4 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming Options for Week 3
Let's get right down to it and look at quarterback streaming options for your season-long lineups.
Quarterback streaming isn't for everyone, but if you're in a standard league -- like a 10- or 12-team league that features just one starting signal caller -- grabbing potentially productive quarterbacks in good matchups off the waiver wire is often doable. For some roster constructions, it can even be optimal.
Sure, you won't have the luxury of setting it and forgetting it with Patrick Mahomes as your quarterback, but when the top-end signal-callers draw a tough matchup, their upside can oftentimes be matched by a waiver-wire option in a more favorable situation.
Throughout the season, this column should, will, and must be your go-to resource for identifying quarterbacks to stream in a pinch. Here are three quarterbacks rostered in fewer than roughly 50% of Yahoo leagues who are in solid spots this week.
Quick review: last week wasn't as strong as Week 1, but still delivered some hits. I'm issuing a mea culpa on Jameis Winston, who somehow only managed 111 passing yards in negative game script. We nailed it with Teddy Bridgewater, however, as he willed his way to the QB11 performance on the week despite missing Jerry Jeudy. We can't grade Tyrod Taylor properly given he missed the entire second half, but the process seems correct given he managed 16.5 fantasy points in just one half of football.
Fair or not, injuries are often relevant for streaming considerations, so it's important we review them each week. While it's early in the week, those in the streaming streets need to keep an eye on the status of Baker Mayfield (shoulder), Andy Dalton (knee), Tua Tagovailoa (ribs), Tyrod Taylor (hamstring), and Carson Wentz (ankle). Tyrod Taylor has already been ruled out given the Houston Texans play on Thursday Night, but we can surely do better than Davis Mills, at least before the bye week blues kick in. I'll be paying the most attention to Dalton and Tagovailoa given both of their replacements have rushing value.
Let's aim for more streaming goodness in Week 3!
Derek Carr, Raiders
Roster Percentage: 27%
FanDuel Price: $7,200
I don't get it, either. When a player has been in the league for seven-plus seasons, it can be difficult to change your evaluation of them. And yet... Derek Carr is a top-10 quarterback so far this year -- by both fantasy points per game and Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back.
As noted by Ian Hartitz of Pro Football Focus on the PFF podcast, Derek Carr's passing yardage totals over his last six full games played (dating back to last season): 381, 316, 336, 371, 435, 382. He's thrown for 12 touchdowns and added 3 rushing touchdowns over that span. Maaaaaybe it's time we adjust our priors here.
After all, the data is telling us to do so. Through two weeks, the Las Vegas Raiders rank as the sixth-best passing offense by NEP. As alluded to above, among starters Carr himself ranks sixth-best in Passing NEP per drop back.
Las Vegas, meanwhile, isn't running the ball effectively, grading dead last in Rushing NEP. And even if Josh Jacobs suits up this week, he'll unlikely be playing at 100% health. There's a reason Jon Gruden's squad is up to second in the NFL in neutral pass rate after ranking bottom 10 a year ago -- a notable difference.
Carr's matchup isn't as scary as meets the eye, either. The Miami Dolphins' pass defense ranks middle of the pack by NEP and just got torn up by Josh Allen. If Tua Tagovailoa sits, backup Jacoby Brissett should get the start. Brissett is a competent backup but his presence should still enable more opportunities for sacks and turnovers, offering Carr more chances to score. It helps the Raiders are 3.5-point home favorites (as of now).
Even if you have a better option at quarterback, this has turned into a situation where Carr simply isn't rostered in enough leagues based on his production. If you have the bench spot, he's worth a pickup to block your opponents or prepare for upcoming bye weeks.
Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos
Roster Percentage: 17%
FanDuel Price: $7,300
Let's run it back. A streaming recommendation last week, Teddy Bridgewater delivered a QB1 (top-12) performance with 328 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air. Promisingly, he and Courtland Sutton connected for 159 of those yards in Jerry Jeudy's absence.
The sample size is obviously small, but through two weeks, Teddy Two Gloves ranks seventh in Passing NEP per drop back -- ahead of names like Tom Brady and Justin Herbert. He's playing really well and leaning on his bevy of weapons to do damage after the catch. As a result, the Denver Broncos rank as the seventh-best passing offense by our schedule-adjusted numbers.
This week Bridgewater gets to face the New York Jets and their nameless secondary. Denver enters the week as massive 10.5-point home favorites with a strong 26.00-point team total. Teddy is a top-16 option until further notice.
Sam Darnold, Panthers
Roster Percentage: 15%
FanDuel Price: $7,100
While we obviously shouldn't project him to outscore those guys for the rest of the season, Darnold's play deserves recognition. A continuing theme of this article, Darnold ranks 10th in Passing NEP per drop back. Among players with at least 40 drop backs last season, Darnold ranked 50th (!) by that same metric.
While we don't want to overreact to small samples, we likely need to adjust our priors here. After all, Darnold is finally free from Adam Gase's shackles. This certainly isn't the first time we've seen a player succeed after leaving Gase's offense. It makes sense Darnold is playing better with significant improvements in weapons, coaching, and offensive line play. He was a top-five pick in the NFL Draft, after all.
Darnold was the QB13 in Week 2 but likely would have had an even bigger day if not for the Carolina Panthers taking their foot off the gas in the second half. And that was against the fourth-best defense, according to NEP.
Carolina's passing offense, meanwhile, is 10th by our numbers, and they're throwing the ball at the 9th-highest rate in neutral situations.
Now Darnold gets the Houston Texans on a short week. As mentioned above, Tyrod Taylor is already ruled out, so the Panthers are 7.5-point favorites. Darnold is an every-week streaming option if his play continues, which it should with matchups against the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, and Atlanta Falcons coming up after this week.
Daniel Jones, Giants
Roster Percentage: 19%
FanDuel Price: $7,400
Y'all. Daniel Jones is the QB5 so far this season. I take no pleasure in reporting this.
But the facts are the facts.
Unlike the rest of this list, Jones isn't living off massive efficiency improvements (although he did jump in Passing NEP per drop back from 39th in 2020 to 20th this year, which helps). Instead, he's getting it done with his legs, which is exactly what we should be looking for in our fantasy quarterbacks.
Jones has 122 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground through two games. In half-PPR leagues, he'd be the RB19 on just his rushing stats alone (I'm sorry, Saquon Barkley drafters).
While we shouldn't project his rushing efficiency to last, we know it's a big part of his game. The rushing combined with improved efficiency, the addition of Kenny Golladay, and the return of Barkley helps explain Jones' return to fantasy prominence. Remember, Evan Engram hasn't played a snap yet this season, but it's possible he makes his debut this week.
Jones gets to face an Atlanta Falcons defense that's 10th-worst in schedule-adjusted Defensive NEP so far (which isn't surprising). Maybe more surprising, the New York Giants' defense ranks third-worst. With a total of 48.5 and two bottom-10 defenses, this game has bad-team shootout written all over it. Jones is a legitimate streaming option and fun contrarian DFS play this week.