Week 8 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 8.
QB – Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston has now thrown for three or more touchdowns in half of his games. He has shown the ceiling, but unfortunately he has also shown his floor – throwing for one touchdown or less in the other half of his games. Fortunately for Jameis, he gets to face off against the Oakland Raiders this weekend.
The Raiders are allowing the second-highest yards per attempt at 8.2 and are allowing the most passing yards per game this season. They have also allowed 13 touchdowns over seven games. To top it all off, the Raiders are most susceptible in the deep passing game, allowing 12.7 yards per reception. Jameis’ top receiving weapon, Mike Evans, is leading the league in air yards and is mostly used as a downfield receiving threat. As he has success, so does Jameis.
Vegas also projects this game to be the second highest over/under of the week at 49 total points. Neither team is able to play very good passing defense, so this projects to be a shootout. The Raiders are only 0.5-point favorites, which should help keep the game close. Quarterbacks are generally their most efficient in high-scoring, close games. Fire up Winston and Evans this weekend.
QB – Carson Palmer
Palmer has looked rough this season, but he draws a dream matchup in Week 8. The Panthers are DVOA’s 27th-ranked passing defense and allowed both Drew Brees and Matt Ryan to pass for over 460 yards in two of the past three weeks. They have allowed 1,187 passing yards over those three weeks. Carolina is also tied in allowing the highest yards per completion in football this season at 12.7.
Palmer does not come without risk, as he has not thrown multiple touchdown passes since Week 2. However, in a week that sees six teams on bye, it is difficult to find QB2 options. Palmer should also have John Brown back, and Brown has seen 34 targets and 268 receiving yards over his last three healthy games with Palmer.
The Panthers are also allowing the second-fewest yards per carry this season at 3.3 and are a true funnel defense. They rank 6th against the run, per DVOA, and have only allowed one 100-yard rusher in their past five games. And it required 30 carries. David Johnson had success against the Jets’ rushing defense, but outside of his busted coverage 58-yard run, only averaged 2.5 YPC. Palmer should have to throw this week, and the matchup is perfect.
QB – Ryan Fitzpatrick
This game is RIPE for passing goodness. Both passing defenses rank in the bottom-three in DVOA passing defense and have not been able to stop any opposing quarterbacks. Vegas projects this to be a low-scoring game, but over 80% of bets have been on the over since McCown has been announced as the probable Browns quarterback.
After his benching, Fitzpatrick came into Week 7 in relief of the injured Geno and played well. He threw 14 times for 120 yards and a touchdown with a 115.2 QB rating (his second-highest this season). The Browns have now allowed every quarterback they have faced to throw for multiple touchdowns against them. This includes Carson Wentz, Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill, and Marcus Mariota. Not exactly murderers row. While the Jets will try their best to hide Ryan Fitzpatrick behind the run game, Forte is not built to carry the ball 30 times per game and is fresh off of just that last week. I love Fitzpatrick this week.
QB – Josh McCown
Every time Josh McCown gets to play football, I want to use him. He is a longtime friend of the 2QB community and draws a super sweet matchup this week. Watch this video of him dunking. (1:10 mark).
McCown gets to go against a Jets defense that is allowing 282 passing yards per game, sixth most. They are also allowing 7.8 yards per attempt, fourth most this season. Plus, by all accounts, Darrelle Revis is cooked.
In McCown’s only full game this season, he threw for two touchdowns and 141 yards in the first half. Shortly after that performance, he suffered a serious shoulder injury. He was also completing 71.4% of his passes prior to the injury. It’s worth noting that this performance was against the 15th-ranked DVOA passing defense, the Baltimore Ravens. The Jets are ranked 31st. McCown should also see a healthy Terrelle Pryor this week after he has been able to get in limited practices. If Pryor were to miss this game, however, McCown would see a definite downgrade.