Quarterback Player Rankings – Week 12
No More Byes!!!
Quarterbacks (Updated: Friday, Nov. 23 - 10:39AM CT)
1. Peyton Manning (at KC) – The big question for Manning this week will be how he deals with the loss of his starting running back, Willis McGahee. In terms of fantasy numbers, for some QBs, it might actually boost their stats due to the offense simply having to pass more. For others, it might have a negative effect with defenses more likely to concentrate on stopping the pass. Well if last week was any indication, Manning should be just fine. In the quarter McGahee played before doing down, Manning threw for 58 yards, one TD and one INT. In the three quarters after he left, Peyton put up 222 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. At this point, there’s really no stopping him anyway as the 36-year old has put up eight straight games with either 300 yards, three TDs or both. The Chiefs defense has allowed QBs to do pretty much what they want this year, especially the good ones, so look for Manning to dominate this game through the air en route to a Broncos sixth straight win.
2. Aaron Rodgers (at NYG, Sunday night) – Rodgers has a few things going for him in this game. First of all, there’s the revenge factor after New York derailed the Packers hopes of winning a second straight Super Bowl by knocking them out in the Divisional Playoff game last season. Second, Rodgers LOVES to play these Giants. In his two regular season games against them, Aaron averaged 386.5 yards and FOUR touchdowns while also rushing for an average of 29 yards per game. Pretty ridiculous numbers if you ask me. New York’s defense doesn’t look like they’ll be able to stop him this time around either, as they’ve allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs this season. Without a running game to speak of, Rodgers will have to do most of the work this Sunday night if Green Bay wants to gain a sixth-straight win.
3. Matt Ryan (at TB) – Though he ended up throwing for over 300 yards, Matt Ryan just had his worst fantasy performance since the opening weekend of the 2010 season. Not that they were all entirely his fault, but throwing five interceptions and zero touchdowns in a single game is pretty unheard of. In fact, it’s only happened 62 times since 1960 and only ONE other time did the quarterback’s team actually win the game like the Falcons did (Bart Starr and the Packers beat the Bears 13-10 in 1967). However, fantasy owners should have a very short memory on that one as I fully expect Matty Ice to turn it around this week against the Buccaneers. His career numbers against Tampa Bay aren’t the greatest, but the Bucs pass defense hasn’t been as bad as they are now, either. They currently allow the fourth-most fantasy points per game to QBs and in the last five weeks, three of them have thrown for 335-plus yards and three or more TDs against them. Ryan should be able to join that crowd this Sunday.
4. Tom Brady (at NYJ, Thanksgiving night) – Brady is on another one of those accuracy tears right now as he hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 162 attempts going back to the fourth quarter of Week 6. Back in Week 7 in the Patriots 29-26 home win over the Jets, Brady attempted his second-most passes of the season (42) yet was only able to put up 259 yards and two touchdowns. As it happens, the man who caught both those touchdowns, TE Rob Gronkowski, will be out for this game so the Stetson Man will have to find someone else to get his owners some nice fantasy points this Thursday. Brady has always enjoyed a nice challenge, however, so I expect him to pull through with QB1 numbers this Thanksgiving. FINAL STATISTICS: 18-for-28 – 323 yards – 3 TDs – 0 INTs // 3 rushes - 5 yards - 1 TD
5. Tony Romo (vs. Was, Thanksgiving afternoon) – As I’ve said for ages now, Tony Romo is NOT an elite quarterback, whether it be real life or otherwise. However, he is very very good at home and has the (fantasy) numbers to back it up. In the 41 games he’s played from start to finish since he became a starter for the Cowboys in the middle of 2006, Romo has had 19 300-yard games and 27 games where he’s thrown for at least two touchdown passes. I know we’re all used to fantasy studs like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, but the numbers you just read are actually pretty rare otherwise and need to be considered when you’re talking about your starting fantasy QB down the stretch. His record on Thursday’s is 6-1 and could easily be considered his favorite day of the week to play. In fact, in seven career Thursday games (which are mostly on Thanksgiving), Romo has thrown for 18 touchdowns (2.6 TDs per game) and just five INTs, so if you were ever going to think about starting this guy, Turkey Day might be the best time for you to do it. He’s a QB1 this week for sure this week, especially against a Redskins pass D that allows the sixth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this year. FINAL STATISTICS: 37-for-62 – 441 yards – 3 TDs – 2 INTs // 3 rushes - 7 yards - 0 TDs
6. Andy Dalton (vs. Oak) – Dalton started the season throwing up at least one interception in his first eight games. In his last two games, however, the Cincinnati youngster hasn’t thrown a single pick while he’s quietly put up six TDs in back-to-back Bengals victories. It may be a bit hard to believe, but Dalton actually ranks eighth for quarterbacks in fantasy points per game right now and could jump up a notch or two against the lowly Raiders defense this Sunday. Each of the last three QBs to face the Raiders (Freeman, Flacco and Brees) put up over 20 fantasy points against them, so it stands to reason that Dalton will do the same with the roll he’s currently on.
7. Robert Griffin III (at Dal, Thanksgiving afternoon) – Though he may have looked a little prettier in previous weeks, RGIII is coming off his best game as a professional. He only threw for 200 yards, but he also tossed up four TD passes of six, 17, 49 and 61 yards while completing 14 of his 15 pass attempts in the game. The bonus that usually comes with Griffin is that he also ran for 84 yards and as has become the norm for the youngster, he did not throw an interception either. RGIII has been having a very nice rookie campaign, even though it seemed he was slowing down before his latest lights-out performance last week. From a fantasy owner's standpoint, it's nice to see Griff avoid the type of big hits he endured earlier in the season as well. Griffin will be facing the fifth-best defense against quarterbacks in Dallas who are yielding a meager 14.3 fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. DeMarcus Ware is going to be a factor that may limit the amount of running opportunities Robert will have in this game, so I wouldn't expect another big rushing day like he had last weekend. That being said, the Cowboys seem to be in disarray this season, and if they fall apart on Thanksgiving at the hands of RGIII, Jerry Jones just might have to fire himself. FINAL STATISTICS: 20-for-28 – 311 yards – 4 TDs – 1 INT // 6 rushes - 29 yards - 0 TDs
8. Andrew Luck (vs. Buf) – Though it certainly wasn’t his greatest performance of the year, Andrew Luck set a record against the New England Patriots last weekend by being the first rookie quarterback in history to throw for five 300-yard games during his inaugural season (Peyton Manning and Warren Moon each had four; RGIII currently has three). Just to show how dominant he’s been fantasy-wise, Luck is also just the seventh rookie QB since the NFL-AFL merger to rush for five or more TDs in a season as well. He currently ranks seventh for quarterbacks in fantasy points per game and should do well to keep that spot against a Buffalo defense that ranks eighth in the league in QB fantasy points allowed.
9. Drew Brees (vs. SF) – This is by far the lowest I’ve ranked Drew Brees in quite awhile, especially with him playing at home. However, I do believe it’s warranted for a couple of reasons. First off, Brees is on a bit of a cold streak right now as he hasn’t thrown for 300 yards in four straight games averaging just 242.3 YPG during that span. He’s kept a decent fantasy pace, though, with 2.5 TDs per game so not everything has gone against him, but he hasn’t played a defense as good as the 49ers either. San Francisco has allowed the second-fewest passing touchdowns, passing yards and fantasy points per game to QBs this season, so whatever Brees does this Sunday, it won’t be easy. Because he’s Cool Brees, he deserves a spot in the top-10, but don’t expect the world in this one.
10. Matthew Stafford (vs. Hou, Thanksgiving day) – Stafford has been very disappointing this season with only two multiple-TD games and has a horrible ratio of 12 TDs to 10 INTs. These are not the numbers owners were expecting of him when he was consistently going in the first round of fantasy drafts. Stafford has plenty of weapons to throw the ball to on offense, but he needs to be more precise with his passes of more than 20 yards as he flat out missed Calvin Johnson on two sure-fire TD grabs against the Packers last week. Stafford has a tough match-up to start the Thanksgiving festivities. The Texans had been a stingy defense all season, but then allowed also-ran Chad Henne to come in and scorch them for four TDs at home last week. Strange, eh? Stafford will be a bit behind the eight-ball here as he'll be working without WR Titus Young, who was suspended by the team for conduct detrimental to the team. That being said, Stafford should have to throw in this game and throw the ball a lot, so the potential is there for some real nice numbers. The only question is, can he actually throw more than one TD? FINAL STATISTICS: 31-for-61 – 441 yards – 2 TDs – 0 INTs // 2 rushes - 7 yards - 0 TDs
11. Colin Kaepernick (at NO)
12. Cam Newton (at Phi, Monday night)
13. Josh Freeman (vs. Atl)
14. Carson Palmer (at Cin)
15. Eli Manning (vs. GB, Sunday night)
16. Matt Schaub (at Det, Thanksgiving day) – FINAL STATISTICS: 29-for-48 – 315 yards – 1 TD – 1 INT // 2 rushes - -1 yards - 0 TDs
17. Joe Flacco (at SD)
18. Philip Rivers (vs. Bal)
19. Mark Sanchez (vs. NE, Thanksgiving night) – FINAL STATISTICS: 26-for-36 – 301 yards – 1 TD – 1 INT // 2 rushes - 2 yards - 0 TDs
20. Jake Locker (at Jax)
21. Sam Bradford (at Ari)
22. Chad Henne (vs. Ten)
23. Ryan Fitzpatrick (at Ind)
24. Russell Wilson (at Mia)
25. Jay Cutler (vs. Min)
26. Nick Foles (vs. Car, Monday night)
27. Christian Ponder (at Chi)
28. Charlie Batch (at Cle)
29. Brandon Weeden (vs. Pit)
30. Ryan Tannehill (vs. Sea)
31. Ryan Lindley (vs. StL)
32. Brady Quinn (vs. Den)
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