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Week 13 Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

We've got some exciting options still on waivers this week, as a few potentially league-winning quarterbacks are still available in far too many leagues.

There are no more bye weeks, which means fewer owners will need fill-in quarterbacks. It also means there will be less competition on waivers for quarterbacks, and a few high-end backups might even get dropped as some owners will no longer carry two quarterbacks. There are a few tough matchups for quarterbacks next week. Matt Ryan faces the Ravens, Andrew Luck faces the Jaguars, and Tom Brady takes on the Vikings. Owners of those quarterbacks may want to consider an alternative in Week 13.

In standard one-quarterback leagues, the waiver wire is usually pretty rich with talent at the position, unless the league is full of owners that like to hold backup quarterbacks. In two-quarterback leagues, nearly every starter is rostered, and the waiver wire tends to be quite barren for quality arms. That’s why a few quarterbacks owned in 15% of leagues or less are included, so even owners in deep leagues have someone to consider. Ownership is based on Yahoo leagues and is current as of November 25.

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Week 13 Waiver Wire Quarterbacks

Dak Prescott – DAL vs.  New Orleans Saints – 47% Owned

Prescott has been playing much better as of late, yet has only seen his ownership rate rise about fifteen percent. He has averaged 21.57 points per game in standard scoring leagues over the last six games and is about to start a string of dream matchups. It starts Thursday against New Orleans; the Saints have allowed 285.73 passing yards per game along with the fourth most points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Their numbers would be even worse, but Carson Wentz mustered a mere 0.84 points against them in Week 10. It what could end up an epic shootout between two teams loaded with offensive talent, it’s hard to believe that Prescott is available in more than half of leagues.

After this week Prescott has matchups with Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Tampa Bay to finish the fantasy regular season. He couldn’t ask for a better schedule, and for those that have streamed quarterbacks all season, look no farther. Prescott is the answer at waiver wire quarterback for those in need. He’s the top priority at the position this week.

Jameis Winston – TB vs. Carolina Panthers – 47% Owned

Winston had his first turnover-free game of the season in Week 12 against San Francisco and put up good numbers along with it. He went 29-for-38 passing for 312 yards and two touchdowns. Anyone that watched this game knows that Winston played with caution, exhibiting a reservation we haven’t seen from him at either the pro or college level. Perhaps scared of getting benched, Winston will play more conservatively going forward. He had never had a legitimate competition at quarterback in Tampa Bay before and was never in danger of losing his job. He still took risks, and his deep ball wasn’t the sharpest we’ve seen from Winston, but hopefully, today represents a new, more timid playstyle from Winston. He’ll never be Alex Smith, but maybe he can be Mitch Trubisky.

Admittedly, I could be reading too much into this performance. San Francisco’s defense has forced the fewest turnovers this season with just five in 11 games. This is already a bad unit, and they unexpectedly lost Reuben Foster before this game and Jimmie Ward during the game. Still, the starting quarterback position in Tampa Bay has proven lucrative in fantasy this season, which makes Winston a fine borderline QB1 or high-end QB2 in any given week. He draws a favorable matchup versus Carolina at home next week. Coming into Week 12 the Panthers were allowing the eighth most points to opposing quarterbacks, and then proceeded to give up 339 yards and two touchdowns to Russell Wilson. Winston has tw0 great matchups in Week 13 and 14 against Carolina and New Orleans, but his Week 15 and 16 matchups are tough. He has to face Baltimore and Dallas in the final two weeks of the fantasy playoffs. Those matchups put him slightly behind Dak Prescott as a priority, but he's not a bad consolation prize.

Lamar Jackson - BAL @ Atlanta Falcons – 42% Owned

Even if John Harbaugh is non-committal in making quarterback announcements, the Lamar Jackson era looks to have begun in Baltimore. Jackson was a force on Sunday, putting up 22.22 fantasy points. Most of his production came from his legs, as Jackson rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore’s 34-17 win over Oakland. His actual ability as a passer leaves something to be desired, as Jackson was just 14-for-25 passing for 178 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He’s a raw talent at this point, and his passing ability is on the level of other rookie quarterbacks like Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen, which makes playing him down the stretch a risky proposition.

Of course, Jackson’s rushing skills put him a cut above the low-tier passers, but if he gets bottled up, Jackson is in trouble. He gets a great matchup next week against Atlanta, but on the other hand, the matchup seems less relevant for him. We want him to face soft defenses like Atlanta, but since so much of Jackson’s production comes from rushing, he is less likely to carve up their secondary through the air. Furthermore, his role as Baltimore’s permanent starter is not concrete. The Ravens are in the thick of the playoff race, and they can’t afford to let Jackson take his lumps. If he plays poorly, Baltimore has an easy replacement with Joe Flacco. Jackson is undoubtedly exciting and worth adding, but his owners must have a contingency plan.


Deeper League and Two-QB League Options

Colt McCoy – WAS @ Philadelphia Eagles – 4% Owned

The Eagles were without their top three cornerbacks in Week 12, and those injured players joined three other defensive backs on the sidelines, as Philadelphia’s secondary has been decimated by injury like no other. Poor Malcolm Jenkins is left picking up the slack of three undrafted free agent cornerbacks that have been forced into action. All of that sounds horrible, and it is for Eagles fans, but it’s great for the nigh universally available Colt McCoy. Despite three interceptions, McCoy put up a respectable 18.52 points against a tough Dallas defense on Thanksgiving day and now gets an extra-long week to prepare for a showdown with Philadelphia on Monday Night Football. The Eagles have allowed the sixth most points to opposing quarterbacks this season, and have allowed over 250 passing yards in all but one game this season. Unlike most quarterbacks owned in fewer than 10% of leagues, McCoy is surrounded by a fair bit of talent on offense. He is the preferred desperation option this week against the Eagles.

Josh Allen – BUF @ Miami Dolphins – 2% Owned

Allen’s passing ability is rough, but he put up 26.3 points thanks to a 13 carry, 99 yard, one touchdown rushing performance this week against Jacksonville. He went just 8-for-19 passing for 160 yards and a touchdown through the air. Overall this day was rather fluky, as Allen picked up nearly half of his passing yards on a 75-yard bomb to Robert Foster. He also achieved nearly half of his rushing yards on one 45-yard scramble. We don’t need to completely disregard those plays; they happened after all. However, it’s important to contextualize Allen’s big day, as it can be boiled down to a few plays rather than consistent good plays. That’s hard to rely on from week-to-week.

The good news is that Allen takes on Miami next week, and Miami’s rush defense has been putrid this season. They were allowing 141.3 rushing yards per game coming into Week 12, and have been getting carved up as of late. Only the Jets failed to rush for at least 164 yards as a team against Miami over the Dolphins’ last five games, and Miami is allowing 173.6 rushing yards per game over that stretch. That’s a good argument for LeSean McCoy, but we can also hope for some cheese points from Allen against Miami’s soft run defense. Allen is a two-quarterback league play only, where we should consider him a poor man’s Lamar Jackson.

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