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QB Tiers & Rankings: Week 11 (Fantasy Football)

by Scott Cedar | @scedar015 | Featured Writer
Nov 16, 2018

A lot has been made this week of Patrick Mahomes’ ketchup fetish. Ketchup on steak. Ketchup on mac and cheese. Lord knows what else he’s ketchupping. Has that been the secret to his success? Mahomes is the QB1 on the season, and since this is a quarterback column I feel the need to weigh in.

The key thing to remember about ketchup — and this is really important — is that it’s literally the worst food in the world. If you use ketchup, it’s probably because you’re a bad person who makes bad life decisions.

Which may be what brought you here in the first place, seeking my fantasy advice, so let’s get to the Week 11 QB tiers.

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Every-Week Starters

Patrick Mahomes (KC): @ Los Angeles Rams
Drew Brees (NO): vs. Philadelphia
Matt Ryan (ATL): vs. Dallas
Cam Newton (CAR): @ Detroit
Carson Wentz (PHI): @ New Orleans
Deshaun Watson (HOU): @ Washington
Andrew Luck (IND): vs. Tennessee

I’ve seen some concerns about Drew Brees even though he’s QB3 on the season. Yes, his volume is down again this season, but when you’re as efficient as he’s been (75% completion percentage, 8.6 yards per attempt, 6.9% touchdown rate), volume doesn’t matter. Regardless, I think he’ll get volume in this one, as this game has the second highest over/under of the week (56), and I like Wentz to force a shootout.

It was a down week for Atlanta in their loss in Cleveland, but Matt Ryan was still pretty solid (330 yards and two touchdowns on a 73% completion rate). Back in the dome, he’ll be more than solid this week. In five home games, Ryan has a 14-1 touchdown/interception ratio and is averaging 360 yards per game on 9.9 yards per attempt.

Cam Newton had three 30-point games last season. He’s had some very good games this season, but has yet to hit that mark. I think he gets there this week. Detroit is allowing 8.9 yards per attempt. Only the Raiders have been worse. The Lions’ one saving grace is a decent pass rush, ranking 4th in sack percentage. The problem is, behind a surprisingly stout offensive line, Newton has been difficult to sack this season, going down on just 5.5% of his dropbacks. If the Lions can’t pressure Newton, he is going to destroy this secondary.

The Eagles’ struggles have not been Carson Wentz’s struggles. Since Wentz’s return, the Eagles offense has scored 17 touchdowns. Two have been rushing touchdowns. Two. The complete lack of a run game means pretty much any fantasy points from the Eagles involve Mr. Wentz. That should continue this week. New Orleans has been an extreme pass funnel, ranking 3rd in run defense per Football Outsiders’ DVOA, but 28th in pass defense. Facing the Saints’ top scoring offense in the Superdome, Wentz is going to have to throw, throw, throw to keep up. Did I mention the Saints are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks?

Andrew Luck completed 72.4% of his passes and threw three touchdowns against Jacksonville last week, good for 21.2 fantasy points (QB9). If you do that, you’re an every-week starter. His low yards per attempt (6.7) and middling completion percentage (66.3%) is not ideal, but he’s making up for it by throwing a ton (371 attempts, 2nd most) and avoiding sacks (2.6% sack rate). He’ll get Tennessee on Sunday, whose defense has been a pleasant surprise, ranking 12th in DVOA after shutting down the Patriots last week. They’ve allowed the sixth fewest yards per game and the fewest passing touchdowns. I don’t think this is a blow-up spot for Luck, but I do think you can continue to roll him out.

QB1s

Jared Goff (LAR): vs. Kansas City
Philip Rivers (LAC): vs. Denver
Ryan Fitzpatrick (TB): vs. New York Giants
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT): @ Jacksonville
Mitch Trubisky (CHI): vs. Minnesota

Philip Rivers is QB12 on the year, but has hit 20 points just once in his last four outings. That’s been the trend for Rivers the last few years. He’ll be a top 12 quarterback pretty often, but rarely better than a top 12 option. He has exactly two touchdowns in his last five games. Too good to drop and not good enough to be a difference-maker, he’s kind of quietly killing you. This week is a great example. I don’t hate him against Denver, which has devolved from an auto-bench to a neutral match-up. But I don’t see much upside, either.

Yards tend to lead to touchdowns. Less so for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s red zone passing (34% completion rate, two interceptions) leaves much to be desired. Still, I’m more encouraged by last week’s 406 passing yards than I am discouraged by the Buccaneers’ measly three points. What does concern me a bit is Dirk Koetter taking over play calls last week. That’s weird for a lot of reasons, and signals a desperation that may result in Fitzpatrick getting benched again if he starts poorly against a Giants defense that isn’t good but has somewhat successfully slowed quarterbacks.

I still play Madden 2012 on an XBox 360. I watch Seinfeld reruns. I buy clothes from the Gap. So maybe I’m just behind the times, but I still think on the road against Jacksonville is a really tough match-up for Ben Roethlisberger. The Jaguars have allowed 21 points per game to opposing quarterbacks over the last four games, including three top ten finishes. They still rank top five in net yards per attempt and completion percentage on the year. In Roethlisberger’s favor, he excelled in a tough road game against Baltimore two weeks ago, and of course is coming off a 36-point explosion last week. We saw this match-up twice last year: Roethlisberger threw five interceptions in the first game and five touchdowns in the second, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I’m starting him, without a ton of confidence, this week.

After a monster performance in Week 10 (355 yards, three touchdowns, QB1 on the week), Mitch Trubisky is now QB6 on the year. I quote his rank just about every week because if I don’t, I’ll forget that he’s consistently putting up big fantasy points. It certainly doesn’t look that way watching him. In any event, nobody has scored more fantasy points over their last six games. You’re starting him. I don’t know why. Not everything needs to make sense.

Streamers

Dak Prescott (DAL): @ Atlanta
Marcus Mariota (TEN): @ Indianapolis
Eli Manning (NYG): vs Tampa Bay

Dak Prescott had a 66% completion rate, 37-8 touchdown/interception ratio, and 7.68 yards per attempt in his first 22 games. Over his next 14 games, those numbers dropped to 62.5%, 13-13, and 6.66. Over his last four games, Prescott is back up to a 66.7% completion rate, 6-1 touchdown/interception ratio, and 7.51 yards per attempt. Because…I have no idea, honestly. All I know is we’ve seen him have a long stretch of high-caliber play before, he appears to be in the midst of another one of those stretches, and he’s got a dream match-up against a Falcons defense allowing the fourth-most points to quarterbacks.

Marcus Mariota threw for 793 yards and two touchdowns in his first five games. He has 705 yards and five touchdowns over his last three. Clearly, the early-season elbow injury is behind him, and he’s settling into Matt Lafleur’s offense. This week sets up nicely for him, facing a Colts defense ranking 27th against the pass. That, combined with Andrew Luck’s air attack, has put the Colts in shootouts all season. They’ve given up 37, 38, 42, 5 (Derek Anderson), 28, and 26 points over their last six games. This hasn’t been a murderer’s row, either. Sam Darnold, Derek Carr, and Blake Bortles have all gotten theirs against the Colts. Mariota should, too.

I always feel like a dope recommending Eli Manning, but here it goes. Tampa Bay is allowing a 73.6% completion rate, 7.7 net yards per attempt, 299 passing yards per game, and 2.55 passing touchdowns per game. That ranks worst, 3rd worst, 4th worst, and worst. Meanwhile, it hasn’t been pretty, but Manning has averaged a solid 16.2 fantasy points over his last five games and has hit at least 19 points in three of them. If this turns into the Manning/Fitzmagic shootout Vegas is predicting (52-point over/under), he has top-12 upside. So yes, I believe in Eli this week. Lucy, you can pull the football now.

QB2s

Blake Bortles (JAC): vs. Pittsburgh
Matthew Stafford (DET): vs. Carolina
Joe Flacco /Lamar Jackson (BAL): vs. Cincinnati
Josh Rosen (AZ): vs. Oakland
Alex Smith (WAS): vs. Houston
Andy Dalton (CIN): @ Baltimore
Case Keenum (DEN): @ Los Angeles Chargers

We don’t know who the Ravens are starting at quarterback yet, though Flacco should be ruled out by the time you’re reading this. Lamar Jackson’s rushing and big-play ability are tailor-made for fantasy, but he’s been an erratic thrower in the little we’ve seen of him. More of a stash than a start this week. My guess is John Harbaugh goes with Robert Griffin, in a move reminiscent of George Costanza towing the World Series trophy around the parking lot. (Remember this when Harbaugh signs a fat contract with a new team this offseason). If it is RGIII, he’s an interesting QB2 option. His last stop in Cleveland was less terrible than you remember. He got hurt immediately, of course, but returned for the final four games to complete 62% of his passes for 696 yards and two touchdowns, adding 153 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The Bengals have been atrocious lately, giving up 39.5 points over the last month and getting perennial head coach bridesmaid Teryl Austin fired. (But sure, new assistant to the head coach Hue “Dwight Schrute” Jackson will fix that.)

In two games since trading Golden Tate, Matthew Stafford’s yards per attempt have plummeted, and he’s taken approximately 100 sacks. I don’t think this is who Stafford is now, and we just saw the Panthers get torched by the Steelers, but he’s really hard to trust without his security blanket. Vegas isn’t optimistic either, giving the Lions a pedestrian 22.75 implied team total. Move him down if Marvin Jones can’t go…that receiving corps went from one of the best in the league to Kenny Golladay in a hurry.

Josh Rosen almost looks like a streamer. He’s a home favorite, and certainly the Raiders’ league-worst pass defense doesn’t scare you. Unfortunately, the move to Byron Leftwich as offensive coordinator hasn’t really translated to increased production. Under Leftwich, Rosen is still completing under 60% of his passes, averaging under six yards per attempt, and sports a 3-3 touchdown/interception ratio. This game also has the lowest over/under of the week (40.5). Even in a prime match-up, Rosen is merely a low-end QB2 option.

Over the last two weeks, Alex Smith has faced the Falcons and the Buccaneers, who are allowing the 4th and 2nd most points to opposing quarterbacks. He scored 16.4 and 12.7 fantasy points. Even against Houston’s ailing secondary, there is zero ceiling here.

Benchwarmers

Derek Carr (OAK): @ Arizona
Derek Carr is in the Benchwarmers tier until Oakland scores a touchdown, which they haven’t done since Week 8. They may not this week against Arizona, the 6th ranked defense per DVOA. Next week (@ Baltimore) isn’t looking much better.

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Scott Cedar is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Scott, check out his archive and follow him @scedar015.

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