As bye weeks and quarterback injuries pile up, fantasy football owners can be left scrambling. With news this morning that Cam Newton would not be playing on Monday Night Football, those who invested in the top QB off the board will desperately need an option this weekend. Here are three sleeper quarterbacks (owned in 50% of leagues or fewer for two, and in fewer than 10% for the third, for you deep divers). All figures are based on Yahoo! Ownership percentages as of Saturday
Brian Hoyer at Indianapolis (17% owned)
Last year Brian Hoyer was a service fantasy football option in games that he was able to start and finish after he and Ryan Mallett played musical chairs. With Jay Cutler going down to injury, this is Hoyer’s opportunity to snatch the starting quarterback role away from him. Hoyer is coming off two straight weeks with over 300 yards passing and two scores and is rolling around on the waiver wire in 80% of leagues.
This isn’t a blip, either. Since the beginning of last season, Brian Hoyer has 22.94 fantasy points per game when he passes the ball 25 times or more (which was 11 of his 14 games played). In his first two starts with Chicago, he passed the ball 49 and 36 times. He is a shoo-in for 25 passes Sunday. The Colts have allowed at least 300 yards passing or two scores in three of four games this season, and are the top-third in the league in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. They won’t be much of a fight.
Trevor Siemian/Paxton Lynch versus Atlanta (16%/3% owned)
Trevor Siemian’s shoulder is acting up and it is unclear if he will get the start Sunday. If he does, he is a worthy streaming option. If it is Lynch, instead, he is a decent sleeper option. Both quarterbacks have made their starting debuts this season, and over the last few games, the Broncos QB position has become a useful fantasy option. Siemian torched the Bengals and the odd rain delay suppressed stats but if you combine the stats from Lynch and Siemian, you have a useful quarterback. Whoever starts is worth using because the Falcons pass defense is literally the worst this season at stopping opposing quarterbacks: they have yielded three passing touchdowns and at least 280 passing yards in every single game this season. Whoever starts this one will put up numbers.
Derek Anderson versus Tampa Bay (5% owned)
Here’s for you desperate Cam Newton owners. It won’t be so bad on Monday Night Football, as the Buccaneers will likely be without several key defenders, including Robert Ayers and Gerald McCoy (and if Ayers can’t go, his backup, Noah Spence, was also out). This game is going to be ugly with a capital U, and the depleted Buccaneers defense will not be able to put up much of a fight. Even at full strength, the Bucs allowed multiple touchdown passes and at least 190 passing yards to every quarterback to face them this season, including the woeful Case Keenum. Carson Palmer’s lone good game was torching these same Buccaneers, as well. All hope is not lost if you have to start Anderson, either. Last week his 172 yards, 2 touchdown, 2 interception line in relief was not ideal, but passable. He had to start two games for Cam in 2014 due to injury, and averaged 250 yards and 1.5 touchdowns without a pick.