Late-round quarterback drafter? Had an injury to your starter? In need of a bye-week replacement? This is the place to find your weekly quarterback choices. In this article, which is new to Footballguys this season, I'll highlight a couple of quarterback options likely available in most leagues (we'll use players rostered in fewer than 60% of Yahoo leagues) who could provide some punch at the quarterback position.
Unless most teams in your league carry a backup quarterback, there should be plenty of starting NFL quarterbacks on your waiver wire each week. Instead of starting a low-end QB1 facing an elite secondary, look to the waiver wire and play the matchups. Ideally, a player who appears in this space gets hot for multiple weeks and becomes an every-week starter. But if not, throw him back to the wire and come back here next week. Quarterback is one of the most predictable positions in fantasy football. Simply by using matchups, fantasy GMs can start a mid-to-high QB1 every week by using the waiver wire.
Disclaimer: this column will typically be written on Monday evenings. Should any relevant events occur on Monday Night Football that do not make it into the article, it will be edited after publish. Any post-publication edits will be noted.
Week 4 Results
Let's take a look at how last week's recommendations fared.
Andy Dalton - at Atlanta
337 passing yards and 3 touchdowns doesn't go as far as it used to. Dalton's 29.15 fantasy points ranked him as the QB10 this week. While it's not a high-QB1 finish, getting that many fantasy points off the waiver wire is a tall task. And if Week 4 hadn't been one of the more prolific passing weeks in recent memory, Dalton's positional finish would have been higher.
Case Keenum - vs. Kansas City (Monday Night)
Keenum was fine from a real football perspective, but his fantasy football output was lacking due to the absence of touchdowns. Kansas City still remains a plum matchup going forward, even if Keenum didn't fully take advantage. Tuesday edit: Keenum finished at QB25. Two out of three were successful this week.
Joe Flacco - at Pittsburgh
Similar to Dalton, Flacco's Week 4 performance was stellar is most weeks but just adequate in terms of a Week 4 positional ranking. Flacco accumulated 363 yards and 2 touchdowns against Pittsburgh's sorry excuse for a defense. That was good enough for QB12 before Monday's game. Tuesday edit: Flacco finished at QB13 for the week.
Week 5 Candidates
Here are the players available in at least 40% of typical leagues who could provide QB1 production this week.
If Dalton is not rostered in your league, he's worth an add. He'd rank at or near the top of this list for Week 5, but his next five weeks are as follows: vs. Pittsburgh, at Kansas City, vs. Tampa Bay, bye week, vs. New Orleans. As of the end of Sunday's games, those are the four worst teams in terms or per-game fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.
Blake Bortles - at Kansas City
This should be a rare spot that Jacksonville's defense might not hold its opponent in check to the point that the offense can be cautious. Bortles has been better for fantasy football purposes when Leonard Fournette is not available.
|With Fournette (15 gms)||19.9||33.4||222.4||1.3||1.0||18.7||15.9|
|Without Fournette (5 gms)||22.6||34.4||289.4||1.8||0.2||25.0||12.4|
Fournette's troublesome hamstring made him exist early from the team's Week 4 game, and it doesn't appear that he'll be available for this week.
Alex Smith - at New Orleans (Monday Night)
New Orleans is one of four teams yielding over 30 fantasy points per game to opposing passers. Smith and his Washington teammates have an extra week to prepare, coming off a bye week. His ceiling probably isn't as high as that of Bortles, but his floor should be solid.
Joe Flacco - at Cleveland
One half of Week 4's most surprising shootout allowed Oakland to rack up over 400 passing yards, 4 passing touchdowns, and 45 points. Flacco is healthy and vibing with his new targets, and Cleveland is allowing plenty of fantasy goodness to opposing passing games.
Flacco's upcoming schedule is almost as juicy as Dalton's. After visiting Cleveland this week, Baltimore travels to Tennessee, hosts New Orleans, visits Carolina, and then gets Pittsburgh again (at home this time). All of those teams are in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.
Derek Carr - at L.A. Chargers
The other half of that shootout was the man putting up the big numbers mentioned above. Carr has now thrown for over 300 yards in three of his four games this season, and the touchdowns finally came with the yards in Week 4. This week, he gets a Chargers team that has been surprisingly poor against opposing passing games.
On one hand, Patrick Mahomes II II and Jared Goff have contributed to their bottom-10 fantasy points allowed ranking (25.3 per game to opposing passers). On the other hand, so have Josh Allen and C.J. Beathard. It might be time to adjust our mindset on the Chargers, especially if Carr has success.
Deep Leagues Only
These selections are best saved for deeper leagues and/or 2QB/Superflex leagues.
- Marcus Mariota - at Buffalo: Mariota appears healthy after torching Philadelphia this week. The main concern here is a slow-paced slugfest where Tennessee doesn't have to score much.
If others in your league are also playing the "Rent-a-Quarterback" game, it might be wise to get a jump on next week's potential choices.
- Jameis Winston - at Atlanta: the Falcons have been a sieve lately, and Winston has a bye this week to get prepared.
- Eli Manning - vs. Philadelphia: the Eagles got skewered by Tennessee in Week 4. They allow points in bunches to WR1s. Odell Beckham Jr Jr. will be a popular DFS play and overall WR1 candidate for Week 6.
- Baker Mayfield - vs. L.A. Chargers: if the Chargers are, indeed, a matchup to target, why not target them with an aggressive playmaking quarterback who should only improve with more experience?
Questions, comments, suggestions, and other feedback on this piece are always welcome via e-mail email@example.com