The bye weeks are behind us, and while that gives us more alternatives to choose from it doesn’t necessarily make the decisions any easier. Injuries, both to quarterbacks and their supporting cast, are always going to alter the approach. Throw in some top quarterbacks facing difficult matchups and you get some surprises, especially in the low-end QB1/high-end QB2 range. Who are the quarterbacks to consider? Let’s take a look:
- Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Oakland
- Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens – vs. San Francisco
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – at New York Giants
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Minnesota
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta
- Kyler Murray – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Los Angeles Rams
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – at Houston
- Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Miami
- Sam Darnold – New York Jets – at Cincinnati
- Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans – vs. New England
- Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Jacksonville
- Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings – at Seattle
- Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills – at Dallas
- Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams – at Arizona
- Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Buffalo
- Nick Foles – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tampa Bay
- Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns – at Pittsburgh
- Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans – at Indianapolis
- Jacoby Brissett – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
- Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers – at Baltimore
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
- Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – at Kansas City
- Phillip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers – at Denver
- Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – at Detroit
- Daniel Jones – New York Giants – vs. Green Bay
- Needless to say it was a disappointing Week 12 for Aaron Rodgers, albeit in a difficult matchup against the 49ers (104 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT). Things get significantly easier in Week 13, as he draws a Giants’ defense that allowed Mitchell Trubisky to throw for 278 yards. It’s a young secondary that’s learning on the fly, and Rodgers should be able to exploit them early and often.
- Speaking of San Francisco, will they be able to shutdown Lamar Jackson? No one has proven capable of stopping him and his ability to make plays with both his arm and legs make him virtually matchup proof (virtually being the key word, but his production against the New England Patriots earlier in the year serves as proof that he can be productive against anyone at any time).
- The key for Carson Wentz may be the health of his supporting cast, though after Alshon Jeffrey appeared close to returning for Week 12 at the very least he should provide a boost in Week 13 (and there’s a chance both Jordan Howard and Nelson Agholor return as well). Of course a matchup against the Dolphins and the presence of Zack Ertz alone would make him a viable TE1, but with everyone healthy it would look that much better. Don’t be afraid to utilize him in all formats.
- Interceptions… Interceptions… Interceptions… Could you imagine how good Jameis Winston’s numbers would look if he could avoid them? He threw 2 INT in Week 12, giving him 8 INT over the past three games and 15 INT over his past six (he has at least 2 INT in five of the six games). Of course he’s also thrown for 300+ yards in six straight games, with 11 TD and shown the ability to make some plays with his legs (23+ rushing yards in three straight games, and four of his past five). Jacksonville may not be the easiest matchup, but it’s also not the scariest, especially considering they have 8 INT all season long.
- It’s nearly impossible to sit Deshaun Watson, though a matchup with the Patriots has to make him more of a borderline option as a QB1. Their latest victim was Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ receiving corps, holding Prescott to 212 yards, 0 TD and 1 INT in Week 12. Watson is too explosive to ignore, but he’s hardly an elite option and you’ll want to consider your alternatives.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed Nick Foles to throw the ball 95 times over the past two weeks, and while he’s managed just 568 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT over this stretch it shows just how comfortable they are with him. If they put the ball in his hands that much once again, this time against the miserable Tampa Bay defense (who have allowed 26 TD vs. 7 INT), he should provide significantly better results.
- Sam Darnold has taken advantage of poor defenses the past two weeks (608 yards, 6 TD and 1 INT) against the Redskins and Raiders, and he could easily do that again this week against the Bengals. It creates a potential QB1, and someone you aren’t going to want to overlook.
- Josh Allen continues to prove that he can make plays with both his arm and his legs (he has rushed for 56 yards in back-to-back games), and that should allow him to produce even in a difficult matchup against the Cowboys. He does have to be dropped just outside of being a QB1, but depending on your alternatives he’s worth considering.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings: