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Week 5 was a week of duds for many at the quarterback position, with ten starting quarterbacks scoring fewer than 15 fantasy points based on standard scoring. Some of those quarterbacks being universally owned and started as well. Disappointing performances aside, there were still plenty of encouraging games from low-owned quarterbacks.

Detroit and New Orleans are on bye for Week 6, meaning owners of Matt Stafford and Drew Brees will need to find a replacement. No highly owned and universally started quarterbacks face really tough matchups this week. Only Jared Goff at Denver or Cam Newton at Washington would be quarterbacks to consider benching.

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 7.

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Week 6 Waiver Wire Quarterbacks

Baker Mayfield, CLE vs. Los Angeles Chargers – 37% Owned

Mayfield didn’t have the most outstanding fantasy day in Week 5, putting up 18.9 points in standard leagues. He did throw for 342 yards against a Baltimore defense that was allowing only 193.25 yards passing through their first four games. Mayfield performed well despite facing immense pressure from Baltimore’s pass rush and being sacked five times. It was not an easy situation for him and Mayfield did his best to salvage the day for his team and his fantasy owners. He has been improving gradually each week as he gains polish and will likely hold of Tyrod Taylor for the remainder of the year, which is great considering Cleveland’s upcoming schedule.

The Browns may have the best schedule for quarterbacks in the NFL this season, or at least for the next couple of weeks. They’re next seven games come against bottom-10 defenses against quarterbacks (going into Week 6). Their toughest matchup is next week against the Chargers at home, who admittedly did a good job against Derek Carr this week. Still, the Chargers have had some awful games defensively this year and have shown to be vulnerable to the pass. After the Chargers Cleveland gets Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Atlanta, a bye week, Cincinnati, and Houston. You couldn’t ask for a better string of matchups, and the good times don’t stop up Week 14 against Carolina. Mayfield is someone to add and stash, because are about to see what he’s made of with this upcoming schedule.

Mitchell Trubisky, CHI @ Miami Dolphins – 23% Owned

Despite his six-touchdown performance in Week 4 Trubisky’s ownership only went up 8% compared to last week. Perhaps that is because he had a bye in Week 5, or perhaps it speaks to the depth at quarterback in fantasy football. Either way, a potential breakout quarterback is still available in over three quarters of all leagues. Trubisky took advantage of an atrocious pass defense for his big performance in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but as a speculative add or streamer he is still a fine pickup. Things may be coming together early than expected for Chicago, and if that’s true then Trubisky will be a big reason for it. With more seasoning under his belt and an upgrade in weapons with Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton added during the off-season this is a much better situation for Trubisky to succeed.

Next week’s matchup is against the Miami Dolphins, a team that has performed well against quarterbacks this season but also allowed 32.5 points per game over the las two weeks. Miami’s 3-0 start was a mirage and things have coming crashing down to earth for them in their last two games. After that Trubisky has a decent schedule, though not nearly on the level of Baker Mayfield or anything. He gets the Patriots, Jets, Bills, and Lions between weeks 7-10. None of those matchups strike fear in the heart of fantasy owners, nor are they dumpster fires in the secondary. How Trubisky follows up his big week against Tampa Bay will be telling to his true skill and value, but adding now will get ahead of the rush if he does pop.

Jameis Winston, TB @ Atlanta Falcons – 18% Owned

Winston and the Buccaneers were on bye this week, but with him being declared the starter in Tampa Bay Winston can be a viable fantasy quarterback again. His Week 6 matchup is especially enticing, as he takes on a divisional opponent in the Atlanta Falcons. The  Falcons defense has been shredded by opposing quarterbacks over the past three weeks, a stretch where they are allowing 40.33 points per game. To quarterbacks Atlanta has allowed 327.67 yards and three touchdowns per game over that same stretch. Atlanta looks unable to stop anyone, and Winston is primed to get back to work this week.

The upcoming schedule is pretty good for Winston, at least over the next three weeks. He gets a dream matchup in Atlanta next week, followed by a date with Cleveland in Week 7 and Cincinnati in Week 8. Going into Week 5 all of those defenses ranked in the bottom-11 in passing yards allowed. Cleveland and Cincinnati both had good performances in Week 5, but that was against the likes of Joe Flacco and Ryan Tannehill. Winston has proved much more capable of fantasy production than either of those two in the past.

 

Deeper League and Two-QB League Options

Sam Darnold, NYJ vs. Indianapolis Colts - 7% Owned

No one should look at Darnold’s three touchdown performance in Week 5 against Denver as his breakout game. He was only 10-for-22 passing with 198 yards, and nearly 40% of those yards came on one play, a 76-yard bomb to Robby Anderson for a touchdown. What helped Darnold was a historic performance from his running game. Jets running backs combined for 318 yards on 35 carries, making things easy for Darnold and the entire Jets offense. He and his running backs have the opportunity to build upon this game next week in an easy matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Darnold is widely available and is mainly an option for owners in deep leagues that desperately need a streamer or one-week fill-in.

Indianapolis has allowed 282.6 passing yards per game and things have only gotten worse for them over the past few weeks. The reeling Indianapolis defense has allowed 75 points and 716 yards passing over their past two games. They have also allowed 106.8 rushing yards per game, so the Jets could set up Darnold for success on the ground again. There is certainly risk involved with Darnold; he could lay an egg in any given week. In leagues where the waiver wire is barren, Darnold makes for a decent one-week add. His value won’t extend beyond Week 6, since the Jets take on Minnesota and Chicago in the following two weeks.

C.J. Beathard, SF @ Green Bay Packers – 4% Owned

Another week, another over-performance from C.J. Beathard. This week he went 34-for-54 passing for 349 yards along with two touchdowns and two interceptions. That makes him a top-10 quarterback this week heading into Monday Night Football. Some of the quarterbacks Beathard out-scored include Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Patrick Mahomes. Obviously Beathard isn’t an amazing quarterback in real-football or fantasy, but he’s going to be in these garbage time games for the foreseeable future. With San Francisco down big and Alfred Morris unable to move the chains Beathard had to throw 54 passes in this game. But hey, there’s no penalty for an incomplete pass in fantasy. He’ll do in a pinch, and depending on the matchup and individual situation could even be started in a 12-team league in some weeks.

Beathard draws a favorable matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay has allowed a respectable 16.3 points per game to opposing quarterbacks, however if we subtract Josh Allen’s nothing game from Week 4 where any defense could’ve stopped him they allow 19.39 points per game. That’s not bad for what will likely be a high volume game from Beathard. Hopefully some of his injured weapons such as Matt Breida, Pierre Garcon, or Marquise Goodwin get healthy otherwise the receiving corps is ugly. After this game Beathard takes on the Rams in Week 7, which should be a pass, but after that he draws a few favorable matchups. He gets Arizona, Oakland, the New York Giants, a bye week, and Tampa Bay between weeks 8-12.

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