Streaming. If you play fantasy sports, you’ve probably occasionally heard the term thrown around. Fantasywired.com provides a great definition: “In short, streaming is the strategy of plucking a player at a specific position (usually QB, DEF, K, or TE) off the waiver wire ahead of a favorable matchup the following week.” Many people criticize the strategy claiming it uses hindsight to validate it, but I’ve been a successful streamer in several leagues at several positions over the last 20-ish years of playing fantasy football. Each week I will provide you with a few fantasy football streaming options at Quarterback, Tight End and Defense, with my top pick at each position. I can assure you I’ll be using these picks myself on at least one of my nearly 30 fantasy teams.
Using Fantasypros.com’s ADP data from the NFL’s opening night on September 6th, I’ll only be able to use players typically undrafted heading into the NFL season. That means I’ll be selecting from quarterbacks from outside the top 20 in ADP, tight ends from outside the top 15 in ADP and defenses from outside the top 12 in ADP. I also won’t cheat, in the sense that if Baker Mayfield takes over the starting job in Cleveland, or if Jordan Reed is injured and Vernon Davis takes over, I realize that most likely both would be owned in most leagues and wouldn’t be available to stream.
The Quarterbacks available to me will be as follows:
The Tight Ends available to me will be as follows:
The Defenses available to me will be as follows:
Week 1 Streamer Options
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Dalton is my favorite play at QB this week outside of the perennial QB1s. The Colts allowed a 9th best 17 points against to opposing QBs last year, and PFF has the Colts secondary ranked as the worst in all of football. Don’t over think this; it’s too easy.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Finally healthy, Flacco looked decent in the pre-season and is surrounded by an entirely new receiving corps. Despite the Bills having a good defense, the Ravens are projected to score 24.5 points this week, the 9th highest total in the league for week 1.
The Dolphins and Giants were terrible against opposing tight ends last season. The Browns have been awful against them for a few years in a row too. I’ll be targeting them each week when I can.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jacksonville Jaguars
A highly touted prospect in 2014, ASJ finally had a bit of a breakout last season. Facing the Giants’ atrocious tight end defense should be all it takes to get this season off to a strong start.
Jesse James and Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers
With Vance McDonald ruled out, James will get the nod against the Browns’ weak tight end defense. In leagues where Samuels has both TE and RB eligibility, he becomes an interesting super deep sleeper at the position this week with Le’Veon Bell missing the game as well.
The Lions face rookie Sam Darnold making his first NFL start, on the road no less. Darnold is also the youngest starting quarterback since 1970. The Lions brought in defensive-minded head coach Matt Patricia, who should be very familiar with everything Jets related, as he was a member of the Patriots staff since 2004 and faced them twice a year during that time.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers should have a much improved defensive unit with new DC Mike Pettine taking over and a bunch of draft capital thrown on the defensive side of the ball recently. At home, as an 8-point favorite, against a still unproven Mitchell Trubisky… it could get ugly.