We’re entering Week 10 of the fantasy football season and the bye weeks are almost over as the playoff races heat up. Fantasy owners who survived this part of the season can think about plugging in their star players and riding them into the stretch run.
The quarterback position remains a quagmire, and Week 9’s biggest injury didn’t even happen during a game. Deshaun Watson tore his ACL during Thursday’s practice, a devastating end to his phenomenal rookie season. It’s also a massive downgrade across the board for Texans skill position players. Tom Savage was predictably dreadful in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts and won’t be making this list any time soon.
Elsewhere, Jameis Winston might have aggravated his shoulder injury, while Andrew Luck is officially shut down for the season. The good news is that Teddy Bridgewater could be activated this week, but he’s probably not ready to play yet.
In addition to the injuries, we got more bye teams to deal with. This week, the teams off are the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and Philadelphia Eagles. That means Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, Alex Smith, and Joe Flacco won’t be available for fantasy owners.
Let’s dive right in and check out the best waiver wire quarterbacks, owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! standard leagues.
Eli Manning, New York Giants (45 percent)
It’s hard to sugarcoat how bad Eli was in Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams. With almost no weapons to speak of, he spent most of the game in the fetal position, finishing with just 220 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. It’s his first multi-touchdown game since Week 5, if that tells you anything about how Eli’s season is going. He’s only on the list because the Giants play the San Francisco 49ers, giving Eli one of the better fantasy matchups of the week. Even so, he’s only in QB2 territory at best.
Josh McCown, New York Jets (34 percent)
McCown Town slowed down a bit last Thursday, playing game-manager as the Jets used the run game to wear down the Buffalo Bills. Nobody will be impressed by his final stat line (14-of-20, 140 yards, one touchdown), but McCown avoided turnovers for the second straight week and has done enough to stay in the streaming conversation during the bye weeks. He also ran in for a score, which is somehow his third rushing touchdown of the season. McCown gets a great matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose defense has collapsed amid a 2-6 start.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (30 percent)
Bortles was without Leonard Fournette for the second straight week, and once again he took care of the ball in a blowout Jaguars win. It’d be a big boost to the Jags’ playoff chances if they can win games without needing to hide Bortles. That said, he only has 10 touchdowns in eight games and isn’t lighting up the box score like he did in past seasons, but Bortles will have QB2 upside for at least one more week when the Jags play the Los Angeles Chargers.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (one percent)
The Harvard Beard is back, and who knows what he’ll do this time. Jameis Winston left Sunday’s game when his already injured shoulder got banged up some more, leaving him highly questionable to play this week. That means Fitzpatrick has a potential #RevengeGame against his former team in the Jets. Fitzpatrick is an infamous interception machine, but the Bucs might need him to sling the ball with the defense in disarray and the running game nonexistent. With Bucs-Jets having shootout potential, this is a matchup to watch if Winston can’t play.