Quarterbacks Against Divisional Rivals

There’s the belief in the NFL and among NFL fans that division games are more important than non-division games. In these contests, teams have the opportunity to beat other teams with which they most directly compete for a spot in the playoffs.

As a result, there’s the expectation (and in many cases the assumption) that quarterbacks — or at least good quarterbacks — elevate their performances when playing against division rivals.

Last week, there were only three divisional games. In Week 2, almost half of the NFL’s games are divisional matchups. Now is an excellent time to use our Trends tool to see whether this assumption regarding quarterback performance against division rivals has any truth to it as it pertains to daily fantasy sports.

Step 1: Projections > Proj Pts > 5 to 27.5

against-division

In screening for quarterbacks projected to score at least five points, we are essentially eliminating backups from the cohort. This +2.10 Plus/Minus is our DraftKings baseline.

Step 2: Team Filters > Division/Non-Division > Division

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That’s a little bit anticlimactic, isn’t it? Quarterbacks are worse all the way around when playing against divisional foes: They score fewer points, yield lower Plus/Minus values, exhibit reduced Consistency, and even have slightly higher ownership.

What About the Elite Quarterbacks?

OK, that’s a fair question. Maybe it’s just replacement-level quarterbacks who suck against division rivals. Maybe they’re the underachievers dragging down the numbers for the entire cohort. Let’s see.

Step 1: Projections > Proj Pts > 20 to 27.5

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There’s the baseline for quarterbacks projected to score at least 20 points in divisional matchups . . .

Step 2: Team Filters > Division/Non-Division > Division

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. . . and that’s the sound of sadness. But, hey, at least the ownership is lower!

Historically, rostering these guys is like sh*tting your pants in the high school cafeteria — only to look down and realize that you’re naked.

In Week 2

This week, 14 quarterbacks are facing division rivals — teams that have an edge in that they know some combination of the offensive coordinator, quarterback, and offensive system and players.

Among those players are Ben Roethlisberger . . .

against-division-roethlisberger

. . . and other notable quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. Not all quarterbacks suck all the time (or even predominantly) when they play in their division.

But a number of them do.

Find out who they are with our Trends tool.