NBC Sports Predictor: Play SN7 for a chance to win $1,000,000. Download the app today and play for FREE!
Updated 12/17/2021 at 6:30 PM ET. Essentially in holding pattern with Taylor Heinicke and Baker Mayfield to see if they can "test out" of the COVID-19 protocol ahead of their re-scheduled games. I am hoping to gain more clarity over the weekend. I have added in their most likely backups to the back end of the rankings.
Week 15 Quarterbacks
QB Notes: It was a frustrating, scoreless Week 14 for Kyler Murray, though he set a new season high for rushing for the second game in a row. Rolling into Detroit as a 13.5-point favorite, Murray is going to bring the dual-threat pain on Dan Campbell’s prideful but hapless squad. … Fresh off the fourth 300-yard passing, 100-yard rushing performance in NFL history, Josh Allen encounters a strong Panthers pass defense. He is also dealing with a toe injury. Concerning, though Allen used adrenaline to push through the issue in Week 14 and will probably have the benefit of a pain-killing injection on Sunday. With the Bills’ backfield reaching a new low with each passing week, Allen will be allowed to play hero ball as the Bills fight for their playoff life. … Now in the driver’s seat for his fourth MVP award — in his third different decade — Tom Brady will be squaring off with an overrated Saints pass defense, one he ripped for four scores on Halloween. Brady is this year’s QB1 metronome. … Despite an escalating, painful toe ailment, Aaron Rodgers has recently upped his yardage floor, with three of his four 300-yard performances coming in the past three weeks. Especially without top corner Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens have maybe the worst pass defense in the entire league.
On fire the past month, Justin Herbert will be dealing with a Chiefs defense that has become a true stay-away unit, albeit vs. a less-than-imposing schedule. The lone true QB1 Kansas City has faced since Josh Allen in Week 5 was Dak Prescott in Week 11. Dak did play poorly. Thursday night will be a litmus test for where these sides are with the playoffs approaching. Mike Williams (heel) and Austin Ekeler’s (ankle) health is something to monitor. … Matthew Stafford has been white hot over his past three starts, averaging 295/3. The only thing that might slow him down vs. the Seahawks is the coronavirus, as Odell Beckham and Darrell Henderson find themselves on the COVID-19 list. More could follow. … As for Dak Prescott himself, it has not been pretty, with the Cowboys triggerman checking in as the QB13 by average points over the past five weeks. Much like the Chiefs, the Cowboys have found themselves going defense first as we head into money time of year. Dak nevertheless remains impossible to fade because of his weapons and this week’s matchup. The Giants have a perfectly fine defense but can’t get it off the field because the offense does not sustain drives. 10.5-point favorites, the Cowboys will be doing whatever they want.
Jalen Hurts comes off bye and an ankle injury to a plus matchup in Washington. Only Green Bay and Atlanta have surrendered more quarterback rushing yardage. Hurts should do what he does best for the first week of the fantasy playoffs. … You see the 52 over/under for Patrick Mahomes and think potential spiked week. You see every opponent he has faced since Week 7 that was not the Raiders and know not to get your hopes up. There is also the fact that the Chargers are bottom-four in passing yards allowed and top-two in rushing yards allowed. That does include some recent stiffening on the ground, however. Ultimately, it is difficult to make the high-end case for Mahomes on this short week. … This would be about where Lamar Jackson slots in if he can get cleared from his “low” ankle sprain. Sunday’s carting says he won’t play. The Ravens’ recent swoon with the playoffs approaching says he will. If L-Jax can’t go, fellow dual-threat Tyler Huntley will be in the streamer mix against a solid Packers defense, but one that has coughed up the most quarterback rushing yardage.
Taysom Hill can, in fact, keep getting away with this. Not even his malleted finger could slow him vs. the laughingstock Jets. The Bucs are a far tougher opponent, though one that permits the sixth most quarterback rushing yardage. It is possible, if not probable, that Hill has a nightmare passing performance vs. this front seven. That won’t matter if he gets home on the ground, which he almost always does. … Missing Adam Thielen, Kirk Cousins had his worst start in ages in Week 14 as the Vikings rocked the Steelers on the ground. Operating on 10 days rest, he has a rebound spot in a Bears D handing out the third most quarterback fantasy points. … Taking too many sacks, Joe Burrow is at least still getting the ball down the field. There is still a decent QB1 case to be made for Burrow with the fantasy playoffs beginning. He’s a nice mix of decent floor and high ceiling. … Finally fully recovered from his finger injury, Russell Wilson has strung together back-to-back solid starts. The Rams would not typically be a good bet to make it three, but the coronavirus has Los Angeles looking mighty short-handed. Fantasy managers can be reasonably confident in a 260/2 performance.
With the 49ers’ offense having gotten its groove back, Jimmy Garoppolo has cleared 8.0 yards per attempt in six of his past seven starts, posting multiple scores six times in the process. The ceiling isn’t really there. The floor has been surprisingly consistent. … Justin Fields is finally putting some “boom” in boom/bust. He has attempted at least eight rushes in each of his past four full starts. He is also taking shots down the field and finding players like Jakeem Grant and Damiere Byrd in the parts of the field where they can tack on YAC. Allowing the fourth most QB fantasy points, the Vikings are a plus matchup. … Although still far from great, Ben Roethlisberger has been playing his best football over the past month. The Titans are not a lockdown pass defense. … It is just too hard for Derek Carr right now. Darren Waller’s return would go a long way toward shoring up his overall QB2 streamer case, but the Browns are a tough pass defense. … Unlike Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence, Davis Mills occasionally has good starts. The Jags are a green-light matchup. … Cam Newton is officially too risky to stream, but the fact that he will be the quarterback in the red zone keeps his superflex case alive despite his obvious downside.