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 2 Results
Let's take a look at how last week's recommendations fared.
CASE KEENUM - VS. OAKLAND
Usually, 17.7 fantasy points won't kill you, but in a week where quarterback scoring was at astronomical levels, Keenum's day was underwhelming. And it's a good thing Keenum had a rushing touchdown to keep the day from being a total disaster. While it wasn't successful, it's worth noting that Keenum's day could have been bigger. A 32-yard pass to Courtland Sutton was overturned by replay. Sutton also caught a pass that appeared to be a 21-yard touchdown, but he was barely out of bounds, negating the would-be score. QB24 stinks, but it's this was one of those weeks where most of the top finishers were rostered in many leagues and unavailable for the purposes of this column.
TYROD TAYLOR - AT NEW ORLEANS
Like Keenum, Taylor's day fell short of QB1 goals but wasn't catastrophic. At the time of writing the Week 2 column, Josh Gordon was still a citizen in good standing in Cleveland. Losing a weapon like that so close to game time has an impact on the entire offense, especially Taylor. Taylor's 17.9 fantasy points resulted in a QB23 finish.
JOE FLACCO - AT CINCINNATI (THURSDAY NIGHT)
It's so Flacco to look so poor but still post reasonable fantasy numbers. His night would have been worse if Alex Collins hadn't been stuffed from the one yard-line as the game neared halftime. The resulting sequence led to Flacco's first touchdown. It's a good thing fantasy football isn't real football because Flacco's 25.6 fantasy points and QB11 is a fantasy result much better than it looked.
Week 3 Candidates
Here are the players available in at least 40% of typical leagues who could provide QB1 production this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick - vs. Pittsburgh (Monday Night)
It feels like after two elite weeks, the rug is going to be pulled out from under us with Fitzpatrick this week. But it also felt like that heading into Week 2 against a solid Philadelphia defense, and Fitzpatrick threw for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns for a second straight week. Pittsburgh was without Joe Haden in Week 2 for the six-pack of touchdown passes allowed, but Haden is only one man. Even if he returns, Pittsburgh's defense won't suddenly become elite. Expect Fitzpatrick to have another strong showing. Then expect the media machine to heat up the debate over whether or not he should give way to Jameis Winston, who returns from his suspension in Week 4. Some have already begun campaigning for Fitzpatrick.
Blake Bortles - vs. Tennessee
Tennessee's secondary continues to look beatable. They allowed over 300 yards to Deshaun Watson and saw two receivers go over 100 yards. Meanwhile, Bortles has a hot hand after passing for 377 yards and 4 touchdowns in Jacksonville's huge win over New England. Bortles is also typically good for at least a few points as a runner, helping his floor. The only potential snag here is if Tennessee can't keep the game close, which would allow Jacksonville to play conservatively.
Andy Dalton - at Carolina
Dalton had a somewhat quiet Week 1 in a plus matchup and a huge Week 2 in a poor on-paper matchup. In Week 3, he draws a Carolina team that allowed an efficient day to Matt Ryan in Week 2 (23/28 for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns in the air). Dalton tends to perform better against teams that don't frequently see him, and as an NFC team, Carolina fits the bill. Expect Cincinnati to lean more on Dalton and the passing game with Joe Mixon out, which could provide Dalton with extra volume.
Deep Leagues Only
These selections are best saved for deeper leagues and/or 2QB/Superflex leagues.
- Mitchell Trubisky - at Arizona: The Cardinals are feeble, and both of their opponents have done whatever they have wanted to do - including production through the air.
This week is weak once again. Trubisky showed improvement Monday night, but his first road game could be a tough test. And if Chicago has its way with Arizona like the first two Cardinals opponents, have, there won't be much need for Trubisky to light it up through the air.
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.
- Case Keenum - vs. Kansas City: death, taxes, and exploiting the Kansas City secondary.
- Joe Flacco - at Pittsburgh: the defense is poor, and the team is in turmoil.
Questions, comments, suggestions, and other feedback on this piece are always welcome via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org