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Rent-a-Quarterback: Week 14 - Footballguys

Finding QB1 production from the waiver wire

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 13 Results

Let's take a look at how last week's recommendations fared.

Lamar Jackson - at Atlanta

Once again, Jackson struggled to accumulate passing stats. But once again, he finished as low-end QB1 due to his rushing production. Jackson finished the week (pending Monday night's game) 27th in passing fantasy points but 1st in rushing fantasy points with 75 yards and a touchdown on the ground. At Rent-a-Quarterback, we don't care how the fantasy points are tallied, just as long as they get us QB1 production.

Jameis Winston - vs. Carolina

Winston was also buoyed by rushing production, though his pass/rush splits weren't as drastic as Jackson's. Winston led Tampa Bay to an improbable upset win over Carolina, passing for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns while also rushing for 48 yards. That was good enough for this week's QB7.

Dak Prescott - vs. New Orleans

Way back on Thursday night, Prescott had a first half that had top-five quarterback potential. Then, the fantasy football danger that is the Dallas offense reared its ugly head. Both teams controlled the ball for long stretches, limiting possessions and production. It didn't help that Prescott missed a wide open 40-yard touchdown pass either. But pending Monday night, he still managed a QB12 finish.

Week 14 Candidates

Here are the players available in at least 40% of typical leagues who could provide QB1 production this week.

Jameis Winston - vs. New Orleans

Winston just barely qualifies as a Rent-a-Quarterback and might not by the time waivers run. Hopefully, you got him a couple weeks ago when he was more widely available. There are #NarrativeStreet reasons to be concerned here with New Orleans seeking vengeance from their Week 1 loss, seeking further vengeance from last week's loss, and worries about relying on a bad team like Tampa Bay to perform well two weeks in a row.

Those concerns are legitimate, but we can't let narratives supersede process. Winston still projects as a low-end QB1 this week.

lamar Jackson - at Kansas City

Joe Flacco was cleared to practice last week but not to return to game action. That clearance might be given this week, so keep an eye on Jackson's status as the starter. But it's going to be hard to sit down a quarterback who has won three straight for a quarterback who had lost three straight (and four of five) before getting hurt.

As for the analysis here, typically, being a big underdog and its correlation to big quarterback performances is overstated. After all, being a big underdog and having that status come to fruition likely means the game is a blowout, not a shootout. But with rushing quarterbacks, dropping back more often can lead to taking off more often. Once again, we're relying on Jackson's rushing to provide us with a floor -- and perhaps a ceiling as well.

Deep Leagues Only

These selections are best saved for deeper leagues and/or 2QB/Superflex leagues.

  • Dak Prescott - vs. Philadelphia: The second matchup of divisional opponents tends to produce less scoring. But Prescott is good process here as a home favorite and has rushing upside to help. You could do worse.
  • Case Keenum - at San Francisco: Denver is a playoff contender, meaning they're likely to keep their foot on the gas. And the matchup is a favorable one. The concern keeping Keenum from the section above is that Denver seems content to lean on their ground game, which has been successful lately.
  • Baker Mayfield - vs. Carolina: The rookie struggled in Week 13, but he still provides upside you can get off the waiver wire.

Looking Ahead

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.


Questions, comments, suggestions, and other feedback on this piece are always welcome via e-mail hester@footballguys.com