It’s Savage Garden week as one of the consensus must starts of the week is the mustache-wielding, jorts sporting Jaguars QB. But before we jump into our crystal ball predictions, make sure you check out the Halloween Episode of the Footballers on Youtube. You won’t want to miss this!
Here is a reminder for how I organize each week’s top-12 before we move on to discuss Week 9.
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 9.
Russell Wilson vs TB
Wilson is the top play this week at home and it should be obvious. He leads the league in passing TDs (2.1 per game), INT %, and QB Rating while still averaging almost 23 rush yards per game. This game has the highest over/under (50.5) and the Bucs pass defense knows how to let up fantasy points. They rank 26th in pass DVOA and have allowed the 6th most fantasy points to QBs on the season. 250+ yards and three TDs seem more than fair to assume.
Aaron Rodgers @ LAC
Rodgers has turned it up another notch these last few weeks and returned to the top tier conversation averaging the 2nd most QB fantasy points over the last month. The Chargers on the road aren’t as formidable defense as they might seem ranking 27th in defensive DVOA and 25th against the pass. The Packers have a healthy 25-point team implied total and the Chargers allow the 4th highest pass success rate according to Sports Info Solutions. If Davante Adams is back, this is a slam dunk.
Matthew Stafford @ OAK
Stafford has resurrected himself as a downfield passer and just in time as the Lions backfield is in shambles. It’s a good thing the Raiders rank 28th in pass DVOA, allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to QBs, and the third-most passing yards per game. Stafford should connect on a deep one with Kenny Golladay or Marvin Jones Jr. as the Raiders have allowed the 2nd most 20+ yard passing plays in the league. Matty Snapback is Jason’s Start of the Week.
Deshaun Watson @ JAX
Watson is still a top-5 guy but honestly, he’s had little success versus the Jaguars. In four career games, he’s averaging 159 passing yards per game, 0.5 TDs, and has been sacked 15 times! But this isn’t the same shutdown Sacksonville crew of years before. Watson has the 5th MOST passing yards in the NFL and the 3rd highest pass success rate. The Jags have also given up the 7th most 20+ yard pass plays, which means Nuk Hopkins and Kenny Stills should feast on a team without Jalen Ramsey.
Dak Prescott @ NYG
The Cowboys have underachieved considering they are Football Outsiders #1 offensive unit, 2nd on the ground, and 3rd ranked through the air. This should be a get right spot on Monday Night Football as the Cowboys sport the 2nd highest team implied total of the week. The Giants have given up the 4th most passing yards and the most 20+ yard pass plays at 4.5 per game. Dak is solid coming off the bye and is Mike’s QB2 for Week 9.
Lamar Jackson vs NE
This can be the scary matchup and if it was in Foxboro, I might be more pessimistic. Jackson’s floor is just too high as 70+ rushing yards seem to be on the table. Bill Belichick will definitely scheme in such a way to take away Baltimore’s best offensive weapon but Jackson is also a once-in-a-generation QB. He’s never scored below 15 fantasy points in his career and has improved his passing game enough to make a dent in this historic Patriots defense.
Josh Allen vs WSH
Allen hasn’t busted out in a huge way yet but maybe its the consistency we need to see him step into as an NFL passer. He’s thrown for multiple TDs three games in a row and completing 60% of his passes, a major step up from 52% last year. He also brings 33 rushing yards per game to the table and Washington is a bottom-feeder in many defensive categories. They’ve allowed the 10th most passing yards, rank 24th in pass DVOA and 26th in defensive adjusted line yards. Allen and the Bills should have their way at home as 9.5-point favorites.
Gardner Minshew II vs. HOU
He’s the cover boy for the reason as Savage Garden is the QB11 on the season averaging 20.6 fantasy pts per game. He also has a high floor as he’s averaged the 5th MOST QB Rushing yards in NFL, 25 yards per game. The Texans have given up the 5th MOST passing yards (275 ypg) & the 5th most fantasy points per game to QBs. He’s Mike’s Start of the Week for a reason.
Four In the Door
Derek Carr vs DET
Carr has been more than competent this season and gets a perfect home matchup that will make you want to pick him up off the wire and start in Week 9. Detroit has allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs and check out the stat lines of the last three QBs that have faced them: 283 & 2 TDs, 338 yards & 4 TDs and 322 yards & 4 TDs. Carr leads the NFL in completion percentage and has a healthy Tyrell Williams back. Send in the Carr as Andy’s Start of the Week.
Jameis Winston @ SEA
Winston is a ticking time bomb and while a road matchup is scary, this Seattle defense shouldn’t intimidate you. Seattle has allowed 3rd MOST passing yards, the 9th MOST 20+ yard pass plays and 19.6 fantasy points per game to the QB position, about right where we want to be for QB1-ville. With the highest over/under and a possible negative game script trying to keep pace with Russell Wilson and company, Winston could get there on sheer volume.
Philip Rivers vs GB
Rivers has been just… ok for fantasy this year with some obvious streamable weeks and others not so much. The Packers defense started out the year hot but has been exposed recently. Over the last month, they’ve allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing QBs, 3rd most to WRs, and the 4th most to TEs. They’ve also allowed the 7th most passing yards and the 4th most passing plays of 20+ yards. The volume has been there all year long for Rivers as he’s averaging 38 attempts per game. I think he cashes in on a low-end QB1 week with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams sees his 1st TD of the year after ten in 2018.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs NYJ
Let’s get nuts with this REVENGE GAME NARRATIVE. At this point, Fitz has basically played for everyone so every game is a revenge game but we remember Fitzmagic best for fantasy when he was pumping that dynamic duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker with target after target. Miami has the highest percentage of pass plays in the league so the opportunity is always there. The Jets defense has the lowest sack rate % on dropbacks in the league. If there’s no pressure on the QB, Fitzpatrick can easily connect with DeVante Parker or Preston Williams on a couple of TDs.
Baker Mayfield @ DEN
It’s been rough for Baker in 2019. He has a 5.2 INT %; that’s the 3rd highest among qualifying QBs over the last 10 years behind only Matt Barkley & 41-yr-old Brett Favre as a Viking. Woof. I don’t want to roll the dice on the road even after a bye week as the Broncos rank 5th in pass DVOA and given up the 7th fewest QB fantasy points. Wait till next week… oh wait they play Buffalo. Ok, maybe the week after. Maybe.
Kirk Cousins @ KC
Last week Cousins threw for only 90 passing yards as the team cruised to any easy Thursday night victory over the Redskins. I think the Vikings will ride the run game once against a team that has given up the most fantasy points to opposing RBs over the last month. If Patrick Mahomes plays, then this is a different conversation.
Jacoby Brissett @ PIT
Brissett came back down to earth last week going 15-of-25 for 200 yards and no TDs after setting a blistering TD rate (6.8%) through his first six weeks. He’s off the streaming radar for me on the road in Pittsburgh against a defense that ranks 10th against opposing fantasy QBs. He’s all the way down at the Footballers Consensus QB18 for the week.
Daniel Jones vs DAL
Make room for the QB1 from last week… to return to the bench. The rookie definitely has had two monster weeks and the rest have been implosions. I don’t love him in a Primetime matchup against their division rival. The Cowboys have given up the 8th fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs and only 228 passing yards per game.
Last Week: 5/12
2019 Overall Percentage: 56%