by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It is crunch time for fantasy owners, whether the playoffs have started or are about to start in your fantasy league. Does that mean it’s time to go out on a limb and take a gamble or do you stick with the players who got you hear (regardless of the matchup or if they are currently struggling)? It’s not necessarily an easy decision, especially at quarterback, so let’s take a look at our rankings for the coming week to try and make a decision:
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – vs. Philadelphia
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – at Detroit
- Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals – at St. Louis
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Cleveland
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Indianapolis
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – at Minnesota
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at Tampa Bay
- Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – New York Jets – at New York Giants
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. Green Bay
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – vs. New York Jets
- Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – vs. San Francisco
- Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – vs. Denver
- Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins – vs. Baltimore
- Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – vs. Jacksonville
- Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills – vs. Houston
- Josh McCown – Cleveland Browns – vs. Cincinnati
- Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Atlanta
- Brock Osweiller – Denver Broncos – at San Diego
- Matt Schaub – Baltimore Ravens – at Miami
- Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
- Matt Hasselbeck – Indianapolis Colts – at Pittsburgh
- We should’ve learned by now, but at this point does it really matter who is healthy in the receiving corps or what the matchup is? Obviously the potential loss of Rob Gronkowski could change things, but after putting up 280 yards and 3 TD against the Broncos on Sunday night there should be no question that he’s going to produce regardless of who’s around him. The fact that the matchup is extremely favorable only adds to the appeal, though it’s hard to slot him atop the rankings unless Gronkowski is on the field.
- While Blake Bortles wasn’t overly impressive against the Titans a few weeks ago (242 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), the matchup is actually promising. Over the past four weeks they have allowed 1,081 passing yards, 7 TD and 2 INT, putting them in the Top 10 in the league. Bortles has thrown for 2+ TD in all but two games this season and is gaining a rapport with tight end Julius Thomas. That just makes the offense that much more dangerous and the upside for Bortles that much higher.
- Joe Haden is trying to work his way back from a concussion, but without him the Browns secondary has been miserable of the past few weeks. Even if he plays Andy Dalton will be a must use option, but if he’s sidelined again Dalton’s stock rises that much higher.
- Tampa Bay’s defense has 7 INT over the past four weeks, giving them the impression of a more difficult matchup for Matt Ryan (who has thrown 5 INT over his past two games). Three of them came against Mark Sanchez, though, so we have to take the number with a bit of a grain of salt. Ryan is averaging nearly 300 yards per game, including taking the Buccaneers for 397 yards and 2 TD a few weeks back. Despite the recent struggles, don’t shy away from him.
- Drew Brees has an incredibly difficult matchup with the Panthers, but he’s also a different quarterback at home (363.6 yards per game, 14 TD, 4 INT). He has struggled the past two weeks, but both came on the road. He’s a borderline QB1, but the risk of the opponent has to keep him suppressed down the rankings a bit.
- Are we really willing to trust Ryan Fitzpatrick as a QB1? He’s coming off a big game against the Dolphins (277 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT) and has an extremely promising matchup against the Giants. He’s averaging just 225.1 yards per game, making it difficult, but there’s more than enough upside to consider him depending on your alternatives.
- There was a bit of poor luck for Eli Manning this past week, with two of the interceptions (he threw three) coming off tipped balls. The Giants need someone besides Odell Beckham Jr. to step up on the outside, but with the Jets secondary struggling with or without Darrelle Revis there’s enough of a reason to consider him once again this week.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings: