When looking at what quarterbacks to draft in your fantasy football playoff leagues, there are a few options in the AFC that are surrounded by question marks. Can the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Mac Jones, or Derek Carr be trusted to provide fantasy value?
Ryan Tannehill has had a disappointing fantasy season
If you told me that a team would lose their All-Pro running back, be without their star wide receiver for several weeks, and would use the most players in the league over the course of a season and still finish as the No. 1 seed in the AFC, I wouldn’t believe you. But that’s exactly what happened for the Tennessee Titans.
Tannehill and the Titans will have a first-round bye, which isn’t exactly a great thing for playoff leagues. Not only that, Tannehill has been nowhere close to as effective and efficient as he’s been in the last couple of years. His yardage and completion percentage are on par with his 2020 production. However, his touchdowns dropped from 33 to 21, and his interceptions went up from 7 to 14 (second-most in his career).
Tannehill is only 16th in fantasy points per game this season but will have a matchup with the lowest-seeded AFC team that advances past the Wild Card round. Consider Tannehill as one of the lowest-ranked QBs left in the playoff pool.
Mac Jones can’t be trusted in fantasy
Jones has been a solid NFL quarterback as a rookie, but he hasn’t exactly been a hotbed of fantasy production.
In addition, in his first career playoff game, he’ll be on the road against the Buffalo Bills in what’s forecasted to be a frigidly cold game on Saturday night. The high is 9 degrees on Saturday, but it could flirt with negative temperatures in an 8:15 PM ET game.
The Bills and Patriots are meeting for the third time in the last seven weeks. Buffalo beat New England by 12 points in their last matchup while holding Jones to 145 passing yards, 0 TDs, and 2 INTs.
Jones has a rock-bottom floor and could very well be a first-round exit. Going against the hardest pass defense in the NFL, he’s not worth the $5,100 price on DraftKings, even though he’s the lowest-priced starting quarterback on the Wild Card slate.
Derek Carr brings the most fantasy volatility
Carr and the Raiders, who beat the Chargers in overtime to advance to the playoffs, have a date with the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday afternoon. The Bengals have held opposing QBs to only 15.7 fantasy points per game in the last four weeks. That isn’t great for Carr, who hasn’t topped 15.3 points since Week 12.
The Raiders are road underdogs, currently sitting at +5.5. The Bengals’ offense looks like it will be the difference-maker in this game. Las Vegas’ defense has given up 29 passing touchdowns this year and has generated only 6 INTs. I wouldn’t want Carr as anything more than a QB2 in playoff formats.
At $5,500, Carr could potentially be a value in DFS. Hopefully, Darren Waller rounds into form in his second game back from injury. The only starting QBs cheaper than him this week are Jimmy Garoppolo, Ben Roethlisberger, and Jones.