The Streamer's Guide to QBs: Week 1
The Streamer's Guide is a series meant to help those of you who want to stream quarterbacks, tight ends, and/or defenses for some (or all) of the season. Streaming is the process of picking up and starting a player each week who is normally not a starting-caliber (or even roster-caliber) option at their position but who has a good matchup that week. This strategy, if played right, can net you the same amount of points as a mid-tier starter at any of the above positions. It is mainly used if you punted the QB/TE/DST position in the draft, your starter at any of those positions gets hurt, or you drafted Andrew Luck. Ready to get started? Let's hop right in!
For streaming quarterbacks, I look at three things: the caliber of the opposing team's secondary, whether the team is at home, and the projected score differential based on the Las Vegas odds. The reasons for the secondary and whether they play at home are pretty obvious, but the reason for the Vegas odds may not be. I look at the Vegas odds because most of the time, the game script will be favorable to the QB when their team is losing. For this week, I came up with 3 guys who might be worth a look in 10 or 12 team leagues.
1. Eli Manning, NYG (@ Dal, Spread: +3.5)
Eli Manning is already a pretty popular sleeper pick who is owned in 50.4% of ESPN leagues, so I'll be pretty brief here. He plays a Dallas secondary that lost all of last year's starters to free agency, got new red zone threat Brandon Marshall during the offseason, and is projected to be losing. Manning is about as close to a no brainer as you can get. Granted, he is playing an away game, but all the other factors outweigh that pretty easily.
2. Brian Hoyer, SF (v. Car, Spread: +5.5)
Hoyer is one of my favorite sneaky picks to do well this season. He's owned in just 3.3% of ESPN leagues as he enters a Shanahan offense which worked so well in Atlanta. He also has a bona fide WR1 to throw to in Pierre Garcon. As we well know from 2015 with the Texans when he and DeAndre Hopkins connected to the tune of 12 targets/game, Hoyer is willing to pummel his WR1. Shanahan will be able to scheme Garcon open against a suspect Carolina secondary which, after the loss of Josh Norman last year, looked like a rusty sieve. We also can't forget that the 49ers suck and will be playing from behind a lot OR that they're playing at home. Sign me up!
3. Sam Bradford, MIN (v. NO, Spread: -3.5)
If you're in a deeper league or the two guys above are already taken, Bradford might be your guy. Owned in a measly 10.7% of ESPN leagues, the completion percentage king comes to save the day for many QB needy owners. Bradford is playing a Saints secondary which, every year, is bad. The Saints are known for Drew Brees and bad defense. If that weren't enough, Bradford has two young weapons with potential in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs AND plays at home. However, this is a prime example of why the spread is the least important of the factors. Even though Minnesota is projected to be winning this game, the hapless New Orleans secondary makes Bradford worth a look anyway.
Thank you for choosing the Streamer's Guide to QBs, and I hope your chosen QB lights it up this week! (Looking at you, Brian Hoyer)