Identifying quarterback targets by grouping the QB options for Week 11 based on matchups, recent production and more.
Looking for a different position? Check out the rest of the positional targets:
Cream of the Crop
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (vs OAK) – $5400
If there’s one thing we know about Matthew Stafford, it’s that he doesn’t need to be very good to post huge fantasy numbers. Assuming the Lions air it out early and often in this one, which I think will be the case, Stafford should be able to put up a 250/2 sort of line as his floor. I’m still not using him in cash games, though.
Cam Newton, Carolina (at WSH) – $6900
The Panthers are projected over 26 points in Week 11, and we know Newton is basically their entire offense. I’ve explained in the past I don’t think he has as much upside as people think, but he’s about as safe as they come at this price.
Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia (vs TB) – $5000
Sanchez already looked better than Sam Bradford in the Eagles’ offense. I’d be all over Bradford at the minimum price, so Sanchez—and Philly’s 25-point implied projection that accompanies him—is a bargain.
Tony Romo, Dallas (at MIA) – $6000
It seems as though Romo could have played a week or two ago if he were eligible, so I’m not really worried about his health at all. It’s not like he’s in a new system, so he should pick up right where he left off. I’m not using him in cash games, but $6k for a quarterback facing a defense that has struggled against the pass seems like a bargain without high GPP ownership.
Middle of the Pack
Matt Ryan, Atlanta (vs IND) – $7100
When comparing Ryan with Newton, we have two quarterbacks near the same price and with team projections that are roughly the same. The difference is Ryan has a worse matchup and is more likely to get his touchdowns vulture by Devonta Freeman, who the team feeds like crazy near the goal line.
Derek Carr, Oakland (at DET) – $6300
Another week, another 300-yard performance from Carr. The last one came against a Vikings defense that is better against the pass than Detroit; the Lions have allowed 2.2 points per game above expectation to quarterbacks over the past 12 months.
Carson Palmer, Arizona (vs CIN) – $6700
Even though this isn’t a quality matchup, Palmer still has so much upside, especially at this price. And check this out:
That’s Palmer’s points versus expectation this season, i.e. he’s outperformed his salary in every single contest. With Arizona projected well, I think Palmer is in a better spot than what most will believe.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville (vs TEN) – $5900
If you’re playing in Thursday leagues, Bortles will be on your radar. My problem with him isn’t the price or matchup, but just that he doesn’t really fit in any league type; there are better values for cash games, but he might be over-owned in GPPs since he’s playing on Thursday night. He has exceeded his salary-based implied point projection in every game since Week 1, however.
Rest of the Field
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo (at NE) – $5200
Taylor went for 242 yards and three touchdowns in his first meeting against the Pats. New England is going to do what they can to stop Taylor, but I don’t think he’s the same type of player as someone like a receiver who they want to take out of the game because he’s not really one-dimensional and it isn’t like you can “double” him. This game script—the Pats getting an early lead and forcing Taylor to throw—should be similar to the teams’ first meeting. I think there’s upside in both Taylor and the Pats’ defense, which should be able to record a lot of sacks.
Tom Brady, New England (vs BUF) – $8500
Brady hasn’t been a top mathematical value in a while, but he’s still been in play in cash games because of his consistency and upside. You just know what you’re getting. Even though the Pats are projected at 27.5 points, though, I think I’ll mostly be laying off Brady this week. Over the past year, only the Rams have had a stingier pass defense than Buffalo, and the opportunity cost that accompanies Brady’s high salary is simply too great to stomach.
Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota (vs GB) – $5000
Believe it or not, the Vikings are favorites over Green Bay this week. Neither team is projected through the roof, but Bridgewater is min-priced and Green Bay has been poor against the pass. Still, I think the Vikings’ commitment to the run limits Bridgewater’s ceiling, and he’s too risky for use in cash games.
Russell Wilson, Seattle (vs SF) – $5900
The thing that scares me most about Wilson is that the Niners are projected at only 13.5 implied points. That’s the lowest total I’ve seen this season, so there’s a very good chance Wilson won’t have the workload necessary to post big points in this game.
Jonathan Bales is the author of the Fantasy Sports for Smart People book series, and most recently Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports.
Follow him @BalesFootball.