Streaming Quarterbacks: Week 17 Targets
The thought of making roster decisions and sweating a fantasy championship sounds absolutely exhausting. After three months of injuries, postponements, and losses due to COVID-19, there’s an additional reality to consider. The playoff picture has come into focus for much of the league. Fantasy managers will now need to consider how much teams will be motivated to keep up in their matchups. I’ll lay out my initial recommendations, but encourage everyone to check out Jennifer Eakins' article on teams with motivation to add the required context heading into Week 17.
Week 16 Review
Week 16 was a solid end to the fantasy regular season. Baker Mayfield was removed from consideration after the Browns placed five players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That left two recommendations that followed our usual process along with a dart throw. Hurts didn’t give us the ceiling we expected, but none of the options were complete disasters in the final week of the season.
- Jalen Hurts – 18.6 pts (QB16)
- Mitchell Trubisky – 23.6 pts (QB8)
- Derek Carr – 23.2 pts (QB9)
Three turnovers (one of them fairly questionable) undermined what would have been a better day for Hurts. Regardless, the rookie had over 300 yards passing for the second week in a row with 69 yards on the ground. His dual-threat ability is exactly what we look for in fantasy quarterbacks and why he’ll likely be a high-valued draft pick in 2021.
My concerns for Trubisky, stemming from a low-volume output in Week 15, were alleviated in Week 16. Their neutral passing rate was back up to 67.4% and Trubisky attempted a pass on 45.5% of their plays within the red zone. There were three additional rushing attempts from inside the 20-yard line bringing their total red-zone passing rate down to 35.7%, but those occurred after the game was well in hand. At least Trubisky himself got in on the rushing production taking one in for a short score which is why he’ll usually make this list on a week-to-week basis.
2020 Season Review
Since it’s the last week, I wanted to look at the season in its totality. Accountability is important. However, gathering this data hopefully gives you (and me) some insight into my process, its success, and what we can take away from this wild season. I’ll likely expand on this in some offseason articles, but here’s where we stand for the 2020 season.
70 total recommendations made (32 top options, 38 deep options)
- 16 top options finished within the Top 12
- 12 deep options finished within the Top 12
- 12 total options finished within the Top 6 (2 finished as the overall QB1)
- Averaged 17.4 points per week
- Worst performance: Week 12 – 0.6 points (Derek Carr)
- Best performance: Week 5 – 27.4 points (Justin Herbert)
- Averaged: 17.0 points per week
- Worst performance: Week 4 – 6.0 points (Nick Mullens)
- Best performance: Week 15 – 37.8 points (Jalen Hurts)
As you all have seen, I’ve made it a habit of pointing out neutral and red-zone passing rates. Identifying both team trends, along with what opposing defenses have allowed, have been my key data points in evaluating each matchup. But, the primary read has been rushing upside. Look at last week alone. All three either scored a rushing touchdown or had a significant portion of their fantasy production come on the ground. The #KonamiCode is becoming less of a cheat code and more of a requirement for quarterbacks. Passing, and pass-happy game environments, will always give us a floor, but we’ll need to identify more mobile passers if we’re looking for true QB1 potential.
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