Fantasy football waiver advice, Week 12: QBs to target for your stretch run

The Hennewagon rides again - Thomas B. Shea

The bye weeks are over and fantasy owners are now gearing up for the playoff races. They will also be dealing with a rash of injuries, with Ben Roethlisberger being the most notable example. Here are five QBs that could help you down the stretch.

It's a great time to be a fantasy football player. The bye weeks are finally over, your roster is back to full strength, and you're sitting pretty in the playoff race--what's that? Ben Roethlisberger had a serious, potentially life-threatening rib injury? Well, shoot. He was a rock-solid QB1 most of the year. I see they're starting Byron Leftwich, maybe he can be a decent stopgap--oh, broken ribs. Never mind. Nick Foles, come on down!

Fortunately, there are still some pretty solid waiver options that should be available in your league, so you never have to face the scenario above again (seriously, you started Foles? No wonder you're stuck in 7th place). If you heed this advice, you won't be stuck trying to figure out if Charlie Batch has found the fountain of youth.

As usual, the following five QBs, ranked from worst to first, are owned in 60 percent or less of Yahoo! leagues.

5) Russell Wilson -- Own percent: 21% Through ten games: 157-of-263 passing, 1,827 yards, 15 TDs, 8 INTs

After some early-season struggles, the third round rookie has come on in recent weeks. He has gone two weeks without an interception and put up 9.9 YPA against the Jets. More importantly, he's developed a fine rapport with Sidney Rice and Golden Tate. Wilson's fantasy numbers are always going to be limited in Seattle's offense with Marshawn Lynch carrying the load, but he's getting hot at the right time as the Seahawks chase a playoff berth. It's not an easy matchup in Miami--Seattle doesn't tend to do well on 1PM East Coast trips--but you can probably count on boring but efficient numbers while he feeds Beast Mode.

4) Alex Smith -- Own percent: 41% Through nine games: 152-of-217 passing, 1,731 yards, 13 TDs, 5 INTs

Smith is hardly a sexy fantasy starter, but you're not scouring the waiver wire looking for consistent week-to-week production. It's all about playing the matchups, and Smith will get his shot at attacking the Saints' woeful pass defense. The only reason I don't have him higher is because of that whole "concussion" thing. Smith got limited practice and was on track to play Monday, but he couldn't get medical clearance. Assuming he's good to go next week, Smith should have a quality game. You could do worse as a QB2.

3) Ryan Fitzpatrick -- Own percent: 48% Through ten games: 202-of-323 passing, 2,179 yards, 17 TDs, 10 INTs

Fitz' future with the Bills is on thin ice with the front office openly talking about drafting a new franchise QB. It's clear they're not happy with their $62 million investment. That said, Fitz is still the guy for now. He didn't have to do much last week as C.J. Spiller ran circles around the Dolphins, but he has a tasty matchup against a Colts defense that just got torched by Brady and Co. Fitz is always going to be a huge gamble in fantasy--he can either gunsling for 300 yards and three TDs or have a 4-INT meltdown--but this week is as good as any to roll the dice.

2) Jake Locker -- Own percent: 16% Through five games: 76-of-127 passing, 903 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs

Locker fell off the fantasy radar after missing five games with a dislocated shoulder, but he's back and healthy now with a much-needed bye in Week 11. His statline wasn't pretty in Week 10, but it didn't need to be--that game was more about knocking the rust off as the run game wore down Miami. Locker had no setbacks in his injury, and he draws some good fantasy matchups with the Jaguars this week, the Colts in Week 14 and the Jets in Week 15. The Titans could sneak up on people.

1) Chad Henne -- Own percent: 2% Through four games: 37-of-71 passing, 569 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT

Aww yeah, the Hennewagon is back. Hop on everyone, there's plenty of room. Yes, it looks like the Blaine Gabbert Era is over in Jacksonville. Mike Mularkey did not hesitate to name Henne the new starter after he carved up the Texans. The Jaguars' putrid offense finally found a pulse, and unlike Gabbert Henne remembered they have Justin Blackmon on the team. I have him at No. 1 mostly because he has the most friendly schedule--TEN, @BUF, NYJ, @MIA and NWE. If the Hennewagon can keep it going, Jacksonville may not be a "gimme" game anymore. Houston certainly learned that the hard way.

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