I’m going to take a bird’s eye view today. After all, it’s Week 17 and most of you are injured enough (or ravaged by Covid-19 protocols) that you already know who you are starting this weekend. So here’s a bunch of different ways to rank this year’s quarterbacks, with a few fantasy football nuggets for this week as they pop up.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
Top 5 attempts: Brady, Mahomes, Herbert, Allen, Carr. And whereas Mahomes (579) through Carr (559) is a fairly tight range, Brady (632) is blowing everyone else away. Meanwhile, today the Bucs draw the hapless Jets and Brady is without his starting running back. The Bucs have an implied total of 29.50, highest on the weekend. Sounds juicy.
Top 5 completions: (same 5, different order) Brady, Herbert, Carr, Mahomes, Allen. Again, Brady (422) leads by a wide margin while the range of the other four is smaller (387 to 374). Following this logic, Antonio Brown and Mike Evans would be strong plays in PPR formats—Gronk would too. You can even take a dart on Breshad Perriman if you’re desperate.
Top 5 completion %: Tagovailoa, Burrow, Murray, Carr, Prescott. The caveat with Tua is that he’s only played in 11 games. Tua ranks 30 in attempts but 26th in completions. The Dolphins are in a tough spot on the road against the Titans, but Tua has stud rookie Jaylen Waddle and a cast of really solid secondary pieces to throw to...he should find a way to be relevant against a pass funnel Tennessee defense. I like him to best his QB15 ECR today.
Bottom 5 completion %: Zach Wilson, Sam Darnold, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Jalen Hurts. Of these five, only Hurts (16) has double-digit passing scores. Lawrence has an abysmal nine passing scores over 15 games played. The Jaguars have an implied 12.50 total today, which is just obscene. Fire up that New England defense, folks. And don’t be surprised if Rhamondre Stevenson is a solid flex play in a game where the Patriots should be running out the clock. Stevenson had seen double-digit carries in five of his previous six games prior to missing Week 16 (Covid-19 list).
Top 5 passing TDs: Brady, Stafford, Allen, Mahomes, Herbert. Allen’s inclusion on this list seems silly when you consider his rushing upside. There’s a reason he’s the consensus QB1 against the Atlanta Falcons this week.
Top 5 in yardage/game: Brady, Herbert, Carr, Stafford, Mahomes. Shouts to Stafford for his chunk gains—his 8.1 Y/A ranks third, trailing only Joe Burrow and Jimmy Garoppolo. As Jimmy G. is out this week, if you’re looking for chunk yardage, it’s Burrow against the upstart Chiefs defense or Stafford against the reeling Baltimore Ravens. Stafford (534) ranks eighth in attempts, while Burrow (481) is buried at 12th. Burrow and the Bengals did show us their upside last week, though. I don’t think you can bench your Rams or Bengals today.
Top 5 sack %: Fields, Wilson, Lamar Jackson, Burrow, Tannehill. At least Burrow and Tanny have spread theirs out over a full 15 games...Fields (10), Wilson (11), and Lamar (12), though...yikes. And sure, you’ve got some scramblers in there. I get it. It’s just one stat, not the entire story.
Top 5 NY/A: Jimmy G, Stafford, Burrow, Murray, Carr. I think we are underselling Derek Carr and the season he has had, especially without stud tight end Darren Waller over the past few weeks. He’s only thrown for 20 scores, but the 12 picks (2.1% INT%) is upper third in the league and I have to think he’d have had a few scores with a healthier Waller and without the tragedy that was Henry Ruggs III this year. You certainly don’t have to start him on the road against Indy if you have a better option, but I might be into using him as a bridge QB in dynasty formats if his owner is sour on him.
Lastly, for my part I like to [loosely] cluster quarterbacks in terms of implied point totals. I’m generally doing so in three categories—25+, 20-24, and 19 and below. There are a few surprises today. Mac Jones and the Patriots (29.00) vs. Jacksonville, and Carson Wentz and Indy (26.50) vs. the Raiders in the first category. Not saying you have to start those QBs—both are obviously equipped with stellar run games and defenses that can score points.
In the second grouping (20-24), I’d say Kyler Murray and Arizona (22.75) is a total that might surprise you. Murray’s passing has taken a hit with the loss of DeAndre Hopkins, but he’s still a threat to run. That said, Dallas has a formidable defense. Murray’s QB9 ECR is probably justified this week.
In the 19 and below grouping, I’d say Derek Carr (18.50) and Tua Tagovailoa (18.75) are the obvious guys to trust. Davis Mills is getting a lot of helium for a guy on a bad team with an implied total of 15.50...just sayin’.
I know I’m a bit odd with the bird’s eye approach. I just honestly couldn’t stomach ranking the likes of Mannion, Boyle, Glennon, and etc. this week. But as always, hit us up in the comments or on Twitter @faketeams with any queries!