ANDY BEHRENS: Each week in the NFL brings fresh fantasy horrors. And week eight was no exception. We lost five starting quarterbacks to injury and/or performance before the end of the first set of games on Sunday. Notably, Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford. Just brutal news obviously. We're also headed into a week in which four teams are on bye. So we've got work to do.
Today, our early pickups are focused entirely on the quarterbacks. We got to start with Sam Howell of the Commanders. He just passed for 397 and 4 touchdowns. It's the fourth time this year that he's delivered multiple touchdown passes in a game. He's not always a one man quarterbacking clinic. But he's aggressive. He's got plenty of arm. And he has a terrific receiving corps at his disposal. He's a playable option against New England next week. And he's available in 55% of Yahoo Fantasy leagues.
Also Gardner Minshew now has seven combined touchdowns, including two rushing scores, and a pair of 300 yard games in the last three weeks. Josh Downs is breaking out. Michael Pittman is already a star. And the running backs can catch the ball. Minshew is going to be a bankable play. He's about to face a not so daunting match-up against Carolina. That's a friendly spot. He's your Colts rest of season quarterback too with Anthony Richardson out for the year. And then, finally, I think we got to mention Will Levis. Rookie, Will Levis, of the Tennessee Titans. He did not appear to be overmatched against Atlanta on Sunday. All he did in his debut was throw four touchdown passes. Three of which went to DeAndre Hopkins. It's helpful to have an absolute star at your disposal.
Levis has got the Steelers defense in week nine. And assuming that Ryan Tannehill isn't going to be able to go, that's a pretty decent match-up. They've been a beatable match-up so far on the season. Perimeter receivers in particular have really feasted against Pittsburgh. That's probably good news for Hopkins. It's certainly good news for Levis. So if you find yourself suddenly needing help at the quarterback position, you at least have options.