Written by Justin Macmahan - CEO on October 13, 2017

Last week, this spotlight article covered quarterbacks, and I think that was the most fun and the most helpful position for me to write about. It allowed me to analyze four different offenses and which players were in good spots. I also think it’s one of the most skill-based positions to predict because it’s all about yardage. Without touchdowns as a factor, you don’t get burned if the team chooses to run at the goal line. You just need the quarterback to move the ball through the air about as effectively as you predicted. If you don’t have the contest open, click here to open PlayLine in a new tab and then click on the first contest in the lobby called: $1,000,000 Perfect Line Bonus + $250 GTD – WK6 1PM Featured QBs.

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This contest pays out the top 201 finishers only, but you can submit up to 15 entries for free. With that in mind, you want to change each of your entries a bit to give yourself the best chance to make some money. However, you’ll need a starting point for where you should be aiming to project each quarterback. The rest of this article will help you with that.
First up we have Tom Brady, who many people are talking down on this week saying that the Patriots will just grind out this game with their running backs. The Patriots could easily rush for 100 yards while still throwing for over 300. The Jets have one of the worst defenses in the league and it’s a miracle that they are tied for first in the same division the Patriots are in. Their winning ways absolutely shouldn’t continue this week, and we’re expecting a good game out of TB12. The Jets usually get little to no pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback, and Brady’s 109.6 passer rating in a clean pocket should allow him to dissect the Jets’ pass coverage. Let other people overhype the narrative that the Patriots will dominate this game on the ground, and project Brady for around 300 yards.
Next, we’ll discuss Aaron Rodgers, who will travel to Minnesota to face a strong Vikings defense. Many people will focus on the latter part of that sentence and project Rodgers for a bad game. But we’re thinking more about the former part: Aaron Rodgers. This isn’t a guy who frequently throws for low yardage totals. In fact, when he does, there’s one specific factor that often occurs simultaneously. Ty Montgomery not playing. In the last two seasons, in games where Ty Montgomery starts, Rodgers has thrown for the following yardage totals: 294, 326, 246, 297, 371, 351, 313, 209, 246, 258, 347, 300, 362, 355, 287, 311, 343, 313. In games that Montgomery doesn’t start, Rodgers has thrown for the following yardage totals: 199, 213, 205, 259, 179, 221 (one of these games includes a Montgomery first quarter injury). The correlation between Montgomery playing and Rodgers throwing for a high yardage total is pretty ridiculous. With Montgomery likely returning this week, we’re expecting a solid boost for Rodgers that most DFS players aren’t considering at all. Add in the fact that Trae Waynes is exploitable on the outside and you’ve got yourself a pretty good situation for Rodgers even though most people will think this is a matchup they have to avoid. Project him for around 275-300 yards and let the crowd project him too low. If you think about the game theory, this projection really works in your favor. The key with PlayLine is to not be way off. You need to have your projections be pretty close as anything within 45 yards will score you points. It’s not likely that Rodgers will go well under 250 yards. If you project him for 280 and he throws for 250, you’re fine. You would not be fine, however, if he hit his high end and threw for 350 yards, but you projected him for 240. So not only do we think he’ll reach the 275-300 threshold, it makes a lot more sense to shoot high with Rodgers anytime you’re projecting his yardage on PlayLine.
Next up we have Matt Ryan, and this is a game in which I think you want to aim lower than usual for Matty Ice. For one thing, he’s really underperforming this season through the air when you consider that he AVERAGED 309 passing yards per game last year, and we’re now heading into Week 6 and he only surpassed that one time because of a ridiculous 88-yard touchdown to Austin Hooper on a broken play. The Falcons do have a strength in their offense this year though, and that’s the run game. Freeman and Coleman have both been terrific this season, mainly because the run blocking has been downright exceptional. In my opinion, there’s no question that the Falcons have the best run blocking unit right now, and with a large spread in their favor at home against the Dolphins, it doesn’t make sense to expect a big game out of Matt Ryan. We think a projection around 230-260 gives you a great chance to be spot on.
The last quarterback we must make a prediction for on this slate is a tough one. Drew Brees has a matchup that a lot of people seem to think is better than it really is. It’s an above average matchup sure, but it’s not the absolute best. However, it’s Drew Brees and the Saints at home coming off a bye week, so projecting him for a low total seems like a terrible idea. Without a lot to really examine about this matchup specifically (all the individual matchups are slightly above average), we just have to use game theory to give ourselves the best chance to pick up points within the wide range that represents Drew Brees’ potential outcomes. He’s already put up a low of 220 yards and a high of 356 this year, and if we want to be sure we get something for this projection (remember that within 45 yards is the farthest away you can get while still scoring points), we should go with a range of 275-325. Anywhere in there is a pretty safe bet to get you something. If you really think he’ll go off, you can put 325 and still be covered all the way up to 370. If you don’t love him this week, you can go 275 and be covered all the way down to 230. I think that range gives you the most flexibility. Since you get 15 free entries into this contest, consider varying your projections for Brees across your entries.
I hope you’re enjoying these spotlight articles and I wish you the best of luck taking down the QB contest this week!

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