Week 12 of the NFL regular season is quickly approaching. Gone is the necessity to scour through your roster and the waiver wire in order to find a quarterback to help lead your fantasy team to victory. Instead, that has been replaced with looking at matchups, deciding if your QB1 option is legit and sweating it out as we start to head to the playoffs relatively soon.
Today's article is going to focus on 10 different quarterbacks that must simply when looking at matchups and which players are going to have success against a given opponet. Just a friendly reminder: If you are going up against the Oakland Raiders or New Orleans Saints, just hit the "select all" button on your screen now. That is one bit of free advice you could probably have gotten from the hobo down the street wearing some classic metallic getup on his head. You can thank me later!
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
Schaub is coming off a 527-yard, five touchdown performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11. He needed to put the ball up a great deal (55 attempts) because Houston couldn’t stop the opposing offense. Don’t expect that to be the case moving forward. It seems that the Texans poor performance on defense was more of a mirage than anything else.
I do, however, expect Schaub to put it in the air more often as the season progresses. Arian Foster leads all NFL running backs with 249 attempts. The Texans, who possess a 9-1 record, will probably lighten his load a bit down the stretch.
Houston now goes up against a Detroit Lions defense that has played decent overall, but still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of stopping the pass. I am envisioning another strong day from Schaub come Thanksgiving afternoon.
Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Who of thought that Henne would find himself on this list, but here he is. The pedestrian quarterback of the Jaguars has been named the starting quarterback over Blaine Gabbert following a stunning four touchdown performance against a strong Houston Texans team last week.
While I don’t expect Henne to repeat those numbers in Week 12, he should have a strong game against a Tennessee Titans’ pass defense that ranks 26th in the league against the pass and is giving up an average of passing touchdowns per game.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
My colleague Jessica Kleinschmidt here at eDraft poked fun at me for not recommending that you start Dalton last week. Well, here you go. The second-year quarterback from TCU has been a top 10 fantasy quarterback over the course of the last three games. He has recorded seven touchdowns compared to one interception while averaging over 21 fantasy points during that span.
Cincinnati now has the pleasure of going up against what is quickly becoming a historically bad defense in the form of the Oakland Raiders this week. Oakland is giving up an average of 45 points per game over its last three outings and it literally throwing up all over the field against NFL-caliber offenses. Anemic would be the best word to describe this unit thus far. Expect a huge day for Dalton and company here.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
This rookie from Wisconsin has thrown seven touchdowns compared to one interception in his last three games after struggling a great deal against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7. While the yardage numbers (under 200 per game) aren’t spectacular, he is averaging over 18 fantasy points per game during that span.
Wilson and Seattle will be taking on a Miami Dolphins team that has been horrendous against the pass. They have yielded over 266 yards per game, ranking them 27th in the league in that category. As is always the case with fantasy football, we look at trends. While Miami is giving up under 150 yards per in its last two games, we have to look at the competition its defense was facing: Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills. I am expecting another solid performance from Wilson this week.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
It is hard to believe, but Ryan has been a borderline QB1 option over the course of Atlanta’s last five games. He has thrown seven touchdowns compared to nine interceptions during that span. Ryan is also coming off his worst fantasy performance as a starting quarterback in the NFL. He was intercepted a total of five times against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11 and compiled under two fantasy points.
Luckily for Ryan and company, he is facing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ pass defense that ranks dead last in yards against. Look for Ryan to get back on track this week.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Rivers is an enigma of sorts. He will look good for an entire three quarterbacks before folding up the tent and going upstream without a paddle. These are the types of performances that seem to define Rivers’ recently. He will give you a ton of negative points on a consistent basis, which we all know isn’t what you are looking for in a QB1 option.
San Diego hosts the Baltimore Ravens, who seem to be on a bit of a roll. This doesn’t mean that Rivers will struggle against what has been a mediocre pass defense in Baltimore. I am expecting a good performance here.
Colin Kaepernick or Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
No matter who starts for San Francisco (my money is on Smith), he will put up some damn good numbers against the 31st ranked pass defense in the NFL in the form of the New Orleans Saints. Following Kaepenricks’ stunning performance Monday night against the Chicago Bears, these two quarterbacks have now completed 76 percent of their passes with seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in their last three games.
For his part, Kaepernick has been a QB1 option over the last two weeks. He ranks ninth among fantasy quarterbacks during that span, accumulating nearly 440 yards and three scores. The second-year signal caller from Nevada hasn’t turned the ball over either. If Kaepernick gets the start, he will be a stud in Week 12. Meanwhile, you can expect a workmanlike 250-yard, multiple touchdown performance from Smith should he get the nod.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
While Newton is nowhere near a solid fantasy option on a weekly basis, he will be able to put up some solid numbers against what has quickly become one of the worst defenses in the form of the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. In fact, anyone going up against that ridiculously bad unit needs to be considered a must start.
Newton is averaging over 21 fantasy points in his last three games and currently ranks 12th among quarterbacks in that category for this season. While Newton could easily fall flat on national television, I am expecting another solid outing.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Romo has now gone three consecutive games without an interception after throwing four against the New York Giants in a Week 18 loss. In total, the enigmatic quarterback is averaging 17 fantasy points over the course of the last four games.
The Boys’ take on Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in what has to be considered a must win for both teams. Washington’s defense has struggled a great deal against the pass this season. It ranks 29th against the pass and is giving up the third most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Need I say more?
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Luck’s horrible performance against the New England Patriots on Sunday has to be considered an exception to the rule. He had to feel the pressure of going up against Tom Brady and company in what amounted to a possible playoff preview. Additionally, one’ could easily conclude that Luck felt more pressure to match Brady score for score. Well, it obviously did not happen.
As it is, the rookie quarterback ranks eighth among quarterbacks in fantasy