3 Things Tony Romo Owners Should Do in Their Fantasy Football Leagues
Over 67 percent of fantasy football leagues on ESPN.com saw Tony Romo rostered and started in Week 2. That means at least one person in 67 percent of fantasy leagues ended Sunday with a good shower cry.
Tony Romo is out for an extended period of time -- it's looking like eight weeks -- and fantasy owners are seeking an alternative option. (The Cowboys probably should, too, but that's for a different article.)
What should you, a Romo owner, do? Let's take a look at three options.
1. Add Carson Palmer
Only Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger currently have scored more fantasy points than Carson Palmer. And while matchups have played a role -- Palmer has faced a banged-up Saints' secondary and a Bears' defense that couldn't stop a thing last year -- we can't ignore what's going on in Arizona right now.
Last year, as I mentioned in Week 1's 15 Transactions column, Palmer finished as a top-16 weekly fantasy quarterback in five of six games played, including three top-10 performances. That means, counting this season, Palmer's been a top-16 quarterback in seven of his last eight starts, and a top-10 passer in five of them.
Not only that, according to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, only five quarterbacks were more efficient on a per drop back basis (minimum 200 passes) than Palmer a season ago. So, if not for a season-ending injury, perhaps Palmer would've simply been one of the better starting fantasy quarterbacks in the league.
"Perhaps" is a key word here. Because, of the six opponents he faced last year, four ranked in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points against.
We should expect some regression from the veteran soon -- his 12.5% touchdown percentage is close to triple his career average -- but upcoming matchups against the 49ers, Rams, Lions and Steelers could keep him in the top five at the position. Once the schedule gets a little tougher, you may be looking at the waiver wire for fill-ins.
Palmer's owned in more leagues than not, but shallower leagues could still have him in free agency. If so, snatch him up.
2. Trade for Brady, Rodgers or Luck
Another alternative -- and one that I'm not incredibly fond of -- is trading for one of the three quarterbacks who are looking like every-week, plug-and-play guys at the quarterback position no matter their opponent.
The plus side to this is that you don't have to worry about the waiver wire, and you don't have to worry about Carson Palmer falling back to Earth. The downside, however, is pretty big depending on what you have to send in order to make this deal happen.
The idea of trading for one of the elite passers should really only be considered if you're in a league that limits transactions, or you see a team that has Brady rostered with either Luck or Rodgers. That, after all, is possible given the news surrounding Brady during fantasy draft time.
The truth is, though, you can Frankenstein a quarterback through the waiver wire pretty easily that can come close to the production of these top passers. And you can do it at no price at all.
3. Live the Stream
Streaming is no new concept to fantasy football. For those who may not know, I host a podcast called Living the Stream, where my cohost, Denny Carter, and I give waiver wire recommendations at quarterback, tight end and defense each week based on opposition matchup.
The reason you can stream in fantasy football comes down to basic supply and demand. There's a whole lot of quarterbacks, tight ends and defenses out there, but each team in your 10-, 12- or 14-team league is starting just one of these players in a lineup each week. The supply, then, exceeds the demand. There's a surplus. There are tons of these assets on the waiver wire.
Though it feels uncomfortable, streaming is very viable. There were 41 quarterbacks with at least one top-12, QB1 performance a season ago. And last season, Denny and I streamed a QB6 equivalent, which was a little worse than Drew Brees and a little better than Matt Ryan. So far this year, the Dalton-Dalton start (we target passers owned in fewer than 20% of leagues) in Weeks 1 and 2 has brought QB7 numbers.
There's math and logic behind all of this as well. Quarterbacks see the highest volume of any of the positions in fantasy football, which means they're the easiest to predict week in and week out. Because of this, you can target nobodies off the waiver wire and play them in plus matchups with confidence. Like Nick Foles against the Steelers in Week 3, for instance.
So if Palmer's not on your waiver wire, this is the option Romo owners should probably roll with. You shouldn't have much trouble matching the production of, say, Matthew Stafford or Matt Ryan, and you're doing so at zero cost.
And lucky for you, we have a quarterback streaming article on numberFire each and every week.