QB2 Streamers: Week 13
Bye weeks? Bye bye bye. However, it’ll be a while until it’s gonna be May. It won’t be a while until the fantasy football playoffs, though. For some leagues, including the ever popular Scott Fish Bowl, the playoffs begin in Week 13. That means every decision and their importance are amplified, which also calls into question why you’re reading suggestions from me.
Now, in crunch time, quarterback shake-ups have the Superflex and 2QB world reeling. Gone are Blake Bortles and Andy Dalton. In their place are Cody Kessler and Jeff Driskel. Meanwhile, Nick Mullens gets one more start, but he’s not guaranteed a finish. After letting this column down last week in an amazing fashion, a Mullens benching might be warranted. In general, if a team is out of contention, their current signal-caller might not make it to the end of the season… unless of course we’re talking about Eli Manning.
For transparency sake, here are last week’s results: my “Fishing Upstream” recommendations were Lamar Jackson (22.22 fantasy points, QB13) and Mullens (10.74 fantasy points, QB28), and my “Fishing Downstream” recommendation was Philip Rivers (22.66 fantasy points, QB11).
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 13
Case Keenum vs. Cincinnati Bengals
It might be tempting to look at the other side of the ball in this matchup, but Case Keenum is in a smash spot against the Bengals. Believe it or not, the Broncos are playing for a playoff berth. Even more crazy is the fact that their upcoming schedule strongly hints Denver could be one of three AFC West representatives in this year’s playoffs.
That’s right. The team that just knocked off the Chargers and Steelers in back-to-back weeks will finish the season with opponents who rank 23rd in DVOA according to Football Outsiders. Not only is the Broncos’ schedule winnable, it makes Keenum a very desirable playoff quarterback in fantasy circles.
The Bengals pass defense has become so incredibly bad that they've allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (26.54) over the past four weeks, however, it's on the back of just the 2nd fewest QB pass attempts per game (24) during that same stretch.
— Phill ن (@PhillBennetzen) November 27, 2018
The Bengals’ defense is bad. Really bad. They’ve allowed the second most passing touchdowns and the third most rushing touchdowns. They’re allowing the most fantasy points to the quarterback position, and, if you saw what Baker Mayfield did to them last week, that’s not a surprise. Expecting 220 yards and two touchdowns as a floor isn’t a bad spot to be in. If the Driskel-led Bengals can keep the game close, we can expect a decent amount of fantasy goodness for Keenum.
Matthew Stafford vs. Los Angeles Rams
Desperate times call for desperate measures. With the Rams still easing back Aqib Talib, expect the Rams secondary to continue allowing opposing quarterbacks to beat them through the air. In the case of Matthew Stafford this week, he just needs to survive long enough to throw the ball behind a bad offensive line.
The matchup looks as good as you could ask for. The Rams will score. A lot. Over and over. The Lions’ offense is missing starting running back Kerryon Johnson, so Bruce Ellington and Kenny Golladay must earn their paychecks this week. Two different receivers have posted over 200 receiving yards against the Rams in their last three games. And six receivers have had 100-yard games against the Rams this season.
Even the aforementioned Keenum dropped over 300 passing yards on L.A.’s defense. Over Stafford’s last two games, he’s completed 51-of-75 passes for 456 yards and one touchdown. Both of those were one-possession games. In the four games where the Lions lost by 10 or more points this season, Stafford has averaged nearly seven extra passing attempts per game. The Rams are currently favored by 10 points.
Still, Stafford has struggled with interceptions this season. He added two more against the Bears on Thanksgiving, though they might not have been entirely his fault. If you can manage Stafford’s point deductions from interceptions, the opportunity is certainly there this week. Another week of disappointment, however, and Stafford might soon be out of a job. But this Michigan layoff from Ford Field might not garner the same negative reactions as the layoffs at General Motors.
FISHING DOWNSTREAM: ONE QB1 TO AVOID STREAMING IN WEEK 13
Matt Ryan vs. Baltimore Ravens
Sure, Matt Ryan is at home in an offense that’s firing on multiple cylinders. They’re also playing host to a Ravens team allowing the third-fewest passing yards in road games. Only Jacksonville and Buffalo allow fewer passing yards per game to quarterbacks than the Ravens.
Matthew Judon could be a thorn in Ryan’s side, as well. And after last week, there is increased chatter about the Falcons making changes on their offensive line. Ryan has been sacked 33 times in 2018. His career high was 44 in 2013. Over his last five games, Ryan has been sacked a total of 16 times. Not good news consider how Judon tossed around the Raiders’ Brandon Parker like a rag doll last week.
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) November 26, 2018
Another worry is how Baltimore’s offense manipulates the clock and controls the flow of games. In their two games with Lamar Jackson at the helm, the Ravens have held the ball for 38:09 and 34:12, respectively. Much like eating Taco Bell at midnight, the Falcons’ defense has a problem with the runs. The can’t get off the field on third down, either. Atlanta’s defense allows opponents to convert third downs 52 percent of the time, second worst in the NFL.
The Ravens have allowed just 31 passing plays of 20 or more yards, and only two passing plays of 40 or more yards. With big plays likely kept to a minimum, expect Ryan’s Week 13 productivity to be only a fraction of his recent production. He might not be completely bench-worthy, but if you’re deep at the quarterback position, avoid Matty Ice.