Quarterback & Tight End Streamers: Week 12 (2019 Fantasy Football)
We are getting down to the nitty-gritty. Most redraft and dynasty leagues are hitting their trade deadlines. For many of us, we are heading towards the must-win mode in order to make our respective playoffs. Week 11 was another fun-filled week of football chock full of surprises that keep on happening. No one could have predicted the now-famous “helmet strike” on Thursday night. No one saw Atlanta’s defense dominate another good team. No one saw Houston go down so easily to Baltimore. No one saw a second-string quarterback by the name of Jeff Driskel almost beat America’s team. Heck, even Cincinnati almost won its first game!
We might have more data collected to gain a better insight to predict things but ultimately we are coming to one definitive conclusion – it’s still anyone’s guess. Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott are the 2019 fantasy darlings at the quarterback position. Funny how Jackson was ranked as the 12th best fantasy quarterback back in September by FantasyPros. And Prescott? 15th.
I cannot duck without getting hit from Week 11. Both my quarterback streamers of the week, Kyle Allen, and my tight end streamer of the week, O.J. Howard, were horrible. To be fair, Kyle Allen was ranked 12th in Week 11 by Matthew Berry, who ranked O.J. Howard 11th among tight ends. “Living the Stream,” a great podcast hosted by J.J. Zacharison and Denny Carter, also had Allen as their go-to quarterback streamer this past week. I make my choices before their podcast comes out. It is my own opinion. I saw him against Green Bay and saw a warrior and a quarterback that looked poised. Instead, we got a quarterback who threw four interceptions against one of the league’s most dubious, leaky defenses.
As for O.J. Howard. Three letters grouped together sum up his performance in Week 11 and really for his entire 2019 campaign: WTF? Apparently he should have caught an easy pass from Jameis Winston but instead flubbed it, causing an interception. After that, he was nowhere to be seen or heard of in the game that saw Winston throw three more interceptions in a Buccaneer loss to the New Orleans Saints. Later we found out he was benched for his mishap. Quite a contrast to his previous week where he scored a touchdown and looked to be back on track for being a top-5 tight end. Winston continued to play. He’s thrown 18 interceptions this year. That’s six more than any other quarterback. Please don’t throw any heavy headgear my way. I’ll try to do better. If it makes you feel better, I benched Ryan Griffin for O.J. Howard. And because of this, I lost the week. I also picked up Kyle Allen to play on a team that has Russell Wilson. If I had picked up Darnold I would have won in that league also.
On a positive note, my other two quarterbacks, Jacoby Brissett and Dwayne Haskins were serviceable. My other two tight ends, Noah Fant and Dawson Knox were also fine. Knox was TE10 for the week, scoring a touchdown. Fant didn’t score as many fantasy points but he did get a season-high 11 targets and would have got you double-digit points in PPR if he didn’t take two handoffs of -7 yards.
This week I must warn you. I feel better about my tight end choices than my quarterback ones. This hardly ever happens. The tight end choices seem pretty obvious, while many of the streamable quarterbacks seem to be stuck in some pretty bad matchups. In fact, to change my luck and hopefully yours, I will start off this week with the tight ends. I’ll try anything to get it right at this point in the season.
Tight End Streamer of the Week
Jacob Hollister (SEA) vs Philadelphia Eagles
I hope I don’t fall into the Kyle Allen trap this week, but for a few weeks leading up to Seattle’s bye, Hollister looked like Will Dissly out there. He was targeted a lot, converted a lot of his opportunities while scoring a bunch. He might not be the future in Seattle but he seems to be the answer now. We are at the point where we would ultimately like to pick up someone and ride him until the end of the playoffs. I really think that Hollister can be that guy.
Seattle’s defense is not what it was. Russell Wilson is still a dream to watch and their offense is rolling better than perhaps any time during the Wilson era. He has Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, Hollister, and the newly acquired Josh Gordon. It will still take Gordon a few more weeks to become his effective self. Metcalf is fast and dynamic but he is more of a home run hitter. After Lockett, it really is Jacob Hollister as Wilson’s go-to guy. I like him this week against the Eagles and I like him going forward. I do think Russell Wilson is matchup proof which means Hollister should be too.
Alternate Tight End Streamer of the Week
Ryan Griffin (NYJ) vs Oakland Raiders
Another tight end that is not the sexiest of names largely due to the fact that he is not athletic nor was he productive in his time in Houston is Ryan Griffin. That being said, he is doing what all of us were hoping Chris Herndon would do. Sam Darnold likes to throw to his tight ends and it seems like Griffin is now his tight end of choice. Last week he was the highest-scoring tight end in the entire NFL heading into Monday night’s game. He caught all five targets for 109 yards and a touchdown.
This week he faces the Oakland Raiders. They have given up seven touchdowns in ten weeks to tight ends. They are currently ranked as the 5th easiest defense for tight ends. They have been tougher in the past two games but it seems like the Jets have finally started to gain momentum and look like an offense that means business. It was Griffin’s first game with over 100 yards receiving and it needs to be noted that he has games where he disappears. However, he has been a great fantasy asset four out of his last six games. For a streaming tight end, that’s worth rostering for Week 11.
Dark Horse Sleeper Tight End
Dallas Goedert (PHI) vs Seattle Seahawks or Noah Fant (DEN) vs Buffalo Bills
It really comes down to choosing your poison of preference. Dallas Goedert is more like a Travis Kelce-type, while Noah Fant resembles a move tight end reminiscent of Evan Engram. Lately, Fant has been getting the most targets out of the two and is really the only tight end of consequence on the Denver Broncos. Goedert, however, finds the end zone more often than not. He’s the more complete tight end who can block but still has the athleticism to run routes all over the field.
I prefer Goedert’s matchup more. I think the Philadelphia/Seattle game screams “Points!” while the Denver/Buffalo game seems more of a grinding, defensive affair. I say this but I do have to remind myself it is 2019 and anything and everything can happen when you least expect it. I can honestly say with a straight face that neither should put up a goose egg like Mr. O.J. Howard. However, no one thought that Jack Doyle would also score a big, fat zip last Sunday either. There you go. Anything goes in the NFL.
Quarterback Streamer of the Week
Jacoby Brissett (IND) vs Houston Texans
It would be smart of me to just lock Brissett in the rest of the way. No one trusts him enough to own him in more than 40% of Yahoo Leagues despite the fact that he produces pretty consistently. I think we now know what we get with Brissett – a safe floor with a potentially high ceiling.
Houston’s defense looked stunned last week against a mobile quarterback by the name of Lamar Jackson. Brissett does not utilize his legs nearly enough but if Indianapolis wants to win, maybe they should watch the Texan’s game from last week. Having no J.J. Watt really makes a difference whether we are talking about his talent or his presence. I also think Houston’s offense will be poised to rebound in this game. I believe that this will be quite a spirited affair, similar to the Eagles/Seahawks game. In this case, it is between two divisional rivals trying to make the playoffs and doing whatever they can to win. It sounds like a good recipe for a higher scoring game. If this is the case, then we can be looking at Brissett scoring more along the lines of 20 fantasy points rather than low double-digits.
Marlon Mack is out for a while so as good as Jonathan Williams looked last week, to say their running game is on the same level as before would be naive. Brissett will be called upon to make a bigger difference this week. He might even have T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess back from injury. Even if they don’t step on the field, Brissett will be able to make do with whatever he has. The worst-case scenario is Brissett has a pretty good fantasy week.
Alternate Quarterback Streamer of the Week
Sam Darnold (NYJ) vs Oakland Raiders
What is holding me back from declaring Sam Darnold as my fantasy quarterback streamer of the week is simply his inconsistent play. I was hesitant last week because Washington has a pretty solid defense. Then he tore them up. Two weeks ago he was against the hopeless Miami Dolphins. Then he played so poorly he made them look hopeful.
Darnold has the talent, the weapons and has a good matchup. At the beginning of the season, I would have said an excellent matchup. However, the Oakland defense has come alive lately and has kept their foes in check during their three-game winning streak. On the other hand, Oakland still bleeds points. Apart from last week, in which they played the worst team in the league now, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Raiders have allowed over 20 points to their opposition eight games in a row.
There are points to be scored and fantasy points to be had for one Mr. Sam Darnold. He could crawl up into his shell but seems to be gaining the confidence he needs. Jamison Crowder has been a revelation of late, the aforementioned Ryan Griffin has caught on fire, and old man Demaryius Thomas has been a source of consistent targets for Darnold. If Darnold and Robby Anderson can somehow find their old magic from 2018, then it could be a big payday for you and the young franchise quarterback that plays for Gang Green.
Dark Horse Sleeper Quarterback
Jeff Driskel (DET) vs Washington Redskins or Dwayne Haskins (WAS) vs Detroit Lions
It seems like Jeff Driskel will run the show in Detroit for the unforeseeable future. So far, he has done a great job in relief for Matthew Stafford. He threw for three touchdowns last game against a tough Dallas defense. He likes to scramble which also bodes well in the fantasy world.
I still don’t think the Redskins are walkovers by any stretch of the imagination. Haskins looked competent in his first “real” game behind center. I hope he continues to develop. If he can improve then this game should get interesting, competitive and higher scoring. There is always the chance that Driskel thinks he is wearing black and orange and turns into a pumpkin like he did when he played for the Bengals. However, he has put together two unlikely standup performances in a row so we need to recognize this and ride him while he’s hot.
If you decide to go in the other direction and take Haskins, that would not necessarily be following a bad process either. The Lions have given up the 6th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Both Driskel and Haskins are dark horses for a reason. Neither has produced enough to make anyone feel confident to start yet both also bring potential big upside. Some might want to turn to Mason Rudolph against the Cincinnati Bengals but for some reason, I think that after nearly getting his head knocked off last week he will have a quiet, conservative game.