Week 11 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Giving the Keys to Mark Sanchez
There's some wacky stuff happening at quarterback in the NFL this season.
Peyton Manning got benched for Brock Osweiler. Johnny Manziel has been named the starter over the obviously-capable Josh McCown. Andrew Luck struggled with injuries and bad play all year. Ben Roethlisberger can't stay healthy but can still be a boss when he's supposed to be on the sidelines. Nick Foles got benched for Case Keenum (not really surprising, but that's what we're dealing with at quarterback in some situations). Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, and Jay Cutler have all come back from inefficient 2014 seasons to look pretty solid -- to differing degrees. Blaine Gabbert emerged as a better option than Colin Kaepernick.
You get the idea.
This has opened the door for a lot of streaming options in fantasy football, but this week, it's actually kind of tricky to pinpoint reliable streaming candidates because of all the turmoil.
If that's you, consider these guys.
Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles
Mark Sanchez didn't step into the starting role because of the incumbent's poor play, but it would have made sense. Sam Bradford, out because of injury, hasn't exactly been lighting it up for the Eagles. Among the 30 quarterbacks with at least 200 drop backs through Week 10, Bradford ranks 22nd in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP), which indicates how many points he added to his team via pass plays compared to expectation-level. On a per-play basis, Bradford (0.05) also ranks 22nd. Last season, among 37 passers with at least 200 drop backs, Sanchez (0.15) ranked 12th, and he was significantly better than the player ranked behind him (Matthew Stafford at 0.10), too.
Sanchez and the Eagles host the Buccaneers in Week 11. Tampa ranks 22nd against fantasy passers and are 27th in the NFL in terms of Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. They're a beatable secondary, and Sanchez was good in this offense last year. You can't be super confident, but given his ownership levels, he's an option in Week 11.
Also, consider Stafford and Tyrod Taylor, both of whom have ownerships between 50 and 60 percent in ESPN leagues before waivers cleared this week.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
There is plenty not to like about Mariota in Week 11. He's a rookie playing on a short week. Okay, so it's not a long list, but that combination isn't great. The saving grace here is that the Jaguars rank 30th in our metrics at defending the pass. They're 25th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. So, the matchup is fine, but the context isn't.
Mariota has a pretty low floor in most matchups and is coming off a rough performance -- but he did just face the second-best pass defense in the league (Carolina), per our metrics, last week. Given the soft matchup, Mariota comes in as our 11th-best quarterback this week. That makes him, perhaps, the best streamable quarterback of the week, provided Stafford and Taylor are gone in your league.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
By just about every measure, Alex Smith hasn't been great this year. His Passing NEP (27.36) ranks 18th among 30 passers with at least 200 drop backs. Per-play, Smith (0.08) also ranks 18th. Funnily enough, he's 22nd in Passing Success Rate, which suggests he's not really consistent but rather relying on bigger plays to boost his still-unimpressive NEP scores. But aside from his Week 2 nightmare against Denver (not exactly an easy test, as they are by far the best pass defense in the league in terms of NEP), Smith has found a way to post fantasy points.
His lowest fantasy point total since Week 3 has been 13.3 points, which isn't great, but it's not awful if you're in a deeper league. Yes, he's topped 20 points just twice all year (Week 1 and Week 8), but he's not likely to throw up a total dud in the fantasy points points column, which is kind of what you expect from Smith -- something but not a lot.
San Diego ranks 20th against fantasy passers and are 25th against the pass, according to our metrics. Given his usable floor (in terms of sheer fantasy points), this is a good enough matchup for the unexciting option.
Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos
The Osweiler era may not be a full go just yet, but he will be getting the start for the Broncos in Week 11. That makes him interesting. What also makes him interesting is the matchup. The Chicago Bears are 23rd in the league in terms of Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play and 15th against fantasy passers, though that rank has been bogged down by some weak outings by Nick Foles and Teddy Bridgewater in recent weeks.
Though you aren't putting much stock into a 27-drop back sample size, Osweiler has been solid this season. His Passing NEP per drop back (0.20) is basically where the top-10 or top-12 quarterbacks reside during the season, and his impressive Passing Success Rate of 51.85 percent suggests that mark hasn't been inflated by a big play or two.
Of course, in playing the Bears, Osweiler is facing his old coaches (John Fox and Adam Gase), who should know what he can and cannot do, but if he can get the ball to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, he can give you a decent outing.
I do have to say, though, that Matt Hasselbeck against the 19th-ranked Atlanta Falcons (via NEP, that is) also makes for a potential deep play and may offer a higher floor than the unproven Osweiler.