Top 15 Fantasy Football QBs for Week 15
Top 15 Fantasy Football QBs for Week 15
Fantasy football Week 15 brings many of us the second round of our league's playoffs. If you were lucky enough to advance, be sure to weigh your options at the quarterback position this week as there is plenty of value to go around.
Before I go any further, I just want to point out that Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was left off this list because of his questionable status. According to sources, the Redskins will not make a decision on the starting quarterback until Sunday morning. Bad news for Griffin owners who will have to play the waiting game until an official announcement is made.
It's never a good thing to have to wait close to kickoff in the second round of the playoffs on a decision at the quarterback position. Even if RG3 does play, I would consider other options at this point, as you can't put your trust in a player who may not be 100%. It's not the time to play the guessing game, and the unknown will be your enemy when you are this far in the season.
Might surprise some, but I have also left out Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger on this list. Amazing to see Big Ben even out there on the field after he was inches away from one of his ribs puncturing his heart a few weeks back, but the fact remains that the Dallas Cowboys are above average at defending the pass, and the Steelers run game is in shambles. Do not trust Big Ben this week, I repeat, do not trust Big Ben this week.
Ok, enough of the who you shouldn't start talk. It's crunch time folks, and starting the right quarterback is a big key to advancing to your leagues championship. After all, that is the main goal for all parties involved so let's take a look at the top 15 fantasy football quarterbacks for Week 15.
15. QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Two main reasons why Joe Flacco makes this list. One, is the fact that he is playing at home, where he is a much more efficient passer. Flacco currently boasts a lousy QB rating of 75.3 on the road, whereas at home, he's currently posting a 100.7 passer rating.
The second reason is the coaching move in Baltimore. Quarterbacks coach, Jim Caldwell, will be calling the offensive plays, as Cam Cameron was fired earlier this week. This means that the Ravens will most likely be running a hurry-up type offense, and Flacco should benefit from that, even if it means a lot of dump-offs to Ray Rice.
The match-up against the Denver Broncos isn't the greatest for Joe, as Denver has been quite stingy on defense as of late. Still, if Flacco can come close to his 100 passer rating, he should be in for a productive day for his owners.
14. QB Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders
The Kansas City Chiefs have actually held each and every quarterback they have faced under 300 passing yards since Week 6. Still, they have allowed the 6th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks because they tend to give up multiple passing touchdowns a game. I also suspect that this current string of games allowing less than 300 passing yards is because of how lopsided most of their games actually are.
The Raiders backfield is finally healthy, and defenses will now have to respect the threat of Darren McFadden. Palmer faced this same KC team back in Week 8, throwing for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns. Now the KC defense has to travel to the black hole, this time against a team with a more balanced attack, and I think it's going to show in Palmer's numbers. If you need QB help or in a 2-QB league, Palmer is a decent option this weekend.
13. QB Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
On paper, the Cowboys match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers, is not a great one for Tony Romo. The Steelers have allowed the 3rd-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks, and Romo might be without his top reciever, Dez Bryant.
You just can't ignore the mind-set of the Cowboys offensive game plan, which currently has Tony throwing the ball on average 45 times a game. The sheer volume of passing attempts will lead to some sort of fantasy production no matter how you look at it. Whether it's via passing yards or touchdowns, Tony is somehow going to get it done for you.
Steelers are dealing with injuries on the defensive side, and Phillip Rivers proved last week that this secondary is beatable. Rivers threw the ball 41 times for only 200 yards, but it also resulted in three touchdowns and 20 standard fantasy points. Look for more of the same from Romo this week.
12. QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck did not have a very productive day last week against the Tennessee Titans like everyone thought he would. Look for Luck to bounce back against the Houston Texans as he has not had two lousy fantasy performances in a row this season.
The Texans defense is beatable, as Tom Brady proved last week throwing for four touchdowns. Texans D has actually been very vulnerable these past three weeks, and teams are noticing. The past three weeks, opposing quarterbacks have attempted a whopping 142 passes against this secondary. The Colts backfield is nothing to write home about, so expect 35+ attempts from Luck in this one.
11. QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
It's going to be a real slug-fest in the Windy City on Sunday. There has already been a war of words between the two teams, and this game will decide who will be the winner of the NFC North division. Don't invest too much into Rodgers this week, even though they have struggled, the Bears are still the top passing defense when it comes to stopping opposing quarterbacks.
Still, I cannot keep Rodgers off this list as he's still a top 5 quarterback and has the ability to put up points in a hurry. The Bears did hold Rodgers to only 219 passing yards and one touchdown back in Week 2, and that was on the road. Rodgers also has not topped 250 passing yards since Week 7 against the St. Louis Rams so tread lightly here, there is a reason Rodgers on not lower on this list heading into Sunday's battle.
10. QB Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Did you know Peyton Manning has not lost a game against the Baltimore Ravens since 2001? Manning is 8-0 since, averaging 253 passing yards a game, and fourteen touchdowns.
Baltimore currently giving up around 270 passing yards a game, and they have allowed four passing touchdowns the past three weeks. With Peyton's historical success against the Ravens, and the fact that Baltimore is dealing with some injuries, look for him to make it nine straight wins against Baltimore.
9. QB Eli Manning, New York Giants
Not the greatest match-up for Eli as the Atlanta Falcons have allowed the 10th-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. However, Eli has been on point as of late, racking up 59 standard fantasy points the past three weeks.
Falcons may have their hands full, as Eli has not lost to them since his rookie season, posting a 4-0 record with an average of 286 passing yards and ten passing touchdowns. Atlanta may be on their home turf, but that shouldn't bother the speedy wideouts on the Giants roster, especially Victor Cruz. Falcons have held quarterbacks in check, minus last weeks' debacle against Cam Newton, but they have still allowed 884 passing yards the past three weeks. Look for Eli to stay hot, and help his owners advance to their league's championship.
8. QB Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
Texans were embarrassed last week against the New England Patriots, so look for them to make a statement against the Colts. Indianapolis currently allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks the past five weeks, and are allowing 276 passing yards a game.
The Colts secondary is an issue, and proof of that would be Jake Locker's stat line of 35 attempts for 262 yards and a touchdown last week. If Jake Locker, who some could argue as one of the worst QB's in the league at the moment, can put up decent numbers, imagine what Schaub is capable of in this match-up.
7. QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
The Arizona Cardinals looked like a high school team last week, getting hammered by the Seattle Seahawks 58-0. Can't put all of the blame on the defense though, as the Arizona offense looked horrific, turning the ball over an astonishing eight times.
If I expected the Cardinals to put up another stinker, I wouldn't have put Stafford on this list as a blowout would mean less production for him. Arizona actually has a pretty stingy defense, allowing the 5th-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but I suspect a very close game in this one believe it or not. The more passing attempts for Stafford, the more productive he will be. Oh, and he has that guy named Calvin Johnson on his team. That should help. If you need him, start him.
6. QB Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Kaepernick continues to impress his owners, and this weeks match-up against the Patriots should be a fruitful one for those who start him. New England currently allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks despite keeping opposing QBs out of the end zone the past two weeks.
Don't let the numbers fool you, the Patriots haven't faced a good quarterback in a few weeks, and Kaepernick has that dual-threat with his running game. Even if Kaepernick struggles in the passing game, his legs will get his owners some points, so a projection of 18-20 points would be the downside here. I expect Colin to produce here on way or another.
5. QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan has not surpassed 20 fantasy points since Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints, but that should all change against the 27th-ranked pass defense in the New York Giants.
Ryan fares much better on his home turf, and the Giants have allowed 21 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs in the past five weeks. The possibility of not having Roddy White may hurt Ryan's value a little, but he still has Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez to throw to so he should be just fine. 20+ fantasy points is almost a sure thing this week so start him.
4. QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady is going to produce no matter who he plays against. Even if that means facing a San Francisco 49ers defense that has allowed the 4th-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. That stat shouldn't put any fear into Brady owners because the reality is that the 49ers are even better against the run. And when the Patriots face stout rush defenses, they tend to throw the ball more.
It's a home game at Gillette Stadium, and you can't sit Tom Brady, so insert him like you normally would. Just don't expect a HUGE performance from him because you have to respect the 49ers defense.
3. QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Patience certainly payed off for any Cam Newton owners who stuck with him through his slow start. Climbing up the rankings, Cam is now the 3rd most productive quarterback in fantasy football, and has a very favorable match-up against the San Diego Chargers.
Newton is on fire, averaging 37 fantasy points per game the past three weeks, and the Chargers currently giving up the 8th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks the past five weeks. Whether it's via the air or the ground, Cam should have no problem keeping the production up and his owners happy this week.
2. QB Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Josh Freeman might not be the only quarterback you have on your roster, but he should be considered the top option this week unless you have Drew Brees. Freeman will face the horrid Saints defense this week, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Freeman had his best game of 2012 and maybe his career against this same soft secondary in Week 7. He threw for an impressive 420 yards and three touchdowns in that game. Freeman also has thrown multiple touchdowns in eight of his last nine games, so look for that trend should continue against this defense. Insert this man into your lineups with full confidence.
1. QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees has absolutely killed his owners the past two weeks, but if you somehow survived his poor play, he is about to reward his owners in a big way. A match-up against the Buccaneers couldn't have come at a better time for Brees owners, as only Drew's own team has a softer defense than the Buccaneers.
Tampa currently allowing the 2nd-most fantasy points to opposing QBs, and are not in good form as they have been beat by quarterbacks that don't even come close to Drew Brees potential. Think about it this way, Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles ripped through this secondary for 381 yards and two touchdowns last week. Hell, even Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder, who is arguably the worst quarterback in the NFL at the moment, threw for 251 yards and a touchdown against this secondary.
If Foles and Ponder can have success against this defense, Brees should have no problem having success for his owners on Sunday. Oh, and Brees threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns against this same secondary in Week 7, and that was on the road. Drew is about to explode this Sunday, so hang in there Brees owners, it's going to be okay.
Follow Michael on twitter: @windycityiggy