Streaming Spotlight – Week 7 QB & TE
October 20, 2016 | Chris Manni
Week 6 was a great example of how your streaming decisions can make or break your squad. Once considered waiver wire fodder, Case Keenum and Cody Kessler put up unexpected QB1 performances. While I’m not chasing those points, the formula for choosing streamers remains the same. We search for players with good matchups and the opportunity to exceed expectations. Week 7 marks the “over the hill” point in most fantasy football seasons. This time of the year means more bye week blues, and the demand for winning streaming options increases. As a competitive fantasy football player, you should relish these weeks as your bench is stretched and the games mean so much. As the challenges mount, we are here to provide you the streaming options to get you to the promise land. 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!
Alex Smith vs NO (NFL.com ownership: 25.8%)
Fire up the world class BBQ as the Saints are coming to town! The Saints’ defense is the seventh most generous to QBs, and Smith has averaged over 20 fantasy points per game at home this year. For season-long QB streamers like me, Smith is a plug and play option not only for this week, but also for the four weeks after. Smith has already had his bye week and his next five games include weak pass defenses in New Orleans (7th most generous to QBs), Indianapolis (9th), Jacksonville (12th), Atlanta (4th), and Tampa Bay (16th). With monster bye weeks looming in Week 8 and Week 9, Smith should be considered a coveted streaming option. My one hesitation for this week was what happened last week at Oakland where the running game was so effective that Smith didn’t have to push the ball downfield much.
Bottom Line: Consider Smith a top ten option this week with weekly starters Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger unavailable. I would play Smith over Russell Wilson at ARI, Carson Palmer vs SEA, and Eli Manning at LA (in London).
Joe Flacco at NYJ (21.7%)
“Wacko” Flacco has appeared on this list a few times this year with various results. In Week 7, I’m ready to roll with Flacco once again as the Ravens head back into MetLife Stadium for the second straight week to visit the Jets defense that ranks dead last according to the Football Outsiders DVOA metric. My observation from watching the Jets the last few weeks is that the defense is too slow up front and in the secondary. This formula works for stopping the run, as they rank 5th in DVOA, but it’s a poor formula to stop offenses in today’s pass-happy NFL. As for the Ravens, they have two clear strengths in their passing game: speed and Flacco’s ability to push the ball downfield. Expect Flacco, Wallace, and even Breshad Perriman to challenge the Jets down the field early and often. The expected return of offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley helps Flacco’s cause as well.
Bottom Line: The Jets’ passing defense will be a streaming target for the foreseeable future. If you strike out on Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, or the man mentioned below, Flacco is a good mid-QB2 option.
Brian Hoyer at GB (4.0%)
“Da Bears” QB has played well above expectations since taking over for “starter” Jay Cutler. In his four starts this year, Hoyer has averaged over 300 yards and 18.5 fantasy points per game. Last week’s bust performance came solely from not scoring a touchdown despite throwing for another 300 yards. I project a bounce back week as the Bears go into Lambeau Field on Thursday night. Hoyer and the Bears’ passing game have to be licking their chops as the Packers’ top THREE cornerbacks are injured. Additionally, expect a tough outing for the Bears’ running game facing a top three rushing defense in DVOA. If you want to move the ball on the Packers, you do it through the air. Hoyer and company will be ready to roll and expect them to continue their hot streak in Week 7.
Bottom Line: Against a depleted secondary and on the short week, Hoyer is a high QB2 option.
Bye Week: Cam Newton, Dak Prescott
Hunter Henry at ATL (43.5%)
Hopefully you have already taken our advice over the last two weeks as Henry has graced this list and produced mightily. This week may represent the last, great opportunity to acquire him. The athletic rookie from Arkansas is racking up an average of six targets, 4.5 catches, over 70 yards, and 0.75 touchdowns in the last four weeks. This is elite tight end production, and if you and your competition have been slow to punch, you need to pony up some FAAB dollars this week. Plus, Antonio Gates is still not healthy and is really laboring around the field. In Week 7, Henry goes against an Atlanta defense that is talented at the corner position, but weak against the tight end. Savvy, veteran quarterback Philip Rivers will likely utilize a similar game plan as last week and attack the seams with his shiny new toy.
Bottom Line: Henry is a top five tight end play in Week 7 and a tight end starter for the rest of the year.
Cameron Brate at SF (12.3%)
The rarely exciting but mostly effective Brate is coming off the bye week ready to attack. The Buccaneers are limping out of their bye week with Doug Martin reinjuring his hamstring and having placed Vincent Jackson on injured reserve. This means more responsibility will fall onto Jameis Winston who loves to target his tight ends going back to his days at Florida State. Additionally, this week Brate and boys take on the 49ers who are really struggling on the defensive side and allow the 12th most points to tight ends. Similar to Alex Smith, Brate is a sneaky grab and hold player through the next two weeks of heavy byes. After the 49ers, the Bucs face Oakland (7th most generous to tight ends) and Atlanta (4th).
Bottom Line: If you strike out on Henry, Brate is a quality fall back option. I rank him as a low-end TE1 in Week 7, Week 8, and Week 9.
Bye Week: Greg Olsen, Jason Witten
I have enjoyed fantasy sports for over twenty years and now enjoy sharing my thoughts with you fine folks. Follow me @chrismanniff on Twitter.