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Week 2 Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds


With most of week one in the books we've got to scan our waiver wires for the hottest week one adds to get an edge in week two. Much of the focus is on skill positions like running back and wide receiver, but there are some interesting quarterbacks out on waivers that emerged in week one or have good matchup coming up.

Many owners like to set and forget at quarterback, but for those of us that like to play the streaming play we've got to be on top of matchups every week and a few weeks in advance. Owners of Carson Wentz, Jameis Winston, and potentially Marcus Mariota may also be in need of help at quarterback for week 2.

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 fewer than 5% of leagues has been included, so even owners in deep leagues have someone to consider. Ownership is based on Yahoo leagues and is current as of September 9.

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Week 2 Waiver Wire Quarterbacks

Alex Smith WAS vs. Indianapolis – 62% owned

Smith was mentioned in this article heading into week one as a streamer, and he delivered 19.6 fantasy points in a standard league against Arizona. In week two Smith gets an even easier matchup at home against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts gave up the fifth most passing yards in the NFL last season and lost Vontae Davis to free agency is past offseason. They allowed 8.7 yards per throw and a 109.7 quarterback rating to Andy Dalton this season. The Colts are among the weakest pass defenses in the league.

Smith was the number four quarterback last season, and while injuries to big-time producers like Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson boosted his overall ranking Smith was a viable every week starter in 2017. He has two great matchups the next two weeks against the  Colts and Packers, and after his bye week Smith gets the  Saints in New Orleans. In the short term Smith is a great add and a high-end streamer or backup for the remainder of the year.

Case Keenum DEN vs. Oakland – 25% owned

Keenum shredded the Seattle Seahawks defense for 329 yards and three touchdowns in week 1. He did toss three picks, but he still scored 22.16 fantasy points thanks to the yardage and touchdowns. Keenum only threw seven interceptions all of last season and had a 2.1% interception rate for his career prior to this game, so the three picks can be forgiven this time. The Seahawks allowed the fifth fewest passing yards in the NFL last season. They did lose Richard Sherman and Justin Coleman in the offseason, but there is still lots of talent that Keenum bested in this game.

Keenum certainly benefited from a huge performance by Emmanuel Sanders, but it’s not as if Sanders is going anywhere and Keenum has a solid core of talent around him in Denver. He takes on the Oakland Raiders at home next week, and the Raiders gave up the seventh most passing yards last season. They also had the fewest interceptions last season with only five, so we won’t have to worry as much about the interceptions with Keenum. He has solid matchups in three of his next four weeks against Oakland, Kansas City, and the New York Jets. Only Baltimore in week three presents a tough opponent during that stretch, but Baltimore won’t have Jimmy Smith for that game. He’s a streamer or two-QB option for the next few weeks.

Ryan Tannehill, MIA @ New York Jets – 7% owned

Tannehill had an up-and-down game between weather delays in week one, tossing for 230 yards and two touchdowns but throwing two interceptions against the Titans. He has been a matchup play for the majority of his career, and Tannehill has a good one against the Jets in week 2. The Jets were tied for the second most passing touchdowns allowed last season and gave up the fourth most fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2017. There is some talent in the Jets’ secondary; they have a quality second-year safety in Jamal Adams and brought in Trumaine Johnson as a free agent this offseason. The unit still leaves something to be desired as a whole and Tannehill could take advantage next week.

Going forward Tannehill has some juicy matchups. His next three games are against the Jets, Raiders, and Patriots. After that he runs into the Bengals, but Tannehill is usable as a streamer in these matchups. Kenny Stills looked like a dynamic number one receiver in week one against Tennessee and gives Tannehill a legitimate downfield threat in these coming weeks. He’s not a high ceiling play, but Tannehill is generally a safe option and isn’t facing tough opponents for a few weeks.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB vs. Philadelphia – 3% owned

Fitzpatrick was also mentioned in this article as a two-QB option heading into week one, but he blew expectations out of the water with a monster game Sunday in New Orleans. Fitzpatrick threw for 417 yards and tossed four touchdowns passes in the Bucs 48-40 win over the Saints. He even ran for 36 yards and a touchdown, putting up 42.28 points in standard leagues. Fitzpatrick most likely won’t have a game this good for the rest of his career, but he could emerge as a matchup play going forward. There was a report that the Buccaneers were not committing to Jameis Winston when he comes back, and while that initially seemed unlikely if Fitzpatrick plays well and the Buccaneers keep winning things could change come week four.

He does not have a good matchup in week 2. The Eagles had the eighth best pass defense and second best rush defense by DVOA last season. The only reason to start Fitzpatrick next week would be in a desperate situation in a deep league or two-QB league. It’s unfortunate that Fitzpatrick has to face two tough defenses in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh over the next two weeks because he’ll have a rough road to prove his value to the team. Even so, after a performance like this Fitzpatrick shouldn’t be ignored in deep leagues where quarterback talent is scarce on waivers.

Josh Allen, BUF vs. Los Angeles Chargers – 1% owned

Nathan Peterman was deservedly benched in the third quarter of the Bills 47-3 drubbing at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens and replaced by Josh Allen. We knew that Peterman was playing on borrowed time, but this was a quicker hook than anyone could have expected. Peterman had a robust 0.0 quarterback rating before getting pulled, so he forced Sean McDermott’s hand with this performance. McDermott hasn’t committed to either Allen or Peterman yet, but perhaps after a close review of the tape McDermott will come to his senses.

Allen, the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Wyoming, is known for his big arm and athleticism at the quarterback position. If Allen were to start he’d be facing a Chargers’ defense that just got decimated by Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes in week one. He’s not worth starting in most circumstances even if Allen gets the nod, but in deeper leagues where practically every quarterback matters Allen should be on the radar on waivers this week.

 

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