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Week 3 Waiver Wire & QB Streamers: Nick Foles, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel


Let’s start off with a quick Week 2 review, where I was 2-of-3 on my QB wavier wire picks. Colin Kaepernick had a huge day like I expected, and the Steelers secondary continues to look dreadful. You can feel pretty good about playing QBs against them almost every week. Tyrod Taylor remained available in plenty of leagues and had another good day. Taylor flashed his ability not only as a runner, but he made some seriously impressive throws as well. The bad was that he had 3 interceptions, but overall it didn’t hurt his fantasy numbers. The miss last week was Nick Foles, who somehow had a much tougher time against Washington than he did versus Seattle. Washington’s defense so far looks much better than anyone seems to have predicted, so keep that in mind going forward.

For this Week 3 waiver wire 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. This week I’ll actually be highlighting two QBs owned in less than 25% of leagues, because I don’t feel great about some of the matchups out there. Andy Dalton (43% owned) faces the Ravens - and while Derek Carr did impress, I still have Week 1 in memory as well.

As for Carr (28% owned) himself, even though Marcus Mariota had a solid fantasy day vs the Browns, he struggled most of the game until the Titans were forced to throw late in the game. I still consider the Browns a tough matchup for quarterbacks. No worries, there are definitely some good QBs readily available if you need a stream in the third week and beyond. As a final note - I've already talked about Tyrod Taylor in both of the first two weeks so I'm not going to here. I still think he is a solid start this week against the Dolphins.

 

Standard League QB Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3

Nick Foles (QB, STL) vs Steelers

Owned In: 39% of Fleaflicker leagues

Foles didn’t work out against the Redskins, but the Steelers have been absolutely crushed by quarterbacks in the first two weeks of the fantasy football season. The Steelers are dead last in pass coverage, as graded by Pro Football Focus, coming in at a -14.3.

Foles doesn’t have the best set of wide receivers (Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin), but he has yet to throw an interception this NFL season. If he can continue that trend, I expect him to throw for about 250 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3 versus the Steelers, which would be a very respectable day for those in need of a quarterback stream (or injury fill-in) this week.

 

Blake Bortles (QB, JAX) @ Patriots

Owned In: 21% of Fleaflicker Leagues

On Sunday, Bortles had one of the best games of his young career in a win over the Dolphins. He played a mistake-free game, and most importantly he wasn’t sacked a single time. This was especially surprising considering Bortles had been sacked 4+ times in each of the last 8 games. That was the longest active streak in the NFL.

Protecting Bortles is a must for him to succeed - and that will certainly be a challenge this week as the Patriots had eight sacks last week, despite Tyrod Taylor’s mobility allowing him to evade a couple more sacks. Still, the Patriots secondary is bad and their offense is good enough that the opposing team is forced to throw a lot. That allowed both Ben Roethlisberger and Tyrod Taylor to put up top ten days against the Patriots so far this season.

I wouldn’t expect that from Bortles, but I do still think he can get a decent number of points. He’ll make some mistakes, and he’ll be pressured, but I bet he finds Allen Robinson and company for a couple big plays as well in Week 3 versus the Patriots.

 

Deeper / 2 QB League Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3

Johnny Manziel (QB, CLE) vs Raiders

Owned In: 12% of Fleaflicker Leagues

Manziel’s Week 2 performance versus the Tennessee Titans was a strange but pleasant surprise. Manziel didn’t have any big runs, but found Travis Benjamin deep for two separate 50 yard+ touchdowns. That combined with no interceptions gave Manziel a serviceable fantasy day.

It was really surprising to see Manziel didn’t run at all (3 rushes for 1 yard), and that will need to change for him to have any real fantasy football value going forward. He’s not going to hit the speedy Benjamin deep every week. Still the Raiders are a very nice matchup for any QB in the league, as both Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco have hit 18+ fantasy points against them already. Even if Travis Benjamin doesn’t explode again in Week 3, expect Manziel to have more success hitting his other receivers. He should be a serviceable QB2 this week, and can be targeted off the waiver wire in two-QB leagues if he's still available.

 

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