Quarterback & Tight End Streamers: Week 11 (2019 Fantasy Football)
Week 10 was one of the most exciting football weeks all season. It began with a Thursday night barn burner when the Oakland Raiders edged the Los Angeles Chargers, and it finished on an even higher note when the Seahawks took the entire overtime period of back-and-forth football to beat the undefeated San Francisco 49ers. It was a fun, exciting, and tense week that delivered. My quarterback streamer of the week, Ryan Tannehill also delivered. He was the 12th-best quarterback of the week in fantasy, scoring about 20 points. If you ended up making it through my article last week, I told you to play both O.J. Howard and Chris Herndon if they were available. Howard was a top-six tight end for the week. He had four receptions on seven targets for 47 yards and a touchdown. Herndon, on the other hand, got injured early and could be out for quite a while. You win some, you lose some. It’s the nature of sports.
I took a chance on my dark horses, pivoting from the normal logical process I subscribe to. I whiffed on rookie quarterback Ryan Finley who did not look good against a dominant Ravens defense. However, his teammate Tyler Eifert did pay off. Despite playing a defense that was sixth toughest against tight ends, Eifert managed to get you double-digit points on just two receptions for small yardage. Touchdowns make all the difference for tight ends!
I was leaning to the side of reckless abandon last week, which has been incongruent to how I’ve approached it for the first nine weeks. I believe you should follow a sound process most of the time, and you should only pivot on a rare occasion when needed. This week I am going to go back down a more conventional path, but I do have a few surprises. These surprises are based less on feeling and more on talent.
Due to injuries to both the quarterback and tight end positions, there are many choices. Most of them do not seem all that attractive, and some of the starters are still unclear because we don’t know who will return from injury. Therefore, with those choices, I will clearly state that this might not happen up until the final hour before the game starts. And since I write this following the Monday night clash, I am in full conjecture mode right now. Last week at this time, I had no idea that Jeff Driskel was the backup quarterback for the Detroit Lions, let alone that he was even going to start in Week 10.
Quarterback Streamer of the Week: Kyle Allen (CAR) vs. Atlanta Falcons
I have never had Kyle Allen as my streamer of the week until now. You might be thinking that I am crazy for suggesting him because Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints could not muster double-digit points against Atlanta. That was an anomaly. The Saints were not good, and Atlanta’s defense up until last week had been worse than bad. I think this game is going to be a very high-scoring affair. I got the chance to watch Allen against the Green Bay Packers where he almost won the game. The poise, confidence, and maturity he showed during the failed comeback were enough to convince me that he deserves to be their starting quarterback even if Cam Newton were healthy enough to play.
I think last week was a testament to Allen as a quarterback. In his first five games, he really cruised — until he came crashing down to earth when he imploded against San Francisco. A week later, he picked up the pieces and beat the Titans, who have been rejuvenated ever since plugging in Ryan Tannehill. However, it was last week when he showed his true mettle. He was only the second quarterback to throw for over 300 yards against the Packers all season. And although the Panthers lost and only put up 16 points, I saw the makings of a great quarterback. He did not look shaky and scared like Jimmy Garoppolo did in his overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He looked like a veteran who wants to win. That game sets him up nicely this week, as he battles a team that will reward him with a big fantasy payday. Christian McCaffrey will eat for sure. But D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel look every much the part of two young, dynamic receivers. Greg Olsen looks spry again. And best of all, Kyle Allen has established chemistry with all of them.
Alternate Quarterback Streamer: Jacoby Brissett (IND) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
This all comes down to Jacoby Brissett’s availability. If he’s starting, then you should start him. Often times, I choose my recommendations based on matchups. Brissett is really matchup proof, and besides, the Jaguars are not the same without Jalen Ramsey. They are still a good defense, but they are not infallible. In contrast, Brissett is the real deal. Let’s not kid ourselves — he isn’t Andrew Luck or Patrick Mahomes — but he’s much better than his 38% ownership suggests. He has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks this season. This has been without T.Y. Hilton and second-round rookie Parris Campbell for multiple games and Devin Funchess for the entire season. Yes, he has been without his top three wide receivers. He’s done most of his damage with JAGs like Zach Pascal, Chester Rodgers, and a couple of average tight ends.
Currently, he is 18th in fantasy points among quarterbacks after 10 weeks. And he has missed one and a half games. He would be in the top 12 if he had played all ten games. I am quite sure if he was able to start last week that the Colts would not have only won the game against the Dolphins, but they would have won it easily. If Brissett is not able to go, don’t go down the Brian Hoyer rabbit hole. Go with Sam Darnold against the Washington Redskins or Nick Foles, who plays against Indianapolis. I have Brissett easily over the other two, who are both miles ahead of Hoyer. Washington’s defense is sneaky good, which could produce ghosts for Darnold to see, and Foles is rusty because he hasn’t started since the first game of the season. He is also on a short leash with Mustache Mania waiting for Gardner Minshew to get the starting nod again.
Dark Horse Quarterback Sleeper: Dwayne Haskins (WAS) vs. New York Jets
I think Dwayne Haskins has been dealt the “Josh Rosen 2018” card in 2019. Actually, I think both Haskins and Josh Rosen have been dealt the “Josh Rosen 2018” card in 2019. There have been so many to call Haskins a bust already. Some are even suggesting that the Redskins should look into drafting another quarterback in the 2020 draft. I disagree. The truth is that the Washington franchise has been in shambles for a while, but this year, they are taking it to another level. The way they have handled the Trent Williams situation has been disgusting. The way they have introduced Dwayne Haskins has also been absolutely appalling. Haskins has played in three games this season, starting his first last week. In his first game against the Giants, which was played on September 30th, he was forced into the game, producing a terrible result that included three interceptions. He clearly was not ready. Then he was benched for almost a month before relieving Case Keenum again when he left the game with a concussion. In that game against the Minnesota Vikings, Haskins only attempted five passes, completing three, but he did throw a pick. After that game, it seemed the entire world decided to turn its back on Haskins with many calling for his head. Two games. Two relief appearances. Not an ideal way to groom your first-round quarterback.
Last week, Washington decided to turn to Haskins as their starter for the first time. It was later confirmed this week he would be the starter for the rest of the season. So who does Haskins play against first? One of the best defenses in the league, the Buffalo Bills. Next to the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers, the Bills are the toughest against quarterbacks. So for Haskins, I think he has been thrown to the wolves. He got thrust into two games, and then his first start came against a premier foe. Therefore, I am really pulling for him this week. I am not a Redskin fan, but I want this young, aspiring quarterback who dominated in college to get a chance to show his worth on a level playing field.
Let me remind you that a year ago, Haskins was the starting quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He threw 50 touchdowns. That’s seven more touchdowns than Baker Mayfield’s best season; eight more touchdowns than Kyler Murray’s best season; and nine more touchdowns than Patrick Mahomes’ best season in the NCAA. Now is his chance to prove the recent doubters wrong. Despite a badly run franchise, Haskins has a chance to redeem himself this week against a friendly defense, the New York Jets. He has a good wide receiving corps with his former teammate, “Scary” Terry McLaurin headlining. He gets Derrius Guice back. I’d like him to have a banner week, but I would settle for a solid one in order to get his confidence back up to where it should be. I want him to head into the 2020 season as the Redskins’ undisputed starter. If you don’t have the cajones to be a renegade this week, then go with Steeler Mason Rudolph against Cleveland or Jeff Driskel if he starts in Detroit’s game against Dallas. They are safer options, but neither has Haskins’ potential upside.
Tight End Streamer of the Week: O.J. Howard (TB) vs. New Orleans Saints
O.J. Howard is still only 40% owned, and after this week, he won’t be streamable. It is possible that he becomes the turtle that goes back and hides in his shell, but last week’s performance could be a sign of Bruce Arians finally seeing the light. O.J. Howard might be the most talented tight end in the NFL. Tampa Bay has to find a way to utilize him. I am of the belief that he could have a special second half to the season, which will get him back on track to where he should be. Get him now. The Saints will look to rebound, but they rank 21st against tight ends. That might not be in the same zone as the hopeless Arizona Cardinals, but it does make for a decent matchup. As much as we would take a 10-point performance from any streaming tight end scrub, if a phenom is available for the taking, you need to take advantage. I think Howard is 100% worth taking that chance.
Alternate Tight End Streamer: Noah Fant (DEN) at Minnesota Vikings
Noah Fant’s extremely disappointing start to his rookie season ended just before Joe Flacco got injured. In his final two games with Flacco, Fant saw 13 targets. He only had 19 in his previous six games. However, it was in Week 9 when Fant played with new starter Brandon Allen that it became clear he was set free. In his only game with Allen, Fant had three receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. Many would say it was his breakout game, but I think it is only just the beginning. Fant is more of a large wide receiver than a tight end. He runs a 4.50 (99th-percentile), has a 132.6 Burst Score (97th-percentile), 11.03 Agility Score (96th-percentile), and a 10.47 Catch Radius (97th-percentile). You don’t get much more athletic than Fant. Flacco couldn’t unlock his potential, but maybe Brandon Allen can. He’s every bit as athletic as Mike Gesicki is, who incidentally, is starting to break out himself. The difference is that Fant was much more productive in college, so he is not only athletic, but he has also been a dominant football player. Let’s hope it continues to translate in the NFL.
Dark Horse Tight End Sleeper: Dawson Knox (BUF) at Miami Dolphins
Another rookie that had a mini breakout just this past week was Dawson Knox of the Buffalo Bills. He’s been flirting with a breakout for a few weeks now, but it didn’t come until Week 10, when Knox had four receptions for 55 yards on six targets. The result tied him with Cole Beasley for second-best on the team. The best thing for Knox is that he gets to play against the Miami Dolphins, who are second-worst in the league against tight ends. If he can ever improve upon last week’s performance, this is the week for him to do it. He’s another athletic tight end who does not have a Workout Metric on Player Profiler under the 72nd-percentile.