Greg Talcott‘s Top 10 QBs coming off of Week 1:
- Drew Brees: The Saints QB showed no signs of slowing down with the strongest performance in Week 1. The Saints’ defense is far from stout as displayed by their performance against the Raiders, so the good news for Brees owners is he will be throwing a ton this year. New Orleans travels to play a dangerous Giants’ offense in Week 2, so expect big numbers in what will likely be a shootout.
- Andrew Luck: Luck looked more like the 2014 version of himself vs. the nightmare 2015 edition in the Colts’ loss to Detroit on Sunday. The Colts are going to have an uphill battle this season to win the division with a suspect defense, subpar offensive line, and average running attack. This is going to put everything on the shoulders of Andrew Luck which is a good thing for fantasy owners assuming he doesn’t get killed behind that line. Week 2 on the road in Denver probably won’t yield anywhere near last week’s results for Luck however.
- Matthew Stafford: Before we get to ahead of ourselves, I am not saying Stafford is suddenly a top fantasy QB, but what he showed this past weekend was encouraging. Perhaps not having Megatron to focus on will help Stafford direct a more effective and consistent offensive attack. The amount of check down throws was a little disconcerting, but you can’t argue the results. Week 2 against the Titans at home is a favorable match up for Stafford owners.
- Ben Roethlisberger: You gotta love the less talented Gruden brother matching up the “top corner” in the league against Antonio Brown less than 50% of the time on Monday night. Simply put, this is the best QB/WR combo in the league, and their production over the last 16 games together has been videogame-esque. A tough division game against the Bengals at home in Week 2 is not a dream match-up, but Big Ben’s performance should still be Top 10.
- Jameis Winston: It’s good to see Winston capitalize on the opportunity to play a suspect defense like the Falcons; unfortunately he won’t have the same luxury on the road against Arizona in Week 2. The Cardinals totally blew it in their home opener and will probably take it out on poor Jameis this week. I wouldn’t start him as a result, but I would be encouraged about his potential production this year.
- Eli Manning: The Giants are my pick to win the NFC East this year and I would expect Manning to put up close to, if not career numbers. The return of Victor Cruz and the addition of Sterling Shepard will only add to his impressive 2015 campaign. Week 2 against the Swiss cheese New Orleans’ defense makes Manning a Top 3 play this week.
- Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers had a tough match-up against the Jaguars in Week 1 on the road and that was complicated by his attempt to get back on the same page with Jordy Nelson. I don’t think it takes long for their chemistry to return and when it does everything for the Packer offense will open up. Unfortunately, this week on the road against the Vikings won’t be any easier. Given the Vikings have literally ZERO offense, this game may be on the low end scoring wise. Expect similar production from Rodgers in Week 2.
- Matt Ryan: Ryan had a good week in a loss to Tampa Bay. Atlanta has a lousy defense and will spend many weeks playing catch up which is good for Matt Ryan. However, that has been the case for years and Ryan has been on the decline since 2012. He has a good match-up this week against the Raiders and should produce comparable results to last week.
- Carson Palmer: The Cardinals’ performance as a team was horrible against New England, but Palmer played well and would have had even better numbers if Butterfingers Michael Floyd could catch touchdown passes that hit him in stride in the hands! But I digress… Palmer is a solid play virtually every week with upside potential that is occasionally spoiled by his supporting cast. Week 2 against Tampa Bay is a good match up for Palmer who could post Top 5 numbers for the week.
- Blake Bortles: The Jaguars nearly pulled off the upset against the Packers and showed themselves to be a much tougher match-up than anytime in recent memory. I think they are the dark horse to win the division or at least a Wild Card birth this year and Bortles will be a big driver of that. While not the most productive use of 39 pass attempts in Week 1, the fact is he will have to throw a lot with a very average running game. Week 2 against the hapless Chargers is ripe for a big game for Bortles.
Dishonorable mention: Jay Cutler. Did you see his interception on Sunday? There wasn’t a receiver within a mile of that throw. While some may not see the benefit of bashing Cutler every time he has a bad game; let me tell you, it beats anger management classes. You can’t fix what is wrong with Jay Cutler; he has a genetic predisposition to suck regardless of who the coach is or what kind of talent he has around him. Do you know how many receptions someone like Julian Edelman would have if he played with Cutler for a season? 20… +/- 5. If Jay Cutler was given a camera, a super model, and a Ferrari and told to shoot some pictures at the beach do you know what would happen? A car accident; car is totaled, model needs reconstructive surgery, and Jay Cutler would be just fine.