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2020 Quarterback Bye Week Guide (Fantasy Football)

Jun 28, 2020

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Geoff Lambert breaks down every bye week of the season and gives you the best options for your bye week fill-in quarterback.

This piece is part of our article program that features quality content from experts exclusively at FantasyPros. For more insight from Geoff, head over to

Bye weeks.

Some feel you should avoid loading up on players that have the same week off during the season. Others believe that embracing the bye and sacrificing that week for the good of the rest of your season is the way to go.

Whatever your approach, we’re here to guide you through the bye weeks of the 2020 NFL season. We have our Bye Week Cheat Sheet, which groups players according to their 2020 bye weeks. Players are ordered based on their Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR).

While the Bye Week Cheat Sheet looks at all fantasy-relevant positions, this article is focusing on quarterbacks. Streaming the quarterback position is touted by many, but some leagues don’t afford owners the luxury of carrying a single quarterback throughout the season. Instead, you may need to add a backup during your draft given a lack of options on the waiver wire. Beyond this article, you can check out our Quarterback-By-Committee (QBBC) Finder for even more analysis and advice.

If that’s the case, or if you are just trying to get a sense of which signal-callers should provide more bye-week fill-in options, this article is for you. Below you’ll find our 2020 Quarterback Bye Week Guide.

Complete early mock drafts using our free draft simulator >>

Week 5

Fantasy Starting QBs: Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford

With only Rodgers and Stafford on a bye this week, there is no reason to draft a QB2 in a standard-sized league, as you will have plenty of options to choose from with no one else looking to add signal-callers. My favorite of this group is probably Derek Carr. The Raiders went out and got Carr a few more weapons in this offense in Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, and Lynn Bowden. A matchup with the Chiefs means the Raiders are likely to play catchup the entire game, and that could lead to 50-plus passes from Carr. Say what you will about Carr, he has done well over his career to avoid interceptions. While he won’t take many risks, he won’t hurt you as a one-week filler.

Teddy Bridgewater is another guy who won’t hurt you, but he has little to no upside. Known always as a game-manager in his career, expect a ton of safe throws to the likes of Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore. On the plus side, McCaffrey and Moore are capable of turning a short reception into a long gain. Atlanta’s offense will be good enough that the Panthers will have to score in this game, and the Falcons defense was ranked 23rd last season.

Here are all of your options for Week 5:

  1. Derek Carr (LV) at KC
  2. Gardner Minshew (JAC) at HOU
  3. Teddy Bridgewater (CAR) at ATL
  4. Philip Rivers (IND) at CLE
  5. Tyrod Taylor (LAC) at NO

Week 6

Fantasy Starting QBs: Russell Wilson, Drew Brees

Here’s another week with only two quarterbacks that are likely starters in Wilson and Brees. Drew Lock is by far my favorite option this week, however, the hype around Lock might push another owner to draft him — so it’s possible he won’t be available. After Lock, I really like Philip Rivers at home against the Bengals. Rivers has been known to throw interceptions, but he is also the type to not let it phase him, and he’ll continue to air it out. The Bengals defense ranked 25th last year, and with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow under center for the Bengals, the Colts may get some short fields on turnovers.

Here are all of your options for Week 6:

  1. Dwayne Haskins (WAS) at NYG
  2. Gardner Minshew (JAC) vs. DET
  3. Philip Rivers (IND) vs. CIN
  4. Sam Darnold (NYJ) at LAC
  5. Drew Lock (DEN) vs. MIA

Week 7

Fantasy Starting QBs: Kirk Cousins, Philip Rivers, Ryan Tannehill

There exists a scenario in which none of these three quarterbacks are starters, but they are within the top-24, so you may need to look to the wire for some help in Superflex leagues. Unfortunately, it’s an ugly week for the wire quarterbacks. As mentioned before, Lock is likely on a roster already, but he’d be my first choice if he were on the wire. Tyrod Taylor and the “Dolphins QB” — whoever that might be — would be my other quarterbacks of choice. Taylor gives you a solid floor with his rushing ability. Ryan Fitzpatrick could throw six touchdowns (or six interceptions), and Tua Tagovailoa could be good enough at home versus the Chargers if he is starting by Week 7.

Here are all of your options for Week 7:

  1. Teddy Bridgewater (CAR) at NO
  2. Tyrod Taylor (LAC) at MIA
  3. Derek Carr (LV) vs. TB
  4. Drew Lock (DEN) vs. KC
  5. Joe Burrow (CIN) vs. CLE
  6. Dolphins QB (MIA) vs. LAC

Week 8

Fantasy Starting QBs: Ben Roethlisberger, Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson, Drew Lock, Lamar Jackson

This is the biggest week for byes among the top quarterbacks with Jackson, Watson, and Murray all top-5 options. If you’re drafting one of these signal-callers, you may want to invest in a QB2 like Jared Goff at the Dolphins or Ryan Tannehill at the Bengals. However, if you do choose to hit the wire, you are not without options. Tyrod Taylor and Sam Darnold top my list for this week. Taylor gets a good matchup with the Jaguars in L.A., and he gives you a solid floor with his rushing ability. Darnold plays the Chiefs and will likely be forced to throw a ton, which isn’t always a good thing for him, but the Jets will have to score if they want to keep pace with the Legion of Zoom — the Kansas City Chiefs.

Here are all of your options for Week 8:

  1. Teddy Bridgewater (CAR) vs. ATL
  2. Dolphins QB vs. LAR
  3. Sam Darnold (NYJ) at KC
  4. Derek Carr (LV) at CLE
  5. Tyrod Taylor (LAC) vs. JAC
  6. Gardner Minshew (JAC) at LAC
  7. Nick Foles (CHI) vs. NO

Week 9

Fantasy Starting QBs: Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield, Joe Burrow

Carson Wentz is the only QB on this list currently being drafted as a QB1, but any of the other three could be a QB1 by this point in the season, so I went ahead and listed them. Week 9 has a ton of good options on the wire, my favorite being Drew Lock in a juicy matchup in the Atlanta dome against a poor Falcons defense. Weather won’t be a factor, and we will know at this point if Lock is the real deal.

Unfortunately, if Lock is the real deal, then there’s a good chance that he isn’t on the wire anymore. If that’s the case, I’d be looking to whoever the Dolphins QB is. The Cardinals’ defense is terrible, at least on paper, and their offense will be fast-paced, giving the Dolphins more possessions.

Here are all of your options for Week 9:

  1. Dwayne Haskins (WAS) vs. NYG
  2. Teddy Bridgewater (CAR) at KC
  3. Gardner Minshew (JAC) vs. HOU
  4. Drew Lock (DEN) at ATL
  5. Dolphins QB at ARI

Week 10

Fantasy Starting QBs: Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott, Matt Ryan

This will be a huge week for waiver-wire quarterbacks, as we have three studs in Mahomes, Prescott, and Ryan — all three being drafted in the top-10, with Prescott and Mahomes in the top-three. Compounding the issue is the fact that there aren’t a ton of good options on the wire. If you own one of these guys you may want to add a waiver-wire option a week early, before the other players realize the scarcity of wire quarterbacks. If forced to pick a favorite, it would be either Sam Darnold in Miami or Miami’s starter against the Jets. Haskins in the dome in Detriot isn’t terrible, especially if the other games have any weather issues. We’ll know by Week 10 if Haskins is good enough to be a bye week fill-in, and if he isn’t, it could be Kyle Allen getting the start.

Here are all of your options for Week 10:

  1. Gardner Minshew (JAC) atGB
  2. Dwayne Haskins (WAS) at DET
  3. Sam Darnold (NYJ) at MIA
  4. Dolphins QB vs. NYJ

Week 11

Fantasy Starting QBs: Jimmy Garoppolo, Daniel Jones, Josh Allen

Josh Allen is the only sure-fire QB1 in this group, but I’m high on Daniel Jones, and I can definitely see him as a top-12 quarterback at this point in the season. Jimmy Garoppolo would only be starting for you if there are some other injuries, but in Week 11, that’s entirely possible.  The options this week are horrendous. You have a rookie quarterback in Burrow, a second-year guy with lots of question marks in Haskins, a career game-manager and a guy that has been healthy for a handful of games over the last few years in Bridgewater, and the “safe” captain check-down quarterback Derek Carr. You may want to make plans before this week if you’re an Allen or Jones owner.

Here are all of your options for Week 11:

  1. Joe Burrow (CIN) at WAS
  2. Dwayne Haskins (WAS) vs. CIN
  3. Teddy Bridgewater (CAR) vs. DET
  4. Derek Carr (LV) vs. KC

Week 13

Fantasy Starting QBs: Tom Brady

With only one quarterback on bye, you will have your pick of the litter. The Dolphins and Jets play again this week, so any of the quarterbacks from this game would be viable. Minshew at home against the Browns isn’t a bad option, and even Joe Burrow at home against the lowly Giants defense could do just fine.

  1. Sam Darnold (NYJ) vs. MIA
  2. Dolphins QB @ NYJ
  3. Gardner Minshew (JAC) vs. CLE
  4. Joe Burrow (CIN) vs. NYG

Complete early mock drafts using our free draft simulator >>

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