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Week 1 Quarterbacks: Waiver Wire Pickups, Sleepers & Streamers

The regular season is right around the corner and we know you're just as excited as us! As someone who likes to wait on a QB on draft day and plays in multiple 2QB leagues, I will be scouring the waiver for the best streaming QBs on a weekly basis. For this article I will look at two QBs owned in 50% or less of Fleaflicker leagues and another QB owned in 25% or less to account for the QB scarcity in 2QB leagues. There are definitely some good QBs readily available if you need a stream in the first week!

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Standard League QB Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 1

Andy Dalton (CIN) @ Raiders 

OWNED IN: 42% of Fleaflicker leagues

Andy Dalton is probably my favorite streaming QB for week 1. Dalton struggled tremendously in his preseason week 2 game against the Buccaneers in primetime. However he finished strong in the week 3 game going a perfect 6/6 passing on his lone drive and finishing it by running the ball in himself. In the regular season I expect a lot more of the latter.

Dalton had a down year in 2014 but he was missing several key receivers and with everyone healthy in 2015 it should show up on the field. The Raiders have a formidable front seven with Khalil Mack and company, but I don’t fear the secondary at all. Especially with the Bengals above average offensive line, Dalton should have enough time to find an open man all day long.

Dalton may struggle against better defenses but it should be smooth sailing in week 1. He has only faced the Raiders one time back in 2012 in which he threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions in that game. I predict Dalton finishes as a QB1 this week which is pretty good for someone out there in so many leagues!


Alex Smith (KC) @ Texans

OWNED IN: 31% of Fleaflicker Leagues

The new and improved Chiefs offense gives Alex Smith a legitimate WR1 in Jeremy Maclin plus an emerging star in Travis Kelce. They also have potential impact players in WRs Albert Wilson and Chris Conley. Smith looked pretty strong down the stretch last year, averaging over 15 fantasy points a game in his final five games played (DNP Week 17). I expect that to continue with the addition of Maclin.

Maybe the most appeal Smith has to offer is his relative safety. He almost never throws interceptions, having finished in the top three in INT% three of the past four years. I do expect a little more aggression from the Chiefs offense this year which may lead to a slightly higher chance for interceptions but Smith is still extremely safe. The Texans have a good defense so Smith's ceiling is limited but he should put up a respectable game this week.


Deeper League QB Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 1

Tyrod Taylor (BUF) vs Colts

OWNED IN: 15% of Fleaflicker Leagues

Taylor is a bit of a wildcard, having never started a game in his career. He has played extensively just once, but he did flash fantasy potential in that one game. He played the majority of Baltimore’s 2012 Week 17 game. He had just a 149 yards passing and an interception but he was very mobile, running for 65 yards and a score. Despite almost no impact as a passer, his legs made him a viable fantasy QB that day.
Taylor looked pretty strong this preseason where he completed 77% of his passes. It’s a small sample size in meaningless games but he was worth at least 4 fantasy points in each of his preseason appearances strictly as a runner. That can turn a mediocre fantasy day into a solid one. Taylor is certainly risky because we haven’t seen a whole lot of him but he has proven he has real upside.

If you’re in a 2 QB league I think he’s worth a shot. Against the Colts you can expect the Bills to be playing from behind and therefore he’ll have more plenty of garbage time stats to accrue. I’m very interested to see how Tyrod Taylor does this week!


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