Week 3 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Rolling With Nick Foles
Waiver wire quarterbacks are doing big things early in the 2015 NFL season.
If you need more examples of why quarterback streaming can pay off, well, I could list more, but I won't.
Look, not every streaming play pays off, especially when you're digging deep for recommendations, but fantasy points are there to be scored, and all you have to do is play the streaming game to find them.
Which guys can pay off in Week 3?
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
Taylor continued to be a fantasy asset in Week 2 even though the game script was a 180-degree turn from Buffalo's Week 1 affair when they dominated the Indianapolis Colts. In Week 3, they could be playing from behind again, a recipe that led to 242 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 43 rushing yards, and 1 rushing touchdown for Taylor in Week 2.
The Bills are 2.5-point underdogs against the Dolphins in Week 3, and the over/under of 44 still suggests around 21 points to be scored for Buffalo. Taylor is emerging as a threat to add 40 yards on the ground (i.e. an extra passing touchdown in most scoring settings) in any game. In 2014, Miami ranked just 19th in our schedule-adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play metric and were torched by Blake Bortles of all people for 273 yards and 2 touchdowns with 27 yards on the ground to go along with it in Week 2. Bortles was a top-12 quarterback last week, and there's no reason to think Taylor can't get close to that level in Week 3.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Alex Smith had a pretty big letdown of a game against the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night (as did all of the Chiefs given how the game ended), but Thursday is typically unkind to fantasy quarterbacks, and that Denver defense is no joke. Smith gets the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau on Monday Night this week. The Chiefs are 7-point underdogs in a game with an over/under of 48, so that still implies about 20.5 points to be scored for Kansas City.
Last year, the Packers ranked 15th in per-play passing defense, per our metrics. There should be points to be scored on Monday, and Smith's Week 1 showing (243 yards and 3 touchdowns) evidences a high ceiling.
Nick Foles, St. Louis Rams
I recommended Foles last week, and it didn't pan out, making him one of the few misses on the entire slate. He threw for just 150 yards and a single touchdown against Washington, a team that was historically bad at defending the pass in 2014 (their Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play mark was third-worst since 2000), was without new top corner Chris Culliver, and just lost a starting safety Duke Ihenacho. Plenty of my own lineups went down in flames as a result of playing him, but I'll buy the ticket and take the ride again in Week 3 when Foles meets the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As 1-point home underdogs in a game with an over/under of 47, the Rams are expected to score around 23 points, which isn't exactly a low total for an underdog. That suggests a game with scoring going both ways. Plus, the Steelers have allowed an average of 311.5 passing yards and 3.0 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks through two weeks, making them the most generous fantasy defense to opposing signal-callers through so far. They rank 28th in pass defense, per our metrics, and they're as exciting a defensive matchup as we can really ask for when looking to stream the quarterback position.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
You don't really play Ryan Fitzpatrick for his ceiling, but if you need a guy with a solid floor, he's almost always a good option. That should be the case this weekend when the Jets face the Eagles, who can't seem to establish their offensive game plan and stay on the field. The Eagles are harder to beat on the ground (11th in defensive rushing efficiency this year and 5th last year) than through the air (18th and 20th, respectively), so Fitzpatrick could be able to post a solid passing stat line in Week 3.
The Jets are 2.5-point favorites with an over/under of 47, so it's not unthinkable that they flirt with four total touchdowns. Fitzpatrick ranks 13th in the league in Passing NEP per drop back, so he has the efficiency to cash in on the promising matchup.