Week 16 Advanced Quarterback Matchups
TwoQBers every week are stuck with very tough start/sit decisions at the quarterback position. This article intends to help you make those weekly decisions easier.… We want to take the guesswork out of the equation when you’re staring at two, three, or four different quarterbacks, wondering who to start in that QB2 slot. Each week we examine quarterbacks using various statistics and metrics to pinpoint plus matchups that should give them a boost over their normal weekly output. Below are a few such options for Week 16.
QB – Blake Bortles
Bortles *might* be (is?) the worst starting quarterback in the NFL when it comes to real football. But we literally do not care about real football. We only care about fantasy points. Blake Bortles has scored a touchdown either through the air or on the ground in every single fantasy game he has played this season and has multiple touchdowns in 8 of 14 games. Bortles has 14 or more fantasy points in all but three of his games this season and has scored over 20 five times. Plus, Blake is averaging 23.5 rushing yards per game.
Bortles has only thrown over 300 yards three times this season. Luckily, one of those games was against the Titans. In Bortles two most recent games against the Titans, he has 659 yards and eight touchdowns. Many people will say that Bortles recent stats against the Titans came in garbage time, but the last time I checked, garbage time stats still count for fantasy points. Plus, pretty much all of Bortles’ stats come in garbage time.
The Titans rank 23rd against the pass, according to Football Outsiders DVOA. Prior to Alex Smith breaking the streak against Tennessee, both Trevor Siemian and Matt Barkley consecutively cleared three hundred yards against this defense in Weeks 12 and 14. The Titans defense has only kept four quarterbacks this season under 15 fantasy points – those being Ryan Tannehill, Shaun Hill, Alex Smith, and Derek Carr. In Carr’s case, the Raiders held a lead and only ran 47 offensive plays. It isn’t pretty, but the Jaguars can’t run the ball and the Titans rank 14th against the run, per DVOA. Vegas projects the Jags to score 20 points, and those points are going to have to come through Bortles.
QB – Matt Barkley
Matt Barkley has now been a reliable QB2 option for three of his last four games. In every game, outside of the terrible weather game against San Francisco, Barkley has thrown for at least 200 yards and a touchdown. He also cleared 300 yards twice over those three games. Plus, in his first game with Alshon Jeffery, Barkley connected with him six times for 89 yards and a touchdown. The Bears quietly have some play makers in the passing game with Jeffery, Meredith and Howard.
Barkley now goes up against a Redskins defense that has surrendered 19+ fantasy points to six of the last seven quarterbacks they faced. The only quarterback under that mark was Carson Wentz in Week 14, and he still cleared 300 yards and had a touchdown. Washington started the season as a strong passing defense, but after their recent showings, they now rank 24th against the pass, per DVOA. Barkley is in a really nice spot in a game with a strong Vegas total of 47 points. This game has a chance to shootout.
QB – Tyrod Taylor
Taylor comes in this week as — yet again — a floor play. Tyrod has not gone over 25 fantasy points yet this season, but he has been very consistent. He now has 15+ fantasy points in 11 of his 14 games this season. He has been buoying that strong floor with his rushing average of 38 yards per game. Taylor has also rushed for six touchdowns this season.
Tyrod does not put together consistent passing volume, as he has not cleared 40 passing attempts yet this season. However, Tyrod does like to throw down the field, averaging 11.1 yards per completion, and he averaged 12.5 in that category last season. Fortunately for Tyrod, the Dolphins rank third-worst against deep passing down the middle of the field, according to DVOA. Tyrod is also a home favorite with a healthy team total of 23 points.
QB – Colin Kaepernick
Yet again, the 49ers are projected to be trailing against Los Angeles. Outside of the snowpocalypse game, Kap has now trailed the Patriots, Dolphins, and the Falcons in recent games. He has multiple touchdowns in all three of those games. Kaepernick also has at least 20 rushing yards in every game he has started this season, while averaging 48 yards per game. Kaepernick has shown a solid floor, as he has at least 15 fantasy points in seven of his nine starts.
The Rams have allowed their last four opponents to all score at least 24 points against them and have allowed 141 real NFL points in that span. In theory, the Rams are a strong rushing defense as they rank seventh, per DVOA. However, their passing defense has struggled, where they rank 19th. Kaepernick has lost some of his ceiling with Chip Kelly looking to take his foot off the gas recently, but he still has a strong floor against a bad Rams team where he is projected to be trailing.