Week 12 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Brian Hoyer Gets a Heavenly Matchup
Everything is good in the football world.
No teams are on bye weeks, and we get three Thanksgiving games.
Sure, Week 11 was -- mostly -- weird and a tad boring, but everything is full speed ahead from here on out.
The lack of bye weeks give us plenty of low-owned options, and those with locked-and-loaded starters won't be cramping our style on the waiver wire because of weeks off.
Who should you target in Week 12?
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler isn't easy to trust. That's, at least, what we can glean from his ownership percentage (around 30 percent in ESPN.com leagues). A single-digit showing in Week 11 won't help that. In his prior six games, Cutler had topped 17 fantasy points. In Week 11, he played the best pass defense in the NFL, per our Net Expected Points (NEP) metrics. In fact, Denver (-0.12) was wildly better than the second-placed Panthers (-0.04) in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play before their matchup up with Cutler.
Green Bay isn't quite as good. Green Bay is just 18th in pass defense per our metrics and also 18th against fantasy signal callers. Yes, the game is on the road, but four of those past six good games from Cutler were road games. If Alshon Jeffery misses again, then look to, perhaps, Tyrod Taylor, whose ownership is higher, or one of these other options.
Brian Hoyer, New Orleans Saints
Sometimes, the matchup is the only reason to play a particular streamer. That might sound like it's the case for Hoyer, but it's not. Yeah, the matchup is perfect. The Saints are the worst pass defense in our database. Not just this year, mind you. I'm talking about since 2000. This team has given up more expected points on a per-play basis (after adjusting for schedule) than any team since we started gathering data (and it's not particularly close for the Saints, whose score of 0.34 is well off the 0.29 pace of the next worst squad). Unsurprisingly, the Saints are the most generous squad in the NFL to fantasy quarterbacks, too.
Hoyer, though, has posted 17 or more fantasy points in five straight contests before he exited the team's Week 10 game because of a concussion. He's back, he's got DeAndre Hopkins, this is a historically bad pass defense, and he's been playing well enough as it is. Roll with him if you can even though the Saints have had a week to prepare for the Texans.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota and the Titans get a long week (they played on Thursday in Week 11) to prepare for the Oakland Raiders, who rank 29th in pass defense, per our metrics. They're 26th against fantasy passers, too. Mariota proved capable of taking advantage of a good quarterback matchup last week, in spite of a short week to prepare.
Mariota is lacking serious and reliable receiver threats (though he is expected to get Kendall Wright back this week), but he has ran the ball 10 times in the past two games, which could help give him a usable floor. His ownership (north of 40 percent) is a bit confusing (it's too high given his dependency on matchups), but in the right matchup -- which this is -- he has big, big upside.
Kirk Cousins, Washington
Speaking of matchup dependent, Kirk Cousins is relevant this week. Washington plays the Giants, who are 17th against the pass, per our metrics, and 27th against fantasy quarterbacks. The pass rush is more of a concern now than earlier in the year, but when adjusting for schedule strength, Washington has been as efficient (from an Adjusted Passing NEP) perspective as Atlanta has been.
Cousins could have a big day with Jordan Reed, as the Giants rank 30th against fantasy tight ends this season. Reed did sprain his MCL last week but did get back to the field. Monitor Reed's status, for sure, but Cousins could be slinging the ball all over in this NFC East tilt.