Week 10 saw plenty of unusual plays at quarterback. We saw career start debuts in Jake Luton and Garret Gilbert. There were mid-game injury substitutes like Alex Smith and Chase Daniels. But all the new quarterbacks were not all worthy fantasy starts. Below I will break down what quarterbacks you should trust for your team to score big, and which you should leave on the bench.
Keep in mind that I am avoiding suggesting obvious starts or sits. If you have a top 3 quarterback, or are holding on to injured quarterbacks in a dynasty league, remember to start and bench each respectively. This list is for more ambiguous starts where fantasy managers are on the fence.
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos vs Miami Dolphins
I know Drew Lock has been under-performing all year and I know he needs to clean up the interceptions, but he just had an amazing fantasy game. Last week he scored the 6th most fantasy points among players, not quarterbacks, players. Every week since returning from injury in week 6, he has scored more than the game before. I doubt he will beat his mark of 29.22 from last weekend, but he is in position to build on his momentum and score points. He is facing a Raiders defense that allows the 30th most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Allowing 3.2 offensive touchdowns per game is an obvious contributor to that. For a Broncos offense that does not have a big volume workhorse as RB, these touchdowns are likely coming from their quarterback. I think Lock will have a great game and is easily a top 8 play at quarterback.
Jared Goff, LA Rams vs Seattle Seahawks
Jared Goff, similar to Lock, has been disappointing this season. But if he wants to have a rebound game, he has a perfect opportunity this weekend. The Rams are playing a Seattle Seahawks team whose secondary has allowed the most passing yards per game this season (362.1). It should not come as a surprise that they similarly give up the most fantasy points to QBs this year as well. They were just torched by Josh Allen for 3 passing touchdowns and over 400 yards. Jared Goff might not be having an MVP candidate campaign, but he is more than worth a start this weekend.
Jake Luton, Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers
Jake Luton got his first start last weekend after Gardner Minshew II went out with an injury. He had a more than respectable performance, scoring 21 fantasy points with 304 yards, a touchdown, and a pick. With an impressive receiving core in DJ Chark, Keelan Cole and Chris Conely, he has more than enough weapons to have a great fantasy game. He is playing an above average Packers defense this weekend, but with the amount of touchdowns Green Bay scores, he will have more than enough drives to reward fantasy managers.
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers vs Buccaneers
Last week I told you to bench Bridgewater and he wound up scoring 28 points. This weekend I’m telling you to bench him. He will be playing a Tampa Bay defense this weekend that allows the third fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. I know Bridgewater has McCaffery back, but I don’t think it will be enough. In-fact head coach Matt Rhule might just rely on the running back to lead the offense to a win on volume rushing attempts – they might not try to win in the air. Either way it spells a bad fantasy game for the Panthers quarterback.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Joe Burrow is putting together an impressive campaign this year considering he is a rookie, but I don’t like him as a starter for week 10. He is travelling to Pittsburgh for an uphill battle against a strong Steelers defense. As the 6th best fantasy defense against quarterbacks, they will be a problem for Burrow. Notably, Pittsburgh leads the league in sacks per game with 4.0. Young quarterbacks are always more vulnerable to pass rush by being more inexperienced. Many times they are used to their college days when they could get away with it out-maneuvering oncoming players. That won’t work against this talented Steelers team. I would steer clear of Burrow this week.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans vs Indianpolis Colts
Ryan Tannehill’s biggest fantasy problem is that he’s the quarterback of a rushing offense. The Titans run the ball the 6th most in the league with 30.8 attempts per game. There is a good reason for that. Derrick Henry proved he was an elite running back in the playoffs last season when he single-handedly carried the Titans offense, accounting for two-thirds of their total offense in the wildcard and divisional games until a defensive shutdown by the Chiefs in the AFC championship. He has continued being the workhorse back this year.
Tannehill is facing the 2nd best defense against fantasy quarterbacks. The Titans want to get back Henry’s momentum after a less than impressive game last weekend. The cards are not in the quarterback’s favor. Look for another start at QB week 10.
Alex Smith, Washington Football Team at Detroit Lions
Alex Smith has been a good quarterback throughout his career. This season, however, he is in one of the worst positions as a starter he’s ever had. After starter Kyle Allen went down with a brutal leg injury against the Giants last sunday, Smith was pushed into the QB1 role. But he’s on a struggling Washington that can’t move the ball (306.4 yards per game), can’t get first downs (19.2 per game), and can’t score (19.1 per game). They fall at 30th in the league in each of those statistical categories. In all, the Washington offense is a disaster. The Lions aren’t a top defense in the league, but I don’t see that being enough for Alex Smith to be on fantasy rosters. In a league populated with strong quarterback options, avoid Smith.
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