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Weekly Fantasy Finishes - Quarterbacks



By Doug Orth | 11/12/20 |

About this time every year, I like to shine a light on each position and focus on how they fared among their peers on a weekly basis. While I am very much a believer that fantasy football is a weekly game and play the matchups as much as anything when it comes to fringe players, knowing how each player ranked among his position group each week is a handy little tool - whether you want a quick reference guide in your redraft leagues to help set expectations for a certain player or need an idea on the range of a player's performances to help break a tie between two or three options in your DFS lineups.

For the sake of time and space (not to mention my sanity), not every player that has scored a point appears below. My only qualification at quarterback was at least five games played, which should theoretically remove non-regulars and any fluke performances. "Best" refers to the player's highest weekly fantasy finish, while "worst" obviously refers to his lowest. "Avg" is the player's average weekly finish. Squares were left blank when the player was active but failed to register a fantasy point. Got it? Good.

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
 Weekly Ranks for QBs
Rk Player 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Best Worst Avg
1 Russell Wilson 1 1 2 10 6 b 6 2 14 1 14 5.3
2 Kyler Murray 6 7 10 6 9 5 3 b 1 1 10 5.9
3 Patrick Mahomes 10 8 1 14 3 10 22 1 3 1 22 8.0
4 Aaron Rodgers 2 15 6 3 b 27 7 3 4 2 27 8.4
5 Justin Herbert DNP 14 21 7 2 b 2 6 11 2 21 9.0
6 Dak Prescott 19 3 4 1 22 DNP DNP DNP DNP 1 22 9.8
7 Josh Allen 4 2 3 5 15 14 21 23 2 2 23 9.9
8 Deshaun Watson 16 23 17 10 5 1 9 b 10 1 23 11.4
9 Ryan Tannehill 14 6 29 b 1 3 15 12 19 1 29 12.4
10 Drew Brees 20 24 8 18 13 b 10 8 8 8 24 13.6
11 Ben Roethlisberger 7 17 14 b 10 22 20 15 7 7 22 14.0
12 Lamar Jackson 3 19 23 7 18 7 b 16 19 3 23 14.0
13 Tom Brady 13 29 7 2 19 16 1 9 31 1 31 14.1
14 Gardner Minshew 9 11 31 10 12 12 14 b DNP 9 31 14.1
15 Ryan Fitzpatrick 32 12 9 17 4 11 b DNP DNP 4 32 14.2
16 Matt Ryan 8 5 26 27 27 2 19 18 9 2 27 15.7
17 Carson Wentz 22 28 13 16 14 4 8 22 b 4 28 15.9
18 Joe Burrow 24 9 12 21 29 19 5 10 b 5 29 16.1
19 Derek Carr 25 13 19 13 7 b 12 19 21 7 25 16.1
20 Teddy Bridgewater 17 30 22 4 11 24 13 21 6 4 30 16.4
21 Jared Goff 30 10 5 25 8 15 15 25 b 5 30 16.6
22 Matthew Stafford 21 18 16 9 b 21 18 4 26 4 26 16.6
23 Kirk Cousins 11 36 11 22 17 8 b 24 12 8 36 17.6
24 Cam Newton 12 4 27 DNP b 17 33 17 17 4 33 18.1
25 Nick Foles DNP DNP 14 24 21 18 25 13 15 13 25 18.6
26 Baker Mayfield 29 20 20 19 16 25 4 26 b 4 29 19.9
27 Drew Lock 26 35 DNP DNP b 29 23 7 5 5 35 20.8
28 Philip Rivers 23 27 24 26 28 6 b 5 29 5 29 21.0
29 Jimmy Garoppolo 15 21 DNP DNP 34 9 24 30 DNP 9 34 22.2
30 Daniel Jones 17 31 33 28 23 20 11 14 23 11 33 22.2
31 Nick Mullens DNP 33 18 29 DNP DNP DNP 11 24 11 33 23.0
32 Sam Darnold 28 25 32 15 DNP DNP 30 28 DNP 15 32 26.3

There's no doubt 2020 has been one of those years when someone like Patrick Mahomes is less than a point per game off his fantasy scoring average from his 2018 MVP campaign more than halfway through the season and it's not enough to be the No. 1 player at his position. Week 9 marked the first time Russell Wilson failed to finish inside the top 10 fantasy quarterbacks. His 35.3 fantasy points per game (six points per passing touchdown) is nearly three points per game more than what Lamar Jackson averaged last season, and it should be noted Jackson's 32.5 FPPG in 2019 was the highest mark since Peyton Manning's historic 2013 season in which he set league records with 5,477 passing yards and 55 passing TDs.

How good has Justin Herbert been? Since finding out he was going to start minutes before taking the field in Week 2 against a stout Kansas City pass defense and getting another start versus a Carolina defense which has held most of the non-elite quarterbacks in check, Herbert's average fantasy finish is 5.6 - only Kyler Murray's 4.9 over that span is better. He'll face his most difficult test since Week 4 against the Dolphins this week, but it should be mostly smooth sailing after that. Looking ahead to the fantasy playoffs, he will see Atlanta's woeful pass defense in Week 14 before finishing against Las Vegas (326 yards and two touchdowns versus the Raiders last week) and Denver (278 yards and three TDs in Week 8).

Since becoming the Titans' starting quarterback in Week 7 of last season, Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 4,579 yards and 41 touchdowns versus eight interceptions in 18 regular-season games. He's added 286 yards rushing and five more scores to boot. He may not belong in the same class as Mahomes and Wilson in terms of upside and consistency, but it is a bit disrespectful to think of him as anything other than a very good weekly starter. He's finished with fewer than 20 fantasy points only twice this season.

There has been much handwringing over Drew Brees' inability or unwillingness to throw deep this season, but maybe that isn't always as critical to fantasy success as some would have you believe. Since the Saints' Week 6 bye, the 41-year-old has strung together three straight top-10 finishes despite going up against defenses that rank among the top third of the league in fewest fantasy points allowed to the position. Over the next four weeks, he faces a San Francisco defense that just gave up four touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers, a Broncos defense that has surrendered three quarterback scores in consecutive games and a Falcons' defense (twice, in Weeks 11 and 13) that has given up at least 23 fantasy points to seven quarterbacks in nine games. For those looking ahead to a potential fantasy championship matchup, he'll draw the Vikings. Perhaps the Minnesota secondary will be healthier at that point, but it is still a young unit that has allowed four of eight quarterbacks to throw for at least three TDs.

Other interesting nuggets: Given the quality of his supporting cast, Ben Roethlisberger seems like he should be a low-end QB1 most weeks. However, he's finished inside the top 12 in only three of his eight outings. Prior to Tom Brady's awful Week 9 effort, the six-time Super Bowl champion's average fantasy finish was 9.3 with Chris Godwin in the lineup. In his other four efforts, it was 14.8. ESPN's Jeff Legwold did a fine job of crunching some important first-half versus second-half numbers for Drew Lock. Yes, the last two weeks are an encouraging sign for him. However, they have come against challenged defenses in the Broncos and Falcons AND all six of his touchdowns in those contests have been scored in the fourth quarter. Las Vegas (Week 10) may be another opponent he can light up late, but it seems unlikely Miami (Week 11), New Orleans (Week 12), Kansas City (Week 13) and Carolina (Week 4) will be as accommodating.


Doug Orth has written for FF Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”. Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.