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Fantasy football: QBs worth adding are plentiful after Week 1

Alex Smith, Tyrod Taylor and Case Keenum are widely available but could be better options than more common starters.

Alex Smith has been one of the most

Alex Smith has been one of the most consistent QB in fantasy football for more than a year. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Norm Hall

Most fantasy football pundits preach the value of RBs and WRs throughout the draft process, downplaying the need to go take a QB too early.

The main reason a QB doesn’t need to be a major draft priority is the fact that, in 10- or 12-team leagues, so many talented passers can be found on the waiver wire to replace underperforming quarterbacks. It’s a buyers market, plain and simple.

With such a surplus, here’s a look at some of the top QBs who entered Tuesday available to claim in at least a quarter of ESPN leagues, for those feeling skittish about Aaron Rodgers’ (Packers) injury or Matthew Stafford’s (Lions) four INTs against the Jets on Monday.

Alex Smith (Washington)

ESPN percent owned: 73.4

The former No. 1 pick shook the bust label years ago, but he remains underappreciated. He posted Sunday his ninth game of 17 or more fantasy points since the start of 2017, tied with Tom Brady (Patriots), Drew Brees (Saints) and Cam Newton (Panthers) for fourth in that span. He’s a safe long-term solution at the position.

Tyrod Taylor (Browns)

ESPN percent owned: 37.9

His passing numbers weren’t flashy in the opening week tie against the Steelers, but his eight carries for 77 yards and a TD buoyed his value. That’s about as good as it gets on the ground for a QB, but he’s capable of similar production in the future. Just be wary of 2018 top pick Baker Mayfield waiting in the wings.

Case Keenum (Broncos)

ESPN percent owned: 13.1

The new Denver signal caller produced like a bona fide fantasy starter this week, passing his first test after emerging as a viable NFL quarterback with the Vikings last year. His three interceptions against the Seahawks are troubling, though, after tossing only seven in all of 2017. It’s OK to give him one more week to show what he’s got before adding him.

Joe Flacco (Ravens)

ESPN percent owned: 4.2

Maybe the soft matchup against the Bills is the cause, but the fact is the one-time Super Bowl champion put up 20 points in a nearly flawless effort. His rebuilt receiver corps was a boon, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he keeps rookie Lamar Jackson at bay all season. He’s too valuable to be available in virtually all leagues.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buccaneers)

ESPN percent owned: 1.9

Less than 1 percent of fantasy managers benefited from his 42-point surge Sunday against the Saints by starting him. That number is bound to increase, even if the Harvard alumnus and NFL journeyman won’t approach that single-game production again. He’s historically boom or bust, but one could do worse at the position than Fitz.

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