NFL QB Breakdown: Week 8

The quarterback position has been a really interesting one lately because, due to relatively sharp pricing, we haven’t seen dramatic usage on any passers. Aaron Rodgers led the way in Week 7, but he was in only 13.5 percent of all Millionaire Maker lineups, for example. Since quarterback prices have seemed to be pretty accurate, it has resulted in no “obvious” plays, so no one has really seen top-tier usage.

Check Out the Other Week 8 NFL Positional Breakdowns:

That’s a good thing for us as we try to seek an edge at the position. Quarterbacks are obviously really important because 1) they score the most points and 2) users typically stack them with at least one of their receivers in tournaments. It’s vital to hit on your quarterback if you plan to take down the Millionaire Maker, and with the salaries on point, pretty much everyone is in play.

We have our work cut out for us on quarterbacks again in Week 8, so let’s take an initial look at who stands out in the Millionaire Maker.

 

Top Five Quarterbacks

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at New Orleans, $9000 – Rodgers has been so good of late that his numbers are down. That might seem paradoxical, but the Packers’ passing offense has been so efficient that Rodgers hasn’t thrown the ball all that much because Green Bay has gotten up big; he has tossed 27 or fewer passes in four of the past five contests.

Even so, Rodgers has thrown 13 touchdowns and no interceptions in the past four games alone. He’s been so good that, if you think he’s going to surpass 35 or so throws in this game, he’s almost a must-start. I love Rodgers in both cash games and GPPs this week.

 

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, $8800 – Luck has been the anti-Rodgers in that he’s chucking it all over the field every week. Luck hasn’t thrown fewer than 34 passes all year and has topped 40 attempts in each of the past four games. He’s been efficient, but he can see a reduction in effectiveness and still return value given his workload.

My favorite thing about Luck is that he accounts for a high percentage of the Colts’ touchdowns. With a weak running game, we can continue to project Luck with a significant workload and market share of scores moving forward.

 

Russell Wilson, Seattle at Carolina, $8400 – Wilson is crushing it right now, mainly because he’s taking off as a runner. He has 240 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns over the past three games. He just lost Percy Harvin, but I don’t think that transaction will hurt the quarterback at all.

My only concern with Wilson is that I actually think he’s a worse fantasy option when defenses can’t get pressure because then he’s not forced to scramble. If Carolina can get to him in the pocket, I actually think Wilson would be a superior fantasy play this week.

 

Drew Brees, New Orleans vs Green Bay, $8100 – A lack of team success and a lackluster 11-to-7 touchdown ratio has clouded the fact that Brees has thrown for at least 340 yards in each of the past three games. He’s attempted 156 passes over that time.

The thing that I really like about this week’s matchup against the Packers is the potential game script. I could see both teams airing it out quite a bit in this one, primarily if the Saints can keep it close early. Brees will get a significant boost from me if it looks like Jimmy Graham will be 100 percent; his ability in the red zone is a huge plus for Brees.

 

Tony Romo, Dallas vs Washington, $7400 – As poor as Washington has been against the pass this season (second-worst defense versus opposing quarterbacks), I still think Romo is overpriced here. He’s playing really good football right now, but the Cowboys aren’t moving away from the running game until forced to do so. I don’t think they’re going to have much trouble against the ‘Skins on Monday night, meaning Romo might again be unable to surpass 30 attempts.

Five Mid-Priced Quarterbacks

Tom Brady, New England vs Chicago, $7200 – It was a rough start to the season for Brady, but he’s averaged over 300 passing yards and three touchdowns over the past three games. He’ll now face a Bears defense that has been really poor against the pass this season.

My main concern with Brady is a lack of red zone options. If he can’t find Rob Gronkowski in the end zone, I have doubts that Brady will be able to keep up his touchdown success. I still kind of like him at this price, but I think he’s more of a tournament play than a cash-game option.

 

Jay Cutler, Chicago at New England, $7000 – In my opinion, Cutler is strictly a GPP option in Week 8. He’s just $200 cheaper than Brady-a quarterback who is on fire and facing a much worse defense-and Cutler has thrown only two touchdowns over the past two weeks. There’s too much inconsistency here for me to trust Cutler in cash games, but you have to at least consider him in tournaments since he should be low-usage and his receivers give him some upside.

 

Ryan Tannehill, Miami at Jacksonville, $6700 – Is Tannehill a sneaky safe option in Week 8? He’s thrown for at least 244 yards and two touchdowns in the past three games, and he now faces the easiest opponent a quarterback can see in the Jags.

Nonetheless, I’d prefer Tannehill only at a cheaper price. He’s still costlier than Cam Newton, who admittedly has a more challenging matchup, and I could see a scenario in which Tannehill doesn’t really dominate because the Dolphins score on the ground.

Also, even though we generally want safety in cash games, it’s not like upside is ever a bad thing, and Tannehill doesn’t have a single three-touchdown performance all year. I kind of like the situation, but I don’t love the price tag.

 

Cam Newton, Carolina vs Seattle, $6600 – Newton is very much like the opposing quarterback in this game in that his production isn’t very dependent on the matchup. I could easily envision a scenario in which Newton throws for fewer than 200 yards and still returns awesome value because he kills Seattle on the ground. Newton is running the ball more of late-24 attempts in the past two games-and quarterback rushing stats are generally undervalued by fantasy owners.

 

Carson Palmer, Arizona vs Philadelphia, $6500 – Palmer has managed 250 yards and two touchdowns in all three of his games this year, and two of those games were against decent pass defenses. Against the fifth-worst defense versus opposing quarterbacks in the Eagles, I think Palmer & Co. will roll.

The only downside is that Philly is coming off of their bye, so they’ve had plenty of time to prepare for Palmer.

Five Value Quarterbacks

Joe Flacco, Baltimore at Cincinnati, $6500 – Flacco is coming off of a “down” performance in which he threw for just 258 yards, two touchdowns, and two picks, but here’s the thing: he also aired it out only 25 times, so Flacco was ridiculously efficient at over 10 YPA.

The Bengals’ defense is reeling and, despite the fact that I’m not in love with Flacco or his receivers, I still think he’s a good value at this price.

 

Austin Davis, St. Louis at Kansas City, $6300 – Davis has turned in two stinkers in terms of fantasy production, but those games also came against the Seahawks and Niners. His upside might be capped with the Rams and this matchup isn’t all that attractive, but you could argue for Davis and either Brian Quick or Jared Cook in GPP lineups.

 

Nick Foles, Philadelphia at Arizona, $6300 – I think you could make a case for Foles being the best value at quarterback this week. I normally play high-priced quarterbacks in my cash games, but I think Foles is a very attractive low-priced option when you want to go big at running back.

The main concern is that Foles has been inconsistent this year, but few remember that he started off the season by throwing for nearly 1,000 yards over the first three games. He’s in a good spot in Arizona coming off of a bye.

 

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh vs Indianapolis, $5800 – Roethlisberger has had two 300-yard games this season, but they came against the Bucs and Browns. He’s the type of quarterback who seems capable of exploiting poor defenses but not elite enough to really overcome a poor matchup. With the Colts as the second-best pass defense in the NFL this year, I don’t see Roethlisberger doing too much damage.

Things to like? He should throw the ball often and you have a very obvious stacking option with Antonio Brown.

 

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati vs Baltimore, $5600 – Dalton costs the same as Colt McCoy this week. LOL!!!!!

But really, Dalton has been horrible this year. If Green suits up in Week 8 and appears full-go, though, Dalton could be in play. If Green is out, “Kurt McCoy” is probably a better option.