QB2 Streamers: Week 10

Week 9 was the kind of week Superflex and 2QB leagues love. You had the amazing performances of Nick Mullens and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Meanwhile, Drew Brees and Jared Goff went toe-to-toe in the Superdome, and their offenses combined for 80 total points. Tom Brady only threw for one touchdown, but he got the victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Of course, that’s the good. The bad and the ugly had a heavy Midwest presence. Kirk Cousins, Matt Stafford, and Mitchell Trubisky combined for just 123 more passing yards and one fewer touchdown pass than Patrick Mahomes. Way to represent NFC Norris division, fellas.

For transparency sake, here are last week’s results: my “Fishing Upstream” recommendations were Fitzpatrick (26.02 fantasy points, QB6) and Alex Smith (17.44 fantasy points, QB15), and my “Fishing Downstream” recommendation was Ben Roethlisberger (25.20 fantasy points, QB7).

In the case of streaming quarterbacks, and for the sake of this article, my focus is highlighting signal-callers to stream in the second quarterback slot in your 2QB or Superflex leagues (in the event you went with a Studs & Streaming approach to the position in drafts this offseason). I will also highlight one quarterback you would normally start in your QB1 slot to potentially reconsider due to a bad matchup.


Baker Mayfield vs. Atlanta Falcons

Stop me if you’ve heard this once or twice this season, but the Atlanta Falcons defense is really bad. Granted, injuries to key players is the major contributing factor, but in fantasy football, it’s an exploitable match-up. Where to start?

The Falcons defense ranks in the bottom-third in passing yards allowed, passing yards per attempt, and passing touchdowns allowed. They’ve allowed the fourth-highest yards per carry to opposing rushing attacks, but opponents have only ran the ball 179 times against the Falcons, fifth-fewest in the NFL. Why mess with a good thing after all. Now, can the Browns’ offense surge without Hue Jackson?

Week 1 pos- Hue flashed signs of offensive ingenuity. Who could have thought Duke Johnson would spark a sputtering offense? Surely no one in the cocoon.

Johnson was taking out the papers and the trash with all that yakety YAC. Now just imagine what he could do against Atlanta. Baker Mayfield might not have to throw a ball more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. The Falcons are currently 29th in DVOA against passes that travel fewer than 15 air yards. That bodes well not just for Johnson, but the other Browns pass catchers as well. David Njoku has an aDOT of 8.0 while Jarvis Landry’s aDOT is at 10.5 yards. Atlanta’s loss of Deion Jones and Keanu Neal continues to set opponents up to attacking the middle of the field. That’s not changing this week.

Marcus Mariota vs. New England Patriots

Don’t look now, but over the last two games Marcus Mariota has completed 45-of-61 passing attempts for 477 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. He’s also rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown over his past two games. Maybe, just maybe, some of the reasons for optimism prior to the season are coming to fruition.

Standing in the way of a third-straight quality performance are the Patriots. Unlike his previous two meetings against New England, however, Mariota will face them at home in Tennessee. His career sample size is still relatively small, but there’s not much of a discernible difference in Mariota’s passing stats at home versus being on the road.

The Patriots passing defense, or lack thereof, has picked up right where it left off in last year’s Super Bowl. Only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have allowed more passing touchdowns than New England this season. The Patriots have allowed the fifth-most passing yards in the NFL, despite opposing teams having the sixth-lowest yards per attempt against them. Death by 1,000 cuts to negate the pass rush. For a quarterback like Mariota, that’s music to his ears, Nashville-style. Guess who also benefits from Mariota’s quick releases and happens to be taking a walk on “Narrative Street” this week: Dion Lewis.

Already this season, the Patriots have given up good chunks of yards to agile pass-catching running backs in similar molds to Lewis. It doesn’t matter how Mariota accumulates passing yards, as long as he collects a lot of them. In a game that could see a lot of points scored from the opposite sideline, Mariota might need to make plays happen with his arm and his legs. The Patriots gave up 40 rushing yards to Deshaun Watson, 35 rushing yards to Blake Bortles, and 81 rushing yards and a touchdown to Trubisky.


Russell Wilson vs. Los Angeles Rams

It’s not often an 8-1 team could be in a must-win type game, but that might be the case for the Rams this weekend against the Seahawks. A win on Sunday would effectively end the NFC West race, as Los Angeles would be up five games with six to go and the head-to-head tiebreaker against Seattle. All that stands in the Rams’ way is a bad man drinking a smoothie.

The way the Rams have punished Russell Wilson in recent years, a smoothie might be on the menu for the couple days after this game. Wilson has been sacked 12 times in his last three games against them. In his two trips to Los Angeles, Wilson has thrown for only one touchdown, hasn’t topped 255 passing yards, and the Seahawks have put up a total of 19 points.

Part of that could be scheme. Just last week, the Los Angeles Chargers played an extraordinarily high amount of zone coverage against Wilson. That was slightly odd, considering Wilson has done fairly well against zone compared to man coverage in the past.

Last season, the Rams defense was quite efficient in zone coverage. They’ll need to be this week too. Prior to Week 9, there was no safety or a single safety deep on 14 of Wilson’s 16 touchdown passes. The Rams ran Cover-6 at the second highest rate in the NFL last season according to Pro Football Focus (12.9%). Then again, perhaps the Rams are due for another letdown. They can’t be happy to see their opponent in the downstream section of this article considering how some of the last entrants fared. At least they’re close to Las Vegas though!

Thanks for reading.

Matt Giraldi

Matt Giraldi is a Chicago transplant who lives in San Luis Obispo, California. Matt spends his days developing websites and absorbing fantasy data. He joined his first dynasty league in 2013. Two years later he joined a 20-team relegation dynasty league. His introduction to dynasty superflex came within the past year with two orphan squads. Matt strongly believes in innovative league formats, with 2QB/Superflex leagues being the norm in the very soon future.

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