 14, 12, 5, and 7. These Rams were just anhiliated by a similar, uber-athletic rushing QB on Monday night and Murray if can accomplish 70% of what Jackson did, he’s gold. I believe this matchup will shootout with Goff holding his own on the other side with a 46.5 game total.
Four In the Door
Nick Foles vs TB
Foles and the Jaguars were boat-raced last week versus Titans but Foles looked fine. He is set up well this week against arguably the most fantasy friendly defense for QBs. Before Matt Ryan‘s dud last week, Tampa Bay had allowed 26.8 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs over their previous eight games. On the season, they’ve allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to QBs and rank 25th in pass DVOA. Foles is Mike’s Start of the Week.
Carson Wentz @ MIA
I am ashamed to say I started Wentz last week and I felt the pain with four turnovers and ten fantasy points. Woof. But IT’S THE DOLPHINS! The Eagles have the 3rd highest team implied total (27.5). Dolphins have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing QBs and the lowest sack rate in the league. In fact, the only QBs not to register a QB1 week were Case Keenum, Mason Rudolph, Sam Darnold, and Brian Hoyer, not exactly Murderer’s Row. If Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor are back, Wentz should be fired up as a top-10 play in my opinion. Heck, I’m rolling him out there in a home league with playoffs on the line.
Sam Darnold @ CIN
Over the last three weeks, Darnold is the QB7, QB7, and QB2. He’s in the middle of that beautiful end -of-season schedule that was spoken about on the Footballers podcast. The Bengals rank 31st in pass DVOA and have allowed the 2nd most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to QBs. To give that number more perspective, in “non-Mason Rudolph” games, Cincinnati is allowing 23.8 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. Darnold is Jason’s Start of the Week.
Jared Goff @ ARZ
I know I know. Goff has looked terrible lately and Monday night’s game against Baltimore won’t help fantasy owners muster up enough courage to start him this week. But the matchup should give him a floor to work with. Arizona is giving up the most fantasy points, the most passing yards per game (315) in the league, 4.5 pass plays of 20+ yards per game and a league-high 71% completion rate. Basically, they’re the worst against the pass. In Goff’s last four games vs Arizona, he’s scored 19, 20, 19, and 19 fantasy points. I see a theme developing…. You might need to hurl as you put him into your starting lineup, but things could be much worse. Right? Goff is Andy’s Start of the Week.
Ryan Tannehill @ IND
I know this won’t be a popular take given the fact Tanny has been on a roll since taking over the starting position from Marcus Mariota. Over the last five games, he’s the QB2 and completing a career-high 72 percent of his passes. He’s finished as the QB13, QB11, QB5, QB11, and QB1. Why the hate now? First off, Tannehill is due for regression and he’s been dodging the turnover bug that plagued him in Miami. It’s concerning to know that the Tennessee offensive line is allowing the highest adjusted sack rate in NFL.
Deshaun Watson vs NE
Watson will be hard to sit this week especially for owners vying for a playoff spot. Last year versus New England in Week 1, he threw for 176 yards, one TD, an INT and completed only 5o percent of his passes. That ain’t going to get it done again especially against the #1 ranked pass defense against fantasy QBs. To put their dominance in perspective, opposing QBs have a Passer Rating of 50.5 on the season. To compare, here are a few other “starting” QBs in the NFL this year and their passer rating: Luke Falk– 62.4, Ryan Finley– 62.1, Haskins- 55.9, and Josh Rosen– 52.0. In other words, New England is making every QB look worse than Josh Freaking Rosen.
Philip Rivers @ DEN
Don’t even think about it. This game sports the lowest over/under (38.5) of the week and Rivers has been straight trash for fantasy purposes. Playing in Denver is not a good idea for Rivers. Over the last ten seasons playing in Denver, he’s averaging 210 passing yards per game. The Broncos have allowed the 6th fewest schedule-adjusted fantasy points to QBs and the ceiling in this game is low.
Josh Allen @ DAL
Everything within me wants to boost Josh Allen into the top-12. But there is some regression coming in his fantasy output which has been boosted by seven rushing TDs. Variance would say some of those go Devin Singletary‘s way and the matchup isn’t encouraging. The Cowboys have the highest pressure rate in NFL, the 8th fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs, and allowing 213 passing yards per game- 6th fewest in the NFL. With only a 19-point implied total, the Bills aren’t set up for success this week on Thanksgiving.
Previous Week: 8/12
2019 Prediction Rate: 59%