Week 13 is here, which means your playoffs are right around the corner. Maybe it’s an extra push you need this week, or to cement a playoff spot, but you can’t afford fewer than 15 fantasy points from your QB if your dreams are to come to fruition.
With that in mind, I present my QB rankings for the week, and remember, we go on the principle that you start certain quarterbacks every week regardless of matchup. For Week 13 they are: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, and Eli Manning. I’ve elevated top-five Eli because he’s become just that: someone you start all the time. Matthew Stafford is close to gaining entry into the ‘Holy Five’, while for different reasons some others (Michael Vick, Philip Rivers) have lost their status in the club. Who are your best plays this week? Unlike Week 12, most of the elite QB’s have terrific matchups. Yet at least a couple might surprise you. To our list.
6. Tony Romo vs. ARI: At least two TD passes in every game in November, a streak that not so coincidentally started shortly after DeMarco Murray became the Cowboys’ top RB. Romo has more help in the running game than he ever has, and it’s showing. He’s regularly completing over 60 percent of his passes, and you can count on him to consistently produce around 18 points a week.
7. Matthew Stafford v. NO: He’s Mr. Consistent. Even when he plays poorly (Green Bay) he still finds a way to throw for nearly 300 yards and a TD. Remember, garbage TDs count just as much as regular ones. His INTs (nine in the last three weeks) are alarming, but not enough to keep him out of the top 10 for this week. Whenever you can expect at least 225 yards passing per week from a QB, he’s still elite.
8. Tim Tebow @ MIN: It’s pretty simple. With Tebow, you throw defensive stats out the window. Yes, the Vikings are good against the run and horrible against the pass. But you can’t apply Tebow to that because of how different a QB he is. Twenty-two carries against San Diego? All you can do is look at his fantasy point totals so far this season. On bad days, he still gets you 15 points. On good days, he’s over 20 and near 25. He’s done it against bad defenses and good. His numbers tell you the story, so go with them.
9. Matt Ryan @ HOU: On paper, this looks awful. The Texans’ defense is second overall against the pass. But I’m throwing that out the window. Why? Because Matt Ryan is one of the hottest QBs in the league right now. At least 260 yards passing in every game for the last month, and he’s re-discovered Roddy White. I believe the Falcons are starting to peak, and Ryan is getting back to what he was last season – around 250 yards through the air every week with two TDs.
10. Matt Moore v. OAK: This was a tough one, but the Raiders have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs this season, and Moore is playing at a high level. Yes, it’s a Matt-Moore-high-level but still. Check out his November numbers: seven TDs, one INT and over 220 YPG. And these were against teams with decent defenses. I can see a three-TD game from him Sunday.
See Jason Smith on NFL Fantasy Live, airing Sundays at 11:30 a.m. ET on the Red Zone Channel, and Tuesday-Friday on NFL Network at 2 p.m. ET and 12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT. He writes fantasy and other NFL pith on NFL.com daily. Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.