• The Miami Dolphins‘ Tua Tagovailoa, Minnesota Vikings‘ Kirk Cousins and Atlanta Falcons‘ Marcus Mariota stand as the top-three quarterbacks most likely to be negatively impacted by pressure in Week 1.
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
Week 1 is here, meaning 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 rankings, which can be accessed through PFF+ throughout the week from myself and the rest of the PFF Fantasy crew.
Matchup to take advantage of: Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings were awfully stingy at all three levels of defense during the majority of Mike Zimmer’s tenure, but over the past two years, the Vikings were a bottom-six and bottom-10 defense in yards and points allowed. The secondary, in particular, has had an awfully difficult time slowing down Rodgers and company:
- Week 1, 2020: 364 pass yards-4 TD-0 INT; fantasy QB3
- Week 8, 2020: 291-3-0, QB4
- Week 11, 2021: 385-4-0, QB2
- Week 17, 2021: 288-2-0, QB9
Healthy versions of Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith could certainly help boost PFF’s reigning 14th- ranked pass rush in pressure rate (32.4%), but just realize the cornerback room remains in trouble with old man Patrick Peterson and incumbent part-time starter Cameron Dantzler leading the way. PFF still ranks the secondary 18th as a whole, which might not be good enough to slow down a Packers offense that has averaged a tidy 33.3 points per game against Minnesota since 2020.
Matchup to be cautious of: Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford vs. Buffalo Bills
Stafford’s ongoing elbow issue is one thing to worry about. However, the bigger issue to start the season is a date against the league’s reigning No. 1 defense in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks. While star CB Tre’Davious White‘s (ACL) potential absence certainly helps matters for Stafford and company, the Bills still have a loaded defense that managed to add perennial difference-making pass-rusher Von Miller to the fold. Presently implied to score a modest 25.5 points, Los Angeles better hope that new LT Joseph Noteboom is ready to fill Andrew Whitworth‘s shoes in a hurry.
This isn’t to suggest that Stafford is a “must fade.” He’s still ranked inside the position’s top-16 signal-callers and could find his way into some fantasy-friendly volume-induced production. However, similar veterans restricted to the pocket — such as Aaron Rodgers (at Vikings), Matt Ryan (at Texans) and Jameis Winston (at Falcons) are in objectively better spots as far as pure pass-game matchups are concerned. Stafford will be back on the QB1 map in Week 2 against the Falcons.
Bold call of the week: San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance works as the overall QB1