Figuring out who the top fantasy football quarterbacks will be from week to week is a little easier than doing so for running backs and wide receivers, but by no means is it simple—especially in Week 10 with four teams on a bye and injuries galore throughout the league.
That's why those of us in the fantasy industry put together these lists for you—to give you a gauge of what to expect from your players on any given Sunday.
With that, here are the weekend's quarterback rankings, along with some detailed analysis of the 10 best plays for the week:
(BYE: Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins)
28. Sam Bradford (at SF)
27. Mark Sanchez (at Sea)
26. Matt Cassel (at Pit, Monday night)
25. Blaine Gabbert (vs. Ind, Thursday night)
FINAL STATISTICS: 18-of-31 for 209 yards; 0 TDs; 1 INT // 1 rush for 10 yards; 0 TDs
24. Christian Ponder (vs. Det)
23. Russell Wilson (vs. NYJ)
22. Alex Smith (vs. StL)
21. Jay Cutler (vs. Hou, Sunday night)
20. Matt Schaub (at Chi, Sunday night)
19. Jake Locker (at Mia)
18. Ryan Tannehill (vs. Ten)
17. Joe Flacco (vs. Oak)
16. Tony Romo (at Phi)
15. Cam Newton (vs. Den)
14. Michael Vick (vs. Dal)
13. Andy Dalton (vs. NYG)
12. Carson Palmer (at Bal)
11. Philip Rivers (at TB)
The Top 10 QB Plays for Week 10
10. Eli Manning (at Cin)
Eli Manning has been slowly falling down the fantasy ladder for about a month now as he has only two touchdown passes and one game throwing for over 200 yards in the Giants last four games.
Granted, New York has won three of those four games and only lost the other one by a mere four points, but that doesn’t really mean too much to his fantasy owners now, does it.
This week, Eli goes into Cincinnati to face a Bengals defense that seems to hold their own just fine (fantasy-wise) against the lesser QBs of the league but have a bit of trouble containing the better ones.
Despite his recent slump, I would still consider Manning to be an elite QB both in real life and in fantasy, so with WR Hakeem Nicks getting very close to full health, look for the Giants QB to come out of his funk this Sunday.
9. Josh Freeman (vs. SD)
What Big Josh Freeman has been able to do over the last four weeks is simply amazing. During that time, Freeman has averaged 314.3 yards and 2.8 touchdowns a game and now finds himself within the top 10 in fantasy points per game for QBs (ninth).
My only question is whether he can actually keep up a streak like this because, even though the fantasy numbers have been there, he’s still put up just a 56.7 completion percentage which needless to say, is pretty darn bad.
This week, the Bucs will be at home against a San Diego Chargers defense that has allowed just 310 total passing yards and no TDs in their last two games, though the numbers may be a little misguiding with rookie Brandon Weeden and god-awful Matt Cassel being the two QBs they faced.
In the four games prior, they allowed an average of 301.3 passing yards and three TDs a game, numbers I'm sure Freeman will be a lot closer to than the other ones.
8. Ryan Fitzpatrick (at NE)
Not sure if I’ve ever had a tougher time putting a player in my top 10 than I did with Ryan Fitzpatrick this week.
However, I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t feel it was deserved.
If you can believe it, in three games over the last two seasons, the former seventh-round pick out of Harvard has averaged 342 yards and 2.7 touchdowns against the Patriots.
I might consider numbers like these a bit of a fluke if it weren’t for New England’s porous-as-hell pass defense.
So far this season, the Patriots have given up the third-most passing TDs, the fifth-most passing yards per game and the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.
Basically, if you have either Aaron Rodgers or RGIII on a bye, or simply wanted to give your fantasy team a nice boost with a sleeper pick this week, Fitzpatrick is your man.
7. Andrew Luck (at Jax, Thursday night)
Even though Andrew Luck has thrown for just three touchdowns in his last five games, he’s still seventh in the league in fantasy points per game.
The reason being is because he’s also managed to put up four rushing TDs during that stretch while averaging 284.6 passing yards a game.
His Thursday night performance against the Jaguars wasn’t quite the explosion I was figuring on, but it wasn’t bad either.
Luck completed a season-high 69.2 percent of his passes (18-of-26) for 227 yards, though his only touchdowns on the night would come on the ground as he ran for two TDs en route to an Indianapolis 27-10 victory.
FINAL STATISTICS: 18-of-26 for 227 yards; 0 TDs; 1 INT // 7 rushes for 11 yards; 2 TDs
6. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. KC, Monday night)
Big Ben hasn’t been outstanding this year, but he’s been consistent enough through the halfway point of the season to be ranked eighth in fantasy points per game.
He’s also been extremely accurate, ranking fourth in the league in completion percentage (67.1) while tossing up the second-fewest interceptions (four) of all starting QBs.
This Monday night, the Steelers return home to face a Kansas City Chiefs team that has allowed the third-most TDs and seventh-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, so far, this season.
With their backfield still a bit jumbled, look for Pittsburgh to let Big Ben pass his way to a victory and give his fantasy owners QB1 stats for the week.
5. Peyton Manning (at Car)
Last week, Peyton Manning came up nine yards short of putting together his fifth-straight game with 300 or more passing yards and three touchdowns.
It would be crazy to think that at 36 years old, he’s actually better now after neck surgery than he was before, but the numbers may convince you otherwise.
Halfway through the 2012 season, Manning is on pace for career bests in passing yards (4,808) and completion percentage (69.5) while also looking at second-best marks in touchdowns (40), completions (406) and QB rating (108.6).
Whatever the answer, there’s no doubt he’s still one of the top fantasy QBs in the game.
This week, he goes up against a Carolina defense that has been relatively stingy toward QBs this year, though they have allowed passers to throw for the third-highest percentage against them, so Manning should have no problem picking them apart.
If WRs Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker get their playmaking abilities going, which I believe they will, then Peyton should have no problem coming away with QB1 stats for the week.
4. Matthew Stafford (at Min)
Stafford did well passing the ball against the Jaguars last weekend, throwing for 285 yards on 67 percent passing, but because he failed to put up a touchdown, he ended up with a season-low in fantasy points for the game.
I highly doubt something like that happens again this season as the four rushing touchdowns the Lions scored was probably one of the more bizarre anomalies to take place in the NFL this year.
Against the Vikings back in Week 4, “Second-Half Staff” threw for 319 yards, but again, did not have a passing TD. However, this time, he saved a bad fantasy day by rushing in his own TD, but I expect much better stats from him this time around.
The Vikings defense has been slumping pretty badly of late and currently allows the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.
If the last two guys they faced—Josh Freeman and Russell Wilson—can throw for three touchdowns a piece, then there’s no reason to believe Stafford won’t do the same.
3. Drew Brees (vs. Atl)
Drew Brees at home? Yes, please.
In his 36 home games since 2008, Mr. Brees has averaged an extraordinary 312.9 passing yards and 2.8 touchdowns per game. Yes, I said averaged.
As for this season, he’s right on pace with those numbers putting up 297 yards and three TDs per game, so despite the Saints fall from grace as a team, Cool Brees has still managed to salvage his own personal fantasy status.
In fact, Drew currently leads the league in fantasy points per game, though it’s only by the slimmest of margins as he leads Aaron Rodgers by a mere 0.0375 points per game.
This weekend, he’ll face off against the division-leading Atlanta Falcons, a team the Saints beat twice last season behind Brees’ 314.5 yards and three TDs per game.
Not only should this showdown turn out to be the game of the week, but it should also turn out to be the highest-scoring game of the week as well.
Even if you don’t have any fantasy players in this game (which I’m sure you are kicking yourself for if you don’t), make sure you find a way to watch it regardless.
2. Tom Brady (vs. Buf)
Quick—who has more rushing touchdowns this year, Michael Vick or Tom Brady? Not that it has much to do with anything, but Tom Brady would be the correct answer here.
Anyway, before their bye last week, Brady and the Patriots traveled across the pond to take on the St. Louis Rams in London, England, where the Stetson Man proceeded to throw for 304 yards and his first four-TD game of the season.
The reason I mentioned his stats there is because, in five games over the last three years, Brady has averaged pretty close to those exact same numbers against the Buffalo Bills tossing up 291.4 yards 3.2 TDs per game.
In fact, the last time Brady threw for fewer than three touchdowns against the Bills was back in 2009, just a few months after Michael Vick was released from prison (aha, now there’s the Vick connection).
Back in their Week 4 matchup, Tommy Bundchen ran in his first touchdown of the season while also putting up 340 yards and three passing TDs.
If anything, the man is consistent, so look for right around the same numbers from him this Sunday—minus the rushing TD.
1. Matt Ryan (at NO)
Matt Ryan would likely tell you that the most important numbers to look at for him this year are eight and zero—the Atlanta Falcons W-L record.
However, to fantasy owners, there are a number of other statistics that matter more, such as Ryan’s current fifth-place ranking in fantasy points per game or his three 300-yard games or his four three-TD games.
This week, there may be a number out there that has nothing to do with him at all that matters more than all the rest—the fact that the New Orleans Saints allow the most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.
Last year, Matty Ice threw for a season-high 373 yards when the team visited New Orleans (351 yards against them in Atlanta), though he was only able to muster up one touchdown.
2012 will be a little bit different as I can easily see 350-plus yards yet again, but this time, he should be able to tack on a good three to four TDs as well.
For rankings at all the positions, check out the: Pyro® Rankings
For advice on who to start, check out the: Pyro® Start 'Em Sit 'Em
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