Blake Bortles is a sneaky streamer
NFL offenses turned on their fantasy boosters in Week 2, with 18 quarterbacks scoring 20 or more points — 10 more than Week 1. Consequently, my picks returned to earth. Despite some solid performances from Joe Flacco, Carson Palmer and Ryan Fitzpatrick, none finished higher than eighth in fantasy points, and Fitzpatrick tied for 22nd among quarterbacks with 17 points. While it wasn’t a poor showing per se — 17 points would have ranked him 13th a week ago — it fell short of my expectations, just as Tyrod Taylor exceeded them.
None of last week’s picks return, and Week 3 introduces three entirely new picks, all of whom were featured on previous “don’t stream” lists in prior weeks. While these picks may be more bold — an inevitability as the season progresses and consistent quarterbacks are scooped off waivers — one may be required if you were one of the millions of season league players who had Tony Romo.
Speaking of which, I’d recommend not streaming Brandon Weeden against most opponents. He literally said, “God forbid I’m forced to play,” in the preseason, which is both hilarious and under most circumstances a red flag. That quote would be right at home in the last section of this column. But these aren’t most circumstances.
Dallas has the NFL’s best offensive line, full stop. While it might lean on its running game against Atlanta early, the Falcons offense seems likely to put up points and force Dallas’s hand. And despite the absence of Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten are more than competent.
For his part, Weeden came off the bench without warming up and completed all seven attempts against a gassed and demoralized Philadelphia defense. While Atlanta likely won’t face the same kind of fatigue — Dallas controlled the clock an absurd two-thirds of regulation against Philadelphia — it’s also not very good. Aside from the excellent Vic Beasley, its pass rush has been below average this season, and its coverage ranks in the lower two-thirds. And as Chris Collinsworth pointed out, no backup quarterback in the NFL gets more practice reps than Weeden.
Add it up and this may be Weeden’s best opportunity to put up some significant numbers. Should you stream him? Goodness no, not given the wealth of other options available. He still plays fundamentally different than Tony Romo, but Dallas’ offense likely isn’t going to collapse this week against Atlanta.
Notes concerning last week’s picks