2021 Fantasy Football: Week 5 Quarterback Streamers
For Week 4, I recommended Taylor Heinicke against the Falcons, Sam Darnold against the Cowboys, and Derek Carr against the Chargers. Heinicke and Darnold exceeded expectations, both finishing as top-five fantasy quarterbacks on the week. Carr predictably struggled a bit against a stout Los Angeles secondary, which is why he was ranked last on the list of Week 4 quarterback streamers. Even the honorable mentions produced, with Matt Ryan finishing as the No. 3 fantasy quarterback for the week and Zach Wilson logging a serviceable 18-point fantasy outing.
Overall, Week 4 was a great week for fantasy GMs who eschewed drafting quarterbacks early and have been streaming the position. If you drafted Patrick Mahomes or Kyler Murray early or managed to snag Tom Brady or Jalen Hurts later on in your drafts, this article probably isn’t for you. But if you’re desperately trying to find a starting quarterback for Week 5, here are some serviceable quarterback streamers with good matchups who can help your fantasy team win this week.
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Week 5 Quarterback Streamers
Note: The below quarterback streamers are the “best of the rest”, meaning that they’re generally rostered in less than about 60-65 percent of major fantasy football platforms at the time of this writing even after waivers have run on Wednesday.
Daniel Jones (38% on ESPN, 34% on Yahoo)
It’s hard to believe that Daniel Jones is currently the no. 6 fantasy quarterback through four games, but the third-year quarterback has been playing exceptionally well. After struggling with turnovers in his first two seasons, Jones has thrown just one interception so far in 2021, and even that was on a Hail Mary attempt and not as the result of a poor decision or throw. More importantly for fantasy purposes, Jones is averaging 47 rushing yards per game so far this season, and the Cowboys have allowed 35 rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks in each of their last two games, including two rushing scores to Darnold last week.
Dallas has been playing better than expected on defense, having logged multiple interceptions in every game so far this season. Still, the Cowboys’ secondary has also allowed opposing quarterbacks to pass for over 300 yards in every game thus far, and Vegas projects 52.5 total points scored in this NFC East showdown, which is the third-highest point total of the Week 5 games. Jones has the highest fantasy floor and ceiling among this week’s quarterback streamers, and he’s shown enough to be considered a rest-of-season stash as well.
Sam Darnold (33% on ESPN, 49% on Yahoo)
It’s astounding that Darnold is the no. 5 fantasy quarterback through four weeks but is somehow still rostered in less than 50 percent of leagues across multiple platforms. Darnold has now thrown for over 300 yards in three straight games, but more importantly, his five rushing attempts from inside the 10-yard line rank sixth-highest among quarterbacks thus far. His scoring efficiency on so few rushing attempts will inevitably regress, but with Christian McCaffrey‘s status in question for Week 5, there’s a fair chance that Darnold will again look to run it in himself near the goal line against the Eagles.
Philadelphia’s defense looked stout in Week 1 against the Falcons, but they’ve faltered since then and rank 22nd in DVOA against the pass on the season. Even if Darius Slay limits D.J. Moore‘s contributions in this game, the Panthers have enough other productive receiving weapons to buoy the passing offense. This game may not be as high-scoring as the Dallas game last week, but Darnold has a fairly high fantasy floor given how efficient this Carolina offense has looked through four weeks.
Trey Lance (27% on ESPN, 39% on Yahoo)
The long-awaited debut of Trey Lance is here, as the third overall pick will finally make his first regular season NFL start. Lance is the most risk/reward option among this week’s quarterback streamers without having seen him perform at a high level. His final stat line against the Seahawks last week looked promising, but he was inconsistent throwing the ball, with much of his production having come on a broken play where Deebo Samuel was wide open for a 76-yard touchdown. There’s also a chance that left tackle Trent Williams could miss this week’s game with a shoulder injury, which would be a huge loss.
That said, the fantasy ceiling for Lance is tantalizing, as he ran seven times for 41 yards last week in just one half of play. Lance’s rushing potential alone gives him a high fantasy ceiling even accounting for his struggles as a passer, and the rookie will also have the benefit of a full week of first-team reps this time around. There’s some concern about the 49ers’ 55 percent pass rate, which ranks ninth-lowest in the league, but they’ll likely need to air it out this week to keep up with an explosive Arizona offense. Lance should be considered over Darnold this week for fantasy teams that look to be big underdogs, but he’s also a priority rest-of-season add with the possibility of being the starter from here on out if he plays well against the Cardinals.
In deeper leagues, if none of the above-recommended quarterback streamers are available, Taylor Heinicke could be a serviceable option, as he’s now posted three straight games with 20-plus fantasy points. The concern for this week is that Marshon Lattimore will likely shadow and limit Terry McLaurin, and Logan Thomas is probably out with a hamstring strain, leaving few weapons for Heinicke. And if you’re desperate, Trevor Lawrence is going up against a Tennessee secondary that struggled to stop a previously anemic Jets offense last week, and we saw Lawrence finally use his legs more last Thursday against the Bengals, so his rushing production raises his fantasy floor and ceiling.
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