Streaming Quarterbacks: Week 12 Targets
It’s almost that time.
The fantasy playoffs are almost here.
Mounting pressure once you’re in the tournament can make you feel like you need to stick with the roster you’ve got. Almost as if making too many roster moves can be a bad thing. However, our process isn’t exclusive to the regular season. Weeks 13 through 15 aren’t objectively any different than the previous 12 in the eyes of the NFL. Look at the streaming options available this past week. Sam Darnold and Derek Carr both popped at relatively low ownership. Even Nick Foles got in on the action in his return to play. Plays like these may look obscure on the surface, but matchup evaluation highlights their viability. The same process can still be performed in the latter portions of the season. Quarterback streaming can still be properly executed even into the fantasy playoffs.
But streaming has its own pitfalls. We fall into a rhythm of qualifying and quantifying defenses so much that recent trends aren’t enough to outweigh our priors. A lot of what we thought was true a month or even two weeks ago may no longer hold. Look at Atlanta. We believed the Falcons with their injured secondary and multiple weeks allowing a QB1 performance was a matchup to target. Since their bye, they’ve recorded 11 sacks and limited opposing quarterbacks to 8.6 fantasy points per game. Look at San Francisco. The 49ers’ athletic swarming defense limited opposing teams to less than 20 points the first eight weeks of the season. Arizona was the first team to break the 20-point barrier as two defensive players went on Injured Reserve. We have to adjust our prior convictions in order to properly evaluate matchups. Otherwise, we’ll likely be trapped by our own analysis.
Week 11 Review
We saw almost three quarterbacks finish as a QB1. After a rough start, Dwayne Haskins got it done in garbage time during a rough performance for Washington. Otherwise, here’s how the scores ended up with key takeaways below:
- Kyle Allen – 5.7 points (QB25)
- Derek Carr – 19.8 points (QB11)
- Sam Darnold – 25.4 points (QB7)
- Dwayne Haskins – 17.1 points (QB13)
Sometimes we trust the process and it works out. Other times, you get Kyle Allen in Week 11. Allen was at home, favored, no weather concerns against a team that had been 32nd in allowed scoring rate per drive for the first eight weeks of the season. Since their bye, they’ve been fifth in allowed scoring rate per drive and now have 11 sacks in two games. Week 10 was partially dismissed as an outlier. The larger sample size was too positive to pass up. Week 11’s results for the Panthers highlight the downside of focusing on season-long samples. Without considering the pitfalls resulting from recent trends, the matchup evaluation portion of quarterback streaming becomes flawed. Allen is not a cautionary tale to remove similar plays from consideration but to carefully consider both the positives and negatives moving forward.
Otherwise, it was another solid week. Derek Carr’s rushing touchdown significantly boosted his output, but we’ll take the production as we can. The Jets-Washington contest turned out to be as productive as we had hoped. The combination of potentially explosive offenses coupled with poor defense worked out two weeks in a row with Darnold headlining both contests. With similar matchups for New York ahead, expect to see similar plays as we get closer to the fantasy playoffs.
Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed
Of course, we'll need to review 4for4’s Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed updated through Week 11.
Notable rankings for defensive units include:
- DAL down 8 spots to #15 (15.2 aFPA)
- NYJ down 4 spots to #26 (20.8 aFPA)
- MIN down 3 spots to #17 (16.2 aFPA)
- ATL up 2 spots to #25 (20.7 aFPA)
- NO up 5 spots to #10 (14.4 aFPA)
- PHI up 13 spots to #8 (13.8 aFPA)
Philadelphia's front has been the driving force for their team as they've limited their last three opponents to 13, 14, and 17 total points. We've come to think of their secondary as one to target, but offensive line play against the Eagles' defensive line has to reduce expectations moving forward. Dallas and Minnesota struggling against backup quarterbacks is concerning. Dallas had Jeff Driskel and Minnesota played against Brandon Allen. Neither opponent got by on trick plays or short fields. Both strung together impressive drives taking their games down to the wire. Their performances (along with the quarterbacks) must be re-evaluated for future matchups.
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:
- Only quarterbacks with no more than a 50% ownership in Yahoo leagues 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.
Justin Reid (Texans, Shoulder) – Houston’s (19.5 aFPA) starting safety had been dealing with a shoulder injury throughout most of the season. Reid had three combined tackles prior to exiting the game after delivering a hit in the second half. Both Reid and cornerback Lonnie Johnson will be asked for quick turnaround time as they host the Colts on Thursday Night Football.
Dee Ford (49ers, Hamstring) – The defensive end was seen being tended to by trainers throughout the game. He had been limited in practice throughout the week and looked to have aggravated the injury on a sack in the second quarter. Injuries have plagued the once-formidable 49ers’ defense (12.3 aFPA). With multiple starters and rotational players out with injury, they’ll have their work cut out for them as they host Green Bay coming off of their bye week.
Other Notable Injuries: Lonnie Johnson Jr. (Texans, Foot), Mike Adams (Texans, Concussion), Tracy Walker (Lions, Knee), Bobby McCain (Dolphins, Shoulder), Daron Payne (Washington, Ankle), Harrison Smith (Vikings, Hamstring),
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