Fantasy Football Position Streaming
Written By: Josh Crocker – Follow Josh on Twitter @jccrocker
Under the Stream
Cousins vs Philadelphia
Averaging an interception a game, we find Kirk Cousins that hasn’t hit 20 points yet this season in ESPN default scoring settings. This Philadelphia defense is the best that the Redskins have faced this year. I would expect an outcome similar to that of his game against Baltimore (260yds, a TD, and an INT). Philadelphia is the 6th best overall defense (DAVE) and 3rd against the pass (DVOA). According to the Harris index opposing QB’s score 7.5 points less than their average. That translates to a total of under 10 points for Mr. Cousins. The last two to face this defense were Stafford, and Roethlisberger. Although Stafford was limited to 180 yards, he saved his day throwing 3 touchdowns. Cousins hasn’t thrown more than one in a game since week 1 when he had 2. Roethlisberger’s Steelers were absolutely flattened, although that game was in Philadelphia. There are better options than Cousins.
See the bottom of the article for a quick breakdown of where I think the streaming QB’s intersect with our streamers.
Brian Hoyer against Jacksonville
It’s hard not to be excited about what Hoyer has been doing lately. I’m clearly still on the bandwagon here, but I have to admit that this matchup is a little different. The Jaguars are the 7th best pass defense by DAVE, a stat put out by footballoutsiders.com. They don’t put a lot of pressure on the QB, with an adjusted sack rate of only 5%, which is good. At the same time they’re a pretty poor rushing defense. So, we might be concerned that that’s where the offense goes, rush heavy. In response to that I really don’t believe that’s what the Bears are or do. I looked into the last few games and Hoyer has dropped back 49 times (for 18.9 fantasy points), 36 times (19.8 points), and 43 times (23.8). In the game where he dropped back 36, Howard had 23 carries and as a result I think Hoyer is getting better quality attempts. I want the Bears’ rush game to work. I want Hoyer throwing into base defenses, or even line heavy stacked box situations, not Dime, we know he’s throwing defenses. Volume of pass attempts is certainly necessary, but efficiency is better.
Hoyer and his Bears are home favorites. The spread is pretty close giving the Bears an implied team total of 24.5. So, it figures to be a competitive, close game. I like that for Hoyer. Beyond the spread the Jags are frequently involved in high scoring contests. In week 4 the score was 30-27 against the Colts, week 3 19-17 against Baltimore(here’s our exception), and in week 2 the score was 14-38 against San Diego. Rivers had 4 TD’s in that game. Also, the Bears pass defense is a mediocre unit, 12th in Pass Defense DVOA. The Jags may be able to put pressure on the Bears to score. So, despite the fact that the Jaguars are not the rotating door that the Colts were, I think the ingredients are here for a big game. They’ve allowed no less than 22 fantasy points to every QB except Flacco.
Carson Wentz against Washington
Cards on the table, I expected BIG things from Wentz last week in Detroit and he didn’t really deliver. If you take away the late pick (in a very standard, default league) he would’ve had about 18 points, which would’ve made him a low end QB 1. In terms of real football I don’t really blame him for throwing deep late, even if it wasn’t a great decision. In short, the lack of a boom day doesn’t discourage me much.
This week Wentz and his team travel to Washington, where they are still favored to win. The spread is only 1.5 points on a 45.5 point total. Again, this could be a very close game, pushing both teams to score. I’m really hoping to see this Eagles defense flatten the Redskins like they did the Steelers, a better offense, but I don’t think we need that script for this to work. Washington is allowing 20 fantasy ppg to QB’s. The Washington defense is 26th overall in terms of DVOA, and 18th against the pass. The pick is really about believing that as week to week QB’s go, Wentz is one of the better talents you may find and he’s not in a bad situation at all. His ownership is up to nearly 80%, but I think if you have him you’re probably still facing the start/sit question. He’s a start for me.
I don’t yet have the confidence to start Mariota, but I’m really interested in what he may do this week. I started the year thinking he would be more usable, and was even saddened to have missed him in a couple of drafts. So far he hasn’t been able to capitalize on match-ups like Oakland, that seem to be a fix-all for other QB’s. That being said, last week we finally saw the vision of the Tennessee coaching staff get executed. It was a lot of Delanie. It was read option. It was plenty of work, including targets, for Demarco Murray. Above all, it was ball control that sucks the life out of the opposing offense’s time of possession. Mariota made a good day of it. So, this may be the type of opportunity Mariota needs. Not so much a bad pass defense, but a weak opposing offense and all around terrible team. I’ll be curious to see if the read option, and rushing yards, can become the staple of Mariota’s game we all have hoped for.
As some justification for liking Mariota this week, he’s a home favorite with a decent implied team total of 26.25. The Cleveland defense is not putting pressure on opposing QB’s with an adjusted sack rate of only 3.1%. Their rush defense is also bad at 28th in DVOA. I think that’s important for Mariota’s offense to do what they want to do and for him to gain value on the ground. Last but certainly not least Cleveland is allowing 26.1 fantasy ppg to QBs. After only 1 week of fantasy usefulness I’m really not ready to put Mariota in. My point here is more that if Mariota turns out to be relevant this week, we will know how to use him in the future
A few words about Alex Smith
I don’t think this is a terrible play. But, I think the Oakland offense is top 5 in the league if not top 3. I don’t really think this will bring out the best in Alex. He will probably have to throw more. But, they’ll be low quality attempts into a defense that knows exactly what’s about to happen. The Kansas City defense looked pretty inept against the Steelers, and while Smith was able to climb his way into a decent point total by the end of the game, it was a pretty terrifying ride. I’d like to think that the script will be better against Oakland, but I can’t say it will be with any degree of confidence. Having said that, I can’t say it won’t work out. If you miss out on Hoyer, or don’t like that play this is another option. It could be fine. If Kansas City’s offense is able to stand tall and not put Smith in a completely predictable situation, the Oakland pass defense is pretty bad and he can take advantage.
Above the Stream (start with confidence)
- Cam Newton
Consider A Streamer
Under the Stream
- Rivers v Denver
- Manning v Baltimore
- Cousins v Philadelphia
Written By: Josh Crocker – Josh can be found on Twitter @jccrocker