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Week 7 Quarterback Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups

It was another interesting week at the quarterback position. We had more huge games from available quarterbacks, a surprise inactive, and continued disappointment from a few veteran quarterbacks.

Week 7 is the first big bye week, as four teams are one bye. Owners of Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, and Ben Roethlisberger will need to find a replacement. A few universally owned quarterbacks face tough matchups as well. Philip Rivers takes on the Titans, Deshaun Watson faces the Jaguars, and Drew Brees takes on the Ravens.

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 have been included, so even owners in deep leagues have someone to consider. Ownership is based on Yahoo leagues and is current as of October 14.

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Week 7 Waiver Wire Quarterbacks

Jameis Winston – TB vs. Cleveland Browns – 58% Owned

Winston took advantage of a dream matchup this past week against Atlanta, going 30-for-41 passing for 395 yards with four touchdown passes and two interceptions. Out of all the waiver wire quarterbacks, Winston is perhaps the most talented, at least at this moment. Talent aside, there are two factors which make Winston such an appealing player to add. First, and this was evident during the game against Atlanta, is that Tampa Bay’s defense is so bad that Winston will be forced to throw all the time. The Buccaneers have the worst defense in the NFL, and to keep pace they will need to keep passing the ball. Tampa Bay is averaging 38 passing attempts per game through their first five games, and on pure volume alone Winston should put up numbers. Second is the talent in the receiving corps. In addition to superstar Mike Evans, Winston has DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin each in their second year with the team, a pair of good receiving tight ends in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, and even Adam Humphries as a reliable slot receiver. Despite being on bad team Winston is in a great situation to produce.

Winston isn’t an automatic start, but he’s usable in most matchups. Tampa Bay’s bye week has already passed, so he could be started every week going forward if his owner desires. Next week is a matchup with the Browns, who are allowing 269 passing yards per game, which is slightly above league average. The Browns got lit up on the ground in Week 6 by Melvin Gordon, but the Buccaneers don’t have a running back anywhere near Gordon’s talent. That means Winston and the Bucs will have to take advantage through the air. After that game, it’s a date with the Bengals, which should be great for Winston. His remaining schedule after that is no cakewalk, but no murder’s row either. Only a game against Washington in Week 10 and one against Baltimore in Week 15 would prove especially tough. This is the last call for Winston, because after this week he won’t be available in standard leagues anymore.

Baker Mayfield – CLE @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 43% Owned

Mayfield was disappointing in Week 6, going 22-for-46 passing for 238 yards, adding in one touchdown and two interceptions. His accuracy and ability to complete passes has been a problem since he was named starter. Mayfield has a 55.5% completion rate on the year and a 52.3% completion rate as the starter. This was the first time Cleveland has been blown out as well, so Mayfield was put in an unfamiliar situation considering the first five weeks and his time at Oklahoma. He is still a rookie with his share of growing pains ahead, but his upcoming schedule is insanely favorable. That is the main reason to add Mayfield, because he is facing perhaps the four worst pass defenses in the NFL over his next four games.

Mayfield takes on Tampa Bay in Week 7, and the Buccaneers have allowed at least 30 points in five of their six games thus far. In the game where they allowed only 21 points, Nick Foles threw for 334 yards. After Tampa Bay Mayfield gets Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Atlanta. Things literally don’t get any better than that for a quarterback. Add Mayfield for this stretch, and add some Browns’ skill position players as well.

Mitch Trubisky – CHI vs New England Patriots – 28% Owned

Trubisky didn’t get picked up too much after his six touchdown day in Week 4 and is still available in over 70% of Yahoo leagues. He backed up a career day with the second-best game of his career in Week 6 against the Dolphins. Trubisky was 22-for-31 passing for 316 yards and three touchdowns along with one interception. It was easy to be skeptical of Trubisky since his game against Tampa Bay was such an outlier and against such a bad defense, but he did it this week against a seemingly league average pass defense. The value of new weapons Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton is being realized, and the emergence of Tarik Cohen should allow Trubisky to pick up some cheap yardage on check downs. This offense is beginning to mesh and Trubisky is at the center of it all.

The upcoming schedule for Trubisky is the AFC East. After this game against Miami, he takes on New England, the New York Jets, and Buffalo in his next three games. Of that trio, only the Jets represent a positive matchup for Trubisky. New England is neutral, and Buffalo has been surprisingly good against the pass this year, allowing 225 passing yards per game. He is usable next week against New England but not a must start. Unlike Baker Mayfield, Trubisky is more of a talent-based add than a schedule-based one. This could be the breakout Bears fans have been waiting upon.


Deeper League and Two-QB League Options

Brock Osweiler – MIA vs. Detroit Lions – 1% Owned

Ryan Tannehill was a surprise inactive due to a shoulder injury, allowing Osweiler to shine in a spot start. He was 28-for-44 passing for 344 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. This was a career high in passing yards for Osweiler, who also tied his career high in passing touchdowns. With Dolphins’ head coach Adam Gase cryptic and non-committal regarding Tannehill’s injury, Osweiler could start next week and potentially beyond that. His passing day was a bit of an illusion, as Albert Wilson really helped him out with some big gains after the catch. Osweiler was also unwilling to throw the ball downfield, and one of the interceptions he threw was absolutely inexcusable for an NFL quarterback. Surprise! Osweiler is still not a great quarterback. But after leading his team to a comeback and Ryan Tannehill’s uncertain status Osweiler could remain the starter and be useful in two-quarterback leagues.

His next game is against Detroit, who have been good against the pass this season. Detroit was shredded for 442 yards in their last game Week 4 by Aaron Rodgers, but altogether are allowing 222 passing yards per game. They even held Tom Brady to 133 yards passing earlier this season. His upcoming schedule is not that favorable either. After Detroit Osweiler would take on Houston, the New York Jets, and Green Bay. Only the Jets have been a good matchup for quarterbacks out of those teams. Osweiler is more for owners in need of a warm body in two-quarterback leagues or super-flex leagues. Hey, he’s better than Nathan Peterman.

Alex Tanney – New York Giants (Stash Add) – 0% Owned

To be candid, I do not know much about Alex Tanney. Much of what we know about him comes from this video. He was a monster at D3 Monmouth College and came into the NFL a little bit older at the age of 25. He is 30 now and has played in one career game back in 2015 with Tennessee. The reason to mention Tanney is the rumors swirling around Eli Manning’s job security, criticism that is justified based on Manning’s play this year.  The Giants are 1-5 and new head coach Pat Shurmur may be growing impatient with Manning. If Tanney was named starter he’d have an arsenal of weapons to work with in Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram. Those four rival just about any team in the league in regards to skill position talent. The Giants take on the Atlanta Falcons next week, and if Eli doesn’t show up in such a great matchup then the Giants will have to seriously consider benching him. Owners in deep two-quarterback leagues and super-flex leagues can jump on Tanney now just in case a switch is made, beating the rush to add Tanney.

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