Week 17 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Trusting the Texans
Quarterback streaming is usually a fun approach to fantasy football.
Watching Kirk Cousins demolish Tom Brady in the fantasy points column in the always-crucial Week 16? That's part of what makes the game of fantasy football frustrating, fun, frantic, and other such words.
When you're on the right end of a perfectly-deployed streamer, things are good. But that also means you have to trust a player such as Cousins with your fantasy hopes and dreams.
And if you were afraid of Cousins last week, then you might not love the crop of streamers available to you this week.
But such is the way of the streamer.
Which guys can help you clinch a fantasy championship in Week 17?
Brian Hoyer or Brandon Weeden, Houston Texans
Brian Hoyer, hopefully, will return to action in Week 17, but if not, Brandon Weeden, to a lesser extent, has some appeal. (That was a weird sentence to write.) The real reason that they're appealing is that the Texans play the Jacksonville Jaguars, who rank 30th against the pass, per our metrics. The Jags are 29th against fantasy passers, as well.
In two of their past three games, the Jags have held passers to fewer than 12 fantasy points, but in three of their past five, they allowed more than 28 fantasy points. They've also allowed more than 200 passing yards in every game after Week 1. Oh, and they've given up three or more passing scores in five games this year.
Houston is basically a lock for the playoffs (they have a 99.8 percent chance to make the playoffs, per our numbers), but ending the season with a loss against a terrible secondary doesn't seem likely. And for what it's worth, Hoyer threw for 293 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Jags in Jacksonville back in Week 6.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
In every week aside from Week 2, Alex Smith has managed at least 12.5 fantasy points. Is that alone great? No. It's not. In his past three games, he's had fewer than 16.5 fantasy points. Again, not great. But Smith's floor isn't an unwelcomed sight when the fantasy championship is at stake.
Smith racked up 24.8 fantasy points against the Raiders, his Week 17 foe, back in Week 13. Oakland ranks 21st against fantasy quarterbacks even with a three-game stretch of holding passers to fewer than 16 fantasy points. They're 20th against the pass, per our advanced metrics, too. With a 25.25-point implied total, based on Vegas lines, the Chiefs are projected for the fifth-highest score among teams with posted lines as of Tuesday morning.
If you can't get ahold of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Smith is probably the safest bet for fantasy points in Week 17 among streaming-eligible quarterbacks -- even if the ceiling isn't high.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler has had a solid fantasy season when his receiving corps wasn't decimated. That won't really fix itself for Week 17 -- Martellus Bennett is done for the year -- but Zach Miller has played well enough in Bennett's absence to give Cutler a reliable option at tight end. The bigger issue is that Alshon Jeffery, who was seemingly a game-time decision every week this year, has no incentive to play in Week 17.
Still, Cutler's matchup against Lions, 22nd against fantasy quarterbacks and 27th by our metrics, is pretty juicy. Chicago actually has a usable 23-point implied total, based on Vegas odds, and Cutler has enough receivers out of the backfield to hold somewhat of a fantasy floor in Week 17.
A.J. McCarron, Cincinnati Bengals
A.J. McCarron and the Cincinnati Bengals hold a 25.25-point implied total, same as Smith and the Chiefs, but McCarron hasn't flashed much upside since taking over as the team's starter. He's also day-to-day, so you'll have to manage his situation as the week progresses. But as a 7.5-point favorite against the Baltimore Ravens, he should be a safe bet for fantasy points. Then again, the Ravens, after toppling the Pittsburgh Steelers, might be more problematic than their year-long numbers suggest.
They rank 24th against fantasy quarterbacks and 19th against the pass, per our metrics, but the divisional rivalry brought out the best in them in Week 16.
Still, the team total is high, the spread is favorable (provided the Ravens keep it a little closer than 7.5 points all game), and McCarron has reached the end zone at least once in all of his games with extended time. It might get ugly for Cincinnati, but it's just as reasonable that it gets ugly in their favor if they can take advantage of the secondary.