This week will be a tough one for fantasy football owners with injuries and bye weeks drastically reducing the pool of options for Sunday. Jay Cutler, Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, and Joe Flacco are all off the table leaving some owners scrambling for a QB option for this week. With six more byes next week, do your best to prepare ahead of time and get your claims in early.
Here are the five options I like the most who are available in at least half of ESPN leagues. The ESPN ownership percentage is in parentheses for each selection and all scoring references are to ESPN standard scoring. If your league scores differently, adjust accordingly.
If you have a team-specific question drop it in the comments at the bottom of the page or find me @ZT_Sports on twitter, and I’ll do my best to help you out with your roster calls.
1. Andy Dalton-Cincinnati Bengals (24.6%)
Dalton has had a pair of monster weeks the last two weeks and has a generally favorable schedule coming up. He threw for five touchdowns through five games of the season but has gone on the road to Buffalo and Detroit and thrown for six touchdowns and 709 yards. He’s been getting the whole team very involved in the passing game and still has stud receiver A.J. Green as his top option.
This week, he faces the Jets defense who ranks in the middle of the pack defensively but is coming off a strong performance last week against the Patriots. Since the game in in Cincinnati, I think the Bengals will be able to get more going than New England did last week and the Dalton is probably the best option at QB on most leagues’ waiver wires.
2. Terrelle Pryor-Oakland Raiders (27.6%)
Pryor didn’t have a great week before the bye against the Chiefs defense in a bad matchup at Arrowhead Stadium. Don’t be afraid to use him going forward, though, especially this week in a favorable matchup against the Steelers. Pryor has thrown four TDs in his last three games and adds yards on the ground as well. His rushing ability helps protect him against really bad weeks, and he’s a solid fill-in to have on your bench or even start if you are caught in a bind. Depending on matchup when you need him, Pryor could be more valuable than Dalton. He’s 1a on this list of QB claims.
3. Ryan Tannehill-Miami Dolphins (15.3%)
Tannehill and the Dolphins head to New England this week to take on a battered Patriots’ defense this week after Tannehill threw three touchdowns last week in a loss to the Bills. Tannehill threw for only 194 yards and committed three costly turnovers. As an NFL QB, he needs to limit turnovers and stop taking sacks, but he can produce the numbers to be a decent option off the waiver wire if you need a QB2 this week.
4. Mike Glennon-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1.7%)
Glennon hasn’t won a game yet for the Bucs but he did get over 250 yards and a pair of scores in both his two starts for Tampa this season. He went on the road last week in Atlanta and played pretty well although he did seem to target Vincent Jackson a bit too much. This week, he’ll be back home against Carolina who has been excellent against opposing QBs so far this season. He’s only a QB1 in the most desperate situations for this week, but if you need a QB2 for your dual QB league there probably aren’t better options on the waiver wire especially in more favorable options as the season continues.
5. Jake Locker-Tennessee Titans (2.4%)
Locker would be much higher on this list if he wasn’t going to score zero points this week. He and the Titans are on a bye, but he showed enough last week against a tough 49ers defense to convince me he’ll put up good numbers after the bye against a pretty favorable schedule that starts with the Rams, Jags, Colts, and Raiders. If you need future QB help and can get away with a stash, go get Locker and hold him on your bench.
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 waiver targets at each of the following positions: RB, WR, TE, D/ST.