Quarterback Player Rankings – Week 5
(BYE: Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Quarterbacks (Updated: Sunday, Oct. 7 - 11:16AM CT)
1. Matt Ryan (@ Was) – Matt Ryan did it again last weekend against the Carolina Panthers and although Robert Griffin III is slightly ahead of him in race for the fantasy points crown, I think it’s safe to say that Ryan is the better play of the two in their head-to-head matchup this week. The reason being, of course, is that Matty Ice gets to play against the defensive side of Griffin’s team, a D which has been one of the worst against the pass all year long. It’s unbelievable to think that Ryan threw for 369 yards and three TDs last weekend despite only one catch for 30 yards from Julio Jones. With Julio coming back to form this week, I can’t wait to see the final stat-line on Ryan come Monday.
2. Drew Brees (vs. SD - Sunday Night) – Brees still leads the league in passing attempts (191) after four weeks and is on pace for an astonishing 764 on the season. Will he break Drew Bledsoe’s single-season record of 691? It sure looks like it, but we’ll have to wait a little bit longer on that one while on this Sunday night, yet another long-standing record can be broken with one single pass. Drew Brees has thrown a touchdown in 47 straight games, a mark which currently has him tied with Hall of Fame QB Johnny Unitas and on the brink of breaking a record nobody ever thought would be broken. The Chargers pass D is right in the middle of the pack but because their rush D doesn’t let up a whole lot, you can expect Brees to throw the ball a ton yet again. With the home crowd rooting him on, it wouldn’t shock me if the record was broken on the Saints first possession.
3. Tom Brady (vs. Den) – Last week I had Brady ranked in the top slot and encouraged his fantasy owners not to worry about his slow start. Hopefully his explosion against the Bills in Week 4 helped calm everyone’s nerves. Now that everything is right in the world with Brady back on track and in sync with the Slot Machine again, we can all sit back and enjoy this long-standing rivalry game between the Stetson Man and his arch-enemy, Peyton Manning. Of course, there will be a little something different this time around, but Brady will have just as much fun tearing up the Broncos secondary as he did the Colts. I mean, what’s the difference, right? Isn’t a Bronco just a unbroken Colt? Anyway, since Denver’s rush D doesn’t allow much on the ground, look for Tommy to toss the pill around en route to slightly better QB1 numbers than Manning in this one.
4. Aaron Rodgers (@ Ind) – So even though I hated myself last week for using such a common expression, I mentioned that Rodgers was really “due for a big game”. He pulled through, of course, though it came against possibly the worst defense in the NFL—the New Orleans Saints. This weekend he’ll have another rather easy time tossing the pill around playing indoors against the Indianapolis Colts; though will almost assuredly be without one of his top two wideouts, Greg Jennings. Rodgers is one of the more creative QBs in the league, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If Green Bay had a better running game, I’d mark Aaron down a few slots as the Colts can be demolished on the ground, but I can’t really say I’m sold on Benson carrying a team, so look for “Aaron It Out” to, well… air it out.
5. Joe Flacco (@ KC) – Flacco has now made my top-10 QBs for three weeks in a row, something I never would have guessed would happen at this time last season. His control of the no-huddle offense has been outstanding thus far and I expect it to only get better as the year goes on. This week he’ll face a Chiefs defense that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points/game to opposing QBs and even though they’ve improved a bit with CB Brandon Flowers back in the lineup, they’re still tied for the most passing TDs allowed this season with 10. Flacco’s only other time facing this team was back in Week 1 of the 2009 when he put up two career-firsts by throwing for 307 yards and three TDs.
6. Robert Griffin III (vs. Atl) – Okay, I’m officially convinced he’s good. Okay, really good. Robert Griffin III still leads the league in fantasy points after four weeks of action and though he’s surprised me just about every single week, I believe he’ll have a tough time holding down his top spot this weekend with Matt Ryan just a few points behind and bringing his Falcons to town. However, there are a few things to like about this game for Griffin owners. First, the Redskins will likely go down early and need to rely on Griffin to get them back in the game. Second, Cam Newton just showed what a QB with wheels can do against them throwing for two TDs while adding another 86 yards and a TD on the ground. Third, and maybe most important, Pierre Garcon is back.
7. Peyton Manning (@ NE) – Peyton has thrown for over 290 yards and two TDs a game this year and somehow sits just outside the top-10 fantasy QBs. This week he’ll have a real good chance of climbing back up into the top guys where he belongs, and he’ll get to do it against the biggest rival of his career, Tom Brady. Well, against the Patriots defense at least, which is again one of the worst against the pass this season allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing QBs. During the last two weeks, Joe Flacco and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined to throw for 732 yards and seven TDs against this defense.
8. Eli Manning (vs. Cle) – Eli Manning threw for 309 yards and two TDs last week—numbers that would normally be considered a good game—but coming in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, I’m sure he was hardly satisfied. This week he’ll be able to take his frustrations out on a Browns defense that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs this season. Whether or not he’ll have Hakeem Nicks to throw to is still up in the air, though it’s not looking good right now. Either way, Domenik Hixon did well enough in Hakeem’s place last week for Eli’s fantasy owners not to worry too much.
9. Andy Dalton (vs. Mia) – Dalton has put up three straight games with 24 or more fantasy points and has been one of the bigger surprises of the young fantasy season. This week he’ll take on a Miami team that has allowed three 300-yard games in a row by Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez and Kevin Kolb. In my estimation, Dalton is the best of the bunch and should be primed for a nice game. Considering the strength of the Dolphins run defense, it wouldn’t shock me to see the Bengals QB toss up 40 passes and maybe even sneak into the top-5 for the week.
10. Philip Rivers (@ NO - Sunday Night) – With Gates having a bit of a down season and without a steady wide receiver to throw to on a consistent basis, Rivers fantasy numbers have suffered immensely. In real life, he’s led the Chargers to a 2-0 record on the road and 3-1 overall, but unless you’re a big San Diego fan, that doesn’t mean much to his owners. That being said, this is the best chance he’ll have to turn it around going up against a Saints defense that gives it up as much through the air as on the ground. With Drew Brees gunning for yet another passing record, I’m expecting a bit of a shootout this Sunday night so there should be a bunch of fantasy points to be had here by Rivers.
11. Cam Newton (vs. Sea)
12. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Phi)
13. Andrew Luck (vs. GB)
14. Michael Vick (@ Pit)
15. Jay Cutler (@ Jax)
16. Matt Schaub (@ NYJ - Monday Night)
17. Christian Ponder (vs. Ten)
18. Matt Hasselbeck (@ Min)
19. Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ SF)
20. Ryan Tannehill (@ Cin)
21. Alex Smith (vs. Buf)
22. Kevin Kolb (@ StL - Thursday Night) – 28-for-50 - 289 yards - 0 TDs - 0 INTs
23. Matt Cassel (vs. Bal)
24. Brandon Weeden (@ NYG)
25. Russell Wilson (@ Car)
26. Sam Bradford (vs. Ari - Thursday Night) – 7-for-21 - 141 yards - 2 TDs - 1 INT
27. Mark Sanchez (vs. Hou - Monday Night)
28. Blaine Gabbert (vs. Chi)
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