Quarterback and Tight End Streamers: Week 3
September 19, 2017 | Matt Terelle
Hey there Fake Footballers! In this space each week, we will be taking a look at some of the top streaming options at quarterback and tight end. With more and more fantasy owners opting to wait on the quarterback and tight end positions in drafts, streaming each position has become a viable option in most 10-12 person fantasy leagues. This is made easier by the fact that there are usually solid options on the waiver wire. Each week this column will scour the waiver wire and look for quarterbacks and tight ends who are (usually) owned in fewer than 50% of Yahoo! leagues and also a deep sleeper at each position who is owned in 20% of leagues or less and could be useful in deeper leagues or two-quarterback formats (for the QB position, of course).
Generally, several factors go into selecting a streamer, including recent performance, overall upside, talent, opponent matchup, and Vegas totals. I like to use Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric as a reference point to compare opposing defenses to identify plus matchups for players. All references to DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average) come from rankings on www.footballoutsiders.com. A detailed explanation of DVOA can be found here.
Week 3 Quarterback Streamers
Listed in order of preference.
Trevor Siemian (DEN): 14% ownership @ Buffalo Bills
Siemian has been one of the bigger surprises in the NFL over the first two weeks of action, racking up 450 passing yards and six touchdowns. He’s shown improvement this season, attacking defenses down the field instead of just settling for check downs close to the line of scrimmage. Of course, it helps to have Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to target. Siemian pulls a fantastic matchup against a weak Buffalo Bills defense in Week 3 as Buffalo is plainly tanking this season. The Bills’ pass defense ranked 21st in DVOA in 2016 and in preseason they traded away one of their better cornerbacks in Ronald Darby. Siemian should continue to roll against Buffalo in Week 3 and sets up as one of the top quarterback streamers.
Jay Cutler (MIA): 29% @ New York Jets
Cutler wasn’t all that bad in his season debut against a tough Chargers pass defense. The veteran signal caller completed 24-of-33 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown without throwing an interception. Not amazing numbers, but certainly respectable given the opponent and the fact that a few months ago he was preparing to switch to the broadcast booth instead of taking NFL snaps.
He should find things much easier in Week 3 against a putrid New York Jets pass defense. The Jets ranked 31st in pass defense DVOA in 2016. This season they allowed Tyrod Taylor to be the overall QB7 in Week 1 and Derek Carr to finish as the QB5 in fantasy scoring in Week 2. While the Jets’ run defense isn’t likely to be as stout as in years past, it is still the stronger defensive unit for the team. That should funnel some extra pass attempts Cutler’s way.
Jared Goff (LAR): 10% ownership @ San Francisco 49ers
So far, so good for Goff during the Sean McVay era. Goff has played reasonably well this season, posting 530 passing yards and two touchdowns over his first two games. It wouldn’t be advised to trust him as your starting quarterback in a one-quarterback league but he’s shaping up as a viable, weekly starting QB2 in two-quarterback formats. He will take on a 49ers defense that has not been effective at stopping the pass, ranking 28th in DVOA in 2016. This is the Thursday night game so make sure you get those waiver claims on Goff in early.
Week 3 Tight End Streamers
Listed in order of preference.
Jack Doyle (IND): 64% ownership vs. Cleveland Browns
Doyle had a huge game in Week 2, going off for eight receptions and 78 yards against the Arizona Cardinals. He very well could turn out to be new quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s favorite target in the passing game while Andrew Luck is sidelined. The Browns had one of the worst defenses in the league against tight ends in 2016, ranking dead last in DVOA. Things haven’t improved much in 2017, with Cleveland coughing up two touchdowns to Steelers tight end Jesse James in Week 1 and eight catches for 91 yards to Ben Watson of the Ravens in Week 2. To make matters worse, the Browns may be without their best linebacker, Jamie Collins, who was concussed last week.
Evan Engram (NYG): 25% ownership @ Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles were a lockdown defense against tight ends in 2016 but they haven’t carried that success over to the 2017 season just yet. In Week 1, Philadelphia was okay, allowing Jordan Reed to catch five balls for just 35 yards. In Week 2, however, they were torched by Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who hung eight receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown on them. Engram has been solid in his rookie season, catching eight balls for 93 yards and a score. With Odell Beckham active but limited in Week 2 and Brandon Marshall looking washed, Engram should continue to be a big part of the New York passing game for the foreseeable future.
Benjamin Watson (BAL): 2% ownership @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Through two weeks, the Jaguars have allowed the third most fantasy points in the league to tight ends. They were especially porous in Week 2, allowing Tennessee tight ends Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith to combine for 91 yards and a touchdown. Watson emerged as a preferred target in the Baltimore passing game in Week 2, hauling in all eight of his targets for 91 yards against the Cleveland Browns. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues where you need a tight end.
Thanks for reading and good luck in your streaming endeavors this week.