With six teams on bye this week, we have some important decisions to make. The teams out this week are the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders. Included in those six teams are elite, decent, and rookie quarterbacks that we will be without. The absences that sting the most are Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Fields. Don’t worry, though, we have plenty of good options this week and will make it through to Week 14.
This week in particular, I think the best option is not to spend up for the quarterback position and to save salary for the wide receiver and tight end position. There are plenty of options all over the board for running backs, so do what you want with them as salary allows. I will highlight quarterbacks this week that are lower in salary and you should consider starting them. I will also mention a couple that I will be fading this week.
Value Quarterback Targets
Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos ($5,700)
Russell has only scored 20 fantasy points in two games this season, but he still averages 20.4 per game. His schedule in the past four weeks has been tough, but, despite the tough matchups, Denver has won the last five games in a row, and Wilson has multiple touchdowns in three of his past four contests. If we look at the matchup against the Texans, we should assume this game has the potential to be a shootout. They have allowed quarterbacks to score 23 fantasy points or more in each of their last four games and give up the sixth-most passing yards per game at 266.1. Wilson has also started running again and scored his first rushing touchdown of the season last week. In fact, Russell has run for at least 21 or more yards in six of his last seven contests. Wilson Laso leads the league in check-down rate at 20.1%, which has helped his interception rate drop from 2.3% last season to 1.3% this season. There will be a lot of pass attempts in this game, so Wilson’s arm paired with his legs could be a very beneficial and low-owned combination to take advantage of.
Sam Howell, Washington Commanders ($6,200)
This is anticipated to be another potential shootout game on both sides of the ball. Howell has passed for 3,339 yards, rushed for 222 yards, and racked up 21 touchdowns on the season so far. Sam averages 41 passing attempts per game and has thrown for 300 or more yards in five games and 290 or more seven times. The Dolphins are giving up the 16th-most fantasy points per game and the eighth-most passing touchdowns per game at 1.5. Howell will have to throw a lot in this game to keep it close, but he may have a little bit more time to get rid of the ball as Miami’s pass rusher Jaelan Phillips is out with an Achilles injury. Howell is another lower-priced quarterback that will get you points and leave salary for other pieces on this slate.
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers ($5,100)
The Steelers have an implied total of 23.5 points and are going up against an Arizona Cardinals defense that can’t stop a thing. Prior to the letting go of OC Matt Canada, Pickett had only cleared 16 fantasy points once in his first eleven games. Out went Canada, and in came a sparked-up Steelers offense that immediately cleared more than 400 yards for the first time since the 2020 playoffs. Kenny has still only thrown for just one touchdown in the last six starts, but if he can do what Stafford did to this Arizona defense, he will be well worth rostering on your lineup. I don’t know how Pickett won’t be able to take advantage here.
Value Quarterbacks To Fade
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals ($7,000)
Kyler has played well in the last three games since returning from his torn ACL, but he faces a really tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense that has only allowed one quarterback to score more than 16 fantasy points since Week 4, including matchups with Lamar Jackson and Trevor Lawrence. Pittsburgh’s rush defense should also be able to stop the running upside of Murray, making him way too expensive for his projected output in this game. There are way better and cheaper options this week. Don’t try and force Kyler into your lineups. If you want to play one of his pass catchers, you can do so without stacking.
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams ($5,900)
Stafford just played his best game this season against the Arizona Cardinals, but that is going to be very difficult to replicate against the Cleveland Browns, who allow the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Joe Burrow, Brock Purdy, and Lamar Jackson all struggled against the Browns, and Stafford will also this week. Look to the Rams’ run game for any leverage here.