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 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.
If you’d like to see my methodology or the player pool I’ll be choosing from, I covered both extensively in the week 1 installment. You can find the detailed breakdown here.
WEEK 12 STREAMER OPTIONS
Eli Manning, New York Giants
In case you haven’t already heard, The Eagles secondary is decimated by injuries. They’re down at least three of their top cornerbacks and are banged up at safety as well. That should bode well for Eli and his receiving corps in this game. I suspect the G-men are smart enough to exploit this known weakness and we should see them air it out early and often.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
I really wanted to go with Nick Mullens, but there is no way I can trust a UDFA in his first road start. Thus the pivot to Baker. The Cincy defense has been getting shredded on a historical scale and have been allowing 23.4 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Yes please, I woke up feeling dangerous.
Nick Vannett, Seattle Seahawks
In what is looking like a rough week, this is what things have come to at Tight End. Vannett faces a Panthers defense that has given up a league-worst nine touchdown to opposing Tight Ends. By comparison, only the team have allowed more than six tight end scores. It’s not just the end zone killing them either, as the Panthers have allowed 18.5 points per game to tight ends in 2018. You could pivot to Ed Dickson here, but I like Vannett better.
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals
A regular on this list throughout the season, Uzomah is a streamer’s dream. He faces a Cleveland defense that has been generous to tight ends for several years at this point. With pickings being as slim as they are, Uzomah is a fine option on a down week.
The Colts host The Dolphins with Ryan Tannehill making his return from an injury that has cost him most of the season. At the start of the season, with Tannehill under center, the Dolphins offense was allowing just over 11 fantasy points to opposing defenses. I suspect the Colts put up a number similar to that if they can tally a score.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As I mentioned earlier, Tampa Bay faces a 49ers team that has an undrafted rookie quarterback making his first road start in the NFL. Could Mullens light them up? Sure. Could Mullens implode and toss five interceptions and lose a couple of fumbles? Sure.
Lamar Jackson came through with his legs last week, but with his arm? Not so much. He only threw for 150 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He did rush for 119 yards though, giving him 15.9 fantasy points. My backup option was Eli Manning, who did a little better facing the terrible Buccaneers secondary, scoring 17.1 fantasy points. (Streaming Quarterback ranking on the season: QB 11, 193 points)
In what is becoming a frustrating, ongoing theme, my backup selection once again outperformed my top pick. Jacksonville’s James O’Shaughnessy caught a single pass for a measly four yards, for a whopping 1.4 fantasy points. Yuck. Gerald Everett however finished with 19.9 points on the back of two touchdowns to go along with three receptions and 49 yards. It’s been a long year across the board for most fantasy tight end owners. (Streaming Tight End ranking on the season: TE 19, 62 points)
The Cardinals got pressure on The Raiders, recording four sacks, but that never translated to turnovers, and only amounted to four fantasy points. As a second option, The Giants did a little better with four interceptions, a touchdown, and a single sack. (Streaming Defense ranking on the season: Dst 2, 100 points)