Week 15 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: It's an Alex Smith Week
It's great to be alive in fantasy football in Week 15.
That (almost assuredly) means you're in the postseason, possibly one game from the championship. Maybe it's week one of a two-week title game.
Maybe you're in a no-playoffs league or playing some daily fantasy football this week.
Possibly you're in a league that lets playoffs run in Weeks 16 and 17. Stop that. Don't do that. All of those other options are better than relying on Week 17 to decide things.
Anyway, the important thing is that you're here. That means you need a quarterback for Week 15. It's not a great week for quarterback streaming, as most of the best matchups belong to the heavily-owned fantasy passers, but who is in a good enough spot to produce?
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
This one feels like a bit of a cop out because Ryan Fitzpatrick is awesome and because his ownership was just above 40 percent in ESPN leagues before waivers cleared this week. I know that means he could be owned by the smaller percentage of owners who are still competing, but I'd be doing you a disservice if I omitted him at such a crucial time in case he's available in your league.
Sure, the Dallas Cowboys actually look pretty decent against fantasy passers from a points-per-game perspective (they're 10th against fantasy quarterbacks), but a lot of that has to do with volume, as Dallas has faced just 448 drop backs, the 30th most in the NFL through Week 14. Against the toughest run defense in the NFL, per our metrics, Dallas should have issues controlling the clock. That should give Fitzpatrick enough chances to hook up with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker to post another 24-plus fantasy point performance, a mark he's hit three consecutive games. It helps that Dallas ranks just 15th in our schedule-adjusted, per-play pass defense metrics.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Yeah, the Chiefs did manage only 10 real life points against one of the worst defenses in the NFL (San Diego is 31st according to our metrics on a per-play basis) last week, but the Baltimore Ravens are reeling and were just torched by Russell Wilson for five touchdowns in Week 14. Baltimore has allowed 19.4 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season, and that includes three single-digit performances (and an 11-point game).
Of course, I'm burying the real subject here because I think the matchup dictates the play. This is one of the best secondaries to target, the Chiefs have to keep winning, and Alex Smith has 13 or more fantasy points in every contest but one this year. He has topped 21 fantasy points in three of his last six games, too. The three sub-21 point games came against divisional opponents, making them a little more understandable.
Kirk Cousins, Washington
Kirk Cousins isn't in a great spot, as he isn't playing a super-beatable opponent. Buffalo ranks 16th against fantasy quarterbacks and 9th against the pass, per our metrics. The good news, though, is that he's playing in Washington.
On the road this year, Cousins has thrown for exactly one touchdown in each of his six games. Combine that with just 242.5 passing yards, and things aren't great. In all, Cousins has averaged 11.68 points on the road this year. If you remove his 21.3-point showing against Chicago in Week 14, that mark is just 9.76 points.
At home, the yardage isn't much better (264.4 yards per game), but he's averaging 1.71 passing scores and 19.47 fantasy points per game. In addition, three of his four rushing touchdowns have come at FedEx Field. Washington is a one-point underdog, but that should leave the game script neutral enough for him not to play from behind all game.
Brian Hoyer or T.J. Yates, Houston Texans
Brian Hoyer sustained his second concussion in the past month, and T.J. Yates could be in line for the start against the division rival Indianapolis Colts. Of course, for all reasons -- human decency, fantasy football, real football -- it would be great for Hoyer to suit up in Week 15, but if he doesn't, Yates can still be a serviceable option for your deep-league teams.
The Colts have surrendered 12 or more fantasy points to quarterbacks in every contest thus far and rank 26th over the whole season. They're also 26th against the pass, per our metrics.
There is no line set on this game just yet, as the quarterback situation will determine a lot, but so long as DeAndre Hopkins is on the field, either quarterback will be in a solid spot against this defense in Week 15.