There were no Nick Foles/Peyton Manning "Look ma, all the touchdowns!" performances in Week 11 (not yet, anyway -- lookin' at you, Tom Brady and Cam Newton), but there were a couple quarterbacks that were particularly impressive, and, sadly, some who we need to poke a little fun at.
Best quarterbacks in Week 11
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (367 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 31 fantasy points)
Sunday was Roethlisberger's second four touchdown game in his last three, though in the earlier one he had two interceptions and a fumble. The Steelers quarterback was close to flawless Sunday, with his highest passer rating of the season. He completed touchdown passes of 34, 47, 1, and 20 yards, and even added 12 rushing yards. It was the best game of the season for a quarterback who, while not spectacular, hasn't had less than 10 fantasy points in a game since Week 1.
Carson Palmer, ARI (419 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 24 fantasy points)
There is little to cure what ails you like the opportunity to face the last-ranked Jacksonville Jaguars' defense, and Palmer took advantage of his opportunity, setting season-highs in passing yards and passer rating while having his first interception-free outing of 2013. Palmer threw two touchdown passes -- one each to Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd -- and his second one was a short pass that Floyd took much of the length of the field. They all count, though, and it all added up to Palmer's most passing yards since Week 10 of 2006, when he threw for 440 yards as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Next game: The Cardinals host the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday afternoon. The Colts aren't as friendly to opposing quarterbacks as the Jaguars (few teams are), so Palmer could fall off a bit. At the least, expect a return to interception land.
Matthew Stafford, DET (362 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 22 fantasy points)
Stafford actually tied Robert Griffin III in fantasy points; he earns the No. 3 spot by virtue of not fumbling, a virtue Griffin didn't manage. Stafford must get down on his knees every night and give thanks for Calvin Johnson -- Johnson's 179 yards Sunday were 49 percent of Stafford's 362 passing yards total, and on the season, the star wide receiver has 34 percent. But as long as Stafford does have Johnson to throw to, he's a top-flight QB, as evidenced by the fact that, unlike his fellow Week 11 top performers, Stafford's performance has only his fourth-best of the season.
Next game: Stafford's Lions get to host a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that, though it has won two in a row, isn't typically impressive against quarterbacks. There's little reason to think Stafford's performance isn't replicable.
Worst quarterbacks in Week 11
Geno Smith, NYJ (103 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, negative-4 fantasy points)
The actual values in the following graph don't really matter; what is relevant here is the wild swings in production. Behold, Geno Smith's game-by-game fantasy scoring in his 10 appearances this season:
Sunday was Smith's worst outing of his young career, with the Buffalo Bills shutting him down almost completely. The rookie is making it ridiculously hard to the Jets to determine whether he really is their quarterback of the future, as he has followed up every big game with a veritable disaster.
Next game: If trends hold, Smith and the Jets will roll over the Ravens in Baltimore next Sunday. You never want to look too closely into any 10-game trend like that, as there's little reason to think Smith simply can't do the same thing twice in a row, and it's hard to imagine he does anything worth writing home about.
Christian Ponder, MIN (129 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 3 fantasy points)
It's just sad with the Vikings now, with Ponder setting a season-low in passing yards and passer rating in Sunday's blowout visit to the Seattle Seahawks, and was replaced by Matt Cassel late in the game. Ponder's got to be near the end of his rope with the Vikings, except for the fact that Cassel and Josh Freeman don't really appear to be any better. Regardless, Ponder now sits at six touchdowns against nine interceptions on the season. He had scored double-digit fantasy points in five straight starts entering Sunday, but his 3-point performance was his worst of the year.
Next game: The Vikings travel to Wisconsin for a game against a Green Bay Packers defense that hasn't done much to stop quarterbacks all year. Assuming Ponder still has the job -- never the safest assumption, but still -- he should at the least have a better game than he had Sunday.
Case Keenum, HOU (170 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 8 fantasy points)
Keenum was actually in a three-way tie for this slot, but the fact that he was benched late in the game for former starter Matt Schaub sealed his spot here. After averaging 20 fantasy points a game in his first three career starts, Keenum couldn't do much of anything Sunday, forcing the Texans to go back to the man they benched for Keenum a month ago.
Next game: This is another "assuming he still has the job" situation, but the Texans play two of their next three games against the Jacksonville Jaguars, so better days could lie ahead for Mr. Keenum.
Other quarterbacks that warrant mention
Matt McGloin, OAK (197 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, 19 fantasy points)
When news came out Saturday that McGloin would start in place of the injured Terrelle Pryor, all the fantasy analysts said some variation of "Bench all your Raiders." There was little reason to think the undrafted rookie McGloin would do much of anything in a game against what was once a tough Texans defense. McGloin, though, managed a 105.9 passer rating and never turned the ball over, an impressive performance that has some wondering whether Pryor has lost the job for good.
Next game: The Raiders host the Tennessee Titans next Sunday. There was a reason McGloin was an undrafted rookie, and, if he's still starting next week, there's a good chance we all learn that reason. Tough to buy in now.
Andy Dalton, CIN (93 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, 11 fantasy points)
It's difficult to imagine how a quarterback could throw for three touchdowns with only 93 passing yards. It's even more difficult to cipher how he could do that in a game his team scored 41 points and won by 21. There was a lot that was inexplicable in the Bengals-Browns game Sunday, but the main takeaway is that Dalton, who looked strong in Weeks 6-8, has now looked bad-to-worst for three straight weeks.
Next game: After a Week 12 bye, Dalton and the Bengals travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers. While Dalton isn't as good as he was a few weeks ago, a matchup against the Chargers is always nice.