Last week was one of those weeks that made me question why I recommend five streamers. While the two streamers I believed most in, Tyrod Taylor and Marcus Mariota, panned out, the other three were mostly disasters. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 121 yards and a pick with no touchdowns in a poor performance. For reasons I don’t fully comprehend, although ball control was certainly a valid concern, Johnny Manziel was benched in favor of Josh McCown. And Alex Smith floundered on national television before redeeming his fantasy stats in catch-up mode.
This week’s bye quarterbacks are Tom Brady and Marcus Mariota, both of whom would normally be startable in fantasy. Ben Roethlisberger is out, Tony Romo is still out, and Jay Cutler and Drew Brees might also sit out. Smith, Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford, and Colin Kaepernick have tough matchups. Sam Bradford will be hit-or-miss against a Washington defense that is much better against the pass this year. And near the bottom of the ranks is Ryan Tannehill. A candidate to make the leap this season, he has not come through, although I think a lot of the problem is the play-calling. I won’t be tempted to use him until I see a recognizable change. All in all, it’s a weird week for quarterbacks.
Here are this week’s streamers. I couldn’t justify putting them in the top five streamers, but I am intrigued by Michael Vick against the Ravens, Blake Bortles against the Colts, and Jimmy Clausen against the Raiders in deeper leagues.
Joe Flacco vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
After his Week 1 clunker at Denver, Flacco has rebounded smoothly with two strong games at Oakland and versus Cincinnati. Ignore the pit of despair that is known as Nick Foles and look to the great fantasy days from Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick against Pittsburgh. If you need a quarterback to keep for a few weeks, Flacco gets Cleveland and San Francisco in the following two weeks.
Derek Carr vs. Chicago Bears
Well, I didn’t see this one coming. Carr has achieved 300 passing yards and two touchdowns in each of his past two games, and has a cakewalk of a matchup against Chicago. He’ll be a decent DFS option with Amari Cooper as a stack partner.
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Miami Dolphins
Probably my favorite under-the-radar play this week, the Dolphins pass defense is nothing to be scared of, despite having many talented players. Really, it’s confusing. Anyway, Fitzmagic has thrown two touchdown passes in each of the three weeks, and is a good bet to keep it up this week.
Brandon Weeden vs. New Orleans Saints
I mean, I don’t hate the matchup with New Orleans, and Dallas but Weeden in a comfortable spot last week against Atlanta. I won’t be using him but see the perspective here.
Sam Bradford vs. Washington Redskins
Here’s my pick for the most likely to single-handedly decide your matchup. Philadelphia has had success against Washington under Chip Kelly, but Bradford has vastly underperformed expectations. There are probably better options this week.
I'm not too strict with my ranks, so please don't be either. The gap between a lot of these players is so small there's no reason to fret about what looks to be a poor rank. For the column 'Pass Defense Rank', I used numberFire's Adjusted Defensive Pass Net Expected Points per Play, which adjusts for strength of schedule and measures how good a pass defense was on a per-play basis. After previously using 2014 statistics, I have listed the 2015 ranking. You can learn more about Net Expected Points here.
|Rank||Name||Team||Opponent||Pass Defense Rank|
|1||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||San Francisco 49ers||28|
|2||Cam Newton||Carolina Panthers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||25|
|3||Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos||Minnesota Vikings||6|
|4||Matt Ryan||Atlanta Falcons||Houston Texans||9|
|5||Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks||Detroit Lions||29|
|6||Carson Palmer||Arizona Cardinals||St. Louis Rams||10|
|7||Andrew Luck||Indianapolis Colts||Jacksonville Jaguars||26|
|8||Joe Flacco||Baltimore Ravens||Pittsburgh Steelers||23|
|9||Tyrod Taylor||Buffalo Bills||New York Giants||22|
|10||Philip Rivers||San Diego Chargers||Cleveland Browns||17|
|11||Andy Dalton||Cincinnati Bengals||Kansas City Chiefs||14|
|12||Derek Carr||Oakland Raiders||Chicago Bears||31|
|13||Ryan Fitzpatrick||New York Jets||Miami Dolphins||30|
|14||Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||Dallas Cowboys||12|
|15||Brandon Weeden||Dallas Cowboys||New Orleans Saints||32|
|16||Sam Bradford||Philadelphia Eagles||Washington Redskins||18|
|17||Colin Kaepernick||San Francisco 49ers||Green Bay Packers||8|
|18||Matthew Stafford||Detroit Lions||Seattle Seahawks||15|
|19||Eli Manning||New York Giants||Buffalo Bills||7|
|20||Michael Vick||Pittsburgh Steelers||Baltimore Ravens||19|
|21||Ryan Mallett||Houston Texans||Atlanta Falcons||21|
|22||Alex Smith||Kansas City Chiefs||Cincinnati Bengals||13|
|23||Blake Bortles||Jacksonville Jaguars||Indianapolis Colts||24|
|24||Josh McCown||Cleveland Browns||San Diego Chargers||16|
|25||Ryan Tannehill||Miami Dolphins||New York Jets||5|
|26||Jameis Winston||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Carolina Panthers||3|
|27||Kirk Cousins||Washington Redskins||Philadelphia Eagles||4|
|28||Jimmy Clausen||Chicago Bears||Oakland Raiders||27|
|29||Teddy Bridgewater||Minnesota Vikings||Denver Broncos||2|
|30||Nick Foles||St. Louis Rams||Arizona Cardinals||1|