Quarterback Stock Watch
With week five of the NFL season in the books, we have risers and fallers to discuss. We have big-name quarterbacks underperforming, and the waiver wire adds winning games for fantasy managers. Managers who struggle with subpar quarterback play will often find themselves in a hole challenging to climb out of. With bye weeks upon us, now is the perfect time to talk about a few quarterbacks whose stock is up and others that, unfortunately, are trending down.
Sorry, Kyle Trask truthers or Tampa tankers (those hoping to tank for Caleb Williams, and yes, I did make up that name), but Baker Mayfield doesn’t look as bad as we thought he would.
Regardless of how you feel about Baker Mayfield long-term, he’s played better than expected and has shown he can be a viable streaming option. Before his week 5 bye, he was QB13 in fantasy, and the Bucs have a 3-1 record to start the year. Barring injury, he’s not going anywhere. The fantasy community is still largely out on Mayfield, as he’s only rostered in 19% of Yahoo leagues. However, if his stock’s up, so is the stock for Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Fading Evans due to the arrival of Mayfield in redrafts was a mistake. Lesson learned: I’ll no longer be grading those players on a curve. Keep Mayfield in mind as a streaming option for upcoming bye weeks. And with his bye week now over, Mayfield is an ideal replacement player, with matchups against Atlanta and Tennessee await.
This rookie is off to a scorching start to his NFL Career. Throughout his first five games, Stroud has thrown for 1,461 yards and seven touchdowns with ZERO interceptions. Stroud is averaging 24 fantasy points per game over his last four starts and shows no sign of slowing down. Stroud is currently QB13 on the year and is owned in 76% of Yahoo Leagues. He’s getting production from an unlikely cast, with Tank Dell and Nico Collins leading the charge. The guy looks legit and can be a serviceable starter moving forward. Stroud has Arizona, Jacksonville, and Denver coming up on his schedule, which are favorable matchups for the rookie (all are top seven in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks). In shallower leagues, if you can still pick up Stroud, DO IT!
Stafford has his favorite weapon back in Cooper Kupp, and after a solid showing against the Eagles, the veteran quarterback should be on your radar with bye weeks underway. Stafford has two straight games with over 20 fantasy points, throwing for 541 yards with a combined 73 pass attempts. Although I like Stafford this week, I’m not saying to spend 30% of your FAAB on the 35-year-old quarterback, but with a favorable matchup against the Cardinals in week 6, he’s worth a spot start if searching for a bye-week replacement.
Those who have been banking on Daniel Jones’s rushing abilities are feeling the hurt. Jones has managed only one game over 30 fantasy points this year (week 2) while not registering more than 12 points in his other four contests. Jones’s rushing ability in past years made him a high upside/ low floor spot starter for your team. This year, the lack of scoring from the Giants offense should make any fantasy manager weary of starting Jones. On the year, the Giants are averaging only 255 yards on offense per game and have managed to score only five touchdowns. Until the Giants offense starts putting up some points, Jones belongs on waivers.
Since his game against Philadelphia, Jones has seen his stock fall dramatically. Thoughts of a better offense in 2023 quickly evaporated over the past few weeks as the Patriots failed to register a touchdown. Over the last two weeks, Jones has thrown four interceptions and 0 touchdowns. After being pulled in the third quarter against the Cowboys in week four and again against the Dolphins in week five, the jury is out on who should start for the Patriots in week six. Even if Bailey Zappe is under center, I’ve seen enough over the last few games to be ultimately out on this Patriots offense.
It pains me to say it, but there are better options to start than Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence is QB17 on the year and has yet to outperform his game-day projection on Yahoo. With the emergence of Jordan Love, Sam Howell, and C.J. Stroud as Trevor Lawrence owners, we will want one of these other quarterbacks on your roster. Even so, I still believe that better days are coming for Lawrence. A week six matchup against the Colts at home could get Lawrence back on track.
Nick Godwin has been playing fantasy football since 2010. He grew up right outside of Philadelphia. GO BIRDS!! You may have seen him in Underdog bestball drafts (ALWYSSTDY), or in other draft rooms under Always Steady. He plays fantasy to win and hopes to share his hot takes, talk strategies, and most importantly, help everyone win their championships. He’s always ready to talk all things dynasty, devy, redraft and IDP. As an avid fantasy fan, he spends most of his days mock drafting, getting in to best ball drafts, and preparing to dominate his home leagues.