2015 Fantasy Football: Week 17 Fantasy Quarterback Rankings

Despite their 14-0 start to the 2015 NFL season, the Carolina Panthers still have something for which play in Week 17. Only one game ahead of the Arizona Cardinals, who will host the Seattle Seahawks, the Panthers need a win (or a Cardinals loss) to secure home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

With a first-round bye in either case, that scenario should lead to Cam Newton playing a full game -- or close to it.

For players in leagues that conclude in Week 16, Newton finished the year as fantasy's top-scoring quarterback with 356.36 fantasy points -- nearly 20 more than New England's Tom Brady (338.44).

Newton has thrown for 3,544 yards with a career-high 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and has rushed for 626 yards and eight touchdowns, tied for the second-most of his career.

Owners that needed a strong performance from Newton in Championship Week were disappointed with his 142 passing yards and no touchdowns against the Falcons although he rushed for 46 yards and a score. Finishing with 14.28 fantasy points, Newton was outscored by 17 other quarterbacks last week.

Before last week's game, however, Newton had finished as the top-scoring weekly fantasy quarterback in four of seven weeks. In two of those three weeks where he wasn't the top scorer, he finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback.

The Buccaneers are middle of the road in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks and Newton threw for a season-low 124 yards against them in Week 4. As well as he's been playing (last week excluded), however, Newton is still my top-ranked fantasy quarterback for Week 17.

Big Ben: Worst Game at Worst Time

In an exploitable matchup, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger laid an egg in Week 16 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Excluding Week 3 when he left the game early due to injury, Big Ben's 215 passing yards were a season low. Not only did he throw no touchdowns, but he threw a pair of interceptions and scored just 3.8 fantasy points on the week.

Including last week's dud, however, Roethlisberger has averaged 344.29 passing yards per game with 13 passing scores over his past seven games.

If your league plays in Week 17 and his poor performance last week didn't knock you out of the playoffs, he has a chance for redemption this week with a favorable matchup against the Browns.

The Browns have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. And in his first matchup against Cleveland, Roethlisberger threw for 379 yards, three touchdowns and one interception to score nearly 27 fantasy points.

Here are some more fantasy football notes on quarterbacks:

  • The biggest (positive) surprise among fantasy quarterbacks this season, Jacksonville's Blake Bortles has scored the fourth-most fantasy points this season. Scoring a minimum of 22 fantasy points in five consecutive games, he has averaged 313.2 passing yards per game with 17 touchdowns -- 15 passing and two rushing -- over that stretch. Bortles has finished as a top-10 weekly fantasy quarterback in 10 of 15 games this season.

  • For the second week in a row, Washington's Kirk Cousins threw for 300-plus yards and four touchdowns. You like that?! Over his past nine games, he has finished as the top-scoring weekly quarterback three times and he has three other top-10 finishes during that span as well. On paper, the matchup isn't great as the Cowboys have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and it's possible that Cousins gets pulled early given the fact that Washington has their playoff seeding wrapped up with no bye.

  • Throwing a game-winning touchdown in OT last week, Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns against the Patriots. Over his past five games, The Amish Rifle has averaged 305 passing yards per game with a 13:1 TD-to-INT ratio. Playing in a win-and-you're-in scenario, Fitzpatrick is a top-10 quarterback for me in Week 17.

  • It's been a season to forget for Atlanta's Matt Ryan, but he had a solid performance against the Panthers last week -- 306 yards and a touchdown. It was only the second 300-yard game against the Panthers since Week 4. With a matchup against the Saints, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, Ryan has a golden opportunity to close the season with back-to-back strong performances.

  • After throwing multiple touchdowns in only one of his first nine games, Wilson has thrown multiple touchdowns in six consecutive weeks. Wilson has compiled an impressive 21:1 TD-to-INT ratio during that stretch. His last single-TD game was against this week's opponent and the Cardinals have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs this season. That said, Wilson still finished as the QB11 that week and he's projected for a back-end QB1 performance in my Week 17 rankings.

  • With a strong start to the season, San Diego's Philip Rivers is currently the QB11 on the year, but he has disappointed fantasy owners over the past half of a season. Since Week 9, Rivers has finished as the weekly QB15 (or worse) in five of seven games, which include three single-digit fantasy outings. One of those games was his first matchup against the Broncos, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. There is little reason for optimism in this week's re-match as the Broncos play for a first-round bye.

Below you find my Week 17 Fantasy Football QB Rankings:

1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (vs. TB)
2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at CLE)
3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (at MIA)
4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (at ATL)
5. Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. PHI)
6. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (vs. SEA)
7. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (at HOU)
8. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at ARI)
9. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. NO)
10. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (at BUF)
11. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)
12. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at CHI)
13. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (at DAL)
14. Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (at NYG)
15. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (vs. NYJ)
16. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (at KC)
17. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. OAK)
18. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs. DET)
19. Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (vs. JAX)
20. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at DEN)
21. AJ McCarron, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. BAL)
22. Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos (vs. SD)
23. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (at GB)
24. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs. NE)
25. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at CAR)

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