Along with the usual suspects atop the leaderboard, Week 12 saw several surprise fantasy performances as quarterback streaming options. While that’s been the case to some degree each week throughout the year, what was surprising about it happening in Week 12 was that no teams were on bye. Josh McCown and Case Keenum both finishing in the top-three is more conceivable during a bye-heavy week than with a full slate. That Brett Hundley and DeShone Kizer even cracked the top-10 should give us plenty of food for thought as we tinker with lineups for the start of fantasy playoffs.
With that said, one game is hardly the kind of sample size to be making radical decisions. Yes, the Eagles have held the last three quarterbacks they’ve faced to a combined 10 fantasy points, which is pretty ridiculous. No, you’re not benching Russell Wilson when the Eagles pay a visit to CenturyLink Field Sunday night.
As always, before we get into this week’s top QB streaming options, let’s look at how things played out for last week’s recommendations.
|Week 12||Fantasy Points||Fantasy Rank||PFF Passing Grade|
Notes: Our Sam Monson dissected what’s wrong with the Chiefs’ offense, and a lot of it boils down to shoddy protection and Alex Smith’s dropoff in virtually every PFF passing metric (besides the deep ball) over the past several weeks… That Ben Roethlisberger has played well over his last two games at Heinz Field is of no surprise, but his total of 60 fantasy points sure is a brow-raiser… It’s officially a lost season for Marcus Mariota… Andy Dalton tossed multiple TDs for the third straight game… Jacoby Brissett turned in perhaps his worst outing of the season in what looked like a plus matchup… While I loved Denver’s matchup against the Raiders regardless of which QB was under center, Trevor Siemian coming off the bench and tossing two TDs isn’t exactly the scenario I envisioned.
Below are the most attractive options for QB streaming for Week 13 who are either widely available, on your bench, or priced cheap in daily formats. Each player is listed along with current ownership and start percentages from ESPN leagues as well as FanDuel salary rank.
Jared Goff (LAR @ ARI) – 77.5% owned/28.5% started/No. 8 QB salary on FanDuel
In four games since the Rams’ bye, Goff has finished second, third, and 10th in fantasy scoring, and his lone interception in that span was tipped to the defense by Sammy Watkins. Goff created favorable matchups throughout Sunday’s win against a solid New Orleans secondary, completing passes to eight different receivers for 353 yards. He was 7-of-11 for 110 yards at the intermediate level (10-19 yards) and 3-of-7 on deep passes (20-plus yards).
This week, the Rams have an implied total of 26 points by Las Vegas oddsmakers against a Cardinals’ pass defense giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing passers this season. Conversely, Arizona has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs, who are averaging just 3.3 YPC. Sean McVay and the Rams coaches will draw up a game plan to try and exploit the Cardinals’ weakest link on the back end.
Derek Carr (OAK vs. NYG) – 85.2%/26.5%/No. 13 salary
Michael Crabtree’s two-game suspension is a definite blow, as are Amari Cooper’s various injuries. On the other hand, those situations also make Carr an interesting DFS pivot with an expected dip in ownership. Started in roughly one-quarter of ESPN leagues this past week against Denver, Carr turned in the day’s fourth-best PFF passing grade. In fact, he owns the fourth-best QB grade since Week 7 with an average of 304 passing yards per game in that span.
The Raiders carry an implied total of 25 points against a Giants defense giving up the third-most fantasy points to opposing QBs. New York owns our No. 27 pass-rush grade and is tied for the league lead with 22 passing touchdowns allowed, and Janoris Jenkins could be done for the season. When kept clean this season, Carr boasts a 78.7 adjusted completion percentage, with 16 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
Philip Rivers (LAC vs. CLE) – 66.8%/30.3%/No. 7 salary
The second-best passer rating over the last three games belongs to Rivers, who is averaging a league-best 9.02 yards per attempt with seven touchdowns and only one interception in that span. He absolutely dismantled the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, failing to complete only six of his 33 passes (including a drop), with 11 of his completions traveling more than 10 yards in the air.
This week’s opponent, Cleveland, is stout against the run but is graded second-worst in rushing the passer this season. Teams that struggle to generate pressure often must resort to blitzes, and Rivers just posted a perfect 158.3 QB rating against the Cowboys’ blitz. What’s more, the Chargers have a healthy implied total of 28 points.
Case Keenum (MIN @ ATL) – 36.9%/15.6%/No. 12 salary
This one is more about Keenum than the matchup, although Atlanta is only middle of the pack against the pass. Keenum posted an 85.2 overall grade against Detroit on Thanksgiving, and it marked his third game this season with a passer rating over 100 when pressured. All told, not only did Keenum complete 21-of-29 aimed passes against Dallas, his average depth of target was 10.7 yards downfield.
Keenum’s been lights out over his last three road games, averaging three TDs to go with a 108.0 passer rating. Since Week 8, he ranks fourth in adjusted completion percentage (76.9), which takes into account drops, throwaways, batted passes and the like. In that span, he also sports a 108.1 passer rating on deep throws and has been the fourth-most-accurate QB against pressure (70.5 percent). Keenum’s all-around play just may keep Teddy Bridgewater on the sidelines.
Two-QB and deep leagues
Blake Bortles (JAX vs. IND) – 19.3%/4.8%/No. 17 salary
The Jaguars are built around their ground game, and this week they go up against a Colts’ defense ceding the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs. But upon closer look, Indianapolis has held each of its last three opponents below 100 yards on the ground with no rushing TDs, thus helping explain why they currently sit No. 7 in PFF run-defense grade this season. Also of note, Indianapolis owns our fourth-worst pass-coverage grade. The Colts recently cut ties with last year’s top corner Vontae Davis, while this year’s No. 1 CB, Rashaan Melvin, is now out indefinitely with a hand injury.
With an implied total of 25 points, there is some intrigue surrounding Blake Bortles and the Jaguars’ passing offense. Dynamic rookie Dede Westbrook has drawn 16 targets in two games since being activated from I.R., helping make up for the loss of Allen Hurns, who is nearing a return. Leonard Fournette is also battling an ankle injury and was just held to a season-low in rushes (12) and yards (25). Bortles picked up some of the slack against Arizona, running for 62 yards and two scores.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF @ CHI) – 6.6%/0.0%/No. 31 salary
Josh McCown is in play as a streaming option against Kansas City, but assuming C.J. Beathard is benched and/or too banged up to play on Sunday, Garoppolo is the quarterback I’ll be paying down for in DFS cash games, and perhaps streaming in one or two of my deeper leagues. The Bears aren’t necessarily a pass defense to target in fantasy, although they’ve been picked apart by Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz in consecutive weeks.
We have limited game action on which to assess Garoppolo, but his three snaps upon replacing an injured Beathard late against Seattle: a four-yard scramble, an eight-yard completion to Aldrick Robinson on 4th-and-5, and a 10-yard touchdown to Louis Murphy on which Garoppolo bought himself extra time to throw. For what it’s worth, the narrative would be among the NFL’s most intriguing for Week 13 if Garoppolo were to make his long-awaited starting debut 30 miles from his hometown of Arlington Heights, Illinois. Jerry Rice has called him “the QB of the future for San Francisco,” while George Seifert said he looks like Superman.” Hyperbole aside, we’ll finally get to see the fruits of a 3.5-year apprenticeship under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.