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Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 8


Tragedy struck a few top quarterbacks this week, as both Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan left games with injuries. We already know Mahomes will miss 3-6 weeks, while more will be revealed about Ryan's status later today. Either way, owners of these quarterbacks will need a backup plan in place, and this week the waiver wire is loaded with good options at quarterback.

In addition to the injuries, owners of Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott will be searching for help at quarterback, as both are on bye. Owners of Carson Wentz (@ BUF), Philip Rivers (@ CHI), and Baker Mayfield (@ NE), may also want to consider alternatives, as each quarterback faces a tough opponent on the road.

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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Week 8 Quarterback Waiver Wire Options

Kirk Cousins (MIN): 63% Owned vs. WAS

Cousins has been on a roll lately, throw four touchdown passes in each of his last two games while eclipsing 28 points in each of those starts. Cousins hasn’t just stepped his game up by throwing the ball more often, but throwing more downfield and taking more calculated risks at the helm of this offense. His aDOT has risen to 8.8 over the last few weeks, which gives him the highest aDOT of his career. He’s also maintain an above average completion rate on throws of all depths, which has helped boost Cousins to having a top-three QBR in the league (min. 75 pass attempts). He’s got a juicy matchup against his former team on Thursday Night Football this week as Minnesota hosts Washington, making Cousins the top fill-in for quarterbacks on bye or who are injured. He’s got solid matchups following this one as well, with games against Kansas City and Dallas in Weeks 9 and 10. Cousins is the perfect guy to target for Patrick Mahomes owners, who need someone for about three weeks while Mahomes is on the shelf.

Matthew Stafford (DET): 57% Owned vs. NYG

The habitually underrated and underappreciated Detroit gunslinger has a fine matchup ahead next week, as the Lions host the reeling New York Giants, who have allowed the seventh-most points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. The Giants have also given up at least 28 points in every game but one this season, and that one was a 24-3 drubbing of Washington as the Redskins rotated quarterbacks in a desperate attempt to spark their lifeless offense. Stafford should have no problem slicing up this weak defense up, and he follows up this matchup with another excellent one, as the Lions travel to Oakland to face the Raiders in Week 9. The Raiders were allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks coming into Week 7, and  just got utterly dominated by Aaron Rodgers for over 50 points. Stafford is a hair behind Kirk Cousins in terms of priority this week, but still an excellent option for owners in need.

Jacoby Brissett (IND): 47% Owned vs. DEN

Brissett was superb in Indianapolis’ 30-23 win over Houston, throwing for 326 yards and four touchdowns. He’s been playing so well Colts fans have forgotten all about Andrew Luck (well, probably, right?). Brissett has thrown multiple touchdown passes in all but one game this season, and has scored more than 20 points in three of his last four starts. He’s looked polished and been careful with the ball, as Brissett boasts an above average 15% bad pass rate, and has just a 0.14% interception rate. The matchup isn’t great for Brissett this week, but he’s established himself as a trustworthy top-12 option for most weeks, and therefore deserves to be owned in significantly more leagues than just 47%. If you can ride it out or use a replacement this week, Brissett has a pair of nice matchups in Weeks 9 and 10, taking on Pittsburgh and Miami.

Sam Darnold (NYJ): 33% Owned @ JAX

We have yet to see what Darnold will do this week against New England, but chances are it won’t be pretty. He then follows up that matchup with a tough road game in Jacksonville. So why add Darnold now? He’s got an insanely soft schedule beginning in Week 9. He faces Miami, the Giants, Washington, Oakland, Cincinnati, Miami, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh between Week 9-16. Those teams have a combined 13 wins, and five of those belong to Baltimore. All but Baltimore and Pittsburgh have been bottom-ten against opposing quarterbacks this season. Darnold looked sharp in his return from mono against the Cowboys in Week 6, and if he can capture that same success during this cupcake schedule he’ll be one of 2019’s breakout quarterbacks. Get him while you can.

Derek Carr (OAK): 20% Owned @ HOU

It can sometimes be hard to tell whether Carr is a mediocre quarterback, or a victim of his circumstances in Oakland. What we can count on is the matchup in this one. The Texans were allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks coming into this week, and just gave up four touchdowns to Jacoby Brissett. Carr isn’t on Brissett’s level, nor does he have Brissett’s supporting cast, but in deeper leagues he’s a fine one-week play in a plus matchup. Carr doesn’t have as much of a long tail as some of the other quarterbacks in this article, but a Week 11 home tilt with Cincinnati could make him worth holding onto for QB-streamers in deep leagues.

 

Two-QB League Pickups and Stashes

Ryan Tannehill (TEN): 5% Owned vs. Tampa Bay

Tannehill stepped up to the plate when called upon last week, throwing for 312 yards and two touchdowns in Tennessee’s 23-20 win over the Chargers. He gets a much easier matchup this week as the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to town. The Bucs defense has been abysmal this season, allowing at least 31 points in all but one game so far this season. Tampa has also allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. The Buccaneers have proven that any opposing quarterback can put up numbers against them, as they’ve given up big games to the likes of Teddy Bridgewater and Kyle Allen. Tannehill is the top option owned in fewer than 20% of leagues.

Mason Rudolph (PIT): 6% Owned vs. Miami

Rudolph will be ready to return after a scary concussion in Week 6, and it comes just in time for an exhilarating Monday Night Football with the Dolphins. Boy, nothing beats prime time football. Rudolph is a low-ceiling dump-off king, but his best game of the year came against Cincinnati, which is the next closest thing to Miami. Rudolph put up 17 points in the game against Cincy, and he should be able to piggyback off of talented players like James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster to replicate that performance. Rudolph is a passable streamer in two-QB or very deep leagues.

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