If you just started playing 2QB fantasy football leagues this year, welcome to the ever-growing club! There’s a few more drafting strategies when it comes to a 2QB fantasy football league, especially when it comes to drafting your quarterback. Do you grab some studs early or grab a stud and get another good quarterbacks a couple rounds later? Or do you try a late-round quarterback approach? They all work – it’s just a matter of preference.
But say you missed out on the Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Lucks of the fantasy football world. Even though it’s become popularized in 1QB leagues, you can actually stream quarterbacks in 2QB leagues as well – it’s just a matter of finding the right matchups.
So, for instance, if you ended up with Phillip Rivers, Eli Manning or Teddy Bridgewater as your top quarterback and had to settle for Colin Kaepernick or Jameis Winston as your second quarterback, there’s no reason to freak out. Don’t hit the panic button or try to trade your top running back or receiver for a quarterback — you won’t get good value in return.
So, don’t panic — instead, try out streaming your second quarterback if your draft didn’t go as planned. If streaming that position was your intent all along, then this article is just for you.
Playing the streaming game can still be done in 2QB (or Superflex) leagues that run 10 or 12 teams (I wouldn’t suggest this in 14 team leagues, but reach out to me in the comments or on twitter if you have questions there).
These streaming options are based on a few things: They are outside the top-17 in ADP data from MyFantasyLeague.com (as quarterback selection was extremely varied from this point) and are derived from strength of schedule maps from ProFootballFocus.com and FantasyPros.com. Each week I’ll give you my few top options to stream, a couple deeper picks and some guys to avoid streaming. With that, let’s get to my top choice in Week 1!
Streamer of the week: Carson Palmer
I’m taking Carson Palmer as my top streamer because the Cardinals get the Saints defense that ranked fourth-worst in points allowed to a quarterback in fantasy football in 2014.They Saints didn’t do much to improve the secondary this past off-season, Jarius Byrd is out until Week 2 or 3, and Carson Palmer managed over 17 points per game in standard leagues last year in his six games of action.
Palmer also has his safety valve in Larry Fitzgerald still and a popular sleeper in John Brown. Michael Floyd could return to give Palmer a nice three-receiver set at times, but rookie speedster J.J. Nelson could be a possible deep threat if Floyd doesn’t play. Throw in Andre Ellington, who’s more useful catching the ball than running it, and Palmer will have his options against one of the worst defenses in the league.
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Andy Dalton gets the Oakland Raiders this week, and it was hard not putting him up as my streamer of the week. The Raiders defense was a little stingier than the Saints’ last year though, and the lack of options behind A.J Green pushed Dalton below Palmer for me. However, if you can’t snag Palmer at all, you shouldn’t be disappointed in Dalton’s performance as your QB2.
Tyrod Taylor is the hot commodity of the off-season in 2QB leagues. Facing the Colts defense should help him in Week 1 and his ability to take off and run could give him a bump as well in fantasy production. Watkins should catch a lot of balls, and McCoy could be used as a pass-catcher out of the backfield as well. Buffalo could be playing catchup a lot as well against the Colts, so volume alone could make Taylor a worthwhile start.
Reaching Deeper: Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota
Jameis Winston might be the more polished pocket passer in this year’s draft, and he’s facing a Titans defense that shouldn’t give him many problems. Don’t be surprised to see him toss an interception or two, but if he can balance that out with a couple touchdown passes to Mike Evans, he could be worth starting in a deeper 2QB league if you have to scrounge for a quarterback on the waiver wire.
Marcus Mariota might be considered a lesser quarterback right now, but he could have an even better matchup than his rookie counter-part Winston. Tampa Bay proved to be a good matchup for just about any quarterback last season and if this turns into a pass-happy game, Mariota could rack up the points. Plus, his running ability could allow him to break off for a couple long runs or even a rushing touchdown. Like Winston, Mariota isn’t a bad option if a few teams in your league tried to hoard some of the quarterbacks.
Alex Smith has won me a few games over the past few seasons when I’ve started him. He’s got one of the best pass-catching running backs in the game in Jamaal Charles, a top tight end in Travis Kelce and the new toy of Jeremy Maclin. But Smith could be getting hit a lot by facing the Texans’ defense and J.J. Watt. The Texans’ pass defense was one of the better groups last year too, so despite having playmakers to get the ball to, Smith may struggle getting them the ball in Week 1.
Nick Foles gets to face the Seahawks, who can make the good quarterbacks look bad, and Josh McCown will face the new look Jets. The Jets were a decent matchup last season, but with some offseason moves and the lack of receivers for McCown, I’m not getting cute here.
Colin Kaepernick, Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins all have semi-hard matchups, but when you throw in the fact that there is no offensive identity for each team, it’s hard to start them in fantasy football. Carr may be the best option of the bunch against the Bengals, but too much pressure on Amari Cooper too soon could backfire.
The same goes for Kaepernick – the 49ers have questions at running back and old, yet production options at receiver. But Minnesota won’t be the easiest matchup and Kaepernick may not be the passer that we would like him to be.
Lastly, Cousins is facing Ndamukong Suh and the Miami Dolphins. Cousins was recently anointed the starter in Washington, but has very little on offense as well outside of an aging DeSean Jackson. Cousins could be a matchup play down the road this season, but that won’t be starting in Week 1.
And there you have it, my thoughts on whether you can stream quarterbacks in a 2QB league. Yes, you can! Share your thoughts or experiences with streaming in the comments or on Twitter.