Week 2 Quarterback Pickups and Streamers: Standard and Two-QB Leagues

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Hey there RotoBallers! With Week 1 almost in the books, it's already time to turn an eye toward the waiver wire in Week 2. As always this column will aim to highlight Week 2 waiver wire adds and streamers for quarterbacks, players that you should consider targeting on your league's waiver wire.

In the past few seasons, streaming the quarterback position has become a popular team management strategy. The guaranteed volume at the quarterback position makes it the easiest position in fantasy football to project, which therefore makes it a position that isn't too hard to stream. Everyone has had a star wide receiver who inexplicably only sees three targets in a game. The quarterback position, on the other hand, sees volume that is easier to forecast as even the lower ranked players will see a minimum of 20-25 passing attempts, even in a low-volume passing offense. All ownership percentages are current as of September 11.

Once you're done here, be sure to read about even more Week 2 waiver wire recommendations, for all fantasy-relevant positions. Just click on any link: ALL - RB - WR - TE - QB - DEF

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

Strategy for Streaming Quarterbacks

Many factors come into play when identifying streamers. These include recent performance, overall upside, talent, opponent matchup, and Vegas totals. Every week, we’ll take a look at six streaming QB options: three for one-quarterback leagues, and three for two-quarterback leagues. The focus will be on streaming for the upcoming week, but there will also be players who break out and should be owned the rest of the season. As always, the goal with streaming is to eventually find a player who can be an every week starter for your team.

Options for one-quarterback leagues could be just about anyone outside of the bigger names at the position. Obviously, no one is going to be able to stream players like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady because they are owned in all leagues. The premium placed on the position in two-quarterback leagues changes expectations for streaming the position. In two-quarterback leagues, most starting NFL quarterbacks are already owned, so the pickings are going to be slim on waivers. Therefore, the players who are recommended for two-quarterback leagues will be lower-owned and most likely not attractive options in one-quarterback formats.

 

One-QB Leagues - Week 2 Waiver Wire Streamers

Sam Bradford, MIN (49% owned) @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Bradford was one of the more popular late-round draft targets by fantasy owners who chose to wait at the position. He is set up for success in what should be a much-improved Minnesota Vikings offense in 2017. Bradford has plenty of weapons at his disposal, including future star Stefon Diggs, 2016 breakout hero Adam Thielen, red zone dominator Kyle Rudolph, and potential-filled running back Dalvin Cook. Many don't know this, but Bradford actually set a new NFL record in 2016 with the highest single-season completion percentage at 71.6%.

Bradford will travel to Pittsburgh in Week 2 to take on a Steelers pass defense that just allowed rookie DeShone Kizer to pass for 222 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another in his NFL debut. Sure, they sacked Kizer seven times, but a lot of those can be blamed on Kizer as he was holding onto the ball too long. That won't be an issue with Bradford, who will attack Pittsburgh with a short and intermediate passing attack, designed to get the ball out before the pass rush can get to him. He's a solid streaming option in all leagues this weekend.

 

Alex Smith, KC (36% owned) vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Through the completion of the Sunday games from Week 1, Smith was the points leader at the quarterback position. He is fresh off of a 368-yard, four-touchdown dismantling of a New England Patriots defense that is supposed to be good this season. In fact, he hardly looked like the Smith we thought we knew, attacking the Patriots downfield and looking really aggressive for the first time in a while. Perhaps the Chiefs drafting his eventual replacement in Patrick Mahomes lit a fire under Smith. Either way, Smith has a solid compliment of weapons, including Tyreek Hill, All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, and rookie star Kareem Hunt. Smith is also one of the better running quarterbacks in the league, which gives his fantasy point total a nice weekly floor.

The Philadelphia Eagles don't have a great secondary and can be beaten through the air, even though they were able to scheme their way to a respectable pass defense rating in 2016. The aggressive version of Smith was fun to watch on Thursday night. Here's hoping he stays in aggressive Alex Smith mode this season because he has the offensive weapons around him to develop into an every-week starter. For now, he's worth using as a streamer in Week 2.

 

Jay Cutler, MIA (44% owned) @ Los Angeles Chargers

Cutler's Week 1 game was canceled by Hurricane Irma, so we will be seeing Cutty's Dolphins debut in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers. There's reason for optimism surrounding Cutler this season as he rejoins Adam Gase, his former offensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears. The two enjoyed a strong 2015 season together, which saw Cutler post the second-highest completion percentage of his career at 64.4%.

He bottomed out, along with the rest of the Bears, in 2016, but Cutler finds himself in a much better situation with the Dolphins this season. Miami has plenty of weapons at Cutler's disposal, including Jay Ajayi, DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and Julius Thomas. He's a solid fill-in at quarterback in Week 2 as the Dolphins take on a Los Angeles Chargers pass defense that was 21st in passing yards allowed per game in 2016.

 

Two-QB Leagues - Week 2 Waiver Wire Streamers

Jared Goff, LAR (24% owned) vs. Washington Redskins

Quick, without peeking, which NFL team scored the most points in Week 1? That's right, it was the resurgent Los Angeles Rams. New head coach Sean McVay got off to a fast start with his new team, hanging 46 points on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1. Now, we aren't saying McVay is some kind of magical sorcerer here, but we can't fully rule it out just yet, either. Magical powers or not, McVay got the best performance we've seen out of Jared Goff in his young career. Goff completed 21-of-29 passes for 301 yards and one touchdown in Week 1.

He will look to stay hot against a Washington pass defense that allowed Carson Wentz to pass for 307 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1. The Redskins did not employ a strong pass defense in 2016, ranking just 24th in DVOA according to Football Outsiders. Based on early results, expect more of the same in 2017. Goff is still widely available but he should be owned in all two-quarterback leagues.

 

Trevor Siemian, DEN (22% owned) vs. Dallas Cowboys

Siemian is a solid, if unspectacular, quarterback option in two-quarterback formats. He doesn't usually post huge stats but he does enough to earn starts as your second quarterback most weeks. Siemian has two excellent receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Those two earn the majority of Siemian's looks and help to give him a high weekly floor in fantasy.

The Broncos take on the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 in a matchup that favors Siemian. The Cowboys ranked just 19th in DVOA in 2016 and allowed the shell of Eli Manning to throw for 220 yards without Odell Beckham on Sunday night in Week 1. Siemian is a solid option as a second quarterback in two-quarterback formats this weekend.

 

Josh McCown (8% owned)/Bryce Petty (2% owned), NYJ @ Oakland Raiders

There are rumors that Bryce Petty may be ready to return to the field after a preseason knee injury. If he doesn't start, look for Josh McCown to make a second straight start for the Jets. Fantasy owners can consider either player for Week 2, regardless of who starts. McCown has proven over the past few years that he can be a useful fantasy quarterback. His main problem has been staying on the field as injury has cut short each of his past two seasons. He didn't play particularly well in Week 1, throwing two interceptions, but he did provide fantasy value on the ground, rushing for a touchdown on the goal line.

The Raiders don't employ a particularly strong pass defense, ranking 25th in DVOA in 2016. Expect the Jets to be behind early in this game, which would force either Petty or McCown to throw often in attempts to keep up with an explosive Raiders offense on the scoreboard. To be clear, the Jets' Week 2 quarterback is only a desperation option in two-quarterback leagues if you really need a second starter at quarterback.

 

Thanks for reading, Rotoballers. Happy streaming and we will see you again next week!

 

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