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Fantasy football waiver wire: Best quarterbacks available in Week 12

The bye weeks are finally over, and the playoffs are just around the corner.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The fantasy football season is officially in its stretch run. The bye weeks are finally over, and owners can gun for the playoffs without needing to worry about replacing their stud players. The regular season only has two or three weeks left (depending on league settings), so now is the time to clinch a playoff spot.

The quarterback position, for the most part, avoided bad injury this week. Jameis Winston is still out a few more weeks, and it’s questionable he’ll return in time for the fantasy playoffs. If anything, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might just shut him down in a lost season. If you still own Winston in redraft, it’s safe to drop him.

Elsewhere, Jay Cutler is in concussion protocol, which means the Dolphins will be turning back to Matt Moore. After his horrific Week 8 performance, it’s hard to recommend Moore as a streamer against the New England Patriots.

So with that all out of the way, let’s look at the top quarterback waiver options, owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! leagues.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (52 percent)

Dalton isn’t lighting the world on fire, but he’s at least cleaned up the turnovers (no interceptions since Week 7) and has been a perfectly serviceable QB2 during the bye weeks. Dalton only threw for 154 yards against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, but he managed three touchdown passes and did well enough against a defense that’s (theoretically) still at a high level. Dalton has a great matchup with the Cleveland Browns coming up — he scorched them with four touchdown passes when they last played in Week 4.

Eli Manning, New York Giants (50 percent)

With Sterling Shepard ruled out, Manning was down to table scraps at receiver in Week 10. He didn’t throw for any touchdowns and got only 205 yards on 19-of-35 passing against the Kansas City Chiefs, but Manning avoided turnovers and got the team in position for an overtime upset. If Shepard is able to return in Week 12, then Manning has QB2 upside against an attackable Washington defense.

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (40 percent)

This past week was an utter embarrassment for the Bills. After benching Taylor for no discernible reason, they turned to fifth-round rookie Nathan Peterman against the Los Angeles Chargers’ fierce pass rush. Peterman was a complete disaster, throwing five interceptions in the first half before Taylor came back in for garbage time. There’s no way Sean McDermott can go back to Peterman after that. Taylor should get the starting job back, and he’ll be a decent streamer against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (10 percent)

Bridgewater continues to ride the pine behind Case Keenum, who keeps playing well enough that we wonder if the Vikings would dare make a quarterback change in the middle of a playoff race. Either way, Bridgewater is just a bench stash in deeper leagues but still a worthy dynasty hold. We’ll see how the Vikings handle this.

Top waiver wire targets for Week 12