Matthew Stafford could be among the options available on the waiver wire for those needing a healthy body at QB
It's been a brutal couple weeks for quarterbacks in both the real-life NFL and fantasy football. Perhaps you just lost Ben Roethlisberger for the season? Or Drew Brees was your fantasy quarterback and you're likely not going to see him on the field again before Week 10.
Maybe you were in a two-quarterback league and had Sam Darnold or Nick Foles. Perhaps you picked up Trevor Siemian and lost him Monday night. Maybe your league drafted before Andrew Luck announced his retirement and you've been playing quarterback roulette for two weeks. Or, maybe your quarterback is still playing but isn't living up to expectations: Cam Newton? Kirk Cousins? Mitchell Trubisky? Pick a Dolphin?
Regardless, if your fantasy team isn't one of the lucky ones with Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson, you may be scouring the waiver wire, looking for possible options. Fantasy owners of the pass catchers on the teams where the quarterback is injured or struggling are likely panicking a little bit, but not nearly as much as those with the quarterback problems. Before waivers run, let's take a look to see what quarterback options are out there.
Note: Players listed below in order of ownership percentage in Yahoo! leagues.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (49 percent owned)
The best fantasy option, if available, is Garoppolo. He's still available in about half of Yahoo! leagues and should be picked up. His Week 1 numbers weren't great, but in Week 2, he had nearly 300 passing yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. The 49ers seem to be clicking on all cylinders after a rocky start, and Garoppolo will have some solid fantasy games for his owners.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (40 percent owned)
Through two weeks, Allen has shown fantasy owners what he can provide: about 250 passing yards and a touchdown. He had two interceptions in Week 1 and none in Week 2. Allen isn't going to provide huge fantasy numbers as the Bills offense isn't exactly putting up tons of points. However, he is fairly consistent, has a decent schedule, and his ability to score points with his legs make him an appealing option.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (35 percent owned)
Even though Stafford didn’t throw the ball 45 times in Week 2, he did throw it 30 times. He finished with 245 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions are going to be a pass-first team, especially when they are trailing, and Stafford will keep throwing the ball. He has five touchdowns and two interceptions in two weeks. The interceptions are part of what is going to happen with Stafford, but so are the touchdowns. He's a viable fill-in if available.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (34 percent owned)
The Raiders have struggled a bit, but Carr has a touchdown in the first two games of the season. Fantasy owners should expect about 200 yards and a touchdown each week. He will throw an interception or two and Carr doesn't appear to have the supporting cast to produce many big fantasy weeks. With a good matchup, Carr is a viable fantasy option.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (19 percent owned)
Dalton has thrown for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns in each of the two games so far this season. He actually went over 400 yards in Week 1. While that's not the norm for Dalton, he has found another reliable receiver in John Ross while A.J. Green is out. The receivers have actually made Dalton look good, but at the end of the day, yards are yards. Fantasy owners could do worse for a desperation add.
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts (13 percent owned)
Fantasy owners of Andrew Luck knew early in the season what it was like to go quarterback hunting on the waiver wire. Brissett replaced Luck in Indianapolis and everyone was well aware that he was looking to fill some pretty big shoes. The Colts offense is still finding its footing with Brissett at the helm and he has yet to throw for 200 yards in a game. He does, however, have five touchdowns. He's definitely a bye week fill-in option but only trust him as your QB1 if you have no other option.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (13 percent owned)
Fantasy owners who have Mariota on their team know how frustrating it is to own him. Mariota, it feels, should have been better. He has good running backs, he has solid receiving options... but Mariota is still struggling. He had three touchdowns in Week 1 against the Browns, but only 154 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. Mariota may be dealing with a quad injury heading into Tennessee's "Thursday Night Football" matchup with Jacksonville and should still be avoided if possible.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (6 percent owned)
In Minshew's first NFL start, he threw for 213 yards and a touchdown. This wasn't quite as good as his Week 1 stat line when he filled in for Nick Foles. However, this is likely what fantasy owners can expect from Minshew on a weekly basis. He's not going to be a season-saver, but he's also not going to be terrible. Fantasy owners can certainly do worse.
Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers (2 percent owned)
Rudolph has officially become the Steelers quarterback for the rest of the season. Ben Roethlisberger will undergo elbow surgery and has been put on injured reserve. In Week 2, Rudolph had 112 yards and two touchdowns (to Vance McDonald) and an interception. Rudolph increases the value of McDonald and James Washington and decreases the value of JuJu Smith-Schuster. As a quarterback, Rudolph is a QB2 for the rest of the season.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (2 percent owned)
For those that aren't completely desperate (perhaps the Cam Newton/Mitchell Trubisky/Kirk Cousins owner), look to add Jones. The inevitable came to pass this morning when head coach Pat Shurmur announced that Jones will take over as the starter. He looked good in the preseason. Now, we get to find out that if that will translate to games that count. First up, a road game in Tampa Bay, a matchup that, at least on paper, could be worse.
Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints (1 percent owned)
Coming in for Drew Brees in Week 2, Bridgewater had 165 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. He will take over the Saints offense until Brees returns (potentially around Week 10). Bridgewater has been considered one of the best backups in the league. Now is his time to show that he still has it. After suffering a horrific knee injury, Bridgewater is back in a starting spot. He'll be a popular add off the waiver wire as the supporting cast in New Orleans should allow him to post decent numbers.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.