Fantasy Football Week 4: QB Sleepers Who Will Lead You to Victory

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystSeptember 24, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

It's Week 4 of the 2013 NFL season, and that means the enemy of fantasy football enthusiasts everywhere has returned.

The dreaded bye weeks.

Granted, only two teams are on a bye this week. However, given that those teams are the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers, at least two teams in every league are going to be looking for a starting quarterback this week.

Now, maybe you're a Cam Newton owner who planned ahead. You could also be an Aaron Rodgers owner who didn't even bother to draft a backup under center.

Whether you're a member of the latter group or just in search of a one-week plug-in passer, here's a trio of quarterbacks who should be set for decent fantasy outings this week.


Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. NYG)

You aren't going to get any style points with Alex Smith as your fantasy starter. Of course, style points don't count in fantasy football any more than in the NFL.

Despite the fact that he's deathly allergic to downfield passes and has averaged fewer than six yards per attempt, Smith has quietly averaged just over 20 fantasy points per game in CBS Sports Default Scoring (25 yards per point, six points for passing touchdowns).

This week the undefeated Chiefs play host to the reeling New York Giants, who have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year according to ESPN.

That's not a fantastic matchup, but what you lose in upside with Smith you gain back in the knowledge that he isn't going to cost you points either. That's especially attractive if your fantasy league punishes heavily for interceptions.


Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders (vs. WAS)

Okay, after watching the Oakland Raiders get their hats handed to them by the Denver Broncos, the prospect of starting Terrelle Pryor this week may not seem all that appealing.

However, there are a couple of important considerations to bear in mind here.

The first is that Pryor doesn't have to win his game for you to win yours.  Even in the beating against the Broncos, Pryor managed to put up 20.8 points in fantasy leagues that award six points for passing touchdowns. He's averaged over 18 fantasy points a game in that scoring.

Even more importantly, in Week 4 the Raiders face the Washington Redskins.

The Redskins defense (if you can call it that) has allowed an eye-popping 488 yards a game through three weeks. They've also allowed a whopping 30 fantasy points per game to the quarterback position according to ESPN.

Matchups just don't get any better than that, so cross your fingers that Pryor is able to play after reportedly suffering a concussion late against Denver, per Rotoworld.


Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (at NO)

This spot-start isn't for the faint of heart. The Superdome isn't the most hospitable place to play. The Superdome for a night game is even worse.

Add that to Tannehill's rather pedestrian fantasy production so far this season (16.7 fantasy points per game), and it may seem that we're grasping at straws with the second-year pro.

It may well be that we are, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.

However, the odds are pretty good that Tannehill and the Dolphins will be forced to the air. Drew Brees and the Saints tend to have that effect on opponents.

The youngster has shown considerable improvement in that regard this year, including 236 passing yards and two scores in last week's win over Atlanta.

Two hundred and fifty yards and two touchdowns isn't a crazy estimate against the Saints, and even with an interception thrown in a nearly 20-point effort is about all you can ask from an emergency start.