By Tony Reimas (@mrmeseeksff)
Week three taught us one thing: quarterback play can be a fickle beast. When Blake Bortles throws four TDs and zero INTs against a Baltimore defense that had eight INTs the previous two weeks you know it's going to be a crazy Sunday. Your week three quarterback leaders in order were: Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Case Keenum, Kirk Cousins and the aforementioned Bortles. Fifteen quarterbacks scored more than 20 points last week, but Cam Newton, Jay Cutler, David Carr and Matt Ryan weren't amongst them regardless of having great matchups. Despite this unpredictable nature, I am back once again to give you my top three streamers at the position. Sometimes you just have to accept the variance, trust your process and hope for the best.
10 Team Leagues- Tyrod Taylor @ Atlanta Falcons
Tyrod Taylor may not have the best weapons. After trading Sammy Watkins it can be argued he has no weapons outside of LeSean McCoy. However the fantasy value of a rushing quarterback cannot be overstated. Tyrod has averaged at least 8 rushing attempts in each of the first three weeks. This week he takes on an Atlanta team that was 11th in the league in 2016 in rushing yards allowed to quarterbacks. Atlanta also allowed 19 fantasy PPG to opposing QBs, second worst in the league. Taylor has also managed to avoid turnovers and has not thrown an interception since week one despite facing arguably the toughest defense in the league in week three. Considering Tyrod was able to score 17 points against the Broncos he should be able to top that in a higher scoring game against Atlanta. I feel Taylor has one of the safest floors of any quarterback this week and possible top five QB upside.
12 Team Leagues- Carson Palmer vs San Francisco 49ers
Finally, the Carson Palmer I expected to see the first two weeks showed up Monday night. Just in time for no one to start him. Palmer built on a decent week two outing throwing for 325 yards and two TDs against the abysmal Dallas secondary. This week Palmer and the Cardinals host the equally atrocious San Fransisco 49ers. When last we saw the Niners defense they were being lit up by Jared Goff in quite possibly the most exciting Thursday Night Football game ever. Goff threw for 292 yards and 3 TDs and the Los Angeles Rams were able to put up over forty points. If the Niners weren't able to slow down the Rams how can I expect them to offer much resistance to the Cardinals, even without David Johnson. Palmer should have around 250+ yards and two or three TDs and finish the week as a top 12 QB.
14/16 Team Leagues- DeShaun Watson vs Tennessee Titans
Watson had a nice breakout this past Sunday against the once feared New England Patriots defense. Throwing for 301 yards and two TDs and adding 41 yards on the ground. Most weeks that would be a top five QB performance. This week DeShaun and the Texans host a Tennessee Titans team that has allowed 20.7 Fantasy PPG to QBs, including four TDs at home to Russell Wilson. Similar to Tyrod, Watson’s willingness to run gives him a safe floor most weeks. Given that and the matchup Watson has a top 15 QB floor this week with top 5 upside.
10 Team Leagues- Charles Clay @ Atlanta Falcons
If Tyrod Taylor is going to have a big game someone has to catch passes from him right? Clay has been underrated so far this year. At a position as volatile as TE has been through the first three weeks we at least know the volume should be there. Charles is second on the team in targets with 18, only two less than LeSean McCoy. He is also tied with Rob Gronkowski for the most red zone targets at TE and has the most targets at the position inside the 10 yard line. This week he takes on the Falcons who allowed 15 PPG in PPR to opposing TEs in 2016. Between the predicted volume and the matchup Clay is a strong play this week.
12 Team Leagues- Ryan Griffin vs Tennessee Titans
I know, it was only one week but what can I say? Tight End is mostly trash. Sal Leto has repeatedly pointed out on the FLAFFLHouse podcast that Ryan Griffin was expected to be the team's pass catching TE coming into 2016. This changed when Brock Osweiler decided he only has eyes for C.J Fiedorowicz. With CJ placed on IR the opportunity is here for Griffin to show what he’s capable of. Last week Griffin caught five of six targets for 61 yards and a touchdown. This week the Texans take on the Titans who were 11th in the league in 2016 in fantasy PPG allowed to tight ends. I expect Watson to have a good game against the Titans. This means Griffin will most likely build on his strong week two performance.
14/16 Team Leagues- Vernon Davis @ Kansas City Chiefs
DISCLAIMER: At the time of this writing, Jordan Reed’s status is still unclear. If he is able to play, please disregard this stream. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, Davis is a strong start this week if Reed is inactive. Dating back to last year Vernon Davis has averaged 11.1 PPG in games that Jordan Reed has missed. To put that in perspective, Rob Gronkowski averaged 12.1 PPG in that same time frame. This week the Redskins take on the Kansas City Chiefs who have a strong defense but showed in week two they can be susceptible to a pass catching TE once Eric Berry was lost for the season to injury. That week Zach Ertz caught five passes for 97 yards. Last week Davis showed that even at age 33 he can still beat defenders while catching all five of his targets for 58 yards and a touchdown. This offense likes to utilize the TE and I expect Davis to get above average work in an offense that looks to be finding its way.
*If Reed plays, other dart throw TEs I like this week: Tyler Kroft who had 5 targets last week and plays the Browns, the worst team in football against the TE. Cameron Brate, Giants have perennially been bad against TEs and he should get some red zone opportunities.
10/12 Team Leagues- Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears
The Packers draw the Chicago Bears who are traveling to Lambeau on a short week. In week two the Bears were on the road in Tampa Bay who’s defense scored 18 points. Mike Glennon with only four days to prepare for a road game? Sounds like the recipe for a good defensive stream to me.
14/16 Team Leagues- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New York Giants
Sorry if I'm skeptical that Eli Manning has all of the sudden remembered how to play quarterback. It will take more than one competent game for me to be afraid of Eli on the road. All it takes is one awful pass returned to the house for Tampa to be a strong play and Eli has been known to do that from time to time. Also the offensive line is still awful which should help the Bucs add a few sacks to the stat sheet. Stream them with confidence.