A look at the quarterbacks on the waiver thread for week 5 in fantasy football leagues, ranked in our projection from lowest to highest priority.
5. Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers: A wait-and-see approach is advised with Bridgewater, simply because his career suggests firm boundaries that are unlikely to change anytime soon. He’s not a daring risk taker and takes little risk on the pitch, instead focusing on efficiency and a high percentage of passing that aligns well with the Panthers staff. Bridgewater’s buy-in in the fantasy suggests that touchdown volume could improve even further while investing in a Panthers squad which was a pleasant surprise under first-year coach Matt Rhule. Bridgewater’s numbers are unlikely to be flashy week-over-week, but looming clashes against the Falcons (Weeks 5 & 8) and Chiefs (Week 9) suggest he may be asked to level up. aggression and to score more.
4. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers: Herbert has probably shown more than enough to get coach Anthony Lynn to move past the idea of reinserting Tyrod Taylor into his starting lineup. The rookie was masterful in a Week 4 loss at Tampa Bay, completing 20 of 25 passes for 290 yards with three touchdowns and one interception while pushing fellow top quarterback Tom Brady to his limits in a losing effort. Herbert is now averaging 310 yards on his three starts while completing 72 percent of his passes and showing a big explosive arm. Add to that his ability to convert on short-term race odds, and Herbert has the legitimate tools to make an impact as a QB2 or as a substitute for the week off. Look for Lynn’s official word in the next few days about his Week 5 starter, but Herbert has shown too much to move him to the bench now.
3. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles: Wentz’s stock will likely never be lower than it is right now, as he takes a public beating and continues to try to cope with a suspicious team of receivers. Wentz deserves much of his criticism, but doesn’t seem in imminent danger of losing his job and is the playing force who can keep the Eagles’ offense respectable until Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Dallas Goedert and others can regain health. Wentz can run and improvise, which helps him perform better in fantasy than it looks in reality. A three-game straight streak with a rushed touchdown helps, but it also indicates how long it needs to go for the Eagles’ offense to actually find the end zone.
2. Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Minshew bubble burst in week 3, just as fantasy owners felt ready to lean on him as a potential QB1. The reality is, perhaps in hindsight, that this bubble should never have formed in the first place. Minshew is an aggressive risk taker in an attack that continues to outperform, but he’s far from immune to occasional poor performance. It’s also true that he could have been a rebound or two away from a much better performance in last week’s loss to Miami. Either way, Minshew recorded his third multi-touchdown performance in four starts in Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati and reinforced how much the Jacksonville offense will continue to rely on him. This is mostly a good thing, but Bad Mindshew is always inclined to go out without warning. It’s a high-risk, high-reward QB2 that should come in handy with the off season (and COVID risks) on the horizon.
1. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders: There are sexier options at the quarterback, absolutely, but Carr isn’t getting all the credit for the year he’s had so far either. The Raiders’ offense is more dynamic and exciting than initially expected, and Carr has passed 30 passing attempts and 239 yards in his four starts. He also has an 8-0 touchdown / interception ratio and a chance to be more dynamic as his wide receiver team begins to recover. Carr is a mid-level QB2 through the numbers alone and the numbers to continue producing respectable numbers that will only become more valuable in the weeks to come. Most of the remaining games on his schedule have shootout potential, including the Chiefs in weeks 5 and 11, the Bucs (week 7), the Browns (week 8), the Falcons (week 12) and the Jets (week 13).