From 2011-2020 with the Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford was a passable to very good fantasy quarterback more often than not. His first year with the Los Angeles Rams, 2021, was similar with a finish as QB5.
2022 was an injury limited wash (nine games), and through his first nine games this season he had multiple passing touchdowns just once. A touchdown correction felt sure to come.
In Week 12, Stafford had 229 yards and four touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals. A far tougher matchup came in Week 13 against the Cleveland Browns, and he had 279 yards with three touchdowns through the air. The Baltimore Ravens in Week 14 was a very tough matchup as well, and Stafford also defied that one (294 yards, three touchdowns).
Even after giving up what they did to Stafford, Browns and Ravens are still two of the four stingiest teams in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season.
Those two tough matchups kept fantasy managers from adding Stafford off the waiver wire, or those who did have him did not start him in those games. But with an eye on his playoff schedule he should have been added in leagues he was available in, and now here we are.
Former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford lined up to win some fantasy football leagues this year
The list of star quarterbacks who have gone down with a major injury this season is long. This past week it was Justin Herbert, and C.J. Stroud also suffered a concussion that may take him out of fantasy lineups during the playoffs.
With 10 touchdowns passes and just one interception, Stafford has been QB3 in fantasy from Week 12-14 and he's just shy of being tied as the QB2 over the last three weeks.
In Week 15 Stafford gets the Washington Commanders, who have allowed the most passing touchdowns and the fourth-most passing yards per game this season. They just barely are not allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks, trailing the Philadelphia Eagles by less than half a point per game.
Week 16 (New Orleans Saints and Week 17 (New York Giants) are more neutral matchups for Stafford, Neither of them have faced very many good quarterbacks though. The prospect of bad weather on the road against the Giants has to be noted, but iffy conditions in Baltimore for Week 14 didn't exactly hurt Stafford.
Stafford is healthy, so are all his weapons and he's playing as well as any quarterback in the league right now. He's rostered in less than 34 percent of ESPN leagues, 57 percent of Yahoo! leagues and just 43.5 percent of NFL.com leagues.
The term "league-winner" is thrown around too liberally at times. But Stafford might just be that, as a potential waiver wire pickup for those who have navigated a quarterback issue to get to the playoffs but need a boost now. Those who already have him rostered would have to have a clearly better option to not start him each of the next three weeks.