Fantasy owners everywhere are in search of a starting quarterback in Week 5 as byes are starting. Here are some bridge quarterbacks to consider.
Week 5 could be a tough fantasy football week for quarterbacks. Some big-name quarterbacks like Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins and Trevor Siemian are all on byes. Also, Derek Carr will not play this weekend and Marcus Mariota‘s status is still uncertain, both due to injury.
Week 5 presents some fantasy football owners with great starts, but these players are all owned in most leagues. Aaron Rodgers is always a good start, especially against the Dallas Cowboys, who struggle in pass defense. Although, if you don’t already own one of these Week 5 fantasy must-starts, byes and injuries may have you resorting to either your bench or the waivers for your starting quarterback.
Many fantasy owners are heading into Week 5 with issues at quarterback and may want to consider a one-week “bridge quarterback,” somebody to start as a one-week rental. These may not be the five best players to start overall, but rather the top five potential one-week bridge quarterbacks for Week 5. Odds are at least a few, or possibly even all of these quarterbacks are available in your fantasy league.
Next: 5. The bridge man himself
5. Josh McCown
It would only be fitting that the No. 5 bridge quarterback is the bridge-man himself. Here’s a surprising stat on Josh McCown, he’s got the second highest completion percentage in the league, behind only Alex Smith.
McCown, as we all expected, has been a sub-par fantasy quarterback, not even worthy of a spot on your bench. McCown’s top fantasy performance came in a Week 2 loss to Oakland, where he put up 15.7 fantasy points. Coming as little-to-no surprise, he’s available in nearly all fantasy leagues.
Another interesting McCown stat – he’s been great against the blitz. This year, against the blitz, McCown has completed 75 percent of passes, at a rate of 9.6 yards per attempt, with no interceptions. This will play into McCown’s favor against the Browns, as they have the fourth-highest blitz rate in the NFL at 37.1 percent.
Furthermore, the Browns defense has been generous in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks, fourth-most in the league. This same Browns defense allowed Jacoby Brissett to score 27.8 fantasy points, and also allowed 28.3 fantasy points to Andy Dalton. Throughout his career, McCown has been referred to as a “journeyman,” or a “bridge quarterback.” The same goes for McCown in fantasy, as you’ll likely be able to drop him after Sunday. While he may not be your “franchise quarterback,” McCown serves as a great one-game bridge quarterback for Week 5.
Next: 4. Don't let his slow start scare you
4. Philip Rivers
So far, 2017 has been an abysmal year for Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers. Not only are they 0-4, but Rivers has yet to eclipse 20 fantasy points in a single game. There was once a time where Rivers was essentially a must-start every week, now he’s available in over a third of ESPN leagues.
The New York Giants could be an intimidating matchup for Rivers and his fantasy owners, as they’re loaded with talent on defense. Although, surprisingly, they’ve allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Last week, the Giants allowed Jameis Winston to tear them up, scoring 26.5 fantasy points. In addition, Rivers is 2-0 against the man he was traded for, Eli Manning. In both matchups, Rivers threw for three touchdowns.
While Rivers and the Chargers have struggled immensely thus far, this is still an offense with a lot of firepower. They have a hard-running running back in Melvin Gordon, and some dangerous weapons in Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, and Travis Benjamin. We can expect big games from Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates, as the Giants have struggled to defend tight ends. Regardless of who comes out on top, fans can expect a shoot-out between these two 0-4 teams. Playing in a high-scoring game will benefit Rivers, making him a great bridge quarterback to play for Week 5.
Next: 3. A boom or bust QB
3. Jacoby Brissett
Jacoby Brissett has begun to really make a name for himself this year. He’s mostly been making the safe throws, and his running ability heightens his floor and presents some upside.
Brissett has already shown us what he can do against a weak defense when he put up 27.8 fantasy points in Week 3 against Cleveland. The 49ers present Brissett with a good matchup, as they’ve allowed the 11th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
For Brissett, his running ability adds a huge element from a match-up standpoint. He’s shown us that he has a nose for the end-zone by rushing for two touchdowns against Cleveland. For a player like Brissett, points scored by running the ball guarantee you a 2-3 point cushion on your floor, with endless upside.
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In their past two games, the 49ers defense has allowed Jared Goff to throw for three touchdowns and Carson Palmer to throw for 357 yards. Brissett is ultimately a “boom or bust” type of player. He could put up huge numbers, or do absolutely nothing. This could be why he’s still available in nearly 90 percent of ESPN leagues. Brissett will eventually be worth nothing upon the return of Andrew Luck, but he could be a good desperation-start for Week 5.
Next: 2. It wouldn't be his first big game this year...
2. Brian Hoyer
Brian Hoyer is another guy who most of us probably don’t own on their fantasy team. He’s available in 94 percent of ESPN leagues, but he proved he can put up a big game in Week 3 when he scored 26.2 points against the Los Angeles Rams.
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If there is any game that makes Hoyer a great start, it’s his Week 5 match-up against the Colts. The Colts have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year. While the 49ers offense is certainly questionable, a battle between two bad teams gives Hoyer some potential this week.
In the same week that Hoyer put up big numbers against the Rams, the Colts defense surrendered 22.1 points to DeShone Kizer. Last week, we saw what an experienced quarterback could do against them when Russell Wilson scored 27.6 fantasy points.
Hoyer, a veteran himself, is presented with a great opportunity to put up big numbers and to get the 49ers their first win on the season. If you’re experiencing some Week 5 quarterback woes, Hoyer could be a one-week-wonder for your fantasy team this week.
Next: 1. This guy has put up huge numbers the past two weeks
1. Eli Manning
Eli Manning and the New York Giants have struggled immensely so far this year, as they’ve yet to win a game. Despite their poor team performances, Manning is the 11th highest-scoring fantasy quarterback this year. Oddly so, he’s still available in about 40 percent of ESPN leagues.
Manning has been hot in fantasy these past two weeks, scoring 22.6 points against the Eagles and 27.7 against the Buccaneers. He’s scored at least three touchdowns in the past two weeks and averaged over 300 yards per game.
As far as the Chargers defense goes, they’re relatively middle-of-the-road in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Trevor Siemian was the only quarterback to score over 20 points, doing so back in Week 1. Other than that, Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, and Carson Wentz have all fallen into the 13-15 point range against the Chargers.
The Giant’s lack of a run-game means that they’ll have to depend on Manning for any shot at winning this game. He’s averaged 41.5 attempts per game, giving him plenty of opportunities to make plays and score points. Considering his availability and excellent play as of late, Manning becomes the number one bridge quarterback to get you through Week 5.