The record pace from the 2018 collection of NFL quarterbacks continued this week, as the average QB Index rating came in at 57.2%, the second highest week of the season so far. That means the average rating for 2018 has increased to 53.3%, over four percentage points up on the same point in 2017 (49.1%).
Deshaun Watson blew the competition away this week as on Thursday Night Football he finished with the highest grade of the 2018 season so far with a 98.5% rating against the Dolphins. Ruthlessly efficient, Watson threw 5 touchdown passes on just 20 attempts, completed 80% of his passes overall and was just 1 passing yard from a perfect rating. Watson becomes the 8th different player to lead the weekly rankings in 2018 and moves up 9 places in the overall rankings from 25th to 16th. In fantasy terms, he has moved up from the 17th ranked fantasy QB to 14th after his 30.96 point game, the 5th 30+ point game of his short career and his second best of 2018 (31.1 pts vs Indy Week 4). The loss of Will Fuller to a season-ending ACL tear is a major blow, but trading for Demaryius Thomas gives Watson another viable option as the Texans look to take control of the AFC South.
Ryan Fitzpatrick came off the bench to lead an 18 point comeback for the Bucs, before seeing his defense give up a last second field goal to lose the game. Fitzmagic produced an 89.4% rating, his second highest of 2018 which sees him jump back up 3 spots to 3rd in the overall rankings and reclaim the starting job in Tampa. People will be scrambling back to the waiver wire to pick him back up this week as he is still a top 3 QB in fantasy points per game (24.0). A trip to Carolina in Week 9, who have the 19th rated fantasy defense for QBs should be an attractive match up to target.
Russell Wilson continues his ascendant run, as he posted his highest rating of the season for the 3rd straight week, this time with a 87.9% rating in the Seahawks’ victory over the Lions. It was Wilson’s highest rating since Week 14 of the 2015 season (89.4%), and his 23.42 fantasy points are much more in line with last season, where Wilson led the league with an average of 23.55 points per game.
Like Wilson, it was the highest rated week of the season for both Derek Carr and Andrew Luck, who posted ratings of 86.4% and 78.8% respectively in their face off in Oakland. For Carr, it tied his highest ever rating (Week 7, 2015), and his 4th highest ever fantasy total, with 27.76 points. Luck now sits as the QB6 in fantasy and is a must start in what has become a solidly balanced offense in Indy.
Joe Flacco was back to his worst this week as he posted the week’s lowest rating with 19.7%, which was also his worst of 2018. Jameis Winston found himself benched after throwing his fourth interception of the game against the Bengals and finished with a 31.8% rating, his worst since returning to the starting line up and he will now find himself watching from the bench in Week 9.
In terms of the overall rankings, Philip Rivers stays top after his bye week, with Patrick Mahomes up to second as he posted his third consecutive rating of over 70% in the Chiefs win over the Broncos. Mahomes remains the standout QB1 in fantasy, averaging more than 3 points per game more than the next best player (Cam Newton). Drew Brees drops down to 5th overall after his second worst rating of 2018 with 51.5%, though he did still complete over 78% of his passes and is at over 77% for the season to date which would smash his own completion rate record.
At the bottom, Buffalo now have three of the bottom four quarterbacks in the league through 8 games and a concussion for Derek Anderson against the Patriots means its back to the Nathan Peterman experience this week.
QB Index Ratings - Week 8
QB Index Ratings - 2018 Season to Date
Do the rankings match up with your views of the league’s signal callers? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on twitter @PaddiCooper