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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 5
QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Aaron Rodgers, David Johnson, or Antonio Brown is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Rodgers’ bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Johnson is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Brown and went RB-QB-Gronk in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays). Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.

Bye Weeks: Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Washington

Jaemis Winston

The Patriots defense has allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks through four weeks.

Grab a Helmet

Jameis Winston v. NE (Thu): If anyone could right a ship in four short days, it’s definitely Bill Belichick, New England’s best in the biz ball coach. I’m just not certain this particular ship, Coach B’s atrocious defense, can be fixed that easily or that quickly. The Pats are hemorrhaging yards?50 more per game than anyone else, a record-setting pace?and have surrendered nearly as many points (128) as they’ve scored (129). Put another way, they’re facing the offensive equivalent of, essentially, the New England Patriots every week. Tampa’s young guns must be licking their chops to exploit the suddenly susceptible Super Bowl champs and you can bet Winston views this weekday primetime showcase as a measuring stick game. He’s no Tom Brady and won’t ever be, but he doesn’t really have to be against Tom Terrific’s teammates. Winston and all of his skill position cohorts are solid plays Thursday night.

Carson Palmer @ PHI: Palmer’s 78.2 quarterback rating through four weeks suggests the decline we feared was coming has finally arrived. If he continues performing thusly, 2017 will end up being his least efficient season in a decade. Losing David Johnson certainly hasn’t helped and neither has an offensive line that’s allowing him to get dumped at an alarming rate (a league high 17 sacks, on pace for third most in NFL history). Nevertheless, the cagey veteran is still slinging the pigskin with wild abandon and that, my friends, is all that really matters for our purposes. Palmer’s 183 passing attempts are by far a league high and have resulted in a nifty 321 passing yards a game. That’ll definitely do, especially if he starts converting more of them into six-pointers. The shorthanded Eagles’ secondary is getting abused by opposing slingers and this Sunday will prove no exception. Start Palmer.

Matthew Stafford v. CAR:
If Palmer keeps chucking it at his current rate, he actually has a chance to break Stafford’s NFL record 727 attempts, set during the 2012 season. Oddly, Detroit is paying its main man much more these days ($27 million per year) to do much less (fewer than 600 attempts two years running). That’s made the Lions more successful, for sure, but has dented Stafford’s value as a fantasy option at the position. Or has it? Detroit’s faced three of the league’s best corners so far (Patrick Peterson, Desmond Trufant, and Xavier Rhodes) and only missed a fourth by chance (Janoris Jenkins was a DNP in Week 2). Carolina doesn’t possess a next level stopper on the perimeter and just got worked by Drew Brees and Tom Brady in succession. Stafford is in their league. I’m expecting a throwback-type performance from the Lions’ franchise man this Sunday.

Grab a Clipboard

Cam Newton @ DET: Carolina’s franchise man, meanwhile, seems to believe football science eludes us mere mortals, especially those of the fairer sex. (Eye roll emoji.) We may not know the ins and outs of the Panthers’ playbook or the intricacies of their route trees, but…well, one could argue Newton doesn’t either based on the way he played the first three weeks. He’d probably do well to remember that his “get well” game in Week 4 came at the expense of a New England defense that’s literally in complete tatters right now (see above). And oh by the way? Football ain’t exactly rocket science, not even at the professional level. Teams that play good defense usually make life tough for QBs and Detroit, by the only measure that matters, is playing good defense (yielding only 17.5 points/game, fewer than Denver and Seattle). I’d be very leery of starting Newton Sunday.

Joe Flacco @ OAK: Flacco’s never been a sexy option at the QB spot, but in deeper leagues or two-QB leagues, he’s proven serviceable over the years. You could avoid losing, shall we say, with him under center, and that’s sometimes all you’re trying to do when the bye weeks hit. Our game becomes a war of attrition from Week 5 on and guys like Flacco, despite obvious limitations (no mobility, too many turnovers, conservative offense), could definitely see you through. Emphasis on that “could” part because that no longer appears to be the case. The one-time Super Bowl champ is averaging a ridiculous 11.5 fantasy points per game, or fewer than Jared Goff averaged last season during his abysmal rookie season. Flacco should have many good seasons left in him but already looks past his prime and anachronistic in this day and age of multi-dimensional signal callers. Drop him.

Mitchell Trubisky v. MIN (Mon): Speaking of multi-dimensional signal callers…. It’s officially Trubisky time in the Windy City and not a moment too soon for Bears fans starving for a long-term solution at quarterback. Only Browns fans have waited longer and there are only so many performances like “that one” a fan base can suffer before its well-worn patience runs even thinner. I’m talking, of course, about Mike Glennon’s implosion last Thursday night (two picks and two fumbles) at Lambeau Field. Ready or not, it’s time to see what Chicago has in its No.2 overall draft pick. Though I’m excited about his future, there are better opponents to debut against than the Minnesota Vikings, who are yielding just 18.4 points to opposing QBs despite facing some of the league’s best (Brees, Big Ben, and the aforementioned Stafford). It’s hard to be patient when rooks are blowing up everywhere, but…be patient.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers