Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a number of changes at the quarterback position. Jeff Driskell is subbing in for Matthew Stafford and his fractured back in Detroit. Nick Foles and Jacoby Brissett are back under center in Jacksonville and Indianapolis, respectively. And Brandon Allen is doing his best to keep the Broncos relevant.
Some teams are evaluating their younger talent, which is why Dwayne Haskins and Ryan Finley are on the field, and Mitchell Trubisky’s hip injury could push Chase Daniel back into a bigger role.
With any luck, you are avoiding these players, save for Foles and Brissett, for your fantasy football teams, but keeping a close watch on all of them can lead to greater success as you stream in receivers and tight ends each week.
No one is saying Allen is going to save your fantasy season, but, based on current ownership numbers, few fantasy owners are recognizing his connection with rookie tight end Noah Fant. Courtland Sutton remains the team’s leading receiver, but in the two games Allen has been under center, Fant has seen a total of 15 targets — which he has turned into seven catches for 175 yards and one touchdown. If you’ve been struggling at tight end all year, suddenly Fant is a guy you should be able to depend on for some consistency.
In addition to Fant, we may also have a new candidate for the team’s No. 2 wide receiver in Tim Patrick. The second-year wideout was recently activated from injured reserve and immediately garnered eight targets, third-highest on the team in Week 11. The team has tried to give DaeSean Hamilton opportunities, but his practice work with Allen has been intermittent, at best, and that is translating to the field.
One of the big questions surrounding the return of Foles was whether D.J. Chark would remain the team’s top option or if Foles would revert to leaning on Dede Westbrook as we saw in the preseason. With a team-high 15 targets for Chark, the No. 1 was clearly re-established. Though Westbrook saw six targets himself, the bulk of the work stayed with Chark and Chris Conley, who will gain added fantasy relevance should this rapport stay intact.
Danny Amendola is seeing consistent work with Driskell. Alex Erickson is a favorite of Finley’s in Cincinnati. Brissett still is showing love for Zach Pascal, and should continue to do so even when T.Y. Hilton is back. Haskins is introducing more people to Kelvin Harmon, and you even can look for Taylor Gabriel to emerge once again in Chicago with Daniel potentially under center.
Identifying which receivers and tight ends are a quarterback’s favorite could make your fantasy life much easier, especially if it means you don’t have to continuously stream a starting spot. The key to your No. 3 receiver and tight end production is targets. Find the favorite and the targets will be yours.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays at 4 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy sports advice and NFL player rankings.