Predicting the Top-12 QBs for Week 4
It’s just another week in the NFL when a rookie QB finishes with the 2nd best fantasy performance ever in his debut. Danny Dimes, MANiel Jones, Daniel Boom… whatever you prefer, I did not see that coming.
Here are the top-12 scoring fantasy QBs for Week 3 and a notation on the correct prediction from last week’s article.
- Russell Wilson – 41.34 pts (x)
- Daniel Jones–34.24 pts
- Patrick Mahomes– 27.86 pts (x)
- Deshaun Watson– 25.84 pts (x)
- Jameis Winston– 25.5 pts (x)
- Kyle Allen – 24.34 pts
- Dak Prescott – 22.54 pts (x)
- Matt Ryan – 22.46 pts
- Carson Wentz – 21.66 pts
- Lamar Jackson – 21.28 pts (x)
- Jacoby Brissett – 20.8 pts
- Tom Brady – 20.14 pts (x)
I hit 7-of-12 this week while continuing the perfect record of fades in the Four-Get-About-It section going 12-for-12 through three weeks. A few that missed the top-12 were right there: Philip Rivers (QB13), Mitch Trubisky (QB14), Josh Allen (QB15) and Kyler Murray (QB17) so your team was fine if you went with these options.
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 4.
Patrick Mahomes @ DET
Mahomes is following last year’s unreal 50-TD campaign with a blistering 2019 pace of over 6,000 passing yards! There’s not much needed to say each week to convince anyone that’s he’s nothing short of the QB1 for the rest of the season. Three TDs has become his floor, an achievement no other QB can claim.
Lamar Jackson vs CLE
Jackson’s floor is as safe as it gets with his rushing but as we saw last week, we can expect some erratic throws that derail his overall ceiling. The Ravens still average the most plays per game (73) in NFL and have the 4th highest team implied total (26.5) this week. You’re starting him every week.
Deshaun Watson vs CAR
Watson continues to be under pressure but chucks it downfield as 19% of pass attempts have been 20+ yards downfield- the 2nd HIGHEST rate in NFL. He blew up last week and has an excellent chance to repeat at home. We’ve yet to see him connect with Will Fuller or a true monster DeAndrew Hopkins game. This could be it.
Russell Wilson @ ARZ
Wilson has regained elite status after throwing for over 300 yards, totaling four TDs and rushing for over 50 yards last week. The Cardinals have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing QBs and rank 23rd in DVOA against the pass. Over the last three weeks, Arizona has allowed some big games (Matthew Stafford– 385/3, Lamar Jackson- two TDs + 120 rush yards, Kyle Allen- four passing TDs). Wilson is Andy’s QB Start of the Week and the Footballers Consensus QB5.
Philip Rivers @ MIA
Teams must feel like a group of high school bullies each week seeking out the lowly freshmen team Dolphins and beating them to a bloody pulp. It’s time to pick on them again as the Chargers have the highest team implied total (30.3) and the Dolphins rank dead LAST in pass DVOA. In fact, Miami is allowing over seven yards per play… Think about that. Rivers is Jason’s QB Start of the Week.
Jared Goff vs TB
Goff and the Rams offense is always in play especially at home with the third-highest team implied total (29.3) of the weekend. Goff was a monster at home in 2018 as he averaged the most fantasy points of any QB along with 342 passing ypg and 2.75 TDs per game. That’s not a typo. The Bucs defense is much improved from the hapless group we’ve seen in the past but expect Sean McVay and company to step on the gas in this one.
Dak Prescott @ NO
All this guy has done is finish as the QB2, QB3, and QB7 in the first three weeks. This Dallas offense looks explosive and bent on being able to run 3WR sets and push the ball downfield. The Saints have allowed the MOST fantasy points to opposing QBs as they rank 25th in defensive DVOA and 28th overall. They’ve allowed over 300 passing yards per game and even with a banged-up Amari Cooper, Prescott is as solid as they get.
Matthew Stafford vs KC
In a game with the highest over/under (54) opposite Patrick Mahomes, Stafford is an excellent streaming option this week. He has the most deep attempts in the league and he’ll need to repeat that keep up with the Chiefs. The Lions have been much improved and with a stable of weapons (Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, T.J. Hockenson) I like Matty Snapback this week and will be starting him in a home league. He’s the Consensus QB12 and Mike’s Start of the Week.
Four In the Door
Aaron Rodgers vs PHI
This is the week. Rodgers has basically been a 200 yards a week kinda guy that fantasy owners must be disappointed with. Despite the Thursday night start, he’s in a good position at home as a 5-point favorite. The Eagles rank 22nd in pass DVOA and their secondary is hurting big time. Expect him to reconnect with Davante Adams and pepper him with targets.
Matt Ryan vs TEN
Despite a rough 1-2 start to the season, Ryan is averaging 309 passing yards per game. The Falcons have a 25-point team implied total as 4-point home favorites. While the Titans might slow the pace of play down, Ryan and Julio Jones are the constant in this offense as he’s had at least nine targets and a TD in every single game thus far. He’s a solid option as always and the Ballers Consensus QB10.
Kyler Murray vs SEA
The rookie leads the league in pass attempts but he’s averaging just six yards per attempt. Yuck. The breakout game is coming and he might start paying dividends with a juicy upcoming schedule: @CIN, ATL, @NYG, @NO. The Seahawks are giving up the eighth-most point per game (26.3) and the Cardinals have the highest passing rate (76% of the time) and pace of play. This could be a shootout with the padawan Murray and his Jedi Master Wilson.
Case Keenum @ NYG
Let’s get nuts. Everyone will be excited to play rookie Daniel Jones after last week’s explosion but I’ll pivot to his QB counterpart in Week 4. The Redskins are throwing the ball 14% more than 2018, the largest pass play increase in NFL. Keenum has a safe yardage floor and the Giants have given up most passing yards in the NFL. With a game total of 49.5, its the 3rd highest projected scoring game of the week. It’s not as desperate as it may seem.
Tom Brady @ BUF
Despite this game featuring two undefeated teams, this should be a defensive slugfest. The Bills defense is no joke as they rank 4th best in pass DVOA. TreDavious White is a true shutdown corner and the rest of the secondary is stout allowing only three passing TDs in three weeks. Brady is a fringe starter but not someone with huge upside on the road. I’ll go with other streaming options who can air it out in a matchup above the current 42-point over/under.
Josh Allen vs NE
We can talk all day about New England’s cupcake schedule thus far but Bill Belichick is on another level when it comes to shutting down a team’s #1 weapon. That swiss army knife clearly is the dual-threat Allen and he’s going to have a tough time despite being at home. The Patriots are #1 in defensive DVOA and pass DVOA and have the 2nd highest sack adjusted rate in the league. QBs have averaged 5.9 fantasy points per game thus far against them.
Baker Mayfield @ BAL
Owners who took the risk on drafting Baker earlier should be pivoting right now. Based on his name and the Browns hype it might be tough, but he’s been bad. In 2018, he threw a TD every 2.7 pass attempts in the red zone, the highest % in the league. In fact, he finished with 20 TDs & zero INTs in the red zone, which is practically impossible to repeat. In 2019, he is 3-of-14 (21.4%) in the red-zone for 2 TDs and 1 INT. Bench him on the road in Baltimore.
Jameis Winston @ LAR
Winston on the road is not something I would be excited about. He looked like his high upside self last week connecting with Mike Evans for three TDs and a top-5 performance. The offensive line is a problem as Winston’s faced pressure on 44% of dropbacks- the 2nd highest rate in the league. Good luck against Aaron Donald and crew. As 9.5 point road underdogs, I don’t love the matchup against a Rams defense ranked 5th ranked pass DVOA.
Last Week: 7/12
2019 Overall Percentage: 63.8%