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 6…
QB – Andy Dalton
This week, Andy Dalton faces a Patriots defense that, Per Scott Barrett of PFF, is giving up 85 percent of their fantasy production through receiving work. Only 15 percent of their production is going to rushing. The Patriots currently rank 27th against the pass, per Football Outsiders DVOA, and eighth against the run. What I am saying is that you can’t run on the Patriots, but you can throw on them.
Yet again, the Patriots are heavy favorites, leaving the Bengals as 8-point road dogs. With the Bengals likely trailing, and Jeremy Hill banged up, Dalton should have plenty of opportunities to throw. The Bengals low team total is also less scary to me than it looks. They have struggled in the Red Zone, with Dalton throwing only three touchdowns on 27 attempts. However, Dalton is completing the highest percentage of passes in his career at a clip of 67.4. He also has the second-highest AYA of his career at 8.1. Remember, AYA is heavily weighted by touchdowns, and Dalton has only thrown five. While it’s not likely he’ll throw for more than two touchdowns, Dalton is a great bet to throw for over 300 yards and a touchdown or two.
QB – Alex Smith
Also known as QB Jesus, Alex Smith draws a great matchup this week. Vegas projects this game to be the second-highest scoring of the week and the Chiefs have moved from a 2-point dog to a 1-point favorite. They are implied to score 24 points this week. While the Oakland defense has played “better” in recent weeks, they are still allowing 331 passing yards per game. They have also allowed 12 passing touchdowns, which is the fifth-worst mark in the NFL.
While the Chiefs do their best to play ball control and pound the rock, they may not be able to do that this week. The Raiders have quietly scored the third-most points in the NFL this season. This means the Chiefs will be forced to keep up. Against another explosive offense in Week 4, Alex Smith threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Only one opposing team this year has scored less than 27 points against Oakland this season. They have allowed 3-of-5 quarterbacks they’ve faced to throw for over 300 yards and Joe Flacco was close with 298. The only quarterback to struggle against this team was Marcus Mariota. Fire up Smith with confidence.
QB – Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod has been an average fantasy performer this season, but this week he plays San Francisco. This SF defense is fresh off of a week in which they allowed Drew Stanton to throw for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 11 completions. Yes, he only completed 11 passes and had two touchdowns.
The 49ers defense also plays much better at home than they do on the road. This week they are headed from the West Coast to Buffalo for a 1PM start. Opening as 7.5-point favorites, the Bills quickly moved to 9-point favorites, and have an implied team total of 26.5. The concern exists that the Bills could blow out the 49ers and Taylor will not get many attempts. That is a legitimate concern, but he should have plenty of opportunities to get the deep passing game going against a 49ers defense allowing 353.7 percent more production than league average in the deep middle and 135.5 percent more on the deep right (per Football Outsiders DVOA). No, those are not typos.
QB – Marcus Mariota
The Cleveland Browns defense has allowed two or more passing touchdowns to every quarterback they have faced this season. They have also allowed three passing touchdowns in three straight games. That includes games against both Ryan Tannehill and Kirk Cousins. Per DVOA, Cleveland also ranks 30th against the tight end, which is fitting since Mariota’s top option is Delanie Walker. They rank 28th against the pass overall.
Mariota struggled a lot during Week 3 and 4, throwing for zero touchdowns in that span. However, in Week 5, against a Miami defense that is similarly bad, Mariota threw for three touchdowns on only 20 completions. He also rushed seven times for 60 yards and a touchdown. His seven attempts on the ground were a season high. If Mariota is going to run more, he will continue to be an option with serious upside. Mariota has similar concerns to Tyrod Taylor this week, as DeMarco Murray could limit his need for passing attempts. Regardless, the matchup is much too juicy to ignore. Mariota makes for a great DFS tournament option and a high upside 2QB or Superflex option.