QB2 Streamers: Week 2
Week 1 of the NFL regular season saw Ryan Fitzpatrick throw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, Case Keenum throw for 329 yards and three touchdowns, and Alex Smith throw for 255 yards and two touchdowns. All three of the aforementioned quarterbacks aren’t your typical QB1, but they each scored like one, with Fitzpatrick outscoring all signal-callers in Week 1.
Then there’s the group of Andy Dalton, Mitch Trubisky, Ryan Tannehill, and Sam Darnold. All of whom outscored the likes of Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, and Dak Prescott. Sure, it’s only one week, but when you’re streaming quarterbacks, one week is all you need. Which brings us to Week 2. The sample sizes are small, but already, 2018 looks like a great year to find gold while streaming, at least that’s what the author I.P. Freely alluded to in The Yellow River.
In the case of streaming quarterbacks, for the sake of this article, the focus is on highlighting quarterbacks to stream in the second QB slot in your 2QB or Superflex league, 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 consider without any hesitation to start in your QB1 slot who may have you considering that thought process due to a bad matchup.
Fishing Upstream: Two QB2s to stream in Week 2
Nick Foles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The NFL season opener featured the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles emerging with a victory. While Foles produced a very quiet passing line in the boxscore, his value in PPR leagues continues to flourish.
They did it again?
Nick Foles is catching passes. 🔥
— NFL (@NFL) September 7, 2018
Foles’ passing numbers should change for the better in Week 2. The Eagles travel down to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and QB1 Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzmagic might have drawn the majority of the praise from the Bucs’ win in Week 1, but their defense allowed 439 passing yards, had zero interceptions, and only registered one sack against Drew Brees. Only two players on the Bucs defense were inactive: Cornerback Brent Grimes and rookie defensive lineman Vita Vea. This is an incredibly young and inexperienced secondary that could once again be down some key members.
Grimes and Hargreaves are uncertain for Sunday, so Bucs would have rookie Carlton Davis, Ryan Smith, rookie M.J. Stewart, Javien Elliott and newcomer Marcus Williams healthy and available for three corner spots.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 11, 2018
Even if Grimes returns this weekend, he’s been nursing a groin injury. As for Hargreaves, early reports are that he is out for the season. As it pertains to Foles, he’s week-to-week as a starter as Carson Wentz continues to make his comeback from an ACL tear.
Unlike last week however, Foles shouldn’t have to wait for an hour long rain delay prior to the start of the game. The Eagles offense came out flat in the first half. They also had two different first-half drives start inside the 5-yard line. Their second drive featured two sacks, a bad snap, and conservative running plays. Things changed for the better though on the Eagles’ third drive.
Following a first-down pass to Nelson Agholor on 3rd-and-7, the pace of the offense picked up considerably. As a result, Foles started to look much more comfortable leading the offense.
|Down and Distance/Yard Line||Time Remaining on Play Clock||Play Call||Play Result|
|1st-and-10/ATL 47||10 seconds||Shotgun Pass||6-yard completion to Nelson Agholor|
|2nd-and-4/ATL 41||18 seconds||Shotgun RPO Pass||10-yard completion to DeAndre Carter|
|1st-and-10/ATL 31||17 seconds||Shotgun RPO Run||Jay Ajayi runs for 8 yards|
|2nd-and-2/ATL 22||18 seconds||Shotgun Run Middle||Jay Ajayi runs for 1.5 yards|
|3rd-and-Inches/ATL 21||11 seconds||Shotgun Run Middle||Darren Sproles runs for 1 yards|
|1st-and-10/ATL 20||15 seconds||Shotgun Draw||Darren Sproles runs for no gain|
|2nd-and-10/ATL 20||10 seconds||Shotgun Pass||3-yard completion to Darren Sproles|
|3rd-and-7/ATL 17||2 seconds||Shotgun Pass||Incompletion intended for Mike Wallace (Pass interference on Desmond Trufant)|
|1st-and-Goal/ATL 9||14 seconds||Shotgun Draw||Darren Sproles runs for 5 yards (Holding on Jason Kelce)|
|1st-and-Goal/ATL 19||1 second||Shotgun Pass||Incompletion intended for Dallas Goedert in End Zone|
|2nd-and-Goal/ATL 19||5 seconds||Shotgun Draw||Corey Clement runs for 2 yards|
|3rd-and-Goal/ATL 17||4 seconds||Shotgun Pass||9-yard completion to Zach Ertz|
The Falcons have a solid young defense. A bad performance against this team shouldn’t be indicative of future struggles. While this drive resulted only in a chip shot 26-yard field goal, the Eagles offense (and Foles in particular) managed to show some flashes of their offense from last season. The boxscore doesn’t show the numerous times Eagles skill position players failed to help Foles.
While the rust still lingered after this drive for the Eagles offense, a lot of the mistakes are correctable. Ertz had a dropped pass that would’ve resulted in a first down. That came a play after he committed an offensive PI that also cost the team a first down. Sproles dropped a (poorly thrown but catchable) pass on 2nd-and-3 near the end of the first half. Dallas Goedert coughed up an 18-yard gain resulting in Foles’ only interception. All of these problems are fixable. Expect a much better performance from the Eagles’ offense this week against a porous Buccaneers defense.
Don’t forget as well, Foles has a lot of financial incentive for performing well…
Reminder: for each game this year that Nick Foles plays at least 33% of the snaps, he earns $250K. If Philly wins a game that he plays at least 33% of the snaps, he earns $250K more. Week 1 now has $500K of upside for him.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 3, 2018
Case Keenum vs. Denver Broncos
The other quarterback from last year’s NFC Championship game played significantly better than Foles in Week 1. Despite throwing three interceptions in his first 28 passing attempts (and setting the bar high for Matthew Stafford), Keenum threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks.
Case Keenum had 7 INTs all last year in 481 pass attempts. Has three picks today in 28 pass attempts. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) September 9, 2018
This week Keenum and the Broncos get to face the Oakland Raiders.
— TJ Hernandez (@TJHernandez) September 10, 2018
The Los Angeles Rams utilized three wide receivers on 97 percent of their offensive snaps against the Raiders. While Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were the only two Broncos receivers to see more than 66 percent of the snaps, rookie Courtland Sutton was on the field for 59.5 percent of the snaps, seeing five targets as well. According to Warren Sharp’s personnel grouping frequency, the Broncos ran the ninth-most offensive plays out of 11 personnel. Expect Keenum to test the Raiders’ secondary early and often, with Sutton potentially seeing more snaps in his second game.
All three Broncos receivers could eat this weekend, too. Rashaan Melvin (37 yards) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (50 yards) both gave up huge pass interference penalties in Week 1. Jared Goff also threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns (although Todd Gurley’s TD “reception” was more of a jet sweep). Now they travel to the mile high altitude to take on the Broncos. G’luck.
Fishing Downstream: One QB1 to avoid in Week 2
Aaron Rodgers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Blasphemy. “You can’t bench your studs this early in the season” they’ll say. The one legged man still torched the Chicago Bears’ secondary even on a down night and limited snaps!
He sure did.
His reward? He gets to turn around and face the defending NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings.
Since 2013, Rodgers has averaged 256 passing yards and 2.2 touchdowns against the Vikings. In that time span, he has thrown for more than 300 yards just once and has just two games where he had three or more passing scores. In three of the last four games, Rodgers has been sacked at least four times. Lest we forget he’s going to be dealing with an injured leg that will surely impact his mobility.
— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) September 10, 2018
While the Packers haven’t confirmed or denied what the extent of Rodgers’ injury is, David J. Chao makes an in-depth case that it is an MCL sprain:
I would expect a Grade 1 or 2 (mild) sprain… No surgery is needed. I have virtually no doubt he will play next week, but he will need the next few weeks to fully heal. His mobility could be limited for 2-4 weeks.
The issue of concern is that the Vikings’ front seven might somehow be even better than it was a season ago after adding defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson this offseason. Richardson made his presence known Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers, too…
The Vikings defense was dominant up front yesterday! pic.twitter.com/xcyV4qG03y
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 10, 2018
Chances are if you have Rodgers you invested heavy draft capital to acquire him. His health and the tough divisional opponent, however, bring fair cause for concern. If the Packers offensive line plays the way it did in the first half against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers might not finish this game. There might not be a player of Rodgers’ caliber available on your bench or the waiver wire, but Week 1 showed us that even the low-tier signal-callers can put up quality fantasy performances. This might be one of those weeks where you consider the QB3 who currently sits on your bench over a proven QB1 stud.