One of the biggest storylines coming out of Week 1 is the injury to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. With Dallas’ signal caller expected to miss up to two months, fantasy managers across the land will be left scrambling for a replacement heading into Week 2. Well, here are a few QBs who can help out and are available in more than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.
Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders (17 percent rostered)
Next up — @ DET, vs. PHI, @ DAL
Say what you will about Wentz, but he is a clear upgrade from Taylor Heinicke and whomever else Washington put under center last year. Yes, the mistakes will be there — he threw two interceptions against Jacksonville in Week 1 — but Wentz’s desire to take risks in the name of making big plays can lead to fantasy goodness. You saw this against the Jags as he dropped a dime to Terry McLaurin for a 49-yard TD and then followed that up with a nice toss to rookie Jahan Dotson for what was the game-winning score. Wentz finished with 313 yards and four touchdowns. He should be a worthwhile fantasy starter in those upcoming matchups that look fairly friendly on paper.
Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts (24 percent)
Next up — @ JAX, vs. KC, vs. TEN
Ryan, Wentz’s replacement in Indy, was brought in to give the Colts a different look from their error-prone predecessor. However, mistakes were a big part of Ryan’s Week 1 performance as he fumbled four times — losing two — and threw an interception. So, why should you add him for Week 2? For starters, he will get to see the defense that just allowed four scores to Wentz, and then shootout potential awaits him in the Colts’ home opener against Kansas City. Ryan has a true No. 1 wideout in the making in Michael Pittman, and all-world RB Jonathan Taylor helps keep defenses honest. Although his 2022 debut wasn’t great, Ryan will have better results in the near future.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (36 percent)
Next up — vs. TB, @ CAR, vs. MIN
It was nice that Jameis realized in the second half of Week 1’s win over the Falcons that Michael Thomas actually exists. Those two couldn’t connect before halftime, but then they got on the same page after the break, leading to a couple of short TDs from Winston to his top wideout. That gave Jameis a fairly useful fantasy stat line. He’ll face a very tall task in Week 2 against his former team and its elite defense. But with Thomas healthy and complemented by Jarvis Landry and Alvin Kamara, Winston has the options necessary to do damage versus any opponent.
Baker Mayfield, Carolina Panthers (14 percent)
Next up — @ NYG, vs. NO, vs. ARI
Another quarterback who needed a full half to expire before he got anything going, Mayfield ended up with 235 passing yards, two scores — one passing, one rushing — and an interception in his revenge-game loss to the Browns in Week 1. He also fumbled four times but didn’t lose any of them. Adding Mayfield isn’t exciting by any means, but look at those upcoming matchups. There is nothing to fear there, and a couple of them could be high-scoring contests. Considering how little DJ Moore and Christian McCaffrey were involved in the passing game, Mayfield could very well improve upon his 18-point fantasy performance moving forward.