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Fantasy Football: QB matchups, streamer of the week, Week 13 rankings and more

Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) scrambles with the ball against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

  • Lawrence trending up: Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has been playing his best ball of the season during the last month of action
  • Tua continues to excel: Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa has managed to efficiently slice up defenses while also boasting one of the league’s quickest release times
  • Jackson is performing better than stat sheet may suggest: Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson was quite a bit better than the box score indicated in Week 12
Estimated reading time: 19 minutes

Week 13 is here, so it’s truly a great day to be great. Today’s goal is to break down the week’s key fantasy football questions facing the quarterback position before producing the group’s specific ranks. Updated ranks throughout the week from myself and the rest of the PFF Fantasy crew can be accessed with PFF+.


Take a bow, Trevor Lawrence

It’s not like the 2021 NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall pick has sucked in every game this season, but the complete picture certainly hasn’t been full of highs:

  • Week 1: 56.8 PFF passing grade (No. 22 among all quarterbacks with 15-plus dropbacks)
  • Week 2: 73.7 (No. 8)
  • Week 3: 76.0 (No. 6)
  • Week 4: 29.0 (No. 34)
  • Week 5: 60.6 (No. 22)
  • Week 6: 62.2 (No. 17)
  • Week 7: 50.4 (No. 25)
  • Week 8: 42.2 (No. 29)
  • Week 9: 87.1 (No. 2)
  • Week 10: 82.7 (No. 3)
  • Week 11 bye
  • Week 12: 79.9 (No. 7)

Overall, Lawrence trails only Joe Burrow in PFF passing grade over the last month of action. Nobody has been more accurate in terms of adjusted completion percentage (87%) during this stretch. T-Law has looked every bit like the “generational” quarterback prospect that he has been lauded as for years, especially down the stretch of the Jaguars’ exhilarating comeback victory over the Ravens.

Don’t be surprised if the good times keep rolling against the Detroit Lions’ 30th-ranked defense in EPA per pass play.


Guess who’s back?

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson’s suspension is over, so he will start under center in Week 13 against the Houston Texans. And some people still think that we don’t live in a simulation.

Off-the-field issues aside: Watson deserves to be in the top-five fantasy and real-life quarterback conversation. The former point isn’t really up for debate:

  • 2017: 24.1 fantasy points per game (No. 1 among qualified quarterbacks)
  • 2018: 20.7 (tied for No. 4)
  • 2019: 22 (No. 3)
  • 2020: 23.8 (No. 6)

Overall, Watson’s average of 22 fantasy points per game is the second-highest mark in NFL history behind only Patrick Mahomes (23.4). Madness.

His “real life” football stats are every bit as impressive. The ex-Texans signal-caller posted elite marks in PFF passing grade (90.6, No. 8), QB rating (104.5, No. 4) and yards per attempt (8.3, No. 2) among 68 quarterbacks with 300-plus dropbacks from 2017 to 2021.

Watson suddenly gives the Browns offense a newfound sky-high ceiling for their stretch run, but just realize Jacoby Brissett played as well as could be expected during his absence.

No, Brissett isn’t someone capable of consistently putting the team on his back and engineering elite offensive performances, but the Browns’ 30th-ranked defense in scoring and 27th-ranked unit in EPA allowed per play is far more at blame for the team’s 4-7 starts than the veteran journeyman:

  • PFF passing grade: 75.7 (tied for No. 9 among 38 quarterbacks with 100-plus dropbacks)
  • Passer rating: 89.1 (No. 20)
  • Yards per attempt: 7.1 (No. 17)
  • Adjusted completion rate: 74.9% (No. 21)

Was Jalen Hurts created in a fantasy football laboratory?

Hurts has ripped off top-five fantasy performances on seven separate occasions this season. Only Josh Allen (nine) has more, and he’s the back-to-back reigning, defending, undisputed fantasy QB1 of the world.

While Hurts hasn’t made a habit of putting up massive performances through the air (one game with 250-plus passing yards since Week 3), his rushing usage is on pace to shatter records. Overall, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ QB1 is on pace for 196 carries this season – easily more than 2019 Lamar Jackson’s all-time record of 176.

This rushing floor has given Hurts arguably the highest fantasy floor in the game, as he joins Allen as the only quarterbacks with nine top-10 fantasy finishes this season. Hurts’ ability to push the pile has been a huge weapon for the offense, as he’s picked up first downs on 21 of his 24 QB sneak attempts through 12 weeks of action.

Fire up Hurts as his typical sky-high upside QB1 self against a Tennessee Titans defense that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the position this season.


What quarterbacks are more responsible than others for their offense’s pass-protection woes?

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