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Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 5


The year of the backup continued in Week 4, with Mitch Trubisky going down early against Minnesota and Case Keenum taking a well-deserved benching in Washington. These moves along with the already existing injuries to major quarterbacks means many owners will be looking for short-term and long-term options this week.

We've got Detroit and Miami on bye this week, which is disappointing since we could stream just about anyone against Miami's defense. Matthew Stafford owners will need to find a replacement, and owners of Philip Rivers (vs. DEN) and Daniel Jones (vs. MIN) might want to consider an alternative this week, as the veteran and the rookie both face tough home matchups.

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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QB Waiver Wire Options for Week 5

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 67% Owned @ TB

Winston is just above the 65% ownership threshold we typically aim for with these articles, however he’s out there in enough leagues that it’s worth mentioning the Tampa Bay signal-caller, especially with his juicy Week 5 matchup against New Orleans. The Saints have been torched by opposing quarterbacks this season, allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks heading into Week 4. That number might be a little inflated because they’ve allowed four rushing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks thus far, having faced some of the league’s most athletic, mobile quarterbacks thus far.

Still, the Saints have allowed the third-most passing yards in the NFL and have been especially vulnerable to deep passes. New Orleans has the fourth-highest aDOT (average depth of target) against. Winston matches up well against a defense like this, as we all know he isn’t afraid to sling it deep, and Winston has the sixth-highest aDOT among quarterbacks in 2019. Winston has scored over 26 points in each of his last two games, and will look to ride this hot streak into a potential shootout with New Orleans.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals - 35% Owned vs. ARI

The Red Rifle has done a decent job of producing without his best weapon, A.J. Green. Dalton has scored at least 18 points in each of his first three games despite some tough opponents. While we don’t know what Monday night brings for Dalton this week, next week he draws his best matchup of the season, home against Arizona.

This secondary had a lot of turnover between 2018 to 2019, losing Antoine Bethea and Tre Boston to free agency, and losing Patrick Peterson for the first six games due to suspension, and the losses have had a huge impact thus far. The Cardinals have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, and struggled against the pass in practically every facet. They’ve allowed ten touchdowns with zero interceptions through four games, and have the seventh-highest air yards and aDOT in the NFL. Arizona may have held Russell Wilson in check this week, but that had more to do with Seattle cruising to an easy victory than the ability of Arizona’s defense.

By most advanced metrics Dalton is a middle-of-the road quarterback. He doesn’t shine with the deep ball, with efficiency, with accuracy, or under pressure. Dalton has sort of epitomized slightly above average for his entire career, and a slightly above average quarterback in an excellent matchup makes for the ideal streamer. This game also has a surprisingly high early line, with a 48.5 O/U and Cincinnati a -4 favorite. For a one-week, widely-available streamer, it doesn’t get much better than Dalton.

Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts - 35% Owned @ KC

Indianapolis may have dropped a home game to Oakland, but Brissett played well in defeat, putting up his highest point total of the season thus far at 23.5 points. His point total was mostly volume-driven, as Brissett threw a career-high 46 passes in this loss. He could reach similar volume in Week 5, as Indianapolis travels to Kansas City for Sunday Night Football. Kansas City was tied for the eighth-most pass attempts against heading into Week 4, and with their high-scoring the Chiefs often force teams to air it out to keep pace. Even though the Chiefs Defense has been good from an efficiency perspective, boasting the sixth-best RACR (Rec. yards/Air yards) this season, they’ve also allowed the sixth-most raw air yards in the NFL this season. They’ve also been vulnerable to deeper passes, allowing an above average completion rate on passes between 20-40 yards down the field. Even though Kansas City has solid talent on their defense, they have been susceptible to the passing game based on volume.

Given the above analysis of Kansas City’s defense, a healthy T.Y. Hilton would be a huge boon to Brissett and the Colts offense. Hilton’s skillset matches up perfectly against where Kansas City struggles on defense. Even without Hilton, we’re looking at what could be a solid week for Brissett. Despite a low completion percentage, Brissett has been one the league’s more accurate passers, with the third lowest bad pass rate among quarterbacks (min. 50 pass attempts). That would perhaps indicate some of the blame belongs to his receivers, because outside of T.Y. Hilton and their tight ends, Indianapolis has a weak receiving corps. That shouldn’t concern us too much this week, as we’re looking at Brissett as a volume play. He’s going to be droppable after this week, as Indianapolis has a bye week followed by tough matchups with Houston and Denver.

 

Two-QB League Pickups and Stashes

Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars - 14% Owned @ CAR

Minshew continues to get it done for Jacksonville, looking like their best quarterback since David Garrard was in town. Minshew put up a respectable line of 213 yards and two touchdowns against a strong Denver defense, and things are about to soften up considerably for the mustachioed gunslinger following Week 5. A matchup against Carolina isn’t ideal for Minshew, but after this week he faces New Orleans, Cincinnati, and the Jets, all excellent matchups for him.

Minshew hasn’t lit up the scoreboard yet, but he has been accurate and efficient, with a stellar 11.4% bad pass rate, the second-lowest in the league. He’s also maintained an above average PACR (passing yards/air yards) even on deep throws. Minshew’s got the goods to be a consistent producer, and he should put up better surface numbers once easier matchups roll in. It’s a good idea to pick him up now before he puts up a big game and owners gain significant interest.

Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints - 7% Owned vs. TB

Bridgewater may not be the most exciting player to add, but he’s fallen into a really good situation with Drew Brees sidelined. Not only does Bridgewater have a plethora of weapons to play with on the Saints offense, but he also gets a cupcake matchup against Tampa Bay this week. The Buccaneers Defense had some surprising success earlier this year, but have come crashing back to earth over the last two weeks, allowing a whopping 853 passing yards and 72 points over their last two games. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged just under 29 points per game in the last two weeks against Tampa Bay.

It’s hard to build a case for Bridgewater based on advanced metrics, or his own ability, as he is truly a weak-armed, game manager quarterback. That being said, owners in two-quarterback leagues or deep leagues with barren waiver wires should always be interested when a quarterback owned in fewer than 10% of leagues faces a defense this bad. This is a pure matchup play, and Bridgewater could give us some cheap production this week. He won’t be usable beyond this week, as New Orleans takes on Jacksonville and Chicago in Weeks 6 and 7, and Drew Brees could be back in time for a Week 8 date with Arizona. Get what you can out of Bridgewater and cut him loose after what’s hopefully a solid performance.

Chase Daniel, Chicago Bears - 0% Owned @ OAK (in London)

Available in literally every league out there, Daniel has been thrust into action due to Mitch Trubisky’s shoulder injury. He played well on short notice against a tough Minnesota defense, and things should get much easier for him in Week 5 against Oakland. The Raiders gave up a season-high 23.5 points to the previously mentioned Jacoby Brissett this week, and have allowed the tenth-most points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. Oakland also has a 9:1 TD:INT ratio this year, and has allowed the fifth-most air yards.

They’ve been especially bad against deep passes this season, which a completion rate nearly double the league average on passes 30 yards or more down the field. No one would mistake Daniel for a strong-armed gunslinger, but has an above average completion rate on deep balls himself throughout his career. The Bears will likely try and use Daniel as a game manager to let their defense win them games, but he could still put up solid numbers in a good matchup like this one against Oakland. For owners in leagues where even players like Teddy Bridgewater are owned, Daniel is a play to look at going into Week 5.

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