Quarterback & Tight End Streamers: Week 13 (2021 Fantasy Football)
As we get closer and closer to the fantasy playoffs, both the quarterback and tight end streaming landscape is starting to look less enticing. It’s Week 13 and I’m definitely feeling unlucky. There are quite a few quarterbacks to choose from but most have unfavorable matchups. And tight ends? Let’s just say, at the end of each season we have less and less to choose from. Players like Dan Arnold gave us hope for a while only to break our heart two weeks in a row. I sure hope you listened to me a few weeks back and picked up Pat Freiermuth for good. The kid may be the best option on the Steelers not named Diontae Johnson.
What can I say? Cam Newton bombed, however, Mac Jones was the fifth best scoring quarterback (excluding Monday’s game). Not bad for a low-ceiling game manager. The Patriots have been unstoppable, winning six games in a row. Jones just keeps on playing his game and he’s pretty good at it. Trevor Lawrence was a back-end QB1 in fantasy despite playing poorly yet again. Tyrod Taylor was not much better but still managed nearly 15 fantasy football points and was a solid QB2.
As for my tight ends, Logan Thomas, who looks poised to finally start again (against Seattle) has yet to play as I write this. Evan Engram was ineffective but managed to have six targets, second best on the hopeless New York Giants who happened to be slightly less hopeless than their opponents. They beat the Eagles in a game that saw only 20 total points. Austin Hooper laid a goose egg despite getting three targets. How bad is Baker Mayfield? The Cleveland defense intercepted Lamar Jackson four times and still managed to lose the game. I was right about Adam Trautman, kind of. I told you to be weary based on the matchup. He’s now on IR so he never made it to the match. I told you not to play him. I’ll take that as a win.
This week I’m going to bet on players going against my process a bit. I figure since I don’t feel that strongly about anyone I might as well mix it up. Just be warned.
Quarterback Streamer of the Week: Matt Ryan (ATL) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I have avoided Matt Ryan since he’s been streamable, and for good reason. He’s been close to awful. Last week was his best week and that was against the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars and he barely scored 10 fantasy points. So why him now? Very rarely does Ryan post of a string of bad performances. He’s now had three. I know he’s playing against one of the best teams in the NFL. I know that Tampa Bay leaks points but still is better against quarterbacks than most. In fact they are ranked 19th easiest or 14th toughest – depends how you look at it. I don’t think Atlanta has a hope in hell of winning this game but feel that Ryan can be productive while achieving another “L”. They need to get Kyle Pitts involved more. The way they’ve been using him this entire season apart from a game or two has been criminal. He needs to have a big day in order for Ryan to have one. There is the argument that Ryan can turn into a pumpkin and throw a gazillion interceptions but I’m in a bit of a gambling mood. As they say, “no risk, no Mitch Trubisky.”
Alternate Streamer of the Week: Mac Jones (NE) @ Buffalo Bills
It seems that whenever I have Mac Jones in my choices, he does well. He’s against the toughest defense versus quarterbacks in the entire NFL. He’s also on the road. However, Buffalo did lose Tre’Davious White for the season and that will definitely help Jones. If you are not feeling sinister and are afraid to take the plunge with Matt Ryan’s potential upside, then Mac Jones is your man. He rarely disappoints. And those Patriots are going to win this game and their division, aren’t they? Shame on us for ever doubting the prickly genius of Bill Belichick.
Dark Horse: Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) vs. New York Giants
On paper this seems like a no-brainer, however as bad as the Giants are, they are 10th worst versus quarterbacks. That may sound like a backhanded compliment but you would think that they would be much worse. They also have those strange single-digit shootouts like they did against Philadelphia last week. It could happen here but I think this one could also be surprisingly high-scoring. Tua is getting better and better every week. Daniel Jones is on the hot seat (again) and has to exert himself if he wants to enjoy starter status going forward. Back to Tagovailoa: It’s amazing what a good quarterback can do if he isn’t constantly hung out to dry by the same team and management that selected him fifth overall just a few years ago. The Dolphins have given up on Deshaun Watson for now and they are getting rewarded for it. I expect the Tua surge to continue.
Tight End Streamer of the Week: Cole Kmet (CHI) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Going against logic and my general process on this one and siding with talent. Arizona Cardinals are the best defense against tight ends, but hear me out. They have faced Anthony Firkser, early Tyler Conklin, Jacob Hollister, Ross Dwelley, Pharaoh Brown and Tommy Tremble. There’s a chance that Kmet disappears but he’s really come into his own and I do not want to miss out and not have him starting in case he pulls off another big week. He’s breaking out despite being on a team that still has no idea how to effectively run an offense consistently. Even with Andy Dalton under center and Allen Robinson back, I still think he is the best of what’s around.
Alternate Streamer of the Week: Jack Doyle (IND) vs. Houston Texans
This is definitely recency bias-based, however the Texans are fifth worst versus the tight end position. Apart from Michael Pittman, there isn’t any receiver on the Colts that has stepped up consistently. Jack Doyle was a thing back in the day, even if it wasn’t a sexy thing. I say, maybe it’s time to go all-in on the non-sexy approach and give ‘ole Doyle one more try. Just know that there is an equal chance that he congrats you with a big fat zero. Conversely, Doyle is one of the few remaining tight ends that at least has had a track record of being fantasy relevant, even it you have to go back a few years.
Dark Horse: Jared Cook (LAC) @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals annihilated the Steelers in Week 12. Before that they dominated both the Ravens and Browns. The LA Chargers got it handed to them by the Denver Broncos. The Bengals are hot and the Chargers not. But also remember that the Bengals lost to the Bears and Jets. Therefore, my only conclusion from all of this is the NFL doesn’t make sense in 2021. I love this being a huge scoring game where Justin Herbert gets back to dominating as he faces the other most dangerous and exciting sophomore quarterback, Joe Burrow. I think this will be a fun game that has fantasy points aplenty. I also see the Chargers eking this one out for a win. Jared Cook has been more miss than hit, but again, he is coming off a strong performance against Denver, scoring a touchdown. He has not been a target-monster but tends to get enough done for you with a handful of catches. And yes, he may be the last “best” option out there.