Rent-a-Quarterback: Week 16 - 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 15 Results

Let's take a look at how last week's recommendations fared. Last week was among the lowest-scoring fantasy weeks at the quarterback position of the entire season. My DFS Power Grid colleague John Lee had an interesting observation after Sunday's early games.

In fact, the average fantasy points scored among Week 15's Rent-a-Quarterback selections (17.04 points) was the lowest such total of the season. Everything is relative, though, as we still averaged a QB13 finish. For perspective, in Week 2, the Rent-a-Quarterback picks averaged 20.40 fantasy points but finished as QB21 on average.

Baker Mayfield - AT DENVER

Mayfield didn't set the world on fire, but he did just enough Saturday night to get his team a win and a get his fantasy GMs a viable Week 15 performance. His 188 passing yards were his fewest since Week 8, but in a low-scoring Week 15, any quarterback with multiple touchdowns was above average. Mayfield's pair of scores boosted him to the week's QB13 rank, pending Monday night.

Dak Prescott - AT INDIANAPOLIS

Not even an unfathomably low-scoring Week 15 could save Prescott. Dallas's first half was marred by a missed field goal and a failed fourth-down conversion. In the second half, they barely possessed the ball. All told, Prescott barely eclipsed 200 yards, threw no touchdowns, and didn't even have a rushing attempt while his team was shut out. Prescott failed to even be a QB2 this week.

Josh Allen - VS. DETROIT

Allen continued his QB1 streak, boosted once again by rushing production. This week, however, he only rushed for 16 yards but did score a touchdown. He also passed for 204 yards a deep touchdown to Robert Foster, as predicted by an intrepid young writer on this site late last week. Allen ended Sunday as the week's QB4, a smashing success.

Lamar Jackson - VS. TAMPA BAY

Last week, this space said that Jackson had significant upside against Tampa Bay due to the Buccaneers poor pass defense. But between the rain, Tampa Bay's improving defense, and Jackson's struggles as a passer, his passing stats weren't very good. His 135 yards and 1 passing touchdown ranked QB21 in terms of passing points.

But once again, his rushing production (95 yards, the most fantasy points on the ground among all quarterbacks this week) made him a QB, finishing Sunday as the QB9.

Week 16 Candidates

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

Baker Mayfield is right at the percent-rostered cutoff. If he's available in your league, he's a coin-toss with Foles ahead of the other options mentioned below.

Nick Foles - vs. Houston

We probably should have edited last week's column to include Foles once it became apparent he would get the start. And now that we've seen Foles utilize multiple weapons in the offense and lead the team to a productive outing, he's worth a pickup against Houston's leaky pass defense.

In the past five weeks, Houston is yielding 23.6 fantasy points per game to opposing passers, fourth-most in the NFL. They are one of three teams allowing more than 300 passing yards per game during that stretch. Here are the last four opponents Houston has faced:

Passing Rushing
Week Comp Att Yds TDs Int Car Yds TDs FPs
Sam Darnold 15 24 38 253 2 0 6 35 0 24.2
Andrew Luck 14 27 41 399 2 1 6 16 0 28.6
Baker Mayfield 13 29 43 397 1 3 0 0 0 20.9
Marcus Mariota 12 22 23 303 2 0 6 28 0 26.0
Colt McCoy 11 6 12 54 1 0 5 35 0 10.2
Alex Smith 11 12 27 135 0 2 4 33 0 8.1

Case Keenum - at Oakland

The concern here is that Denver is able to run the ball well enough that Keenum's ceiling is limited. But the matchup is right for passing games and running games against Oakland. The Raiders have only 12 sacks all season, meaning one of Keenum's weaknesses will be mitigated. Oakland is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks over the past five weeks, though most of that is influenced by a four-touchdown game from Patrick Mahomes II.

Josh Allen - at New England

The matchup isn't great. In fact, while it sounds counterintuitive, New England's lack of pass rush could hurt Allen's fantasy production. After all, much of his rushing has been a result of non-designed scrambles. Without a pass rush, there is no need to scramble. But this is a "hot hand" play.

Allen may not finish as the QB1 this week, but he still has top-12 potential.

Deep Leagues Only

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

  • Nick Mullens - vs. Chicago: see the tweet below.
  • Lamar Jackson - at L.A. Chargers: "Konami Code" still in play, but a lack of passing skill and the potential for in-game injury hurt his prospects.
  • Derek Carr - vs. Denver

Against any other opponent, Mullens would be in the section above. He's been fantastic, even in a bad situation in San Francisco.

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