Fantasy Football QB Preview: Best Bye Week Options
Ryan Hallam breaks down the NFL schedule in terms of bye week options at the QB position for your fantasy football team.
Whether you draft one of the top quarterbacks, or whether you wait until the end of the draft or even just stream a quarterback all season longs, bye weeks will come into play on your roster during the season. However, you can’t let bye weeks rule the way you draft. Two weeks ago on Fantasy Alarm’s Table That Discussion, Adam Ronis laid out why you shouldn’t worry if you draft two quarterbacks (if you draft two, which I do) that it isn’t a problem if they have the same bye week. You never know what will happen with injuries or benchings during the year, so take the best players available without taking bye weeks into consideration. That being said, if you don’t have two quarterbacks on your roster or are going to stream all season, you will need to know who are the best options to use when looking for a starting quarterback during the bye weeks.
We will use the NFFC ADP for the top 15 quarterbacks so we will know who the players are who likely will be on rosters assuming that there are 12 teams and a few other teams roster two quarterbacks. For the purpose of this article that will include Lamar Jackson , Patrick Mahomes , Kyler Murray , Russell Wilson , Dak Prescott , Deshaun Watson , Josh Allen , Matt Ryan , Aaron Rodgers , Carson Wentz , Drew Brees , Tom Brady , Daniel Jones, Matthew Stafford , and Baker Mayfield .
Teams on Bye Week 5: Packers, Lions.
This week you will be without Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford . There are plenty of good choices to use in this one. Ben Roethlisberger looks to be the quarterback of choice this week as he goes against his in-state rival in the Eagles. Philadelphia brought in Darius Slay , but he might not be the answer and their secondary is still very spotty. Assuming Big Ben is healthy he would be the choice to use for Week 5. The other choice would be Gardner Minshew. The team got him another great weapon in Laviska Shenault, and they face the Texans who allowed 33 touchdowns in 16 weeks last season and only made mild improvements to their secondary. With his running ability, Minshew should be in for a great game against Houston
Teams on Bye Week 6: Raiders, Patriots, Saints, Seahawks
Derek Carr and Jarrett Stidham likely won’t make you miss them this week, but Drew Brees and Russell Wilson will. Ryan Tannehill looks like a great choice here. The Broncos defense looks solid, but they did lost Chris Harris to the Chargers and replaced him with a pair of third round draft picks. Traditionally, Denver’s pass defense is great, but they will have to prove it to me. The backup choice will have to be Kirk Cousins . The Vikings lost Stefon Diggs but gained first round pick Justin Jefferson and their opponent in Atlanta allowed 28 touchdown passes this season. They did draft a corner in the first round but will need more than that to shore up their awful passing defense.
Teams on Bye Week 7: no top 15 quarterbacks are on bye
Teams on Bye Week 8: Cardinals, Ravens, Broncos, Texans, Steelers, Redskins
Fantasy football will be without a number of solid quarterbacks this week with Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson highlighting the bunch. The best fill in this week looks to be rookie Joe Burrow who gets a cupcake matchup against the Titans secondary. They did deal with injuries last season, but even at top strength they aren’t very good. Burrow has a plethora of weapons to get the ball to and Week 8 should be a great performance. The second choice here should be Philip Rivers . The Lions allowed 33 passing touchdowns this season, and while they added first round pick Jeff Okudah, they also lost Darius Slay so their secondary is still pretty awful. Rivers should absolutely torch them through the air and have a great game.
Teams on Bye Week 9: Bengals, Browns, Rams, Eagles
It is a pretty easy week from a quarterback perspective as only Carson Wentz and Baker Mayfield will miss this one. By this time Drew Lock should have put up or shut up, and my guess is that he will succeed. With Courtland Sutton , Noah Fant, and rookies Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, he now has nearly an embarrassment of riches to throw to. Couple that with facing a Falcons secondary that allowed 28 touchdowns last year and Lock should succeed. Sure, they added A.J. Terrell in the draft, but one guy won’t shore up their problems. Nick Foles would be the second choice, or I guess Mitchell Trubisky if he is the starter. The Bears do have a pretty solid offense if they have the right person running it, and this would be a good week to ride them. The Titans allowed 25 passing touchdowns last season and did almost nothing to improve the situation. Fantasy owners should hope for Foles to be under center as he poses the better option, but no matter who is under center in Chicago they should put up a great fantasy week in Week 9.
Teams on Bye Week 10: Falcons, Cowboys, Chiefs, Chargers
Fantasy teams will be missing Matt Ryan , Dak Prescott , and Patrick Mahomes this week, so unless they have options on their bench, there could be three teams streaming a quarterback this week. The Dolphins did some great things to improve their secondary, but we will see by now if it jelled by this point of the season. If not, Sam Darnold of the Jets will be a solid choice to use in Week 10. He showed some flashes last year, and New York gave him a few new weapons in the offseason like rookie Denzel Mims and free agent Breshad Perriman . Another great choice will be Ben Roethlisberger . He missed all of last year, but he should be back with a vengeance this season. They play the Bengals, who allowed 25 passing touchdowns last season. They did bring in Trae Waynes in during the offseason, but the Bengals pass defense will likely struggle again. Roethlisberger is borderline rosterable in a 12-team league to begin with, and if he is available to stream, this is a great time to use him. Picking on the Titans again, Philip Rivers of the Colts gets them in Week 10 and is another option if you are without your starting quarterback.
Teams on Bye Week 11: Bills, Bears, Dolphins, Giants, Jets, 49ers
Despite multiple teams on bye this week, only Josh Allen and Daniel Jones are on bye of quarterbacks we identified as likely on team’s rosters. However, that also means that most of our “streaming” options aren’t playing. I hope you used Ben Roethlisberger last week, because you can just hold him and use him again as the Steelers play Jacksonville. A couple of seasons ago the Jags had one of the best secondaries in football with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye , and now they have neither. They did draft C.J. Henderson in the first round and another corner in the fourth, but that is hardly a stacked secondary. Big Ben could have another great game. The secondary option, and this one is sketchy is Teddy Bridgewater. They Panthers quarterback isn’t likely to be a great fantasy option, but he does face the Lions this week which is generally a good time to use a player in fantasy. He still does have D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson with Christian McCaffrey , so the weapons are there for Bridgewater to have good weeks against weak defenses.
Teams on Bye Week 13: Panthers, Buccaneers
The final bye week will leave those of you who are using Tom Brady , aka Jesus to Patriots fans, as your fantasy quarterback. There are a number of good options to help get you through to your fantasy playoffs. Without going into great detail on any, let’s look at who could get you the win. The Bengals face the Dolphins, and both Joe Burrow and Ryan Fitzpatrick can get you through. The Jets will play the Raiders, and that looks like a great time to use Sam Darnold . The Bears will go against the Lions, and whether it is Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky , either should succeed. Kirk Cousins gets the Jaguars which should give him a chance at a 300-yard game, and finally Philip Rivers plays the Texans who are really not good against the pass.