Streaming Quarterbacks: Week 1 Targets
Week 1 is finally here and I’m not going to lie. I’m somewhat nervous. Streaming quarterbacks feels like a daunting task in 2021. But it can be done. Rookies, semi-mobile passers, and efficient signal-callers are still on the waiver wire. The schedule lines up for most to be in positive game environments. However, I’m guessing you’re squared away for this week.
If you’ve already drafted, you have your starter. Yes, even if you drafted Dak Prescott. If you haven’t, take what your league gives you. But if you get boxed out of a good quarterback to start this season, I’ve got you covered. This week is about getting back into the swing of things. This week is about the process. Let’s dig into the metrics that I use each week, what to expect out of this column, and my quarterback picks to start off the 2021 season.
Last season, my weekly recommendations resulted in 28 QB1 plays with 12 quarterbacks finishing in the Top 6. The top plays averaged 17.9 PPG equating to a QB13 average. A step back from previous seasons, but I noted a market shift prior to the start of the season which would cause a rift in available quarterbacks. Regardless, the results speak to the process I’ve continued to evolve over the last few years.
I set the pool of quarterbacks to consider with a 40.0% maximum roster rate. Afterward, I use a combination of multiple metrics to sift through the matchups to find the optimal players. Here are just a few:
- 4for4’s Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) – A rolling average of defensive points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. It’s just a starting point and gives a quick, high-level view of the matchups we should target. Merging aFPA with data trends pulled from Sports Info Solutions will solidify any basis for a streaming recommendation. I’ll include aFPA after Week 3.
- Neutral Passing Rate – Passing rates while teams are within one score of each other gives us some indication of how teams would prefer to play. Teams with top-12 neutral passing rates averaged 6.7 weeks with a quarterback in the Top 12. We want mobility for ceiling, but need a solid passing floor to lay a foundation.
- Vegas Betting Lines – It’s not perfect, but game totals give us an idea of which environments to target. Whether it be due to pace of play or offensive firepower, a top-projected team favored to win will be highly considered each week.
- Pace of Play – I mentioned it as a part of the betting lines, but I wanted to highlight this component specifically. Five of the teams in the Top 12 for offensive pace also finished in the Top 12 for yards per drive. Any team favoring an up-tempo scheme should be considered in their weekly pool.
- Opposing Offensive Efficiency – We typically focus on the opposing team’s defense when analyzing matchups. But offensive tendencies are more stable week to week and have a greater impact on game flow itself. As a result, looking at quarterbacks and their passing rates while playing from behind can point us in the right direction.
Again, these are just a few data points you’ll see wrapped into each pick. Weather and key defensive injuries may change my stance, but I’ll continue to update throughout the week as we know more. Now, let’s see who’s viable to start off the 2021 season.
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