Streaming Spotlight – Week 17 QB & TE
December 28, 2016 | Chris Manni
Week 17 marks the official finale of the 2016 fantasy football season! It has been a pleasure discussing QB/TE streaming options here at TheFakeFootball with you all season, and I look forward to continuing the discussion this offseason. Back to the topic at hand, and let’s begin with a simple public service announcement. If your league uses Week 17 as your Championship week, you should do two things. First, tell your commissioner and other league mates move it to Week 16. After surviving the fantasy gauntlet, why would you let your whole season ride on a week where your best players won’t even suit up? Think of Week 17 as an extension of the preseason where most guys are simply motivated to just not get hurt. Heck, at least half of the league is already setting up offseason tee times and booking vacation spots. Second, if that doesn’t work, join another league or even start your own. I feel that strongly about it. Either way, as we have done each and every week, we are here to provide you some Week 17 deeper QB and TE streaming options with players who are less than 50% owned on NFL.com. Good luck in Week 17; keep hitting us up for some offseason content to get you prepared for 2017!
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Alex Smith (Ownership on NFL.com 25.4%) at SD
As mentioned above, many good Week 17 streaming options are simply because their opponent is no longer motivated. I don’t believe that will be the case here. In what shapes up to be the last football game in San Diego for the foreseeable future, I expect the Chargers to show up and put a solid effort in for their fans. Unfortunately for them, the Chiefs come into town extremely motivated to win and possibly get the all-important AFC #2 seed. With Spencer Ware banged up, expect Smith to continue to target Travis Kelce, Jeremy Maclin, and Tyreek Hill with success. Additionally, Smith started to run a bit more last week, which we haven’t seen much of in 2016. We all know that is he is capable of being productive on the ground. If that continues, his already high floor increases as does his ceiling.
Bottom Line: Consider Smith a low-end QB1/high-end QB2 option in Week 17. I would play Smith over Philip Rivers vs KC, Carson Palmer at LA, and Dak Prescott at PHI. Given the state of the quarterback position, Smith provides a solid floor and some upside if he continues to use his running ability.
Landry Jones (Ownership on NFL.com 0.1%) vs CLE
The craziness that was the 2016 fantasy football season would simply not be complete without a Landry Jones recommendation. Sigh. In the case against fantasy football championships being played in Week 17, the prosecution presents Exhibit A: the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is currently expected for the Steelers to sit Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown in Week 17. Talk about the proverbial “turd in the punch bowl.” Well, if you run into this situation or another one like it, I recommend giving Landry Jones a hard look. In Week 7, Jones started for Big Ben in a home game against the Patriots and showed some competence, throwing for 281 yards with a touchdown and one interception. This week, he faces a much easier test in the Browns’ defense that we have habitually picked on all year. I also wonder if the Browns are done celebrating their “Super Bowl” win from last week and frankly won’t be very motivated in this matchup. Regarding Jones’ motivation level, backup quarterbacks always need to put good tape together in spot starts to keep their jobs, so I expect Jones to be ready to go.
Bottom Line: Consider Jones a mid-range QB2 with a low floor but decent ceiling. Week 17 is always interesting from a daily fantasy perspective, and I will have a few shares of Jones on the cheap.
Charles Clay (4.9%) at NYJ
This may seem as though I’m chasing last week’s monster game. In all honesty, I’m simply looking for a piece of Clay’s performance over the last three weeks. Since the birth of his child in Week 13, Clay has been on fire averaging 7.6 targets with 6 catches for 70 yards and 1.33 touchdowns per game. This is easily top five tight end production over that time, and now the Bills travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the Jets. We all know that the Jets’ pass defense has been atrocious this year. Yet, do you realize that they have allowed SEVEN touchdowns to tight ends in the last four weeks? The one caveat to all this good news is that this good work all happened with Tyrod Taylor, who will not start in Week 17. Therefore, I went back in the game logs to see how EJ Manual did with Clay last year. They had two starts together and Clay averaged 9 targets for 6 catches and 44 yards per game with no touchdowns. The opportunity was there even though the production wasn’t. In Week 17, I expect the incompetent Jets’ pass defense to help with that. It seems as though Clay has found a new lease on life with the new bundle of joy and it has created a whole lot of joy and opportunity for his fantasy owners.
Bottom Line: Consider Clay a mid-range TE1 in Week 17 as I rank him seventh this week. I would start him over Antonio Gates vs KC (even though I love the “get Gates the touchdown record” narrative, but not against the Chiefs’ defense), Eric Ebron vs GB, and Martellus Bennett at MIA.
Jesse James (6.7%) vs CLE
As you have seen all year, the deeper I go with tight end sleepers, the more I am simply searching for a touchdown. Therefore, I present to you my favorite to post a 2 catches for 20 yards and a touchdown line: Jesse James. We have attacked the Browns mercilessly all year, and I’m going back to the well one more time. The Browns’ pass defense has allowed 13 touchdowns to tight ends in 15 games this year. There are no automatic things in fantasy football, but tight end production against this defense is pretty close. As I mentioned above, I expect many of the Steelers starters to sit out this week. This also includes Ladarius Green who suffered a concussion in Week 15 and remains in the league’s protocol. Therefore, I expect a few more targets for James this week and for him to act as the focal point of the offense in the red zone.
Bottom Line: Consider James a mid-range TE2, touchdown-dependent option. Given the production the Browns’ defense has allowed to the position, he is a promising touchdown option.
I have enjoyed fantasy sports for over twenty years and now enjoy sharing my thoughts with you fine folks. Follow me @chrismanniff on Twitter.