by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
While we have some clarity as to who the best quarterback options are who are questionable plays, there’s still a lot of issues hanging over the position. Whether it’s injuries, potential change (like in Minnesota, where Teddy Bridgewater is looming) or simply poor play (like Dak Prescott or Alex Smith of late) there are numerous situations that are difficult to trust. Who are the quarterbacks to play? Who are better left on your bench? Let’s take a look at how things stack up early in Week 12:
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – at San Francisco
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – vs. Miami
- Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Giants
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – at New York Jets
- Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Chicago
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Green Bay
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Tampa Bay
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Atlanta
- Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams – vs. New Orleans
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – at Los Angeles Rams
- Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Buffalo
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. Minnesota
- Jacoby Brissett – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
- Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers – at Dallas
- Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – vs. Denver
- Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills – at Kansas City
- Case Keenum – Minnesota Vikings – at Detroit
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Houston
- Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – at Indianapolis
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – at Washington
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Arizona
- Josh McCown – New York Jets – vs. Carolina
- C.J. Beathard – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Seattle
- The New York Giants may have stepped up and played a strong defensive game against Alex Smith (230 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT) and the Kansas City Chiefs, but does anyone expect it to continue Thanksgiving night against the Redskins? Cousins is coming off an impressive day against the Saints (322 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT) and he’s now topped 300 yards in four of his past six games (320+ in three of those, 649 yards over the past two weeks). Obviously the loss of Chris Thompson is going to hurt, but that’s not enough of a concern considering how banged up the running back corps is. Fire Cousins up in all formats.
- We were down on Drew Brees entering Week 11, as the Saints continued to move towards a running back dominated offense. He was usable, given the matchup, and he ended up producing spectacular numbers with 385 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT. Will he be able to continue that production against the Los Angeles Rams, who have yielded the fourth fewest points per week to opposing quarterbacks? That’s a tough sell, and while others may get excited Brees is more of a risky QB1/solid QB2 option.
- A few weeks ago the thought of sitting Dak Prescott was a crazy one, but things have gotten ugly in Dallas in the blink of an eye. After being sacked early and often in Week 10 (ending with 176 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT), he struggled again in Week 11. Taking on the Eagles he was held to 145 yards, 0 TD and 3 INT, giving him three disastrous games in his last four (176 yards or fewer and 0 TD in these games). The Chargers are not an easy matchup, and that’s going to make Prescott hands off in single-quarterback formats.
- After impressing over the first seven weeks of the season, things have taken a turn for Alex Smith. He hadn’t thrown an interception in his first eight games, but he now has 3 INT in the past two games. He’s also struggled to generate yardage, posting games of 202, 263 and 230 (if we go back further he’s been at 263 yards or fewer in four of his past five games). He’s becoming a TD dependent quarterback, and he’s taking on a Buffalo defense that isn’t a guarantee to allow one. Consider him more of a backend QB1/solid QB2.
- Joe Flacco has a favorable matchup against the Texans, but does that mean he’s going to be able to take advantage? His season high is 261 yards and he’s thrown for more than 1 TD just twice (and never more than 2). There’s going to be allure, though don’t consider him more than a QB2.
- Jacoby Brissett has been playing well as of late, even without the yardage, as he’s thrown for 2 TD in each of his past three games. A matchup with Tennessee adds to the potential appeal, especially after we watched Ben Roethlisberger and company torch them on Thursday night. His ceiling isn’t high enough to be considered a QB1, but he’s a solid QB2 in all formats assuming he can clear the concussion protocol and is ready to play.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings: