Week 7 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Derek Carr Might Be Good
The quarterback carousel continues week after week, and top-12 quarterback scores to pour in from unheralded sources. To wit, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Blake Bortles, and Brian Hoyer rounded out the top six in Week 6, behind more understandable names: Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, and Andrew Luck.
But when looking for fantasy production from these lesser-touted quarterbacks, breaking down matchups is often the key. That and the fact that there's a larger supply of quarterbacks in standard fantasy leagues than there is demand makes streaming possible. That's why you're reading this.
As a heads up, the four teams on the bye (Green Bay, Cincinnati, Denver, and Chicago) all have quarterbacks who might be relied upon as a starter for your opponents -- or you -- even though one of them clearly shouldn't be trusted at this point.
We all know who that is.
(His name is Peyton Manning.)
Anyway, there could be competition on the waiver wire for some signal callers. If you're in need, then consider these guys.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Derek Carr couldn't be trusted last year, but things are changing in Oakland in 2015. Paired up with Amari Cooper, Derek Carr has been functioning rather well as an NFL passer. In terms of advanced analytics, the same is true. Carr's Passing Net Expected Points (NEP), or the points above expectation-level he's added to his team's expected output on his drop backs, of 23.03 ranked 12th among 32 passers with at least 100 drop backs heading into Week 5, Carr's bye week. Of his 169 drop backs, 49.70 percent have led to positive NEP gains, giving him a Success Rate that ranked 10th in the group. He hasn't been relying on big, NEP-boosting plays to be successful.
In Week 7, Carr will play the Chargers in San Diego, which has its ups and downs. The Chargers rank 13th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play and 10th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. However, in two of their last four, they allowed a combined 15.2 fantasy points to Teddy Bridgewater and Michael Vick, neither of whom are good this year. In the two others, Josh McCown and Aaron Rodgers combined for nearly 45 -- 22.2 coming from McCown -- against the Chargers.
Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans
Since and including Week 4, Hoyer has netted at least 17 fantasy points in three straight games, including one that saw him take over off the bench. That's not exactly enough proof to play him, of course, but DeAndre Hopkins might be. Just kidding. But not totally.
Hoyer's Passing NEP of 34.52 ranks ninth among all quarterbacks this year, and 52.55% of his passes led to NEP gains for his team, which ranks seventh among quarterbacks with at least 100 drop backs through Week 6.
Yes, the Dolphins had a great showing in Week 6 for their new head coach, forcing Marcus Mariota to commit four turnovers, but entering that game, they were the worst pass defense in the league, according to our metrics, and they were 15th against fantasy passers. Those marks have improved, of course, and it's possible that their play continues, but with Hopkins and Arian Foster, Hoyer has enough weapons at his disposal to challenge the previously-awful Dolphins defense.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Fitzpatrick manages to produce something -- even if it's not a lot -- week in and week out. He's been above 13 fantasy points in every week -- again, that's knot a lot; I know that -- but unlike most streamers, he doesn't have a floor that's below the basement. Last week, he rewarded streamers with a top-four outing against Washington. This week, he'll get New England on the road, which can be a scary proposition.
New England, though, has surrendered at least 16 fantasy points to opposing passers in each of their five games, excluding Week 5, when they held Brandon Weeden in check. With Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker to throw to and Chris Ivory to take pressure off of him, Fitzpatrick is a rare streamer to have trustworthy players around him. With a Passing NEP of just 10.68 (which ranks 26th among quarterbacks), Fitzpatrick isn't the most prolific passer, but there's enough going in his favor to roll with him if need be.
Landry Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers
This one is for the deep-leaguers, which tends to mean that there are caveats. Landry Jones performed admirably in Week 6, and a big part of that was the big-play ability of Martavis Bryant. Jones accumulated 168 yards and 2 touchdowns in short work against the Arizona Cardinals, whose ballhawking ways earned them the fourth-best Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play entering Week 6.
Things should be easier in Week 7.
Kansas City was the most generous pass defense in the league against fantasy quarterbacks before limiting Teddy Bridgewater in Week 6, but they've still given up at least 17 fantasy points to quarterbacks in each week before that. Additionally, Ben Roethlisberger is looking like a long shot to play in Week 7. The Steelers are proceeding as if Jones will start in Week 7, making him a deep-league option for streaming.