Quarterback & Tight End Streamers: Week 15 (2020 Fantasy Football)
My top streaming recommendations were big hits this past week. Tua Tagovailoa ended up as QB5 for the week with almost 30 fantasy points in PPR. Logan Thomas was just outside of TE1 territory and would have been one, too, if a few tight ends who garnered fewer targets didn’t also score touchdowns.
I’m having a little fun this week, as I’ve included some song titles to go along with my top choices.
Quarterback Streamer of the Week:
Bitchin’ Camaro: Derek Carr (LV) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Las Vegas Raiders’ playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. Every game is a must-win, and that may not be enough. Carr, in the loss to the Indianapolis Colts, was still impressive in terms of fantasy. He has an easy defense this week, as he’ll face the Chargers, who are the sixth most generous defenses to opposing quarterbacks. There could be an explosion of points scored for both sides. The Raiders’ defense might have a new coordinator this week, but they still have the same personnel on the field. It spells good news for Derek Carr, who might have his Exxon credit card for this game — unless the Raiders have a dominating first half and run with it. But as the Brits say, “not bloody likely!”
Alternate Streamers of the Week
Safety Dance: Philip Rivers (IND) vs. Houston Texans
It’s tough to get too excited about old man Philip Rivers. The Colts scored 44 points last week, and Rivers still only managed to get a shade over 20. If Jonathan Taylor remains hot and the Colts defense regains its early-season form, then it could be an easy win for Indy. However, Deshaun Watson is not the type of quarterback to simply lie down and take the loss. Even though the Texans are out of the playoffs, don’t think for one minute that they will let the Colts run away with this. I expect it to be close and edge toward a higher-scoring game. If you need 30-plus points from your quarterback, then I’d choose someone else, but if you are looking for a guaranteed safe floor, Rivers might be your ticket to ride.
Shoot To Thrill: Mitchell Trubisky (CHI) vs. Minnesota Vikings
Mitchell Trubisky has played lights-out for three consecutive weeks, and he’s made a strong case to remain Chicago’s starter for the remainder of 2020. However, despite the juicy matchup, and with the moon aligning with the stars, it could always go pear-shaped pretty quickly for those who trust Trubisky when the game is on the line. He is a high ceiling/low floor play that demands cajones. This week is literally the “No Risk It, No Biscuit” scenario with Trubs. I’m gonna pull it, pull it, pull the trigger!
Fly Like An Eagle: Jalen Hurts (PHI) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Many were hoping for a positive game from a Philadelphia Eagles quarterback against the formidable Saints defense, and Hurts delivered. His rushing alone made Taysom Hill resemble Matt Ryan. This week, the matchup is better for Hurts, but it is only his second start in the NFL. Like the Trubisky, it’s tough to rely on Hurts to pull through for you. That said, maybe he is the real deal and will help you make it to the promised land. I consider him a middle of the road type of quarterback this week, as even if he struggles to complete passes, he will always give you a high floor due to his rushing ability. Think of him as LJax lite — and think of Carson Wentz’s time as slipping into the future.
Here Comes the Hotstepper: Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) vs. New England Patriots
On paper, this isn’t a great matchup. However, the Patriots are not necessarily quarterback-killers. Yes, they are currently ranked as the sixth-toughest unit against quarterbacks in fantasy, but they’ve been more erratic than you think. They held six quarterbacks to under 10 fantasy points but have allowed five quarterbacks to score over 20. This includes Russell Wilson, who scored over 40 points, and Deshaun Watson, who had over 37. Miami is in the playoff hunt, and I think it might be asking a lot to expect Tua to give you a Wilson performance, but he’s been flashing more and more talent each week. I’d err on the side of 20-plus points this week rather than sub-10. Again, you need to see how the rest of your team looks this week — if the dominant Pats defense shows up, it could be your demise. That said, it’s tough to see Tua and the Dolphins failing in a time they need to transcend. I’ll bet on the lyrical gangster.
I Am the Walrus: Gardner Minshew (JAC) vs. Baltimore Ravens
He’s back! I love how the Jaguars have used three quarterbacks of varying experience and quality this season to get only one win and be in the running for the Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields sweepstakes. Gardner Minshew is by far the best quarterback fielded by Jacksonville this season. He messed up the team’s chance to land the top pick in 2021 by upsetting the Colts in Week 1. Now Marrone can keep the winless streak alive as the Jags play the Ravens. It isn’t an ideal matchup for Minshew, as the Ravens are 11th-toughest against quarterbacks in fantasy. However, you should remember that they gave up over 20 points to Andy Dalton and 36 points to Baker Mayfield in the past two weeks. Minshew is the ultimate competitor who is healthy and has three games to prove to the NFL that he deserves to start. He’s my sneaky dark horse for sure! I am the eggman; I am the walrus; G’goo goo Minshew!
Tight End Streamer of the Week:
Hunger Strike: Jordan Reed (SF) vs. Dallas Cowboys
The tight end landscape got a whole lot uglier now that Logan Thomas is more than 50% rostered. It leaves us with little to hope for. One thing is for certain — the 49ers have been all-but eliminated from the playoffs now, which means Kittle will most likely get shut down. Reed did nothing last week, but we know the mercurial nature of the tight end position. Chances are a talented player on a team that can score who’s most likely missing their top wide receiver (Deebo Samuel) probably bodes well for a Jordan Reed turnaround. Maybe not, but there’s not much else to hang your hat on this week. The Cowboys are also not the Washington Football Team on defense, which helps Reed’s case. So it’s on the table, the fire’s cookin’.
Alternative Streamers of the Week:
Tootsie Slide: Cole Kmet/Jimmy Graham (CHI) vs. Minnesota Vikings
I put both because both are producing, so it’s a choice of old school versus young buck. Kmet is the one I would lean on, as the Bears are looking at their future. One of them could shine, both of them could shine, and perhaps neither of them will shine. Ultimately, it’s a Thriller in the trap. However, if you are streaming the tight end position this week, their Week 15 opponent has been one to target. Minnesota does not have a great defense even though they have been tougher on tight ends. If they can somehow contain Allen Robinson, one or both of Chicago’s tight ends could get you double-digit fantasy points.
Lean Wit Me: Irv Smith (MIN) vs. Chicago Bears
On the other side of the Bears/Vikings game, we have Irv Smith. I think he is worth the gamble if Kyle Rudolph is missing again this week. The Bears have a great defense but are weak against tight ends — in fact, they are third-worst. And if Rudolph is back, we’ll have a Kmet/Graham scenario. Again, I’ll always side with the shiny new toys this late in the year, even if the season is on the line. Spend this week lookin’ at the devil and the angel on your shoulder.
Good luck this week if you’ve made it this far. Next week it’s down to streaming as the “Last Resort” for the finals. We know “The Winner Takes It All.” Regardless it will be “The End of the Road” – for a year we dragged our “Toes Across the Floor” reaching for that “Gold On the Ceiling”.
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