Just in case you didn’t get a starting quarterback you are happy with, drafted a low-end QB1 and want a backup, or don’t like the matchup your guy has this week. Here are some waiver wire signal callers we recommend- that are less than 50% owned in fantasy football leagues:
Ryan Tannehill, QB Miami Dolphins
The one sophomore stud nobody talks about. Tannehill has the opportunity to take a huge leap in year two. He’s athletic and will get you fantasy points with his feet and arm. His stable of offensive play-makers is stocked. If Tannehill has learned to pull the trigger it’s going to be a big season. He has a medium matchup versus Cleveland in WK1.
Terrelle Pryor, QB Oakland Raiders
He probably has the lowest floor of this group, conversely he probably has the highest ceiling. If he plays poorly- there is also a chance Matt Flynn regains the job. Our biggest concern is the offensive line. On one hand it’s great because he will be running for his life racking up huge points in the rushing department. Surely the protection woes will hinder his development as a passer, though. It is easy to see Oakland playing from behind for most of the season and Pryor will get time to take his shots and grow in the system.
Pryor has some athletic targets who can do some things while he’s on the scramble. Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, Jacoby Ford, and Mychal Rivera could be very dangerous group in a scramble drill. Don’t forget Pryor will get some easy passing yards by dumping the ball of to Darren McFadden quite often. We were the first outlet to call this – almost a month ago – and we are sticking to it. Pryor is a big-time roster stash with more potential to boom than bust. Indy, is about as friendly a matchup in Week 1 as anyone could ask for.
EJ Manuel, QB Buffalo Bills
Where do I begin with this one? We got yelled at in January by other scouts at the Senior Bowl when we told them EJ Manuel was our favorite quarterback in Mobile and our No.2 overall rated QB heading in to the 2013 NFL Draft. Then, we told former Broncos GM Ted Sundquist he could tickle our beanbag when he swore the Bills would stay true to their word to Kevin Kolb and not draft a QB.
EJ Manuel, CJ Spiller, Steve Johnson, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin. We like the sound of that, now and for years to come. On May 17, we told you we’d take the Over on 10 starts by Manuel – and he had a chance to average 15+ fantasy points as a rookie. Our confidence only grows. For Week 1, Manuel’s matchup against New England looks good on paper- but we aren’t so sure.
Phillip Rivers, QB San Diego Chargers
There isn’t much to suggest Rivers will be any better this season than in recent years. Which is not very good. The exact reason he is on this list. The allure is that we’ve seen what he’s capable of and he’s not old. One can hope that the new coaching staff infuses some life into Rivers game. If it happens, he becomes a quasi-elite option.
Josh Freeman, QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Freeman is an upside guy. We’ve seen him have monster stretches. But, overall he’s been maddening to own. This year is make or break. He has all the physical tools and some terrific weapons in the pass game- VJax, Mike Williams, Doug Martin. Hopefully, his second year under Greg Schiano will pay big dividends. If you missed on your QB1- Freeman is worth a gamble.
Sam Bradford, QB St. Louis Rams
He’s a real Okie. We think that Coach Fisher went back and watched some of Bradford’s OU tape- because the Rams look like they are going to spread it out and sling it. We’re willing to give Bradford a pass for all of the different offenses he’s had to learn over the years, but this is the time to find out whether Bradford is the prolific passer he’s always appeared to be. There is a high level of uncertainty here, but Bradford is a big upside guy if you missed on a high-end QB1. St. Louis has a dreadfully tough matchup against the Cardinals. Can’t wait to watch Tavon vs Honey Badger in Week 1 of the NFL action!
Jake Locker, QB Tennessee Titans
When he started and finished a game last season- he was almost a lock for double digit fantasy points. His inaccuracy appears to be the flaw that will keep him from becoming elite. For fantasy purposes, his prowess on the ground is a nice counter-balance to that. If you just need a respectable 10+ points out of your QB, and don’t expect a single point more- Locker is your guy. He’s got a tough matchup at Pittsburgh in Week 1.
Brandon Weeden, QB Cleveland Browns
Minus the obscene (yet, predictable) number of turnovers as a rookie, Brandon Weeden was sneaky good. The guy is a gun-slinger. The sheriff has come to the factory of sadness in Norv Turner. Cleveland is about to go from Mid-West to Wild-West. Bombs away baby. We like him a lot more when stud WR Josh Gordon returns in Week 3. In the meantime, he has a tough matchup versus a viscous Miami defense in Week 1.
Alex Smith, QB Kansas City
Old Reliable. Smith has never gotten any credit for his fantasy proficiency. He’s been a successful waiver wire staple at RosterWatch ever since Jim Harbaugh arrived in San Francisco. He’s going to be asked to throw it a lot more in Kansas City under Andy Reid. The big debate is whether throwing it more will hurt a “game manger” type like Smith- or if it will help him. We’ll always take more pass attempts out of our fantasy quarterbacks. We also like Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, and Donnie Avery as weapons. Don’t sleep on Alex Smith.