Week 15 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Sam Bradford Can Get You to Championship Week
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.
After four straight weeks of our top streamer ranking among the top eight passers for the week, we've hit a late-season slump over the past two weeks. Last week, we tabbed Alex Smith as the top streaming option, and he scored 11.16 fantasy points to check in as QB20 for the week. The second straight poor week drops our top streamer's per-game average to 18.28 points for the year, which ties for QB9 for the season.
We can feel a little better about Smith when we consider what some other top signal callers did in Week 14. Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson -- all of whom had an average draft position inside the top 53 overall players, per FantasyPros, combined to score 12.58 points last week -- or 0.10 more points than Matt Barkley. It's been a struggle out here in quarterback land.
Our secondary plays didn't fare much better. Colin Kaepernick totaled 11.62 fantasy points to finish as QB17, and Brock Osweiler scored 3.68 fantasy points despite a sweet matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
Let's move on to Week 15, where we have a couple of decent streaming options who can help you reach your league's championship week. As always, let's take a look at the top options among quarterbacks owned in less than 30% of ESPN leagues.
Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
ESPN Ownership: 10.3%
The Minnesota Vikings hit a rough patch after a 5-0 start, but Sam Bradford hasn't been the problem. Among quarterbacks with at least 100 drop backs, Bradford ranks 14th in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, and he's posting career-best numbers in quarterback rating, QBR, and adjusted yards per attempt.
This week, Bradford has a dreamy matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. Indy has the league's 30th-ranked pass defense, per our metrics, and they're allowing the 5th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Against better defenses -- the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys -- the past two weeks, Bradford has averaged 16.13 fantasy points per game in that stretch.
The fact that the game is in Minnesota is no small tidbit, either, when we take a look at Bradford's splits this season.
|Split||Games||Completion Percentage||Adjusted Yards per Attempt||TDs||INTs|
Bradford has averaged 15.03 fantasy points per game at home, and the Vikings are a 4-point favorite with an implied total of 24.25 points. Admittedly, it takes some courage to start Bradford in a do-or-die scenario, but the numbers say he's a fantastic streaming option this week.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
ESPN Ownership: 25.5%
As we mentioned above, Smith didn't have a great fantasy day in Week 14, but he had a nice game in real-life football. Smith completed 17 of 26 passes for 264 yards and one score. The Kansas City Chiefs have opened up their passing attack thanks to the emergence of playmaker Tyreek Hill and all-around stud Travis Kelce.
Over the past two weeks, Smith is a combined 38 for 51 for 533 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He's had two straight games of at least 10.0 yards per attempt, something he had only done twice in his last 42 starts prior to Week 13. The only reason this uptick in production hasn't translated to big fantasy numbers is touchdowns.
Don't get it twisted -- the Chiefs aren't Kurt Warner's Rams -- but if the Chiefs continue to open up their offense, it gives Smith a little higher ceiling than normal. That could come in handy this week against the struggling defense of the Tennessee Titans.
The lowest a QB has finished versus Tennessee over the past 8 games is QB13 and QBs have averaged 324 passing yards per game over that span.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) December 13, 2016
Tennessee is surrendering the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and Kansas City has a decent implied total of 24 points as a 5-point favorite.
As we covered last week, throughout his career Smith's numbers are drastically better in wins and when he's playing at home, making him a great streaming option this week.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
ESPN Ownership: 36.6%
Kaepernick is slightly over our 30% ownership cutoff, but after his second straight clunker, his ownership will likely drop when waivers process Tuesday night.
Don't get too hung up on his combined total of 13.78 fantasy points from the past two weeks -- after all, Drew Brees has 11.52 fantasy points over Week 13 and 14 -- Kap has shown us this season that he can be a good fantasy producer. In his four games prior to the snow-bacle at Chicago in Week 13, Kaepernick had averaged 24.68 fantasy points per game.
His matchup this week is about as good as it gets, too. Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers hit the road to take on the Atlanta Falcons, a team allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
The worry here is the potential for this game to get ugly. Atlanta is a 13.5-point favorite, and if the Falcons get up big, there's a possibility Kaepernick could get benched. With that said, Kaepernick scored 19.44 fantasy points against the New England Patriots in Week 11 when San Fran was a 13-point underdog, and the potentially negative game script should mean more drop backs, which, in turn, could lead to Kap racking up rushing yards.
He's not as safe as Smith or Bradford, but Kaepernick is still a decent option, and he's a hard to sit in two-quarterback leagues.