We’ll be without arguably the top option due to a bye week, as Matt Ryan is going to be sitting on the sidelines and resting up. That doesn’t leave us without viable options, however, as there are some juicy matchups across the board to exploit. Who offers the best value and who do we want to be conservative with? Let’s take a look:
Tom Brady – New England Patriots – at San Francisco
Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cleveland
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – at Washington
Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – at Indianapolis
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Philadelphia
Eli Manning – New York Giants – vs. Chicago
Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. New Orleans
Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Buffalo
Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – vs. Green Bay
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Baltimore
Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals – at Minnesota
Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Detroit
Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers – vs. New England
Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills – at Cincinnati
Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Kansas City
Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – vs. Houston
Brock Osweiler – Houston Texans – at Oakland
Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. Jacksonville
Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Tampa Bay
Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – at Dallas
Tyan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins – at Los Angeles
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Seattle
Sam Bradford – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Arizona
Drew Brees has now thrown for over 300 years and 3+ TD in four of his past five games, including a 465 yard, 4 TD, 1 INT performance against the Panthers on October 16. Two of the big performances have come on the road and we all know that Carolina has struggled stopping opposing quarterbacks this season (sixth most points per week allowed). You could argue the order of the Top 3, as they are almost interchangeable, but Brees is as good a bet as any.
Marcus Mariota is coming off a game where he shredded the Green Bay Packers, to the tune of 295 yards and 4 TD. He’s now thrown 2+ TD in six straight games, including 7 TD in his past two (he threw for 313 yards at San Diego the week before). The Colts have struggled against opposing quarterbacks, including just 17 TD vs. 3 INT, and with the way Mariota has been playing he’s a good bet to keep the good times rolling.
It’s been a season in the making, but Russell Wilson finally appears to be healthy and primed to produce big numbers on a weekly basis. Over the past two weeks he’s thrown for 630 yards and 5 TD, while also rushing for another TD. Philadelphia may not represent the easiest matchup, but consider him a QB1 in all formats.
Blake Bortles has been a disappointment, but the fact that Jacksonville is consistently falling behind and forced to go with a pass-heavy offense has helped buoy his numbers. He’s thrown the ball at least 40 times each of the past four weeks, and over the past three he has 7 TD vs. 2 INT. While they may not fall behind quite as much against Detroit, the fact that opposing QB have taken it to Detroit keeps Bortles on the QB1 spectrum, though hardly a must use option.
Before Monday night Eli Manning had thrived at home (344.5 yards per game) while struggled on the road (215.8 yards per game). With this one coming against the Bears, at home, dial him up as a QB1.
Does anyone really want to trust Colin Kaepernick? It’s tough, but he now has rushed for 55+ yards in three of his four starts and that’s going to give him value. Throw in the fact that the 49ers could fall behind early to the Patriots, forcing him to air the ball out, and there’s reason to view him as a high-level QB2.
Don’t look now but Derek Carr has thrown for 225 yards or fewer in three of his past four games (and four of his past six). In the past four he has three games of 1 TD or fewer and he doesn’t add value with his legs. It’s easy to over-rank him, but don’t make that mistake.