In this piece, I highlight quarterbacks who stand out in our large suite of analytical fantasy tools, most specifically, our FantasyLabs Player Models. While the models are built for DFS 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 (powered by Sean Koerner), player ratings in our Player Models will change as the projections change. For updates, visit the models directly.
Top NFL DFS Quarterback Picks in the FantasyLabs Models
On DraftKings, there are two quarterbacks near the top of the individual Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Cash Game, and Tournament Player Models.
- Derek Carr
- Trey Lance
We’ll discuss why these three are popping in our models, as well as take a look at some other quarterbacks.
Top Model NFL DFS Quarterback Picks
Derek Carr ($6,200 DraftKings, $7,300 FanDuel): Las Vegas Raiders (-5.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals (51.5 total)
Derek Carr had an up-and-down Week 1, almost reaching 300 passing yards and throwing for two touchdowns. However, Carr threw three interceptions and only posted 16.8 DraftKings points against a solid Chargers defense.
Carr gets a far softer matchup this week against the Arizona Cardinals, who just gave up another touchdown to Patrick Mahomes as I’m writing this. Mahomes carved them up last week for 360 yards and 5 touchdowns en route to 37.9 DraftKings points with ease. To make matters worse for Arizona, their injuries on defense are starting to pile up.
Starting corner, Marco Wilson is dealing with an ankle injury but practiced in full on Wednesday. The same can not be said for J.J. Watt (Calf), Trayvon Mullen Jr. (Toe), and Jalen Thompson (Toe), who all did not practice on Wednesday. Carr was constantly under pressure against the Chargers’ fierce front of Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa. Whereas this week, Carr will likely have a comfortable pocket.
With Davante Adams, Hunter Renfroe, and Darren Waller all at Carr’s disposal against a defense with a middling secondary and a non-existent pass rush, Carr should be able to feast on Sunday against Arizona.
Carr leads both our Cash and Tournament Models.
Trey Lance ($5,700 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel): San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks (41 total)
It’s hard to place too much stock one way or another in Trey Lance’s debut against the Chicago Bears. From a fantasy standpoint, Lance was inefficient as a passer, which could be attributed to the weather, but is also most likely just where he is as a passer as of now. Lance carried the ball 13 times on the ground, gaining 54 yards and averaging 4.2 yards per carry.
We’ll get a better idea of Lance’s offseason progression this Sunday, as the 49ers face off with Seattle in their home opener. Seattle’s defense had a solid game on paper against Denver, getting the victory last Monday night. However, the Broncos actually ranked fourth in net yards per drive in Week 1 at 12.64. Anyone who watched the game also saw the Broncos fumble the ball twice on the goal line. These things happen in football, but we could’ve easily seen Denver punch in two more touchdowns.
The Broncos were also able to rack up some big plays against Seattle, especially with their run-after-catch ability. The 49ers offense may be suited more than any to attack defenses after the catch. Lance also carried the ball 24 times across his two starts last season, showing that his ground game usage isn’t going anywhere.
Despite the low total (41), in a soft matchup against an overhyped Seattle defense, Trey Lance looks like a great option this weekend.
He leads two of our Pro Models as well.
Other Notable NFL DFS Quarterback Picks
Kyler Murray ($7,500 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel): Arizona Cardinals (+5.5) at Las Vegas Raiders (51.5 total)
Despite an ugly Week 1 performance against the Chiefs, we’re going right back to the well with Kyler Murray. The talent surrounding Murray is a little worrisome, as their offense is entirely dependent on skill position players making plays, and they’re devoid of talent at the moment outside of Marquise Brown. Sadly, it’s no longer 2018, so the duo of A.J Green and Zach Ertz isn’t really getting the job done.
The Raiders defense is a little banged up, as they lost starting cornerback Anthony Averett to injured reserve. With the Cardinals defense also banged up, we could see the Raiders score points at will, forcing Arizona to keep up.
This is a bet on talent, as betting on talented quarterbacks will more often than not lead to profits.
Lamar Jackson ($7,400 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel): Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) vs. Miami Dolphins (44.5 total)
Despite what felt like a lackluster performance from Lamar Jackson in Week 1, he posted a 21.22 DraftKings point performance against the Jets. He did this mostly with his arm, as he only had 6 rush attempts. Jackson has averaged 10.65 rush attempts per game throughout his career, so we should expect him closer to double-digits this week.
The Miami defense shut down Mac Jones and the Patriots last week, but Jackson and the Ravens are a different animal. Miami gave up the eighth-least DraftKings points per game to opposing quarterbacks last season, but that was buoyed by a second-half stretch against weak competition.
They gave up big scores of 25.24, 29.46, and 40.74 to Derek Carr, Josh Allen, and Tom Brady, respectively. With big names like Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, and Josh Allen not on the main slate, a Jackson ceiling game could really lap the field at quarterback.
Marcus Mariota ($5,600 DraftKings, $7,300 FanDuel): Atlanta Falcons (+10) at Los Angeles Rams (46.5 total)
Marcus Mariota is back in our lives, everybody. He posted a solid 20.8 DraftKings points in Week 1 against a solid Saints defense without throwing a touchdown. Mariota had the second-most designed runs of any quarterback on the week, with eight in Week 1. Mariota’s rushing floor makes him quite an intriguing option, as the Falcons will likely need to be aggressive to keep up with Los Angeles.
The Rams defense just got shredded by Josh Allen and the Bills. It’s tough to compare anyone to the Bills right now, but the Rams defense is beatable, I suppose. Game-script as an underdog is an overrated part of DFS, but if Atlanta falls behind and needs to make some plays, Mariota may lean on his legs more.
The rushing floor makes Mariota very interesting, and if Los Angeles’ defense is actually worse than public perception, Mariota could put up an impressive performance.