Week 6 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Marcus Mariota Can Do It Again
Quarterback streaming isn't for everyone, but if you're in a standard league -- like a 10- or 12-team league that features just one starting signal caller -- grabbing productive quarterbacks who have good matchups off the waiver wire is often doable.
Sure, you won't have the luxury of setting it and forgetting it with Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback, but when the top-end signal callers draw a tough matchup, their upside can be matched by a waiver-wire option in a more favorable situation.
If you're looking for some options from the waiver wire -- regardless of league size -- then we have you covered.
Last week, our top recommendation was whoever the Denver Broncos started under center -- either Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian -- for their home matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. Well, Lynch started, and it didn't go well. He finished with 12.72 points and came in as QB21, both of which are season-low numbers for our top streaming pick. The process -- going after a quarterback who is a home favorite against a poor defense -- was spot on, but the results weren't there. On the bright side, Brian Hoyer, one of our secondary options, finished as QB5.
Despite the down week, our top streamer has a total of 95.64 points for the season, which is good enough to be the QB5.
Let's check out the streaming options for Week 6.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
ESPN Ownership: 31.9%
It's only Week 6, and this is already the third time we've picked on Cleveland's defense. We do that, obviously, because they're not very good. The Browns rank 21st in Adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, and they sit 21st in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. They've given up the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Mariota is coming off his best game of the year in a win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 5. In that one, he completed 20 of 29 passes for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns, adding 60 rushing yards and another score with his legs.
Registering 3 passing touchdowns while throwing for just 163 yards is a little fluky, but the rushing volume is very encouraging. Coming into Week 5, Mariota hadn't ran more than four times in any game, posting a season-high rushing total of 22 yards. When Mariota is active with his legs, like he was in Week 5, it gives him a nice floor and stupid-high ceiling.
Tennessee is a healthy 7-point favorite with an implied total of 25.25, two things which work in Mariota's favor. As an added bonus, Mariota's next three games after this week are against the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and San Diego Chargers. Those are three mouth-watering matchups, meaning he can be more than a one-week fill-in.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
ESPN Ownership: 23.4%
Much like Mariota, Alex Smith is about to embark on a very nice run of games. Over the next four weeks, he'll see the Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Colts, and Jaguars, starting with a road matchup this week in Oakland. Now is the time to buy.
The Raiders rank 29th in both Adjusted Defensive NEP per play and Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play.
Smith is far from sexy, but he can put up good numbers in the right spot. He has had one really good matchup this year, a Week 1 game against the Chargers, and Smith balled out in that one, scoring 28.02 points and finishing the week as the QB3.
Adding to Smith's value this week is the expected return of Jamaal Charles, who said he is "100 percent" healthy. Whether or not Charles comes back to a workhorse role remains to be seen, but the return of an all-time great who is a superb pass-game weapon gives the entire offense a boost, particularly a check-down master like Smith.
Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears
ESPN Ownership: 16.6%
Guys, Brian Hoyer is playing some ball.
In just three starts, he's racked up 65.56 fantasy points, which is more than Eli Manning has over five starts. In the last two weeks, Hoyer has been the QB7 and QB5, respectively, throwing for 699 yards and 4 scores in that stretch.
Among passers with at least 50 drop backs, Hoyer ranks seventh in Passing NEP per drop back. He has benefited from a pair of lovely matchups against the Detroit Lions and Colts, but his schedule remains favorable this week as the Chicago Bears host the Jaguars.
Jacksonville checks in 23rd in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play, and they have given up the 6th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Chicago is a 2.5-point favorite with a solid implied total of 24.75.
Chicago coach John Fox hasn't revealed the team's plans for once Jay Cutler returns, but it's hard to imagine them benching Hoyer right now. However, even if they go back to Cutler, he'd qualify as an enticing streaming play in deeper leagues.