Similar to streaming defenses, riding the waiver wire in a one quarterback league looking for the right matchup can make or break your week. In 2QB leagues, streaming QBs gets even more intense, as most teams will have three signal callers each. As we head into the 2017 fantasy football season, I’ll structure this article to cater to all situations:
- 1QB league owners looking for a decent streaming option (especially if Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger or Russell Wilson have tough matchups).
- Teams with two or three above average quarterbacks.
- Teams that waited to draft QBs and are left with two or three game managers who can’t seem to move the football.
- Those looking for sleeper starts for their DFS team.
Each week, I’ll provide my best rationale on two to three QBs with ideally less than 60 percent ownership on ESPN who have an opportunistic matchup. I’ll do the same for those in 2QB leagues, which should prove especially advantageous once we get into the bye weeks. Each week, I’ll also make note of my performance in the week prior so you can evaluate whether or not to trust me. Hopefully, it’ll be a helpful process for all of us.
While I’d like to hope this analysis will help you find a QB10 on the waiver wire that you can ride for the rest of the season, my main focus is finding you a sufficient weekly start to get you through an injury, bye week, bad trade or impulsive draft pick.
As for Week 1, there will be few QB streaming options available, as fantasy owners hold on tight to their “what-if” roster spots. For this week, I focused more on matchup opportunities. Now let’s get started.
Option 1: Philip Rivers v. Broncos
Yahoo Projected: 15.98
Fan Duel Salary: $7,100
Rivers has finished as a top-15 QB in nine of his last 11 seasons and is entering 2017 equipped with what seems like the deepest group of pass catchers he’s ever had the opportunity to play with.
Rivers has a habit of playing up to his competition, especially against the AFC West rival Denver Broncos. There isn’t an argument against the Broncos defense, but Rivers still managed to throw for 445 yards and three touchdowns against them last season. And in the past three seasons, Rivers has averaged 18 fantasy points per game against the Broncos. I expect the same from the QB that led the charge last season, ranking ninth with an average 25.6 points per game and seventh in plays of 25 years of more (35 pass plays). Though the Broncos defense is no joke, Rivers is well versed on what to expect and ready to start the season on the right foot.
|at DEN||L 19-27||20||47||42.6||267||2||3|
|at DEN||L 20-27||21||35||60||228||2||1|
|at DEN||L 21-35||30||41||73.2||252||3||2|
Option 2: Tom Savage v. Jaguars
Yahoo Projected: 17.64
Fan Duel Salary: $6,500
After a devastating natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey, there are a few things that can bring a community together quite like cheering for their favorite sports team. Similar to the New Orleans Saints’ first home game after Hurricane Katrina, Tom Savage and the Houston Texans will try to band together to give the city of Houston something to cheer about in their season opener. Of course, this isn’t quantifiable data – but it’s a good story; one that’s worked before, and has the pieces in place to work again.
While Jacksonville has a young, ninth-ranked defense, there is no offense to keep them off the field. Tom Savage should get plenty of opportunities with the ball, opportunities he will take advantage of not only to excite the city but to keep his starting job. I’m aware of Savage’s mediocre metrics from 2016, but some of that can be attributed to losing Nick Martin at center and right tackle Derek Newton for the season. I’m not arguing that Savage is going to be an every week fantasy option, but he is certainly capable of putting together a memorable and motivating performance in what could go down as one of the biggest games in Texans history. Dramatic enough for you? Savage has enough weapons with DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Miller, and C.J. Fiedorowicz to encourage fantasy owners to consider this unique situation paired with a viable matchup.
2QB Option 1: Sam Bradford v. Saints
Yahoo Projected: 13.77
Fan Duel Salary: $7,000
I didn’t forget Bradford finished as QB23 last season, averaging just 14.7 fantasy points per game. But having a full offseason with the Minnesota Vikings (his first) has given him the chance to study and grow with a vastly underrated offense. Minnesota now has a very dynamic backfield, while upgrading their offensive line at guard and tackle. With the Vikings fifth-ranked defense preventing the passing game from progressing on the other end, Bradford will have the time and playmakers at his disposal against a deficient Saints defense who allowed twenty-one 20-point outings in the last three seasons.
The last time Bradford played New Orleans (for the Philadelphia Eagles) he had 333 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions for 25 fantasy points. With a more developed offense in Minnesota, Bradford is a smart start for those who waited too long to draft a second quarterback or have Andrew Luck stuck on their bench.1
2QB Option 2: Carson Palmer v. Lions
Yahoo Projected: 14.87 pts
Fan Duel Salary: $7,300
Yes, Palmer is 37 years old — and proved his age with his subpar performance last season. But by all accounts his arm is still strong, he has a star running back, and one of the strongest pass catchers in the league. Pair that with Detroit’s stagnant defense – ranked 30th in sacks and 28th in passes defended – and you have a match made in fantasy heaven – at least for those in need of a band-aid for Week 1. With David Johnson, who could turn a check down into a 70-yard touchdown, Larry Fitzgerald, and a (hopefully) healthy John Brown, expect Palmer to have a day for fantasy owners in need of a quick fix.
- Hopefully, Andrew Luck owners are prepared for the heartache, as he burns a hole on their bench for a significant portion of the season. (back)