Fantasy quarterback performances in Week 4’s Thursday night game went about as planned. Veteran Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens racked up 356 passing yards, threw one touchdown pass and one interception. He ran for another score.
Rookie Brandon Weeden of the Cleveland Browns wasn’t quite as fortunate. Despite throwing more passes than Flacco in a comeback attempt for the Browns, he completed just under 50 percent of his 52 throws (25) for 320 yards.
Weeden didn’t get the ball into the end zone (mostly because of drops) and threw one interception.
Two new names will be in the following top 15 quarterback rankings list for Week 4. They’ll be playing in the same NFL game when Sunday’s slate kicks off.
Second-year passers Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals and Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars will round out the top 15.
I expect for the Bengals/Jaguars clash to be a shootout. That isn’t so much a massive vote of confidence in their offenses as it is skepticism about each of their defenses.
The Bengals are the fourth-most generous team in terms of points allowed to opposing fantasy quarterbacks. They haven’t intercepted a ball all season. Cincinnati has also allowed at least one passing touchdown in each game this year.
The Jaguars are much farther down the list of points allowed to fantasy passers, but that isn’t because their defense is so great.
It’s because teams decided to run on them, instead.
When the Indianapolis Colts let Andrew Luck chuck it around a little bit, he left the stadium with 313 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns to his credit.
He also tossed one interception, but that’s the Jaguars’ only defensive pick on the year.
The point is that the Jaguars defense is not a scary matchup for fantasy quarterbacks, and the Bengals defense might just turn fantasy passers into must-start prospects.
Despite the fact that the Bengals defense is the more favorable of the two matchups, Dalton gets the edge over Gabbert. One quarterback has A.J. Green to throw to. The other can hand it off to Maurice Jones-Drew.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. New Orleans Saints)
2. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Carolina Panthers)
3. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (at Buffalo Bills)
5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (at Green Bay Packers)
6. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. Minnesota Vikings)
7. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings (at Detroit Lions)
8. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (at Atlanta Falcons)
9. Eli Manning, New York Giants (at Philadelphia Eagles)
10. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. New York Giants)
11. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (vs. Oakland Raiders)
12. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
13. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans (vs. Tennessee Titans)
14. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at Jacksonville Jaguars)
15. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)