Week 10 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 10.
QB – Jay Cutler
Did you see Cutler dapping up his teammates on the sidelines last week? Just nuts. That aside, Cutler looked great against a stout Minnesota defense. I know, we’ve been down this road before – but give me a chance. Cutler is going up against a Bucs defense that has allowed back-to-back 300+ yard passers and eight touchdowns in that span. They are allowing a league-high 12.7 yards per completion and the third-highest QB Rating at 101.91.
A lot of that production has come from elite receivers absolutely abusing Vernon Hargreaves. This week: Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery should run ~50% of his routes against Hargreaves and should have little trouble getting open. Both Amari Cooper and Julio Jones made Hargreaves look like he belongs on a practice squad. Plus, with Gerald McCoy back in the lineup, the Bucs should “in theory” funnel production into the passing game, with McCoy as an elite run stuffer. They are also ranked 28th against pass-catching RBs, according to Football Outsiders DVOA. We can look for Jordan Howard to continue his pass game success. Cutler makes for a great DFS stack with Alshon Jeffery and a great bye week replacement or QB2.
QB – Alex Smith
You cannot run on the Carolina Panthers.
Unfortunately for Andy Reid, he is not going to be able to employ his normal drawn out boring offense and expect to win this game. The Chiefs project to be trailing and are on the road. Spencer Ware has been amazing this season, but the Panthers are fresh off stuffing both David Johnson and Todd Gurley and have been dominant in run defense as of late. They are DVOA’s fourth-ranked rushing defense, but 23rd-ranked passing defense.
Smith is a major leap of faith (sorry Sal). He has 31 red zone attempts for only 125 yards and six touchdowns. For perspective, Matthew Stafford has 14 TDs on 43 attempts.
However, the matchup is one of the best for QBs this season. The Panthers are allowing the sixth highest yards per completion, fifth highest yards per attempt and the fourth highest yards per game. The Panthers just allowed Case Keenum to throw for 296 yards and a touchdown. You could do WAY worse than quarterback Jesus Alex Smith this week.
QB – Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton should be considered a borderline QB1 now that he has Tyler Eifert back in the lineup. Since Eifert’s return, Dalton has accounted for 592 passing yards and four offensive touchdowns. Dalton only had two multi-touchdown games in the first six weeks without Eifert. While the matchup doesn’t look great on paper, Vegas is currently projecting this game for an over/under of 47 points and a pick ‘em (no favorite). Therefore, the implied total for the Bengals is 23.5 points. To top it off, 80% of tickets are still coming in on the over. This game is the shoot-out that no one is talking about.
The Giants are most susceptible in the middle of the field, where they employ slow linebackers and poor coverage safeties. Coming off of a 9-102-1 game, Eifert is primed to rip up the Giants in the middle of the field.
We should also pay attention to the status of Eli Apple. Apple has been the Giants’ worst coverage cornerback this season and was benched in Week 9. If he goes back to starting in Week 10, he will be playing the side of the field where A.J. Green runs the majority of his routes, while Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie deal with Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd. This is a brutal mismatch, and if it happens, I will be even more interested in Dalton.
Plus . . . this game is the Monday night hammer.
QB – Eli Manning
For similar reasons to Dalton, Eli Manning projects to score plenty of points against a Bengals passing defense that has struggled this season. They rank 24th against the pass per DVOA. They are allowing the eighth highest yards per completion and have allowed the ninth most passing touchdowns this season (an average of two per week).
Eli Manning has no running game. This means that when the Giants are moving the ball, it is because of him. Odell Beckham is finally healthy and has four touchdowns in his last two games where he wasn’t playing hurt. Beckham also runs 90% of his routes on the outside and should see Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones who both have PFF coverage grades under 50.0 as they have struggled this season. Their best cornerback, Josh Shaw, should line up against Sterling Shepard in the slot. Look for Eli and OBJ to have success in a game that has all the looks of a shootout.
QB – Carson Wentz
This one is a bit off the wall, because Wentz has been pretty terrible lately. That being said, Vegas projects the Eagles to score an implied total of 25 points. If that happens against the Falcons, they are going to have to have success through the air.
The Falcons are strong against outside receivers, which is just fine because the Eagles’ outside receivers are terrible. Philadelphia relies heavily on Jordan Matthews, Darren Sproles, and their tight ends in the passing game. This is exactly where Atlanta is the weakest. If Vegas is right and Wentz is able to keep up with Matt Ryan even at all, he should smash his value on daily fantasy sites. Wentz makes for an awesome GPP play and a very feasible QB2 play in a week full of byes.