Week 9 of the NFL is in the rearview mirror, and we’re here to find the best quarterback pickups for Week 10 to keep you motoring down the highway toward the fantasy football playoffs. This week we have six teams on bye and will be without the services of the great Brandon Allen, the genuinely great Deshaun Watson, Gardner Minshew/Nick Foles, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, and Case Keenum.
We’ll take a look at players who are available in the majority of ESPN fantasy football leagues. There aren’t any high FAAB adds this week, but there’s a chance you’ll need a bye replacement for this week or one soon, so get your act together and map out the bye weeks, so you don’t have to start Taysom Hill.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (33.5 percent)
Garoppolo’s next three matchups will be all home games against the Seahawks, Cardinals, and Packers. We’ve already seen what he can do against Arizona when he put up a 75.7 completion percentage on his way to 317 yards passing and four touchdowns. His recent history doesn’t project a string of four-touchdown games, but there’s little doubt that his game in Arizona was a breakout, and it would behoove Kyle Shanahan to open up the playbook for him moving forward.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (34.9 percent)
Carr’s next three matchups are at home against the Chargers and Bengals and then a road game against the Jets. You may not want him for that Chargers matchup, but the Bengals and Jets have given quarterbacks plenty of fantasy points this year. And Carr has upped his game of late, as he’s hit two or more touchdown passes in five of his last six games and topped 285 passing yards in three straight.
Brian Hoyer, Indianapolis Colts (0 percent)
Hoyer took over for Jacoby Brissett and completed 17-of-26 passes for 168 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Hoyer isn’t afraid to throw the ball, which often leads to turnovers, but when looking at a spot start, you don’t want someone who isn’t going to go out fighting. Hoyer’s value depends on Brissett’s injury, but if Hoyer does get the start next week, he gets a home game against the Dolphins. He won’t see much pressure, should get T.Y. Hilton back and has Frank Reich scheming receivers open. If Brissett does end up playing, his roster percentage is pretty low at 56.9 percent and would make for a good streaming option as well.
Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars (1.9 percent)
The Jaguars are on a bye this week, but their schedule out of the bye looks like this: @Colts, @Titans, Buccaneers, Chargers, @Raiders, @Atlanta. There is a decent chance we see Foles take over after the bye, but nothing definitive has been reported. Foles looked great on his one touchdown pass in Week 1, as he was slammed to the ground, breaking his clavicle in the process. Grabbing him off the wire this week is likely more critical for 2QB leagues and 14+ team leagues, but looking at Oakland and Atlanta in Weeks 15 and 16 is something to take into account for the fantasy playoffs.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (8 percent)
Tannehill wasn’t very good last week against a tough Panthers defense, but he still put up good fantasy numbers, as he threw for over 300 yards, tossed one touchdown and ran for another despite throwing two interceptions. He plays at home in Week 9 against Kansas City and will likely need to put up numbers to keep up, especially if Patrick Mahomes returns. He’s probably not worth a hold after that, as he gets a bye in Week 11 and then faces the Jaguars. But keep him in mind for Week’s 14 and 15 when they take on the Raiders, then Texans.
Ryan Finley, Cincinnati Bengals (0 percent)
Finley will take over for Andy Dalton, who currently ranks 11th in passing yards per game, second in pass attempts and second in pass percentage. The efficiency hasn’t been there, or the Bengals wouldn’t be winless, but they are throwing the ball a ton. Finley also looked good in preseason and has a chance to put up better numbers than Dalton, who has been awful. Finley should also get A.J. Green back sooner than later. A matchup against Baltimore this week isn’t great, but then a game against Oakland should show us what kind of upside Finley has.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (4.4 percent)
Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins schedule looks good to close out the season: @Colts, Bills, @Browns, Eagles, @Jets, @Giants, Bengals. The bearded one has put up two strong fantasy games in his last three and has the passing offense moving well through Preston Williams, Devante Parker, and Mike Gesicki. Of course, the offense is a castle made of sand, but there are fantasy points to be had as long as Fitzpatrick continues to get the nod.