You have come to the right place for comprehensive week 9 QB fantasy football rankings, including the latest analysis of Matthew Stafford, Peyton Manning and RG3. This column will help you, whether you selected your QB at the onset of your drafts, or if you chose your signal caller in the middle rounds. It will also be beneficial if you own Tom Brady, who is having his bye week. The same is true for owners in deeper leagues that are using Alex Smith or Sam Bradford. Mark Sanchez is also unavailable, but here’s hoping that none of you are actually keeping him on your rosters.
The five QBs that will be discussed immediately below have the most enticing matchups this week among those who merit consideration as a starter. It does not necessarily mean that they are the top five signal callers from a ranking standpoint, although that might actually be the case in certain weeks. That will be followed immediately by the top 20 rankings for this week. Both sections 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.
With that, here are the five most enticing matchups, which are followed immediately by the top 20 rankings for this week.
5 BEST MATCHUPS
Peyton Manning vs. Bengals
His complete scorching of the helpless New Orleans pass defense in week 8 (305 yards, three TDs), was just the latest in an array of exceptional performances by Manning this season. Despite having missed a week for his bye, he still ranks second among all QBs with 302 YPG, and is fifth overall with 2,113 yards for the season. Manning is also third with 17 TDs, has exceeded 300 yards in five consecutive games, and has produced three TDs in four straight contests. Both the scoring and the streaks will continue this week in Cincinnati, after he performs surgery on the Bengals pass defense. Cincinnati has been yielding 233 YPG, and has surrendered at least 220 yards to all but one passer that they have faced this season. Plus, they have allowed three signal callers to exceed 275 yards. They have also permitted opponents to score 27 PPG, and have only managed to intercept three passes all season. While Cincinnati has collected 23 sacks, Manning will swiftly and precisely release the ball before the pass rush can reach him. Manning should approach a total of 350 yards, with a minimum of three scores.
Matthew Stafford vs. Jaguars
In his first six games of the 2011 season, Stafford had already amassed 15 TDs with just four INTs. But during that same time frame this year, he had only thrown only one third of the scoring passes (five) and had already tossed more INTs (six). But he generated his best performance of the season in week 8, by scorching Seattle for 352 yards and three TDs. The Seahawks had entered the contest ranked eighth versus the pass, and had permitted just 212 YPG and six TDs. Yet, Stafford’s yardage total led all QBs last week, and the trio of scores established his new season high. Stafford has already been forced to contend with five different opponents that ranked within the league’s top 15 in pass defense, and that contributed to his highly disappointing start. But this week, he will finally face a vulnerable unit that can be exploited consistently. Jacksonville’s 23rd ranked pass defense is allowing opponents to collect 251 YPG through the air, and has already yielded 270+ yards to five different signal callers in seven games. Expect Stafford to approach 350 yards once again, and connect on four TDs.
Robert Griffin III vs. Panthers
RG3 continues to reside among the leaders in completion percentage, as he is connecting on 67% of his throws. That has enabled him to amass 1,778 yards for the season, even though 19 other QBs have generated more attempts. And despite being limited to eight rushing yards in week 8, his 468 yards for the year are easily the most among all QBs. Plus, only Arian Foster has generated more TDs than the six that RG3 has produced on the ground. His yardage total should expand sizably this week, and he should discover the end zone once again, against a Panther defense that has been unable to defuse opposing rushers and passers for large stretches of games this season. Carolina does deserve credit for collecting six sacks, one INT and two fumbles against Jay Cutler in week 8. That one performance enabled them to elevate 12 spots in the pass defense rankings. But over the course of this season, the Panthers have failed to contain opponents with consistency. They are allowing 24 points per game, and RG3 possesses far too much ability for Carolina to contain him with regularity.
Cam Newton vs. Redskins
Newton exceeded 300 passing yards for just the second time this season, when he amassed 314 against Chicago in week 8. The Panthers clearly altered their strategy during their bye week, which included the establishment of Jonathan Stewart as the team’s feature back. While he only managed marginal success against the Bears (42 yards on 17 attempts), Stewart is supremely talented. The team’s newfound commitment to building a viable rushing attack around his abililties will force Washington to respect the potential of a balanced attack. That in turn will open up space for Newton and his primary targets downfield. The Redskins rank dead last against the pass, and are permitting over 300 YPG (314). Their corners do not possess the skills of Chicago's miserly Tim Jennings, and he was just torched by Steve Smith for 188 yards. Expect the Redskins to struggle not only with Smith, but also Brandon LaFell, who will create matchup issues in his own right. Washington is also just 28th in scoring defense, and yields 28.4 PPG. All of which bodes well for Newton’s chances of generating TD drives both with his arm and via the run.
Brandon Weeden vs. Ravens
Such is the state of Baltimore’s declining defense that after years of being a respected and feared entity, this unit is now a preferred matchup that can be exploited for significant yardage. They are now ranked 24th against the pass, and are allowing 257 YPG. The absence of CB Lardarius Webb has left the Ravens secondary extremely vulnerable, and the success that Matt Schaub had against them in their initial contest without Webb (256 yards, two TDs), does not instill confidence that the unit will neutralize opposing passers moving forward. Conversely, Weeden’s overall development this season has been extremely impressive. From weeks 5-7 he threw for the sixth highest yardage total among all QBs (786). He also threw for 230+ yards from weeks 2-7, and had ascended into the top 10 in yardage for the season before inclement weather and frequent drops conspired to limit him in week 8. However, he managed to avoid throwing any INTs, and should rebound significantly against Baltimore.
TOP 20 RANKINGS
1. Peyton Manning (@ Bengals)
After averaging 247 yards in his initial two games, Manning has thrown for 324 YPG since. He should surpass that average when he meets a Bengal unit that struggles to restrain opposing passers.
2. Robert Griffin III (vs. Panthers)
Carolina’s defense will not supply the same level of resistance that RG3 encountered in Pittsburgh. He should surpass his season passing average of 222 YPG, and accumulate at least 50 rushing yards.
3. Drew Brees (vs. Eagles)
The Eagles emerged from their bye having allowed just seven passing TDs all season, yet quickly permitted three first half scores to Matt Ryan. Despite their reputation for stinginess, Philly now ranks just 14th against the pass, and Brees should rebound from his season low in Denver (213 yards) to amass 300+ yards for the sixth time this year.
4. Matthew Stafford (@ Jaguars)
Fantasy owners should enjoy this brief respite from daunting matchups, as Stafford will feast upon the Jaguars’ 23rd ranked pass defense, which will have difficulty duplicating their respectable outing versus Rodgers in week 8.
5. Cam Newton (@ Redskins)
The NFL’s worst pass defense should provide Newton with the tonic he needs to produce a second consecutive 300-yard performance.
6. Andrew Luck (vs. Dolphins)
Luck threw six TDs in his first three home games, but could not generate any in his most recent contest at Indy. But his matchup with Miami’s 27th ranked pass defense should result in a two TD performance as he returns this week.
7. Matt Ryan (vs. Cowboys)
He has produced at least two TD passes in every game except one all season, and is capable of maintaining that streak regardless of how formidable the opposing pass defense can be.
8. Aaron Rodgers (vs. Cardinals)
Rodgers had definitely been on a roll, but due in part to a depleted group of weapons, he was held to 186 yards by Jacksonville. Now, he will be tested again this week. Arizona’s imposing pass defense ranks fourth, allows 193 YPG, and has already generated a league high 26 sacks.
While Pittsburgh’s top ranked pass defense will provide a dauunting challenge, he will still manage to generate at least 250 yards with two scores.
10. Ben Roethlisberger (@ Giants)
He has attempted at least 30 in all seven games this season, and it’s very likely that he will test the Giant pass defense in similar fashion.
11. Josh Freeman (@ Raiders)
He has thrown at least three TD passes in his last three contests, and has assembled 1,010 yards and nine scoring passes during that span. Now after 10 days rest, he should exploit an Oakland pass defense that ranks 20th and permits 246 YPG.
12. Michael Vick (@ Saints)
If he can maintain his starting job, Vick has an excellent opportunity to generate high quality numbers against a deficient pass defense. New Orleans now ranks just 30th, and is surrendering an enormous 305 YPG.
13. Carson Palmer (vs. Buccaneers)
Palmer should locate his preferred targets with great frequency, and exceed 300 yards for the third time this season against the NFL's second worst pass defense.
14. Tony Romo (@ Falcons)
Romo must be decisive and precise. Otherwise, he will pay a price. Atlanta has already collected 19 sacks and 10 INTs.
15. Philip Rivers (vs. Chiefs)
His output in Cleveland would have been more palatable for fantasy owners, had Robert Meachem not dropped a certain 51-yard TD. This week, he should attain better results against Kansas City’s burnable secondary. Particularly if he targets CB Stanford Routt .
16. Matt Schaub (vs. Bills)
Buffalo is dead last at stopping the run (177 YPG) and the Texans will focus on exploiting that weakness. But Schaub will find enough success throwing against the Bills to provide respectable numbers for fantasy owners.
17. Brandon Weeden (vs. Ravens)
There is no reason for him to avoid challenging Baltimore’s inadequate pass defense, and the result could easily be his best numbers as a pro.
18. Andy Dalton (vs. Broncos)
He should improve dramatically from his worst output of the season in week 8, when the Steelers limited him to a mere 105 yards. But do not expect a highly productive outing against Denver’s eighth ranked pass defense (213 YPG).
19. Jay Cutler (@ Titans)
Tennessee had been locked into dead last in scoring defense for weeks (32 PGG), and is now just 31st in that category. They are also 29th in pass defense, and are permitting 282 YPG. While the Bears are likely to attack their equally porous run defense (ranked 28th), Cutler will still inflict significant damage through the air.
20. Joe Flacco (@ Browns)
He threw for 356 yards when he faced Cleveland in week 4, but don’t expect similar success this week. It is well chronicled that his production diminishes sizably on the road, where he is averaging just 189 YPG with only two TDs and four INTs in three contests.