If you are reading these Week 17 QB fantasy football rankings, there is a great chance that you are playing for your league championship this week. If so, congratulations! You are on the verge of capturing a Super Bowl victory, after months of working diligently toward that goal. That would enable you to join the many owners who should also be applauded for claiming their league’s ultimate prize in Week 16.
This column will help you determine which QBs to start in this week’s critical matchup, while providing the latest updates on Russell Wilson, RG3 and Andrew Luck.
It will also help protect from the inherent complications that exist when leagues determine their champion in Week 17. Several NFL teams might only allow their starting QBs to perform in an abbreviated portion of their games, or could relegate them to the role of bystanders during their entire contests. If the potential for either scenario exists with your QBs, it could force you to sit the signal caller that you started throughout the season.
That will be taken into consideration with the five QBs callers that will be discussed immediately below. They currently have the most enticing matchups this week, among those who merit consideration as a starter. Because there is no reason to waste your time with an examination of QBs who have enticing matchups this week, yet are not talented enough for you to start in your league’s Super Bowl.
The next section will contain the top 20 rankings for this week. Both will provide you with additional insight into each QB’s next encounter. Including facts and statistics to guide you toward the best decision regarding whether or not they should be in your starting lineup. Continue to monitor the latest updates here at Fantasy Knuckleheads, for any news concerning a sudden change in playing status for any QB.
Good luck this week! And for rankings at other positions, along with the best waiver wire options, just click the links below:
5 BEST MATCHUPS
Cam Newton @ Saints
When Newton faced New Orleans back in Week 2, he threw for a respectable 253 yards and a TD, while also accumulating 71 yards and another score on the ground. But that was well before his four game explosion in Weeks 12-15, which resulted in 12 TDs and 1,309 total yards. He was unable to continue that exceptional level of production last Sunday, although he still manufactured 230 total yards and two scores against Oakland. His ability to exploit vulnerable defenses will become advantageous for owners once again this week, as Newton should thrive in his rematch with the extremely hospitable New Orleans defense. The Saints are ranked dead last in total defense, and the 434 YPG that they have surrendered is a whopping 43 more than any other unit. New Orleans also ranks 31st versus the pass, while yielding 298 YPG. Plus, they have permitted 31 TD passes, which is the most in the NFL. They will not be able to suppress Newton, who will reward his owners one last time by amassing sizable yardage and delivering vital fantasy points.
Tom Brady vs. Dolphins
After generating 443 yards against San Francisco in Week 15, Brady’s total of 267 against Jacksonville’s 24th ranked pass defense seemed at least somewhat disappointing. But that is a result of the high standards that he has constructed once again this season. He has produced over 4,000 yards for the fifth time in his career. Plus, he has thrown at least 30 TDs for the fourth time. Which provides sufficient reason to believe that he will deliver exceptional numbers this week against Miami. The Patriots should ultimately choose to attack the Dolphins' 25th ranked pass defense, which is allowing 247 YPG. Because Miami ranks a respectable eighth at stopping the run, and New England’s most effective offensive approach will be for Brady to launch an unrelenting aerial assault against the most vulnerable aspect of their defense. He should exceed 300 yards for the eighth time this year, and generate three scoring passes.
Peyton Manning vs. Chiefs
He has already surpassed 4,000 yards for the 12th time in his career, and has produced at least 30 TD passes for the seventh time. His leadership and exactness as a passer have been exceptional throughout the year, and will continue during his season finale. Because even though there are several QBs who will line up against secondaries that have recently performed worse than Kansas City's, the KC defenders are being asked to overcome a woefully inept offense, which will add significantly to their burden of limiting Manning. Denver’s defense should make quick work of Kansas City’s overmatched offensive unit, which will supply Manning an enormous amount of time to escort the Bronco offense down the field consistently. The Chiefs should become increasingly drained as the game progresses, which will facilitate Manning’s efforts to accumulate yardage and TDs. He produced 285 yards and two scores when he faced Kansas City in Week 12, and should easily surpass those numbers again on Sunday. Not only have the Chiefs already allowed 26 TD passes this season, but they have only garnered seven INTs, which ties them for dead last in that category. Manning should deliver another stellar performance.
Tony Romo @ Redskins
RG3 generated a season best four TDs along with 304 yards when these teams met in Thanksgiving Day, which diverted some attention away from the effectiveness that Romo displayed during the same contest. He amassed 441 yards, along with three scoring passes, in just one example of an impressive eight-game stretch that Romo has constructed since Week 9. He has accumulated 17 TDs during that span, including the season high four that he attained against New Orleans in Week 16. That helped build his 26:16 TD to INT ratio for the year, which is a significant improvement from the unsightly 9:13 ratio that he possessed after Week 8. It is very unlikely that Washington’s 30th ranked pass defense will present any more resistance to Romo than they did in their previous encounter. The Redskins are allowing 288 YPG, and have surrendered 29 TDs, which is tied for the NFL’s highest total. Owners should not expect Romo to manufacture 400+ yards in this rematch, but he should exceed 300 for the tenth time this season. He should also supply three TDs, while collecting valuable fantasy points in the process.
It may be difficult for owners to entrust their QB 1 slot to Manning in the aftermath of his last two performances. He averaged just 155.5 YPG and produced only one TD when he lined up against the Falcons and Ravens respectively, while connecting on a mere 27 passes in both contests combined. However, this section concerns itself with matchups, and Manning possesses an appealing one this Sunday. He amassed 309 yards and two TDs when he faced the Philadelphia in Week 4, and the Eagles’ pass defense has degenerated substantially since that time. They have now surrendered 28 TDs, including 21 in their last nine games. The only opposing QB who failed to throw at least two scoring passes against them during that span has been Andy Dalton in Week 15. Philly has also managed just eight INTs, which bodes well for Manning’s chances of avoiding turnovers. He should rebound from his unimpressive production in Weeks 15-16 to manufacture two TDs, and accumulate 275 yards.
TOP 20 RANKINGS
1. Cam Newton (@ Saints)
In Week 16, Newton tossed his first INT since Week 10, and his yardage total did not quite reach the lofty level of previous weeks. But he was still productive, and should accrue sizable yardage and fantasy points this week.
2. Drew Brees (vs. Panthers)
Brees assembled 325 yards against Carolina in Week 2, although they limited him to one TD, and picked him off twice. While he won’t match the exceptional production that he attained in Dallas (446 yards, three TDs), he should amass better numbers in his second encounter with the Panthers.
3. Peyton Manning (vs. Chiefs)
He is third among all QBs with 34 TDs, and sixth with 4,355 yards. He should expand both those numbers against Kansas City.
4. Tom Brady (vs. Dolphins)
He has now thrown a TD in 47 consecutive games. That streak will continue as he rebounds from his two INT performance in Week 16.
5. Aaron Rodgers (@ Vikings)
13 QBs have thrown more passes than Rodgers, yet he is second only to Drew Brees with 35 TD passes. And of those 512 passes that the has generated, only eight have been intercepted. He should add to that total by amassing multiple scoring throws for the eleventh time this season.
6. Tony Romo (@ Redskins)
Romo has averaged 347 YP in his last six contests, and his recent surge in productivity will continue when he faces Washington’s burnable secondary.
7. Robert Griffin III (vs. Cowboys)
His tremendous success during his first matchup with Dallas was mentioned previously, and he won't match those numbers. But he will improve upon the 198 yards and two TDs that he accumulated against Philly in Week 16.
8. Andrew Luck (vs. Texans)
Luck has thrown three scoring passes in the past two weeks, while avoiding INTs in the process. That includes the 186 yards and two TDs that he manufactured against Houston in Week 15. Expect him to attain 250 yards and two more TDs in their rematch.
9. Russell Wilson (vs. Rams)
After manufacturing four TD passes against San Francisco, he has now accumulated 25 for the season, including 17 in his last eight contests. He failed to generate any scoring throws when he faced the Rams in September, but has vastly improved since that encounter.
10. Colin Kaepernick (vs. Cardinals)
Kaepernick: Some owners may he disappointed with his Week 16 output, but he can't be expected to generate four TDs every week. However, he should produce three against the Cardinals.
One way or another, the erratic journey that Manning and his owners have undertaken this season will arrive at the final destination. The belief here is that we will see the signal caller who generated 10 TDs in Weeks 1-5, and eight more in Weeks 12-14. As opoposed to the struggling QB who only managed two scoring passes from Weeks 6-10., and just one in the past two games.
12. Matthew Stafford (vs. Bears)
Even though you didn’t invest an early draft selection so that you could sit him in your championship game, he has supplied owners with sufficient reason to feel a general uneasiness about trusting him. You are guaranteed that he will throw extensively, as he continues to lead the league with 685 attempts. And he will generate yardage, as he is averaging 313 YPG. But his mechanics have declined, almost as sizably as his receiving weapons have been eliminated. Not a good combination when facing Chicago.
13. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Browns)
In three games since his return, Roethlisberger has accumulated six TDs, with four INTs, while averaging 281 YPG. That should closely mirror his numbers in this matchup with Cleveland.
14. Andy Dalton (vs. Ravens)
Dalton’s last multiple TD performance occurred in Week 12, and his last games with 300+ yards took place in Week 6. While he does have an appealing matchup, you should not have lofty expectations.
15. Matt Ryan (vs. Buccaneers)
He has amassed seven TDs in his last two contests, and would deliver at least three more against Tampa Bay’s woeful secondary if he performed for the game's entirety. Unfortunately, the concern is that he will not be under center long enough to warrant starting.
16. Matt Schaub (@ Colts)
Schaub has managed just four TD passes in his last five games, even though he was the recipient of good matchups in each of those contests. His best game from among those four occurred against Indy in Week 15 (261 yards, one TD), but he may not match that yardage total this week.
17. Philip Rivers vs. Raiders
Rivers and Danario Alexander recaptured some of the statistical magic that they generated from Weeks 9-14, by connecting on 69 of Rivers’ 165 passing yards, and one of his two TDs against the Jets last Sunday. Oakland’s 22nd ranked pass defense should allow them to produce similar success once again.
18. Joe Flacco (@ Bengals)
His 309 yards against the Giants were the most that he has delivered since Week 12. He is an adequate starter, but will struggle to deliver significant yardage versus Cincinnati’s 10th ranked pass defense.
19. Chad Henne (vs. Titans)
He has not produced at the level that he did when first ascending into the Jaguars’ starting lineup, But Henne has the potential to generate respectable numbers against a 26th ranked Tennessee pass defense that no longer appears particularly interested in competing this season.
20. Michael Vick (@ Giants)
Well, well, look who is back. Vick returns to his first snaps since Week 10. However, there is little to become excited about unless your normal starter is injured or will be tested. Just know this: Nick Foles exceeded 340 passing yards twice in his last three games, while Vick could only accomplish that once all season prior to his injury.