Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire
Okay, I’ll admit it. My name is Mike Miklius and I have a problem: I trust the Bears quarterback too much, and I need to stop in order to live a healthy season. I knew he looked bad, but I started him anyways under the guise of good matchups and his rushing ability. Sure, he was okay in week 1. Then he even scored 16 points in week 2. However, week 3 brought a 5 point stinker and the realization that I need to move on for now. He might be a great quarterback one day, but Mitch Trubisky is not yet ready to be started. So, despite a matchup against Tampa Bay and the possibility of a shootout, I am banning Trubisky from the stream for now. He will be allowed back in once he has proven himself–mostly once he proves he can complete a deep pass. Now that we’ve taken care of that, let’s see how last week went with a look at the top 12:
|Player||Team||Opponent||Percent Owned||Fantasy Points|
|Matt Ryan||Atlanta||New Orleans||88||46|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans||Atlanta||100||46|
|Ryan Fitzpatrick||Tampa Bay||Pittsburgh||83||39|
|Jared Goff||LA Rams||LA Chargers||84||33|
|Deshaun Watson||Houston||NY Giants||99||32|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh||Tampa Bay||95||32|
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||San Francisco||98||27|
|Jimmy Garoppolo||San Francisco||Kansas City||86||22|
Looking at this weeks top 12, there were a couple surprises: Josh Allen looked good en route to dominating Minnesota. Certainly that was a shock, and one I don’t expect to continue. I am not buying in to a Buffalo resurgence quite yet. We also saw Ryan Tannehill and Andy Dalton make the list again. Tannehill has now thrown multiple touchdowns in every game this year while Dalton has put up 25+ points in back to back weeks. I would be happy to roll with either, as you’ll see shortly, for the coming week. Finally, the rest of the week was chalk. Sure, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are missing from the list. However, each quarterback outside the 3 we mentioned was a minimum 83% owned. Knowing that, let’s take a look at who we picked: Mitch Trubisky (5 points), Blake Bortles (8 points), Tyrod Taylor (injury), Joe Flacco (15 points), and Ryan Tannehill (25 points). If we remove Taylor, this gives us an average of just over 13 points on the week…not very good by my own admission. However, I’m nothing if not resilient. So, let’s see what’s out there for week 4. As a reminder, all streaming options are 50% or less owned in Yahoo leagues, though I may mention some under-owned options as well.
Andy Dalton (56%)
I’m starting off with a familiar name just over the 50% threshold. Andy Dalton is not an exciting name, but he has put two strong weeks together in a row. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in every game this year and is averaging 250+ yards per game. Finally he gets to take on an injury-riddled Falcons defense that can’t seem to stop anything through the air. The Falcons give up 28+ points per game as well as 275 passing yards per game. I expect this to be a high scoring affair, and that’s exactly what I want to target when streaming a defense. Grab Dalton if you can, and feel safe starting him this week over most options…including our list of streamers.
Baker Mayfield (41%, deep leagues)
Baker Mayfield has played one half of a football game, and somehow he is already 41% owned. That’s absurd. Still, he did look good in the half game he played last Thursday against the Jets capable defense. Baker Mayfield and the Browns travel to Oakland to attempt something that probably hasn’t happened in 10 years: back-to-back Browns victories. I love Mayfield as a prospect and I think he looked good last week. He has plenty of weapons, and could become another young QB to light up the league…ala Patrick Mahomes. Still, I don’t loving jumping in this quickly if I don’t have to. However, if Baker blows up this week his ownership percentage will skyrocket. Get in now before it’s too late, and cut bait after a week if it isn’t there.
Eli Manning (27%)
Eli Manning has never inspired consistent confidence. He has his good moments (2 Super Bowls) and his bad (last year for example). However, I feel safe playing him in great matchups because of his weapons: Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepherd, and Saquon Barkley. The Saints defense loves to give up points, and I could easily see Eli falling into 300 yards and a score or two. I wish Evan Engram was still healthy, but the Giants should move the ball against what has been an underwhelming Saints defense this year.
Case Keenum (26%, stream of the week)
Case Keenum has been competent this year, averaging 15 points per game in the first three weeks. On just his own merits, though, I’d be on the fence. The kicker here, and why this is my no-brainer start of the week, is the terrible Kansas City defense. K.C. has given up 350+ passing yards per game so far as well as 30+ points per game. If you’ve watched Kansas City play, you know how fast they can light up the scoreboard. This means the Denver offense will get plenty of shots, and I don’t see how Keenum fails to do something. In K.C.’s best defensive showing so far, they still allowed 250 and 2 touchdowns to Jimmy Garoppolo. I feel confident in calling that a floor for Keenum this week. Finally, I would call the Denver rushing attack a “work in progress” which gives us one more reason the passing game will be leaned on. Keenum would be in my overall top-10 this week without a doubt.
Joe Flacco (23%)
Joe Flacco has quietly averaged 20+ fantasy points per game through the first 3 weeks. I had a hunch that he was playing for his life, and I think it shows in the revitalization. You can thank the new receivers or a new game plan, but I think Flacco just wants to show he’s not washed up yet. Maybe he has dreams of another Super Bowl. I don’t know. What I do know is that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense (the Ravens week 4 opponent) has been porous. They allow 280+ yards per game through the air, and they have given up 30 points per game. I think the Steelers offense is a poor-man’s version of the Chiefs, and it is a great one to target for possible shootouts. I would confidently start Flacco if I couldn’t get my hands on Keenum this week.
Ryan Tannehill (21%)
Ryan Tannehill, like Joe Flacco, has started strong this season. He averages almost 19 points per game, has thrown 7 touchdowns, and he has lead his team to 3-0 under the leadership of Coach Adam Gase. The Dolphins play a Patriots defense that has been friendly enough to opponents, and I could see a good week out of Tannehill. My only worries here are that the Patriots need this game much more than the Dolphins do, and the Patriots are at home. Still, I expect Tannehill to have a decent day once again. Still, he ranks well behind Keenum and Flacco in my mind as they have much better matchups this week.