A lot of people think fantasy writers spend our days and nights surrounded by B-list rappers from the 2000s (I see you Chingy!), 16 big-screen TVs playing NFL Red Zone, and Mike Mayock on speed dial (does Twitter have speed dial?). OK, that’s actually how Grey and Donkey Teeth spend their days. But me? I’m a lowly midwestern Vikings fan living in Packers territory running DSL off a bankrupt company. Thanks to the novel piranhavirus that delayed the Titans/Bills game, I’m submitting this article before some of the top quarterbacks have even finished playing. But, I’m not alone in my wishes to be hanging with Luda, have a fiber connection, and a direct line to Dick Butkus (wait, did I say that last part?). Most of the fantasy world is delayed right now due to scoring glitches caused by Tuesday night football. So, let’s huddle up…no, not that close…and take a look at how the quarterbacks are shaping up for the rest of your fantasy football season. 

October 12-18, 2020

Dak Prescott — Where else do we start but the tragedy of Dak Prescott? In April of this year, Dak lost his brother, Jace, to suicide. The Cowboys followed that with a protracted contract battle, where Dak, the face of the franchise, wasn’t given a multi-year contract extension. Playing on the franchise tag for 2020, Prescott started the year on a record-breaking pace for 6,700 yards passing. Then on Sunday afternoon in front of millions of viewers, Dak’s ankle shattered and dislocated. His foot twisted sideways, and the bone nearly protruded from his protective sock. Dak went immediately to the local hospital, where surgeons corrected the compound fracture to stop the bleeding and prevent further infection. Of course, Dak will miss the remainder of the 2020 season, and his status with the Cowboys remains uncertain. Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, stated publicly that Dak will return to a position of leadership with the team, but some of those words ring hollow when so many other teams would welcome Prescott. The type of injury Dak suffered was indeed severe; more career-altering than potentially career ending. Although he may be able to play next year, he may not be 100% healed, and he may not be on the Cowboys. For dynasty owners who are holding onto Dak, his value is pretty low right now. If there’s an owner willing to trade you a valuable player or draft pick, I recommend taking that. Dak’s true value to fantasy players won’t be known until next year’s training camp. As comparisons, you can look at Teddy Bridgewater or Alex Smith, each of whom lost more than a year of playing time. The Cowboys’ hype team is saying he’ll be back practicing on a normal schedule this winter, but medically, it’s too soon to confirm that. Be cautious with Dak in dynasty formats. 

Andy Dalton — Dalton replaces Prescott as the Cowboys’ signal caller for the rest of the year. Dalton is a three-time Pro Bowler from his tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals, and he was more than capable of taking a full-time starter job in the league with just about any team. The 32-year old Dalton’s career numbers are dulled by his last three years in a crashing Bengals’ system that couldn’t find an effective second WR to pair alongside A.J. Green. In 2019, rookie head coach Zac Taylor crashed the team and benched Dalton for a time on his way to a 2-14 record, a move which allowed the Bengals to draft Joe Burrow. With the Cowboys, Dalton takes over a wonderful offense led by Mike McCarthy that is stocked with receivers and a defense that couldn’t stop Jell-O. Dalton is a must roster in all formats, although it remains to be seen whether he should be an every week starter in 12-team leagues. Regardless, Dalton comes into the QB position with the best offensive situation that a fantasy owner could ask for. If you’re a dynasty manager, Dalton is worth a shot, but you might want to look below at some less-rostered QBs with big upside. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick — Fitzmagic tossed his way to the best QB performance in Week 5 in a surprise thrashing of the 49ers. Now, it wasn’t much of a surprise that the 49ers wouldn’t be effective on offense, but their usually stout defense — which had not allowed a quarterback to throw for more than 225 yards in 2020 — broke apart when Fitzmagic came to town. Now, commenters will point out that they’ve been saying “Fitzpatrick is going to break out!” all year — and that’s great and I want the beard to dance victoriously in the Dolphin pool — but the honest truth is that the numbers just aren’t there. Fitzpatrick put up games of this fantasy value (about 27 points) 2 times since 2018. Yes, he’s been surprisingly consistent and productive in 2020 given his average draft value (which was basically the last QB off the board in a 12-team superflex league). But the numbers don’t lie: the second-most targeted receiver on the Dolphins is running back Myles Gaskin. Fitzpatrick is tied for 4th in the NFL in interceptions. His percentage of on-target throws is sandwiched between Dwayne Haskins and Mitch Trubisky, two quarterbacks that already lost their jobs. And did I mention Tua Tagovailoa is the future of the Dolphins franchise? I love Fitzmagic as much as the next guy, but for fantasy purposes, in an optimal situation, you’re deploying Fitz as a best ball quarterback, as a 2nd QB in a superflex, or as a replacement for Dak Prescott

Derek Carr — I told you last week that Carr had all the peripherals lined up for a breakout, and in Week 5, he went toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes and won. The Raiders have been throwing a ton, and Carr’s been ridiculously accurate. He’s got three receivers on pace for 1,000 yard years, and Henry Ruggs made a big play last week. Rookie WR often don’t start fast, so if Ruggs gets more involved in the passing game, that opens Carr up for more completions and gives him a higher fantasy upside. Carr is still a fringe 12-team starting QB, but if you’re looking to replace Dak without paying the 100% of your remaining FAAB that Dalton will likely cost, take a look at Carr. 

Joe Flacco — I’m old enough to remember when Flacco was a Super Bowl winning quarterback with a huge contract and a huge arm and wasn’t losing out to Drew Lock and Sam Darnold in a quarterback battle. Anyway, Darnold is injured with the same AC joint issue that has kept Lock out for most of the season, and Joe Flacco is taking over the dumpster fire that is the New York Jets offense. And as of Tuesday, the Jets decided they wanted to trade release  top running back Le’Veon Bell — he catches a lot of passes, bee-tee-dubya — and continue their race for the worst offense on the worst team in the worst year in history. Can you imagine tanking a team to get the #1 pick and letting Adam Gase take over that player development? More like 4D chess: Jets ownership want the #1 pick, and are letting Adam Gase crash the team before bringing in a whole new coaching regime and letting them restart the franchise. ENYWHEY. I could write whatever the hell I want about Falco (AMADEUS AMADEUS!), but the end story is he’s the interim-ish QB on the worst offense in the league that just got rid of its best player. But on the plus side, the Jets will be passing a ton, and that’s worth being ranked above Drew Lock, at least. Rudy’s QB-o-nator has Flacco in the top 20 next week because the Jets play the Dolphins (#9th most passing yards allowed), and Falco (ROCK ME!) is happy to throw it at Jamison Crowder a million times. I’m happy about that too, because Crowder gets me all clammy when I think about him on my fantasy teams. Flacco, though? I’ll be writing his requiem by Week 9. 

Teddy Bridgewater — Quick, who’s got the second-highest completion rate, the fifth most passing yards, and a QB rating higher than Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott? That’s TOUCHDOWN TEDDY TWO GLOVES! The former future of the Vikings franchise has been raking in Carolina, and he’s about to get Christian McCaffrey back. Sure, his TD rate has been awful, but he’s got a rookie head coach, he hasn’t been the main signal caller for a team in years, and it’s 2020. TDs are erratic: with every complaint about Ryan Tannehill’s 2019 being called “noise” to Lamar Jackson’s 2019 being called “signal,” we need to keep our eyes open to usage, yardage, and opportunities. According to my Yahoo screen, Touchdown Teddy is rostered in 55% of leagues, which is pretty nuts. At the worst, teams should be rostering him just to keep him off of other managers’ rosters. A top 12 QB gets injured? Oh, that’s fine, Teddy is just behind Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes in yardage, and my team continues onward. Rudy’s projections like Teddy this week as a value play at QB, so if he’s on the waiver wire, grab him and stash him. 

Kyle Allen — Ugh. Football Team head coach Ronald Rivera said he saw everything he wanted to out of Kyle Allen. Ronny R. has three-time Pro Bowler Alex Smith, first round pick Dwayne Haskins, and undrafted free agent Kyle Allen. Now, in his college career, Allen was supplanted by Kyler Murray at Texas A&M, and then after transferring to Houston, Allen started only three games before being benched. Somehow, somewhere, the great offensive mind in Ron Rivera — who indeed has done great coaching things with many different players — but somewhere Double-R decided that he was going to pit his franchise rebuild on Kyle Allen, the guy who couldn’t hold down a starting QB job at two different universities. When Allen found himself in charge of the Panthers’ offense in 2019, he dumped the ball off to CMC so much that Allen was one of 7 qualified QBs with more YAC than air yards. His leading receiver, D.J. Moore, had an 8.7 yards/target, which ranked him down with Corey Davis, O.J. Howard, and Adam Thielen. In short, Allen is not good. He was also injured last week, to the point that the guy who hadn’t played in two years due to a life-threatening leg injury came in and took 6 sacks. This is all to say, don’t start Kyle Allen. That said, it’s entirely possible that F1 Terry McLaurin gets a ton of dump passes and has to run the rest of the way — just like D.J. Moore’s breakout 2019! — so keep your fingers crossed that Allen’s penchant for short passes turns the receiving corps in Washington into PPR machines. 

Rankings

As noted in the intro, there are some delays in data reporting, and the Bills/Titans game in week 5 wasn’t finished when I submitted this article.

It’s best to view the QBs in tiers, of which the ordering in tiers 2/3 doesn’t matter all that much. The QBs from 1-12 here are your 12-team starters; from 13-23, you’re looking at superflex QB2 and bye week starters; and QBs from 24-32 should be rostered only in super-deep leagues. 

Also, we’re getting into the territory where some of the replacement quarterbacks don’t have “qualified” status yet, so I don’t have all of their data handy. But if you’re looking to roster Joe Flacco, you’ve got more things to worry about than his fantasy points per game. 

  • PY/G = Passing yards per game
  • RY/G = Rushing yards per game
  • TTDs = Passing + Rushing TDs
  • CAY/AT = Completed Air Yards per Attempt (Shows accuracy + Thrown Distance)
  • YAC/C = Yards After Catch per Catch (Shows role of receivers in yardage)
  • Bad% = Percentage of badly thrown passes (not including spikes/throwaways)
  • FP/G = Standard League fantasy points per game (2020 season)
  • Green = Player is top 20% in that category
Rank Player Y/G RY/G TTDs CAY/AT YAC/C Bad% FP/G
1 Russell Wilson 300.4 30.6 19 5.3 4.9 8.6 29.4
2 Josh Allen 331.5 20.8 15 5.7 4.6 12.5 29.75
3 Patrick Mahomes 294.8 25.8 15 3.5 6.5 14.5 27.6
4 Kyler Murray 259.8 59.2 13 3.7 5 11 26
5 Aaron Rodgers 303.5 7.8 13 4.3 6.3 17.2 25.75
6 Lamar Jackson 189.8 47.6 10 4.5 3.9 11.4 19.6
7 Justin Herbert 298.8 13.8 10 4 6.5 10.9 21.75
8 Matt Ryan 294.4 4.6 7 4.7 3.9 12.9 16.6
9 Deshaun Watson 290.2 16.6 10 5.5 5.1 14.6 19.6
10 Ryan Tannehill 269.7 11.7 6 5.2 3.9 10.5 19.3
11 Ben Roethlisberger 254 0.5 10 3.3 5.5 9.2 20.25
12 Cam Newton 238 49.7 6 4.1 5.5 17.8 23.6
13 Joe Burrow 260.8 17 7 3.7 4 12.4 16.2
14 Matthew Stafford 254.3 11.3 8 3.8 5.9 21.6 18.25
15 Ryan Fitzpatrick 268.8 26.2 9 4.9 4.3 10.1 20.6
16 Jared Goff 274.4 5.8 10 4 7 10.9 19.6
17 Gardner Minshew II 287.8 17.4 10 3.9 4.9 9.4 18.8
18 Teddy Bridgewater 292 14.6 7 4 5.7 11.4 18
19 Derek Carr 288.4 6.8 11 4 5.8 8.2 19
20 Tom Brady 275 1.2 13 4.4 4 19.3 20
21 Drew Brees 266.2 -0.4 10 3.8 5.4 10.4 17.8
22 Andy Dalton 55.5 N/A N/A 6.6 3.6 0 N/A
23 Carson Wentz 237.6 24.4 9 3.6 4.2 16.1 17.2
24 Kirk Cousins 226.4 11 8 5.2 4.6 10.4 13.8
25 Philip Rivers 245.4 0.2 4 4.2 5.3 9.8 11
26 Baker Mayfield 195.2 6.4 9 4.5 3.1 13.5 14
27 Daniel Jones 222.2 26 2 3.6 4.1 13.2 10.2
28 Nick Foles 226.7 -1.7 5 3.7 3.6 16.2 N/A
29 Jimmy Garoppolo 155.7 3 4 2.8 7.1 16.7 N/A
30 Joe Flacco 105.5 10 1 3.1 5.2 0 N/A
31 Drew Lock 118 2.5 1 2.7 5.8 21.6 N/A
32 Kyle Allen 74 7 1 0.8 7 0 N/A

Aye, you made it this far, didn’t ya. EverywhereBlair is, well, located at home right now. He’s a historian and lover of prog-metal. He enjoys a good sipping rum. When he’s not churning data and making fan fiction about Grey and Donkey Teeth, you can find him dreaming of shirtless pictures of Lance Lynn on Twitter @Everywhereblair.

  1. scoboticus says:
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    So I lost Dak, and Carr is on bye. Make a waiver claim for Dalton? Or just wait and pick over the scraps tomorrow?

    • scoboticus says:
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      Scraps being Fitz, Teddy and Wentz.

      • everywhereblair

        everywhereblair says:
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        Yeah, do your best to keep Dalton off the WW for other teams. You could probably trade him after this week.

        Should he be unavailable, Teddy and Fitz are probably equal next week, with Teddy having higher upside on the ROS.

        Thanks for checking in scoboticus!

  2. The Harrow says:
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    yah wacco for flacco has/had the best agent in the history of the league to get that contract

    • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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      pretty sure if carr is available nobody will be blowing their budgets on dalton (at least not if they have a lot left). i’m in superflexes and 2 QB leagues and carr’s owned in every one of them already (i as a newton owner was happy to pay very little for hoyer then stidham in one of those, as i expected to get beat to either for what i was willing to pay). dalton did just go for 60/100 in that same league where i have newton (and till just now had either of hoyer/stidham). he’ll go for numbers like that in other 2 QB and superflexes too, but carr was drafted and owned in all of those. i guess some super weird possibility that carr was dropped in one of those since like sat, but that would be only way to compare what these 2 would go for this week.

      • everywhereblair

        everywhereblair says:
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        I think a lot of people like shiny new things, and despite the fact that Dalton is pretty meh statistically, they’ll jump all over him because they feel the bandwagon pressure.

        Meanwhile, TD Teddy Two Gloves stays in the top 10% of the league in yardage and is on the waiver wire in 60% of leagues…

        • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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          yeah bridgewater is surely better than either of those others. only spot i got him is in that same league mentioned (12 team PPR with 2 regular flexes and 1 super flex). have wentz (one of 4 keepers going into year, have to kinda keep a QB in this one, by the 2nd round m.ryan and rounds 3-4 another 8-9 starters go outside of the ones kept), newton and bridge. now wentz is the bench for first time too this week. in another spot (12 team 1 QB) i had stashed cousins about 1.5 weeks before rodgers’ bye figuring cousins @ SEA would be a very good scoring game for cousins (it wasn’t) but then going into last week i tried to waiver bridge (weekly reset so i didn’t get him. would’ve won had i gotten bridge last week in that one).

  3. Chud says:
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    Great work as always!

    10 team 2 QB start league. Main roster below:

    QB: LJackson/RWilson/Tannehill
    RB: MSanders/Robinson/JTaylor/Edmonds/Fournette
    WR: ARob/Metcalf/Galladay/Parker/Cooks
    TE: Waller

    Would u trade my LJackson /J.Robinson/Fournette for his MDavis/McCaffrey/Burrow?

    Thanks!

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Thanks Chud!

      I think you hold, and my certainty in that decision is about 70%.

      CMC is a volume back, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mike Davis becoming one of those hard-hitting super utilities. Outside of best ball, he won’t be a home run hitter week in, week out. Think of him like Boston Scott last year.

      Additionally, we’re seeing LJax at his floor. We’re seeing Burrow at his ceiling. That’s not an advantageous trade move, IMO.

      Thanks for checking in!

  4. Alcesto says:
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    I’m not sure I understand your rankings. Bridgewater is the number 18 qb ROS and everybody should run out and stash him? And he’s behind Burrow, Stafford, and minshew?

    • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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      he’s saying that specifically since he’s owned far less than those others. he didn’t say get bridge and DROP those others for him.

      • everywhereblair

        everywhereblair says:
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        What Death Dwarves said.

        I try to remind readers every week that every quarterback between (roughly) numbers 10-23 score about the same by year’s end. Outside of the top of the top — Russ, Allen, Kyler, hopefully LJax — most of the QBs will end up very close in scoring at the end of the year.

        Numerical ranking is just how people are familiar with ranking. To me, readers shouldn’t be focusing too much on the minutiae of QB14 vs QB 18.

        My blurb on Derek Carr last week illustrates this point perfectly: if Carr had one more touchdown last year, he would have gone from QB 16 to QB13. As of last week, if he had one more touchdown, he would have gone from QB17 to QB 12 in terms of fantasy points per game. In short, 4-6 end of season points separates most of these QBs in the middle.

        TDs are extremely unstable (only Russ has 3+ consecutive years of 30+TDs recently), so I’m saying that TD Teddy is one of the QBs who has every peripheral lined up in his favor to shoot into the Top 12.

        Thanks for checking in, Alcesto!

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