No matter what draft method you use, heavy running backs, zero running backs or any number of running backs in between, I know two things. Okay, on a good day I admit I may know three things. However, I know these two things about your fantasy football team for sure.
1. sometime during your draft you took a quarterback. 2. since 1990 the NFL has given that quarterback and all the other quarterbacks some time off during the season, better known as the bye week.
If you drafted two quarterbacks then you just take your starter out and put in your backup. A lot of people, however, do not carry two quarterbacks on their roster. This frees up a spot to carry an extra running back or wide receiver. You might do this to have a handcuff for one of your backs or receivers. You might like the value from the guys on your roster more than the available quarterbacks. Or you may want to stash an injured guy until he can play again.
One of the great things about managing a fantasy team is that it’s your decision to make. But that leaves you with the problem of the bye week. You can either take zero points from the quarterback position. Personally, I’d rather walk across hot asphalt barefooted, or you can stream another quarterback. “No problem Dean, I’ll just stream another quarterback from the waiver wire.” Just keep in mind not all streamers are created equal. The key is to find a quarterback that has in a good matchup.
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Let’s say you had Russell Wilson as your starter and Eli Manning is available on the waiver wire. Manning has a good receiving core and his offense throws it a lot so let’s pick him up. If you look deeper though that’s a mistake. Eli’s matchup the week Russell Wilson is on bye is against the Denver Broncos. The Broncos gave up the fewest amount of fantasy points, (12.5 per game) to quarterbacks last year. I have it on good authority that the Broncos hate opposing quarterbacks. Just between you and me, I don’t really think they’re even fond of their own quarterbacks.
A better option would be Jay Cutler. Yes, I said Jay Cutler or Matt Moore. Miami is in Atlanta that week. That game looks like a shootout at this early point in the year. Atlanta gave up 19 points a game to opposing quarterbacks. That’s the second most points allowed in the league. That’s the kind of production that will get you from getting the bye week blues.
Depending on the size of your league and how many other managers keep two quarterbacks, a couple of the guys may be available themselves on your waiver wire. Here are my top fifteen broken out according to bye week
Week 5: Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins.
Players to target: Cutler/Moore vs Tennessee, Joe Flacco @ Oakland, Brian Hoyer @ Indianapolis, Josh McCown @ Cleveland
Week 6: Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott
Players to target: Cutler/Moore @ Atlanta, Deshaun Watson/Tom Savage @ Cleveland
Week 7: Matt Stafford
Players to target: Blake Bortles @ Indianapolis, Cutler/Moore vs New York Jets, Alex Smith @ Oakland
Week 8: Aaron Rodgers, Marcus Mariota
Players to target: Sam Bradford @ Cleveland, Tyrod Taylor vs Oakland, Andy Dalton vs Indianapolis
Week 9: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger
Players to target: Tyrod Taylor @ New York Jets, Cutler/Moore vs Oakland, Joe Flacco @ Tennessee
Week 10: Derek Carr
Players to target: Andy Dalton @ Tennessee
Week 11: Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton
Players to target: Blake Bortles @ Cleveland, Mike Glennon vs Detroit
I know some of the names to target are not normally guys you roster. Keep in mind you’ll only use them to get through your stud quarterbacks bye week. Some weeks have more targets than others. Every quarterback targeted plays against a bottom six defense in QB fantasy points allowed. Even with a top-flight quarterback, there are weeks that targeting whoever is playing the Browns makes sense. Take every edge you can find and win your league.