We are now three weeks into the NFL season, and things are starting to become much clearer (like the emergence of Robert Griffin III and Joe Flacco).
Which hot quarterback should we trust? Which struggling quarterback should we avoid? Let’s take a look at how things currently look as we head into Week 4:
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – vs. New Orleans
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Carolina
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – at Buffalo
- Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins – at Tampa Bay
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – at Green Bay
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. Minnesota
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cleveland
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – at Philadelphia
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – at Atlanta
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Jacksonville
- Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos – vs. Oakland
- Matt Schaub – Houston Texans – vs. Tennessee
- Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – at Kansas City
- Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Chicago
- Carson Palmer – Oakland Raiders – at Denver
- Josh Freeman – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Washington
- Michael Vick – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – Buffalo Bills – vs. New England
- Christian Ponder – Minnesota Vikings – at Detroit
- Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – at Dallas
- Matt Cassel – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. San Diego
- Alex Smith – San Francisco 49ers – at New York Jets
- Jake Locker – Tennessee Titans – at Houston
- Sam Bradford – St. Louis Rams – vs. Seattle
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – at St. Louis
Robert Griffin III
Since Week 1, Robert Griffin III has not been throwing for as many yards (206 and 221 yards, respectively), but the Redskins have started allowing him to run a lot more. Over the past two weeks, he’s run the ball 23 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns, numbers that many running backs would be happy with. You couple that with going against a defense that is the worst in the league against the pass (353.3 yards per game) and it is obvious that RG3 is a must-use option.
Hopefully we find out sooner rather than later whether or not Matthew Stafford is going to be able to play this week. For now, we will leave him on the rankings, but be prepared to find an alternative.
Matt Ryan has been as impressive as anyone could’ve hoped for through three weeks, with 793 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception. After seeing Eli Manning and the Giants' passing attack pick apart the Carolina Panthers, Ryan has to be considered one of the elite this week.
The Cleveland Browns have not done a good job defending the pass (269.0 yards per game, as well as eight touchdowns). With Joe Flacco quickly showing that he may have finally arrived in the Ravens' new uptempo offense (having thrown for 913 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions), there is no reason to shy away from him at this point. You probably drafted him as a reserve, but he is worthy of starting in all formats.
While I wouldn’t want to trust Josh Freeman as my QB1, with a very favorable matchup against the Washington Redskins, he is a must-use option as a QB2.
It’s hard to recommend benching Cam Newton, given his electric ability both through the air and on the ground, but it is quickly becoming clear that he isn’t the same player as he was during his rookie campaign. He has already thrown five interceptions and is taking on an Atlanta defense that has seven interceptions. The threat of Newton makes him a low-end QB1, but this is a tough matchup.
The Texans may be a run first team, normally at least, but Matt Schaub had a huge Week 3 and now faces a Titans team allowing more than 310 passing yards per game (as well as eight touchdowns vs. one interception). You have to love the matchup as a low-end option.
With the revamped Cowboys secondary looking for real, I would be very hesitant to trust Jay Cutler this week. He’s more of a QB2, at best.