We’re into the fantasy football playoffs, and ideally, we wouldn’t worry about streaming players or looking for sleeper quarterbacks. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is tearing through the NFL right now, which means players are falling into the protocol on a moment-to-moment basis. If you’re left without a good quarterback option because of COVID-19, or Lamar Jackson’s injury, or Jalen Hurts’ injury, then never fear. We have you covered with some sleeper quarterbacks for week fifteen. To make this list, two players need to be available in at least 50% of leagues. The third of these three sleeper quarterbacks is available in at least 90% of leagues. Without further ado, let’s get to the first round of the fantasy football playoffs and the sleeper players under center.
Tua Tagovailoa at Baltimore (47% rostered)
Tua and the Dolphins sat out last week, part of the last bye week of the season. Prior to that point, he had been up-and-down, depending on the matchup. He scored 18.5 points against the Jets in week 11, 18 against the Giants in week 13, but just 13.2 against the Panthers in week twelve. He’s an extremely smart and efficient QB lately, completing 80% of his passes over the last three games. It all comes down to opponent and touchdowns, as his one touchdown in week twelve buried him against the Panthers.
Luckily, he gets the Jets. They are the sixth-best matchup over the last five weeks, and they have allowed at least 16 fantasy points to all quarterback comers since Teddy Bridgewater scored 11.8 fantasy points in week three. They’re a defensive sieve, with every QB going back to Matt Ryan in week five scoring two touchdowns against them.
Jimmy Garoppolo versus Atlanta (34% rostered)
Handsome James Garoppolo is the fantasy QB6 over the last five weeks. It’s not like he’s been particularly good, but you don’t have to be particularly good when you can throw the ball to George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel, instead. Garoppolo has two touchdowns in five of his last six weeks, including games against prospective playoff teams like Arizona, the Rams, and the Bengals.
This week, Garoppolo gets the Falcons. They’re technically “in the hunt” at 6-7, but they’re winning over teams like the Jaguars and Panthers, and getting smashed by the Buccaneers, Patriots, and Cowboys. So, they’re paper tigers. Probably because they’re truly dreadful against QBs, allowing the second-most fantasy points on the season to the position. The combination of Cam Newton and PJ Walker had over 20 fantasy points last week, and only Mac Jones failed to get at least 18 fantasy points against them in their last five games.
Davis Mills at Jacksonville (3% rostered)
The man is now tied for ninth in “most 300+ yard passing days by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.” Sure, it’s just three games, but if he can pull off the fourth game, he joins rarified air like Peyton Manning, Warren Moon, and Carson Wentz. Davis Mills has been more than serviceable when he gets the call wire-to-wire against marginal defenses. He wiped the floor with the Patriots in week five and was great in week eight against the Rams. Unfortunately, the Bills, Colts, and Cardinals wiped the floor with him, giving him a very up-and-down rookie year.
Luckily, he gets the Jags this week. I would definitely classify the minor mutiny with the Jags as a reason to believe they won’t come to play. Also, being the Jacksonville Jaguars leads me to believe that they won’t be coming to play. The Jags give up the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks but that’s because teams don’t need to throw on them. Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Ryan Tannehill failed to notch big games against them, but that’s because Cordarrelle Patterson, Jonathan Taylor, Elijah Mitchell, and D’Onta Foreman all carried the load. That won’t happen this weekend, not with the Texans down to the mat with Royce Freeman and a freshly-COVIDed David Johnson as their main options this weekend.