Quarterback By Waiver Wire (QBBWW): Week 5

Quarterback By Waiver Wire (QBBWW): Week 5

By Denny Carter (4for4 Contributor), last update Oct 1, 2013

C.D. Carter's picture

C.D. is a journalist and writer specializing in quarterback streaming. Carter's work has been featured in the New York Times Fifth Down blog, and he was nominated for the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's 2012 newcomer of the year award. He's the author of "How To Think Like a Fantasy Football Winner."

Follow Denny Carter on Twitter: @CDCarter13.

Finding reliable signal callers on our local waiver wires has officially gotten easier – more predictable – thanks purely and simply to the wonders of sample size.

September is in the books, and we now have four weeks of data to guide our Quarterback By Waiver Wire (QBBWW) system. More than just studying quarterback stat lines, the first four weeks of the season have put a big, red, pulsating bulls eye on a number of exceedingly vulnerable secondaries.

4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed tool paints a clear picture after a month of action: The Chargers, Cowboys, Rams, Packers, Vikings, and Jaguars are to be targeted by any fantasy owner sifting through the wire for unwanted fantasy production.

The Chiefs, 49ers, Titans, Seahawks, and Panthers, conversely, should be on our QBBWW blacklist, according to the aFP chart. There’s no reason to use a waiver wire signal caller against any of those defenses in a 12-team league.

My QBBWW selections, after four weeks, are averaging 15.7 fantasy points per game. Optimal plays from my QBBWW series have scored 20.8 points per game.

Here’s a look at how waiver wire options fared compared to signal callers taken in the first four or five rounds of your August fantasy drafts.


Waiver Wire QBs vs. Elite QBs: Week 4


Week 4 fantasy points


Drew Brees



Philip Rivers



Alex Smith



Matt Ryan



Brian Hoyer



Matt Schaub



Matt Cassel



Ben Roethlisberger



Robert Griffin III



Michael Vick




Now to jump headfirst into our shiny new pile of stats that’ll help identify three QBBWW candidates for Week 5.


Brian Hoyer (CLE) vs. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo is far from a putrid secondary, especially when healthy. We can’t ignore that the Bills are allowing 19 adjusted fantasy points to quarterbacks, making them a bottom-10 unit against signal callers through four weeks.

Hoyer, a week after chucking it 54 times against Minnesota, threw 24 passes in the first half of Cleveland’s Week 4 tilt with the Bengals. The Browns took the air out of the ball for much of the second half, thanks to rock-solid defense and Cincy’s almost total inability to matriculate the pigskin. Hoyer ended with 38 attempts. He completed 25 passes.

QBBWW adherents should be first and foremost pleased with Hoyer’s commitment to feeding his big, fast, un-coverable targets with gusto. Josh Gordon has seen 26 passes come his way since Hoyer took the reins two weeks ago – more than any receiver in football.

Fantasy’s No. 2 tight end, Jordan Cameron, has been targeted a whopping 20 times, more than any tight end in Weeks 3-4.

Jarius Byrd, the key to the Buffalo secondary, missed Week 4 and is a question mark for Week 5’s Thursday night matchup. Bump Hoyer a couple spots higher if Byrd is declared out again with a foot injury.


Philip Rivers (SD) at Oakland Raiders

Rivers, our Week 4 QBBWW wonder boy who is completing 73 percent of his throws, has now alternated sub-200 yard outings with 400-yard passing performances.

The trend is fairly easy to spot: Rivers and the San Diego offense is dismantling weak secondaries (Dallas, Philadelphia) and struggling against legit coverage units (Tennessee, Houston).

The Raiders’ defense has been terrible through large swaths of 2013, though they’re somehow middle of the road in adjusted fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks (18 per game). 4for4’s Sortable Team Matchup chart has good news for those rolling with Rivers in Week 5: the Chargers are projected to gain 269 yards through the air, along with 2.3 passing scores.


Terrelle Pryor (OAK) vs. San Diego Chargers

Now to the other side of the late, late, late Sunday night game, slated to start at 11:35 p.m. eastern time.

While you have anxiety dreams about your various fantasy squads, Pryor could very well be roasting the Chargers’ defense on a white-hot spit. San Diego is allowing 25.8 adjusted fantasy points per game to signal callers. Only Green Bay is worse.

Quarterbacks are averaging 329.3 passing yards against San Diego’s disastrous secondary, which has been gouged for eight touchdowns in four weeks. Pryor showed his pocket-passing chops against Denver two weeks ago, and if he’s cleared for action after a Week 3 concussion, I see him as a top-12 play against a defense we’ll target for the rest of 2013.

Pryor, for whatever it’s worth, was a top-6 quarterback in Week 17 of 2012 against these Chargers. He threw for a meager 150 yards on 28 pass attempts (including two scores), but made up for it on the ground for 49 yards and a touchdown. Pryor’s fantasy floor is plenty high this week.


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