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 9 Results
Let's take a look at how last week's recommendations fared.
Ryan Fitzpatrick - at Carolina
In typical Fitzpatrick fashion, he threw a ton because his defense made the game script one that demanded it. 243 yards was a low output for Fitzpatrick this season, but four touchdowns helped matters. Fitzpatrick's 28.45 fantasy points have him as the QB5, pending Monday's results. That's a win.
Alex Smith - vs. Atlanta
Smith broke the 300-yard barrier for the first time this season but needed 46 attempts to do so. His one touchdown was also underwhelming. That said, 20.5 fantasy points and a QB13 performance (pending Monday night) isn't bad for a player rostered in hardly any leagues.
Derek Carr - at San Francisco (Thursday Night)
This team is a disaster. It didn't help that Oakland's defense put forth the kind of effort that makes the rest of the team want to move on to next week. After posting the overall QB2 performance in Week 8, Carr failed to make it into the double-digits in terms of fantasy points.
Week 10 Candidates
Here are the players available in at least 40% of typical leagues who could provide QB1 production this week.
Andy Dalton is rostered in just over 60% of leagues, making him unavailable to mention here. Even without A.J. Green, if Dalton is available, he's the preferred choice over the players listed below with New Orleans visiting Cincinnati. The same goes for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who should be prioritized above any other quarterback mentioned this week as Tampa Bay hosts Washington. Speaking of that game, let's get into this week's recommendations.
Alex Smith - at Tampa Bay
Why would we recommend a quarterback with one 300-yard game on the season and three offensive linemen missing for this contest? Because he's playing Tampa Bay, a team that is allowing passing production at a historically bad rate.
Below is a table format often seen in #Trendspotting (it publishes late on Wednesday nights, so please check it out Thursday morning!). This table shows passing stats by quarterbacks against Tampa Bay this season. The "Sal." column shows each player's DraftKings salary for that week. While this isn't a DFS column, the salaries tell a story. They highlight that these are not the league's most elite quarterbacks torching this defense.
The "FP/$" column divides the fantasy points by the player's salary ($6,600 is 6.6). On DraftKings, 3.0x the salary is what cash game players are seeking from each player rostered. Every quarterback to face Tampa Bay has exceeded expectations.
Baker Mayfield - vs. Atlanta
As bad as Tampa Bay and New Orleans have been, there's a third NFC South team that is almost equally as bad as those teams. In fact, those three teams are the three worst teams in terms of fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks. Mayfield showed that he can put up stats in a pace-up situation against a prolific offense last week when Cleveland hosted Kansas City.
And the re-emergence of Duke Johnson Jr provides Mayfield a dynamic target to turn easy throws into big plays. Another defensive area where Atlanta is putrid is allowing receptions to opposing running backs. At nine per game, they allow the most in the NFL.
Deep Leagues Only
These selections are best saved for deeper leagues and/or 2QB/Superflex leagues.
- Blake Bortles - at Indianapolis: it's a scary proposition with the way Bortles has played this season, but the pace is typically high with Indianapolis involved.
- Marcus Mariota - vs. New England: there could be some garbage time, and rushing upside always helps raise a quarterback's floor.
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. But be warned: next week's choices look poor.
- Eli Manning - vs. Tampa Bay: If he still has his job and if you have the intestinal fortitude, there isn't a better matchup than this one.
- Dak Prescott - at Atlanta: The upside is almost never there with Dallas players this season, but we discussed the Atlanta matchup above. Perhaps Ezekiel Elliott has a field day, including some receiving production.
Questions, comments, suggestions, and other feedback on this piece are always welcome via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org