3 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming Options for Week 17
If you're reading this, pat yourself on the back: you made it. It's time to win our fantasy football championships and talk endless amounts of trash until next September.
Let's 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 16 Recap and Situations to Monitor
It's pretty hard to judge this column's Week 16 performance. This is published on Tuesdays, before much of the week's injury and COVID-19 info breaks for us. So, unfortunately, recommended streamers Justin Fields and Tyler Huntley didn't even end up suiting up this past Sunday. Huntley's replacement, Josh Johnson, was the week's QB7 if your process was able to get you there. Jimmy Garoppolo ended up as the QB16; he likely didn't help you or hurt you with the season on the line.
Let's hope all of this week's recommendations are actually, you know, playing this week.
With COVID-19 back in full force and injuries not going away, it's more important than ever to monitor the situations around the league. It's far too early to know if Lamar Jackson will suit up for Week 17, and Huntley too appears up in the air after joining the COVID-19 list late last week. You'll need a backup plan here at minimum.
The biggest news of the week is regarding Garoppolo, who has a torn UCL and a fractured bone in his right (throwing) thumb, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. I am not a doctor, but that seems like a pretty significant injury for a quarterback. We'll get to Trey Lance below.
Teddy Bridgewater was ruled out Wednesday of last week (concussion), so it's possible he misses Week 17 and we get another Drew Lock start in his stead. The pass catchers are good, Lock has shown fantasy juice in the past, and the Denver Broncos need to win to keep their season alive -- but he's a truly desperation stream only. His matchup would improve if Joey Bosa and Derwin James are ruled out once again, though.
Jared Goff was activated from the COVID-19 list. This matters more for Amon-Ra St. Brown than quarterback streamers. It's too early to know if we'll have Taysom Hill activated off the COVID-19 list, so you'll need a backup plan here, as well.
Bye weeks are officially in the rearview, so we'll have the full gamut of options to work with for the rest of the season. Let's aim for more streaming goodness in Week 17!
Trey Lance, 49ers
Roster Percentage: 12%
Oh baby, it's finally happening. And during championship week no less? A holiday miracle.
While we don't yet have official confirmation that Trey Lance is starting, all signs discussed above point to Garoppolo missing Week 17. Whether you buy the coachspeak that Lance has had his best month of practice is beside the point here.
He's a rushing quarterback, and rushing quarterbacks score tons of fantasy points. We could end the analysis right there, but it's the holiday season, and you deserve more.
It feels like a lifetime ago, but Garoppolo left Week 4's game with an injury. Lance came in and put up 20 fantasy points in just the second half, finishing as the QB12 that week. Then the week following, Lance left a bad taste in the mouths of fantasy managers, only mustering 15.6 fantasy points.
More notably, however, Lance rushed 16 times (!) for 89 yards and was tackled on the one-inch line. If he muscles his way in for that touchdown, nobody is complaining about his nearly 22 fantasy points.
Lance actually threw a touchdown in Week 1 and ran for one in Week 3 in a limited goal line role, so he's certainly not allergic to the end zone. After all, the San Francisco 49ers traded three first round picks to move up and draft this guy. Talent is not the question.
Neither is the matchup. Lance will take on the Houston Texans as 13.5-point home favorites with an elite 29-point team total. Houston ranks 27th in schedule-adjusted defense, per numberFire's metrics, and 26th against the pass. The Texans have permitted five quarterback rushing touchdowns, tied for the most in the league.
Lance's rushing and team environment provide a strong floor/ceiling combo. He's what streaming dreams are made of.
Justin Fields, Bears
Roster Percentage: 23%
Let's try this again. This Justin Fields recommendation is operating under the assumption he's able to play this week and do so at a reasonable level of his health with his ankle. He practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday last week before logging consecutive DNPs to close the week, but it's possible the team was being overly cautious with its franchise quarterback.
As mentioned last week, over his last four completed games, Fields is averaging 20.7 fantasy points per game. That average would rank him as the QB10 for the full season. Put simply, he's performing like a low-end QB1 right now.
It's mostly due to his legs. Over that same span, he's averaging 8.5 carries and 64.3 rushing yards. He's also added a rushing score. His rushing is providing a high weekly floor with upside for more.
On paper, this checks in as a matchup Fields can exploit. His opponent, the New York Giants, are 20th in schedule-adjusted pass defense based on numberFire's metrics, grading 20th or worse against both the run and the pass. The Chicago Bears check in as healthy 6.0-point home favorites. Going up against either Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm, Fields and company should have the ball plenty.
Obviously, you'll need to monitor Fields' practice status closely this week. As with the last two weeks, if Lamar Jackson is out, whichever backup Baltimore Ravens quarterback who gets the start is a good rushing arbitrage streamer as a pivot off Fields.
Mac Jones, Patriots
Roster Percentage: 32%
Enter Mac Jones, who has put up 19 or more fantasy points in three of his last six games. He was a top-10 quarterback on the week with each of those performances, so there's a little more fantasy juice here relative to his perception.
With Jones, we're trusting the matchup and the likely game script. For the matchup, the Jacksonville Jaguars rank 31st in our schedule-adjusted defense rankings, ranking 30th against the pass. Jones shouldn't want for efficiency and a clean pocket here.
As for the game script, the Patriots have a 28.75-point team total, fourth among all teams, and they are the largest favorites of the week (-15.5). We should expect them to dominate time of possession against possibly the worst team in the league.
Remember, we want to chase efficiency over volume at the quarterback position. It makes sense then that Jones' three best fantasy performances of the season came in dominant Patriots wins in which they dominated time of possession and scored 30-plus points. Based on the matchup, team total, and spread, this is another likely outcome for the Patriots and Jones on Sunday.
Without much rushing juice, Jones doesn't carry the same ceiling as his streaming counterparts. But our projections agree that he's a high-floor streaming option in the fantasy championship.