That pushes a number of other names into the top-10 and starting contention for your fantasy squad.
To help you decide on if you should just use your backup, or stream a free agent gunslinger, I have ranked my top 20 quarterbacks for the week. You can also view my add/drops for the week and more positional rankings in the links below.
Cam Newton is due to put up some fantasy points. Despite facing a tough Los Angeles Rams defense, I like Cam Newton as an elite option. Newton does have some things going against him, with the Rams coming out of a bye week and holding Eli Manning without a score in Week 7, but I see Newton playing similar to Jameis Winston in Week 3. That week, Winston had 58 passing attempts for 405 yards and three scores against the Rams. I expect the Panthers to use a steady dose of Jonathan Stewart to keep the defense honest, while letting Newton do his thing inside, and outside, of the pocket. Through eight weeks last season, Newton had 11 passing touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also had four rushing touchdowns. This season he has eight passing scores and six interceptions through eight weeks. Last season, he went on to earn the NFL MVP by throwing 24 touchdowns against just two interceptions down the stretch. He also ran for six rushing scores in the second half. Newton begins his second half surge Sunday. Jameis Winston faces an Atlanta Falcons secondary allowing a league-high 19 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. The Falcons are also allowing the most fantasy points per game to the position. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback has thrown six touchdowns and just one interception in his last three games.
Dallas Cowboys rookie Dak Prescott was having a great season and now he gets back one of the league’s best wide receivers, in Dez Bryant. Prescott also gets gifted a Cleveland Browns secondary that is tied with the Falcons for giving up the most touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. The Browns are also giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to the position. While somewhat reckless with the football [10 turnovers in his last three games], Prescott is a threat for a big play nearly every snap. I love Bryant in this matchup, meaning that Prescott has a shot at multiple touchdown passes and is a solid fantasy start or bye week fill-in. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick also deserves a look if you need a bye week fill-in or are just desperate at the position. Kaepernick was a big waiver-wire pickup this week because of his ability to churn up rushing yards and chuck the ball downfield. Even though he isn’t a great real-life quarterback, those traits make him a viable streaming start, especially against a New Orleans Saints secondary allowing the tenth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford typically hasn’t lit up the scoreboard with big plays, but he is an interesting option against the Detroit Lions. The Lions are tied with the Falcons and Browns with a league-high 19 touchdowns surrendered to quarterbacks. The Lions are the second-worst defense against the position. Bradford is a fringe starter for me, mostly because of the matchup. Browns quarterback Josh McCown had three turnovers in his Week 8 return, but did throw for 341 yards and two scores. You can expect similar numbers from him against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have allowed 11 touchdowns to quarterbacks this season. I expect most of McCown’s fantasy value to come in garbage time, after the Cowboys put the Browns away early with its sturdy running back attack.