Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans
Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%
We’ve not overrating Mariota’s 4-TD (3 passing, 1 rushing) day against a hapless Dolphins defense. But he has another favorable draw in Week 6 vs. Cleveland.
The Browns have allowed 2+ TDs to all 5 QBs they’ve faced so far and 3 in each of their last 3. And beyond Cleveland’s visit sits an attractive slate of matchups that doesn’t present a worrisome defense until December – after Tennessee’s Week 13 bye.
Indy and then Jacksonville follow Cleveland to town. And if Mariota performs like a fantasy starter through that 3-game stretch, he should be usable at San Diego, vs. Green Bay, at Indy and at Chicago.
Even after a Week 14 meeting with the Broncos, there’s a shot he’ll be useful at Kansas City and Jacksonville in the final 2 fantasy weeks for most leagues. Bottom line: Mariota’s worth keeping around as an option for the foreseeable future.
Brian Hoyer, QB, Bears
Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%
Three starts, 3 games of 300+ yards and 2 TDs. Hoyer racked up 397 yards, 2 scores and 0 INTs on 33-of-43 passing in Sunday’s loss to the Colts.
HC John Fox said last week that he wouldn’t be “likely to change” out any starter that’s performing well, and that would describe Hoyer’s play since Jay Cutler went down with a thumb injury. Fox also has reportedly tried to trade Cutler in the past, so there’s some background of distrusting the incumbent.
The Bears have 2 more plus matchups coming up against the Jaguars and Packers. Those defenses entered the week ranked 26th and 29th, respectively, in fantasy points allowed to QBs.