Week 10 Rankings & Game Flowbotics

If you’re familiar with my offseason work or our QB Cards here at TwoQBs, you’re probably familiar with Startable Quarterback Percentage (SQB%). In addition to tracking total points and points per game, I also track how often quarterbacks finish in the top-10 and top-20 for every given week. The data tells an interesting story about each season, and on Tuesday, I tweeted some findings about the best passers in top-10% so far in 2017. Based on sizable track records, Tyrod Taylor and Alex Smith are prime candidates for regression over the rest of the season (sorry, Sal).

What about Carson Wentz? Without a robust sample of NFL action under his belt, it’s difficult to forecast regression, and the night-and-day contrast between his first and second years doesn’t help. In 2016, Wentz finished only 6.3% of his games as a top-10 quarterback and only 56.3% as a top-20 guy. This year, he’s an entirely different player, with 77.8% top-10 weeks (7 of 9) and 88.9% top-20 weeks (8 of 9). We can’t completely blame his sophomore surge on a soft schedule, either. In games against passers other than Wentz, the opponents he’s faced this season have only allowed top-10 finishes 32.8% of the time.

Meanwhile, no quarterback since 2012 has finished more than 75% of his games in the top 10 over a season. Only six instances of 68.8% to 75.0% exist in that span, and they belong to Peyton Manning (’12, ’13), Aaron Rodgers (’14, ’16), Drew Brees (’13), and Andrew Luck (’14). It’s insane that Wentz is on such a pace in only his second campaign. His mark of 77.8% is very likely to shrink down the stretch, but how much? It’s difficult to say with any certainty because his two individual seasons both appear to be outliers.

If we smush Wentz’s career game log into a simple sample, his SQB% numbers look much more reasonable for a second-year quarterback. Through 25 total games, he’s posted 32.0% top-10 weeks. If we assume he carries that rate through seven more games this season, he’ll finish 2.24 of them as a top-10 QB. If we round that number up to 3 (to weigh more heavily in favor of his great performance this season), add it to the 7 top-10 weeks he’s already posted, and our little thought experiment pegs Wentz for a 16-game top-10 rate of 65.2%. Great, but not elite, which is a palatable outcome for a number one pick in year two.

Based on Philadelphia’s remaining schedule, the expectation of three more top-10 weeks seems on point, especially if Wentz can be rested in Week 17:

  • Week 11 at DAL:  17.07 PPG against, 25.0% top 10 weeks allowed
  • Week 12 vs. CHI:  12.91 PPG against, 25.0% top 10 weeks allowed
  • Week 13 at SEA:  12.99 PPG against, 12.5% top 10 weeks allowed
  • Week 14 at LAR:  13.20 PPG against, 25.0% top 10 weeks allowed
  • Week 15 at NYG:  20.28 PPG against, 62.5% top 10 weeks allowed
  • Week 16 vs. OAK:  18.03 PPG against, 55.6% top 10 weeks allowed
  • Week 17 vs. DAL:  17.07 PPG against, 25.0% top 10 weeks allowed

Weeks 11, 15, and 16 seem to be the only good matchups left for Wentz. Meanwhile, he plays four of his next six games on the road. Most quarterbacks generally play worse away from home, and Wentz is no exception to this point in his career, per the RotoViz Game Splits App:

Of course, variance loves to play tricks on us in fantasy football, and the NFL landscape shifts every week. What look like bad matchups now could be better by the time Wentz faces them, and vice versa. It will be interesting to see if he can join the elite company noted earlier with seasonal top-10 rates of 68.8% or higher. Regardless, the nature of fantasy requires us to constantly reevaluate matchups week-to-week. For Week 10, as always, we have the Game Flowbotics spreadsheet to help us dissect the upcoming slate:

Week 10 Game Flowbotics

My Week 10 rankings are a short mouse-scroll or touchscreen-swipe away. For the space between, here’s a quick rundown of other top-10% regression candidates at quarterback over the rest of the 2017 season.

Positive Regression Candidates

Based on their relevant track records of performance since 2012, the following quarterbacks might perform better going forward:

  • Marcus Mariota:  14.3% top-10 weeks in 2017, 42.3% from 2015-2016
  • Joe Flacco:  0.0% top-10 weeks in 2017, 27.0% from 2012-2016
  • Matt Ryan:  12.5% top-10 weeks in 2017, 39.2% from 2012-2016
  • Ben Roethlisberger:  12.5% top-10 weeks in 2017, 36.6% from 2012-2016
  • Drew Brees: 37.5% top-10 weeks in 2017, 57.0% from 2012-2016
  • Blake Bortles:  12.5% top-10 weeks in 2017, 30.4% from 2014-2016
  • Eli Manning:  12.5% top-10 weeks in 2017, 27.5% from 2012-2016

Negative Regression Candidates

Based on their relevant track records of performance since 2012, the following quarterbacks might perform worse going forward:

  • Alex Smith:  66.7% top-10 weeks in 2017, 29.6% from 2012-2016
  • Tyrod Taylor:  50.0% top-10 weeks in 2017, 37.9% from 2015-2016
  • Russell Wilson:  62.5% top-10 weeks in 2017, 46.3% from 2012-2016
  • Jameis Winston:  37.5% top-10 weeks in 2017, 21.9% from 2015-2016
  • Case Keenum:  28.6% top-10 weeks in 2017, 16.0% from 2013-2016
  • Derek Carr:  37.5% top-10 weeks in 2017, 31.9% from 2014-2016

Week 10 Rankings

Greg Smith

Greg Smith is an engineer, co-founder of TwoQBs.com, and enthusiast for the strategy and design of variance-based games.  When he started playing fantasy football in 2001, his home league's small number of teams necessitated starting two quarterbacks.  That necessity has since grown into obsession, making Greg one of the preeminent champions of 2QB and Superflex formats.

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