Best Fantasy Bye Week Replacement QBs to Target
Before I really jump into this, I first want to mention that I personally am not one to select two QBs in a redraft league. That said, at some point, you will need to pick up a Quarterback to fill in for that dreaded Bye week. It’s really up to you whether you want to take a shot at a backup QB in the draft or wait until you absolutely need a QB to try and grab one off waivers.
So first, let’s dive into which weeks will be the worst for Bye week QBs so we can see who will be available during that time.
Teams on BYE Effected
QBs Affected (Predicted Fantasy Relevant Starters)
Carolina, Cincinnati, Dallas, NY Jets, Tennessee, Houston
Joe Burrow, Dak Prescott, Aaron Rodgers
Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia, LA Rams
Patrick Mahomes, Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts, Matthew Stafford
Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Minnesota, NY Giants, Las Vegas
Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Justin Fields, Kirk Cousins
So the above table should cover a majority of Quarterbacks who will be drafted. Justin Herbert and the Chargers have a Week 5 Bye, and Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars have a Week 9 Bye. But since Weeks 7, 10, and 13 have a lot of relevant QBs on Bye, you may need to plan ahead to grab a backup QB before your league mates do.
So let’s see what QBs are available during those Bye weeks, and maybe look a bit at potential matchups. Disclaimer: defenses are hard to predict year to year so “matchups” will be based on previous year defense. Also no one knows who will be injured/traded over the season, so take this all with a grain of salt.
ADPs come from our 12-team PPR ADP.
Geno Smith – Seattle Seahawks
- Week 7 – Home vs Arizona
- Week 10 – Home vs Washington
- Week 13 (Thursday night) – @ Dallas
Geno Smith had one of the most surprising seasons in the NFL and for fantasy in 2022, and figuring it wasn’t a glitch, he should be one of the better Bye week fill-in QBs this season.
Smith put up 4282 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, with quite a few games that would have left you pretty happy if you started him in fantasy.
Now Smith is currently being drafted in 12-team PPR leagues, but has a pretty decent ADP. He’s the 21st QB off the board and is going in round 13.
I don’t love his matchups during those Bye weeks I mentioned above, but the Arizona and Dallas games should both be decent matchups.
If you want Smith, you may need to snag him late in the draft, but there is a solid chance he goes through undrafted.
Jared Goff – Detroit Lions
- Week 7 – @ Baltimore
- Week 10 – @ LA Chargers
- Week 13 - @ New Orleans
Jared Goff was another surprise QB in 2022, throwing for 4438 yards and 29 touchdowns in a pretty good season for the Lions.
They almost made the playoffs, and really have a shot at taking the NFC North in 2023 (I’m actually serious). Goff is being drafted in the 11th round as the 16th QB off the board, so he is another QB that you may have to draft if you want to ensure he is a backup option.
This schedule is another that isn’t great, but really Baltimore and New Orleans’ defenses haven’t been as good as they used to be. And the Charger defense was a disaster last year, so figuring things stay mostly the same, Goff is a pretty solid Bye week fill-in. Add to that the Lions’ defense still needs to prove a lot, so if they are still bad, Goff will have to keep throwing.
Russel Wilson – Denver Broncos
- Week 7 – Home vs Green Bay
- Week 10 (Monday night) – @ Buffalo
- Week 13 - @ Houston
I’ll put it bluntly: Russel Wilson stunk last year. So much hype last offseason didn’t help the situation, as most fantasy players used a decently high draft pick on him just to drop him a few weeks into the season.
But I’m prepared to get hurt again. The Broncos somehow (cough $$$$ cough) got Sean Payton out of retirement to be the new Head Coach. Now I can see it going both ways, but Payton’s offense in New Orleans makes me excited to see what happens in Denver. Now Wilson is no Drew Brees, but he’s shown he can be a huge fantasy asset, so I’ll give him another chance.
That said, it seems like others feel the same way. He is the 13th QB off the board and is going in the tenth round, meaning he is probably going to be drafted as a potential starter by someone who thinks Payton will unlock Wilson again.
If you really worry about your Bye week QB, Wilson is really the only one I think is worth actually drafting (as your backup) in hopes he could actually become a viable starter each week.
Jordan Love – Green Bay
- Week 7 – @ Denver
- Week 10 – @ Pittsburgh
- Week 13 (Sunday Night) – Home vs Kansas City
Well, it may not be the prettiest schedule, but Jordan Love is an intriguing fantasy QB this season. He has shown glimpses of being a decent QB, but we really don’t have enough data to verify. He did go 4 of 5 for 65 yards in Week 1 against Minnesota, and went 6 of 9 for 113 yards and one touchdown in Week 12 against the Eagles. In his rookie season, he started one game where he went 19 of 34 for 190 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception.
Depending on your league, Love may not be drafted (in my league full of Cheeseheads, he will for sure go wayyy too early). Right now, Love is the 24th QB off the board and is going in round 14.
The Packers have a ton of young talent, but that means the offense is going to be pretty raw. It may take a few weeks, but if Love comes out firing, you better scoop him up quick before the Bye weeks.
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