This week's look at the best waiver-wire quarterbacks in fantasy football for Week 11 hits particularly close to home. Your faithful author and purported fantasy football expert has lost two of his last three games with Eli Manning as his starting quarterback. Thanks to Doug Martin's astronomical outing in Week 9, he avoided the clean sweep, but the point still stands that Manning has thrown four interceptions to zero touchdowns, and twice threw less than 200 yards over his last three games.
The New York Giants mercifully have a bye this week, giving Manning some time to find his mojo again. Owners without a suitable backup will turn to waivers. Unfortunately, the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans are also on bye, making normally reliable fill-ins Russell Wilson, Christian Ponder and Jake Locker unavailable. But never fret, a few potential quality starters are still available in your league.
Once again, the following five QBs, ranked from worst to first, are owned in 60 percent or fewer of Yahoo! fantasy football leagues this week:
5) Ryan Tannehill -- Own percent: 13% Through nine games: 165-for-280 passing, 1,979 yards, 5 TDs, 9 INTs
Tannehill was UGLY last week. Like real bad. He tied a season-high with three interceptions while throwing zero touchdowns. His 5.6 yards per attempt was his second-worst average since posting a 5.4 YPA in Week 3. What's even worse is that he seemingly had a prime matchup against a Titans defense that had given up 20 passing touchdowns with just six interceptions heading into the week. The waiver-wire pickings are slim this week, however, and someone has to be the caboose on this list, so here you go. Avoid Tannehill unless you are truly desperate.
4) Nick Foles -- Own percent: 4% Through one game: 22-for-32 passing, 219 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Foles should arguably be higher. He has the best matchup of anyone of this list, facing a Washington Redskins secondary that is surrendering more than 300 yards passing per game and has given up a league-high 20 passing touchdowns on the season. Rookie quarterbacks making their first career starts against NFL defenses in midseason form should generally be avoided, just as a rule of thumb. But if you're desperate, you may as well roll the dice.
3) Sam Bradford -- Own percent: 17% Through nine games: 179-for-288 passing, 2,072 yards, 10 TDs, 7 INTs
Bradford enjoyed one of his best fantasy performances of the season last week, going 26-for-39 passing for 275 yards and two touchdowns against a fierce San Francisco 49ers defense. He has now thrown a touchdown in three consecutive games, which is pretty significant for Bradford. The Rams offense has a tough matchup against a good New York Jets defense next week, but if you need a steady stop-gap this week then Bradford may be the man for you, especially while he seems to be playing his best football of the season.
2) Ryan Fitzpatrick -- Own percent: 48% Through nine games: 185-for-296 passing, 2,011 yards, 17 TDs, 10 INTs
A clear pattern has emerged with Fitzpatrick this season. The Arizona Cardinals, San Franciso 49ers and Houston Texans all rank in the top four of the NFL in pass defense, and all three held the Bills' quarterback without a touchdown pass. In six games against weaker secondaries, Fitzpatrick is averaging nearly three touchdown passes per game. The Miami Dolphins were just carved up by a previously quiet Sam Bradford. Fitzpatrick is just about as good a starting fantasy option at quarterback this week as one could hope for off of waivers.
1) Carson Palmer -- Own percent: 58% Through nine games: 230-for-375 passing, 2,723 yards, 15 TDs, 9 INTs
Palmer barely qualifies for this list based on his own percentage, but there's good reason for that. He has been a quality fantasy option lately, throwing eight touchdown passes (albeit with five interceptions) over his last three games. Palmer has been throwing a lot to try to dig a struggling Oakland Raiders squad out of large deficits. LIkewise, opposing quarterbacks have made a habit out of putting up big fantasy numbers against the New Orleans Saints this season. A great matchup against a bad secondary, coupled with the fact that he will almost certainly be playing from behind, make Palmer a solid starting option this week in any format.