Price Tier 1
Mahomes(8.1) vs. CLE
Mahomes runs into the Browns, who were 8th worst vs. the pass last season. They’ve improved on defense with Clowney to assist Garrett’s onslaught. Their secondary is improved but still beatable by the best offense in the league.
PP$ Mark: 40.5 points
Murray(7.6) vs. TEN
Murray faces the Titans horrendous pass defense. They finished 5th worst against the pass last season, didn’t improve in that arena, and likely got worse.
PP$ Mark: 38 points
Allen(7.4) vs. PIT
Allen lands the stingy Steelers defense. They were 2nd best versus the pass and didn’t allow any 20 point QBs last season. Allen had 19.32 points verse them in Week 14 of 2020. He will be a nice contrarian play if you have the budget to throw one or two lineups in there.
PP$ Mark: 37 points
Wilson(7.0) vs IND
Wilson lands a tough defense vs. the Colts. If there is space to gain some points, it is versus their secondary.
PP$ Mark: 35 points
Price Tier 2
Watson(6.9) vs. JAX
Watson isn’t playing as of today.
PP$ Mark: 34.5 points
Rodgers(6.8) vs. NO
Rodgers runs into the Saints, who were 5th best versus the pass last season. Peyton is going to prepare games to control the clock and play solid defense. Last season, no quarterbacks scored more than 30 points versus the Saints. Last year, he hit 24.52 points in their matchup in Week 3.
PP$ Mark: 34 points
Herbert(6.7) vs. WAS
Herbert runs into a top and improving defense on the road. They were 6th best against the pass last season and only allowed one quarterback to surpass 30 points(Kyler Murray in Week 2 with 33.14 points).
PP$ Mark: 33.5 points
Tannehill(6.5) vs. ARI
Tannehill lands against the 14th best pass defense in the Cardinals. They were solid versus the run, but that won’t hinder Henry from success, but through the air may be the path of least resistance.
PP$ Mark: 32.5 points
Hurts(6.4) vs. ATL
Hurts faces the worst pass defense of 2020. They allowed five 30+ point performances and 7 other 20+ point performances in 2020. The Falcons were in the top 6 versus the run, but I think that was more to getting torches versus the pass rather than shutting it down.
PP$ Mark: 32 points
Cousins(6.3) vs. CIN
The Bengals were 12th best versus the pass and 10th worst versus the run in 2020. This game spells Dalvin Cook, but there were 7 games last season that the Bengals allowed 20+ points.
PP$ Mark: 31.5 points
Lawrence(6.2) vs. HOU
The first overall pick lands the perfect confidence-builder matchup versus the Texans. They were 9th worst versus the pass in 2020. They allowed 9 games last season that the Texans allowed 20+points. The only hurdle is that Houston was worst in the league versus the run. The points will come, but what we need to figure out is it by ground or by air?
PP$ Mark: 31 points
Roethlisberger(6.1) vs BUF
The Bills were in the middle of the pack versus the pass in 2020. There was a slight trend going last year where Ben ended the success of 20+ point performance versus the Bills from Weeks 9-13. He landed with 15.48 points.
PP$ Mark: 30.5 points
Ryan(6.0) vs. PHI
Philly was smack-dab in the middle versus the pass the last season. The numbers look like they should be worse since the Eagles gave up 10 games of 20+ performances in 2020. They haven’t improved many pieces on that defense, and the Falcons’ offense still runs through Matty-ice.
PP$ Mark: 30 points
Price Tier 3
Mayfield(5.9) vs. KC
The Chiefs were 10th worst versus the pass in 2020. They provided ten 20+ point performances from QBs last season. If the pricier Mahomes(8.1) pushes the Chiefs offense into overdrive, it will force Baker to keep up. Mayfield will likely be a highly owned, if not the highest-owned QB on the slate.
PP$ Mark: 29.5 points
Burrow(5.7) vs. MIN
In Burrow’s return to start his sophomore campaign, he faces the Vikings’ defense that finished 13th best versus the pass in 2021. I’d assume they lean on Mixon to get him comfortable. Their defense was 6th worst versus the run, but those numbers are thwarted (I’ll add the link here when I provide my RB breakdown).
PP$ Mark: 28.5 points
Wentz(5.6) vs. SEA
Wentz’s foot injury occurred this afternoon. This breakdown would’ve been significantly different over 12 hours ago. We still have over a month to identify where to go, but this matchup versus the Seahawks’ 6th worst pass defense looked solid. The thing I will add is that the Seahawks of 2020 were a defense of two halves. In weeks 1-9, the Seahawks gave up an average of 26.98 points to QBs. In weeks 10-17, Seattle only gave up an average of 13.99 points to QBs. Which team will show up in Week 1?
PP$ Mark: 28 points
Garoppolo(5.5) vs. DET
While this matchup seems like a dream scenario, it could be the exact opposite. EVERYONE would anticipate Jimmy-G having a field day with the JV squad of the Lions. They were 2nd worst versus the pass last season, which should create the confidence for Jimmy-G to excel. It is all there for him, but any missteps versus a bad team, and here comes Trey Lance. I play devil’s advocate and add some theatrics, but that will be the concern every week with buying Garoppolo, especially when you want to go heavy in a plus match-up like this.
PP$ Mark: 27.5 points
Fitzpatrick(5.5) vs. LAC
On any given Sunday, it can be Fitzmagic time. He faces the 13th worst pass defense from 2020. He’s someone I always take my shot with and especially at a low price tag. It’s these low salaries here that let you pay up elsewhere.
PP$ Mark: 27.5 points
Newton(5.4) vs. MIA
Killa Cam can rush’em and throw’em. He has more weapons this year and tends to show up when everyone has given up on him. He faces Miami, who was 11th best versus the pass last season. Keep an eye on the potential departure of Xavier Howard, as that would give the passing game a bump up. Cam delivered 25.7 & 12.16 versus them last year.
PP$ Mark: 27 points
Tagovailoa(5.4) vs. NE
The Patriots were 3rd best vs. the pass in 2020. Tua delivered 19.70 in Week 15. Many questions with Tua, but his low price and low ownership make an interesting dart throw.
PP$ Mark: 27 points
Taylor(5.3) vs. JAX
He should be the starter come Week 1 when he faces the 4th worst pass defense of 2020. Many don’t expect much from Taylor, but he should surprise in some weeks this season because the Texans will play from behind most weeks. This game has a ton of fantasy appeal.
PP$ Mark: 26.5 points
Jones(5.3) vs. DEN
Denver’s top defense lost a lot of luster and finished 11th worst verse the pass in 2020. They’ll get some weapons back and made moves in the draft, so they should improve from the 10 games they gave up 20+ points to QBs last season. Dimes gained some weapons, and if Barkley is limited, the offense should be in his hands.
PP$ Mark: 26.5 points
Price Tier 4
Winston(5.2)/Hill(5.2) vs. GB
It is very kind of DraftKings to provide the same price for these two. I bet we don’t know who starts until kickoff, and swapping lineups with different salaries really sucks, so thank you, DK!! With that, they face the 4th best pass defense from 2020. Both of these QB’s offer intrigue from different lenses of one with their legs and one with their arm. Both are always worth a dart throw at this price.
PP$ Mark: 26 points
Goff(5.1) vs. SF
Goff, on his new team, faces the 7th best passing defense from 2020. In delivered 15.92 and 6.02 points in the two weeks, he faced them last season. Now, with a less talented offense, that’s a significant uphill climb. Feel free to close your eyes if you’d like to hit the plus button next to his name.
PP$ Mark: 25.5 points
Darnold(5.0) vs. NYJ
This pricing here feels compared to the situations above. I’m not going to call it a guarantee, but with CMC catching passes out of the backfield, that should provide Darnold a nice floor. He faces his old team, who was ranked the 3rd worst defense versus the pass in 2020.
PP$ Mark: 25 points
Wilson(5.0) vs. CAR
Carolina was 12th worst versus the pass in 2020. Wilson will make his debut in a fair matchup. Most aren’t expecting much from Wilson, but I’ve seen crazier things happen at this price point. He’s definitely worth a lineup or two if your budget allows it, as he’ll likely be very low-owned.
PP$ Mark: 25 points
Lock(4.9)/Bridgewater(4.8) vs. NYG
The Giants were 6th best versus the pass in 2020. DraftKings wasn’t as nice to us here, but the $100 difference is minimal if you tread in this pool. The G-Men only let up five 20+ point performances in 2020. If a starter isn’t announced until kickoff, build your lineup(s) with Lock and leave the $100 on the table if Teddy gets the greenlight.
PP$ Mark: Lock(24.5), Bridgewater(24) points
That’s the first glance for QB’s in Week 1. Keep an eye out for the QB “competition” on the teams below, as there are some low-priced options if things swing their way (unlikely):
Washington – Heinicke(4.8), Allen(4.0)
San Francisco – Lance(4.5)
New England – Jones(4.4)
Houston – Mills(4.0)