3 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming Options for Week 14
Someway, somehow, this is (likely) the last week of your fantasy regular season. I take no pleasure in reporting this.
Regardless, it's time to 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. I'll recommend quarterbacks rostered in fewer than roughly 50% of Yahoo leagues who are in solid spots this week.
Week 13 Recap and Situations to Monitor
Solid process, average results in Week 13. Our cover boy, Taysom Hill, crushed the fantasy football box score en route to the week's QB4 performance. We do love to see it. Taylor Heinicke's QB16 outing didn't really help a lot, but it didn't hurt you, either. Tyrod Taylor, however, suffered an injury and wasn't helping us before the injury. If you read closely, though, you noticed Gardner Minshew (QB10) mentioned as a deep league streaming option if Jalen Hurts were to be ruled out.
On the injury front, Taysom Hill is dealing with a "mallet finger." It reportedly will not require surgery, and he will attempt to play through, per Adam Schefter. More on that below. Similarly, Joe Burrow dislocated his pinky and also plans to play through it.
Ben Roethlisberger didn't practice Monday (pec/shoulder), but that's probably not a cause for alarm on this short week. As mentioned above, streaming hero Tyrod Taylor suffered a wrist injury and is considered "week to week" as of this writing. We don't yet know if Justin Fields or Andy Dalton will be the Chicago Bears starting quarterback this week, though my fake money is on Fields.
It sounds like Jake Fromm State Farm will be starting for the New York Giants this week in Daniel Jones' stead. Just play the Los Angeles Chargers D/ST.
This is the last time we'll have to worry about bye weeks this season. As a result, we'll be missing Carson Wentz, Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones and Jalen Hurts.
Let's aim for more streaming goodness in Week 14!
Taysom Hill, Saints
Roster Percentage: 34%
Let's run it back. Hill delivered on his streaming suggestion last week and now gets the best possible matchup against the New York Jets. As mentioned frequently in this column, per numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics, the Jets rank dead last in pass defense and overall defense. They just allowed a top-10 performance to Gardner Minshew in his first start of the season.
The aforementioned broken finger is obviously less than ideal for Hill, and the looming notion of an in-game setback reduces his floor a bit. Still, we're starting Taysom for his legs much more than his arm, and it helps that he'll have three extra days of rest from last Thursday night.
If you read last week's column, then you know that as a starter last year, Taysom's per-game rushing averages were 9.8 carries, 52.3 rushing yards, and 1 rushing touchdown. Then on Thursday, Hill surpassed those gaudy averages with 11 carries for 101 yards. He also threw two touchdowns, notching his fifth straight multi-touchdown start.
The New Orleans Saints are strong 5.5-point favorites with a solid 24.5-point implied team total. Taysom checks in 15th among quarterbacks in our projections for the week against a Jets defense that has permitted the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
As long as we don't get ominous news about Hill's finger injury, he's again a QB1 option.
Cam Newton, Patriots
Roster Percentage: 29%
Oh boy. This... didn't exactly work out the last time I recommended Cam Newton as a streamer two weeks ago. It's worth noting, however, his matchup against the Miami Dolphins wasn't as good as met the eye.
Miami's defense has now held its past five opponents to an average of just 11 points per game. Always pressure-sensitive, Cam crumbled against the Dolphins blitz-heavy scheme, which blitzes at the second-highest rate in the NFL (35.2%).
The weird part about Week 12's flop was Cam's lack of rushing to secure his floor. He rushed for a touchdown early in the game and then had just two carries after that. This is despite recording 10 carries for 46 yards (and another touchdown) the week before, so we know Cam is still ready to run.
Could it be the lack of designed runs that contributed to the Carolina Panthers firing offensive coordinator Joe Brady? Possibly. Either way, Brady's departure could give this offense the post-firing spark we often see when a stale coach leaves.
While Christian McCaffrey's absence takes away one of Cam's passing weapons, it also heightens his touchdown scoring role near the goal line.
That's a long way of saying that Cam is a boom-bust streamer this week. But with the matchup overwhelmingly in his favor, the scale feels tipped closer to the boom side.
Per numberFire's metrics, the Atlanta Falcons rank 28th in both schedule-adjusted pass defense and overall defense. Despite often facing negative game scripts, the Falcons have also permitted the most fantasy points and fourth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks on the season. Atlanta's pass rush ranks bottom-five in Hurry Rate, Quarterback Knockdown Rate, and Pressure Rate, per Pro Football Reference. Point blank -- this is one of the worst defenses in the league, especially against the quarterback position.
With Carolina a home as 3.0-point favorite, Cam's legs and pristine matchup still give him massive upside this week. He's fifth in our projections among quarterbacks for Week 14.
And if Cam isn't available, the other rushing-fueled boom-bust streamer option is Justin Fields, assuming he gets the starting nod against a Green Bay Packers defense that bleeds rushing yards to quarterbacks.
Taylor Heinicke, Football Team
Roster Percentage: 39%
Taylor Heinicke delivered a ho-hum QB16 performance as the Washington Football Team rode its rushing attack throughout last week's game. Still, Heinicke was efficient, and his fantasy box score was hard to quibble with given just 30 pass attempts and 3 carries.
Heinicke is still the QB14 this year by points per game. Recently, though, he's delivered just one QB1 performance over his past five games. It's not a coincidence that Washington's defense has started stymieing opponents over the same span, allowing just 17.4 points per game.
In the one game in which Washington gave up more than 20 points over that span (a back-and-forth affair against the Carolina Panthers), Heinicke registered 29 rushing yards, 23 fantasy points and was the QB7 on the week. On a related note, Heinicke's opponent, the Dallas Cowboys, has a healthy 25.75-point implied team total this week. WFT should have to be aggressive on offense.
Remember, Heinicke entered last week seventh among quarterbacks in rushing yards per game (25.4), so we're not going to let one week spoil that larger sample. After getting trounced by Taysom Hill last week, the Dallas Cowboys have now allowed the ninth-most quarterback rushing yards and (tied for) second-most quarterback rushing touchdowns on the season. As a result, they've permitted the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Heinicke isn't popping in our projections, and Washington's 21.75-point team total should give us some pause. But the matchup, game environment and rushing floor should still provide a solid floor for those in a pinch.