Written By: Josh Crocker – Follow Josh on Twitter @jccrocker
– Kaepernick @ CHI –
Coming off of a week where Mr. 33.1% owned was the QB 1, there really can’t be another name at the top of this list. 113 yards on the ground and 296 yards through the air was more than I was hoping for and came in a situation that I saw as being more of a test than an opportunity for us to see what the ceiling looked like. Test passed.
This week the “Colin Kaepernicks” are traveling to Chicago where they will be road underdogs with a low team total. To say the least those are two QB streaming boxes that we’ll have to leave unchecked. On the bright side of things the Chicago passing defense’s DVOA is a positive number (8.4), meaning they are allowing more than the average to passing offenses (but not a lot more). The Harris Index agrees, telling us that opposing QB’s are scoring an unexciting 0.9 points less than their average when playing the Bears. The odd thing about Chicago is that it has been a team in constant transition. They’ve been vanilla with Cutler, hot with Hoyer, and now I’m not sure what the Barkley lead Chicago team will really be. We do know that in their last 3 games the Bears have allowed 255 passing yards per game, and 2 TD’s to 3 straight QB’s. They’re also allowing 12.4 yards per completion and a 65% completion percentage, near the top of the league in the same 3 game time span. This is also a defense that recently allowed Mariota to rush for 46 yards on his way to being the #8 QB on the week ( 8 spots behind Kaepernick)
Kaepernick has shown us that he can produce in different situations and negative game scripts. I have to admit that a flop is still one possible outcome, but I just don’t see another option at this level of ownership that represents as much upside. With the rushing floor he could come out and throw for less than 200 yards, Osweiler territory, and make a decent bottom line for fantasy owners.
– Fitzpatrick v IND –
This year has been a tough year for picking QB’s to pop up out of the trash pile and have one good week, but a fantastic year for grabbing a player like Matt Ryan, or Dak Prescott, or Marcus Mariota, and just riding off into the sunset. Still, there have been good performances from the Fitzpatricks, Tannehill’s and Alex Smith’s of the world if we can just crack the code.
Part of that code is definitely being at home and being favored, and that’s what the Jets will be in Week 13, although the “favoring” is about as light as it can possibly be with a one point spread. I don’t really mind it for our QB here, as we could end up seeing a close, competitive, game if Vegas has this one right. The Colts are allowing 2nd most points allowed to QB’s, and this matchup hasn’t really failed anyone. Fitzpatrick has been turnover prone but even fellow throwers of the old INT like Osweiler have had decent days (269 yards and 2 TD’s and 1 INT) against the Colts. In fact, through all 12 weeks the Colts have only had 3 interceptions. If there’s a team you want to play Fitz against, I think it’s the one that doesn’t intercept the football. They’re like the real-life manifestation of a no penalty for interception league.The lowest point total of the year came from Alex Smith who left the game, and was followed by Nick Foles who came in and threw for 223 yds & 2 TD’s . The Colts are allowing the 254 passing yards and 2.7 Passing TD’s per game and the 2nd highest passer rating in their last 3 games. It’s a good matchup. If I can continue to pile on just a bit more, the Colts have been 26th against WR 1’s and this Jets offense has become concentrated as a result of injuries. For this to really go well I’d say Fitzpatrick needs to get Brandon Marshall the ball, and it looks like that might not be out of the question here. It’s just a very good match-up. If you’ve missed out on Kaep I think this is your next best option.
– Alex Smith @ ATL –
Atlanta has become one of the better QB matchups, but I think I’m just about ready to throw in the towel on figuring out what makes Alex Smith go boom. This week as road underdogs, traditional thinking would lead to Alex being under some pressure to keep up. Looking back at how QB’s have fared playing these Falcons Palmer, Winston, Rodgers and Rivers have thrived against ATL. There’s a certain thread that runs through that group, and I don’t think Alex is included. We’ve also seen Wentz, Russell, and Cam have disappointing days, at least compared to expectations. Looking at names like Russell Wilson and Cam Newton makes me think of a time when Alex Smith used to rush the ball.
I think what you need to get Smith out of the shell is a negative game script, but against a defense that can be beat through the air. Altlanta fits that description and seems up to the job of putting the Chiefs in a hole to climb out of. Atlanta is allowing the most passing yards per game, and also causing to opponents to throw the second most in the league behind only Dallas. The Alex Smith code has been pretty tricky, but if you’re digging this deep I don’t hate Smith this week.
Written By: Josh Crocker – Josh can be found on Twitter @jccrocker