It probably happened a few weeks too late, but the New York Giants are finally moving on from longtime starting QB, Eli Manning. Coach Ben McAdoo confirmed that Manning will not start Sunday and that the Giants will be going in a different direction. So that means they’re going with Davis Webb whom they drafted in the third round last year to see what he can do, right? Nope. The starting QB for the G-Men this week will be Geno Freaking Smith. Good luck, Giants fans.
In other news, Aaron Rodgers was seen throwing deep before the game last week. All reports say that his rehab is going very well and that he should return in Week 15 when first eligible. Now is the time to stash him if he’s hanging out on the waiver wire in your league.
Expect a Big Game from Jared Goff in the Desert
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
Defensive Matchup: Arizona Cardinals (Road)
The fact that this Cardinals defense has allowed the third most fantasy points to the QB position is remarkable when you look at the quality of QBs they’ve faced this season.
Jacoby Brissett (Week 2), Brian Hoyer (Week 4), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Week 6), C.J. Beathard (Week 9), TOm Savage (Week 11), Blake Bortles (Week 12).
So in over half of their games, they’ve faced a bottom-10 QB in this league. It’s not just a problem for them to stop QBs through the air, either. On the season, they’ve allowed 11 rushing touchdowns, and five of those were to a QB, including two last week to Blake Bortles.
— NFL (@NFL) November 26, 2017
Another one of those touchdowns was run in by Goff in their first meeting back in Week 7. Since that game, Goff has been a man on a mission. In the last four games, he has thrown for 311.3 yards per game, nine touchdowns, and only one interception. This Cardinals defense doesn’t look like the one that is going to slow down Goff’s current hot streak. In this plus matchup, Goff is a strong QB1 this week.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Defensive Matchup: Cleveland Browns (Home)
Ever since the Chargers’ Week 9 bye, Philip Rivers has been on a roll. In three games since the bye week, he has thrown for 306.7 yards per game, seven touchdowns, and only one interception. On the flip side, the Browns have allowed 2+ passing touchdowns in eight of 11 games and have only two interceptions in the last five games. That’s what the Cleveland Browns do — they allow a lot of passing touchdowns. In both 2015 and 2016, they were in the top-three for passing touchdowns allowed and are well on their way to another top-three finish this season.
Recommending Rivers this week isn’t exactly going out on a limb. The Browns seem to have thrown in the towel this season, so don’t expect much of a fight in any game the rest of the way. Browns fans have even begun planning a parade if the team finishes the season 0-16. That shows how much confidence the city has in this team. Rivers is easily a QB1 this week and likely will put up top-five fantasy QB numbers.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Defensive Matchup: New York Giants (Home)
Speaking of teams that have thrown in the towel on the 2017 season, the Giants are starting former Jets flameout Geno Smith this weekend, so this game could get ugly in a hurry. Over the last eight games, the G-Men have allowed 296.4 passing yards per game and 18 passing touchdowns (2.3 per game). I know I’m being Captain Obvious over here, but those aren’t good stats. Not even close.
The 2017 season has been a rollercoaster ride for Derek Carr, but he has turned it around over his last five games, averaging 304 yards per game in that span. Carr shouldn’t have any issues topping 300 yards this week with two or more touchdowns. He’s been more of a QB2 this year, but he is a solid QB1 option this week.
Baltimore looks to Rack Up More Interceptions against Matthew Stafford
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Defensive Matchup: Minnesota Vikings (Home)
This Atlanta Falcons offense finally seems to be getting it going, but this week will be a tough test against a stout Minnesota Vikings defense. The Vikings have allowed only six passing touchdowns in the last eight games and double-digit passing touchdowns in three of 11 games. Remember those nice stats I rattled off for Goff above? Well, those would look even nicer if the Vikings didn’t keep him out of the end zone and hold him to only 225 passing yards in Week 11. They also kept Matthew Stafford out of the end zone and picked off Jameis Winston three times. Yeah, this defense is good.
On the other side, Matt Ryan has yet to record a three-touchdown game this season. See a trend here? There’s probably not going to be a lot of touchdowns in this game, especially from Ryan. He hasn’t necessarily been bad this season, but he’s yet to have that one signature “Matty Ice” performance where he throws for 400+ yards and three touchdowns. That may still happen, but this likely isn’t the week. Consider him a back-end QB1 this week.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Defensive Matchup: Baltimore Ravens (Road)
Speaking of Stafford, he’s got a tough matchup ahead this weekend as well against Baltimore. The Ravens have allowed the second-fewest passing yards, third-fewest passing touchdowns, and have picked off 18 passes, which is tops in the NFL. When it comes to fantasy, only Jacksonville has allowed fewer points to the QB position this season. This defense has really had only one bad game this season, and it wasn’t even in this country. They allowed four passing touchdowns to Blake Bortles of all people, back in a London matchup in Week 3.
Stafford has been playing well of late, but he hasn’t faced a passing defense nearly as good as Baltimore’s. Over the last five games, Baltimore has picked off nine passes, including five in the last two weeks. They’re currently on pace for the most interceptions in a season since Seattle picked off 28 passes back in the 2013 season. I know Stafford has thrown only six interceptions this season, but a gut feeling tells me that number goes up by a couple this week. With this tough matchup, Stafford slides out of the QB1 discussion.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Defensive Matchup: Pittsburgh Steelers (Home)
Even with last week’s poor showing, the Steelers have still allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to the QB position. For the season, they’re in the top five for passing yards allowed, passing touchdowns allowed, interceptions, and sacks. This defense does a great job in getting to the quarterback and disrupting their rhythm. Just two weeks ago, they picked off Marcus Mariota four times and sacked him five times. Call me crazy, but Andy Dalton is no Mariota.
In their last meeting in Week 7, the Steelers held Dalton to 140 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. It hasn’t been just Week 7 that Dalton has struggled against Pittsburgh, either. This has been a common theme throughout his career. In 13 games against Pittsburgh, Dalton has averaged only 207.5 passing yards per game with 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. With how many bad quarterbacks there are in this league right now, Dalton is still on the QB2 map this week, but just barely.
Sleeper of the Week
Brett Hundley, Green Bay Packers
Defensive Matchup: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Home)
After a string of bad games, Brett Hundley finally had a good showing last week against the Steelers. He completed 17-of-26 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns against a solid Steelers pass defense. This week, Hundley gets a much easier defensive task in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have allowed 682 combined passing yards in the last two weeks. Hundley hasn’t been a factor in fantasy since taking over for the injured Aaron Rodgers, but he should be able to put up QB2 numbers this week.
Thank you for reading this week’s quarterback matchup report on Fantrax. I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Got a question about a player not covered here? Ask in the comments below or follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there. Make sure you check back in next Friday as we break down quarterbacks for Week 14.