Shawn Siegele looks at the best QB streaming options for Week 5, presents a deep superflex option, and offers a sneaky 2-QB trade target.
I’m filling in for Giana Pacinelli as she enjoys her vacation. I love the format for her piece and won’t sully it by trying to replicate it here. Instead, I’m going to focus on a couple of my obsessions – the Game Level Similarity Projections and the Strength of Schedule Streaming App.
QB Streamer – Week 5
Brissett was the most added quarterback on Yahoo! this week, but he’s still streamable as evidenced by his 47% ownership in ESPN leagues. After setting a new career high with 46 attempts in Week 4 — and capitalizing with three more passing TDs — he gets a shootout matchup with Chiefs. The NFL Stat Explorer allows us to investigate the last five matchups for Brissett’s opponent.
Kansas City has slowed Derek Carr twice in this time period, but they’ve surrendered quite a few points to lower level signal-callers like Gardner Minshew and Matthew Stafford.1
Diving a little deeper in the Stat Explorer, we see that the Chiefs have actually been a bottom-10 matchup in terms of QBR allowed, but that’s balanced by an average of 36.2 passing attempts against. Brissett thrived playing catch-up in Oakland. That’s even much more likely against Kansas City’s elite offense.
With the matchup in mind, we can pull up the Game Level Similarity Projections to see how similar QBs have played against similar defenses. The genius of Dave Caban’s tool is that it finds matches for both sides of the equation and then allows you to explore how those particular contests have played out.
Brissett owns the seventh-best projection this week and comes in above trendy names like Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield, and Aaron Rodgers. It’s encouraging to see a high floor to go with that barn-burner ceiling (38% of results scored 20 points or more).
Superflex Play of the Week
Sam Darnold/Luke Falk
At this point in the week, New York’s starting QB is still up in the air. Darnold is back and practicing in his return from mono, but he’s lost weight and isn’t cleared for contact.
A former sixth-round pick who only ascended to his current role after Trevor Siemian’s injury, Falk doesn’t inspire much confidence in a vacuum. Fortunately, he’ll face the Eagles in Week 5.
The Eagles have allowed a top-10 QB performance in three of four games this season, but it’s a good news/bad news situation. They’re holding opponents to below-average numbers in fantasy points over expectation (FPOE), and Falk would be an unlikely candidate to break that trend. The volume should be there, as 2019 opponents have attempted more than 40 passes per game against Philadelphia.
Falk’s GLSP ranks No. 21 this week. The 14-point average is poor for a QB but enticing for a superflex.2 Falk does come in below Matt Barkley, but it currently sounds like Falk is more likely to get his team’s starting nod.
2-QB Trade Target
Two-QB leagues require a different mindset, one that’s focused on maximizing schedule opportunities in the same way owners do at running back and wide receiver. In 2-QB leagues, passers with Cousin’s profile retain relevance.
Cousins was so bad in Week 4 that he felt compelled to apologize to Adam Thielen. Minnesota fans are wondering aloud about a benching and lamenting the state of the depth chart behind him.
Fantasy owners can breathe easy. The Vikings paid up for Cousins and don’t have a legitimate No. 2 on their roster. Cousins is playing, and he’ll play better from here, if only for the same reasons that Matt Ryan goes through scalding hot stretches: Cousins has two elite receivers and plays in a dome.
While Cousins has been awful, Thielen’s comments are directed mostly at the coaching staff. Mike Zimmer and company now have a great opportunity to return to a real NFL offense.
The Vikings have the third-best QB schedule over the next month and the only one with four green matchups. It’s possible that they’ll be able to hold New York, Detroit, and Washington in check and continue the Dalvin Cook MVP drive, but two humbling losses in three weeks should inspire a more balanced attack.
Good luck this week, and make sure you gain every tiny advantage by checking out Stefan Lako’s must-read Streaming Kicker article.