What are ranks? They are typically an unexplained list of names that give you an idea of where an analyst stands. But who is to say that you value the same stats/trends that I do when creating ranks? At the end of the day, I’m asked to make calls when it comes to which players I prefer to others. I could offer up a list of first and last names, but what does that accomplish? I’ve included a tidbit about each one of my Top 20 quarterbacks, allowing you to see where I am coming from for Week 5.
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Drew Brees – He is kind of good at home and the Buccaneers are allowing opponents to complete 75.8 percent of their passes this season.
Peyton Manning – He hasn’t thrown an interception the week following a bye week since 2007. His yards and touchdown total have increased following each of the last two bye weeks (330 yards and four scores last season).
Andrew Luck – Only St. Louis has a lower sack-plus-interception total this season than the Ravens. Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle) is a bit banged up and Luck already leads the NFL in drop backs.
Aaron Rodgers – He has thrown 16 touchdowns at home since his last interception. He has also completed 76 percent of his passes for an average of 304 yards in his last six games against the Vikings, tossing 18 touchdowns and just one interception over that stretch.
Matthew Stafford – Big receivers have been a major issue for the Bills in quantity of ouches. All three Lion tight ends and that Calvin Johnson guy stand at least 6’4”tall.
Jay Cutler – WR1s have recorded 312 yards and four touchdowns on 23 receptions over the last three weeks against the Panthers. Chicago has two WR1s in my books and one tight end playing at a very high level.
Eli Manning – Atlanta has the fourth worst pass rush and Manning is getting sacked half as often as a year ago.
Tony Romo – The Texans have seen quarterbacks throw more passes this season than all but three defenses. Romo has averaged 26.3 percent more yards per pass attempt indoors over the last season-plus than on the road.
Ben Roethlisberger – He averages more points per drop back than Drew Brees this season. The Jags are on pace to allow 5,132 pass yards and 44 touchdowns … 1,040 more yards and 11 more touchdowns than the Raiders last year, the worst statistical pass defense of 2013.
Nick Foles – Every one of his passing touchdowns this season have come when not “under pressure” and the Rams have just one sack this season.
Philip Rivers – The Jets are allowing 18.7 PPR Fantasy points to WR2s this season and Rivers’ WR1 is heating up at the exact moment he did last season.
Matt Ryan – He is averaging 41.5 pass attempts per road game over the last season-plus and the Giants are allowing the fourth most yards per attempt.
Colin Kaepernick – For the first time in his career, Kaep has rushed for at least 50 yards in three straight, a viable skill against the second best pass rush in football.
Russell Wilson – His best Fantasy performance came following Seattle’s bye last season (357 yards and three touchdowns) and his TD:INT ratio is actually better on the road than at home over the last season-plus.
Cam Newton – Newton has rushed eight times this season, a total he reached in five individual games last year. The Bears have allowed mobile opposing QB’s to rush just four times over the last two weeks.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – No defense has been passed on more with a higher completion percentage and fewer sacks than the Cowboys this season. The Texans receivers are playing at a high level and Fitz should benefit from an open tight end given Dallas’ struggles there.
Andy Dalton – The Red Rifle has a pair of healthy big targets in Marvin Jones and A.J. Green for the first time this season, a major plus when playing behind the fourth best pass-blocking line in the NFL.
Joe Flacco – He has averaged just 224 pass yards following a 300-plus yard performance over the last two-plus seasons.
Carson Palmer – He has thrown multiple interceptions in five of his last seven games. He has also recorded less than 7.5 yards per attempt in five of those seven contests.
Tom Brady – He now has played eight straight games (including the postseason) without multiple passing touchdowns.
DeMarco Murray – Lead running backs that get at least 14 carries against the Texans are averaging 5.2 yards per carry this season. Murray has carried the rock at least 22 times in every game this season and has recorded at least 20 touches in nine straight.
Le’Veon Bell – He is averaging 6.95 yards per touch on the road this season, with those numbers coming against the Ravens and Panthers.
LeSean McCoy – Remember how bad we said the Cowboys defense was? The Rams have allowed 31 more rush yards and three more touchdowns on the ground this season … in one less game. That doesn’t include the three catches per game they surrender to opposing running backs.
Marshawn Lynch – Russell Wilson has completed just three passes inside the 10 yard line this season, and one was to Lynch for a touchdown.
Rashad Jennings – Was getting nearly 80 percent of the carries before Thursday night’s blowout of the Redskins.
AJ Green – Targeted at least nine times in each of his last five games that he played at least 10 snaps, tallying double digit Standard Fantasy Points in all of those contests.
Antonio Brown – The most consistent receiver in the NFL faces a defense that has allowed 15 catches and 215 yards to struggling WR1’s over the last two weeks.
Giovani Bernard – Dating back to last year, he has increased his PPR Fantasy Points per touch in four straight games.
Julio Jones – His aDOT is up 9.5 percent over his breakout 2012 season, a trend I’ll buy into against the fourth worst pass defense in terms of yards per attempt.
Calvin Johnson – He expects his ankle to improve with time. He has been targeted at least nine times in 13 of his last 16 games. Buffalo is the second most passed on defense and ranks in the bottom quarter of the league in terms of completion percentage against.