Fantasy Football QB1 Primer: Week 3 (2019)
All season long in this space, I will rank the top-10 quarterbacks for each given week based on a variety of factors. The primary consideration will always be the true talent and ability of the signal-caller. Other circumstances such as the scheduled matchup, surrounding talent, offensive line play, and advanced metrics are then weighed in to produce a weekly ranking.
Before we proceed, let’s review how last week went among the ten quarterbacks I ranked as the most likely to finish as the top overall fantasy producer at the position:
Once again, I had a 60% success rate. First, let’s add some context. Wentz lost most of his supporting cast, and Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending injury. However, there’s no defending Watson and Goff, as both fell well short of projections regardless of league scoring formats.
On to the Week 3 QB1 Primer…
10. Jameis Winston (TB) vs. New York Giants
This might be the last time Winston gets mentioned in this article. The Giants have allowed an average of 321 yards per game (3rd worst in the NFL) and a 132.3 quarterback rating through two games thus far, and there are no signs of improvement on the horizon. Bruce Arians has been unable to let his offensive scheme settle in because the O-line play has been dreadful to this point. However, New York has just two sacks as a team to open the season, so Jameis Winston should have more time to throw. If Winston can’t put together a top-10 finish this week with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard catching passes against an overmatched Giants’ secondary and underwhelming pass rush, it will be a long time before he’s even considered as a viable streaming option.
9. Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs. Denver Broncos
Rodgers was only able to muster 209 yards on 22 completions against a tough Vikings defense in Week 2. He did manage to toss two scores, but the sledding should get a bit easier with Denver coming to town. The Broncos have yet to record a sack through two games, and Football Outsiders ranks them in the bottom-ten in Defensive DVOA. Questions abound when it comes to the viability of HC Matt LaFleur’s system in Green Bay and tension with Rodgers, but he’s still the first Packers rookie coach to start a season 2-0 since Vince Lombardi in 1959. Denver HC Vic Fangio has historically challenged Rodgers during his previous tenure as defensive coordinator in Chicago, but this Denver unit isn’t as talented, and the Packers’ offensive scheme is different. LaFleur will surely want to establish the run after Aaron Jones ran for over 100 yards against a stout Minnesota front seven, but that should only open things up more for Rodgers and his talented group of receivers.
8. Josh Allen (BUF) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
It’s never pretty watching Josh Allen play, at least not for those who admire sound mechanics; however, for fantasy purposes, Allen’s downfield passing and rushing ability make him an appealing option in good matchups. Fortunately, that’s exactly what the Bengals will offer this week. Through two weeks, Cincinnatti has permitted only 236.0 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks, but their 133.0 quarterback rating allowed slots in as the second-highest total in the league. Offensively, the Bengals have shown new life under HC Zac Taylor, who has installed a variation of Sean McVay’s scheme. That should be enough for the Bills to have to stay aggressive to win the ballgame, which in turn should lead to a highly productive day for Allen both through the air and on the ground.
7. Kyler Murray (ARI) vs. Carolina Panthers
Murray and the “Air Raid” offense are slowly coming into form. The young quarterback threw for 349 yards on 25 completions last week on the road against a Baltimore defense that usually plays tough at home, although he failed to throw a touchdown in the game. Murray has begun his career with back-to-back 300 yard passing days but making it three in a row might prove difficult. Carolina’s pass defense has only allowed 186 yards per game through the air so far with just two touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. Nonetheless, a Panthers team missing Cam Newton should struggle to sustain drives, giving Murray even more opportunity to rack up completions and find the end zone in this one. He seems like a safe bet for a top-10 finish on sheer volume alone.
6. Deshaun Watson (HOU) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Watson disappointed against a tough Jacksonville defense last week, but he should rebound against the less imposing Chargers. Los Angeles resides in the bottom-10 of Defensive DVOA to begin the year, and with stud defensive back Derwin James on IR, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Kenny Stills should have ample room to operate so long as Texas’ beleaguered offensive line can keep DE Joey Bosa from swallowing Watson whole. The Chargers possess enough firepower on offense to make this game a potential shootout, so expect Watson to come close to doubling the 159 yards he mustered against the Jaguars and count on multiple scores.
5. Matt Ryan (ATL) at Indianapolis Colts
Ryan might be one of the most underrated quarterbacks in fantasy. He consistently throws for over 300 yards and multiple touchdowns seemingly every week. Expect more of the same against the Colts; however, he has already thrown five INTs through the season’s first two weeks. Indy’s defense should bring the pressure considering they have eight sacks already and have only allowed 214.5 yards per game to opposing passers so far. Then again, much of that can be attributed to a dominant performance against the Marcus Mariota-led Titans in Week 2 since Phillip Rivers put up 333 yards against them in Week 1. Look for Ryan to eclipse 300 yards, toss a few scores, and likely throw a pick or two this weekend.
4. Tom Brady (NE) vs. New York Jets
Brady seemed content breaking in Antonio Brown with the offense last week, but it will be a scary proposition to think what this offense could look like with Josh Gordon, Brown, and Julian Edelman firing on all cylinders soon. The Jets are actually top-6 in Defensive DVOA through two weeks as evidenced by a 77.3 quarterback rating allowed, but they’ve also given up an average of 273.5 yards per game to signal-callers as well. Brady should have no problem putting up yards, and ultimately touchdowns, against a Jets team missing its starting quarterback on the road. The only question is how much he will play in the second half if New England is blowing their division rivals out by halftime.
3. Lamar Jackson (BAL) at Kansas City Chiefs
Jackson has been on fire to open the season against two bottom-tier defenses in Miami and Arizona. Kansas City fields a middle-of-the-road defense, allowing 262.5 yards per game through the air but a whopping 6.0 yards per attempt on the ground. With Patrick Mahomes likely to run up the score on the other side, Jackson won’t be able just to hand the ball off if the Ravens want to stay in the game. The crowd at Arrowhead should be raucous, but this game has fireworks potential.
2. Dak Prescott (DAL) vs. Miami Dolphins
Prescott is having himself a coming-out party from a fantasy perspective. He’s thrown seven touchdowns in two games, rushed for 81 yards, and racked up 674 yards passing. The Dolphins are in full tank mode right now, and they seemed destined for the number one pick in next year’s draft. Miami is the worst in football according to Defensive DVOA, and they just traded their best young player on defense in Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers. The Dolphins are allowing 316.5 yards per game to opposing passers, and the only thing stopping Prescott from having a career game at home this weekend is the fact that Miami is also allowing 194.5 yards on the ground as well, so Dallas may just run the ball down their throats all game. Either way, the matchup couldn’t be better, and Prescott is playing some of his best football right now.
1. Patrick Mahomes (KC) vs. Baltimore Ravens
Mahomes threw for 378 yards in Week 1 and 443 yards in Week 2. He has seven touchdowns already with zero interceptions. He’s done this without Tyreek Hill on the field. Baltimore has only allowed one touchdown through the air so far, and they’re top-10 in Defensive DVOA. Then again, they just gave up a ton of yards to Kyler Murray at home last week, and they’re traveling to a hostile road environment. In his first game back in Kansas City, Mahomes is the game’s best bet for a QB1 finish this week.