Week 5 in the NFL features some nice matchups for some fringe QB’s meaning there are options on the waiver wire that could pay off this week. If you are struggling to piece together your QB position in the absence of an elite option or are stuck without a starter because of this week’s four teams on a bye week, these are the top 5 options available in over 50% of ESPN leagues (ownership percentage in parentheses).
Here are the top five that I would look to pick up and use this weekend if I was searching for a QB on the waiver wire:
1. Terrelle Pryor-Oakland Raiders (22.9%)
I’m all in on Pryor this week even though he missed last week with a concussion. He was my top pickup in the top ten waiver wire pickups for week five (full list here), and I think he’s primed for a big week. If you are an RG3 or Big Ben owner (on byes) or have a QB1 in a bad matchup, Pryor makes a great fill-in as a low-end QB1.
He faces the Chargers in the super-late Sunday Night Football game (11:35 EST kickoff) which gives him a great matchup against the San Diego defense which has allowed more fantasy points to opposing QB’s than any other team in the NFL. The Chargers also lost Dwight Freeney for the season which will only give Pryor more time to move around and carry the load for the Raiders who may rely on him even more than usual with Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece sidelined with injuries.
2. Brian Hoyer-Cleveland Browns (1.3%)
If Pryor’s not available and you’re looking for a QB, it may be time to join the Hoyer Hysteria and grab the Browns QB. Hoyer has thrown for 590 yards and five TD’s in his first two starts in the NFL this season against the Vikings and Bengals. Perhaps even more impressively, he’s led the Browns to back-to-back wins. He’ll get his easiest opponent so far as he and the Browns host Buffalo this Thursday Night.
The Bills have give up exactly two passing touchdowns in all four of their games this season and 280+ yards in all but one. Geno Smith lit them up in their last road game, so I think Hoyer can have a solid game even on Thursday Night Football where offense is usually hard to come bye.
3. Alex Smith-Kansas City Chiefs (45.9%)
Smith and the Chiefs are undefeated under Andy Reid and he makes a decent plug-and-play if he’s available in your league. He hasn’t reached 300 yards yet this season but has multiple touchdowns in three of his four contests. He threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns-both season highs-against the Giants last week.
This week the Chiefs face the Titans who have limited opposing QBs to low point totals in most of their games this season. Since the Chiefs are on the road and the Titans have fared well against the pass, Smith isn’t the top option, but he’s still a decent fill-in if you need for this week.
4. Ryan Tannehill-Miami Dolphins (14.4%)
Tannehill isn’t coming off an impressive performance after Miami faltered in the Superdome against New Orleans on Monday Night Football. He did throw for 249 yards but had a total of four turnovers and only one touchdown. He rushed for 48 yards which was an unexpected boost, but ultimately he couldn’t keep up with Drew Brees.
He’s a good candidate for a bounce back game this week, though, against Baltimore at home in Miami. The Ravens D has been all over the map so far this season although the have held every QB not named Peyton Manning to single digit points. Tannehill isn’t higher on this list because of his matchup, but is growing into a useful fantasy asset through the early-going this season.
5. Geno Smith-New York Jets (5.2%)
Geno Smith has been a roller-coaster ride in his rookie season (as most rookie QB’s are), but he makes a sneaky play this week if you are stuck in a horrible spot at QB. Smith is over 1,000 yards passing and has been over 285 the last two weeks, but he’s killing the Jets with turnovers. He’s turned the ball over 11 times already this year, but the Jets don’t have a better QB option (we’re looking at you Mark Sanches) so Smith gets the start again in week 5.
Smith and the Jets travel to Atlanta where the Falcons have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing QB’s including 20 points in three of their four games so far this season. Smith is still a stretch at QB1, but he showed in week 2 against Buffalo that he can deliver in the right matchups. If you’re as desperate as Rex Ryan at the QB spot this week, go ahead and take a shot on Geno.
This list of QB’s is part of my weekly waiver wire focus. If you need further help constructing your team, check out my top ten waiver wire picks of the week as well as my top 5 waiver targets at each of the following positions: RB, WR, TE, D/ST.
If you have any specific questions about your roster, you can find me on twitter @ZT_Sports or leave a message in the comments at the bottom of the page and I’ll answer them as quickly as I can.
All scoring references are based on ESPN Standard scoring and are current through week 4.