(Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire)
As we enter week 3, the NFL landscape is starting to really take shape. Some things are surprising (like the state of Florida being undefeated or the Steelers still being winless) while others are exactly what we expected (the Jaguars defense is good, the Browns are choking away games, and the Rams are an all-around excellent team.) In terms of quarterback play, there are a couple huge surprises as well: Ryan Fitzpatrick has 800+ yards and 8 touchdowns and Patrick Mahomes already has 10 touchdowns. While it’s probably too late to get your hands on either one, there are still plenty of great options each week. Last week, we streamed Case Keenum (15.5 points), Mitch Trubisky (16.4 points), Tyrod Taylor (15.4 points), Sam Darnold (15.5 points), and Joe Flacco (19.8 points). This averages out to 16.5 points on average, or just a few points off of QB1. What’s also amazing is that we outscored Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson this week. Anyways, here is a full list of the top-12 guys from last week:
|Player||Team||Opponent||Percent Owned||Week 2 Fantasy Pts.|
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||Pittsburgh||95%||38.8|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh||Kansas City||94%||37|
|Blake Bortles||Jacksonville||New England||28%||33.6|
|Kirk Cousins||Minnesota||Green Bay||98%||32.5|
|Ryan Fitzpatrick||Tampa Bay||Pittsburgh||22%||31.0|
|Matthew Stafford||Detroit||San Francisco||91%||24.7|
|Philip Rivers||LA Chargers||Buffalo||96%||22.7|
What stands out to me is that 4 of the top-12 were unowned in 70%+ of all leagues. We highlighted one of them, and our other 4 were within striking distance. So, there is definitely something to this approach. Also, once again shootouts created huge QB stats (KC v. Pit, Car vs Atl, Cin vs Bal). If we can identify the shootouts, we have a good chance of succeeding. Unfortunately, most of this week’s golden opportunities for a shootout (KC vs SF, TB vs Pit, NO vs Atl) have highly owned quarterbacks, and they are thus unhelpful to us this week. However, knowing more and more about opposing defense makes it easier and easier each week to predict what moves we should make. I am excited to see what week 3 has waiting for us, so let’s dive right in.
Mitch Trubisky (15%, stream of the week)
Apparently this is the hill I’m prepared to die on. I pushed Mitch Trubisky in week 1 and I rolled the dice again in week 2. It has worked out decently, though we certainly could have found better options each week. So, why am I coming back for week 3? It’s simple: the Bears are facing off against a Cardinals defense that has given up 589 passing yards (putting them at 27th) in the first two weeks to Alex Smith and Jared Goff. They also give up 29 points per game, and this spells offensive success for Chicago. My only real worry here is that game script allows the Bears to not throw much, and they instead lean heavily on Jordan Howard. Still, this seems like a great opportunity to let Trubisky air it out when you should already have things in control. I will roll with Mitch once again, and he is my stream of the week for week 3.
Blake Bortles (36%)
Blake Bortles seemed to be one of the recurring NFL jokes when the Jaguars were a bad team. He was the punchline, but he has put up decent stats throughout. Look at the last 5 weeks of last season, and Bortles was a top-5 quarterback. He has a great defense to put him in good position, a wealth of weapons to lean on, and the track record that says he can have big games (see last week for example). I am happy to lean on Bortles for a week against a Tennessee defense that has already given up 511 passing yards, ranking 20th thus far. Like with Trubisky, however, beware game script. The Jaguars are good enough where their QB may not need to be involved. With Leonard Fournette injured, though, I will take that chance.
Tyrod Taylor (22%)
I know…Tyrod Taylor hasn’t looked very good this year. I know that Baker Mayfield is just waiting to steal that job. I know that the Jets defense looks good, and they won’t make life easy. However, I also know that Taylor has 40 fantasy points so far thanks to his running ability. He has looked terrible in the passing game, but he still puts up points. As long as he is the starter, he has fantasy value. It may not be pretty. However, I see this game going one of two ways: it stays close, and Taylor keeps putting up stats throughout, OR the Jets jump ahead and Taylor is leaned on as the Browns play catch-up. Either way, it looks good for us. You may not feel great about it, but Tyrod Taylor is definitely streamable this week.
Joe Flacco (13%)
Last week, I pondered that Joe Flacco is fighting for his career right now. He knows the last couple years haven’t been good for him. He also knows that Lamar Jackson is just itching to get a shot at starting. As a result, Flacco is currently averaging 300+ yards and 2.5 TDs per game. This pace would blow away any season Flacco has ever had, and is probably unsustainable for an entire year. However, we can ride the hot hand until it cools down. I like Flacco’s weapons (Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and especially John Brown) and the Denver passing defense has hardly been invincible. To top it off, Flacco is at home with the chance to go to 2-1. I like Flacco again for week 3 and would stream this week.
Ryan Tannehill (7%)
I will start off by saying this is not my top choice (sorry Ryan). However, there is bound to be some league where people hold backups, and nearly everything else is gone. As a last resort, you could do worse than Ryan Tannehill. He has thrown 2 touchdowns in each of the first two weeks, the team is 2-0, and they face an un-intimidating Raiders pass-rush that has to fly across the country for an early game. I could see Tannehill walking into a couple scores and somewhere around 250 yards. This is probably nothing more than a 2-QB streamer, but still worth mentioning for those in desperate need.