Fantasy Football QB1 Targets: Week 7 (2020)
There is almost always a decent crop of quarterbacks available on any given week, from the backup on your bench to the host of them on the waiver wire. In today’s NFL, most quarterbacks will probably be at least “fine” from a fantasy perspective, but quarterbacks have massive scoring potential, and, as such, they should get as much attention as the rest of your roster.
There are a few signal-callers that should be locked into your lineup regardless of matchup. Those are Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Kyler Murray. There are a couple guys angling to be in that tier, but you won’t see any of the above moving forward for the purposes of this piece. If you have them, play them.
Let’s take a look at a few typically-solid options with overall QB1 upside, a couple of mid-range quarterbacks that aren’t automatic starters but who may be hanging out on your bench, and some decent streaming options for Week 7.
Solid Likely-Rostered Options with Massive Upside
Aaron Rodgers (GB)
This one is probably pretty obvious, so I’ll be brief. Rodgers was having an excellent season prior to last week’s debacle against the Bucs: he had thrown for 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions over the first four weeks of the season. For whatever reason, Rodgers is one of a few quarterbacks who get narratives pinned to them often, and this season has generally been branded something like the “Aaron Rodgers Revenge Tour” after the Packers drafted Jordan Love and refused to enhance the weapons on the offense. After an embarrassing showing against the Bucs, Rodgers will be looking to absolutely thrash the Texans, who give up the seventh-most points and have allowed 28-plus points in all but one game this season.
Matthew Stafford (DET)
I mean, he’s playing the Falcons. Can we move on to the next one? Stafford has been okay but generally underwhelming this season, as he’s averaging 17.1 fantasy points per game with zero games over 300 passing yards. To be fair, he was missing Kenny Golladay for a few weeks, but he hasn’t been the gunslinger that we learned to appreciate over the years.
The Falcons are the absolute worst in the league against opposing fantasy quarterbacks, and they’re allowing an insane 29.1 points per game. The Falcons give up an average of 345.2 passing yards per game, and they’ve given up four total touchdowns to opposing signal-callers on four occasions. In short, the Falcons can’t contain their opponents through the air, and Stafford should finally erupt.
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
Like Stafford, Roethlisberger has been solid but unremarkable thus far. He’s posting an average of 18.4 fantasy points per game with only one week below 18.2 fantasy points. So while he’s been very solid, we’re still waiting on the explosion.
The Titans allow the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and they’ve allowed fewer than 17.2 fantasy points to the position just once. The most intriguing part of this matchup, however, is the Titans’ ability to score. Their offense is now mostly healthy, and they’ve averaged 37 (!) points per game over the last four weeks, including two consecutive weeks with exactly 42. These teams can start scoring at will, and I can see this game tiring out the scoreboard operator very easily.
Mid-Range QBs That May be Available
Justin Herbert (LAC)
There’s a good chance Herbert is already rostered, but he’s a great option this week against a very weak Jaguars defense if you already have or can get him. Admittedly, he may be better suited to the previous category. Herbert has averaged 21.8 fantasy points per game and has at least 22.2 points in three out of four games since becoming the starter in Los Angeles. With Austin Ekeler still sidelined, the Chargers should let Herbert keep slinging it, and hopefully, Keenan Allen (Q) will get to join in the fun.
The Jaguars defense has given up the fourth-most yards per game and the eighth-most points per game, so it’s clearly a favorable matchup. While Jacksonville has been a bit inconsistent with their scoring, both of these quarterbacks have the opportunity to turn this one into a shootout very easily.
Gardner Minshew II (JAC)
In the same game, Gardner Minshew has a similar outlook. The Chargers are even worse against opposing signal-callers, as they allow 22.4 fantasy points per game to the position.
Minshew has an oddly narrow scoring output — he’s scored between 18.1 and 23.4 points in five of his six games. The outlier was a 9.2 point outing against the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. Similar to PIT-TEN, this game has all of the ingredients to turn into a shootout. Also, if Minshew scores exactly 22.4 points (the Chargers’ average allowed points per game, which also falls in his narrow scoring range), everyone who reads this owes me one king-sized chocolate bar. I don’t make the rules.
Teddy Bridgewater (CAR)
Admittedly, Teddy has been more serviceable than I expected coming into this season. I expected a solid 12-15 points per week without much fluctuation, and he’s been much more erratic than that, with three games over 19.4 points and two games in the single digits. If you’re making me pick, this will be a 19.4-plus one.
The Saints are the third-worst in the league against opposing passers, and they’re allowing an average of 23.3 and at least 20.5 points in every matchup this season. This matchup is another one with the potential for tons of volume, as the Saints are the fifth-highest scoring team and allow the ninth-most opponent scoring. I’m a firm believer that the best way to find a productive quarterback is to find one playing a good opposing offense and a below-average opposing defense. Perfect match.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF)
Jimmy G has had a pretty turbulent start to 2020, as have the 49ers in general. Since returning from injury, Garoppolo has one game below zero fantasy points — a nice 77 yards and two interception outing against the Dolphins — and one with 23.5 points. Removing that Dolphins game, he’s averaging 18.7 points per game this season across three starts.
On an aggregate basis, the Patriots have been good against opposing quarterbacks. They’re allowing only 15.6 points per game, good for the sixth-least in the NFL. If you actually dig in, though, you’ll see that they gave up 5.4 points to Ryan Fitzpatrick and 3.5 points to Drew Lock. They gave up 20.2 to Patrick Mahomes and 33.4 to Russell Wilson, so they’re nowhere close to bulletproof.
Jimmy G has always struck me as a quarterback who plays up to good opponents and down to bad ones, so I expect him to be a surprisingly solid option against an inconsistent Patriots pass defense.
Quarterbacks are easy to find because there are just so many that aren’t being used, but that’s even more of a reason to make sure you’re optimizing your team for success at quarterback. Sure, you can find 15 fantasy points at the position on any given week, but if your opponent has someone with massive upside, you may be starting the week with a de facto 10-15 point deficit. Take another look at your quarterback and make sure he is more than just a “fine” option.
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