So you have a quarterback, right? I’m going to go out on a limb and say you do. It is time to start looking into our statistical crystal ball and see what our QB’s matchups look like for the rest of the year. This is an inexact science, but it is worth exploring. All teams have at least 4 games under their collective belts. In my opinion this is right on the edge of enough data to understand how a defense will play the rest of the year. Will Tennessee turn things around? Will key players get injured? Can the Browns finish 10th overall in pass defense? Will Rod Woodson and Deion Sanders make comebacks and play for the Lions? Will Peyton Manning turn into Peyton Headroom and be sucked into a digitized world of commercials? These are all extremely plausible. But we have to go from the information we have right now. I’ve taken the info I gathered from my previous post on passing defenses (get hyper with the link or just scroll down a bit) and used it to determine an overall ranking for each quarterback’s remaining schedule and playoff schedule (weeks 15 and 16).
So here we go! We’ll go from easiest to hardest and I’ll skip over the JaMarcus Russels and Derek Andersons of the world (talent sure has!).
Overall Rank/Playoff Rank
1/6 Matt Hasselbeck: Living out west has its perks, and playing Arizona and St. Louis are two of them. Hasselbeck is an injury risk and I would hate to tether all my hopes to his gimpy back and ribs, but if you are 0-5 and looking to make some crazy moves I could see trading your stud QB for Hass and another piece you need. It could burn you, but even burnt baby back ribs can be tasty if you are drunk enough.
4/19 Aaron Rodgers: This is great news for Rodgers’ owners. He has been having trouble with his o-line, but with a weak schedule he should be able to put up decent numbers as long as his fibula stays in one piece. But then he does have a tough playoff schedule going to Pittsburgh and staying home against Seattle. He should help you get to the playoffs, but that away game at Pittsburgh will be a tough one to start the fantasy playoffs.
7/12 Carson Palmer: Carson has been great in the 4th quarter, but just a middle of the road fantasy QB overall. These stats indicate that he has a chance to up those numbers for the rest of the year and I think he can. The Bengals seem to be getting better every week and confidence breeds more confidence and if that confidence breeds with Tony Robbins we’ll have a huge confidence baby with scary big white teeth.
9/10 Jay Cutler: He will continue to gain confidence in his receivers and with just a fair to middling defense he will need to throw enough to make him a decent fantasy quarterback and with his schedule it shouldn’t be all that difficult. I’m buying.
10/1 Kurt Warner: Warner really has the sweetest deal out of all the QBs. When playoff time comes around he goes up against A number 1, certified, God-awful defenses in Detroit and St. Louis. Many of these rankings can change as the season progresses, but Detroit and St. Louis are not going to magically transform into the ’85 Bears or even 8.5 of the ’85 Bears. So do you buy old man Warner with a good chance that you are buying a hip replacement surgery as well? Well, this is another high risk, high reward play. If you do take the risk make room in the guest house for his towel boy Leinart.
11/9 Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben has been a top 5 QB this year in about every format. It looks like he has a good chance to keep those kind of numbers up with a fairly easy schedule the rest of the season. You probably can’t buy him without paying for it, but I don’t think you should sell him high either.
13/17 Peyton Manning: Yeah, that Peyton Manning. I will go out on a limb and say he’ll be okay the rest of the season.
14/3 Matt Schaub: Schaub has been a top 5 QB this season and will continue to be. His team is young, and he’s no Peyton Manning, but he can put up fantasy numbers that will make you glad you got him in the late rounds while others got Peyton instead of oh, the great and powerful Ronnie Brown! Schaub has a decent schedule, but a very nice playoff schedule with St. Louis and Miami on tap. Be glad you drafted him and do a “Matt Schaub better stay healthy dance” before you tuck your kids in tonight.
17/3 Drew Brees: Brees has a similar schedule to Schaub, but he’s Drew Brees. He has some tough games like this weekend’s against the Giants, but both his playoff games are in the dome and against Dallas and Tampa Bay. Unless both of those teams get their shizz in order real soon I see Brees picking them apart. And you really can’t ask for better conditions than dome, recirculated air, to throw in the winter.
18/2 Philip Rivers: Rivers has a nice playoff schedule at home in the sunny confines of Saint James and is just too good to not put up decent numbers even against good defenses, but he does have a rough patch (he probably should have a dermatologist check it out) against the Giants, Philly and Denver weeks 10-12, and if he has a few bad games there it would be a great time to grab him for an easy stretch run.
19/15 Tom Brady: Tom Terrific has a fairly tough schedule with some cake walks interspersed. His playoff games are lot like his overall schedule. The first game is at Buffalo which has a very underrated secondary and a chance for horrible weather and then a game at home against a horrid Jacksonville secondary. Just like his schedule, Brady has played with sporadic effectiveness. He will get things going and when he does it won’t really matter who the Pats are playing so I wouldn’t worry too much about Brady, but I wouldn’t run out and trade your first born for him or anyone’s first born for that matter; I think it might be illegal.
20/16 Joe Flacco: The Unibrow Bomber has a semi-tough schedule. Not devastatingly tough, but tough enough to make you go live in a cabin in the woods and mail in a couple games. His schedule really is about as average as you can get, so don’t throw him out with the baby or however that saying goes.
28/29 Eli Manning: Manning has been great, but he’s got a tough row to hoe and Eli just doesn’t look like the burly farm-hand type. He has shown me a lot this season and I don’t see why he couldn’t beat the odds, but in fantasy football we like taking the path of least resistance and that would be trading Manning for a QB with a row that’s already been hoed.
30/25 Donovan McNabb: Donovan, when healthy, has been amazing this year. In that offense he is almost matchup proof, but the numbers aren’t on his side. The fact that his two playoff games are at home is nice, but who knows what the weather will be like. Two games against the Giants are depressing the numbers a bit and should be. With his injury history I’m not crazy about his prospects to lead you to a fantasy football title this year.
31/30 Tony Romo: He has two games on the road in the fantasy playoffs verse the Saints and Redskins who are both in the top 10 in pass defense right now. Romo can put up big numbers, and is the epitome of a fantasy quarterback, but his schedule makes it look like it’s the perfect sell high time. And no, selling high does not mean to smoke the ganga and then log onto your teams and start throwing out trades.
32/32 Matt Ryan: Ok, I love Matt Ryan and this pains me to say, but you need to sell him, sell him like he’s your kid’s last candy bar and selling it will send him to soccer camp for a month and give you sweet, sweet, peace and quiet. Ryan’s next two games are the Bears at home and then a game at Dallas. He should be able to put up decent numbers there, but then his next 8 out of 9 games are against top 10 pass defenses. I own him and am not doing handstands right now, not that I could.
So do you really trade Matt Ryan for Matt Hasselbeck? Probably not. Hass is an injury just waiting to happen and a healthy Matt Ryan is worth a lot more than a tractioned Matt Hasselbeck. And, like I said, these numbers will change and might change drastically. I’m using them as a rough guide. I did not find this anywhere near talking, burning shrubbery.
I will update this chart in a couple weeks and see where they stand. It will be interesting to see how much it fluctuates.