2019 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Kyler Murray, Philip Rivers headline draft-to-stream quarterbacks
Finding a quarterback on Draft Day is easy. Getting an undervalued quarterback to begin the season as a streaming, no-commitment starter takes a little more work. Luckily, we did it for you.
Someone in every draft will have goo-goo eyes for Patrick Mahomes. Two or three others would be happy to have Mahomes but wouldn't be upset if they wound up with Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers or Deshaun Watson instead. A handful of managers will go for some value with Baker Mayfield, Matt Ryan or Cam Newton, and some drafters will just be casually aware they need a quarterback who can reliably start from week to week.
But the goal isn't to just have a reliable starter. That's not anything special. The goal is to have a starter who can flirt with over 25 Fantasy points per game in typical six-point-per-touchdown scoring. That's how you create a winning edge.
And who says it has to be the same quarterback every week?
Maybe you've heard the term "streaming." It basically means you're willing to play the matchups and volley from quarterback to quarterback until you find one (or two) you'll commit to. People who began streaming quarterbacks last year were either really happy (Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers) or really angry (Jimmy Garoppolo, Tyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton).
My goal is to help you begin the year on a happy note. I've gone ahead and ranked the top streaming options for Week 1 and for Weeks 1 through 4. Once you're done chewing on that, check out what I have to say about each of them, listed in order as I have them ranked for the 2019 season as of July 31. Everyone on this list was outside of the top-12 quarterback ADP as of July 31, and the early-season schedule rank is based on my.
Wk 1 streamers
Wk 1-4 streamers
Kyler Murray QB
ARI Arizona • #1
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Nobody has more upside outside of the top 80 picks on Draft Day. Nobody. The entire scheme being installed in Arizona revolves around a dual-threat quarterback who makes quick decisions and relies on receivers making plays after the catch. It's the exact same offense he's been in for years with a coach he's known for years. It sure doesn't hurt that the Cardinals' defense will force Murray to play in high scoring games to begin the season.
TB Tampa Bay • #3
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Winston arguably has the highest ceiling of any quarterback taken at 100th overall or later. He doesn't have to look over his shoulder to find competition this year (sorry, Blaine Gabbert), and, for better or worse, he's at the helm of a Bruce Arians-led passing offense. That usually means putting the ball in the air a ton, but given the state of their run game and their sloppy defense, it's a virtual certainty.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #17
Age: 37 • Experience: 16 yrs.
Want a fast start? Rivers has been good for 22-plus Fantasy points in a minimum of 60 percent of his first five games in each of his last five seasons. Want optimism for a huge season? The longer Melvin Gordon sits out, the more the Chargers will have to lean on Rivers to shoulder the offensive load, particularly with Hunter Henry back on the field and Austin Ekeler known for making plays as a receiver. Plus the gunslinger has been a top-10 quarterback in each of the last three seasons. Rivers might be the best sleeper quarterback in Fantasy this year.
Dak Prescott QB
DAL Dallas • #4
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Prescott will see some softer defenses to go with his upgraded offense, making him a very strong streamer to begin the year. Not many people think of Randall Cobb and Jason Witten as key components for the Cowboys, nor do people see Kellen Moore's promotion to offensive coordinator as a genius move. But both are designed to help Prescott become a better passer, and we should see that right away.
BAL Baltimore • #8
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Perhaps the most polarizing quarterback in Fantasy this year, Jackson's rushing prowess combined with the upstart potential of his young receiving corps have made plenty of optimists. Those folks are further bolstered by a Week 1 game at Miami and a Week 2 showdown versus the Cardinals. There is nothing wrong with waiting for Jackson to fall to you in the Round 10-plus range and beginning the year with him as your starter. His ability to stay healthy and become a dangerous passer for 16 games is what scares off some people from taking him.
SF San Francisco • #10
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
It might take a preseason glimpse or two to convince or remind you, but Garoppolo is a good quarterback. Locked into a diversified offense that's thin on headliners but heavy on contributors, he should be able to take Kyle Shanahan's game plan and come up with nice numbers on a fairly regular basis. The Niners did exactly that last year when Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens combined for 10 games with 20-plus Fantasy points. He gets the Buccaneers in Week 1. Note: Garoppolo has a Week 4 bye, making him harder to like for an early-season streamer.
CHI Chicago • #10
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
From Week 4 through 10 last year, Trubisky was an absolute crusher (32.8 Fantasy points per game). Then he got hurt and never rediscovered his form. A gentler schedule to open the season would make him more appealing, but you might be better off waiting until after he plays the Packers and Broncos to invest in him.
Tom Brady QB
NE New England • #12
Age: 42 • Experience: 20 yrs.
No one's really nervous about Brady's actual ability. But a lot of people are nervous about Brady's numbers now that he's without Rob Gronkowski. Someone's going to have to step up for the Patriots beyond Julian Edelman and James White, and until someone reliably emerges, Brady's not a great streaming option, even if he opens the year against a Steelers team he's roughed up for three touchdowns in every single home meeting of his career (five total).
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