We have officially turned the page on the first quarter of football. As we turn to the 5th week of the season and more teams go on bye we have yet another injury to worry about. This time, Mitch Trubisky is out for an extended period of time. The good news at least shows his injured non-throwing shoulder won’t need surgery. So while he may be out for a few games it isn’t something we really need to worry about. Fantasy players took Trubisky as the 19th quarterback taken according to Fantasy Pros ADP data so it’s probably not that big of a loss. However, this latest issue may force even more fantasy players to begin streaming quarterbacks.
There have been plenty of QBs that were drafted late and have outplayed those that came before them. If you chose from the start of the year that you would be streaming quarterbacks you may have made the right decision. Of the top 10 fantasy scoring QBs according to NFL.com Scoring Leaders, only five of them were drafted in the top 10. And none of them are currently ranked where they were drafted. Mahomes is the closest as the 2nd highest scoring QB but everyone else is at least a few spots off of their draft slot.
Through the first four weeks of the season let’s take a look at some of the best options for streaming quarterbacks.
First Quarter Review of Streaming Quarterbacks:
Lamar Jackson; Baltimore Ravens: Lamar has been the best fantasy QB through the first month of football. Tallying over 110 fantasy points based on NFL.com’s standard scoring. Lamar has passed for 1110 yards so far this year, ranking 11th on the year. However, Jackson leads the league lead in passing touchdowns with 10. Jackson also leads the league in rushing yards. So much so that he has more than 100 yards over the next QB on the list. Jackson was the 14th QB taken in drafts and is the #1 QB in the league.
Dak Prescott; Dallas Cowboys: Dak has been impressive through the first part of the season. Even in a game against a tough defense, Dak put up over 230 yards passing and completed over 65% of his passes. Dak sits as the 4th highest scoring fantasy QB. Despite being drafted as the 17th quarterback off the board. Dak is 8th in passing yards, 2nd in touchdowns, and his 95 yards rushing sits as 5th among QBs. Dak has compiled 91 fantasy points so far this year and with a stretch of games against sub-par defenses coming up he should continue this hot streak.
Matthew Stafford; Detroit Lions: Stafford has been up and down through the first couple of games. Stafford opened up the season hot throwing for three touchdowns and over 200 yards in the first three quarters. However, a below-average 4th quarter and OT in week 1 combined with less than stellar performances in weeks 2 & 3 had people skeptical. Through the first four games, Stafford has two games under 16 fantasy points and two over 23. In all, Stafford ranks as the 7th best QB so far, with over 1100 yards passing and nine touchdowns.
Marcus Mariota; Tennessee Titans: Just like Stafford, Mariota has had as many below-average games as he has had above-average games. Mariota ranks 8th with 76.5 fantasy points through four games. However, in most leagues, he was never drafted. This is very evident by looking at his 9.2 fantasy ownership in leagues on NFL.com. Mariota doesn’t have the passing yards the others do on this list, however, he has over 100 yards rushing. He has also thrown seven touchdowns and has not turned the ball over at all so far this season.
Jacoby Brissett; Indianapolis Colts: Brissett rounds out the top streaming quarterbacks through the first four weeks of the season. Brissett was thrown into the starting role unceremoniously when Andrew Luck decided to retire in the middle of the pre-season. Since then Brissett has been a welcomed sight to the Colts organization proving they aren’t going to lose a step. Under Brissett, the Colts are 2 – 2 as he has thrown for over 910 yards passing and 10 touchdowns. Despite, fantasy players drafting Brissett 27th he ranks 9th best with 76.14 fantasy points so far rank.
Despite the numbers, most of these streaming quarterback options remain unsigned to most fantasy teams. In fact, only Dak and Lamar are currently owned in more than 50% of leagues with Mariota being the least owned at just 9%. With more and more teams going on a bye, there is no time like now to start bringing these guys in your lineup. They can help you win games, and who knows may even win you a championship this year. If you have been streaming quarterbacks with Brissett you’ve probably locked in a win or two already.
Top Options for Week 5:
Gardner Minshew; Jacksonville Jaguars: It is time to start believing in Mindshew mania. For a few weeks now Gardner Minshew has put up great fantasy game after another. Minshew has thrown for over 200 passing yards in four straight games, which includes the limited time during week 1. The mustache wearing Minshew has three games over two passing touchdowns and has only thrown one interception on the year.
Minshew performed well against some of the leagues best defenses so far and that’s intriguing. Other than the Chiefs during week 1 who rank 20th, Minshew has faced the 12th, 9th, and 7th best defenses against opposing QBs. Minshew gets another “top” defense this week as he takes on the 6th ranked Panthers.
The Panthers are coming off a great defensive game against one of the leagues best Qbs. However, prior to that, they had two games in a row of 17+ fantasy points to QBs. Minshew is currently rostered in only 17% of ESPN.com leagues and should be a regular option moving forward.
Mason Rudolph; Pittsburgh Steelers: Rudolph, like Minshew, has been quietly getting the job done for the Steelers. In an effort to show that he can be the future of the franchise, Rudolph has been putting the team in a position to win. Despite losing to the 9ers on the road two weeks ago Rudolph put up 174 yards and two touchdowns. Last week in a Monday night contest vs. the division rival Cincinnati, Rudolph showed real poise completing 85% of his passes for over 220 yards and scoring twice.
Rudolph still has a ways to go before he can truly prove he is the man for the job. But he is showing signs that he can be that guy. He does get a really tough matchup against the Ravens this week. Luckily it’s a home game so he’ll have the familiarity and fans behind him. The Ravens are coming off three straight games giving up 300+ passing yards and have given up four passing touchdowns in the last two weeks.
ESPN.com has the Ravens ranked as the 18th best defense against opposing QBs. So there is a little wiggle room for a potential boom here for Rudolph. This game might be a division rival but the Ravens defense is susceptible to a big game.
Chase Daniel; Chicago Bears: Daniel is the one guy on the list replacing someone due to injury. Mitch Trubisky went down early in the Bears week 4 contest against the Vikings. Daniel came in and played masterfully securing a serious win for the club. Chase threw for 195 yards and a score and did not turn the ball over.
This week, the Bears take on the Raiders in London so both teams are in an unfamiliar territory which should play out well for both offenses. If we look back at the history of international games they tend to shoot out. In fact, of the 26 international games played 21 of them have scored at least 39 points combined. 31 of the teams who have played international games since the program’s debut in 2007 have scored 20 or more points. Both the Bears and Raiders have solid defenses but with the way international games play this might be the right time to buy on both offenses.
The Raiders have given up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs so far. Most of them come from Mahomes who scored 50 in a week 2 battle. However, last week Brissett scored three times throwing for 265 yards. Daniel may not be as good as Brissett but does have the ability to rack up yards in this offense. Only 1.9% of ESPN leagues roster Chase. Which makes Daniel a perfect option if you are streaming quarterbacks this week.
Joe Flacco; Denver Broncos: Flacco is coming off a special game last week as he threw for over 300 yards for the first time and scored three times. An impressive showing for the veteran QB as the Jaguars aren’t necessarily a pushover on defense. Currently ranked 9th in points allowed to QBs this year, the Jags had kept two prolific QBs wrapped up the two previous weeks. Both Watson and Mariota failed to score a passing touchdown against the Jags in weeks 2&3.
The only issue with Flacco has been the turnovers. With three interceptions and one lost fumble, Flacco has had his very share of troubles holding on to the ball. Despite throwing an interception in each of the last three games, Flacco is in a good position to keep the train rolling in Denver.
This week the Broncos take on a divisional foe in the Chargers when they head to LA. The Chargers are ranked 14th in pass rush according to Pro Football Focus but have one of the worst coverage ratings in the league. According to ESPN.com they have given up the 16th most points to opposing signal-callers and gave up 20+ fantasy points three weeks in a row. Flacco’s rostered percentage is less than 5% right now and can give you a boost in a week with two teams on bye.