The Week 14 NFL main slate kicks off on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 1 p.m. ET.
In this piece, I highlight quarterbacks who stand out in our large suite of analytical fantasy tools, most specifically our FantasyLabs Models. While the Models are built for daily contests, this is an all-purpose fantasy article with actionable information for all formats.
As news breaks throughout the week and we adjust our projections, where players rate in our Models will change. For updates, visit the Models directly.
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Top Quarterbacks in the FantasyLabs Models
There are six quarterbacks atop the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek), Ryan Hodge and I have constructed.
Here’s where they place within our Week 14 fantasy football rankings (as of Tuesday evening).
- Russell Wilson: No. 1
- Patrick Mahomes: No. 2
- Aaron Rodgers: No. 3
- Deshaun Watson: No. 4
- Justin Herbert: No. 10
- Matt Ryan: No. 11
Of these six, the two who stand out most to me are Wilson and Herbert. The other guys I will highlight as needed in the section on players with week-winning upside.
FantasyLabs Positional Breakdowns
For more in-depth NFL analysis, check out The Action Network.
Russell Wilson: Seattle Seahawks (-13.5) vs. New York Jets (47 Over/Under)
At the beginning of Book One of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” the Bard describes the fallen angels and the hellish state in which they find themselves after their failed rebellion against God: “Sights of woe, regions of sorrow, doleful shades,” etc., etc.
You get the idea. It’s Hell. Not a good place.
The description ends with this line: “O how unlike the place from whence they fell!”
Whenever I think of Wilson and the Seahawks, that line comes to mind.
Through the first eight games of the season, Wilson was the MVP frontrunner and had an elite 9.3 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A). But over the past month, Wilson has regressed to an unfortunate 6.4 AY/A.
In the first two months of the season, Wilson had at least 300 yards or three touchdowns passing in every game. But in his past four games, Wilson has failed to hit either mark.
Since Week 10, Wilson has looked nothing like an MVP. He hasn’t really even been a good quarterback (per RotoViz Game Splits App).
Fewer yards passing, fewer yards per pass attempt, far fewer touchdowns.
End result: Far fewer fantasy points.
But we shouldn’t lose sight of the bigger picture: For the season, Wilson is on pace for 4,500 yards and 40 touchdowns passing. That’s phenomenal.
With 3,479 yards and 32 touchdowns passing, Wilson is in rare company: Only nine times in NFL history has a quarterback hit both thresholds in his team’s first 12 games (including Wilson):
- Patrick Mahomes: 2018
- Andrew Luck: 2014
- Peyton Manning: 2004, 2013-14
- Aaron Rodgers: 2011
- Tom Brady: 2007
- Dan Marino: 1984
Pretty good list.
Wilson is producing at a near-historic rate and is No. 3 at the position with +6.2 fantasy points over expectation per game (per RotoViz NFL Player Statistical Summary).
For the season, he’s still No. 5 at the position with 27.5 fantasy points per game.
And he’s in a fantastic bounceback spot against the Jets, who rank No. 32 with a woeful 30.2 coverage grade (per Pro Football Focus).
On the year, opposing quarterbacks are No. 3 against the Jets with 22.3 fantasy points per game on 3,588-24-8 passing and 63-197-5 rushing.
For the first half of the season, perimeter cornerbacks Blessuan Austin and Pierre Desir and slot corner Brian Poole were the starters, but not one of them has played for the past month. Austin (neck, IR) and Poole (knee, IR) have been sidelined with injuries and Desir was waived in Week 10.
In their place, the Jets are starting backups Lamar Jackson and Bryce Hall on the outside and Arthur Maulet in the interior, and that means Wilson’s wide receivers have fantastic matchups.
D.K. Metcalf will run most of his routes against Jackson, an undrafted rookie backup who in five starts has allowed five touchdowns, the most recent of which you’ve probably seen …
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 6, 2020
… and for the season he has allowed 11.2 yards per target.
Tyler Lockett will face Maulet, a special-teams journeyman who has a 42.2 PFF coverage grade this year.
David Moore will match up with Hall, a fifth-round rookie who has allowed a 73.1% catch rate.
Metcalf, Lockett and Moore on their own could gift 300 yards and three touchdowns to Wilson.
It’s just icing on the cake that Wilson is at home, where he has had notable splits in the post-Marshawn Lynch era (since 2016, per our FantasyLabs Trends Tool).
- At Home (40 games): 22.6 FanDuel points | 65.0% Consistency Rating
- On Road (43 games): 19.0 DraftKings points | 55.8% Consistency Rating
From the sports betting perspective, there are reasons to be enthusiastic about Wilson and the Seahawks. For his career, Wilson is 74-59-7 against the spread (ATS), good for an 8.4% return on investment (ROI, per our Bet Labs database). He tends to be a profitable player to back in a vacuum.
And in particular spots he’s significantly better. The Seahawks just endured a 17-12 defeat to the Giants, and Wilson is 25-13-4 ATS (26.3% ROI) off a loss.
You can bet on this game at DraftKings.
A must-start every-week top-three QB1 in season-long leagues, Wilson is a viable pay-up option for cash games and guaranteed prize pools in DFS. He leads all quarterbacks in our Models with his floor projections.
Wilson is the No. 1 quarterback in the Bales, CSURAM88, SportsGeek, Hodge and Freedman Models for FanDuel as well as the Bales Model for DraftKings, where he has a position-high seven Pro Trends.
Justin Herbert: Los Angeles Chargers (+2.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons (49.5 O/U)
How well is Herbert’s season going? He’s a -450 favorite at FanDuel to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. With those odds, Herbert has an 81.8% implied probability to win the award … so his rookie campaign is going pretty well.
In fact, he’s having a season for the ages. In his 11 starts, he has at least 300 yards passing or three total touchdowns in every game but one. That’s the type of consistent production you’d expect from someone like Patrick Mahomes.
In only two games has Herbert not been a fantasy QB1 (per RotoViz NFL Stat Explorer).
Take me down to the paradise city.
Herbert might have the best matchup on the slate: Opposing quarterbacks are No. 1 in the league against the Falcons with 23.7 fantasy points per game on 3,608-24-8 passing and 55-322-6 rushing.
What they’ve allowed quarterbacks (other than Derek Carr) to do to them qualifies as “Not Safe For Work.”
- Russell Wilson (Week 1): 31.8 fantasy points | 322-4-0 passing | 3-29-0 rushing
- Dak Prescott (Week 2): 39.8 fantasy points | 450-1-0 passing | 5-18-3 rushing
- Nick Foles & Mitchell Trubisky (Week 3): 28.8 fantasy points | 316-4-2 passing | 4-42-0 rushing
- Aaron Rodgers (Week 4): 29.6 fantasy points | 327-4-0 passing | 1-5-0 rushing
- Teddy Bridgewater (Week 5): 20.8 fantasy points | 313-2-0 passing | 3-3-0 rushing
- Kirk Cousins (Week 6): 23.7 fantasy points | 343-3-3 passing | 0-0-0 rushing
- Matthew Stafford (Week 7): 18.4 fantasy points | 340-1-0 passing | 1-8-0 rushing
- Teddy Bridgewater (Week 8): 12.0 fantasy points | 176-1-1 passing | 5-30-0 rushing
- Drew Lock (Week 9): 29.2 fantasy points | 313-2-1 passing | 7-47-1 rushing
- Taysom Hill (Week 10): 24.4 fantasy points | 233-0-0 passing | 10-51-0 rushing
- Derek Carr (Week 11): 0.6 fantasy points | 215-0-1 passing | 0-0-0 rushing (LOLz)
- Tayson Hill (Week 12): 23.6 fantasy points | 232-2-0 passing | 14-83-0 rushing
Unless Herbert’s legal name is actually “Derek Carr,” he should be able to handle the Falcons pass defense. Take me home.
Herbert is a low-end QB1 in season-long leagues and the No. 1 quarterback in the Hodge Model for DraftKings.
Quarterbacks With Week-Winning Upside
In this section, I highlight some quarterbacks I think will outperform expectations and whom I especially like as upside season-long and DFS tournament plays.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (-7) at Miami Dolphins (49.5 O/U): The Dolphins have a strong cornerback tandem in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones and are No. 6 with a -5.0% pass-defense DVOA (per Football Outsiders), but Mahomes is in MVP form with 3,815-31-2 passing and 47-241-2 rushing. Since HC Andy Reid joined the franchise in 2013, the Chiefs have been the league’s most profitable road team, going 39-21-1 ATS (27.9% ROI).
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (-7.5) at Detroit Lions (55 O/U): With his league-best 9.5 AY/A, Rodgers has matched the mark he hit in his 2014 MVP season. The Packers have a slate-high 31.5-point implied Vegas total, and Rodgers is 45-26 ATS (24.1% ROI) against the NFC North. You know I’m betting on the Packers this weekend.
The Lions are No. 31 with a 33.9 PFF coverage grade and without No. 1 cornerback Desmond Trufant (hamstring, IR) and maybe also No. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah (shoulder).
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (53 O/U): The Jags are No. 31 with a 25.6% pass-defense DVOA and will likely be without cornerbacks C.J. Henderson (groin, IR), Sidney Jones (Achilles), D.J. Hayden (hamstring, IR) and Chris Claybrooks (shoulder, IR). Tannehill is No. 4 with an 8.7 AY/A, and in his 22 regular-season starts with the Titans, the over is 18-3-1 (85.7% ROI). You can bet on this game at William Hill.
In his two games against the Jags since last year, Tannehill is 498-6-0 passing and 11-52-2 rushing.
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (Off the Board): In his three starts, Hill is No. 8 with 22.1 expected fantasy points per game. The Eagles are No. 26 with a 46.0 PFF coverage grade, and Hill’s Konami Code rushing ability has translated into a position-high ceiling projection on FanDuel, where he leads all quarterbacks with a +4.93 Projected Plus/Minus.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at Los Angeles Chargers (49.5 O/U): In No. 1 wide receiver Julio Jones’ seven healthy games, Ryan has averaged 324.3 yards and 2.1 touchdowns passing. Opposing quarterbacks are No. 6 against the Chargers with 20.5 fantasy points per game on 2,671-23-6 passing and 63-236-6 rushing. Since last year, Ryan trails only Patrick Mahomes in 300-yard passing games with 14.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints (Off the Board): As a transfer senior, Hurts was 3,851-32-8 passing and 233-1,298-20 rushing last year at Oklahoma, finishing No. 2 in Heisman voting. Of all the quarterbacks in the 2020 draft class, Hurts might have the highest fantasy upside, and now he’s slated to make his first NFL start. As Obi-Wan Kenobi says to Tion Medon, “If you have warriors, now is the time.”
The Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs, Freedman is commonly called the Oracle & the Labyrinthian.
Pictured above: Russell Wilson
Photo credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images