QB1 Primer: Week 13

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Coming off a particularly bonkers week for QBs as Colin Kaepernick was the QB1, Matt Barkley threw for 300, Jared Goff went for 3 TDs in one half, Trevor Siemian was QB4… It was wild my friends. But we venture into Week 13 where everything changes especially for those hopeful to make it into the fantasy playoffs. Playoffs?!? You talking about playoffs?!?!

Just a weekly reminder: Here at the QB1 Primer, we look at the varying tiers of quarterbacks, assessing risk, home/away matchups, Vegas totals and realizing each week will have a bit of spontaneity. This isn’t predicting order, but simply identifying who is likely to be among the top 12.

***Note: We venture once again into tough territory for QB1s as Week 13 offers only 2 bye teams, Cleveland and Tennessee and therefore Josh McCown and Marcus Mariota cannot be considered this week. 30 possibilities to choose from and only 12 spots available. In other words, we have to send 18 others home crying in this elimination.

Want to see where Andy, Mike, and Jason have each QB ranked for Week 13? Check out their Week 13 QB Consensus Rankings

Four-Sures

Drew Brees vs. DET
After last week’s monster 5 total TD performance, Brees vaults to the top of the QB1 conversation this week in Vegas’ highest over/under (53.5) for the weekend. The Lions allow the highest completion percentage (74%) in the league and are tied with the Packers for 3rd most passing TDs (22) allowed. They rank dead last in total DVOA and against the pass. This is a softball so get ready to start rounding the bases.

Tom Brady vs. LA
Brady got back on track last week attempting a season-high 50 passes while going for 286 yards and 2 TDs in a hard fought win over the Jets. He’ll get the Rams at home who just gave up Brees’ unbelievable fantasy day. With the 2nd highest team implied total (29) of the weekend, you have to like Brady’s chances at 3 TDs at home. Duh!

Aaron Rodgers vs. HOU
This guy is basically bullet proof right now as a QB1 throwing for 300 yards+ in 3 straight games. Houston may look like a bad matchup on paper (11th best against the pass) but has surrendered 8 TDs in their last 3 games, all QB1 performances. Don’t think twice. You’re starting Mr. Discount Double-Check.

Ben Roethlisberger vs. NYG
Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and the Steelers torched the Colts on Thanksgiving night and you have to love the game script in play for Week 13 which could be a barn-burner. Vegas currently has this game at a 49.5 over/under and the Giants are susceptible to the big play allowing 40 20+ yard plays, tied for 6th most in the league. New York also gives up the 2nd most passing attempts (41.5) in the league but have somehow allowed only 10 passing TDs on the year. There will be some positive regression in the latter category and I’m feeling Big Ben at home as a top 5 play this week.

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Philip Rivers vs TB
I love the potential of this game to turn into a fantasy bonanza as the over/under (47.5) is set lower than I foresee and discussed in this week’s “Burning Questions”. Rivers has thrown for multiple TDs in 4 straight weeks and faces a Tampa Bay pass defense that has given up 20 passing TDs on the season, bottom ten in the league. The Buccaneers have been particularly inept against pass catching backs ranking 27th in DVOA. I like Rivers to light it up at home for 280+ yards and 2 TDs.

Russell Wilson vs. CAR
Wilson’s offensive line looked lost last week and was routinely beaten as the Buccaneers registered 6 sacks. Still, the offense should have ample opportunities against a Panthers defense which gave up 315 yards and 2 TDs to Derek Carr last week. Carolina has given up the 9th most fantasy points to QBs this season and the 5th most completions in the league. I believe this sets up well for Wilson to get back on track to QB1-ville.

Matthew Stafford @ NO
Stafford has long been buried in the middling QB group of 15-20 each week in my rankings but now receives an early Christmas present playing the Saints. They rank 25th in DVOA against the pass and 29th against pass catching RBs which bodes well for Theo Riddick. If the Lions want to be able to keep pace with Brees, they’ll have to open up the offense for Golden Tate and my FanDuel GPP Dart-Throw of the Week, Marvin Jones Jr. Stafford was QB3 over the first 5 weeks of the season and I think he can enter back into the top 12 conversation against a defense giving up 271.4 yards per game, 26th in the league. His ceiling is as high as anyone’s this week.

Andrew Luck @ NYJ
Luck missed last week due to a concussion, but after practicing seems in line to play Monday night against the Jets. New York ranks 30th in DVOA versus the pass and have registered the 3rd fewest sacks (19) in the league. Luck has been a QB1 performer in 6 out of his 10 starts this year. He’s ranked 6th in the Footballers’ QB rankings for Week 13 and screams like a strong start if you’re willing to stomach the wait until Monday night.

Last Four in the Door

Jameis Winston @ SD
The Buccaneers shocked us all last week as their defense held a lead after Winston and Mike Evans started out hot. Winston has now eclipsed 17 fantasy points in each of his last 6 starts showcasing a great floor. As I said earlier with Rivers, I like the underrated potential of this game turning into a shootout. Although San Diego leads the league in INTs (14) thanks to CB Casey Hayward, they have been particularly vulnerable to mobile QBs (Alex Smith, Blake Bortles, Marcus Mariota) and have given up QB1 performances in half of their games this year. He’s a borderline top 10 play for me and sits at 9th overall for Mike this week.

Tyrod Taylor @ OAK
This is one of the sneakiest calls of the week and one I think many will overlook in a huge slate of games. I like Taylor’s opportunity for relatively safe QB1 territory for a couple reasons. The game has a giant over/under of 49.5, tied for second highest of the weekend. They’ve allowed the fifth most passing yards (273.5) and the 8th most fantasy points to QBs this season while ranking 29th in total DVOA. The Raiders also are tied with the Browns with the fewest sacks (16) in the NFL. I’m projecting him to low owned in GPPs so Taylor could pay huge dividends.

Alex Smith @ ATL
Smith, who has been up-and-down all year, gets a dream matchup for Week 13. The Falcons allow the most passing yards (282.2) per game and the 3rd most passing TDs (25) in the league. These are staggering numbers when you also consider that Atlanta averages giving up 26.6 fantasy points to opposing QBs at home this season! He’s a wonderful streaming option for owners looking for a boom play heading into the playoffs. Smith is Jason’s “Stream of the Week”.

Ryan Fitzpatrick vs IND
It’s time to finish No Shave November off right with some true bearded magic as we roll with FiztMagic once again. The Colts allow the 3rd most passing yards (278.7) in the league while being tied for 4th most passing TDs (22) allowed. In other words, this pass defense is atrocious and ranks 31st in total DVOA and have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to QBs this season. Curiously, the Colts have only intercepted 3 passes on the year although we know Fitz specializes in this category. He is Andy’s “Stream of the Week“.

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Four-Get-About-It

Cam Newton @ SEA
Newton and the entire Carolina offense was looking downright ugly last week when he stumbled into half time versus the Raiders with a measly 18 yards passing. This isn’t the same offensive juggernaut that went to the Super Bowl last year and this is the week fantasy owners need to come back to reality and realize their franchise QB should be sat down. The Seahawks rank 6th in DVOA versus the pass and have allowed only 10 passing TDs, tied for 2nd fewest in the league. The Panthers also have the 4th lowest team implied total (18.8) of the week. I’ll be sitting Newton down in Seattle and not taking my chances that this game turns into a FG-fest.

Matt Ryan vs. KC
This one will come as a surprise as Ryan has been a top 3 QB all season long and will be a 3.5 point favorite at home in a game with a 49 over/under. However, he’s facing a Kansas City defense that is heating up down the stretch and ranks 8th best in DVOA versus the pass. Where the Chiefs really faulted is against the run giving up the 4th most yards (121.4) per game on the ground in the league. I’m banking on Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman gathering the scores on the ground and won’t be using Ryan in any DFS lineup this weekend.

Colin Kaepernick @ CHI
Kap has been a revelation for fantasy owners as he’s mixed a consistent floor over the last 6 weeks with absolute monster game last week against the Dolphins in which he ran for 113 yards. But I’m going to play the contrarian this week and fade him and the 49ers offense in this depressing matchup. The Bears rank 11th best against the pass (238.9 ypg) and I don’t see the same negative game scripts nor high scoring potential (43.5 over/under) which produced Kap’s mega fantasy game last week coming to fruition. The 49ers team implied total of 20.5 doesn’t push me over the edge to project Kap inside the top 12 for the week.

Dak Prescott @ MIN
I have sincerely loved starting Dak over the past couple of weeks but will be benching the rookie on Thursday night in Minnesota. The Vikings rank 4th best in DVOA versus the pass and the 43.5 over/under doesn’t scream fantasy blowout. He could sneak into the top 15 but the ceiling isn’t there this week for me.

Last Week’s Record: 6/12 = 50%

2016 Overall Record: 55%

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