by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s an interesting week for quarterbacks, as you have to try and value emerging young quarterbacks (Deshaun Watson) and struggling stars (like Matt Ryan). Sprinkle in a few injuries and same impressive options early who offer some risk (Alex Smith) and it could prove to be a bit of a tricky week to maneuver. Let’s take a look at how things currently shake out early in the week:
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – at New York Jets
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – at Minnesota
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. Philadelphia
- Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans – vs. Cleveland
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Detroit
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Miami
- Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – vs. San Francisco
- Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – at Oakland
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – at New Orleans
- Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Tampa Bay
- Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Arizona
- Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Pittsburgh
- Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Carolina
- Trevor Semien – Denver Broncos – vs. New York Giants
- Josh McCown – New York Jets – vs. New England
- Jacoby Brissett – Indianapolis Colts – at Tennessee
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Los Angeles Rams
- Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – vs. San Diego
- Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams – at Jacksonville
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Kansas City
- Sam Bradford – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
- Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – at Baltimore
- Chris Hogan – Cleveland Browns – at Houston
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – at Denver
- Jay Cutler – Miami Dolphins – at Atlanta
- Over the past two weeks Deshaun Watson has thrown for 9 TD vs. 1 INT, and now draws a Cleveland defense that is in the bottom five in the league against opposing quarterbacks (11 TD vs. 3 INT on the season). This almost feels like a “trap” situation, and with any young quarterback there is going to be some risk, but it’s impossible not to consider him one of the better options for the coming week.
- Dating back to the end of ’16, Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 3+ TD in five of his past seven starts. That includes a 4 TD performance against the Vikings, and while the matchup is tough on paper his receiving corps is getting healthy and it’s impossible to keep him from the top of the rankings.
- If Marcus Mariota is healthy he’d be a borderline QB1, but it’s no guarantee. Ian Rapoport had reported that his injury generally takes 2-4 weeks, so if he does manage to play there’s going to be the risk of reinjury or being limited. For now we’ll keep him off the rankings, but monitor the news just in case.
- Matt Ryan simply hasn’t been very good this season. Heading into his Week 5 bye he had thrown 3 TD vs. 5 INT over a two-game span, though the hope is that the Falcons can use the extra week to get healthy and things on track. He has a somewhat favorable matchup to do so, with the Dolphins having yet to pick up an INT over their first four games.
- The total line for Philip Rivers is a bit deceiving, with 1,365 yards, 9 TD and 5 INT. Of course if you take out his Week 3 performance against the Chiefs he’s thrown for 1,128 yards (282 yards/game), 9 TD and 2 INT. In other words he’s been highly impressive and draws an Oakland defense that has allowed 6 TD without an INT on the year. Fire Rivers up in all formats.
- It’s been a surprisingly great season thus far for Alex Smith, though he draws a tough matchup in the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’ve allowed just 820 passing yards to opposing QB, with 3 TD vs. 5 INT. His performance thus far keeps him on the QB1 radar, but it’s impossible to trust him fully despite the numbers.
- For as good as Jared Goff has been, taking on a Jacksonville team that has allowed 3 TD against a league best 10 INT is a scary proposition. He’s a risky QB2 play, but it’s obviously impossible to trust him.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 rankings: