Week 7 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Carson Palmer is Back!
This past week, 6 of the top 14 quarterbacks could have conceivably been on your waiver wire and picked up if you were streaming quarterbacks, headlined by Joe Flacco's big day against Tampa Bay, and Derek Carr's breakout performance against San Diego.
So who will be the free agent pickups that will win leagues for quarterback streamers this week? Here are some of the best options that are likely available in your league.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
Palmer returned to the field in Week 6 after sitting out with nerve damage in his shoulder, and he picked up right where he left off in his first start in over a month. The veteran quarterback now has two touchdown passes in each of his starts, and has yet to throw an interception.
Expect more of the same this weekend, as Palmer and the Cardinals take on the Oakland Raiders this weekend. Oakland is the eighth from the bottom in our Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) metric and have allowed over 300 total yards per game and five total touchdowns over their last two games to opposing quarterbacks.
Palmer might be a QB1 every week if he's able to remain at his current pace, and he's the top streaming option this week, so don't hesitate to pick him up and hold onto him for a while. His schedule doesn't get tough for a month, with a November 16th matchup with the Lions representing the next time he's a questionable option under center.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
On the other side of this same matchup we have young Derek Carr, who will be leading the Raiders offense in their efforts to keep up with Palmer's Cardinals. He turned his season around with a four-touchdown breakout against the Chargers, posting a positive NEP of around 14 points, negating most of the negative NEP he had earned in his previous appearances.
That's good momentum to carry into a game against a pass defense that's been struggling, allowing 22 or more fantasy points every week after Week 1 to opposing quarterbacks. Even with his three interceptions, Kirk Cousins was able to move the ball against this team, and Carr will do the same.
Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns
Mike Pettine would never, ever throw the ball if he didn't have to, but the Browns' head coach will occasionally allow Brian Hoyer to air it out in his offense. And when he does, he's been incredibly efficient, currently sitting 10th in our Passing NEP rankings, despite dropping back 40 fewer times than any other top-10 quarterback.
This week the Browns take on the Jaguars, who have the second-worst pass defense this year. Hoyer has posted 200 yards and a touchdown in every game, and that solid floor of around 12 points with some potential for more is a lock this week against Jacksonville.
Charlie Whitehurst, Tennessee Titans
The Titans take on Washington this week, and that means whoever starts under center for Tenneessee makes for a great play. But Whitehurst would be the better play for fantasy players, because he's been airing the ball out and going for big plays, something that will result in a lot of points against the horrible Washington defensive backfield.
On a per drop back basis, Whitehurst has been more efficient than Russell Wilson and Nick Foles so far this season, something he'll be able to keep up against a bad defense this week. If Jake Locker starts, he's a fine play, too, but Whitehurst's ability to stretch the field with his arm makes him an appealing play against Washington.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Everyone in your league is going to want Joe Flacco this week, but if you're able to get him, he's a terrific play against the Atlanta Falcons, who rank 29th against the pass according to our numbers. We saw what Flacco was able to do against one awful NFC South pass defense, and we'll likely see more of the same this weekend.
The Falcons will be a more competitive team overall than the Bucs, which should keep Flacco more involved and bring a higher yardage total and plenty of chances for another multi-score day. And if his chemistry with Torrey Smith has indeed returned, that offense will be pretty tough to stop for a team that's allowed four 100-yard receivers already this season.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
San Diego has a bottom-10 pass defense, and that provides Alex Smith with an opportunity to recreate Derek Carr's solid outing against their questionable defensive backs.
Smith is the 13th quarterback in our Passing NEP rankings, as he's quietly having a good year as he develops a link with a now healthy Jamaal Charles and young star Travis Kelce. Don't expect a high ceiling, as Smith is always capped by his "game manager" mentality, but this game should provide a very high floor for a player who is probably on your waiver wire.