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 4 STREAMER OPTIONS
Case Keenum, Denver Broncos
I’m going back to the well and returning to Monday Night Football. Keenum and the Broncos are going to need to score to keep up with Chiefs. The Chiefs are one of only three teams who have allowed over 1,000 yards in the air. It’s a product of keeping up with the Chiefs on the scoreboard and the Chiefs’ porous defense. All that said, I look for Keenum to light up the scoreboard in a losing effort this week in primetime.
Eli Manning, New York Giants
Only one team has allowed both 1,000-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns, the Saints. Eli hasn’t looked great, but he’s in a good spot to “get right” this week. I think Sterling Shepard has a monster game in particular, but it’s hard to trust Eli, but that’s the risk and the nature of streaming.
Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
Ravens rookie Andrews goes on the road to face a Steelers’ defense that has allowed three touchdowns and 215 yards to opposing tight ends in the last two games. That’s an average of 27.75 points to tight ends! That is outrageous. Andrews is tied for the team lead in targets among tight ends and is leading the tight ends in receptions and touchdowns.
Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos
This was going to be Jake Butt; however, he suffered a season-ending knee injury Thursday morning and will not be available. That means backup Jeff Heuerman will get the starting nod this week. I look for Heuerman to get six-plus targets in this game and that should result in some noteworthy fantasy points.
Green Bay Packers
The Bills come into Green Bay in the second of two back-to-back road games coming off of one of the biggest upsets in recent football history. Do they do it two weeks in a row against one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks? Nope. We’re all still waiting for Josh Allen to implode, and this might be the week. Green Bay’s defense is much improved and should give Allen trouble, especially with a banged up Shady McCoy expected to return.
The Titans face the Eagles in Tennessee, and although that’s not ideal on paper, there is some potential. The Eagles backfield is still a mess. They still have injuries at wide receiver, and Carson Wentz is making only his second start returning from a severe knee injury. Tennessee has been in a bunch of ugly games so far, and I see that continuing.
I went with Monday night football’s Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. Fitz didn’t disappoint, tallying 27 points against a suddenly lackluster Steeler defense. My secondary option was Miami’s Ryan Tannehill who ever so slightly topped Fitzpatrick with 28 points. (Streaming Quarterback ranking on the season: QB 13, 56.5 points)
Yuck. This is a position I have been streaming across several leagues for many years, and this is the worst start I can recall. I went with Jordan Akins of the Texans who I thought had a strong matchup, but only scored 2 points against the Giants. I’m anticipating some regression towards the mean going forward because this has been nothing short of terrible. Jared Cook was my backup selection, and he scored 8 points. (Streaming Tight End ranking on the season: TE 35, 11.9 points)
I went with the Browns, and they didn’t let us down scoring 11 fantasy points on the back of two interceptions, two sacks, and one fumble recovery. They are becoming more and more popular, and I will probably not be able to use them much more going forward. In a similar situation in terms of ownership, my second choice was the Bears. They will be too highly owned as the year goes on, but they did score 15 points last week. (Streaming Defense ranking on the season: Dst 3, 39 points)