I figured this article would be both too easy and too useless if I simply named the 5 best and 5 worst starting quarterbacks and suggested fantasy owners start and sit each respectively. Instead I focused my attention on quarterbacks that were rostered in many leagues, and who were not obvious starts or sits. In other words, if you have Patrick Mahomes go ahead and start him, if you have Ben DiNucci go ahead and bench him. Now that we have that cleared up, let’s get into some more ambiguous players to consider.
Nick Foles, Chicago Bears @ Tennessee Titans
I think Nick Foles is a winning fantasy start this week. He was my daily fantasy love in my matchup preview between the Titans and the Bears. To summarize, the Titans’ secondary looks like a mess and Foles is set to take advantage of them. Within the past week they cut Johnathan Joseph after consistently making coverage mistakes, and traded away next year’s 6th round draft pick for Desmond King. King’s a talented player, but it is not easy for anyone to adjust to a team’s new playbook just 6 days after signing with them. For the season, the Titans are 27th against the pass in yards given up and 30th in touchdown passes allowed. With a proven winner in veteran quarterback Nick Foles, I think he will pick apart this Titans defense.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
There were questions around Watson’s fantasy value after he lost Deandre Hopkins in the offseason. By popular opinion, his draft stock fell below what it normally would be. So far this year, however, he has taken the setback in stride. He has thrown a touchdown every game this season and 11 in his last 4 games. In that same time period he is averaging 25.48 fantasy points. Watson is now set to play a struggling Jaguars defense. There are too many statistics to point to, but to just name a few they rank 30th in fantasy points given up to quarterbacks, 28th in passing yards allowed per game, and 31st in points allowed per game with 31.4. The defense is a disaster. Watson is looking forward to a fun game on Sunday.
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Everytime I write about Teddy Bridgewater I feel the need to mention that he plays with two gloves. I have no idea how he throws the ball, but it seems to be working. I know this is not directly fantasy relevant but bear with me, he ranks second among all quarterbacks in completion percentage, and Christian McCaffery will be back on the field with him, even if it is for limited snaps. These two points are signs of great things to come this weekend playing against an obviously very tough Chiefs team. I know the secondary has been playing well for them this year, but I think the Chiefs are gonna make the mistake of focusing on McCaffery too much when he’s on the field to look for Bridgewater throwing over top. Bridgewater is my sleeper pick for week 9 fantasy starts.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills vs Seattle Seahawks
Fantasy owners need to have faith in Josh Allen. I know over the last few weeks we have gotten used to dismal performances, (I say we because I have him too), but he has also proven he can put big numbers very quickly. He is playing a Seattle Seahawks team that ranks dead last in yards given up in the air, and 31st in fantasy points allowed for quarterbacks. Their secondary is not exactly Legion of Boom 2.0. If you have started Allen the past 4 weeks and been disappointed, please give him one more chance on Sunday.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennesee Titans vs Chicago Bears
Few mainstream quarterbacks worry me more than Ryan Tannehill this week. I know Corey Davis is looking more and more like a fantasy stud this year, but this is not the game of outbreaks for anyone on the Titans roster. They are playing a very tough Bears’ team with weapons on both sides of the ball. The Titans don’t rank first in many statistical categories this year, but one worth noting is red zone touchdowns per game. In other words, how many touchdowns they score from starting at the opponent 20 yard line or less. The Titans do rank first in that with 3.3 touchdowns a game. Largely that’s because of their star running back, Derrick Henry, who bullies himself into the endzone when close. They are playing a team who has allowed the second fewest red zone touchdowns per game, with 1.5. To point out the obvious, Derrick Henry has a strong chance of being made irrelevant, forcing Tannehill to have even fewer targets now that Adam Humphries is injured. Stay away from starting Tannehill this week.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions
My favorite memory of watching Kirk Cousins play was on December 26th, 2015. It was a divisional rivalry game against the Philadelphia Eagles, with playoff implications on the line. With 29 seconds left in the half, Cousins looked to march down the field to add to their 6 point lead. In 23 seconds they go 65 yards, but the clock is running, they have no timeouts. Cousins rushes his team to the line, they get set, and he takes a knee to stop the clock. That was not a typing error. It was an embarrassing brain fart expected at the middle school level. Ever since that game, I have been very suspicious of the quarterback. Perhaps that bias encouraged me to write him as a sit suggestion in this article. But it’s certainly not the only reason. Last week we saw his teammate, Dalvin Cook, return from injury and destroy the Packers defense with a 4 touchdown game. He scored 48.6 fantasy points. In that same game, Kirk Cousins totalled just 10.4. I think the Vikings will return to being run heavy offense, as they already rank as 10th in the league in rushing attempts per game. Cousins is not a great play because of volume alone.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I don’t like writing against Drew Brees. He’s a fantastic quarterback, definitely will make the hall of fame, and is capable of magical games. That being said, he has a tough game ahead of him in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are the third best defense against both quarterbacks in fantasy points, and yards allowed per game. With his star receiver in Michael Thomas still injured, I can’t see him pulling something special on Sunday. Sit Brees for another quarterback this week.
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