With the fantasy football season still in its infancy, it’s probably not the time to go too nuts with waiver wire claims. Unless your quarterback put up a real dud, you’re generally better off waiting a few weeks before you make any big changes at the position.
There are exceptions, of course. Russell Wilson owners got a huge scare Sunday when he got his foot stepped on and suffered a sprained ankle. Wilson finished the game, but his running ability was nowhere to be found and he could be a question mark for Week 2. Fantasy owners have to search for a backup plan in case Wilson can’t play.
There are also a couple of quarterbacks already dealing with depleted supporting casts. Philip Rivers lost Keenan Allen for the season (again), while Tyrod Taylor’s No. 1 receiver, Sammy Watkins, could miss multiple weeks with a bad foot. Both quarterbacks saw their fantasy production significantly decline without their stud receivers last season, so owners are rightfully concerned about history repeating itself.
With that in mind, let’s look at some waiver wire quarterbacks worth looking at this week. All players are owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! standard leagues.
Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans (28 percent)
Osweiler had a shaky start in his Texans debut, but he settled down after a bad interception and picked apart the Chicago Bears’ defense, filling up the stat sheet with 231 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-35 passing. He also had no problems hooking up with rookie receiver Will Fuller, suggesting that Houston’s passing offense could be more dynamic than we expected. Osweiler did enough to merit streaming consideration against the Kansas City Chiefs next week.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (21 percent)
The Chiefs looked dead and buried when the San Diego Chargers raced out to a 24-3 lead, but Smith put the team on his shoulders and led the biggest comeback in franchise history. Smith finished his day with 363 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, winning the game in overtime with a goal-line plunge. This will probably end up being Smith’s best stat line of the season and the Texans’ defense is a tougher test, but you could do worse for a high-end QB2 this week.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (18 percent)
Showing no ill-effects from the torn ACL he suffered last year, Flacco put up 258 yards on 23-of-34 passing against the Buffalo Bills. He also hooked up with Mike Wallace on an impressive 66-yard touchdown bomb. Wallace gives the Ravens’ offense a seam-stretching deep threat it hasn’t had since Torrey Smith left town, which is only good news for Flacco’s fantasy upside. He should be one of this week’s top streaming options when he takes on the Cleveland Browns’ defense.
Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots (7 percent)
Garoppolo’s much-ballyhooed debut went pretty well, considering he didn’t have Rob Gronkowski to throw to. He avoided big mistakes and kept the chains moving, finishing with 264 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions against the Arizona Cardinals. This was probably the Patriots’ hardest opponent during Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, and Garoppolo passed the test with flying colors. He’s an easy QB2 against the Miami Dolphins next week, especially if Gronk comes back.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (7 percent)
The Browns’ defense may be bad this year, but Wentz certainly looked the part of a franchise quarterback. Despite missing nearly the entire preseason, he stepped right in Week 1 and delivered, throwing for 278 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The No. 2 overall pick will take his lumps and have low-scoring weeks, but with the Bears on tap in Week 2, we expect him to stay on the QB2 radar.