Anyone that had to deal with Peyton Manning in a fantasy matchup this week can tell you all about how a QB can win your league. In standard leagues, only four quarterbacks -- Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers -- were not doubled up by Peyton's 46-spot from Thursday.
As far as fantasy benches go in the early part of the season, upside is your most important asset for a prospect to put on your team. Drafts are in the rear view mirror, which means it is time to check out the waiver wire for potential. Since there are no bye weeks until Week 4, most owners shouldn't be in a jam for a safe backup to plug into lineups. Here are some possible higher-upside QBs that could serve as backups or even emerge as starters down the road.
Even with Adrian Peterson busting out a 78-yard TD to start his day, no player had more rushing yards on Sunday than Pryor. The Raiders put the ball in his hands and the Colts didn't quite see it coming. They ran a lot of man coverage schemes, which opened things up for the former Buckeye. Pryor's 112 yards on the ground accounted for most of Oakland's 173 and he wasn't too shabby with 217 passing yards on 19-of-29 attempts.
The Raiders are going to have to play from behind quite a bit, and that means Pryor should have every chance to fill it up with garbage-time stats. He's a strong option in 10-team leagues due to his upside. He has a Week 7 bye -- the same as Drew Brees.
Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (owned in 48 percent of leagues)
The Cardinals have a solid secondary, but Bradford took care of business with 299 yards, two TDs and one pick. Even more impressive may be the fact that he wasn't sacked. Bradford was sacked 35 times last season, ranking eighth in the league.
The Rams may have lost Steven Jackson, but they've improved in so many other areas. He and Jared Cook look to be on the same page and Tavon Austin showed that he's fully capable of running option routes in the slot. Bradford's schedule isn't the greatest, but he's going to have a few monster games this year.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (owned in 17 percent of leagues)
The Dolphins were able to win a road game and score 23 points despite having a ludicrous 20 rushing yards against the Browns. Head coach Joe Philbin said on Monday that the team will throw as much as they can, assuming that they continue to struggle running the ball. That's not something that will happen and it would be foolish not to have a pass:run ratio of 1:1 in order to keep Tannehill upright.
The Dolphins have a weak O-line and that could be a problem and could force their QB into some turnovers. However, it's hard to ignore his production from Week 1 and he makes sense as a medium-upside backup.
Keep up with all of our Fantasy Coverage
E.J. Manuel, Buffalo Bills (owned in 19 percent of leagues)
He gave Tom Brady and the Patriots all they could handle and almost pulled out a win even with C.J. Spiller struggling on Sunday. Manuel ranked fifth in passer rating on Sunday -- excluding Peyton Manning from Thursday -- and kept up his efficient ways from the preseason. The FSU product added 23 yards on the ground on three attempts.
On the down side, he did only throw for 150 yards. Manuel hasn't really shown the skills to stretch the field yet, but the Bills could just be keeping him on a tight leash until he grasps the offense.
Geno Smith, New York Jets (owned in 4 percent of leagues)
The Jets decided to not to be a complete sideshow on Sunday and pulled out a win over a stout Bucs D. Head coach Rex Ryan said that he was impressed with the way Geno Smith ran the ball and that's a trend the team could continue to use. He put up 47 rushing yards to go with some decent passing stats of 256 yards, one TD and one pick.
The Jets really couldn't do much on offense for large portions of the game, but things should get easier for them now that they've faced one of the toughest Ds on their schedule. Over the next four weeks, they'll get New England, Buffalo, Tennessee and Atlanta. He'll be a bit of a dice roll and will undoubtedly have a couple massive duds, but he has some upside in two-QB leagues.
Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars (owned in 1 percent of leagues)
Blaine Gabbert is out with a right hand injury and Henne will start against the Raiders. Henne and Cecil Shorts developed a rapport last year and that could grow into this season. He's still a very risky play in even the deepest of leagues.