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Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 9

We have no new major quarterback injuries as of writing this, but the injuries from past weeks have really thinned out the waiver wire for those of us who stream quarterbacks. Not to worry though, as there are still plenty of good options out there if you're in need.

We've got four teams on bye this week, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and the Los Angeles Rams. That means three universally-owned quarterbacks are on bye, and Andy Dalton is unavailable for those in deep leagues. Owners of Carson Wentz (vs. CHI), Jameis Winston (@ SEA), Philip Rivers (vs. GB), and Lamar Jackson (vs. NE) may want to at least explore alternatives, as those quarterbacks face tough opponents in Week 9.

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 20% of leagues.

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Week 9 Quarterback Waiver Wire Options

Gardner Minshew (JAX) - 54% Owned vs. HOU

Minshew put up his best game yet on Sunday, going 22-for-34 for 279 yards and three touchdowns in Jacksonville’s 29-15 victory over the Jets. He’s scored over 21 points in three of his last four games, and will take his ‘stache across the pond this week for a spot of tea with Houston. The Texans’ defense has been atrocious against the pass this season, allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. Adding Gareon Conley won’t help much, as Conley is one of the worst rated cornerbacks in the league per PFF. The Texans’ defense is on the ropes, as Houston had allowed at least 30 points in three straight games heading into Week 8, and gave up three touchdowns to Derek Carr this week.

Minshew especially excels with the deep ball, posting a completion rate nearly 20% higher than league average on passes deeper than 20 yards down the field. He gives us the ideal combination of talent, upside, and matchup that makes him the perfect standard-league streamer. Minshew doesn’t have much of a long tail in the immediacy, as he follows up this matchup with a bye and two so-so matchups against Indianapolis and Tennessee, but Minshew should finish strongly with December matchups against Tampa Bay, the Chargers, Oakland, and Atlanta. He might be worth hanging onto for those matchups, or being dropped and picked back up ahead of Week 13.

Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) - 57% Owned @ Arizona

Garoppolo hasn’t been a high-ceiling, big volume type of play this season, but it’s hard to pass him over when he draws the best matchup for quarterbacks in the NFL. The Cardinals have allowed the most points per game to opposing quarterbacks, along with 23 touchdowns to a measly three interceptions. Even the return of Patrick Peterson hasn’t helped, as the Cardinals were shredded by Drew Brees for 376 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, Brees’s first game since Week 2. Garoppolo doesn’t need to air it out or chuck it deep to take advantage of this matchup, as the Cardinals have been burned by quarterbacks despite an 8.0 aDOT, which is around league average. Garoppolo should be able to rack up points by piggybacking off of playmakers like Tevin Coleman and George Kittle, making him a safe streaming option with decent upside. He faces the Cardinals again in Week 11, so Garoppolo could be used twice within three weeks.

Derek Carr (OAK) - 26% Owned vs. DET

Despite his team’s loss, Carr had a nice game in Week 8, going 18-for-30 with 285 passing yards and three touchdowns. Carr took advantage of a great matchup against Houston, and draws another one this week as Detroit comes to town. The Lions had allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks coming into Week 8, and just allowed four touchdowns and 322 yards to Daniel Jones this week. The Lions’ secondary took a few hits over the last week, as they shipped Quandre Diggs to Seattle and lost Tracy Walker to injury this week. Carr carries a bit more risk compared to Jimmy Garoppolo, merely because Carr’s offensive line and supporting cast is much worse, but he also offers a bit more upside than someone like Garoppolo. This should be a high-scoring game, and streamers can pick up Carr to benefit.

Sam Darnold (NYJ) - 23% Owned @ MIA

Darnold had his share of mistakes this past week, tossing three interceptions in a loss to Jacksonville, but he still put up decent numbers with a pair of touchdowns and 218 yards. The matchup gets much easier this week, as Darnold and the Jets head to Miami for a tilt with the Dolphins. We all know the Dolphins are bad, and what makes this an extra-good matchup for Darnold is the lack of turnover ability. Miami has just one interception all season heading into Monday night, and have allowed the third-most points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Darnold isn’t just a great streamer for this week, but he’s got a slew of tasty matchups ahead. After his game with the Dolphins, he faces the Giants, Raiders, Bengals, and Dolphins again. His awful performance against the Patriots and so-so game against the Jaguars may have soured owners on Darnold, but now is the exact time to scoop the young gunslinger up. In deeper leagues Darnold is an under-the-radar buy-low target. Almost any quarterback could perform in those matchups, and Darnold has shown us enough in his short career to make him an interesting player to watch in the weeks ahead.

Cam Newton (CAR) - 41% Owned vs. TEN

Hopefully, Carolina’s 51-13 drubbing at the hands of San Francisco this week puts an end to the Cam Newton benching talk. Kyle Allen was an abomination in this game, throwing three interceptions and averaging just 4.3 yards per attempt en route to a cool 28.9 passer rating. It’s hard to say how Newton will perform upon his return, as injuries have really sapped his production over the last few years. If healthy, Newton has consistently been a top-12 quarterback, and has an excellent schedule to help ease him back into action. Tennessee has been around league average against quarterbacks, and after that the Panthers draw a tough matchup against Green Bay, but in Week 11 the fun begins. The Panthers face Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, and Atlanta again before facing Seattle in Week 15. That’s a nice stretch of games for Newton to regain his top form, and owners should be looking to pick Newton back up now before he becomes a hot commodity.


Two-QB League Pickups and Stashes

Mason Rudolph (PIT) - 17% Owned vs. IND

We have yet to see how Rudolph performs in his return from a brutal concussion, as his Steelers take on the Dolphins in a bland Monday Night matchup. Regardless, Rudolph makes for a fine deep league option against the Colts in Week 9. The Colts have been slightly above average against opposing quarterbacks, however, to be blunt, it’s a pretty awful week for those digging this deep at quarterback. With the return of Drew Brees and impending return of Cam Newton, there aren't as many options available in under 20% of leagues. Rather than take needless and heart-palpitating risks, deep league owners could choose to roll with Rudolph. The ceiling is admittedly low, but Rudolph notched more than 15 points in his two full starts this season, and put up a really nice game against the Bengals in Week four. The Steelers aren’t really letting Rudolph throw downfield, which will limit his turnovers and allow him to bank production on the backs of James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster, among other weapons in Pittsburgh’s offense. If you just need a safe streamer who’s out there in most leagues, then Rudolph is your man.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA) - 4% Owned vs. NYJ

On the other end of the spectrum, Fitzpatrick offers a high-risk, possibly high-reward option in Week 9. He’s out there in basically every league, and if there’s one thing we can say about Fitzpatrick, it’s that he’s not afraid of throwing a pick.  He managed to score over 21 points against the Bills in Week 7, and he draws a much easier matchup in Week 9 against the Jets, who’ve allowed the 15th-most points per game to opposing quarterbacks, while the Bills have allowed the fourth-fewest. Things may turn sideways in a hurry for Fitzpatrick. Heck, he hasn’t even played in Week 8 yet, so he’s not even the guaranteed starter for Week 9. That being said, you won’t get much more upside when you’re digging this deep on waivers. The Dolphins have one of the best chances to earn a win this season, and with a little Fitzmagic they might just get there. Even if they don’t, the bearded one could make for a passable streaming option in Week 9.

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