An already-weird season for Aaron Rodgers and his fantasy owners could reach its peak bizarreness Sunday, the first of the fantasy playoffs, when he not only plays the first game of his career without Mike McCarthy, but with interim head coach Joe Philbin calling plays for the first time in "about 20 years."
Perhaps anything will be an improvement over the stale approach of McCarthy, and maybe Philbin will struggle knocking the rust off, especially with the potential of Green Bay playing without both of its veteran starting blockers on the right side, injured Bryan Bulaga and Byron Bell.
There are several unknowns, but this much we know for sure: the Atlanta Falcons 'D,' even with Deion Jones back, is bad. Its 29 touchdowns allowed to fantasy quarterbacks is tied for the most in the NFL, while the Falcons' seven interceptions are fewer than all but seven squads.
Rodgers is 23 interception-less attempts away from breaking Tom Brady's record streak of 358, a fact the Packers quarterback joked about this week. But that's not the reason he's our QB4 overall this week. Rather, we're confident in the likelihood that Philbin unlocks youngsters Aaron Jones and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the receiving game, not to mention the brilliant recent performances of No. 12 against Dan Quinn-led defenses, including a 9-2 TD-INT ratio and average of 292 passing yards over the past three games — all Falcons wins, but all against better equipped Atlanta defenses.
Of course, the Falcons have averaged 37 points on offense in those meetings, and with Green Bay nothing if not decimated in its secondary, a shootout is in store. Naturally, we also like Matt Ryan a lot, though Julio Jones' foot injury gives us just a bit of pause.
Let's take a look at our full Week 14 QB rankings:
1. Drew Brees, Saints at Bucs
2. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs vs. Ravens
3. Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Bengals
4. Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Falcons
5. Matt Ryan, Falcons at Packers
6. Jameis Winston, Bucs vs. Saints
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Raiders
8. Jared Goff, Rams at Bears
9. Deshaun Watson, Texans vs. Colts
10. Russell Wilson, Seahawks vs. Vikings
11. Andrew Luck, Colts at Texans
12. Cam Newton*, Panthers vs. Browns
13. Dak Prescott, Cowboys vs. Eagles
14. Baker Mayfield, Browns vs. Panthers
15. Mitch Trubisky*, Bears vs. Rams
16. Tom Brady, Patriots at Dolphins
17. Lamar Jackson, Ravens at Chiefs
18. Kirk Cousins, Vikings at Seahawks
19. Carson Wentz, Eagles at Cowboys
20. Case Keenum, Broncos at 49ers
21. Josh Allen, Bills vs. Jets
22. Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Steelers
23. Eli Manning, Giants at Washington
24. Nick Mullens, 49ers vs. Broncos
25. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins vs. Patriots