Waiting to draft a QB is a strategy I have been advocating for in my writing. The position is so deep this season that it is a waste of a pick to take one early. Every draft I have been in when a QB goes in any of the 1st 5 rounds, it makes me cringe a little. After that initial reaction I am also happy since I know a better player will be available to me, but this year I have made it my goal to prove you don’t need to draft a big name QB to win in fantasy. Over the course of the season I am going to provide QB streaming options that are available in at least 50% of Yahoo leagues. I will provide a main option and some alternates in case my main guy is unavailable in your league. I will track the weekly finishes, points and average points per week of my main choice to show how over a season you can basically stream QB1 value. Below is the scoring system I will be using to track:
All TDs: 6 points
Passing Yards: .04 per yard
Interceptions & Fumbles: -2
Rushing & Receiving Yards: .1 per yard
I know most people will not be streaming their QB in week 1, except maybe the guy who drafted Carson Wentz, but here are the available guys I like in the first week of the season:
Main streaming option: Tyrod Taylor
The Browns are opening up at home against Pittsburgh to start the season. In his 3 seasons as the starter in Buffalo, Taylor was a reliable fantasy option without much to work with in the passing game. Outside of when Sammy Watkins was on the team and healthy, Taylor never had a dynamic WR to work with. He is moving to an offense in Cleveland that offers a big upgrade in weapons. When you replace Zay Jones and his 36.5% catch rate with Jarvis Landry things are looking up. Last year Taylor’s top targets were LeSean McCoy and Charles Clay, no player on the Bills even reached 600 receiving yards, no WR reached 450 yards. With Landry, Gordon, Duke Johnson and Njoku the weapons upgrade for Taylor is real and will have an impact on his fantasy value.
Taylor also offers value as a runner; he has averaged 35 yards a game on the ground during his time in Buffalo. His rushing provides a safer floor while also providing the potential for a big game if he breaks a longer run. Fantasy football scoring rewards rushing QBs and using Taylor is a way to exploit that part of the game. This is also where the Steelers not having Ryan Shazier is a big deal, the downgrade at linebacker means there is a greater opportunity for a running QB like Taylor. I expect Taylor to finish in the top 12 this week and would have him ranked higher overall on the season if I was confident the Browns would play him for all 16 games.
Alternate 1: Blake Bortles
People seem to enjoy disrespecting Bortles, but he has proven to be a viable fantasy QB every season. Over the last 3 years his lowest finish on the season was QB 13. Losing Marqise Lee is a bit of a blow, but the Jaguars have multiple receiving threats for Bortles to work with. The Jacksonville defense will keep them in a positive game script and Bortles will not be forced into as many obvious passing situations. Bortles can spread the ball around against a Giants’ defense that gave up the 2nd most passing yards last season. The Jaguars added Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the offseason to give Bortles a big red zone target and is an upgrade over Mercedes Lewis at TE. The Giants are going to focus on trying to stop Fournette, which will lead to more opportunities for the WRs to get open. Bortles is also better at scrambling for yards than people give him credit for, so he will likely pick up a few extra points on the ground. Bortles should have a solid week and fantasy season yet again for Jacksonville.
Alternate 2: Andy Dalton
I am not saying Andy Dalton should be starting in a 12 team league where you start 1 QB, he is more a potential option for a 2QB or Superflex league. Dalton started off 2017 in a very bad way; his first 2 games were ugly. The Bengals have made some improvements to their offensive line which was a big problem in 2017 and John Ross has flashed as a deep threat in the preseason. Eifert looks like he will be back on the field as at least a red zone weapon. Most importantly, the Bengals face the Colts to start the season and the Colts are not a good defense. You will survive by plugging in Dalton if needed this week. He has his full complement of weapons and should have a little more time before the pocket collapses on him. Having the guy throwing to AJ Green against a bad defense is not the worst position to be in.
Those are the streaming candidates I like for this week. As the season goes a long if you need help for a bye week, an injury, a bad match up or the guy you drafted is just disappointing then check back weekly for more streaming options. I will do the research for you and find the right streaming options. Hopefully this will convince more players to wait on QB next season.