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 3 STREAMER OPTIONS
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I hope I’m not late to the party here, and Fitzpatrick can light up the scoreboard for one more week. The Bucs are a one-point underdog at home against a Steelers team who seems to be in total chaos at the moment. Their defense has been exploited two weeks in a row, and I suspect Fitzpatrick makes it three straight.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
This week was tough at quarterback, so I’m rolling with Tannehill. The Fins get the Raiders at home. Their defense has been better than expected but still isn’t good. Coming into Miami in the second of two back-to-back road games, this is more of a “fade the Raiders” play than an “I love Tannehill” play.
Jordan Akins/Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans
The Giants have been terrible defending tight ends for more than a season. Griffin is seeing significantly more snaps than Akins, and has six targets through two games, but has only amassed one reception. Despite being out-snapped by Griffin, Akins has four receptions on four targets, and he’s my choice between the two. The Texans need a win badly and return home to face what seems to be a pretty bad Giants squad. I look for a tight end touchdown at some point in this contest.
Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders
Cook is likely to be owned after his huge week one performance, but he is still available in nearly 30% of ESPN leagues. Opposing TEs averaged over 16 fantasy points against the Dolphins last season. With the volume he seems to be getting in Oakland, Cook could be in line for another bog week.
The Jets, starting a rookie quarterback, the youngest rookie signal caller in 30-something years are going on the road, on a short week, against a Gregg Williams defense that has been trending upwards. No Thank you. THat’ll all there is to it.
Much like Jared Cook above, the Bears went undrafted in most leagues and are now most likely owned than not, but they are still available in 25% of ESPN leagues. They face the Cardinals who look to have one of, if not THE worst offenses in all of football. The Cards are only projected to score 16 points this week, and I like the Bears D again. They would be my #1 option this week, but if they maintain this level of ownership, I’m not going to be able to use them again.
Case Keenum, meh. He wasn’t good, and he wasn’t bad. A very pedestrian 14.9 fantasy points throwing for only 222 yards and zero touchdowns. He tossed another interception but his fantasy day was saved by 16 rushing yards and a rushing score. My Tyrod Taylor recommendation fared equally as blah with 14.4 points. (Streaming Quarterback ranking on the season: QB 23, 29.5 points)
So close. I loved Benjamin Watson last week. His three grabs for 19 yards was not good, but Drew Brees fired one over Watson’s wide-open head in the end zone on a play that might have been the worst pass I’ve ever seen Brees throw. (Streaming Tight End ranking on the season: TE 27, 9.9 points)
Da Bears! Well, Khalil Mack anyway. Six sacks, a fumble recovery, an interception, and another touchdown- good enough for 19 points. Sadly their ownership is creeping into unusable for streaming territory. (Streaming Defense ranking on the season: Dst 3, 28 points)