Below are our projected fantasy points for starting Quarterbacks in Week 3 of 2017. Note that QBs who have yet to play 7 games, or are not expected to play, are not included in our predictions.
QB Model Background
Our QB scoring model is built on a large sample of QB performances, making the predictions fairly conservative. The average predicted fantasy points from our model is right around 15, and predictions rarely exceed 20 points or dip below 10 points, so any predictions outside of the 10-20 point range are certainly notable.
To generate each Quarterback’s prediction, our model takes into account their stats from the last 7 games (completions, passing yards, interception rate, among others) as well as situational factors from their matchup (e.g., Vegas point spread, Vegas total, opponent Fantasy Points Above Expectation, and more). Within the context of our model, the strongest predictors of QB fantasy production are a favorable point spread, a high total, playing indoors, and a high average number of completions.
Week 3 Projections
This week the model likes Alex Smith and Carson Wentz to continue to produce as starting-caliber fantasy QBs. As crazy as it sounds, Smith is currently leading all QBs in fantasy points scored. His performance against Philly last week was nothing more than average, but he will have a chance to return to his Week 1 form against a middling Chargers pass defense that has given up the 12th most fantasy points above expectation to QBs over the last 7 weeks. Wentz is coming off an impressive performance for such an inexperienced QB, where he went into Arrowhead and threw for more than 300 yards and 2 TDs. Wentz showed that he can produce even against a good defense, and he will need to do it again this week going up against a scary Giants secondary.
The third member of the trio of surprisingly fantasy relevant quarterbacks is Trevor Siemian. While nobody expected Smith or Wentz to be high-end QB’s at any point this season, you would have a hard time finding anyone (even in Denver) who thought of Siemian as more than a mid-level backup coming into the year. With a projection of 14 points this week, the model doesn’t buy the idea of this red zone dependent run that Siemian has been on to last much longer. Also, our model likes the Bills to stay competitive in this one, as this is a sneaky good spot for the 1-1 Bills who have been surprisingly competent to start the year.
Drew Brees is an interesting start this week. He did put up a solid performance in Week 2, but that was at home against a Patriots defense that, much like Brees, hasn’t been performing up to its usual standards. This week, Brees will face a Panthers defense that has limited QBs to a staggering -6.4 points below expectation over the last 7 appearances (3rd best in the NFL behind only Houston and Kansas City). You don’t hear the words “Drew Brees” and “QB20” in the same sentence often, but that’s exactly where we have him this week.