- Injuries suck: Gardner Minshew, Brock Purdy and Zach Wilson profile as viable streaming options for fantasy managers forced to look elsewhere
- Run Justin run: Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields continues to absolutely eviscerate opposing defense on the ground and is just 207 yards away from breaking Lamar Jackson‘s single-season rushing yardage record at the position.
- Kings stay kings: Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has been playing like one of the league's very best quarterbacks ever since returning from the team's Week 11 bye.
Estimated reading time: 17 minutes
Week 16 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+.
Kings stay kings, and Trevor Lawrence has been looking awfully royal lately
The 2021 NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall pick has been playing out of his mind while leading the Jacksonville Jaguars to four wins in their last six games. Things have started to go especially great in the box score during the latter part of that stretch, as Lawrence has thrown for over 300 yards and at least three touchdowns in three of his last four games. These counting numbers were good enough to produce top-five fantasy finishes on all three occasions.
You probably don’t need more than a few fingers to count the number of quarterbacks who have been better than T-Law since the Jaguars returned from their Week 11 bye. Hell, you might not need any:
- PFF passing grade: 88.1 (No. 1 among 32 quarterbacks with 50-plus dropbacks since Week 12)
- Passer rating: 112.4 (No. 1)
- Yards per attempt: 7.8 (No. 7)
- Adjusted completion rate: 78.9% (No. 8)
- Big-time throw rate: 7.6% (No. 4)
- Turnover-worthy play rate: 4.1% (No. 26)
Lawrence and company will have their hands full on Thursday night against the Jets, who have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. Still, this offense proved capable of putting up big-time numbers against even the league’s best defenses during their Week 15 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Lawrence deserves to be fired up as the upside QB1 that he’s been for the better part of the last six weeks of action.
Justin Fields’ rushing ability is a cheat code in fantasy land
Fields has 1,000 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the ground through 15 weeks of action. Lamar Jackson’s NFL record of 1,206 rushing yards in a single season is well within reach for the Chicago Bears’ second-year signal-caller.
What has made the Fields experience so special is the “wow” factor that he’s managed to put on display seemingly every week. Seriously, this has to be one of the best runs by a quarterback that any of us have ever seen at the NFL level.
Simply too cool to not be a touchdown pic.twitter.com/GpNbzsDBlz
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) December 19, 2022
Fields has racked up at least 60 rushing yards in eight consecutive games – the longest active streak in the NFL. His rushing numbers ruly stack up well against even the league’s most productive running backs, as his 148 fantasy points from purely rushing production ranks 10th in the league regardless of position.
Up next is a far-from-easy matchup against the Buffalo Bills’ eighth-ranked defense in fantasy points per game allowed to the position. Monitor a potential blizzard in Chicago, but Fields has posted an asinine nine straight QB1 fantasy finishes. His rushing upside will continue to keep him inside the position’s top-six options regardless of the weather.
Zach Wilson was a little bit better in Week 15 than he was before … but the bar was low
On the one hand, Wilson averaged an impressive 9.1 yards per attempt on his way to throwing for 317 yards and a pair of touchdowns during the New York Jets’ Week 15 loss to the Detroit Lions. The performance included some truly impressive throws, as Wilson tied Josh Allen with a week-high five big-time throws.
On the other, Wilson had just three big-time throws in Weeks 1 to 14 combined, consistently failing to regularly mix in actual highlights among his well-documented lowlights. Last week’s performance still wasn’t enough to change Wilson’s status as PFF’s single-lowest-graded passer of 2022 while only Taylor Heinicke (5.7%) has been worse when it comes to turnover-worthy play rate (5.6%).