Week 2 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Sticking With Alex Smith
Quarterback streaming in fantasy football never sleeps. You may still be cursing the name of Alex Smith or slamming your head against a desk with the Rams' box score open muttering "Stupid Shaun Hill," over and over, but you have no more time for this nonsense.
The first days of the week are scouting time for quarterback streamers. That means heading to the waiver wire and making sure you have the best signal-caller you can get for Week 2. Here are some suggestions, starting with one that might be tough to stomach.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
I've already written an article damning the Kansas City offense and declaring nothing short of a state of emergency for last year's Cinderella team. I've watched as my teams lost this week thanks to Smith's poor play in Week 1.
And yet I've come back to the same well, hoping for some water to put out the dumpster fire of a Week 1 Smith created.
Vegas believes that Smith and the Chiefs' date with the Broncos this weekend will be the highest scoring game of them all, and even if that means a healthy Denver win, there is still room for points for Kansas City.
Smith did turn the ball over far too often on Sunday against Tennessee, but he otherwise finished with 200 passing yards, a touchdown, and a solid 36 rushing yards (which almost equal a passing touchdown worth of value). He gets the Denver defense this week, which pestered Andrew Luck early, but allowed him to settle into the game late and finish with a strong stat line.
The Chiefs are committed to Smith, and he gets Dwayne Bowe back this week. Don't let last week beat you again. One week is not a sufficient sample size to totally bury Smith with Chad Henne and whoever starts for St. Louis in the "unusable" stash of quarterbacks. Put on your big boy or big girl pants, and stick with Alex Smith this week.
Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans
But if you have the chance to drop Smith for Jake Locker, do it in a heartbeat. Locker gets a very attractive matchup this weekend with the Dallas Cowboys, who allowed Colin Kaepernick to post the fifth-best Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) total of Week 1.
Locker himself finished with the sixth-best Passing NEP total against a defense more talented than Dallas (the Chiefs). He was playing well last season before going down with an injury, and is a talented player who has run into terrible luck so far in his career.
This one is a no-brainer. Locker is (knock on wood) healthy, and has already proven that he's capable. He's your number one streaming option this weekend.
Josh McCown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Streaming quarterbacks isn't easy. Sometimes, you have to make a decision that feels kinda gross and weird. Picking up Josh McCown after his blooper reel performance against Carolina would certainly qualify.
But like Smith, it's far too early to bury McCown, especially since he was faced with the Carolina defense in Week 1. Week 2 brings a matchup with the Rams, who allowed Matt Cassel to post a similar NEP stat line to Russell Wilson in the opening week of the season.
McCown struggles under pressure, and the Rams have pass rushers, but the Buccaneers' quarterback settled down in the fourth quarter against Carolina.And should he continue that momentum, he'll definitely return value as a streaming option this week.
Geno Smith, New York Jets
The Packers had the sixth-worst passing defense a year ago, and started off this season allowing a solid debut to Russell Wilson, who was able to put his team on cruise control after an early lead.
Geno Smith gets his shot at the Packers this weekend, and while his numbers were incredibly different in wins (10 touchdowns, 5 interceptions) and losses (2 touchdowns, 16 interceptions), at some point, we have to also trust his matchup and roll with him in a game he's expected to lose.
The Jets probably won't beat the Packers, but the pieces are all there for Smith to have a solid fantasy day. His running ability gives him a decent floor and covers for his turnovers, while his upgraded weapons on offense give him more hope of success compared to last year's poor supporting cast.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
Carson Palmer gets the Giants next, and his duo of receivers should be able to spread out the New York defense and find similar success. Palmer flashed moments of brilliance against San Diego, but not enough to earn him a spot on your league mates waiver request.
If he's still available to be picked up in your league, and you're streaming at quarterback, Palmer is one of the safest bets this week. The Arizona passing game looked solid in Week 1, and gets a great matchup in Week 2. Palmer may even reach "sell high" status and become a trade chip after a good weekend against the Giants.