Week 13 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: All About Fitzpatrick
Rule One of Quarterback Streaming Club is
you do not talk about Quarterback Streaming Club you always target the New Orleans Saints.
Unfortunately for us, the Saints face the Carolina Panthers in Week 13, and that means Cam Newton is gifted a matchup sure to result in a cascade of dabbin'.
But if you don't have a Cam Newton or a Tom Brady rostered this week, don't worry.
There are plenty of great streaming options to get you through to Week 14.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Ryan Fitzpatrick was a staple of this column early in the year. He was thrust into the starting gig, he had two elite wide receivers at his disposal, and he always has some rushing potential whether you like to believe it or not. He's been making good on just about every opportunity, too. The only game in which he failed to hit 13 fantasy points was in Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders -- and that was because he left early with an injury.
Fitz has a "road" matchup against the New York Giants this week, a team that ranks 29th against fantasy quarterbacks and 20th against the pass, according to our schedule-adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play metrics. Basically, they aren't scary against opposing quarterbacks whether we're talking raw numbers or performance-above-expectation measures. The Jets are two-point favorites, so they shouldn't be playing from behind, and they shouldn't really be grinding out the clock with Chris Ivory.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Alex Smith isn't too different from Fitzpatrick. He has at least 13 fantasy points in every game but one: a Week 2 tilt against the Denver Broncos. Smith has posted at least 33 rushing yards in four straight contests, too, giving him nearly a passing touchdown worth of fantasy points (in four-point leagues) extra to his passing totals.
Kansas City is a three-point underdog at Oakland this week, so we shouldn't be expecting any sort of high-volume, come-from-behind game that doesn't suit Smith. The Raiders rank 26th both against fantasy quarterbacks and in terms of Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. The matchup is promising, the floor has been there, and the ceiling (20-plus fantasy points in two of his last four games) could surface in Week 13.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler still isn't getting any love. Yes, his past two games have been rough (fewer than 13 points in each), but at least they made sense. One was against Denver, who is the stingiest pass defense in the league, per our metrics. The other was on a short week in Lambeau against the Packers, which often is bad news for Cutler despite his recent successes.
Cutler, though, topped 17 fantasy points each week from Week 4 to Week 10 (their bye was Week 7), and he gets a cake matchup against the 49ers in Week 13. San Francisco is 24th against fantasy quarterbacks and 29th against the pass, per our metrics. The Bears' 25-point implied total is third-highest on the slate, behind only the Patriots and the Panthers. The seven-point spread (in favor of the Bears) isn't totally what you like to see for a quarterback, but if they score 25 points, Cutler will likely have done some damage. He's had a high floor of late, and he's being forgotten again because of two bad outings.
Matt Hasselbeck, Indianapolis Colts
Matt Hasselbeck is, of course, a deeper target, but he's getting a matchup that isn't as dangerous as it once seemed. Pittsburgh has allowed 339.3 passing yards, 3.3 passing touchdowns, and 26.0 fantasy points to quarterbacks in their past three games. On the year, they rank 25th against fantasy quarterbacks. That span has caused them to drop from 9th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play (0.06) after Week 8 to 14th (0.11) after Week 12.
In his four starts, Hasselbeck has notched at least 13 fantasy points and has thrown for 2 touchdowns in his past three contests. Frank Gore is worn out, and Ahmad Bradshaw is done for the year. Even though Bradshaw takes away a passing target, that means that the Colts could be throwing a little more than usual in Week 13. Because of Ben Roethlisberger's uncertain status, there is no line set for the game just yet, but if the Steelers have to rely on Landry Jones, Hasselbeck could be in a spot to make efficient throws against a weakening secondary rather than trying to play catch-up with an elite offense.