Week 13 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Keep Rolling With Colin Kaepernick
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 Drew Brees 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, we had Ryan Tannehill as our top streamer for his home matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. Tannehill delivered with 26.8 fantasy points, checking in as QB5. The big week moved the season-long average for our top streamer up to 20.21 fantasy points per game, which ranks as QB5 -- ahead of early-round quarterbacks such as Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck.
In Week 12, we also recommended Colin Kaepernick and Sam Bradford. Kaepernick came through again (more on him later), racking up 33.14 fantasy points and pacing all quarterbacks in scoring for the week. Bradford didn't work out nearly as well, scoring just 6.96 fantasy points despite a matchup with the bumbling secondary of the Detroit Lions.
With last week a thing of the past, let's take a look at the top options for Week 13 among quarterbacks owned in less than 30% of ESPN leagues.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
ESPN Ownership: 22.8%
It's hard to understand why Kaepernick is unowned in more than 75% of leagues, but we'll keep taking advantage of it.
Kaep has been a great fantasy producer since taking over the starting gig, propping up decent passing numbers with 62 rushing yards per game. In six starts, Kaep has scored at least 18 points five times, and his per-game average of 18.7 points per game ranks 11th among all passers.
|Week||Passing Yards||Rushing Yards||Total Touchdowns||Fantasy Points||Weekly Rank|
He's been outstanding since the San Francisco 49ers' Week 8 bye. In that span, he's been a top-12 quarterback each week, putting up 24.68 points per game in his last four games, highlighted by last week's QB1 performance. For reference, Aaron Rodgers leads all signal callers this season with 23.6 points per game. Kaepernick has scored 130.9 points in six games. Carson Palmer, who is (somehow) owned in 78.1% of ESPN leagues, has scored 152.74 points in 10 starts.
In short, Kaepernick isn't -- or shouldn't be -- a streaming option anymore; he's an every-week play.
This week, Kaep and the Niners get a superb matchup against the short-handed defense of the Chicago Bears. Chicago will be without both of its starting inside linebackers -- Danny Trevathan (injured) and Jerrell Freeman (suspended) -- and the Bears rank 21st in schedule-adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play. Kaepernick is our seventh-ranked quarterback for the week, so please add him if he's available in your league.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
ESPN Ownership: 9.1%
Kaepernick is the clear-cut top streaming option this week, but Fitzpatrick is in a nice spot as the New York Jets have a home matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. Indy's pass defense checks in 30th, according to our metrics, and the Colts have allowed the second-most points to opposing quarterbacks.
This is pretty much all about the matchup since Fitzpatrick has been awful this year. Over his last eight starts, he's scored more than 16 fantasy points just once (last week), and he ranks a miserable 35th in points per game among quarterbacks with at least five starts.
The Jets are a one-point underdog with a solid implied total of 24.25 points. Using his splits from last season isn't ideal because he was good in 2015 and Eric Decker was playing, but Fitzpatrick was significantly better at home a year ago. In his eight home starts, he tossed 20 touchdowns with 7 picks and posted 7.24 adjusted yards per attempt, compared to 11 scores, 8 picks and 6.43 adjusted yards per attempt on the road.
Matt Barkley, Chicago Bears
ESPN Ownership: 0.4%
Well, the list of things I thought I'd never write is about to get smaller -- Matt Barkley is a good play this week.
Throwing to the likes of Marquess Wilson and Deonte Thompson, Barkley lit it up in Week 12, completing 28 of 54 passes for 316 yards, 3 scores and 2 picks. That was good enough for 20.64 points, which made Barkley QB11 last week. Heck, if not for some late dropped passes, Barkley could've had an even bigger day.
Obviously, that kind of volume (54 attempts) isn't likely to be there this week, but the matchup with the 49ers is pretty darn good. San Francisco ranks 20th against the pass, according to our schedule-adjusted numbers, and they are allowing the third-most points to opposing quarterbacks.
It would be tough to use Barkley in a standard league, but in two-quarterback formats, he makes for a serviceable option.