The five QBs that will be discussed immediately below have the most enticing matchups this week among those who merit consideration as a starter. It does not necessarily mean that they are the top five signal callers from a ranking standpoint, although that might actually be the case in certain weeks. That will be followed immediately by the top 20 rankings for this week. Both sections will provide you with additional insight into each QB’s next encounter. Including facts and statistics to guide you toward the best decision regarding whether or not they should be in your starting lineup.
With that, here are the five most enticing matchups, which are followed immediately by the top 20 rankings for this week.
5 BEST MATCHUPS
Peyton Manning vs. Saints
Entering his bye week, Manning had already thrown for over 1,800 yards (1,808), which was the NFL’s second highest total. After six contests he is averaging 301 YPG, and has tossed 14 TDs. He has also generated seven of those scoring passes in just three games on his home turf, where he will return to guide the Broncos’ fourth ranked passing offense on Sunday Night. He should accrue massive numbers in an exceptional matchup that fantasy owners can eagerly anticipate as Manning will be lining up against a New Orleans pass defense that ranks just 30th (305 YPG), and has surrendered 12 TDs through the air in six games. Not only have the Saints already been scorched for over 300 yards by Aaron Rodgers, RG3, and Philip Rivers, but every signal caller that they have faced has generated at least 248 yards. They also just permitted Josh Freeman to accumulate 420 yards and three scores in week 7, and Manning should slice them up for a minimum of 350 and three TDs on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers vs. Jaguars
Rodgers has bounced back sizably from an underwhelming start to the season, in which he threw just three TD passes in his first three games. He has now tossed 16 scoring passes in his four most recent contests, and leads the NFL with 19 overall. His recent surge continued in week 7, as he connected with seven receivers on 30 passes for 342 yards and three TDs. Those numbers become even more impressive considering that they were produced against an underrated St. Louis defense. The Rams entered the matchup ranked fifth versus the pass, and had permitted just four TDs all season. Rodgers will face a much less formidable unit this Sunday, as the 24th ranked Jaguars are yielding 265 YPG. Plus, Jacksonville has hardly been opportunistic defensively, having collected just four INTs while also struggling to generate pressure on opposing QBs (five sacks). Expect Rodgers to surpass 300 yards once again, and generate four TDs.
Christian Ponder vs. Buccaneers
Tampa Bay was unable to neutralize opposing passing attacks even when they had their best CB (Aqib Talib). But without him, their 31st ranked pass defense is virtually helpless when faced with a persistent aerial assault. Drew Brees gashed them for 313 yards and four TDs during the first half alone when they met in week 7. Eli Manning had previously torched them for a whopping 510 yards and three TDs, while both RG3 and Cam Newton scorched them for 300+ yards. In fact, the only QB that has failed to throw for at least 283 yards was Brady Quinn, which is far from a ringing endorsement for the Bucs’ overly hospitable unit. It is also a tremendous indicator that Ponder will rebound from a substandard statistical performance against Arizona in week 7, and generate his second 300+ yard game of the season. The second-year signal caller should also throw two TDs for the fifth time this year.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Redskins
Roethlisberger is assembling excellent numbers, and now ranks ninth among all QBs in both yardage (1,765), and TDs (11). Plus, his owners have not been penalized by INTs, as he has been picked off only three times. He has also taken advantage of favorable matchups, and will have the opportunity to do so again this week. The Redskins are now ranked dead last in pass defense, are surrendering a mammoth 328 YPG, and have allowed 16 TDs, which places them in a three way tie for last. They just yielded 337 yards to Eli Manning in week 7, and allowed Christian Ponder to assemble a season high 352 yards in week 6. Both games were the most recent examples of their remarkably consistent generosity, as all seven signal callers that they have faced ultimately threw for at least 297 yards, while five QBs exceeded 325 yards. Roethlisberger’s name will be added to both lists, and he will connect for at least three TDs.
Andrew Luck @ Titans
Luck has been a different QB in his four games at home then he has been during his two contests away from Indianapolis. Six of the seven TDs have been generated within the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium, where he has also tossed just two INTs. In two road games he has been picked off five times, coughed up two fumbles, and managed just one TD. However, he was forced to deal with the Bears and Jets in those matchups, and this week’s opponent is far more hospitable. The Titans are dead last in scoring defense, yielding an enormous 34 PPG. They rank just 27th against the pass, and they are tied for last with 16 TD passes allowed. Plus, they also struggle against the rush (ranked 25th), and have permitted seven TDs on the ground. That also bodes well for Luck, who has now run for three scores in his last three contests. The myriad of shortcomings on Tennessee’s defense are simply too massive to ignore, and Luck should experience the most productive road game of his burgeoning career.
TOP 20 RANKINGS
1. Peyton Manning (vs. Saints)
He will surpass 300 yards for the fifth consecutive game, and could easily establish a new season high in yardage against an extremely charitable pass defense.
2. Aaron Rodgers (vs. Jaguars)
Should exceed 300 passing yards for the fifth time this season versus a Jacksonville pass defense that has allowed four QBs to throw for 270+ yards.
3. Robert Griffin III (@ Steelers)
It is wise not to dismiss how effective he has been as a passer. Yet his accomplishments as a rusher have also been exceptional. His 468 yards easily lead all QBs, and place him 12th overall. And his six TDs on the ground are second only to Arian Foster. He is officially matchup proof.
4. Drew Brees (@ Broncos)
He has generated 325+ passing yards in five of his six contests this season, and has thrown for 370+ yards twice. Even Denver’s respectable pass defense will have difficulty slowing him down.
5. Tom Brady (@ Rams)
Brady and New England’s offense will provide a severe test for an improved St. Louis pass defense. The Rams are allowing 226 YPG after being dissected by Rodgers in week 7.
6. Andrew Luck (@ Titans)
The Titans are extremely vulnerable defensively, which gives Luck the opportunity to produce sizably through the air, and supplement it with additional yardage on the ground.
7. Matt Ryan (@ Eagles)
Philadelphia has allowed opposing offenses to throw for 226 yards in the air, while permitting seven TDs. But they undoubtedly worked diligently throughout their bye week to improve upon those numbers. However, Ryan has been generating 293 YPG, and Atlanta surely utilized their break to tweak their attack too. As a result, Ryan should supply fantasy owners with another productive day.
8. Eli Manning (@ Cowboys)
He is averaging 295 YPG, but was held to just 213 by Dallas in the season opener. Expect better numbers in this rematch, as the Giant offense is functioning much more efficiently.
9. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Redskins)
Big Ben will throw with regularity against the NFL’s worst pass defense, and deliver another excellent performance for his owners.
10. Jay Cutler (vs. Panthers)
The loss of Chris Gamble will weaken a Carolina pass defense that has allowed 246 YPG, while generating just five INTs. This should fortify Cutler’s comfort level, and subsequently bolster his stat line.
11. Christian Ponder (vs. Buccaneers)
Brees was just the latest signal caller to throw for sizable yardage against Tampa Bay’s abysmal pass defense, and Ponder should encounter little problem exploiting them too.
12. Tony Romo (vs. Giants)
Romo produced season highs in both yardage (307) and TDs (three) when he lined up against the Giants in New York. He might not assemble those lofty totals this Sunday, but should deliver 250 yards and two TDs.
13. Philip Rivers (@ Browns)
Cleveland’s pass defense is ranked 26th, and only three teams have allowed more TDs through the air than the 15 that they have surrendered. But they have also been opportunistic (10 INTs), and Rivers will need to avoid low percentage challenges into double coverage. Otherwise, the Browns will add to his already troubling INT total (nine).
14. Matt Hasselbeck (vs. Colts)
You can feel confident in employing Hasselbeck if you are fighting bye week issues. He has engineered two consecutive wins, and now has an outstanding opportunity to extend that streak. Indy has allowed 12 TDs through the air, and just yielded 264 yards and two TDs to Brandon Weeden.
15. Brandon Weeden (vs. Chargers)
He has quietly vaulted to eighth among all QBs in passing yards (1,783). While his willingness to take risks has contributed to his league worst 10 INTs, it has also enabled him to produce big plays. If you need a bye week fill-in, you can do much worse.
16. Michael Vick (vs. Falcons)
Unfortunately for Vick owners, more sacks and fumbles could be coming as Atlanta is fully capable of supplying non-stop harassment. They have 16 sacks, and have generated 17 takeaways.
17. Cam Newton (@ Bears)
Newton will have a formidable challenge when he lines up against a Chicago unit that leads the NFL in scoring defense (13 PPG), INTs (14), and takeaways (21).
18. Matthew Stafford (vs. Seahawks)
Once again, Stafford’s daunting matchup will prohibit him from delivering the level of production that fantasy owners envisioned while selecting him very early in their drafts.
19. Sam Bradford (vs. Patriots)
Bradford and the Rams do not possess an explosive aerial attack, but this ranking is an indictment of the Patriots’ 29th ranked pass defense. The 16 TDs that they have yielded through the air ties them for dead last in that category.
20. Carson Palmer (@ Chiefs)
Kansas City will be returning from its bye week, and presumably utilized a substantial portion of it to address their problematic pass defense. They have permitted 13 TDs in their initial six games.
Be sure to check out other great articles at Fantasy Knuckleheads.
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