QB1 Primer: Week 7
Some people just want to watch the world burn. Those people are most likely Rams and Browns fans.
Guys, Week 6 was an absolute dumpster fire for the QB position as the CK brothers (Case Keenum and Cody Kessler) decided to ruin our rankings for the week. Did Rams and Browns fans even see that coming? Anyone except for Jason Moore? (#1 on FantasyPros for Week 6, and by far the highest on Keenum) Instead of pouting over and over, maybe we need to realize that everybody is in play for our QB1 rankings. Well everyone except Brock Osweiler who has yet to show even the slightest potential of being mentioned here.
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: Cam Newton and Dak Prescott were not considered as their respective teams are on bye.
Thus far everything has gone according to plan for the future Hall of Famer as he’s turned in two superb performances since coming off suspension. The Patriots travel to Pittsburgh to take on a pass defense ranked third worst in the league with 293.7 yards per game. He’s an automatic start and the consensus QB1 for the week across the expert sites.
Ryan has risen to the occasion the last two weeks against the NFL’s toughest two defenses on the road in Denver and Seattle. He returns home to Atlanta where he faces a San Diego pass defense ranked 24th in the league and without their No. 1 CB Jason Verrett for the rest of the year. The Falcons have the highest team implied total (29.8) of the weekend. In other words, you gotta keep rolling him out there and expect QB1 totals.
Luck has been under siege the entire year and Indianapolis’ line has been nonexistent giving up the most sacks in the league. Luck, however, has been dominant against divisional opponents and gets a Titans secondary which just made Cody Kessler into a QB1 last week. The attempts are there as Luck has averaged 39.5 per game, behind only Joe Flacco. I like Luck as a strong volume play.
There’s a lot to like in Dalton’s Week 7 matchup as the Browns as allowing 285.3 passing yards per game as well as 16 TDs through the air, 2nd most in the league. Cleveland has given up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season. On top of that, he owns the Browns in his career as he had 6 TDs in 2 games against them last year and a couple QB1 finishes. He is a strong start for the week with Cincinnati having the 3rd highest team implied total (27.8) of the weekend.
Marcus Mariota vs IND
Luck’s QB counterpart in Week 7 is Mariota coming off back to back top 3 finishes. The most astounding part has been the fact that he’s thrown less than 30 times these last 2 weeks as his efficiency has been through the roof. That should regress but we’re still expecting solid QB1 numbers against an Indianapolis defense that has given up the 9th most fantasy points to QBs this season. The Colts rank in the bottom 3 in DVOA against the pass and the run. The one cautionary remark would be if the Titans decide to ride DeMarco Murray into the ground against this soft Colts run defense.
Rodgers was surprisingly inept last week at home versus the Cowboys. I’m still not ready to write off the Packers’ QB although it seems this offense has definitely taken a step back. With their running options depleted and Ty Montgomery subbing in as a glorified pass catcher in the backfield, I think ARod will be forced to throw 40+ times in this game with Vegas’ 4th highest team implied total of 27.3. I can see him returning to form at home against a Bears defense allowing a 66.2 completion percentage 9th worst in the league.
The Jaguars QB has been a disappointment, to say the least, thus far with an abysmal first half last week against the Bears before . The Raiders are the worst pass defense in the league (312.7 ypg) and have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs this year. Bortles certainly has a high ceiling this week with the added caveat that he’s always due for a couple turnovers. P.S. Bortles always autocorrects to Bottles.
Kirk Cousins @ DET
Cousins was cruising towards a great Week 6 against division rival Philadelphia before he turned in a typical Cousins head-scratcher with some atrocious INTs off his back foot. He’s yet to have the monster performances he had last year but this could be the week. The Lions allow the most fantasy points to opposing QBs and the most passing TDs (17) in the league. The Lions secondary also is allowing a 73.7 completion percentage, the worst in the league, something that Cousins led the league in last year. Count me in for Captain Kirk.
Last Four In
Cousins’ dueling mate this weekend has been the epitome of consistency thus far as fantasy’s QB2, behind only Matt Ryan for the season. Stafford has thrown for at least three TDs in four of six games this year and gets a Washington secondary at home giving up the worst DVOA numbers to WR2s in the league. In other words, Golden Tate could be due for a repeat performance. The Redskins also give up a healthy 66.8 completion percentage, 6th worst in the league.
Rivers struggled last week failing to eclipse 200 yards for the first time in over 12 games. He receives a juicy Week 7 matchup against the Falcons pass defense which has given up 285.3 yards per game, 6th worst in the NFL. In fact, Atlanta has given up the 2nd most fantasy points to QBs this season. All of this adds up Rivers accumulating lots of yards and a QB1 performance even on the road.
Jameis Winston @ SF
Winston has long not been a favorite of mine as I feel skittish looking as his game tape and lack of footwork in the pocket. But this is fantasy football and we are looking for sheer points in a matchup. With Doug Martin taking a setback in his recovery, I like Mike Evans to go bonkers as the 49ers rank dead last in DVOA versus WR1. Winston has shown in Weeks 1 and 3 that he can be a QB1 and QB1 average of 14.88 from 2015 paced him above other well-known fantasy commodities in a preseason article I wrote entitled “What Makes a QB1?“.
Colin Kaepernick vs. TB
This pick might get some eyebrow raises but it is simply a dart throw with the specific caveat that Carlos Hyde sits out with his injury. Kaepernick looked rough against the Bills last week but gets the Buccaneers and their secondary which allowing 8.6 yards per completion, the third-worst rate in the league. The Bucs have also only registered 3 sacks on the year. This is a GPP play so please do not start Kap over better options. But he could definitely end up in the top 12.
Drew Brees @ KC
After the QB1 performance of Week 6, I’m banishing Brees to the cellar. It seems like his home and road splits are so drastic that I’m left to push the brakes a bit. Brees failed to reach 15 fantasy points in his two road matchups despite juicy matchups (@NYG & @SD). The Chiefs, on the other hand, are tied with the Cardinals with the most INTs (9) in the league and playing in Arrowhead Stadium is never a fun task. If he’s your QB in season long, you’ll most likely start him but fade in all DFS cash games.
Tyrod Taylor @ MIA
Taylor is one of the most enigmatic players to project each week because I’m never quite sure if he’ll pull an Alex Smith and throw for 185 yards as the Bills go into safe mode. He travels to Miami to take on a Dolphins secondary that was effective last week in their surprising upset of the Steelers yet have struggled for most of the season giving up only 236.7 passing yards per game. If LeSean McCoy fails to play, I have a hard time seeing the Bills being able to move the ball effectively. I just don’t see a great ceiling there this week.
Eli Manning @ LA* (In London)
Manning is one of my least favorite players to stick into a lineup. Every time I expect a monster performance he underwhelms and when I expect him to stink he bumbles his way to a QB1 week like last week. Before last’s week OBJ explosion, Manning had failed to surpass 17 fantasy points 4 weeks in a row. The Giants travel to London to take on a Rams defense which ranks in the top 10 in DVOA versus the pass. Eli is not someone I’m not excited about this week.
Carson Palmer vs. SEA
Yuck! I’m staying away from Palmer against a Seattle defense allowing 209.8 passing yards per game, 5th best in the league. Seattle has also given up the 3rd fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs this season. With the Cardinals defense in lockdown mode as well on the other side of the ball, I can’t project this as a high scoring affair and Vegas doesn’t either with a total of just 43.5. We also should be concerned that Palmer failed to reach 13 fantasy points over his last 3 contests.
Last Week’s Record: 4/12 = 33% (Yikes!)
2016 Overall Record: 54.2%