Predicting the Top-12 QBs for Week 3
Take a deep breath. But through two weeks, Case Keenum has more QB1 performances (2) than Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Baker Mayfield, Mitchell Trubisky, Kirk Cousins, Jameis Winston, and Cam Newton…. COMBINED. In fact, that’s as many as HALF THE NFL TEAMS (16) have thus far. Just like we all drew it up.
Here are the top-12 scoring fantasy QBs for Week 2 and a notation on the correct prediction from last week’s article.
- Patrick Mahomes– 31.62 pts (x)
- Lamar Jackson– 30.88 pts (x)
- Dak Prescott– 27.66 pts (x)
- Tom Brady– 24.66 pts
- Russell Wilson– 24.2 pts (x)
- Jimmy Garoppolo– 22.68 pts
- Josh Allen– 22.22 pts (x)
- Jared Goff– 19.12 pts (x)
- Matt Ryan– 19.1 pts
- Andy Dalton– 18.64 pts (x)
- Carson Wentz– 17.54 pts
- Case Keenum– 16.74 pts (x)
I hit 7-of-8 in the first two sections and nailed all four predictions outside the top-12 including Drew Brees (unfortunate injury), Aaron Rodgers (QB19), Matthew Stafford (QB17), and Kyler Murray (QB13).
Here is a reminder for how I organize each week’s top-12 before we move on to discuss Week 3.
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 3.
Patrick Mahomes vs BAL
Lamar Jackson @ KC
The NFL needs to flex this game to primetime because this is easily the most exhilarating fantasy narrative of the season: a matchup of two QBs who are completely breaking the system with video-game numbers. Mahomes is the QB1 every week no questions asked. After throwing for five TDs in Week 1, all Jackson did throw for two more and add 120 yards on the ground. Through 10 career starts, Ljax has four games over 90+ rushing yards. And did I mention that this game sports a 55(!) point total?
Dak Prescott vs MIA
Good Lord this is a legitimate Dallas offense. Through two weeks, Prescott has been the QB2 and QB3 on the week. He’s completing an other-worldly 82.3 percent of his passes and even with Michael Gallup out, he should keep this rolling against a C league team, the Miami Dolphins. You know how bad this team has been surrendering over 100 points in the first two weeks and eight TD passes. The Cowboys have an insane 34.3 team implied total as 21.5(!) point home favorites. He’s a locked and loaded top-5 option from here on.
Tom Brady vs NYJ
THE PATRIOTS ARE 22 POINT FAVORITES! I screamed in the same manner last week when 18.5 on the road in Miami felt like a lot but obviously, it was too little as the Patriots steamrolled the AFC East’s JV squad 43-0. Brady was on point especially with Antonio Brown even in limited snaps. He’ll get to unleash his fury once again against a Jets team that is fighting the injury bug.
Deshaun Watson @ LAC
Watson and his OLine are still having issues as he’s taken 10 sacks in the first two weeks. Despite turning in a disappointing week against Jacksonville, there are some encouraging numbers heading into Week 3 on the road. Watson leads all QBs in aDOT (12.06) as teammate Will Fuller ranks first among NFL WRs in that category. Those two haven’t connected on a TD so prepare for fireworks in a game with a 48-point over/under.
Russell Wilson vs NO
After getting knocked down a ton in the first half against Pittsburgh, Wilson balled out on the road last week for three TDs and the QB5 finish. He gets a juicy matchup at home as the Saints have given up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs thus far. Andy is the highest on Wilson as QB4 in the rankings.
Josh Allen vs CIN
It’s Josh Stallion time as he’s gifted with arguably the best matchup this side of the Dolphins. The Bengals have given up 31 points per game and a QB Rating of 133.2, 2nd worst in the league. Allen has rushed 17 times in two games but this could be the one where he presents a transcendent performance. His chemistry with John Brown is also encouraging as downfield targets are where he differentiates himself as a fantasy QB. Allen is the Ballers Consensus QB6 for Week 3.
Aaron Rodgers vs DEN
The volume has been low thus far as Mr. Discount Double-Check has thrown for 203 and 209 yards in his first two games. This ain’t your mama’s Denver defense so start him with confidence. The Broncos are allowing a 71.7 percent completion rate despite facing only Derek Carr and Mitchell Trubisky. Rodgers should light them up at home as Mike’s QB Start of the Week.
Four in the Door
Kyler Murray vs CAR
This is the week for the Kyler breakout. He leads all QBs in Air Yards with 899(!) through two weeks. Kliff Kingsbury has delivered on his promise as the Cardinals rank 2nd in seconds per play, a drastic change from last year’s plodding and predictable offensive pace. The Panthers surprisingly rank 1st in pace which might be skewed from trailing and playing catch up in both their games. While Murray only has 17 rushing yards this season, it’s the volume that is most enticing at home. Jason is the most bullish with Kyler ranked as his QB7 for the week.
Philip Rivers vs HOU
This is exactly where Rivers fits in as a low-end streamer. The Chargers are 3.5-point favorites at home and carry the seventh-highest implied point total at 25.75 points. Meanwhile, this isn’t the same dominant Texans defense you remember. They’ve allowed the 9th most fantasy points to QBs so far this season. I expect a back and forth affair with Deshaun Watson.
Jameis Winston vs NYG
I get it if you want to run for the hills. Winston is not for the faint of heart but the Bucs carry the 4th highest team implied total (27.3) of the week. This Giants team has allowed an average 27.8 fantasy points to opposing QBs, the 3rd most in the NFL. The Buccaneers are 7-point home favorites so Vegas thinks the Bucs will win via the air. Hopefully O.J. Howard sees some targets and Mike Evans breaks through.
Matthew Stafford @ PHI
Through two weeks, Matty Snapback is back to his old 300+ yard ways after bottoming out last year in the 2nd half. Stafford on the road in Philadelphia sounds intimidating but this Eagles defense is susceptible through the air. They’ve given up the 2nd most passing yards per game (340) and the 5th most yards per play (6.52) in the league. The volume is worth chasing especially in a DFS lineup. Stack Stafford with Kenny G or Marvin Jones.
Mitchell Trubisky @ WAS
Ok, this is a dart throw. Remember? I’m allowed one per week to go completely off the radar. Apologies if you are reading this and vomit ended up on your computer or mobile device. Trubisky has basically been buried in the media as he’s taken a step backward and looked lost through two weeks. He also hasn’t been running the ball (only four attempts). So why bring him up? The Redskins have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing QBs and the most to WRs. Josh Norman is way past his prime (3rd worst PFF grade for CBs) so I expect Allen Robinson to go off. Trubisky also completed 70% of passes on the road in 2018.
Jared Goff @ CLE
Baker Mayfield vs LAR
I’m fading these two high-profile young QBs. The game itself is going to be fun to watch but I’m not bullish on the Vegas total of 49. These are two defenses that know how to get after the QB. Mayfield has been the QB28 and QB19 in his two starts. While peppering Odell Beckham Jr. with targets looks like the gameplan, TE David Njoku‘s injury hurts his upside. Jared GARF on the road is something I will continue to fade especially after his Week 1 debacle. As mentioned in Week 1, his splits were frightening in 2018 as he averaged less than 7 yards per attempt and had a TD to INT ratio of 10:9. I need to see it on the road before I believe it.
Andy Dalton @ BUF
Dalton and the Bengals have been extremely pass-happy thus far as new head coach Zac Taylor has pushed the issue with 3-WR sets. This road matchup in Buffalo does not bode well as the Bills rank 7th in pass DVOA and given up the 6th fewest passing yards at 198 per game. The Tre’ Davious White treatment should slow down John Ross, the receiving yardage leader through two weeks.
Mason Rudolph @ SF
There is some noise gaining this week that perhaps Rudolph is worth checking out as a streamer as he looked competent with 2 TDs coming in relief of Big Ben. This 49ers defense has looked much improved as they rank 2nd in DVOA versus the pass and 7th against the run. A new QB starting his first game in the NFL on the road as 6.5 point underdog is not advised.
Last Week: 8/12
2019 Overall Percentage: 66.7%