Going Deep: QB kings of the road (and home)

Here in Going Deep, we're all about trends. We see what players have done in past weeks or seasons, then peer into our murky crystal ball to predict what could be coming next. Of course, some trends take a little longer to develop than others.

But now that we're through the first five weeks, there are some trends that we can start to piece together. Which is why for the next few weeks, we're going to look at home versus road fantasy production, position-by-position.

Where better to start than at quarterback? A top-notch signal-caller is now the cornerstone of a successful fantasy team. But some guys just produce better on friendly soil.

The top three home fantasy QBs is identical to the top three overall scorers at the positon. After that, things start to get a little wonky. Mind you, things aren't terribly out of whack in most cases, but two names stand out -- Jake Locker (19th in QB points) and Cam Newton (22nd). When you take a look at their numbers, it becomes pretty easy to see why.

In his now-injury-shortened season, Locker was pretty good in Nashville. He threw for 448 yards and four touchdowns on his home turf. Compare that with 273 yards and a pair of scores on the road. If QB Rating is your thing, that difference was also pretty stark -- 111 at home and 85 on the road.

The numbers were even more drastic for Newton. His rating was 37 points better at home (101 to 64) and even though he has 189 fewer passing yards at Bank of America Stadium, he's thrown four TDs and just one interception. On the road? Those numbers are almost the complete opposite. Newton's thrown just two scores to go with four picks.

In that case, you shouldn't expect to see either Locker or Newton on the list of road quarterbacks, right? Correct.

No one who's watched more than five minutes of NFL football this season should be surprised to see Peyton Manning atop both of these lists. But Sam Bradford at No. 2? Terrelle Pryor at all? If you asked people to name who would be on this list, it could be awhile before anyone came up with those two.

There's yet more intrigue behind those players' inclusion here. They (along with Robert Griffin III) are just a handful of guys who have averaged more fantasy points on opposing soil. If you're looking at the top 25 scoring QBs, that list boils down to just seven. Here they are, with their home-to-road differentials.

  1. Terrelle Pryor: -4.4 ppg
    1. Sam Bradford: -3.8 ppg
    2. Joe Flacco: -3.6 ppg
    3. Robert Griffin III: -3.3 ppg
    4. Carson Palmer: -2.2 ppg
    5. Eli Manning: -0.7 ppg
    6. Tom Brady: -0.4 ppg

Yep, thatTom Brady. The good news is that the differential there is pretty small, meaning he's producing about the same at home and on the road. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, that production has been subpar.

Still, it's comforting to know that whether he's at home or away, Brady will be Brady. But he's not the best when it comes to consistent production. That designation belongs to Russell Wilson, who's posting 16.20 fantasy points and home and ... you guessed it, 16.20 points on the road. That's consistency.

And in the interest of equal time, we have to shine the light on the guys who've been hot and cold. The above description of Locker's and Newton's numbers should lead you to believe they're on the short side of the ledger here, but they have some notable company.

Locker has been 14.1 points better at home than away, while Drew Brees isn't far behind. The Saints QB is averaging 12.2 more points in the dome. Rounding out the top five in inconsistency is Newton (9.4 ppg more at home) followed by Tony Romo and Matt Schaub (9.1 ppg more at home).

Of course, don't go crazy with this information. You're not going to suddenly start Bradford over Andrew Luck because one's been statistically better on the road than the other. But if you're stuck choosing between a couple of evenly matched options, you might just want to check which one has to get on a plane.

Next Week: Home and road running backs

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a guy who writes better away from home. Follow him on Twitter.

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