- Geno is thriving: Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith has been a top-10 quarterback based on just about any passing metric this season.
- Lawrence needs help: Jacksonville Jaguars pass-catchers have let down Trevor Lawrence quite a bit this season when it comes to drops.
- Allen on pace to lead QBs in fantasy points: Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen is amazingly on pace to finish as fantasy’s overall QB1 for the third consecutive season.
Estimated reading time: 15 minutes
Week 14 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, Jalen Hurts
All the Philadelphia Eagles’ 24-year-old quarterback has done in his first 31 career starts is total 64 combined passing and rushing touchdowns. Last Sunday’s masterpiece over the Tennesse Titans included three through the air and one on the ground. Hurts is engineering the league’s second-ranked scoring offense and has the 11-1 Eagles looking like the class of the entire NFC.
Credit to head coach Nick Sirianni for his continued willingness to exploit his opponent’s weaknesses instead of simply going through the motions. Example: Hurts threw the ball just 28 times against the Green Bay Packers’ lackluster front-seven in Week 12 before chucking the rock 39 times against the Titans’ porous secondary despite building a three-score lead early in the third quarter.
Don’t be surprised if the Eagles go back to the ground game this week against the New York Giants’ league-worst defense in rushing yards before contact allowed per attempt. This should inevitably lead to more goal-line chances for Hurts, who ranks second in the NFL with 18 carries inside the five-yard line this season.
Mainstream media refuses to admit Geno Smith has played like a top-10 quarterback this season
Save for the occasional turnover-worthy play: It’s tough to find a passing stat that paints Smith as anything other than a top-10 quarterback this season:
- PFF passing grade: 81.7 (No. 7 among 38 quarterbacks with 100-plus dropbacks)
- Passer rating: 108.7 (No. 2)
- Yards per attempt: 8.1 (No. 4)
- Adjusted completion rate: 79.2% (No. 3)
- Big-time throw rate: 5.9% (No. 4)
- Turnover-worthy play rate: 3.6% (No. 25)
Up next is a home date against the Carolina Panthers’ sneaky-solid defense, although even the league’s best units figure to have trouble fully slowing down Smith throwing to D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett when they’re clicking.
Trevor Lawrence hasn’t gotten a lot of help from his friends this season
No quarterback has had more passes dropped than Lawrence (26) this season. Even pure volume can’t fully explain this, as just five teams have dropped more than six percent of their targets this season:
Overall, only the Giants, Broncos and Panthers have a lower percentage of catchable passes that were caught this season. The Jaguars rank just 25th in percentage of catchable targets that were caught. As PFF’s 25th-ranked team in receiving grade, Christian Kirk and company haven’t exactly made life a consistent breeze for the 2021 NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall pick.
Good news: Week 14’s matchup against the Titans yields a rather solid bounce-back spot for everyone involved in this passing game:
- EPA allowed per pass play: +0.069 (No. 26)
- Yards per attempt allowed: 7.4 (No. 20)
- Pass touchdown rate allowed: 4.6% (No. 23)
- Passer rating allowed: 105.9 (No. 28)
Apparently, Tua is human