Quarterback & Tight End Streamers: Week 14 (2019 Fantasy Football)
The playoffs are now underway! If you are reading this article, then most likely you’ve done what most teams couldn’t do. You were either dominant or lucky but nevertheless you made it. You did it. You are here. Congratulations!
As we enter Week 14, a few things have been solidified. First of all, it seems no team is trying to tank. The Dolphins have been getting better on both sides of the field and upset the Eagles. All the Eagles had to do was win and be tied atop the NFC East and failed to do that. The winless Bengals beat the Jets who were starting to get it together. And the Redskins were able to defeat the Panthers in a game that saw why Derrius Guice was drafted as a top running back in 2018.
The only team now seemingly fading into obscurity is the New York Giants. Who knows what is going on there. The top pick of most drafts, Saquon Barkley, despite not playing at 100%, has been vanilla at best. Daniel Jones does not look like the answer there either. Could it be another 2018 Arizona Cardinals situation where the Giants draft another quarterback in the first round and trade their Josh Rosen? Only time will tell.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently in the playoffs despite not really having a real starting quarterback and missing their star running back. The Browns continue to struggle despite housing so many heavyweights. The Raiders are flailing and the Chargers lost another heartbreaker. It wasn’t even Philip Rivers’ fault this time. And in a possible Super Bowl matchup, the Ravens edged the 49ers, who now might not even win their division now. Crazy week. Crazy results. This leads me to the second and final observation. It’s still unpredictable. It’s still anyone’s guess. We do the best with the information we have but in the end, it is still a crapshoot. Welcome to the wonderful world of the NFL.
My streaming quarterback of the week, Sam Darnold was so disappointing. It wasn’t that he was horrific. He didn’t throw any interceptions. He never fumbled. He just was flat. The entire Jets team looked disinterested altogether. Ryan Tannehill was better but was nothing special. He didn’t have to be. The offense literally ran through Derrick Henry, who continues to roll over opposing defenses like seems to do every winter. Despite throwing two touchdowns, Tanny barely got double-digit points.
My best recommendation was my dark horse. Kyle Allen scored over 20 fantasy points despite losing to the hopeless Washington Redskins. I fared better with my tight end recommendations. Dallas Goedert outperformed his injured colleague, Zach Ertz and ended up as a top-12 tight end this week. Mike Gesicki was a revelation. He ended up as TE3 for the week heading into Monday night’s game. Noah Fant, though, never found chemistry with his new quarterback, Drew Lock, and was a fantasy dud.
Now it’s the playoffs and every game means everything. Hopefully, I’ll have six options that will enable you to make it to the semi-finals.
Quarterback Streamer of the Week
Jacoby Brissett (IND) vs. Tampa Bay
If you want the safest two quarterbacks to rely on, it is definitely between Ryan Tannehill and Jacoby Brissett. Both are on teams trying to make the playoffs and both have done a good enough job to fend off any kind of quarterback competition. Brissett is probably safer because Tannehill’s backup is Marcus Mariota. Brissett’s backup is Brian Hoyer, who was terrible in his starts when Brissett was out. It is safe to say though both Tannehill and Brissett should not feel any threat of losing their jobs for this season. Tennessee is currently 7-5, having the same record of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is currently holding the sixth and final playoff spot now but Tennessee is clearly a better team. Pittsburgh’s defense has been excellent but I do not see their offense helping them make it into the post-season. Indianapolis is only one game back. Both Brissett and Tannehill have great matchups this week.
So, in the end, I will go with Jacoby Brissett. So, why?
This week Tennessee is against Oakland, a good matchup. The problem is Oakland is easy to run against. It has been clear for weeks that the Titans want to run its offense through Derrick Henry. Last week in their match against Indianapolis, Henry dictated the game. Indianapolis was the eighth toughest against running backs until Henry tore them up. Oakland is the 13th easiest against the run. Indianapolis is facing the second toughest run defense in Tampa Bay. Brissett will be forced to throw more against a Tampa Bay secondary that allows the most points to wide receivers, the second-most points to tight ends, and the third most points to quarterbacks. Brissett needs to win. His back is up against the wall. It’s now or never. If the Colts lose this week, most likely they are out of the playoff race and it will leave head coach Frank Reich scratching his head, wondering who will steer the offensive ship next season. I believe that Brissett will pull through and to do this, he’ll have to chuck the ball.
Alternate Quarterback Streamer of the Week
Ryan Tannehill (TEN) vs. Oakland Raiders
Ryan Tannehill is still a good play this week. Anytime you get to play the Raiders, you have to feel pretty good about your offense and your ability to put up fantasy points. My biggest concern is how dominant Derrick Henry has been this season and especially of late but Tannehill has been solid despite playing second fiddle to Henry. Tannehill has a good remaining schedule. He plays Houston in Week 15, who has been very generous towards quarterbacks and in the final week of fantasy playoffs he faces the Saints. The Saints are not an ideal matchup but look for New Orleans to be leading the match causing Tennessee to pivot from its run game and allow Tannehill to show what he can do. You might want to grab Tannehill for now and for the rest of the playoff schedule.
Dark Horse Quarterback Sleeper
Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA) at New York Jets
Many are talking about how dominant Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens have been. Many are talking about how Deshaun Watson handed it to Tom Brady. Many are talking about how Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills could be for real. However, no one is talking about the Miami Dolphins. After losing their first seven games, Miami has won three out of their last five. It is not only that. Ever since head coach Brian Flores named Fitzmagic the starter for the rest of the season, the team has relaxed, carrying an attitude of “when you got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose.”
They were three-point underdogs at home against Philadelphia with an over/under of 44. Miami not only beat the spread, but they also beat Philadelphia handily, scoring 37 points themselves. Their game had a total of 68 points scored – the highest-scoring game of the week. Miami is fun to watch. They literally have no running game to speak of, which means they are totally relying on Fitzpatrick and the magic he has developed with DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki. He is also making UDFA Patrick Laird relevant. Look for him to try and do a “Jet sweep” this week in New York. Fitzmagic has a great schedule ahead. After the Jets, he plays the Giants and the Bengals. You might want to just ride the beard to your championship.
Keep Your Eye On
Gardner Minshew (JAX) vs. Los Angeles Chargers and Daniel Jones (NYG) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
If you can’t pick up Brissett or Tannehill and have an aversion to beards, you might want to consider a slightly less aversive version of facial hair. Gardner Minshew, who flaunts a seventy’s porn stache, is back! By all accounts, he should have never lost his job in the first place after playing solidly. It only took Nick Foles a few games to get pulled. Minshew has a challenging foe this week in the Los Angeles Chargers. They’ve been stingy with opposing quarterbacks. That being said, they allowed another rookie, Drew Lock, to beat them, a game he got 17 fantasy points. The Chargers also lost another heartbreaker. They are pretty much out of the playoff picture now and it would actually suit them better to lose the rest of the way to hopefully get the chance of finding Philip River’s heir. Minshew’s playoff schedule after this game is excellent. If he can get your fantasy team into Week 15, he plays the Oakland and then finished the playoff schedule at Atlanta.
Week 14 Trap Quarterback
Kyle Allen (CAR) vs. Atlanta Falcons
This is a seemingly great matchup for Kyle Allen. Many might even consider it a “revenge” game of sorts since he self-destructed last time when he played the Falcons, throwing four interceptions and losing 29 to 3. However, even if it is a get right game, I see it more of a Christian McCaffery show. Carolina might win but remember Drew Brees beat the Falcons last week easily and only had to put up 13 fantasy points to do so.
Tight End Streamer of the Week
Mike Gesicki (MIA) vs. New York Jets
Not a lot in the tight end landscape to get excited about. Guys who have great matchups like Jack Doyle, Vance McDonald, Kyle Rudolph, and Ryan Griffin are too widely owned now. Even people caught on to Dallas Goedert, who is now 57% owned in Yahoo leagues. However, fret no more! Mike Gesicki could be your league winner this week and for the remaining weeks ahead. Last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, Gesicki was a monster. He had seven targets, five receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown. He was TE4 for the week. The last time he played the Jets, he set season highs in receptions (6) and yards (95). All he was missing was crossing the end zone line.
Gesicki, who many believed was quickly turning into a bust, has had his young career rejuvenated by Fitzmagic. The good news is the Jets will concentrate most of their efforts on stopping DeVante Parker who himself has been unstoppable. This should free up Gesicki who faces a team tough against tight ends normally.
Alternate Tight End Streamer
Tyler Higbee (LAR) vs Seattle Seahawks
Tyler Higbee’s success this week is contingent on whether or not Gerald Everett plays. If Everett plays, look for Higbee to be more of a 5-10 fantasy point tight end against the Seahawks. If Everett sits out, look for more. Last week Higbee dominated against the Arizona Cardinals, who are by far the worst against tight ends. In that game, Higbee had seven receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. It was by far his best game of this career. Seattle is better than Arizona but believe it or not, are the third easiest against tight ends, giving up over 16 fantasy points per game to that position. If Higbee is running a solo show, look for his ceiling to be decent this week. If he shares snaps with Everett, the more preferred receiving option, look for Higbee to get you something, but nothing substantial. Getting into the fantasy playoffs is not easy. Therefore, you must be more vigilant and do your research!
Dark Horse Tight End Sleeper
Jonnu Smith (TEN) vs. Oakland Raiders
Coming off of a two reception for zero yards game, it is hard to trust Jonnu Smith. However, while some will be scared to take the chance, you might not have much choice. With Delanie Walker on IR, Smith is really the only tight end of consequence in Tennessee. He’s been so hit and miss, therefore he comes with both a low floor and a high ceiling. He has the potential to hit a 7-78-1 stat line like he did versus the Buccaneers just over a month ago. He also showed us last week how low he can also go. Smith is truly a boom or bust tight end in Week 14 but he could win you your week. He’s against the Raiders – a great matchup. Oakland allows opposing tight ends around 14.5 fantasy points per game, which is sixth-worst in the league.
Desperate Tight End Move
Jeremy Sprinkle (WAS) vs. Green Bay Packers
Dwayne Haskins has not been good during his rookie campaign. However, he has found a pretty good connection with Jeremy Sprinkle. Sprinkle is your last-ditch attempt when you cannot get your hands on any of tight ends mentioned above. The Packers are surprisingly easy for tight ends to get fantasy points. Green Bay is fourth-worst against the tight end position, allowing almost 16 fantasy points per game. Sprinkle will not set your fantasy world on fire but he was Washington’s second-best option last week against the Panthers, hauling in two receptions on four targets for 36 yards.