Streaming Quarterbacks: Week 15 Targets
The injuries began on Thursday night with David Montgomery’s late-game visit to the medical tent and ended on Monday night with Philadelphia carting three of their players to the locker room. No one was safe. Offensive and defensive players alike fell prey to the dangers of the game with hamstring strains, stingers, concussions, and torn ligaments sustained across the league. The ramifications extended past fantasy football as multiple players are unlikely to finish out the regular season due to injury severity. Not an ideal situation for the fantasy playoffs.
Waiver-wire decisions will be critical in Week 15. Quarterbacks and streaming recommendations will be approached using the same process we’ve applied throughout the season. However, running back and wide receiver claims will likely take priority with the number of injuries throughout the league. Here’s where our deeper sweep of viable plays becomes useful. Let’s dive into the news and notes to identify the optimal plays as we head into the fantasy semi-finals.
Week 14 Review
Here’s how the scores ended up with key takeaways below:
- Gardner Minshew – 13.6 points (QB22)
- Sam Darnold – 17.1 points (QB16)
- Ryan Tannehill – 27.5 points (QB6)
- Kyle Allen – 18.1 points (QB14)
Ryan Tannehill continues to impress as rumors begin to build around his future with the Titans. Tannehill amassed nearly 400 passing yards on less than 30 passes. The chunk plays created by defenses forced to stop Derrick Henry have been difficult to stop. While the offense hasn’t fundamentally changed schematically, Tannehill has been able to execute (both through the air and on the ground) putting him in the QB1 discussion each week.
The rest resulted in floor plays that might not have helped nor hurt your playoff standing. Jacksonville completely collapsed with their top receiver leaving with an ankle injury. We expected more from Sam Darnold given the matchup against Miami, but he still got there in a game featuring 11 field goal attempts. The Panthers only generated 20 points while allowing 40 after an emotional week leaving the entire franchise listless and looking towards 2020. Still, Allen was able to salvage his day with the team’s only rushing touchdown making the loss palatable for those rostering Allen. Again, no disastrous performances, but we need all the points we can get during this time of the year. Let’s dig into the injuries and matchups to find who the top streamers are for Week 15.
Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed
After some wild performances in Week 14, let’s visit 4for4’s Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed updated through Week 14. Notable changes in the rankings for defensive units include:
- DAL down 9 spots to #19 (17.8 aFPA)
- HOU down 6 spots to #31 (23.6 aFPA)
- NO down 5 spots to #12 (15.6 aFPA)
- WAS up 4 spots to #11 (15.0 aFPA)
- PHI up 8 spots to #5 (13.4 aFPA)
- LAR up 9 spots to #13 (15.9 aFPA)
Injuries to Philadelphia and Washington will have an impact in the weeks ahead (discussed below), but the poor outings by Dallas over the last two weeks are noteworthy. With both sides of the ball struggling, quarterbacks against the Cowboys may fare better than expected. Houston's complete breakdown against Drew Lock and the Broncos make them a prime streaming target. As noted below, the Titans' offense should match up well with Houston's secondary giving them a high floor headed into Week 15.
Key Defensive Injuries
Finally, we’ll review injuries along with the guidelines that will be used each week to find viable options on the waiver wire:
- Ownership levels in the playoffs have been relaxed to 60%. Anyone with a positive matchup now becomes viable.
- Ancillary metrics and game conditions (e.g. defensive ranking, weather) will be factored into the analysis.
- Positive matchups for all pass catchers to be considered.
- 4for4 rankings should always be consulted for league-specific decisions.
Desmond Trufant (Falcons, Forearm) – The Falcons’ cornerback suffered a season-ending forearm injury in their Week 14 win over the Panthers. Trufant joins the two other Atlanta defenders (Keanu Neal and Johnathan Cyprien) already on IR adding to the Falcons’ injury woes. Atlanta’s defense (19.9 aFPA) now has to deal with the 49ers’ potent offense as they travel to San Francisco in Week 15.
Dee Ford (49ers, Hamstring) – Ford reaggravated his hamstring injury sustained in Week 11 and was forced out of the 49ers’ high-scoring matchup against the Saints. Kyle Shanahan announced early on Monday that the pass rusher will be likely out for three weeks to recover in time for their playoff run. In the meantime, the 49ers’ (13.2 aFPA) will begin preparations to host Atlanta in Week 15.
Quinnen Williams (Jets, Neck) – The Jets star rookie defensive lineman suffered a stinger in the third quarter of New York’s matchup against Miami. Adam Gase noted that Williams would not have practiced on Monday if the team had held practice. The Jets (18.8 aFPA) travel to Baltimore for the final Thursday night game of the season. Patrick Laird and even Ryan Fitzpatrick found success on the ground against the Jets once Williams left the game. Should the Jets rookie miss the game, the Ravens’ ground game will look even stronger against that defense.
Other Notable Injuries: Quinton Dunbar (Washington, Hamstring), Sheldon Rankins (Saints, Ankle), Ryan Kerrigan (Washington, Calf), Dre’Mont Jones (Broncos, Ankle), Anthony Levine Sr. (Ravens, Ankle), Montravius Adams (Packers, Illness), A’Shawn Robinson (Lions, Shoulder), Jake Ryan (Jaguars, Hamstring), Kenny Vaccaro (Titans, Concussion), Rodney Gunter (Cardinals, Ankle)
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