Week 11 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 11.
Before we begin, one note from last week’s games: Screw Jay Cutler.
QB – Kirk Cousins
This one may be cheating a little bit, given that he is a borderline QB2 at best, but I think Cousins is a top tier option this week. The Redskins have an implied team total of 26.75 points, and they are facing off against Football Outsiders DVOA’s fifth-ranked rushing defense. This means it is mostly going to be on Cousins to score those 26 points.
He is averaging 321 passing yards over his last four weeks and has two passing touchdowns in three of his last four. Cousins has also completed over 66 percent of his passes for three straight weeks. Plus, Cousins should rack up the passing attempts with Rodgers on the other side. In every game that he has thrown 45+ attempts, he has cleared 300 yards. And: See Mariota, Marcus Week 10, versus this same Green Bay defense.
QB – Blake Bortles
This totally feels like Week 10 Cutler. I know. But hear me out. Bortles has 2+ touchdown passes in his last three games and has 87 rushing yards over that span. He only totaled 123 rushing yards in the seven games prior. Plus, Bortles only has two interceptions over his last three. It’s a start.
This week he faces off against a Detroit passing defense that is ranked 32nd against the pass, according to DVOA. They are allowing 7.5 yards per attempt and have allowed 20 touchdowns on the season. Bortles also benefits from a completely ineffective running game. Vegas projects the Jaguars to score over 20 points, and Bortles is going to have to be the reason why. If he only has three points by half time, don’t worry, he does all his work in the second half.
QB – Colin Kaepernick
I almost didn’t write Kaepernick up because he didn’t vote. STICK TO FOOTBALL.
Kap now has 22+ fantasy points in two straight games, one coming against the Arizona Cardinals. He now has 50+ rushing yards in three of his last four games and has scored two all-purpose touchdowns in both of his last two.
The Patriots passing defense is sneaky bad this season according to @FantasyProcess and his PAVE metric. They rank fifth-worst against the quarterback in terms of Points Allowed Vs Expectation (find the chart pinned on his Twitter account). They also rank 27th against the pass, according to DVOA. On top of that, they are the fourth-ranked DVOA rushing defense and should force Kaepernick to take more of this game into his own hands. While this sounds scary, Vegas still implies that the 49ers will score 19 points this week, and I expect much of that to be due to Kaepernick. He is one of my favorite QB2 options and DFS plays this weekend.
QB – Alex Smith
The Bucs did embarrass Jay Cutler in Week 10. (Thanks Jay… I headlined you). However, I think that was much more a product of Cutler, and much less a product of the Bucs. In their two games prior to Chicago, the Bucs allowed 344 yards and four touchdowns to Matt Ryan and 513 yards and four touchdowns to Derek Carr. This passing defense is not good. Smith does not have a high ceiling. However, I think he is a legitimate threat for 200+ passing yards and a touchdown this week. The Bucs have also struggled to tackle, which means that Smith is a good bet for some YAC production. He is not a recommended DFS play, but he is a solid QB2 or SuperFlex in a pinch.