For anyone who had a fantasy football quarterback on bye last week, it likely didn’t end in a positive result. While there were a lot of points in Week 9, most of them came via the biggest names in the game.
The top fantasy quarterback who isn’t widely owned was Colin Kaepernick followed by Trevor Siemian a few points away. Kaepernick was my top option a week ago, but other than him, there wasn’t much.
Sam Bradford didn’t look good against one of the worst pass defenses in the league and Ryan Tannehill only threw for 149 yards against the Jets.
There may be only four teams on bye this week, but a lot of fantasy owners will be scouring the free agent list for a quarterback to use.
Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Derek Carr and Tyrod Taylor all have the week off, with Taylor being the only one that isn’t an every-week starter.
Unfortunately, the list of bye week quarterbacks seems to be getting smaller by the day. Blake Bortles may be known as a garbage-time QB, but it’s hard to see him getting those late points against the Texans.
It’s extremely hard to trust Bradford right now, considering he hasn’t done anything the last three weeks. But if you like consistency, he does have at least one touchdown in every start this season.
Case Keenum may be on some radars against the Jets, but it’s really hard to trust him after his last two outings.
It’s hard for me to back some of these guys, but Siemian may be the best bad quarterback of the week. Kaepernick almost threw for 400 yards against the Saints and while Siemian hasn’t done anything relevant since Week 3, he should at least find some success against the New Orleans’ defense.
It’s just difficult to back Siemian given how he has looked over the last month.
The same can be said for Joe Flacco, who hosts the Cleveland Browns.
Flacco is fine if you don’t like having a quarterback with upside. He has just one touchdown in the last three games and has only thrown for more than one touchdown once this season. Even against the Browns, it’s likely the Ravens will run a bunch, making Flacco untrustworthy for any fantasy team.
The same can be said for Alex Smith against a beatable Panthers defense. Smith will always have minimal upside in that offense.
Carson Wentz was a popular quarterback after the first three games of the season, but he has just two touchdowns in the last four games. Against the Falcons he should be good for a touchdown, but there aren’t many reasons to believe in him with his receiving corps.
Last week’s top guy, Kaepernick, is at Arizona, so he’s close to worthless. I’ll say the same about Brock Osweiler against an underrated Jaguars’ pass defense.
Funny enough, my favorite free agent quarterback for the week is Jay Cutler. No one could envision saying that a month ago, but that’s where we’re at with the Bears.
Cutler returned against the Vikings and looked able, throwing for 252 yards and a touchdown. And while he struggled in the first two games of the year, it can’t be overlooked that he faced two of the better defenses in the league (Texans, Eagles).
If Brian Hoyer could have success in this offense, there’s no reason to believe Cutler can’t. He has Alshon Jeffery who is somewhat healthy, while Cameron Meredith has come in and has done fine with Zach Miller still healthy at tight end. Running back Jordan Howard looked great last game as well and if that continues, it should open up passing lanes against a bad secondary.
The Bucs gave up 344 yards and four touchdowns to Matt Ryan last game and 513 yards and four touchdowns to Derek Carr the week before. Cutler isn’t at the same level as those two, but expecting 250-plus yards and a couple touchdowns from him is a good benchmark.
Here’s my list of top bye-week QBs for the week from top to bottom: