Predicting the Top-12 QBs for Week 5

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There was some depressed QB scoring across the board last week as signal-callers like Mason “3-Yard Pass” Rudolph somehow cracked the top-12. Patrick Mahomes struggled mightily and made this list despite not throwing for a TD pass. What gives?

Here were the top-12 scoring fantasy QBs for Week 4 and a notation on the correct prediction from last week’s article.

  1.  Jameis Winston– 29.3 pts
  2.  Aaron Rodgers– 25.48 pts (x)
  3.  Lamar Jackson– 24.48 pts (x)
  4. Matthew Stafford– 23.44 pts (x)
  5. Marcus Mariota– 23.44 pts
  6. Jacoby Brissett– 22.5 pts
  7. Joe Flacco– 22.02 pts
  8. Jared Goff– 20.68 pts (x)
  9. Philip Rivers– 20.4 pts (x)
  10. Carson Wentz– 19.7 pts
  11. Patrick Mahomes– 18 pts (x)
  12. Mason Rudolph – 16.86 pts

50% is what you shoot for when eliminating 20 QBs but down from the first three weeks. It was definitely a tough week especially when three of these guys were outside of almost everyone’s top-20 consensus QBs for the week. Stafford was the streaming play of the week and he came through in a big way. But the demolition squad known as the Buccaneers (led by Jameis Winston’s four TDs) had to be the story of the week as they hung up over 50 points IN Los Angeles.

Here is a reminder for how I organize each week’s top-12 before we move on to discuss Week 5.

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 5.


Patrick Mahomes vs IND
There’s no denying that last week was tough on the entire Chiefs offense and they were fortunate to get out of Detroit with a win. Mahomes only had two weeks last year when he wasn’t a top-10 QB so glad we’ve got one of those out of the way. The Chiefs are averaging 3.21 points per drive- BEST in NFL.  This game sports the highest over/under (56.5) of the week and the highest of the year thus far. Don’t hesitate at all.

Deshaun Watson vs ATL
Watson has had some weird splits to open the season. In two road games, he has thrown for three TDs each and finished as a top-5 QB. In two home games, he has zero passing TDs and sunk your fantasy team. Before we go further down narrative street, realize he has a perfect matchup against a meager Falcons defense. Atlanta has allowed three top-10 QB performances in a row and given up the 10th most fantasy points to QBs on the season. The Texans have an implied point total of 26.75 and that’s more than enough to give Watson an enormous ceiling in Week 5.

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Russell Wilson vs LAR
Wilson is in control this season as he ranks 10th in passing ypg  (285.3), way above his career average of 229 before the season. He is also completing a career-best 72.9 percent of his passes while the Seahawks are 3-1. It’s not the ground-and-pound crew we envisioned as Seattle is throwing 56.64% of the time, up from league-low 47.5% in 2018. This Thursday night matchup can be intimidating as Wilson has never thrown for more than 200 yards against a Sean McVay-led Rams team. But remember these Rams were trounced at home against Jameis Winston and the Bucs. Wilson is a top-5 play.

Tom Brady @ WAS
After struggling last week in Buffalo, Tom Terrific is automatic this week. The Redskins rank 29th in pass DVOA and have given up the highest completion percentage (77.9) in the league. For context, Drew Brees set the NFL record last year at 74.4. Washington has given up the 4th most fantasy points to QBs this season so expect Brady to put up 250+ yards and 2+ TDs. Brady is the Ballers Consensus QB3 on the week.


Lamar Jackson @ PIT
Jackson’s floor is hard to argue with in any week. While he’s still figuring things out as a passer, adding 60 yards on the ground per week adds six points to your fantasy total. The Steelers are allowing a 69.5 percent completion rate, 8th highest in the NFL, and LJax is actually averaging 278 passing yards per game which ain’t too hasty. He’s a top-5 guy even on the road against a division rival.

Getty Images / Scott Cunningham

Carson Wentz vs NYJ
Wentz has been a rock this year with a top-10 QB performance every single week to start the year. He’s a top-8 play again this week and ranked as the Ballers Consensus QB5. The Jets are allowing 5th MOST passing yards per game in NFL (286.7) and the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Keep it rolling with Wentz at home as the Eagles have the 3rd highest team implied total (28.5) of the week. He is Jason’s QB Start of the Week.

Matt Ryan @ HOU
Ryan has been making his living on volume: he leads the NFL with 176 pass attempts, completions and he’s second in yards. Oh, and he’s first in INTs. He’s has thrown for at least 300 yards in each game and his eight passing touchdowns rank second. If the Falcons are going to keep pace with the Texans, it’s going to be on the shoulders of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. This game has the 2nd highest over/under (49.5) so roll him out on the road with comfort.

Philip Rivers vs DEN
This matchup used to scare us off but Denver is not the same defense it used to be. They registered their first sack of the season last week and, along with the Cardinals, are one of the few teams without an INT on the year. The Broncos rank 28th in pass DVOA and 27th in defensive DVOA. Woof. Rivers to Keenan Allen is going to be a thing and with Melvin Gordon back, this offense should explode at home. The Chargers are tied with the 5th highest team implied total (25.5) of the week.

Four In the Door

Jameis Winston @ NO
Winston went full ham last week on the road with four TDs against the Rams in the most shocking game of the NFL season. He’ll look to keep that going this week against a New Orleans pass defense that has given up the 2nd most fantasy points to QBs. Winston is Andy’s Stream of the Week but always carries the risk of completely bottoming out. For season-long leagues, he’s the ceiling play if you need to shoot for the moon as an underdog.

Jacoby Brissett @ KC
Brissett has quietly been the QB9 on the season despite injuries in Indianapolis. His matchup on the road against Patrick Mahomes will beckon him to take another step forward. Kansas City has given up the 8th most fantasy points to QBs this season and the 5th most fantasy points to slot WRs. He’ll likely be playing from behind and being in Arrowhead Stadium is no joke. Brissett is Mike’s QB Start of the Week.

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Andy Dalton vs ARZ
Dalton and the Bengals fell apart on Monday night and now are without deep-threat John Ross. The matchup QBs are absolutely destroying the Cardinals averaging 290 passing yards and 2.5 TDs per game. The Cardinals have given up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing QBs and the 2nd most slot WR fantasy points per game. I expect Tyler Boyd to have a day. The Bengals have the 5th highest team implied total so points will be had. The question is if the production comes on the ground with Joe Mixon or via the air?

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Kyler Murray @ CIN
Murray’s aDOT has steadily dropped in each of his first four NFL games as Kliff Kingsbury has mostly used horizontal schemes rather than downfield looks. Regardless the volume is still there as he ranks third in passing attempts with 169. Through the last two games, he’s run for 96 yards and a TD. The Bengals rank 31st in pass DVOA and the last two QBs were Mason Rudolph and Josh Allen. Murray is ranked as high as QB10 in the Footballers’ Consensus Rankings for Week 5.


Dak Prescott vs GB
Dak at home? What gives? The Packers are a “funnel defense” meaning they are all about letting teams run on them while stopping the deep ball. While allowing 5.0 yards per carry (4th MOST in the NFL), they’ve given up the 3rd FEWEST passing yards per game (188). If Dak is turned into a dink-and-dunk passer like he was in New Orleans last week, the ceiling and downfield passer he was in the first couple weeks is gone. He’s still a viable starter but not someone I’d be thrilled about in this matchup against a Green Bay secondary that has given up the 2nd fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs.

Aaron Rodgers @ DAL
On the other side of the ball in this matchup, I’m not crazy about Rodgers. He had the numbers last week against Philadelphia (422 & two TDs) but the pace of the game dictated that type of volume. The Cowboys could certainly slow things down on the ground with Ezekiel Elliott. Dallas has given up fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs and only three passing TDs on the year. He’s a fringe top-12 guy but the name is driving his fantasy value, not always his performances.

Baker Mayfield @ SF
Baker looked like himself last week completing 67% of his passes and driving the ball downfield to the tune of over ten yards per attempt. But this road matchup on Monday night could get ugly. This ain’t your Mama’s 49ers defense as they have improved across the board. San Francisco has allowed the fewest 20+ yard passing plays and only a 57% completion rate-tied for the 3rd lowest in the NFL. The 49ers also have the 9th highest team adjusted sack rate which is trouble for a porous Cleveland offensive line. I’d rather start other streamers who have plus matchups although Baker could get there on sheer volume.

Daniel Jones vs MIN
The rookie QB is 2-0 in his first two starts but this is not the time to get cute in Week 5. The Vikings defense travels well and Dalvin Cook should help control the clock on the ground. The upside is there in any week but I expect a slow, sluggish game with some big-time rookie mistakes.

Last Week: 6/12

2019 Overall Percentage: 60.7%

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