Week 8 QB Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds: Play Teddy Against Atlanta
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Week 8 is on the horizon. If you’re looking for a one-hit wonder, or a rest-of-season option at quarterback, look no further. Week 8 is stocked full of great matchups for lesser-owned quarterbacks. Any references to fantasy points, or rankings, is based on standard NFL.com scoring for quarterbacks.
The first two quarterbacks on this list, Herbert and Wentz, are likely owned in your league. However, if they are not, I’d advise rostering them if you don’t have a stud at quarterback. First, let’s look at Justin Herbert. He has topped 20 fantasy points in four of his five starts, averaging over 300 passing yards and nearly three total touchdowns per game. Two of his touchdowns have come on the ground, one of which was this past week against Jacksonville, in which he also added 66 rushing yards. Despite not playing week one, he is within arms reach of being a top-10 fantasy quarterback on the season. Weeks eight and nine are against Denver and Las Vegas, who are giving up the 11th-most and fourth-most fantasy points to the quarterback position. Herbert’s week 14 and 15 fantasy-playoff schedule against Atlanta and Las Vegas is juicy as well.
Despite how embarrassing the Eagles have been, and how riddled with injury their skill players are, Carson Wentz has quietly been great for fantasy. Like Herbert, he’s likely owned in your league. However, if he’s not, and you don’t have a stud at quarterback, pick up Wentz. He’s currently the quarterback seven on the year, having dropped at least 20 points in four of his last five outings, most of which have been tough matchups. During that stretch of five games, Wentz played San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore on consecutive weeks, and averaged 22.75 points-per-game. The most exciting thing about Wentz is his rest of season schedule. Between now and week 16, five of Wentz’s next eight games are against bottom-10 defenses against the quarterback. Two of the games that are not, Green Bay and Arizona, could easily turn into shootouts. That stretch starts this week against Dallas, one of the league’s worst teams against the quarterback position in fantasy.
Despite a mediocre week from Matthew Stafford, Atlanta has still given up more fantasy points to the quarterback than any other team. While Bridgwater has a few games under 10 points, they were both against two of the league’s toughest defenses (Tampa Bay and Chicago). Otherwise, Bridgwater has been respectable for fantasy. Most recently, he completed 23 of 28 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns against New Orleans. The emergence of D.J. Moore in recent weeks, to go along with the steady performance from Robby Anderson, has given Bridgewater confidence throwing the ball downfield. In week five against Atlanta, Bridgwater completed 27 of 36 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns and the likelihood of a similar performance in week eight is high. Don’t spend too much on Bridgewater, however, as his rest of season schedule is less than desirably. Between now and week 16, only one of Bridgwater’s matchups is against a bottom-10 defense against the quarterback (week 12 at Minnesota), including a weeks nine and 10 gauntlet against Kansas City and Tampa Bay, as well as a week-13 bye.
It would take some desperation to start Drew Lock in week eight, but the matchup is there and he’s available in just about every league. Denver takes on the Chargers, who are giving up the third-most fantasy points to the quarterback position behind Atlanta and Seattle, and whose offense itself is currently the 11th-fastest in terms of pace of play. In other words, this game could turn into a shootout, something that has become common with the Chargers in recent weeks. Lock played solid in week one against Tennessee, but has since looked shaky in his two games since returning from injury. He’s completed just 53-percent of his 64 pass attempts for 443 yards, zero touchdowns, and four interceptions. However, with another week of practice to get comfortable, a healthy group of emerging skill players to surround him, and an amazing matchup, Lock could be a surprise performer in week eight. If he shows out this week, consider hanging on to him as he plays Atlanta, Las Vegas, and New Orleans in weeks nine, 10, and 12.
Arguably no quarterback in recent memory has had more of a roller-coaster journey in the fantasy football arena than Baker Mayfield. While Kevin Stefanski’s run-heavy offense can limit Baker’s upside, he has found a way to become fantasy-relevant once again and has a great matchup in week eight. Cleveland takes on Las Vegas, the fourth-worst team against the quarterback. Mayfield’s need to pass could be limited though considering Las Vegas is also poor against the run, which makes this a risky play. However, while Cleveland theoretically would like to control the game on the ground, that hasn’t been their reality too often in 2020. Much like Las Vegas, Cleveland continues to demonstrate an inability to stop opposing offenses, creating a need to pass the ball to keep up. In Cleveland and Oakland’s last three games combined, they have averaged game-totals of just over 60 points.
Alongside Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow continues to put up big numbers as a rookie. Most recently, Burrow dropped 406 and three touchdowns and one interception on 35 of 47 passing in a 37-34 loss to Cleveland on Sunday. Zac Taylor continues to let Joe Burrow loose, as he’s averaging an absurd 41.9 passing attempts per game. As demonstrated by Burrow, even with turnovers, that many pass attempts almost always generates a passable floor for fantasy purposes. Burrow has scored at least 15 fantasy points in six of Cincinnati’s seven games, three of which have been 20 points or higher. In week eight, Cincinnati will take on Tennessee, who is middle-of-the-pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. However, over the past two weeks, Tennessee has been involved in final scores of 42-36 and 27-24 games, giving up an average of 300 yards and three touchdowns to the quarterback. As far as rostering Burrow for the remainder of the season, his remaining matchups aren’t spectacular. After a week nine bye, Cincinnati takes on Pittsburgh again. Overall, only two of his next eight matchups (through week 16) are against bottom-10 defenses in terms of points allowed to the quarterback position.
As mentioned a bit ago, both Las Vegas’ and Cleveland’s recent games have resulted in high point totals. Most recently, Derek Carr put up 284 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception against a tough Tampa Bays defense in a 45-20 loss. Meanwhile, Cleveland is allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. While there are sexier names than Derek Carr as your fantasy quarterback, almost everyone has looked good playing Cleveland this year. Most recently, Joe Burrow dropped 400 yards and three touchdowns in a shootout against the Browns. If you don’t have other options, Carr is a solid option for not just week eight, but beyond as well. Four of his next five matchups are against bottom-10 defenses against the quarterback, two of which are against bottom-three teams (LAC and ATL). He’s widely available and will cost virtually nothing to acquire.
As a Vikings fan myself, I cringe at the thought of recommending Kirk Cousins as a fantasy option. However, he’s more than capable of solid fantasy games and has a solid matchup. Green Bay is average against the fantasy quarterback position, and with their potent offense, the Vikings will almost certainly be playing from behind. Minnesota’s first matchup against Green Bay is a wonderful example, as Cousins threw two touchdowns and two two-point conversions in the fourth quarter alone in quasi-garbage-time. While his upside can always be limited by their ability to run the ball, and you risk any Minnesota touchdowns coming on the ground more than most teams, Minnesota will need to throw the ball more than they desire to in this game. Continue to monitor Dalvin Cook’s status as well, as another absence from the star running back might result in a more pass-heavy approach after a disappointing effort from the run-game in week six against Atlanta without Cook.
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