QB2 Streamers: Week 12
Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff put on a performance for the ages. Lest we forget the two GOATs from Monday night are on bye this week, the final bye week of the 2018 season. Elsewhere, Drew Brees carved up the Eagles, turkeys, pigeons, chickens, and everything else in his way. The Eagles were giving up chunk plays, you would almost think Jalen Mills was on the field. Carson Wentz, on the other hand, might have thrown for more yards to Saints defensive backs than his own receivers. Meanwhile, Jameis Winston again played in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick and finished as the QB15.
So as we all collectively recover from Monday night’s Tecmo Bowl, we get to prepare for a third serving of candied yams and three football games on Thanksgiving. And what a day of football it will be. We could very well have Chase Daniel, Colt McCoy, and Mark Sanchez all make appearances on Thursday. Thank you, Superflex gods. Thank you.
For transparency sake, here are last week’s results: my “Fishing Upstream” recommendations were Dak Prescott (14.82 fantasy points, QB18) and Josh Rosen (15.44 fantasy points, QB17), and my “Fishing Downstream” recommendation was Mitchell Trubisky (16.90 fantasy points, QB13).
In the case of streaming quarterbacks, and for the sake of this article, my focus is highlighting signal-callers to stream in the second quarterback slot in your 2QB or Superflex leagues (in the event you went with a Studs & Streaming approach to the position in drafts this offseason). I will also highlight one quarterback you would normally start in your QB1 slot to potentially reconsider due to a bad matchup.
FISHING UPSTREAM: TWO QB2S TO STREAM IN WEEK 12
Lamar Jackson vs. Oakland Raiders
Another home game for Lamar Jackson, and another great opportunity for streamers. Of course, if Jackson continues to serve as a dual threat quarterback, he won’t be a streamer for long. The stars have aligned for Jackson to face five powder puff pass defenses in a row. The Raiders are always in consideration for streaming any position, especially quarterbacks, as highlighted here numerous times this season. Should the Ravens win on Sunday against the Raiders (they should), it would be hard to believe the team would turn back to Joe Flacco. One needn’t look further than Jim Harbaugh for how his brother John might handle a quarterback controversy.
Against the Raiders, Jackson should have plenty of opportunities to prove why he deserves to keep the starting job a little while longer. Teammate Michael Crabtree might have a little motivation against his old team as well. This season, the Raiders have been inept at stopping big plays. Many of those big plays started as small plays. John Brown’s production has fallen off a cliff as of late, but this is a perfect defense for Smokey to burn after the catch.
#Raiders have allowed league-high 11 plays from scrimmage of at least 50 yards, most in a season since Wash and Ari gave up 12 in 2014. The 11 is the most allowed by Raiders in a season since at least 1991
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) November 19, 2018
Against the Bengals, Jackson showed he can make quick reads and release the ball quickly.
Three steps and out in rhythm. Easy blitz read, easy execution.
Lamar Jackson pic.twitter.com/qJ3CTjQHxM
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) November 19, 2018
The problem for the Raiders has been their struggle to muster any pass rush. The Raiders are the only NFL team with fewer than 10 sacks on the season. Not a good sign for the Silver and Black…
Lamar Jackson was 10-12 passing for 110 yards from a clean pocket yesterday. If he gets another start, no one gets less pressure than the Raiders.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) November 19, 2018
Nick Mullens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Nick Mullens still isn’t a household name, but he’s been exceedingly efficient as a fill-in quarterback for San Francisco. Much like Jackson, Mullens has been blessed with a soft schedule, squaring off against the Raiders and the Giants. Now in Week 12, he and the 49ers take on the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.
Mullens is completing 70.5% of his passes, has thrown for at least 250 yards in both starts, and has four touchdown passes. But the 49ers have also blown opportunities in critical situations. It’s certainly not sexy, but the potential is there for Mullens, particularly with George Kittle cooking and Matt Breida catching passes out of the backfield. We’ve seen glimpses of the good and some of the bad, but not all the bad was Mullen’s fault. Case in point:
— Rich (@richjmadrid) November 13, 2018
Despite it all, Mullens is starting his third game, and it’s the second-highest total on the board. The game also features two defenses that don’t create turnovers. The Buccaneers (minus-23) and the 49ers (minus-15) are the only two teams in the NFL with a turnover differential of a minus-nine or worse. Of course, this game has looming consequences for the winner. The 49ers are currently in position for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. A Mullens breakout performance might be the last thing 49ers fans want, but Superflex and 2QB fans can still ride this train for at least one more week.
FISHING DOWNSTREAM: ONE QB1 TO AVOID STREAMING IN WEEK 12
Philip Rivers vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have been stingy against the pass this season. Only Goff and C.J. Beathard have thrown for over 300 yards against them, both prior to Week 6. Even Mahomes couldn’t top 250 passing yards against Arizona.
The Cardinals’ pass rush has given opposing quarterbacks fits. This weekend, the Chargers could be taking on that pass rush with a reshuffled offensive line. The Cardinals will need to be careful, though. Philip Rivers excels against the blitz and could have a field day dumping off to his running backs because the Cardinals tend to blitz a ton.
These defenses are PRESSURING opposing QBs the most this season!
Negative plays, turnovers and penalties are just a few of the issues that happen vs pressure.#LARams #DUUUVAL #HereWeGo #GoPats #BeRedSeeRed #GoPackGo #ChiefsKingdom #Texans #Seahawks #Skol #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/dbApMts8FX
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) November 19, 2018
Speaking of running backs, another big reason for the Cardinals’ good numbers against the pass is how abysmal they’ve been on run defense. They’ve allowed the fourth-most rushing yards in the league. Prior to last Sunday, only the Dolphins had faced more running plays than the Cardinals. Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler are in a perfect spot for an increased workload.
The Chargers are 12-point favorites in a game with the week’s fourth-lowest total. While that might be a factor for some quarterbacks, Rivers has shown over his career that he’s the same quarterback regardless of game script. Since 2010, Rivers has played 12 games as a favorite of seven or more points.
The difference in performance was minuscule at best. While Rivers offers a relatively safe floor, his ceiling might be capped by the Chargers running game and a sub-par opponent.