QB rankings and streaming advice for Week 1 of the 2019 fantasy football season.
Hello again, fantasy friends. We’ve waited so long for this, and yet, we find there is still more preparation to be done. In case you missed the quarterback shuffle this season, let’s bring you up to speed.
- Case Keenum moved to his third team in three years, now under center for Washington.
- Joe Flacco became a Bronco, having been dethroned by Lamar Jackson in Baltimore.
- Nick Foles was chosen as the Jaguars’ second chance.
- Josh Rosen was told to take his talents to Miami and replaced with another first-round pick for the Cardinals in Kyler Murray.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick won the QB competition with Dolphins over the aforementioned Rosen.
And in a devastating and surprising move that no one in the fantasy community wanted, Andrew Luck retired, leaving Jacoby Brissett to take the reins on what was/is shaping up to be a competitive and threatening Colts offense.
Going into the draft this year, the QB position has never been as deep with high-scoring talent. There are currently 12 starting quarterbacks who have put up top-five fantasy finishes in the last three years. Of the seven players in history who have produced 5,000 yards passing seasons, five are still starters going into the 2019 season: Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford.
If you knew this going into your drafts, you likely didn’t even think of a QB for during the single-digit rounds in standard leagues. In superflex and 2-QB leagues, you might have looked to fill the position in the fifth or sixth round. Or maybe you decided to wait until you reached the bottom of the barrel and tried your luck at the most desirable QB left.
No matter where QBs fell in your respective draft order, especially in 2-QB and superflex leagues, there will likely be a need to stream or switch-out a quarterback at some stage of the season. Alternatively, perhaps you’re looking for a cheap, high-upside DFS pick.
And that’s where I come in.
Following the format of last year’s quarterback series, I’ll be providing weekly QB rankings based on a combination of each week’s Game Level Similarity Projections (GLSP) projections, matchups, and average fantasy points per game. I’ll also call out a few headlines – including my TwoQB pick of the week, my favorite streamer, and a “bounceback candidate” who is coming off a bad fantasy week but still worthy of a start. Staying honest, I’ll be sure to recap how I did each week with these headliners.
And thus, we’ve arrived. Your Week 1 QB Rankings to start the 2019 season.
Week 1 Quarterback Rankings
|Chiefs||Patrick Mahomes||at Jacksonville||1|
|Seahawks||Russell Wilson||vs Bengals||2|
|Texans||Deshaun Watson||at New Orleans||3|
|Saints||Drew Brees||vs Texans||4|
|Browns||Baker Mayfield||vs Titans||5|
|Steelers||Ben Roethlisberger||at New England||6|
|Packers||Aaron Rodgers||at Chicago||7|
|Cowboys||Dak Prescott||vs Giants||8|
|Eagles||Carson Wentz||vs Redskins||9|
|Bears||Mitchell Trubisky||vs Packers||10|
|Rams||Jared Goff||at Carolina||11|
|Ravens||Lamar Jackson||at Miami||12|
|Panthers||Cam Newton||vs Rams||13|
|Bills||Josh Allen||at Jets||14|
|Patriots||Tom Brady||vs Steelers||15|
|Chargers||Philip Rivers||vs Colts||16|
|Falcons||Matt Ryan||at Minnesota||17|
|Buccs||Jameis Winston||vs 49ers||18|
|49ers||Jimmy Garrapolo||at Tampa Bay||19|
|Vikings||Kirk Cousins||vs Atlanta||20|
|Jets||Sam Darnold||vs Bills||21|
|Lions||Matthew Stafford||at Arizona||22|
|Cardinals||Kyler Murray||vs Lions||23|
|Broncos||Joe Flacco||at Oakland||24|
|Jags||Nick Foles||vs Chiefs||25|
|Colts||Jacoby Brissett||at Chargers||26|
|Titans||Marcus Mariota||at Cleveland||27|
|Raiders||Derek Carr||vs Broncos||28|
|Dolphins||Ryan Fitzpatrick||vs Ravens||29|
|Redskins||Case Keenum||at Philadelphia||30|
|Giants||Eli Manning||at Dallas||31|
|Bengals||Andy Dalton||at Seattle||32|
TwoQB Pick of the Week – Jameis Winston vs 49ers
Ownership (Yahoo): 81%
Ownership (ESPN): 53.1%
In 2018, the Tampa Bay QBs were known for their late game heroics/garbage time points that brought fantasy owners unparalleled success. But now Fitzmagic is gone and Jameis Winston is left to carry the weight. It shouldn’t be a problem with new head coach Bruce Arians, who loves to throw the ball. While Winston’s passing game has been marred by suspensions and interceptions, he has still been largely undervalued in fantasy, especially as it relates to his first start of the season.
The Buccaneers will face the 49ers on Sunday, a defense that allowed a league-high 35 touchdown passes last year. With a lackluster run game and a subpar defense, I would expect Winston to be in for a pass-hungry, multi-TD game. If you believe Mike Evans, OJ Howard, and Chris Godwin can compensate for his interceptions – and you should – Winston is perfectly poised as an ideal QB2 in Week 1.
Favorite Streamer – Josh Allen at New York Jets
Ownership (Yahoo): 33%
Ownership (ESPN): 20.5%
You might remember Josh Allen was last year’s fantasy enigma. Fantasy’s overall QB1 over the season’s final six weeks continued to receive criticism into and throughout the offseason saying that his sub-par completion percentage and reliance on the running game were not sustainable for success. Although his ADP did not play in the same sandbox as Lamar Jackson’s, the two sophomore quarterbacks put up comparable numbers in 2018 despite distinctly different perspectives regarding their fantasy futures.
Both Jackson and Allen start the season with favorable matchups, with Allen at a much cheaper cost. Allen will face his AFC East foe in the New York Jets, whose defense gave up the sixth-most fantasy points to QBs last season. Because neither of these defenses are much to write home about, we can expect a shootout between Allen and fellow sophomore Sam Darnold, producing a reasonable showing for the QB owned in only 20.5% of ESPN leagues.
Bounceback Candidate – Jimmy Garoppolo at Tampa Bay
Ownership (Yahoo): 56%
Ownership (ESPN): 28.4%
Jimmy Garoppolo was a bounceback late round value pick for fantasy drafts, and he’s a bounceback candidate to start the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I don’t think we’ve seen another player with so much hype paired with such little sample size. We have more or less the same sample size we had at this time last year, with Garoppolo going down with a torn ACL just three games into the 2018 season. But this time last year, there was a buzz around Garoppolo, promoting an inflated ADP of QB11 after just five starts. Now, Garappolo has a more modest ADP that makes him a player positioned as the ideal high-upside streaming candidate. And he’s given an ideal matchup that puts the outcome all on him.
Tampa Bay’s defense is as abhorrent as cottage cheese (I didn’t employ the overused Swiss cheese metaphor), allowing 29 points and 380-plus yards per game last season, while giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to the quarterback position. Meanwhile, appearing in just 11 games last season, Jameis Winston’s ability to successfully attack deep – he’s ranked top five in target depth for all four seasons – will push Garoppolo to keep up.
Garoppolo has unproven but highly talented weapons between Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin, George Kittle, Tevin Coleman, and Matt Brieda. Here’s to betting on his bounceback this week before the hype train starts up again.
Strength of Schedule Streaming App – Week 1
Check out the Strength of Schedule Streaming tool for more options and the opportunity to look for multi-week plays. This is Week 1.
Rankings based on GSLP, FPPG and matchup. The average fantasy points per game for Week 1 were carried over from last season’s scores, unless the quarterback switched teams.
View the complete Week 1 GLSP set of projections (PPR, Half PPR and Standard) in this Google Sheet.