Here’s my first round of quarterback rankings for Week 6, with player notes from the rankings and projections process on some of the most interesting names this weekend. We’ll have updates throughout the week based on changes to the injury reports. And, remember, with bye weeks starting this week, the Lions, Titans, Raiders, and Texans are all out — that means no Jared Goff, Ryan Tannehill, Derek Carr, or Davis Mills this week. At least at QB, those absences shouldn’t be too hard to overcome.
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- Josh Allen @KC
- Patrick Mahomes vs. BUF
- Lamar Jackson @NYG — Jackson has stumbled just a bit over the past two weeks, but a bounceback seems in order against a very blitz-heavy Giants defense. Jackson demolished a similarly aggressive Miami defense earlier in the season for four touchdowns.
- Jalen Hurts vs. DAL — It’s going to be fascinating to see what the Eagles do to counter the Cowboys fearsome pass rush, but you can flip that around and say it’s going to be fascinating to see what the Cowboys do to counter Hurts’ incredible mobility. They haven’t faced a running quarterback this season, but Hurts had just 35 yards in his only game against them last season, so that’s worth noting. Not that you would ever consider sitting Hurts at this point.
- Justin Herbert vs. DEN
- Kyler Murray @SEA — Murray hasn’t been great as a passer, but he’s still a top-10 QB in Fantasy, which shows how high his floor is — and why he’s a buy-low candidate if you can get him before DeAndre Hopkins comes back next week.
- Tom Brady @PIT — This Buccaneers offense still doesn’t look quite right, but the pass volume alone keeps Brady in QB1 territory. Brady has the lowest touchdown rate and fourth-lowest Y/A of his career, but I have faith he’ll figure it out. Betting against him hasn’t worked out well, historically.
- Kirk Cousins @MIA
- Joe Burrow @NO — Against a Ravens defense that entered the game allowing the most completions of 11 or more air yards, Burrow had just four Sunday. The blueprint for limiting this offense is clear — rush four, take away the deep ball, and dare Burrow to nickel-and-dime you to death. So far, he hasn’t been able to do it, and with Tee Higgins in doubt with an ankle injury and facing a tough Saints pass rush, he’s pretty tough to trust at this point.
- Trevor Lawrence @IND
- Aaron Rodgers vs. NYJ
- Russell Wilson @LAC — The Broncos coaching staff hasn’t covered itself in glory so far, but Wilson absolutely doesn’t deserve to be let off the hook for his play so far, especially near the red zone. Wilson has 28 attempts in the red zone this season and has the lowest passer rating in the league, which explains most of why this offense has been so disappointing — Wilson has the seventh-best passer rating outside of the red zone. If you want to be optimistic, you can say that means they just have one thing they need to fix, but we don’t have much reason to believe they will right now. I’m not giving up on Wilson, but I would very much prefer not to have to start him this week.
- Geno Smith vs. ARI — Smith’s play has been one of the more remarkable things we’ve seen this season, and he now has multiple passing touchdowns in all but one game. He’s making downfield throws to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett with accuracy, with his intended air yards per target up from 7.0 to 8.2 yards from last season. Smith probably can’t keep playing at this level, but the Seahawks offense has been legitimate and quite good, and he’s worth at least considering if you need a streamer.
- Carson Wentz @CHI
- Matthew Stafford vs. CAR — The Rams just have nobody who can make plays in this offense besides Cooper Kupp right now. They’ve struggled to protect Stafford, as well, but the biggest problem right now is just that nobody can get open down the field besides Kupp. I’m not giving up on Stafford in the long run, but it’s hard to trust him in a game where they may not need to throw the ball much anyway.
- Marcus Mariota vs. SF
- Justin Fields vs. WAS — Fields had what I think was his best game of the season in Week 5, and it led to 19.02 points in six-point-per-pass-TD leagues. This offense just isn’t good right now, and he’s not getting enough opportunities to be a good Fantasy option — literally, the Bears are running a league-low 53.2 plays per game. I don’t want to give up hope entirely, because he’s talented enough to figure it out even in this suboptimal scenario, but I can’t recommend him yet.
- Andy Dalton vs. CIN
- Kenny Pickett vs. TB
- Daniel Jones vs. BAL
- Skylar Thompson vs. MIN — Teddy Bridgewater and Tua Tagovailoa are both in the concussion protocol ahead of Week 6, and while Bridgewater has apparently been symptom-free since being pulled from Sunday’s game, he has to remain so to be cleared to play. Thompson predictably struggled in his first NFL action, and with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle both banged up — plus multiple offensive linemen for Miami dealing with injuries — you can’t recommend him this week.
- Matt Ryan vs. JAX — I can’t say for sure Ryan is washed up, but that’s what it looks like. His 11 fumbles through five games are one of the highest totals ever by a QB, and his seven interceptions also lead the NFL. He looks awful so far.
- Jacoby Brissett vs. NE
- Zach Wilson @GB
- Jimmy Garoppolo @ATL
- Cooper Rush @PHI
- P.J. Walker @LAR — In theory, Walker has some things going for him given his athleticism, but he’s not such an overwhelmingly dominant athlete that it’s enough to make him much more than a very low-end 2QB or SuperFlex option. He has 8 rushing yards in two career starts, so you’d probably have to be pretty desperate to start him.
- Bailey Zappe @CLE