- Last week, Alex Smith and Sam Bradford carried quarterback streamers to glory. There's more where that came from on the stream in Week 2.
The fantasy stars largely disappointed in Week 1 of the season, but the stream did not let us down. Alex Smith, Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz, all of whom were deemed stream-worthy, were among the top-five scorers at quarterback last week. Streaming can help bail you out of a bad pick, get your team through a rough bye week, or simply be part of an overarching, season-long strategy.
For streaming purposes, 4for4’s Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) is a metric we rely on heavily to determine weekly matchup strength. Since aFPA requires a minimum of three to four weeks of data to provide truly reliable results, streaming options in these early weeks will be selected based on a combination of predicted fantasy points allowed, projected usage and track record.
To provide advice that you can actually use, candidates for streaming must be available in at least 50% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.
Jay Cutler, Dolphins @ Chargers (27% owned)
Although still weird to picture uniform-wise, Cutler in the sea green of the Miami Dolphins will be a good look for the offense. Fresh off a bye week forced by mother nature, the Dolphins head to Los Angeles to take on a Chargers defense that gave up 22.7 points to Broncos’ quarterback Trevor Siemian on Monday night.
Cutler has an enviable arsenal of weapons in Miami, with DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and Julius Thomas all healthy and ready to catch the rock, and Jay Ajayi alongside him in the backfield. Vegas has the over/under at 45.5 for this game, and an implied total of 20.5 for the Dolphins. While we’d like to see that a bit higher, Cutler is still one of the best streaming options this week.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars vs. Titans (14% owned)
I know that simply reading the name Bortles may make you cringe, but his Week 2 matchup is too juicy to ignore. The Jaguars get a home tilt against a Titans defense that ranked last against opposing quarterbacks in 2016, with an aFPA of 19.0. In Week 1, Tennessee gave up 18.7 points to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in Nashville. The Titans also ranked last against wide receivers last year, with an aFPA of 26.9 standard points, so while the loss of Allen Robinson is troubling, it might not show this week.
One knock against Bortles’s streamer candidacy is the line, which installs the Titans as a 2-point favorite. We know that quarterbacks typically have better fantasy days when their team is favored, so that could be a reason to fade Bortles. However, the spread is so small and the Jaguars are at home, another factor that generally leads to better quarterback performance. The positives outweigh the negatives here.
Jared Goff, Rams vs. Redskins (8% owned)
After scoring 16.4 points in Week 1 against the Colts, Goff gets another favorable matchup this week at home against a Redskins defense that’s soft against the pass. Last week, Washington allowed Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz to complete passes to eight different receivers for 307 yards, fourth most in the league in Week 1, and two touchdowns.
Goff looked like a No. 1 overall pick growing in his offense in Week 1. He used new toys Cooper Kupp, Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, deftly, hooking up with them a combined 12 times for 187 yards and a touchdown. There was a lot of hope that Sean McVay could have the same effect on Goff that he did on Kirk Cousins when he was the offensive coordinator in Washington. So far, so good.
Jared Cook, Raiders vs. Jets (21% owned)
Cook’s top-10 performance in Week 1 showed us that the journeyman tight end will be heavily involved in Oakland’s offense this season. He was targeted five times on Sunday, third most on the team, and hauled in all five targets for 56 yards.
In Week 2, Oakland stays home to face a Jets defense that allowed Charles Clay to rack up four catches for 53 yards and a score last week. The Raiders have one of the highest implied point totals of the week at 28.75, so there’s almost no bad way to get invested in them. Cook gives you a cheap streaming option.
Charles Clay, Bills @ Panthers (19% owned)
After putting up 15.3 PPR points in Week 1 against the Jets, Clay gets an what could be a better matchup against the Panthers this week. Their aFPA was fifth worst in the NFL against tight ends last year. There’s not much to glean from their matchup with the 49ers last week, though rookie tight end George Kittle to score 7.7 PPR points in his NFL debut, which falls on the high side for rookie production at the position.
Clay led the Bills with nine targets a week ago, displaying the trust Tyrod Taylor has in him. That was also the high watermark for tight ends in Week 1, tied with Delanie Walker and Jason Witten. He should enjoy a similar workload this weekend, as Taylor has come to count on Clay to produce in this ever-changing Bills offense.
Seth DeValve, Browns @ Ravens (0% owned)
Second-year tight end DeValve was the second on the Browns in both receptions and receiving yards with four catches and 42 yards in Week 1. While some banged the drum for rookie David Njoku this offseason, it appears that DeValve will be the No. 1 tight end in Cleveland for the time being
The Browns played the Steelers tough in Week 1, and looked much better on both sides of the ball than most expected. This Sunday, they face another division rival on the road in Baltimore. DeShone Kizer leaned on his tight end last week, and that could be the case again this week with Baltimore’s defense riding high after shutting out the Bengals a week ago. He’s clearly running third among the tight ends we named after seeing how the Ravens shut down Tyler Eifert last week, but he’s worth a shot if you miss out on Cook and Clay.
Washington Redskins, @ Rams (3% owned)
The Rams looked good offensively in Week 1, dominating the Colts 46-9, but it’s easy to throw that game out after the way it got out of hand early. This is still largely the same team that allowed the the most points to opposing defenses last year, with an aFPA of 13 fantasy points. Washington should fare better than Indianapolis did last week, with Josh Norman most likely covering Sammy Watkins, and the line facing a pass rush led by Ryan Kerrigan and Jonathan Allen.
Miami Dolphins, @ Chargers (3% owned)
In 2016, the Chargers allowed the fourth highest fantasy points in the NFL to their defensive opponents, with an aFPA of 9.0. The Dolphins should have fresh legs after sitting out last week, though most of the key players on the defense haven’t played for at least a month. The Chargers, meanwhile, will be playing their first home game in Los Angeles, and may not have much of a home-field advantage on which to rely.
Cincinnati Bengals, vs. Texans (25% owned)
With DeShaun Watson making his first career start, and the Bengals coming off a dreadful performance against the Ravens, this is the perfect time to roll out their defense. Pass rushers Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins have to be salivating after seeing the Jacksonville defense sack Watson and Tom Savage a combined 10 times last week. Watson, too, is coming off a minor ankle injury, which could complicate matters for this offense on a short week. The Texans were in the bottom-third of the league last season against opposing defenses, and allowed the Jaguars defense to put up the highest fantasy point total last week in their contest at home.