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Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 7


It was another big week at the quarterback position, as five quarterbacks topped 30 points and 12 scored more than 20 heading into Sunday Night Football. Most of the big performers were players we expect, such as Matt Ryan and Deshaun Watson, but we also got some surprising starts from quarterbacks who are widely available. It could be a hot week on waivers for quarterbacks this week, as some long-term options are out there.

There are four teams on bye this week, though just two quarterbacks on bye are owned in more than 75% of leagues. Those quarterbacks are Jameis Winston and Baker Mayfield, both of whom could desperately use a bye week and may not be owned in 75% of leagues once waivers run. If you're looking to cut bait on one of those guys, or own Matt Stafford (vs. MIN), Carson Wentz (@ DAL), or Philip Rivers (@ TEN), then you may want to consider one of the waiver wire choices at quarterback this week.

In this article, we're looking at quarterbacks owned in fewer than 65% of fantasy leagues, while throwing in a few deep-league options who are owned in fewer than 15% of leagues.

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Longer-Term Options

Josh Allen (BUF): 49% Owned vs. MIA

Allen was in this column last week despite being on bye, and that’s because he’s about to enter an excellent string of matchups. Going into Week 6 the Dolphins were allowing a whopping 30.6 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, the most in the league by over three points per game. The good matchups continue for quite a while, as Allen takes on Philadelphia and Washington at home, then travels to Cleveland and Miami before things get tough against Denver in Week 12. Allen has been solid this season as well, netting at least 18 points in all but one game, Week 4 against New England when he left with an injury. One of Allen’s best attributes is his willingness to throw it deep, with an 8.8 aDOT this year and a 10.2 aDOT for his career. Those shots downfield should pay off more often than not against the porous defenses he’s about to face. Allen is my favorite streamer add both for this week and the next few weeks going forward.

Kirk Cousins (MIN): 46% Owned @ DET

Everyone had long jumped off the Kirk Cousins bandwagon after some poor games early this season, but his production has improved significantly over the last two weeks. He’s topped 300 yards in back-to-back games, and had a completion percentage of 78.5% over that stretch. Rather than limit his throwing entirely, the Vikings are allowing Cousins to aggressively target Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, letting the elite receivers do the heavy lifting. The Vikings shift in philosophy comes just in time for a solid string of matchups starting with Week 7 against Detroit. The Lions’ secondary has been banged up all season, and they could be without two key pieces in Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs. Even if one of both of those men play, they will be hobbled and not at full speed for Diggs and Thielen. The Lions have also allowed at least 27 points in all but one game this season, Week 2 against the Chargers. This is still a run-first team, but Cousins has shown us over the last two week he can produce in this offense. His next three games give him favorable matchups as well, since the Vikings take on Detroit, Washington, and Kansas City before facing Dallas in Week 10 and Denver in Week 11. There should be a few good weeks ahead for Cousins, making him one of the top options on waivers this week.

 

One-Week Streamers/Matchup Plays

Gardner Minshew (JAX): 60% Owned @ CIN

Minshew’s ownership skyrocketed heading into this Week 6 matchup with the Saints, and he proceeded to lay an egg in Jacksonville’s 13-6 loss. He went 14-for-29 passing with just 163 yards and an interception. This poor performance will probably have many owners off the Minshew bandwagon, however the mustachioed gunslinger has another juicy matchup lined up for Week 7. The Bengals had allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks heading into Week 6, and gave up 30.64 to Lamar Jackson this past week. Minshew doesn’t have Jackson’s legs, but he does have a bigger arm and better downfield passing ability. Minshew has an above average completion rate on passes between 20-40 yards this season, and has a stellar 16.3% bad pass rate, eighth lowest in the league (min. 100 pass attempts). This game against the Saints was definitely a step backwards, but it’s too early to bail on Minshew with his matchup against Cincinnati. He has solid matchups following Week 7 as well, taking on the Jets and Texans before a Week 10 bye.

Jimmy Garoppolo (SF): 63% Owned @ WAS

It’s been pretty tough to rely on Jimmy G this season, but the one time he was able to deliver this season came against the hapless Cincinnati Bengals. Despite their impressive one-point victory over the Miami Dolphins, the Redskins are still one of the league’s worst teams. Heading into Week 6 they were allowing the fourth-most points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and were tied for second-most passing touchdowns allowed. The combined performances of Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick will help improve those numbers, but this is still a weak secondary that a quarterback of Jimmy Garroppolo’s caliber can beat. The advanced stats for Garroppolo aren’t too favorable, but between the matchup and his playmakers he makes for a solid one-week streamer.

Daniel Jones (NYG): 29% Owned vs. ARI

The Daniel Jones hype has died down considerably after a few lackluster outings, but he’s got the perfect opportunity for a bounce back this week with a home date against Arizona. The Cardinals’ defense got shredded this week for 356 yards and four touchdowns by Matt Ryan, and showings like that have been a regular occurrence in Arizona. The Cardinals have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season, along with 16 touchdown passes to zero interceptions. They will get Patrick Peterson back this week, but even with Peterson this unit has serious flaws. Jones showed us in Week 3 against Tampa Bay that he can handle easy matchups, and he’s got another one this week. His schedule following this game is the softer side as well, since Jones faces the Lions, Cowboys, and Jets before a Week 12 bye.

 

Two-QB League Pickups and Stashes

Sam Darnold (NYJ): 15% Owned vs. NE

Darnold was quite impressive in his return this week, helping the Jets upset the Cowboys 24-22. His 338 passing yards were the second-most for his career, and he showcased the ability to throw it deep and accurate on several occasions this game, something the Jets were sorely missing without him. The matchup this week is pretty ugly, as the Patriots have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. They’ve only given up one touchdown pass all year while reeling in 14 interceptions. Darnold is more of a long term add, as the Jets showed the willingness to take shots downfield and spread the ball to their playmakers this week. Despite their offensive struggles, the Jets have some good weapons for Darnold in LeVeon Bell, Robby Anderson, and Jamison Crowder. Starting in Week 9 things get really nice for Darnold, beginning with a matchup against the Dolphins. He has a six week stretch where he faces Miami, New York, Washington, Oakland, Cincinnati, and Miami again in Week 14. Darnold could be looking like a breakout after he’s through carving up those defenses. Ride him out this week against New England and Week 8 against Jacksonville, because the payoff will come.

Joe Flacco (DEN): 8% Owned vs. KC

For those in really desperate situations, Flacco presents a widely available option in what could be a high-scoring game. Denver doesn’t have the offensive firepower to keep up with Kansas City. I mean, their quarterback is Joe Flacco, for crying out loud. But, Flacco could have a nice game through sheer volume and pile up points in garbage time. He put up passable numbers in Week 2 against Chicago and Week 4 against Jacksonville just by throwing the ball 38 or more times in those games. Emerging star Courtland Sutton has been a favorite of Flacco’s as Sutton has been targeted at least seven times every game this season. Between him and veteran Emmanuel Sanders, Flacco has some nice weapons to help elevate his declining game. Flacco isn’t a standard league option, nor is he a long term option, but for one week he makes for a decent fill-in play.

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