Quarterback & Tight End Streamers: Week 14 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Another week of hits and misses. My quarterback streamer of the week, Ryan Fitzpatrick, didn’t even play. To be honest, I don’t understand any of the quarterback moves Miami has made this season. I understand they want to try out Tua, but he has clearly been a downgrade at this point despite his record. Fitzmagic, on the other hand, seems like the best option for them and definitely for us in fantasy. Just ask DeVante Parker! Tua, who I mentioned would be serviceable in Week 13, was just that. He got you 18 points but did not fare as well as my other two recommendations, Philip Rivers (20 points) and Baker Mayfield (39 points). Mayfield was even the QB2 on the week!
As for tight ends, I was not as lucky. Kyle Rudolph, despite the matchup, and despite not having to compete with the injured Irv Smith Jr., got you nada, zip, nothing. A total head-scratcher, considering he got seven receptions the week before. Jimmy Graham was also a disaster, as rookie Cole Kmet starred for the Bears at tight end.
Jordan Reed was my only above-average tight end. He only had three receptions but managed to get you points because he scored a touchdown. I stayed away from Logan Thomas, one of my old favorites in 2020, because of the matchup. He was facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, ranked number one against tight ends. Thomas blew the top of my process by catching nine passes for almost 100 yards and a touchdown. I knew he was bound for a breakout game due to his usage, but I didn’t see it coming against the Steelers.
Every season, inconsistency is the name of the game. In 2021, it’s the motto, and Derek Carr was the poster boy in Week 13. He scored negative fantasy points in Week 12 only to be QB3 a week later. Too bad he is over 50% rostered and is no longer a streaming option.
Quarterback Streamer of the Week
Tua Tagovailoa or Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Since we are now finished with team byes, there are many options to choose from at quarterback and tight end. However, none really jump off the page. Most of the matchups are fair to poor, so tread carefully, follow my process, and if I’m not convincing — trust your gut. We are now in the playoffs, so you need to feel good about your choices, as each week is a must-win.
Many would say that this isn’t a great matchup, but I disagree. I am focusing my efforts on teams vying for the playoffs, not teams who are done. Miami is in the hunt. Tua is coming off his best performance of the season despite having only thrown one touchdown. He almost threw for 300 yards and knows his future is still in question. The team is putting a lot of faith in perhaps the best 2020 rookie quarterback prospect. Oh, and here’s a side note: Taglovailoa has not thrown a pick in his NFL career.
If Tua doesn’t start, insert Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’ve learned to keep my possibilities open this early in the week since changes are happening everywhere — right, left, and center. I see this as a high-scoring game. Both teams want to win for different reasons: Kansas City wants to finish the season as the top seed, while Miami just wants a playoff bid. As a Chiefs fan, it hurts me to say this, but I could see Miami pulling the upset with either quarterback. I also see this as a shootout with lots of fantasy goodness.
Alternative Quarterback Streamer of the Week
Philip Rivers (IND) at Las Vegas Raiders
This seems like a safe play, but it comes with less upside. Rivers has been pretty consistent this season despite looking long in the tooth. He’s had only two bad fantasy games all season. One against the Ravens, which is understandable. The other was just a bad day in which he lost to the Browns. The Raiders are a confusing team to gauge on both sides of the ball. One thing we know for sure is that both are hungry for wins. We also know that both are in the hunt for a playoff spot, so look for them to come out firing.
Even if Carr is available to you, I am more convinced that Rivers and the Colts can get it done. It was nice to see T.Y. Hilton’s resurrection last week — and to see Jonathan Taylor stay in stride. He might vulture some fantasy points from Rivers, but I expect Rivers to get you 20+ points anyway. A good run game only helps the passing attack.
Dark Horse Quarterback Streamers
Alex Smith (WAS) at San Francisco 49ers
Another must-win for the team that doesn’t even have a name. To be fair, they have a monster front seven on the defensive side of the ball, and their offense looks like an emerging threat. Alex Smith is looking better and better each game. He is coming off of a strong performance against the Steelers, the only undefeated team left, where he threw for 296 yards. That was the most any quarterback threw against Pittsburgh this season! I also love the fact that the Football Team had to claim victory after overcoming a 14-0 deficit. The team has a great head coach in Ron Rivera and is peaking at the right time.
The 49ers still have a good defense, but their offense has been pretty bad, which has worn down the defense and made them beatable. It’s hard to imagine that a team with a record of 5-7 is tied for first in their division, but Washington is just that.
Daniel Jones (NYG) vs. Arizona Cardinals
If you aren’t convinced that old man Smith is your guy, pivot to the other 5-7 team, the New York Giants — but only if Daniel Jones is starting. If he is, he faces the Arizona Cardinals, who have started to falter lately. Both Smith and Jones are in a position to win and to get you fantasy points in the process. I like Smith’s floor more, and because Jones can get you points on the ground, I prefer his upside.
Tight End Streamer of the Week:
Logan Thomas (WAS) at San Francisco 49ers
Yeah, it’s Logan Thomas time again. He’s been flirting with “the breakout” for a long time, and it finally happened last week against an unforeseen opponent. Pittsburgh was ranked number one versus tight ends — until Thomas obliterated them. Thomas is the team’s number two option among pure pass-catchers. I don’t expect the same dominance, but I do see the trend of “streamability” happening.
He’s on the field a lot, runs a lot of routes, and now is seeing the volume he deserves. This might be the right time to pick him up and ride him for the rest of the season. I think Thomas is the real deal, and he’s playing on a team that needs to win against another team that isn’t out of it just quite yet.
Alternative Tight End Streamer of the Week
Jordan Reed (SF) vs. Washington Football Team
As I said before, the 49ers aren’t dead yet. This game is a must-win, or the 49ers can basically kiss 2020 goodbye. If they win, they just might get both Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle back in time to make a run at it. Until then, Jordan Reed is clearly the best real-life tight end out there to grab as your streamer. He was modest this past week against the Bills, but he still managed to salvage his day with a touchdown.
I expect him to garner more targets this week with the possibility of visiting the end zone for a second-consecutive week. His playing time won’t be this good going forward unless San Francisco loses again. The fact this is a must-win game for both teams heightens the drama and intrigue — and, potentially, the fantasy output of both tight ends.
Dark Horse Tight End Streamers
Dan Arnold (ARI) at New York Giants
I’m recommending Arnold for the first time this season. This season, he’s oscillated between pure gold and fool’s gold. He’s coming off a modest two-reception game — however, it’s what he did with those two receptions that makes him a dark horse gamble that could pay off. He turned his opportunities into 61 yards and two touchdowns, finishing as the TE5 on the week. This week, he faces the New York Giants, another team desperate to win. The Giants are the 10th-toughest against tight ends, but remember what Logan Thomas did against the toughest against that position? If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that anything is possible.
Kyle Rudolph (MIN) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If Irv Smith Jr. is out again, look at Kyle Rudolph again. Yes, he dominated two weeks ago only to put up a goose egg last week. I see this week as somewhere in between. The Minnesota Vikings are in the playoff hunt all of a sudden, although they have a slim chance to make it. They are suddenly hot on offense, and they are fighting harder each week to make the post-season dance. They have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. Despite having a solid defense, the Bucs are the 12th-worst defense against tight ends.
Anthony Firkser (TEN) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Firkser will face the bad-but-competitive Jacksonville Jaguars. It may not even matter if Jonnu Smith plays, as Firkser seems to always get in on the action for the Titans. Jacksonville has allowed the eighth-most points to tight ends. Scoring will be had, and Firkser could be one of the beneficiaries.
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