Streaming Quarterbacks: Week 7 Targets
It’s not a real fantasy season until the community finds something to argue about. The ‘Zero-RB’ debate is a perennial favorite. This year features ‘Defenses Don’t Matter’ brought by our own data-guru Josh Hermsmeyer. The hilarity that ensued from the responses aside, look at where we are with respect to quarterback scoring six weeks into the season. In 2017, there were seven total QB performances over 30 fantasy points. In 2018? 17. Seven. Teen. Regardless of where you fall on the argument, scoring being up has been great for fantasy purposes. Streaming options have been plentiful, alleviating some pressure as the bye weeks descend upon us. So far, our process and recommendations for streaming have been favorable. Last week’s top recommendation (Jameis Winston) was the QB1 for Week 6. Mitch Trubisky, Sam Darnold, and Baker Mayfield all finished in the top 20 as well. Week 6 is in the books with Week 7 just around the corner. Let’s dig into our options and see what might out on the wire.
The basis for our streaming picks is 4for4's schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA). As always, injuries and personnel changes have altered our views on many of the defenses originally viewed as positive matchups to target. Defenses are discussed above, and injuries are discussed in the section below. Our other guidelines include:
- Only quarterbacks with no more than a 40 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues are considered.
- 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.
Key Defensive Injuries
Mike Hughes, Vikings (Achilles) – The rookie had been performing well, but this would be a huge blow to Minnesota’s secondary should the preliminary diagnosis be correct. The Vikings’ are already 30th in the league with 23.6 aFPA so hopefully, their remaining talent can help on the road against the Jets in Week 7.
Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers (Calf) – Tampa Bay’s only positive on defense was their run-stopping ability. McCoy has been integral to that and is at risk of missing Week 7. The Buccaneers are already 4for4’s worst defense with 25.5 aFPA to quarterbacks. Baker Mayfield and Browns are on their way down to Tampa in Week 7.
Dymonte Thomas, Broncos (Chest) – The Broncos have given up seemingly a bazillion yards on the ground and through the air and injuries are not what they need now. Their 16.3 aFPA increases weekly with both the offense and defense struggling. Denver travels to Arizona on a short week in Week 7.
Top Streaming Picks
Joe Flacco vs Saints
This is not the same Joe Flacco we saw in 2017. His attempts per game are up from 30.8 to 44. His completion rate is up from 60.9 to 63.4 percent. Even his TD:INT ratio has completely reversed from 4:8 to 9:4. Having two receivers in the top 15 of wide receivers for air yards helps, but Baltimore’s offensive approach has completely changed. Their pass ratio has increased by nearly 50 percent in neutral game scripts compared to 2017. In addition, Flacco’s attempts have jumped in losses (55 in Week 2, 56 in Week 5). Drew Brees home/road splits have been notable, but Baltimore’s defense is yet to allow a single 100-yard rusher indicating Brees will need to take to the air to score. The game environment sets up for plenty of passing and Baltimore has a 26.5 implied team total. At home against a defense with 23.7 aFPA and an implied team total over 25 points? That’ll get you a top recommendation every week.
Flacco is available in 73 percent of Yahoo leagues.
If you want a glimpse into ‘Defenses Don’t Matter’ debate, go watch Chicago at Miami last week where Brock Osweiler helped someone win The Millionaire on DraftKings. Chicago appeared comfortable letting their defense do most of the heavy lifting but surrendering 31 points in Week 6 makes this option seem likely, especially with their upcoming opponent. The Patriots have averaged 29.3 points per game in 2018 and have allowed 17.9 schedule-adjusted points per game, which will test both Chicago’s offense and defense. Chicago opened with a heavier pass attack for the first time since Week 2. With Tarik Cohen coming on and Anthony Miller returning, Trubisky has a chance for a repeat performance in Week 7, at home, with a 23-point implied team total.
Trubisky is available in 71 percent of Yahoo leagues.