(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
If you read the defensive streaming article this week, you know my thoughts about playing fantasy football into week 17. I’ll quickly sum it up by saying it’s a terrible idea, adding unnecessary complications to the end of your season by removing some of your best players from the best teams. Good look if you own Saints, Bears, Chiefs, and the like as they are sure to be sitting out that week…or playing only a quarter to tease you. With quarterbacks, this is especially true. Luckily, everyone is playing for something in week 16 and our teams should be full of great options if we’ve gotten this far. Let’s take a look at the week 15 quarterbacks and how they fared.
|Player||Team||Opponent||Percent Owned||Fantasy Points|
|Deshaun Watson||Houston||NY Jets||97%||25.3|
|Sam Darnold||NY Jets||Houston||4%||24.2|
|Philip Rivers||LA Chargers||Kansas City||97%||23.7|
|Mitchell Trubisky||Chicago||Green Bay||73%||21.4|
|Russell Wilson||Seattle||San Francisco||96%||21.4|
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||LA Chargers||99%||20.5|
|Lamar Jackson||Baltimore||Tampa Bay||46%||20.1|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh||New England||97%||19.5|
We see a lot of the usual suspects in Matt Ryan, Deshaun Watson, Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, and Ben Roethlisberger. Behind them are some of the options we’ve thrown in on a weekly basis, namely Mitchell Trubisky, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson. If you played one of these options last week, I’d probably hold on for now and ride the hot hand. Trubisky matches up with the 49ers, and this is a great situation for us. Allen plays New England, who has not been the most dominating defense this year. I could actually see a way in which this upset happens and Allen loves to run: he is a good option as well. Finally, we have Lamar Jackson. Jackson has put up 5 solid weeks in a row, even if the Baltimore passing attack leaves more to be desired. Still, there is that lovely rushing upside that we so desire in our quarterbacks. All three of these are great choices and should be held if possible.
Mitchell Trubisky (76%)
Our headliner this week brings us full circle as he was my first streamer of the year. I figured Mitchell Trubisky would be useful in fantasy this year, though I couldn’t have guessed just how big he would get. We may be looking at the best quarterback in Bears history, even if that’s hardly saying anything at all. Aside from Jay Cutler, Chicago hasn’t had a decent choice in probably 30 years. Trubisky is facing the San Francisco defense, who ranks in the top-10 at giving up points to opposing quarterbacks. This is a great option, and I’d keep rolling with Trubisky if you have him.
Dak Prescott (70%)
The Cowboys still control their own destiny, but it has gotten tight after the last two weeks. The Eagles and Redskins are only a game back, and they would love nothing more than to knock off the Cowboys. I expect Dak Prescott to show up against a bad Buccaneers defense and right the ship (pardon the pun) for his team. I would be shocked if the Cowboys dropped this one, considering how well they have played and how poorly things are going in Tampa Bay. While he isn’t my top choice of the week, Dak is a solid choice if he’s out there.
Baker Mayfield (68%)
Baker Mayfield has had an excellent rookie season, allowing Browns fans to forget about the miseries of the past and look towards the future. They are technically alive this year, though it probably requires a dozen things to break the right way. Still, in a ranking of all rookies by ProFootball Focus, Mayfield was the top overall quarterback and fourth overall on the list. He is having an excellent year and should do well against a “broken” Bengals team. Like those already listed, stick with Mayfield if you’ve got him as he is a strong player with an A+ matchup playing at home. That’s the trifecta!
Josh Allen (27%, stream of the week)
Josh Allen has ranked as a top-10 quarterback over the last five weeks, all while having missed a week due to injury. He is the hottest quarterback that no one is talking about, and he somehow sits at only 27% owned. This feels like how Blake Bortles has been treated during his hot streaks–we see it happening but no one seems to really care because it’s “Blake Bortles” so it somehow doesn’t matter. Plus, imagine the look on your opponent’s face when they lose the championship because you started Josh “f***ing” Allen against them. You know what? I’ve talked myself into it. The Bills knock off the Patriots and Josh Allen if my streamer of the week.
Case Keenum (20%)
At this point, we are really hitting the desperation point for our options. Case Keenum and the Broncos have been eliminated form the playoffs, and zombie teams are always a bit harder to predict. Some have that pride still in place (like Cleveland and I’m guessing Green Bay) while others completely collapse. I don’t know what to expect from Denver, but they have a plus matchup against a team that must be eyeing the first overall pick. I expect Oakland to play poorly this week and Denver to pick up their 7th win. This should allow for some points for Keenum, with the possible upside for 2-3 touchdowns. Just don’t like for a point-explosion here.
Taylor Heinecke (1%, lightning in a bottle)
This spot would have been reserved for Cam Newton had he not been shut down for the year due to injury. I want to start by saying this is the riskiest thing you will have done all year if you try it. Do you remember the last time Taylor Heinecke played? I sure as heck don’t. Could you have told me he was a Panther if not for the context clues? I couldn’t have. Still, this is an A+ matchup against the Falcons defense and we’ve seen crazier things happen. If you are desperate, roll with Heinecke and see what happens. Just be happy if you get anything.