The Kirk Cousins Experience – Week 1

Kirk Cousins

Last week I introduced the Kirk Cousins experience, beginning a season-long chronicle of a late-round QB team in a 2QB league.

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My hope is that this series will provide an informative example of waiting on quarterback in a 2QB league and some insight into the weekly decisions when you’re starting quarterbacks worse than any that would even be in “streaming” consideration in a traditional one-quarterback league.

The fundamental premise at play here is that by waiting on quarterback — a reliable, high floor position — you can gain an advantage at the other, more volatile positions. In the initial auction, I spent heavily on two elite WRs, grabbed three mid-tier RBs, and picked both Greg Olsen and Travis Kelce.

For reference, this league has ten teams and uses standard, non-PPR scoring. The only scoring quirk for quarterbacks is a one-point bonus if they break 300 yards passing.

Last Week

Last week my starting lineup looked like this:

QB Matt Ryan
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
RB Lamar Miller
RB Justin Forsett
WR Dez Bryant
WR Julio Jones
WR Stevie Johnson
TE Greg Olsen
K Cody Parkey
D/ST Kansas City

 

I highlight Ryan Fitzpatrick, because in last week’s article I left open the question of who to start in that QB2 slot. Fitzmagic outscored the other three options I had, but that’s not very impressive when two of those three didn’t finish Week 1 as the starting quarterback for their team. Josh McCown did his best Rosencopter impersonation, suffering a concussion and ushering Johnny Manziel into the starting job. Brian Hoyer did the same for Ryan Mallett, although he left the game for poor play rather than injury. Ultimately, then, Ryan Fitzpatrick outscored only Kirk Cousins, who finished QB30 after a tough outing against Miami.

Fitzpatrick finished the week as QB20, which is fine in this scenario. I paid $1 each for my two streamers, taking whomever fell to me in the auction. I am happy turning that into the worst QB2 any week, because the assumption in this approach is that my other positions will be strong enough to make up for having a weak QB2.

I won this week thanks in large part to a great Julio Jones performance and a weak showing by my opponent, but the loss of Dez Bryant has me reeling. Our waivers process Thursday morning, and I am discussing several potential trades before then. Barring a trade, I will be looking at guys like Donte Moncrief and Terrance Williams, hardly a match for the production I expected from Bryant.

Week 2

This week I have several options at quarterback, beginning with the two on my roster: Ryan Fitzpatrick (at IND) and Kirk Cousins (vs STL). Additionally, whichever quarterbacks are named starters in Houston (at CAR) and Cleveland (vs TEN) will be available to me. And if Derek Carr can’t go for Oakland, I could pick up Matt McGloin (vs BAL).

Here is how my team currently looks for Week 2. Note that I stream defenses, so I will be adding one off free agency on Thursday. I will also be looking for a WR off waivers or a trade, as I mentioned.

 

QB Matt Ryan
QB ???
RB Mark Ingram
RB Justin Forsett
WR Julio Jones
WR Stevie Johnson
WR
TE Greg Olsen
K Cody Parkey
D/ST

 

I write elsewhere about my approach to choosing streaming quarterbacks, so each week I won’t dig into the analysis behind my choice at QB2. Illustration is my goal in this series, rather than a how-to guide. So once again, I won’t disclose my QB2 pick. Instead, leave a comment telling me who you would start if you were in my shoes.

And if you are in a similar position, streaming bad quarterbacks in a 2QB/Superflex league, share your situation in the comments or give me a shout on Twitter. Let’s learn from each other’s experiences.

4 Comments

  1. Andrew

    September 18, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I went with Alex Smith and Tyrod in my 12 team superflex last week and ended up scoring the most points in my league. I dropped Cousins for Mallett with Fitzpatrick also on my bench. I’m going back to the well with Smith and Taylor this week and I’m a little worried after Thursday.
    I like Mallett for the next few weeks, but since you’re streaming, I think it’s time to invoke the Konami code and go with Manziel this week. It’s nerve racking streaming 2 qbs, but the key is to have faith that the value you have at the other positions will bouy an occasional bad performance by a qb. It’s also tough when there’s such disparity between the bottom 12 qb rankings on various sites. But it’s also very rewarding when you win in the face of everyone that gave you crap for waiting on qb.

    • Joshua Lake

      September 19, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Wow, Smith/Tyrod was a strong combo last week. Nicely done.

      I, too, am disappointed with Smith this week. I didn’t expect KC to run the ball so well against Denver, so they threw less than I predicted. Then Smith had a couple fluky interceptions. All in all, not a great start.

      I’m very tempted to go with Manziel, and you’re right — he’s absolutely in consideration for Konami code reasons. Their lack of WRs means he’s certainly not a great option for passing stats.

  2. bayareascott

    September 19, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    I’d lean Fitz based on the guys you have. In my 2QB PPR, I started Teddy and Cutler last week….so very weak, but pulled out a win. Have Alex and Bortles on my bench and also picked up Manziel this week. Think I am still rolling with the same two for now though. Also have the Dez conundrum….sigh

    • Joshua Lake

      September 19, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Oh, the Dez conundrum. I couldn’t find a trade I liked, so now I’m just hoping he heals on the earlier part of the range.

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