by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The bye weeks get dialed up another notch this week, with six teams getting a week of rest. That’s not ideal for fantasy owners, especially with some of the “trustworthy” options that are on the field drawing difficult matchups. Who are the quarterbacks worth using? Who are the ones that we should be shying away from? Let’s see how it all stack up:
- Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs – at Cleveland
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – at New England
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. Tampa Bay
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – vs. Green Bay
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at Washington
- Jared Goff – St. Louis Rams – at New Orleans
- Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – at Buffalo
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. St. Louis
- Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Detroit
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans – at Denver
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – at Minnesota
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Baltimore
- Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – at San Francisco
- Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers – at Seattle
- Alex Smith – Washington Redskins – vs. Atlanta
- Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns – vs. Kansas City
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Carolina
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
- Case Keenum – Denver Broncos – vs. Houston
- C.J. Beathard – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Oakland
- Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Tennessee
- Sam Darnold – New York Jets – at Miami
- Brock Osweiler – Miami Dolphins – vs. New York Jets
- Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – at Dallas
- Cam Newton has thrown for at least 2 TD in six straight games, putting him at 13 TD vs. 4 INT overall. He’s also rushed for at least 40 yards in three straight games (he has at least 29 rushing yards in all seven games), including 52 yards and 1 TD in Week 8. Couple that production with a matchup against Tampa Bay, which is allowing the most points per week to opposing quarterbacks, and it’s easy to consider Newton one of the best options this week.
- The Buffalo Bills don’t represent an easy matchup, but Mitchell Trubisky continues to show his skills week in and week out. He’s not thought of as a running quarterback, though he now has rushed for at least 47 yards in four straight games. That ability to “save” his day is always going to boost his ranking, and he also continues to throw multiple touchdowns per week (13 TD over his past four games). He’s showing why Chicago ensured that they acquired him last season and has entrenched himself as a QB1 in all formats.
- While Deshaun Watson did throw for 5 TD in Week 8, is anyone willing to bank on him replicating that performance? He threw the ball just 20 times, giving him 25 attempts or fewer in three straight weeks while he’s also rushed for a total of 29 yards over these past three games. While a matchup with Denver offers a little bit of upside, it’s not necessarily ideal. He’s not unusable as a QB1, but he’s also not one we’d want to trust.
- Russell Wilson is in a similar situation to Watson, throwing 26 passes or fewer in five straight games. The difference is he has a more favorable matchup against the Chargers and has thrown 3 TD in three straight games (2+ TD in six of seven starts). He’s not the option he once was given the lack of opportunities, but he’s still a valid QB1 this week.
- Drew Brees is coming off a highly disappointing performance, throwing for just 120 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT against Minnesota. It’s actually back-to-back poor performances, totaling 332 yards, but we also have to remember that both games came on the road. The Saints have generally been a much better offense at home, and while the Rams are not an easy matchup the fact that the game will come in New Orleans offers a lot of promise (as does watching Aaron Rodgers take them for 286 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT). It’s easy to be down on Brees, but expect a bounce back performance.
- It was a nice performance for Dak Prescott heading into Dallas’ bye week, throwing for 273 yards and 1 TD, and he’s had nearly two weeks to build a rapport with Amari Cooper. That would make it easy to push him up the rankings, but are you really willing to bank on Cooper flourishing immediately? How about the passing attack taking on a Tennessee defense that’s allowed just 9 passing TD on the season? Don’t get overly excited.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 9 rankings: