Streaming Spotlight – Week 5 QB & TE
October 5, 2016 | Chris Manni
As I analyzed Week 4, I kept thinking that the whole week was one big market correction. Through three weeks, some of the league’s biggest early season stories seemed either too good to be true or too bad to continue. On the bad-turned-good topic, Julio Jones had a Madden-like game against last year’s NFC Champions. I believe he may have caught three more passes for 75 yards since I started writing this article. It was truly a performance to remember and all Julio owners rejoiced. On the other hand, the Patriots finally felt the impact from Tom Brady’s suspension with a performance to truly forget, being shut out at home. Pats fans should be taking the long view that “Tom Terrific” is back and walking through the door with a 3-1 record. Like I said, things seem a little more normal after Week 4.
Anyways, football stops for no one, and we all need to turn the page to Week 5, as there are important streaming decisions to make. Well, let’s be honest, every week is an important week for streaming options. But Week 5 feels like a different animal all together. This week we have elite starting caliber quarterbacks and tight ends either on bye (Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Travis Kelce, Coby Fleener, and Jimmy Graham) or possibly out due to concussion (Cam Newton and Carson Palmer). Additionally, we have regular streaming options such Blake Bortles, Alex Smith, and Julius Thomas on bye. This situation is not unique by any means, but choosing the correct streamers may give you a big advantage in your weekly matchup. As always, we are here to provide you winning streaming options. Here are deeper QB and TE streaming options with players who are less than 50% owned on NFL.com.
Don’t forget to check out our DFS Cheat Sheets!
Carson Wentz (NFL.com Ownership: 21.2%) at DET
How impressive has Wentz been? If you haven’t been paying attention, Carson Wentz is off to one of the most statistically successful starts for a quarterback in NFL history. In addition to his impressive play, Head Coach Doug Peterson is giving Wentz simple strategic plans to execute. These game plans are putting Wentz in a position to succeed…and he has been. Now the undefeated Eagles take a trip to Detroit to face the friendly Lions defense, which allows the second most points to QBs and ranks dead last in Football Outsiders DVOA ranking. It doesn’t sound promising for the Lions to get their injured starters back this week so fire up your Eagles, especially their young, stud QB.
Bottom Line: Wentz is my eighth ranked QB this week. This is ahead of Matt Ryan at DEN, Matt Stafford vs PHI, and Kirk Cousins at BAL. Consider him an elite streaming option in Week 5.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (15.5% Owned) at PIT
I admit it, this seems crazy. Yet, even with the Chiefs vomiting on their shoes Sunday night, the Pittsburgh defense remains a streaming target allowing more than 320 passing yards per game. Yes, the “Hahvuhd” boy continues to play mistake-full football, but my gut tells me that the competent Fitz shows up this week. If you don’t believe it, move on the next option. If you have a contrarian bone on your body, Fitzpatrick is worth a streaming look in Week 5 with a desperate Jets team going against a “middle of the road” pass defense.
Bottom Line: Fitzpatrick, like his play, is a coin flip. In 2-QB leagues, this is a good spot for him to succeed where the last two weeks were not. Warning, playing him is not for the risk averse.
Brian Hoyer (0.2% Owned) at IND
While Head Coach John Fox has not confirmed Hoyer will start this week, his early week comments suggest that Cutler may be losing his grip on the starting position altogether. Frankly, I can’t blame him. Hoyer has been productive the last two weeks and gets the Colts who have allowed the tenth most fantasy points against QBs through four weeks. Plus, the Colts are coming home from London, which can be difficult on anyone let alone large people who run into each other for a living. Lastly, the Colts seem to be in a state of disarray. Upon arriving home, the Colts cut two starting defensive players in Antonio Cromartie and Sio Moore. GM Ryan Grigson and Head Coach Chuck Pagano may be shaking up the roster for the better or grasping at straws to turn this terrible start around in order to save their jobs.
Bottom Line: Hoyer is my 17th ranked QB this week. That is ahead of Marcus Mariota at MIA, Tyrod Taylor at LA, and Sam Bradford vs HOU. Given the discreet nature of HC John Fox, make sure you confirm Hoyer’s starting status on Sunday morning since we are unlikely to get confirmation during the week.
QBs on Bye: Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Blake Bortles, Alex Smith
Zach Miller (46.1% Owned) at IND
Miller has everything you are looking for; athleticism, opportunity, and efficiency. Through the first four weeks, Miller has converted 83% of his targets which is top five at his position. Playing with Brian Hoyer the last two weeks, Miller has produced 11 catches for 109 yards and 3 touchdowns on 12 targets. That level of efficiency should lead to more opportunities for Miller, as will the loss of Kevin White to the IR. Want more positive news? His next opponent is the Colts defense, which ranks dead last in the DVOA ranking to tight ends. If Miller stays healthy—which has been a big if—we could look back at one of the best free agent pickups of 2016. For now, grab him and start him this week.
Bottom Line: Miller is my fifth ranked TE this week ahead of the all-powerful Rob Gronkowski (Who would have thought this at the beginning of the year?) at CLE and the surging Kyle Rudolph vs HOU.
Cameron Brate (5.0% Owned) at CAR
Harvard must be so proud to produce two fantasy football streaming options in the same week. I’m pretty sure it is the university credo to produce under-owned fantasy football players. With Brate, it’s time to get on board to not only stream him, but also to flat out own him. The great film room guru Greg Cosell has been talking up Brate for the last 18 months, and we are seeing his ability and opportunity bear fruit. Since Austin Seferian-Jenkins was released, Brate has seen 18 targets and turned them into 10 catches, 113 yards, and 2 touchdowns. In the current tight end landscape, that is exactly the level of opportunity and production you need. Plus, Brate goes against the Carolina defense that is still reeling from a “Julio Monster” that dismantled them on Sunday and has been allowing the fourth most points against tight ends through four weeks.
Bottom Line: Consider Brate a low end TE1 this week with the opportunity to stay in your lineup all year. In Week 5, I’m playing him over Eric Ebron vs PHI and Jason Witten vs CIN.
TEs on Bye: Coby Fleener, Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, Travis Kelce
I have enjoyed fantasy sports for over twenty years and now enjoy sharing my thoughts with you fine folks. Follow me @chrismanniff on Twitter.