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2-QB Fantasy Football

QB2 By Committee: Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, and Geno Smith Make Solid Week 1 Streaming Options

XN Sports looks at three quarterbacks owners should consider starting in their 2QB fantasy football leagues.

Alex Smith
Geno Smith

Geno Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Studs and Streaming approach to 2-QB fantasy football drafts became my main 2-QB draft strategy at a certain point last drafting season, and that continued into the 2014 2-QB draft season.

Streaming the QB2 position in 2-QB leagues is much different and more difficult than streaming the QB1 position in 1-QB leagues. First off, there just isn’t as much talent at the quarterback position available in 2-QB waiver wires. Most, if not all, fantasy relevant quarterbacks are drafted in 2-QB leagues.

Streaming the QB2 slot in 2-QB leagues is done by drafting two or three QB2/QB3 types during your 2-QB draft, and streaming them throughout the year, based on favorable matchups. Basically, you use the draft as a waiver wire head start. Yes, that’s easier said than done, but that’s where this column will, hopefully, come into play.

Last year I looked at the QB2 tier of fantasy quarterbacks to single out a few QB2s with favorable matchups that were worthy of streaming in the QB2 slot every week. We went off the 2-QB ADP data to start the season, and we’ll do that again this this year. At least for the early part. Offseason 2-QB ADP loses its value pretty quickly, but for now we’re still early enough in the season to use it.

Week 1 QB2 Streaming Circle of Trust

Jay Cutler

This one is kind of a layup. Cutler was drafted as the QB14 this offseason, according to the 2-QB ADP. I have him ranked as my QB7 Week 1, making him a QB1 option. He’ll most likely stay a QB1 option every week. If you were fortunate enough to grab Cutler as your QB2 there’s no real reason to bench him vs. the Bills this week.

Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer ended the 2013 season off on a strong note, scoring the eighth-most fantasy football points from Week 10 to Week 17.

He comes into the 2014 season with a much improved offensive-line, and again has Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd catching passes from him. Andre Ellington looks like he’ll be a game-time decision, which could force the team to throw even more if Ellington sits. Volume from your fantasy signal caller is never a bad thing. Slot receiver John Brown could also help Palmer and the pass game.

The Chargers last season allowed opposing fantasy quarterbacks to score 18.39 fantasy points/game against them, which was the ninth-most in the league. Their pass rush wasn’t intimidating either, sacking the quarterback only 35 times last season. My one concern is the Chargers’ ability to control clock. As XN Sports’ own Rich Hribar pointed out in his fantastic Week 1 Worksheet, San Diego had the “second highest time of possession and the fifth fewest opponent snaps per game in 2013.” It’s not a big enough concern to not start Palmer this week, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Alex Smith

The Chiefs offensive-line is worse than what was blocking Alex Smith last season, which could lead to Smith having to scramble more than he would want to. The value in that, for fantasy football purposes, is that Smith ran for 431 yards in 2013. Having your QB2 be able to tack on 3.7 fantasy points from rushing helps elevate them, meaning Smith could see himself wind up in the high-end QB2 range this week.

The Titans defense was stingy versus opposing fantasy quarterbacks last season, allowing the third fewest fantasy points/game (only 13.38). They only allowed one quarterback to throw for over 300 yards in 2013 (Peyton Manning: 397), but three quarterbacks (Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, and Andrew Luck twice) ran for at least 30 yards against them.

Wilson was the QB13 his week, Kap finished as QB9, and Luck was QB11 in Week 11, and QB27 in Week 13. Smith’s lone performance versus the Titans was one to forget though, as he was QB23 vs. Tennessee in Week 5, scoring zero touchdowns, and rushing for only 10 yards. I can understand the hesitation in not wanting to start Smith this week.

The Titans did lose top corner Alterraun Verner to the Bucs this offseason though. That could help Smith leap himself into fantasy relevance as a QB2 streamer. The rotoViz Game Level Similarity Projections app has Smith with a projected median of 18.5 fantasy points vs Tennessee this week. Based on the number crunching of Greg Smith of TheFakeFootball, only five quarterbacks averaged more than 18.5 points/game in standard scoring leagues last year, making that median projection enticing.

Geno Smith

The Oakland Raiders stunk last year, giving up the third-most fantasy points/game to opposing quarterbacks. While the Raiders spent some money this offseason, their defense doesn’t seem to be all that much more intimidating than a year ago.

In one of the ‘Good’ Geno Smith games last year in Week 14 vs. the Raiders, Smith was the QB10 for the week. The passing numbers were okay: 219 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. But he added 50 yards and a score on the ground, which tacked on 11 fantasy points to his line for the week.

While there’s no guarantee Smith will run for 50 yards and score a rushing touchdown again vs. the Raiders, he finished the season rushing for at least 44 yards in each of his last four games, while also scoring in three of those last four games.

The #KonamiCode provides Smith with a safe floor, and an opportunity to be a safe QB2 this week.

*Stats used in this article courtesy of PFF, rotoViz, XN Sports, ESPN, Greg Smith, and FantasyData

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