Week 10 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: You Like Kirk Cousins?
Ah, finally, some order.
That's true, but...
After the top four, we saw plenty of late-round or undrafted players make a mark. Derek Carr, Matt Cassel, Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Blake Bortles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jameis Winston sat inside the top 12 in fantasy points scored.
Which streamer types have a shot to do that in Week 10?
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winston is finding his groove -- even without some of his most legitimate playmakers. Absent Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Vincent Jackson, Winston posted his third consecutive top-12 quarterback score in Week 9. He's been over 12 fantasy points in every contest, which is a usable floor in deeper leagues and a floor that certainly won't demolish you in shallow leagues. However, Winston has been above 18 fantasy points in three straight games, and Week 10 could skew toward that higher end as well.
In Week 10, Winston faces the Cowboys, who actually rank eighth against fantasy passers in terms of points per game. But they're 16th in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, which compares their actual, on-field performance to expectation-level. Dallas has held three opponents to fewer than 10 fantasy points (Eli Manning in Weeks 1 and 7 and Sam Bradford in Week 2), which makes their fantasy points rank look better than it has been against non-division opponents. Winston is our ninth-ranked quarterback this week.
Kirk Cousins, Washington
In another NFC East versus NFC South tilt, we have Kirk Cousins against the New Orleans Saints in Washington. The Saints rank 32nd in fantasy points allowed to passers and are last in our per-play pass defense metrics, as well. Their Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play score is currently 0.31. The worst pass defense since 2000 by that measure was the 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars at 0.29. So, yeah, things aren't going well for the Saints' secondary.
On top of that, Cousins is 13th in the league in Passing NEP, and he ranks 16th among 32 passers with at least 150 drop backs on a per-drop back basis in the metric. He's not elite, but he's capable, and in this matchup, he can take advantage against a reeling secondary.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
He's playing on Thursday Night Football. He's set for surgery on his non-throwing hand the day after the game. It's a divisional opponent, one that ranks 15th against fantasy passers and 8th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. The over/under (42.5 points) is really low, and his team has an implied point total of just 22.5. He's Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fitz has been a go-to option for streamers this year, and while a lot of things look iffy for Week 10, we can just as easily spin it the other way. That implied point total is actually roughly middle-of-the-pack this week. Buffalo has allowed multiple touchdown passes in six of eight games. Fitzpatrick has three top-12 scores in his past four games, and the outlier there was when he got hurt against the Raiders in Week 8. It's not an ideal situation, but you could do much worse with quarterback plays in terms of process than Fitzpatrick this week.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
It's hard to imagine feeling confident about playing Joe Flacco in Week 10, given that Steve Smith, his best target, is out for the season. However, Baltimore has an implied total of 26.75, which is fourth-highest on the slate. Jacksonville is 26th against fantasy quarterbacks and 30th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play.
Flacco has four straight top-16 performances, which doesn't sound great in 10-team leagues, but given the state of his receiving corps, he shouldn't really be a shallow league target anyway. The matchup is right, and Baltimore is still expected to score points. Further, Jacksonville is seventh in rush defense, per our metrics, and Baltimore is 20th in rushing efficiency. Baltimore should have better success beating the Jags through the air.