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Quarterback Player Rankings – Week 13
No More Byes!!!
Quarterbacks (Updated: Sunday, Dec. 2 - 11:05AM CT)
1. Aaron Rodgers (vs. Min) – I don’t know if that debacle last Sunday night was due to a highly-motivated Giants team or an under-motivated Green Bay squad but either way, Aaron Rodgers is going to have something to prove this Sunday. The motivation certainly won’t be lacking with the Pack going up against the inner-division rival Vikings, but Rodgers will have more than just a fight for the NFC North title going for him this weekend. First, he’ll have one of the better receivers in the league back in the lineup with Greg Jennings finally returning to action. Second, “Aaron it Out” has been awesome against the Vikings since 2009 averaging 308.7 yards and three TDs in six games during that span. With the WR band back together, I expect nothing less than a stellar showing from the reigning league MVP.
2. Matt Ryan (vs. NO, Thursday night) – Matt Ryan has been throwing the ball a ton of late as he’s tossed up four straight 300-yard games with an average of 352 yards per game over that span. The only issue here is that Ryan has thrown a TD pass in just two of those four games. That being said, Matt is having a fantastic season putting up five games with three or more TD passes and topping 300 yards on six occasions (had a 299-yard game as well). He is a must-play in a match-up with the Saints that has the looks of being another shootout. Three weeks ago when these two teams met, Ryan went off for 411 yards passing and three TDs (one INT) in the Falcons loss. The Saints—as has been discussed throughout the season—have a horrible defense and Ryan should be ready to take advantage of them once again. He’s thrown for an average of 378.3 yards and two TDs in his last three games against these guys with a low game of 351 yards. Basically, Ryan needs to be in your lineup this week. FINAL STATISTICS: 18-for-33 – 165 yards – 1 TDs – 0 INTs // 3 rushes - –2 yards - 0 TDs
3. Tom Brady (at Mia) – Though it wasn’t totally needed in the Patriots 49-19 Thanksgiving blowout of the Jets, Brady still put up his second-best fantasy numbers of the year while also keeping his accuracy streak going as he now hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 190 pass attempts going back to the fourth quarter of Week 6. His top three games have all come on the road this season, which is where he’ll be in Week 13 as the Pats travel down to Miami to take on the Dolphins. Last year in Miami, Brady had his best game of the season throwing for 517 yards and four TDs. Though he won’t equal those numbers, he should be able to toss up at least 300 yards and three TDs with the Dolphins’ pass D being their weak link.
4. Drew Brees (at Atl, Thursday night) – Drew Brees has not had a 300-yard passing game since Week 8 at Tampa Bay and in that span of five games, he’s averaging just 247 yards passing a game. However, Brees has been making up for the lack of yardage with TD passes of late, as he’s also averaged 2.6 TDs in those five games with three a piece in each of the last three weeks. The best game he had during that span was three weeks ago against the Falcons when he threw for 298 yards and three TDs (one INT) in the Saints home win. Brees has had a lot of success against the Falcons in his career as he’s averaged 314 yards and 2.6 TDs in their last seven meetings and will be looking to dominate them again on Thursday Night. Brees can sometimes have a bit of trouble when he leaves the confines of the Superdome, but heading to another dome in Atlanta has proven to be a home away from home for the guy, so you have to consider Brees a must-start in this game. FINAL STATISTICS: 28-for-50 – 341 yards – 0 TDs – 5 INTs // 0 rushes - 0 yards - 0 TDs
5. Matthew Stafford (vs. Ind) – Here comes the “Second-Half Staff push, fellas. After a super-slow start to the season, Stafford has now been in the top-five fantasy scorers in three of the past five weeks and has made his way up to eighth on the overall totem pole. The addition-by-subtraction move the Lions made last week concerning the Titus Young suspension and Ryan Broyles insertion into the starting lineup could be the catalyst Stafford needed to get back to where he belongs—in the top-five fantasy QBs. We’ll see for sure this weekend with the Lions playing at home against a very beatable Colts secondary. Detroit isn’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs just yet, but it’s close enough where I expect Matty to let loose a little bit and start whirling the ball all over the place—which can end up being a good thing for fantasy owners.
6. Peyton Manning (vs. TB) – Peyton Manning has been a man possessed in his return to the field this season averaging 296.4 yards and 2.4 TDs in 11 games. He’s thrown for the third-most TDs and has the third-highest Passer Rating thus far while leading the Broncos to an AFC West-leading 8-3 mark. Last week was a big test for him playing without starting RB Willis McGahee, but as expected, he passed with flying colors throwing for 285 yards and two TDs in the Donkey’s win. This week he’ll take on a Buccaneers defense that has allowed the most passing yards per game (316) and eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. He COULD turn in the top fantasy game of the week here, but with Tampa playing a bit better of late, I’m tentatively expecting mere mid-range QB1 numbers from the four-time league MVP.
7. Robert Griffin III (vs. NYG, Monday night) – What a fantasy juggernaut this kid is. Robert Griffin has dipped below 23 fantasy points in a game just three times all season and has now thrown for four TDs in each of his last two games (both wins over divisional foes; Philly and Dallas). This week he’ll be at home against a Giants team he lost to back in Week 7, though he was still able to throw for 258 yards and two TDs while also running for an additional 89 yards. New York has only been so-so against the pass this season allowing the 14th-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, but they’ve normally been great after their bye week as they showed last Sunday night against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. RGIII, however, is a horse of a different color in this league and should be able to battle out some QB1 fantasy numbers when all is said and done.
8. Tony Romo (vs. Phi, Sunday night) – The fantasy stars were aligned for Tony Romo against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving, even if the real life stars were crashing down all over Dallas Cowboys. His 441 yards passing were a bit more than I expected, but the three TDs he tossed up weren’t as he was due for the yearly fantasy outburst that puts him right around the top-ten region. This week he’ll be facing off against another divisional foe when he takes on a down-and-out Eagles team on Sunday night. The Eagles looked absolutely awful against an offensively-challenged Carolina Panthers last Monday, so there’s no reason to believe that Romo be able to outdo his production from their last matchup in Week 10 when he threw for 209 yards and two TDs.
9. Eli Manning (at Was, Monday night) – Finally! After tossing up just two TDs in his last five games and ZERO in his last three, Eli Manning came out of his rut to toss for 249 yards and three TDs against the Packers last Monday night. Does this mean his fantasy season is about to turn around? It might, and will certainly be helped out going up against one of the worst pass defense in the league this Monday night. In fact, Manning’s last 300-yard game came against the Redskins back in Week 7, so he’ll at least have the confidence to make it happen. If he needs any more confidence, all he has to do is look at the to-date statistics as Washington has allowed the most passing TDs in the NFL this year as well as the third-most fantasy points to opposing QBs. These inner-division games change things up a bit, as shown by Eli’s two total TD passes in his last five games against these guys, but I believe he overcomes his past after the confidence-builder he put up last week.
10. Andy Dalton (at SD) – Andy Dalton is slowly becoming a bit of a fantasy stud as he now has six games with 20 or more fantasy points on the season and seven games with three or more total TDs. He’s accomplished both in each of the last three weeks with his last two coming against teams from the same division as his opponent this Sunday, the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have been a bit up-and-down against the pass this year and are currently right in the middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to QBs. However, they’ve been nailed by the injury bug yet again of late and are giving up a ton in the secondary because of it. Look for Dalton to put in another nice low-end QB1 performance this weekend.
11. Cam Newton (at KC)
12. Andrew Luck (at Det)
13. Colin Kaepernick (at StL)
14. Chad Henne (at Buf)
15. Matt Schaub (at Ten)
16. Carson Palmer (vs. Cle)
17. Ryan Tannehill (vs. NE)
18. Brandon Weeden (at Oak)
19. Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Jax)
20. Josh Freeman (at Den)
21. Philip Rivers (vs. Cin)
22. Jake Locker (vs. Hou)
23. Joe Flacco (vs. Pit)
24. Sam Bradford (vs. SF)
25. Mark Sanchez (vs. Ari)
26. Russell Wilson (at Chi)
27. Jay Cutler (vs. Sea)
28. Christian Ponder (at GB)
29. Nick Foles (at Dal, Sunday night)
30. Ryan Lindley (vs. NYJ)
31. Charlie Batch (at Bal)
32. Brady Quinn (vs. Car)
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