Quarterback and Tight End Streamers: Week 14
December 5, 2017 | Matt Terelle
Hey there Fake Footballers! If you’re still reading this, chances are you are preparing for the a quarterfinal matchup in your fantasy league playoffs. In this space each week, we will be taking a look at some of the top streaming options at quarterback and tight end. With more and more fantasy owners opting to wait on the quarterback and tight end positions in drafts, streaming each position has become a viable option in most 10-12 person fantasy leagues. This is made easier by the fact that there are usually solid options on the waiver wire. Each week for this column I will scour the waiver wire and look for quarterbacks and tight ends who are owned in around 50% or fewer of Yahoo! leagues and also a deep sleeper at each position who is owned in 20% of leagues or less and could be useful in deeper leagues or two-quarterback formats (for the QB position, of course).
Generally, several factors go into selecting a streamer, including recent performance, overall upside, talent, opponent matchup, and Vegas totals. I like to use Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric as a reference point to compare opposing defenses to identify plus matchups for players. All references to DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average) come from rankings on www.footballoutsiders.com. A detailed explanation of DVOA can be found here. All references to quarterback scoring assumes you are getting six points per passing touchdown and all tight end scoring is based on PPR scoring.
Week 14 Quarterback Streamers
Josh McCown (NYJ): 42% ownership @ Denver Broncos
Hindsight is always 20/20, but it turns out that we probably should have just been starting McCown as a solid fantasy quarterback for most of the season now. The veteran turned in perhaps his finest performance of the season in Week 13, posting 331 passing yards and three total touchdowns. Two of his scores came on quarterback keepers, which the Jets have not been shy about running for him this season. The Broncos have the reputation of being a defense to avoid from a fantasy perspective but they haven’t been quite as good this season. Denver’s pass defense ranks 19th in DVOA (before Week 13) and is allowing the 13th-most fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks. McCown has earned my trust as a top-end quarterback streaming option in the first week of the playoffs.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF): 16% ownership @ Houston Texans
Garoppolo looked impressive in his first start with the 49ers, even though he didn’t throw any touchdowns. The former New England backup completed 26-of-37 passes for 293 yards with one interception and immediately showed nice chemistry with speedster Marquise Goodwin. Garoppolo draws one of the top fantasy matchups for quarterbacks in Week 14 as he will take on a weak Texans pass defense in Houston. Houston’s pass defense ranked 17th in DVOA before Week 13 and is allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to the position. Starting Garoppolo requires some courage as we haven’t seen much of him, but he has played well in his limited opportunities and the matchup is right. I really like Garoppolo this week and am wrestling with whether to add him off waivers or roll with McCown in my first round playoff matchups where I’ve been streaming all year.
Deep League/Two-Quarterback League Play
DeShone Kizer (CLE): 4% ownership vs. Green Bay Packers
As a Browns fan, I would not recommend watching this game if you plan to stream Kizer in two-quarterback leagues. Often, the results for the rookie are ugly as he tends to turn the ball over in the opposition’s territory at inopportune times and misses many easy throws with his shaky accuracy. That being said, Kizer has been one of the most productive rushing quarterbacks this season, ranking fourth in the league with 308 rushing yards and tying for first with five touchdowns. Kizer and newly-reinstated Josh Gordon came really close to connecting on a few deep balls in Week 12, one of which would have been a 44-yard touchdown. The matchup against Green Bay’s pass defense, ranked 22nd in DVOA, isn’t especially forboding and Kizer’s rushing ability puts him on the radar as a QB2 this week.
Week 14 Tight End Streamers
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ): 56% ownership @ Denver Broncos
Seferian-Jenkins has seen his ownership come down in recent weeks as he’s only caught four passes for 34 yards in his past two contests. That being said, he came really close to scoring twice back in Week 12 as he dropped a ball in the end zone and later had a touchdown call overturned on replay. The Broncos represent a perfect opportunity for ASJ to get going again as they have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to the tight end position this season. While he took a backseat to Jermaine Kearse and Robby Anderson last week, that probably won’t be the case this time around as those two will have to contend with Denver’s elite cornerbacks which will funnel most passing attempts to the middle of the field.
Charles Clay (BUF): 35% ownership vs. Indianapolis Colts
Clay is coming off a slow performance as he caught just three passes for 20 yards against the New England Patriots in Week 13. That being said, Clay remains one of Buffalo’s most trusted options in the passing game. The Colts represent a plus matchup for tight ends as they are allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to the position. With Tyrod Taylor looking very questionable this weekend, Clay could be a focal point on short passes if rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman draws his second career start. We all know the Bills probably won’t trust Mr. Five-Interceptions to throw the ball down the field very frequently this weekend.
Deep League/Two-Tight End League Play
Ricky Seals-Jones (ARI): 26% ownership vs.Tennessee Titans
I actually prefer Seals-Jones over Charles Clay this week but ownership percentages place him in the deeper league section of this article. I was hesitant to get on board with RSJ last week because his snap percentages have been low but it’s clear the Cardinals have been looking to target him when he’s on the field. He has played well over the past three weeks, posting nine catches for 170 yards and three touchdowns. The Titans represent a decent matchup for opposing tight ends, allowing the 13th-most fantasy points per game to the position.
Thanks for reading and good luck in the playoffs this week. Go forth and conquer!