You only start one quarterback so you better make it count. Quality and upside are important here while securing a solid floor. I know that sounds like a lot so let’s try and keep it simple. Look for a good matchup, a quarterback who has been performing well with a strong supporting cast, a defense that will be favorable to opposing signal callers, and a game script that supports success. For the most part, the quarterbacks at the top of the salary list speak for themselves as elite options, but here we dig deeper. Now that we got that out of the way, who fits that criteria for this week? With a few COVID cases swirling around the Titans we need to note that the below analysis is contingent upon every game taking place as scheduled.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? Until then you will get one free pick to whet your appetite. Things haven’t been easy for Deshaun Watson ($6,600 DK, $7,800 FD) to start the season as the Texans have yet to win a game. Facing Kansas City, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh is not going to be easy for any quarterback, and Watson proved to be no different. All in all things could have been worse for Watson as he has eclipsed 250 passing yards each week and this past Sunday was his best game of the young season. Watson completed 19 of 27 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns as he spread the ball around to eight different receivers while connecting with Randall Cobb and Will Fuller for touchdowns. This week Watson gets a home matchup with the Vikings which gives him a reprieve in a must win game for Houston and he is in position to build on last week’s performance.
Behind the paywall, we will continue to take a closer look at some more quarterbacks who deserve our attention this week along with a few from whom we should keep our distance. Not all will break the bank either which will leave plenty of room for help at running back and wide receiver. So, keep on going and take a look at what we have to offer.
Matthew Stafford ($5,900 DK, $7,200 FD) took the Lions into Arizona last week and pulled off the upset. It was a solid effort from Stafford who took advantage of having his best weapon in Kenny Golladay back from injury as he completed 22 of 31 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns. This week the Lions face New Orleans at home in what should be a prolific offensive matchup against a defense that has struggled against opposing passing games so far this season. Now that Golladay has returned, Stafford and the Detroit offense are just getting humming and that should continue this week.
The theme of this week is value pricing and favorable matchups. If that wasn’t evident yet, it will soon become apparent as we go through the remainder of our options; both positive and negative. Last week against Washington Baker Mayfield ($5,800 DK, $7,000 FD) didn’t have to do much as Cleveland cruised to victory. Mayfield was efficient as the Browns were in control of the game all afternoon as he only attempted 23 passes. Despite the lack of action, Mayfield did have success completing 16 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. So far this season we have seen him take care of the ball as Mayfield has five touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. For as strong as the Cleveland running game has proved to be, they are going to need Mayfield and the passing offense this week as they travel to Dallas. With the Cowboys allowing the second most points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks so far this season that shouldn’t be a problem for Mayfield.
Let’s make it two weeks in a row and go back to the well with Derek Carr ($5,300 DK, $6,900 FD) whose price has remained essentially flat compared to last week. Carr did have a rough first half, but he did get going in the second half last week in New England. Granted the outcome of the game was no longer in doubt at that point but as far as the fantasy box score is concerned it quite simply doesn’t matter. He finished the day with 24 completions for 261 yards and a touchdown as things got going in the second half. Through the first three weeks of the season Carr has thrown for 784 yards and six touchdowns without an interception. A large amount of the production that Buffalo has allowed to opposing quarterbacks has come under similar circumstances, but they do rank in the top five of points allowed. Carr has been careful with the ball so far this season and he has shown the ability to connect with his young receiving corps.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,400 DK, $7,100 FD) is another quarterback who was the victim of game flow this past week. The problem though is that he was simply just too successful for his own good in the first half as Miami jumped out to a big lead. Fitzpatrick faces a Seattle team that has allowed the most points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks so far this season in what will undoubtably be a very busy and prolific passing day for both teams. Last week against the Jaguars we only got to see Fitzpatrick attempt 20 passes, but he did complete 18 of them for yards and two touchdowns while adding a rushing touchdown and 38 yards on the ground. Fitzpatrick did get off to a slow start this season against New England but he followed that up with 328 passing yards against the Bills and we should see a similar effort against the Seahawks this week in what should be a high scoring affair.
Going with the most expensive option might sound like a good idea, but it is often not the most prudent or wise course of action. On a short week, after throwing for just 97 yards against the Chiefs in a game in which Baltimore was trailing all night, that is Lamar Jackson ($8,100 DK, $9,600 FD) and I am staying away. Jackson struggled against Kansas City in the passing game but he did rush for 83 yards to at least give him a respectable fantasy performance. In this week’s matchup against Washington we likely should see Baltimore in control most of the afternoon so that will, once again, lead to diminished passing volume by Jackson. So far this season Jackson has just 576 passing yards and he will also have to contend with a strong Washington pass rush.
The majority of Jared Goff’s ($6,700 DK, $7,500 FD) 321 passing yards last week came in the second half against Buffalo when the Rams were playing catchup. Ultimately they fell short but Goff and his two touchdown passes had a strong performance in his best game of the season with a rushing touchdown pushing him over the top. As the Rams take on the Giants this week the concern is that game flow will work in the opposite direction for Goff. Los Angeles has shown a propensity to lean on the running game and once the Rams get out to their likely early lead, that will continue.
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