Week 12 Rankings (2018): Top 25 Quarterbacks

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Just like that Thanksgiving week is upon us.  It seems like just yesterday that the NFL season was getting started, now we are a few short weeks away from the fantasy playoffs.  That complicates every decision as there is little room for error, and with three Thursday games there are that many more early week decisions.  Who should we be trusting?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
  2. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
  3. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Miami
  4. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – at Minnesota
  5. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – at Carolina
  6. Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
  7. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. Seattle
  8. Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Arizona
  9. Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – at Detroit
  10. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Denver
  11. Tom Brady – New England Patriots – at New York Jets
  12. Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns – at Cincinnati
  13. Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. San Francisco
  14. Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
  15. Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Oakland
  16. Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Washington
  17. Eli Manning – New York Giants – at Philadelphia
  18. Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans – vs. Tennessee
  19. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. Chicago
  20. Nick Mullens – San Francisco 49ers – at Tampa Bay
  21. Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
  22. Case Keenum – Denver Broncos – vs. Pittsburgh
  23. Brock Osweiler – Miami Dolphins – at Indianapolis
  24. Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – at Baltimore
  25. Josh Rosen – Arizona Cardinals – at Los Angeles Chargers

Thoughts:

  • While the New Orleans Saints are coming off an impressive defensive effort against the Philadelphia Eagles (Carson Wentz completed 19 of 33 passes for 156 yards, 0 TD and 3 INT), was it a bad offensive effort or an outstanding defense?  The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle and don’t forget Matt Ryan torched them back in Week 3 (374 yards, 5 TD).  It would be easy to be a little skeptical given the performance of New Orleans in Week 11, but this should be a shootout and Ryan is going to be putting up plenty of points.
  • From Week 8–10 Tom Brady totaled 1 TD pass…  Let that sink in for a second.  Tough opponents or not, would anyone have predicted that happening for any three week period?  The offense has been in a little bit in flux, and the return of Rob Gronkowski and having the bye week to figure things out should go a long way in helping him get right (as does a matchup with the New York Jets).  While it’s impossible to have him ranked as one of the best options, don’t be surprised to see Brady explode this week.
  • While Baker Mayfield hasn’t lit up the score sheet in terms of yardage (216 yards or fewer in three of the past four games), he has 9 TD vs. 2 INT over this stretch and draws an incredibly favorable matchup against the Bengals.  He’s a rookie quarterback who will be playing on the road so there’s always going to be a little bit of risk, but there’s also obvious upside.
  • Even if Joe Flacco were healthy enough to return in Week 12, would the Ravens make the change back?  Lamar Jackson is coming off a fantastic effort, completing 13 of 19 passes while rushing for 117 yards.  It shows just how dynamic of a player he is, and with Oakland on the schedule it’s easy to envision Jackson not relinquishing the role and thriving once again.  That said he’s no guarantee to produce, as a lot of his value is going to stem solely from his ability to run.
  • The matchup with Seattle seems difficult, but over the past four weeks they have actually been middle of the road against opposing quarterbacks with 1,188 yards, 8 TD and 1 INT.  While we have to be at least a little bit cautious with Cam Newton, continue to view him as a QB1.
  • Since blowing up Miami Deshaun Watson as thrown for 442 yards, 3 TD and 2 INT while rushing for just 45 yards in the subsequent two games.  Considering a difficult matchup with the Titans is he really a player you want to trust?
  • While the injury is said to be minor, Mitchell Trubisky did pop up on the injury report yesterday.  Monitor the news just in case this turns out to be more than meets the eye.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Week 12 Rankings (2018): Top 20 Tight Ends
Week 11 Rankings (2018): Top 15 Kickers

22 comments

  1. Brian says:

    QB: Mayfield or Prescott?

    TE: Watson NO or Burton CHI? Standard

    Need 2 from group below (Standard)
    RB: Fournette JAC, McCoy BUF, Michel NE, or Breida SF?
    WR: TreQuan Smith NO

    DST Redskins or 49ers?

  2. Tony says:

    Hi Professor,

    Is your ranking of J Winston based on the possibility of him getting pulled from the game? I have R Wilson and D Watson, but probably can get JW as a waiver selection.

    I see you have Wilson ranked high, and see the reason given Panthers’ pass defense, but not sure Wilson’s ceiling is as high? I can make playoffs with a win, but my opposing team is starting with 20 points from LAR defense! We can carry over points for kickers and defenses on byes, so it seems to be the time to be swinging for the fence. Speaking of LAR, I started RW and got 27 points against them, so guess he could do the same at Carolina? Watson played well against the Titans earlier, but agree with your assessment relevant to his ranking.

    If I go with RW, then do I chance it at WR with Evans, Golladay, JuJu or Josh Gordon? I’m thinking about Golladay, but will the Bears focus on him with few other offensive options for the Lions, though Golladay seems to be reaching elite level of WRs.

    Sorry for the long question, but this is make or break week and you always give great advice to all of us!

    Thank you very much!

    Best wishes,
    Tony

    • I do see Wilson as having a higher upside, though Winston has a solid matchup as well there is always the risk of the team making yet another switch.

      As for the WR, I’m going Evans though it’s not crazy to lean Golladay

      • Tony says:

        Hi Professor,

        Thank you very much for your reply and great feedback! I did get JW from waivers, but see starting Wilson as well. Need to see if any injuries appear that might sway me one way or the other. If the other team hadn’t scored 20 points on defense, I wouldn’t even think about taking the risk with JW. Definitely Evans and probably Golladay given the targets, but Bears defense will be all over him, but he is a big WR with speed.

        I forgot to note, but hope all of you at Roto-Professor have a great holiday! Good luck in football as well.

        Thanks again – I appreciate it!

        Tony

  3. Trevor says:

    Any chance you would consider starting Winston over Newton considering the matchup each has?

  4. Andy says:

    Will you start Carson Wentz or Big Ben this week ? Thanks

  5. Sheldon says:

    Hi, Prof. Happy Thanksgiving. Who would you start between Baker Mayfield and Deshaun Watson? I’m really tempted to start Baker Mayfield, but I guess Deshaun Watson is the safer bet. What are your number projections for each of them? Thanks.

  6. Krysta says:

    14 Team, PPR. Big Ben or Baker Mayfield?

  7. Kevin says:

    Lamar Jackson or Aaron Rodgers? Jackson has arguably the best matchup in the league against Raiders, especially with early game and long travel. Rodgers has one of, if not, the worst matchup against the Vikings Packers are riddled with injuries and ARod has been average. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

  8. Cara Stewart says:

    Help! Rivers or Brady?! Always hard to sit Brady but I’m thinking about it.

  9. Ph says:

    Hi Prof,

    Rivers or D Watson? Both matchups no bueno..

    Thanks!

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