3 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming Options for Week 2
Oh, baby, wasn't Week 1 glorious? It's so good to have (fantasy) football back in our lives.
Let's get right down to it and look at quarterback streaming options for your season-long lineups.
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 potentially productive quarterbacks in good matchups off the waiver wire is often doable. For some roster constructions, it can even be optimal.
Sure, you won't have the luxury of setting it and forgetting it with Patrick Mahomes as your quarterback, but when the top-end signal-callers draw a tough matchup, their upside can oftentimes be matched by a waiver-wire option in a more favorable situation.
Throughout the season, this column should, will, and must be your go-to resource for identifying quarterbacks to stream in a pinch. Here are three quarterbacks rostered in fewer than roughly 50% of Yahoo leagues who are in solid spots this week.
For Week 2, it is best to lean more heavily on last year's data while baking in offseason news and changes. The more we learn about how defenses defend quarterbacks this season, the more certain we will become about a quarterback's fantasy environment.
Quick review: last week was a great start for this column. Jameis Winston finished as the QB4(!) on the week. I'd be happy enough with those results, but Tyrod Taylor managed a QB11 finish, while Zach Wilson and Sam Darnold both finished inside the top 17 at the position. All four recommendations outscored Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Ryan Tannehill, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rodgers.
Let's aim for more streaming goodness in Week 2!
Jameis Winston, Saints
Roster Percentage: 44%
While it pains me as a Green Bay Packers fan, Jameis Winston sure looked great eating a W on Sunday. In fact, Winston led all signal-callers in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back in Week 1.
We can't expect another five passing touchdowns on just 20 attempts moving forward (holy efficiency, Batman!), but there were plenty of other positive takeaways for Winston in the victory. Projected thorn in his side Taysom Hill played just 22 snaps (40%), but Winston still played 100% of the team's offensive snaps. Hill added only one pass attempt and two carries, which is less work than I anticipated. Jameis is clearly in control of the offense.
Maybe we shouldn't be surprised Winston looked so poised. As mentioned last week, Establish The Run's offensive line expert Brandon Thorn has the New Orleans Saints' O-Line graded as the best unit in the league. And Sean Payton is one of the best offensive schemers... ever? He called an ideal game plan and is clearly playing to Winston's strengths.
Even more important for fantasy, Winston scrambled six times for 37 rushing yards. I wrote last week that Jameis sneakily averaged 14.5 rushing yards per game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His performance on Sunday marks the seventh time he's rushed for 35 or more yards since the start of 2018 despite starting just 26 games over that span.
Matchups aside, there's a chance Winston is simply a borderline QB1 this season. The Carolina Panthers' defense played well last week, but that was against a rookie passer and a rookie head coach both making their debuts. We have Jameis projected for 256 passing yards, 1.6 passing touchdowns and a solid 13.6 rushing yards, but there's more meat on the bone if this game turns into more of a shootout than expected.
We should also note Winston has the seventh-highest salary among quarterbacks on the FanDuel main slate for Week 2, implying he is currently undervalued in season-long leagues.
Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos
Roster Percentage: 11%
Teddy Bridgewater looked sharp in his Denver Broncos debut, piling up 264 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns and 19 rushing yards en route to Week 1's QB15 performance. It should have been an even bigger day considering K.J. Hamler dropped a 50-yard touchdown.
Teddy's performance matches up with numberFire's NEP data. He impressively ranked sixth among starting quarterbacks in Passing NEP per drop back, while Denver as a whole checked in as the fourth-best offense in Week 1. The Broncos were third in yards per play on first down and threw the ball at an average rate in neutral game script, which is higher than anticipated for a Vic Fangio-coached team.
Bridgewater's 19 rushing yards are notable, too. We always want rushing ability for our fantasy quarterbacks, and Teddy is coming off career highs in rushing yards per game (18.6) and yards per carry (5.3) in 2020. While the Jerry Jeudy injury stinks, not many teams are better suited with playmaker depth than Denver is -- Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton, K.J. Hamler, Tim Patrick, Albert Okwuegbunam, Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon.
Maybe most importantly for Week 2, Bridgewater gets to face the Jacksonville Jaguars, a defense that continues to serve up touchdowns at a high rate. Denver is a 6.0-point road favorite with a solid 25.75 team total, and there's a glimmer of hope that Trevor Lawrence can at least keep the game interesting. Teddy is in a great spot for another top-18 performance this week.
Tyrod Taylor, Texans
Roster Percentage: 4%
TyGod is back baby. Always an underrated fantasy asset, Tyrod Taylor looked sharp in Week 1 while putting up 291 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns and 40 rushing yards.
We definitely cannot project 290 passing yards and dominant 37-point victories for Taylor every week. We can, however, glom on to the rushing total and his overall play against a bad defense. In this column last week, I pointed out Taylor has averaged 35.8 rushing yards per game as a starter in his career, which would've ranked fourth in the NFL among signal callers last season. We shouldn't be at all surprised Taylor busted out for 40 rushing yards in his Houston Texans debut.
That rushing floor alone will make him a streaming option in most weeks. But the pleasant surprise was Taylor's Week 1 passing efficiency, in which he finished seventh among starting quarterbacks in Passing NEP per drop back. It's important context that the performance occurred at home against the lowly Jaguars, but it's still better-than-expected efficiency nonetheless.
This week's matchup on the road against the Cleveland Browns won't be as friendly. Cleveland's defense didn't look great last week -- but not many do against the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead. There is plenty of risk involved given the Texans have just an 18.00-point implied team total, the lowest of the week.
Still, as 12.5-point underdogs, we can project Tyrod for plenty of drop backs. While typically we prefer efficiency over volume for quarterbacks, more drop backs means more opportunities to run. Patrick Mahomes added 18 yards and a touchdown on the ground against the Browns last week, and it's notable Cleveland allowed the fourth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks last season, as well.