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Week 3 Quarterback Streaming: Three to Target and One to Avoid

Well, we’re two weeks in, and I don’t have to hang my head in shame yet.1 Two recommended streamers posted QB1 weeks, and Joe Flacco made a respectable, if slightly disappointing, showing:

StatusQBFanDuel PointsQB Rank
Option 1Joe Flacco18.218
Option 2Matt Ryan28.82
Option 3Jimmy Garoppolo21.410
AvoidKirk Cousins19.613

Through two weeks, the top two streaming options have outperformed Drew Brees, who is the QB3 on the season. Even the third streaming option has been better than Ryan Tannehill, who ranks as QB10. And all the streamers have beaten the more highly rostered “avoid” players.

StatusFanDuel PPGSeason-long rank
Option 123.63
Option 223.33
Option 320.310
Avoid17.918

 

Indeed, things are going so well that I’m going to give into to hubris and increase the degree of difficulty. So far, each of my Option 3 selections have been available in at least 90 percent of ESPN leagues. Going forward, this slot will be reserved for QBs who are similarly widely available. 

Matt Ryan and Dak Prescott are owned in less than 50 percent of leagues, but only barely. If either is available in your league, add him. Either guy would be the top option this week, but I don’t want to take the low-hanging fruit here. 

Option 1: Ryan Tannehill v. Cleveland

Rostered: 20.3 percent
Spread: -10.5
O/U: 41.5

The Browns didn’t look like an must-target defense in Week 2, holding Joe Flacco to a middling QB2 performance. But Tannehill looked like a guy who shouldn’t be available in 80 percent of leagues. In a shootout with the Patriots, Tannehill threw for 389 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus another 35 yards on the ground.

With Tannehill coming off that performance and facing what still could be a plus defensive matchup, you may have to spend up for him in blind bid waivers. Don’t go crazy, especially if the next option is available in your league, but if you’re ever going to pay up for a QB streamer, this is the week. (If you have room, you can also hold him through Week 7. Aside from a tough matchup with the Bengals in Week 4, Tannehill’s schedule looks good until a Week 8 bye.)

Option 2: Joe Flacco @ Jacksonville

Rostered: 26.3 percent
Spread: -1
O/U: 47

Flacco wasn’t outstanding against Cleveland, despite 302 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. He added 2 interceptions and averaged only 5.6 adjusted yards per pass attempt. But he threw 45 passes as the Ravens defense gave up 20 points in the first quarter to Josh McCown. I expect similar volume for Flacco against the Jaguars, who have thrown for at least 300 yards in each of their first two games.

Flacco’s weapons seem to be rounding into form too. He peppered Dennis Pitta with 12 targets, and Pitta posted his second career 100-yard game. Steve Smith wasn’t the focal point, but he was much better with the targets he got. And Mike Wallace continued to thrive.

Option 3: Sam Bradford @ Carolina

Rostered: 6.6 percent
Spread: +7.5
O/U: 43

This is fine. I mean, sure, Carolina allowed the fourth fewest FanDuel points in the league in 2015, but then they lost Josh Norman. And, sure, their opponents are averaging only 211 passing yards per game in 2016, but their opponents have been Trevor Siemian and Blaine Gabbert. Bradford is a significant upgrade — I think.

Bradford looked surprisingly good against Green Bay in Week 2, throwing for 286 yards and 2 touchdowns while averaging 10.5 adjusted yards per attempt. He knows where his bread is buttered, too. He fed Stefon Diggs 11 targets, and Diggs responded with career highs in receptions (9) and yards (182). With Adrian Peterson looking unlikely to play, Bradford should get plenty of volume. Hopefully he and Diggs can connect for at least one garbage time touchdown.

Avoid: Matthew Stafford @ Green Bay Packers

Rostered: 86.7 percent
Spread: +7.5
O/U: 48

I admit I don’t know exactly what’s going on with the line on this game, but Detroit’s implied total (20.25) gives me the willies. In Week 1, Stafford picked up right where he left off in 2015, throwing for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns against a weak Colts’ defense. But Week 2 reminded us that Stafford’s blazing finish in 2015 was largely driven by schedule. The whole offense struggled against Tennessee, and Stafford posted just 260 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, and 5.9 adjusted yards per attempt.

Don’t go playing Bradford over Stafford. But don’t hesitate to bench him if you have another solid option — and Tannehill qualifies as another solid option.

  1. Not for my quarterback streaming picks, that is. We won’t mention the incident on Sunday afternoon at the Chili’s sports bar.  (back)
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