As you sit back and examine the landscape of the NFL after four weeks, you’ve probably noticed that scoring is up significantly. So, if real NFL scoring is up, then FanDuel scoring must increase as a result. But how is that relevant to quarterback selection? I’m glad you asked. It means that we need to raise our expectations for this position from a DFS perspective. It’s not enough for our quarterback to 2x anymore. Regardless of price, our quarterback needs to score 20+ to have a legitimate shot at cashing. At least that is going to be my strategy moving forward. With that information in mind, let’s examine which quarterbacks to avoid in week five.
Aaron Rodgers: $8,400
DET Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 172 (2nd) DET Sacks: 13 (T-4th) DET Turnovers: 3 (T-25th)
Aaron Rodgers could be considered in perpetuity for the top spot on my quarterbacks to avoid list. This week, my outlook on Rodgers is overwhelmingly negative. I took a similar approach to Davante Adams in a previous article this week. There is a litany of issues Rodgers will have to deal with this week. Let’s just start with injuries. Aaron Rodgers is still playing through an injury. Davante Adams did not practice on Friday. Randall Cobb has already been ruled out. And, Geronimo Allison is still questionable with a concussion.
In a worst-case scenario, Rodgers would be playing with three rookie wide receivers. He will at a minimum have to play with one, and it’s likely he’ll play with two. Injuries aside, high volume passing is not the way to beat the Lions. Detroit is horrendous against the run. Just how bad do you ask? Well, they are dead last in the league. The Lions are surrendering 157 yards per game on the ground. Thus, running the ball is the most effective path to victory. However, that’s not all Rodgers has to overcome.
Most importantly, Rodgers has to overcome Mike McCarthy. Now, I’m by no means an Aaron Rodgers apologist, but the fact that Aaron Jones isn’t the lead back garnering at least 60-70% of the touches is absurd. Jones is the best runner on the team and should be in the best matchup of the main slate. But, there’s no guarantee that McCarthy will give him those opportunities. So, we know that Rodgers won’t be put in the most optimal position to succeed. He’s also the same price as Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger, and is somehow $100 more than Matt Ryan.
Baker Mayfield: $7,100
BAL Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 193 (4th) BAL Sacks: 10 (T-12th) BAL Turnovers: 5 (T-14th)
As I outlined in my opening paragraph, nailing your quarterback selection is paramount. While Baker Mayfield was able to move the ball in his first start, he won’t have as much luck this Sunday. First, the Ravens have had one of the better pass defenses thus far. But, two of their first four games have been against the Nathan Peterman Bills and Case Keenum. Conversely, the other two games were against Andy Dalton and Ben Roethlisberger. Given that information, it’s safe to say this team is good against the pass, but not as good as the stats currently indicate.
Then again, the Ravens will be getting Jimmy Smith back off a four-game suspension. Smith is their best corner and would solidify a good secondary with Tony Jefferson, Eric Weddle, Brandon Carr, and Marlon Humphrey. This does not bode well for Mayfield and company. We saw that he was not as efficient when having to throw the ball 40+ times. For some perspective, the Raiders had recorded three sacks and one total turnover heading into their game against the Browns. And in that game with the Browns, they recorded two sacks and two interceptions. As much as I love Mayfield’s future in the NFL, I don’t have a positive outlook on him this Sunday.
Case Keenum: $6,500
NYJ Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 247 (13th) NYJ Sacks: 10 (T-12th) NYJ Turnovers: 10 (T-3rd)
After a hot start against Seattle, Case Keenum has not been good in any fantasy format. In his last three starts, including games against the Raiders and Chiefs, Keenum is averaging 219 yards passing, zero touchdowns, and one interception. And no, I did not round down his touchdown passes. He has not thrown a touchdown pass since week one of the season. I would normally give an alternative quarterback to pay down for, but if you have to go below $7,000 for your starter this week, you aren’t building a good cash lineup.
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