QB2 Streamers: Week 14
Week 13 had it all. Jeff Driskel outscored Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan. Robert Griffin III attempted four passes. Nick Mullens finished as a top-six quarterback for the week. A wild week concluded in the only way imaginable: Mark Sanchez playing football in prime time. It was a beautiful sight. Unless of course you started Colt McCoy in your fantasy league. That’s just the sentence we all expected when we signed up to play in our Superflex and 2QB leagues, right?
In most leagues, the playoffs officially begin this week. The stakes are higher, and critical lineup decisions have huge ramifications. Keep that in mind as you read my advice on potential QB2 streamers for Week 14.
For transparency sake, here are last week’s results: my “Fishing Upstream” recommendations were Case Keenum (10.94 fantasy points, QB23) and Matthew Stafford (13.00 fantasy points, QB20), and my “Fishing Downstream” recommendation was Matt Ryan (9.64 fantasy points, QB27).
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 14
Eli Manning vs. Washington Redskins
In what could be Eli Manning’s next-to-last NFC East divisional game, he’s taking on a Washington defense that can’t beat their way out of a wet paper bag. Of course, a wet paper bag has many similarities to Eli, so perhaps it’s fitting.
Prior to playing Chicago last week, Manning hadn’t performed too poorly in the past month-plus. Manning has limited his interceptions to only two in his last four games. In his last game against D.C., he threw for over 300 yards.
Washington’s defense has been a charity case to opposing quarterbacks in the last couple months. And they’ve allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the season. They even allowed Odell Beckham Jr. to rack up 136 yards on eight catches. Well, “they” being not Josh Norman.
Odell Beckham Jr. lined up against Josh Normam on 68% of his routes and 0 of his catches came against Norman in Week 8.
— Jeff Ratcliffe (@JeffRatcliffe) October 29, 2018
The sun may be fading on Manning’s career in New York, but he still should be able to capitalize on a reeling defense, not to mention good field position compliments of Washington’s Sanchez-led offense. If Manning’s coaching staff can put Beckham in places other than Norman’s vicinity, OBJ and Eli could produce some eye-popping numbers on Sunday.
Josh Allen vs. New York Jets
It only took until Week 14, but Josh Allen has made me a believer for fantasy purposes. He’s the very definition of the Konami Code. Actually, Allen might be even better. Don’t believe me? The results might speak for themselves.
Josh Allen Top-5 fantasy QB weeks: 3
Aaron Rodgers Top-5 fantasy QB weeks: 3
Ben Roethlisberger Top-5 fantasy QB weeks: 2
Tom Brady Top-5 fantasy QB weeks: 1
Philip Rivers Top-5 fantasy QB weeks: 1
Matthew Stafford: 0
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) December 4, 2018
Sure, the pre-draft reaction to Allen was harsh and vitriolic. The dynasty community wanted little or nothing to do with him at the end of April, too. Even for a rookie quarterback, Allen’s stock wasn’t that high out of the gates. His scrambling ability, however, has completely changed his value.
Alas, here we are in the fantasy playoffs, advocating the rookie signal caller in Buffalo. Why you ask? Well, for starters, Matt Barkley just dropped 232 yards and two touchdowns for this same Bills team against the Jets in Week 10. If you want to get technical, Barkley threw for three touchdowns in that game. He didn’t get credit for the third because Zay Jones fumbled at the goal line, and it was recovered for a touchdown by teammate Jason Croom. It was a fortunate break for the Bills as a team, but unfortunate for Barkley.
There might also be addition by subtraction this week. The Bills released wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin on Tuesday. Benjamin accounted for a 13 percent market share of Buffalo’s air yards over the last four weeks. The Bills can now continue to groom Jones and Robert Foster in a home game against the same Jets team they beat 41-10 just four weeks ago. Tom Brady and Marcus Mariota each threw for over 280 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets over the past two weeks. Mariota added 43 yards on the ground. The Jets have allowed three different quarterbacks to run for 40 or more yards this season.
NFL Rushing Leaders since Week 12
1. Phillip Lindsay – 267 rush yards
2. Lamar Miller – 265 rush yards
3. Josh Allen – 234 rush yards
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) December 4, 2018
FISHING DOWNSTREAM: ONE QB1 TO AVOID STREAMING IN WEEK 14
Jared Goff vs. Chicago Bears
Hopefully, if you have Jared Goff on your roster, you’re sitting on a bye week. If not, this is going to be a monster test for your fantasy squad on the Midway. The Rams travel to Chicago for Sunday Night Football at Soldier Field. It’s going to be chilly, and it’s a game of the utmost importance for both squads.
Up until now, only the Saints in the Superdome have been able to “stop” the Rams. This upcoming game against Chicago could have a similar feel for Goff and the Rams offense, just a bit chillier. The Bears have been stout against the run this season. They allow the second-fewest rushing yards per game, the third-fewest yards per attempt, and have allowed only four rushing touchdowns, fewest in the league. They also minimize the impact of the passing game. If the Rams can’t get Todd Gurley going, Goff is in for a tough task. Thus far this season, the Bears have allowed the lowest percentage of fantasy points to go to the quarterback position.
The Bears’ defensive coordinator Vic Fangio might have a sneaky advantage going into this game plan as well. Matt Nagy’s offense shares many of the same concepts as the Rams’ offense. Dan Durkin of The Athletic highlighted some parallels of the two offenses back in November.
Around kickoff, the temperature should hover around 30 degrees. Over his career, Goff has fared worse in games under 40 degrees, completing only 51.8 percent of his passes, with an average of 6.8 yards per attempt. While the wind should be relatively subdued on Sunday night, the same won’t be said for the Bears pass rush.