Thursday fantasy fliers, Week 5: Brian Hoyer and Robert Woods

Andy Behrens
October 3, 2013

We've got four NFL teams on bye this week — Washington, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Minnesota — and two of them employ fantasy-relevant quarterbacks. Thus, many of you should be in the market for a placeholder QB.

If you need a one-week rental at our game's highest-scoring position, then it's time to embrace the dude pictured above. He's tossed five TD passes over the past two weeks, leading his team to a pair of wins, throwing for 590 yards. And yet he remains unowned in well over 80 percent of Yahoo leagues, because you guys refuse to kick players like Flacco, Smith, and Bradford to the curb.

QB Brian Hoyer, Cle (14 percent owned) – For starters, Hoyer is the guy who gets to throw to Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon. He's in a friendly situation, fantasy-wise. The Browns are currently tied for the league lead in pass attempts (45.8 per game), so volume clearly isn't a problem here. Hoyer completed 25 of 38 throws for 269 yards and two scores against Mike Zimmer's defense; this week's matchup isn't nearly as scary. The Bills remain without corner Stephon Gilmore (wrist), and Jairus Byrd is still dealing with plantar fasciitis. The Thursday game is rarely a fantasy bonanza, but Hoyer remains a decent bet for, say, 240 yards and two scores. I'm starting him in a pair of deeper leagues this week, and I've ranked him as a top-16 option, ahead of Luck, Dalton, Bradford, Palmer and various others.

I don't need Hoyer to match the hype that Shaun King has been spreading. (Actual quote: "He's this year's Kurt Warner!") But I'm hoping Hoyer can give us something like a Derrek-Anderson-in-'07 sort of season. That'll do.

WR Robert Woods, Buf (29 percent owned) – OK, yes, it would take some courage to start a Buffalo receiver this week. Bills quarterback EJ Manuel completed just 10 of 22 throws against Baltimore on Sunday; we're not talking about a high-yield passing attack. But we should note that Woods was on the receiving end of four of Manuel's 10 completions against the Ravens, and the rookie has been targeted 24 times over the past three games. He's also seen more snaps so far this year than any Buffalo receiver, Stevie Johnson included (302 to 287, per PFF). Assuming he avoids the Joe Haden cloak of invisibility on Thursday, Woods can give us WR3-ish numbers.