Fantasy Football Streaming
Just as you finish reveling in having a (relatively) normal fantasy football Week 10, having survived the onslaught of a six bye Week 9, Week 11 shows up with another six-bye week to crush your roster mercilessly. Fortunately, The Primal Stream is here to provide reinforcements and cookies. That was a lie. There are no cookies, but there are streaming options at quarterback, tight end, and defense.
Gone for the week are Tom Brady, Baker Mayfield, and future Hall-of-Famer Nick Mullens at quarterback. If you were rolling out the also-absent Brock Osweiler, Sam Darnold, or whoever the Bills were rolling out at quarterback, you have serious issues and should seek immediate medical attention. Tight ends who will be unavailable include George Kittle, Rob Gronkowski, David Njoku, Chris Herndon, and Charles Clay. Defensively, the Bills, Patriots, Browns, Dolphins, and Jets D/STs are all unavailable, though only the Patriots and Jets D/STs are owned in over 45% of ESPN leagues.
Week 11 Byes:
- Buffalo Bills
- Cleveland Browns
- Miami Dolphins
- New England Patriots
- New York Jets
- San Francisco 49ers
Streaming Fantasy Quarterbacks
Dak Prescott – 35.4% Owned
Cowboys at Falcons
You may be familiar with Dak Prescott from his quarterbacking for the Dallas Cowboys, or perhaps from his appearance in Week 9’s Primal Stream. Either way, Prescott has been on a roll recently, scoring over 20 fantasy points in three of his past four games. He’s now the 17th in fantasy scoring among all quarterbacks, after posting 21.7 fantasy points against the Eagles last week, making him Week 10’s fantasy QB7. During the same recent four-game span, Prescott has also rushed for 3 touchdowns, the most of any quarterback, while only ten running backs have more rushing scores in that span.
Prescott’s Week 11 matchup with the Falcons will be the most fantasy-friendly of his season so far. Atlanta has allowed 2,650 total passing yards, sixth-most, and 21 passing touchdowns, tied for third-most. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging 23.7 fantasy points against the Falcons, who have allowed three or more passing touchdowns in six of their nine games played. As far as Prescott’s contributions in the running game go, this is also a soft matchup; the Falcons have allowed 11 rushing touchdowns, more than all but four teams, and two of those rushing touchdowns were scored by the opposing quarterback.
The Falcons also remain one of the most potent offenses in the game, averaging 27.1 points scored per game, eighth-most. For the season, the Cowboys pass/run ratio is 56%/44%, making them the tenth-most run-heavy offense. It’s likely that the Cowboys will have to keep scoring pace with Atlanta’s powerful offense, which should mean a higher percentage of passing plays, as was the case for the Cowboys against the rejuvenated Titans offense in Week 9. Dallas passed for 66 percent of its offensive plays in that contest, seventh-highest for the week. Prescott has the most quarterback-friendly remaining schedule per sharpfootballstats.com, and as such he could be extremely useful moving forward.
Lamar Jackson (Sleeper)
Bengals at Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens practiced on Wednesday, and Joe Flacco was nowhere to be seen. He’s still recovering from a hip injury incurred in Week 9, and while it’s not certain that he’ll miss Week 11, it appears to be the most likely outcome. It’s technically possible that Robert Griffin would start in his place, but it would be his first active game of the season, so I wouldn’t bet on it. No, the most likely eventuality is that we are about to witness episode one of the Lamar Jackson show, and folks, it could be a huge hit.
If you’re unfamiliar with Jackson, he’s an athletic marvel. He is the first player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000-plus yards and rush for 1,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons. He’ll have his struggles with accuracy, well-outlined in this pre-draft piece by PFF’s Steve Palazzolo, but the fantasy points earned from his rushing prowess are likely to mitigate any turnovers that could occur. Just skip to the 2:04 mark of this video for a 2018 pre-season example of how his athleticism can stress a defense. The Ravens welcome the Bengals to town this week, and if Jackson is the signal-caller, he couldn’t ask for a better matchup. Only two teams have allowed more passing yards than the Bengals have at 2,820 yards, while their 21 passing touchdowns allowed are tied for the third-most. They’ve allowed quarterbacks to score an average of 24.2 fantasy points against them while opposing offenses have rushed for 11 touchdowns (tied for fourth-most), and three of those rushing touchdowns were scored by quarterbacks.
While Lamar Jackson should be a great streaming option in Week 11, he could also be a quarterback to hold for the remainder of the season. Per sharpfootballstats.com, the Ravens have the third-easiest remaining schedule against the pass, while also having the easiest remaining schedule of defenses against the run. Jackson could be a league-winner if the stars align, with playoff matchups against the Chiefs and Buccaneers in Weeks 14 and 15.
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Streaming Fantasy Tight Ends
Ricky Seals-Jones – 18.8% Owned
Raiders at Cardinals
Ah, Ricky. Ricky, Ricky, Ricky. Seals-Jones makes his third appearance in the Primal Stream, as I recommended him in Week 2 and Week 7, which also happened to be among his lowest-scoring games of the season. He is coming off a Week 10 matchup in Kansas City where he matched his season-high with five receptions, finishing as the TE10 with 51 yards. If that’s not an indictment on how shallow the TE pool is in 2018, I don’t know what is. That being said, all that really matters is positional scoring in relation to the rest of the teams in your league, and Seals-Jones’ target volume makes him worthy of a stream.
The Cardinals face the Raiders this week, who are allowing an average of 62.0 yards per game to tight ends, and a weekly fantasy point average of 14.4 to the position, tied for sixth-most. They’ve allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw 21 total touchdowns, tied for third-most, while also having allowed four tight end touchdowns in their past three games. Seals-Jones is dominating the Cardinals’ snap share among the team’s tight ends with 71% of the total offensive snaps, while his snap share in Week 10 was behind only Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, and David Johnson. His nine total targets were the most among all Cardinals players.
Byron Leftwich took over offensive playcalling duties after a Week 7 loss, and Arizona’s first game coming off of a Week 9 bye could be an encouraging indicator for future tight end usage by the Cardinals. Seals-Jones looks to be a single-week stream for now, as upcoming matchups with the Chargers and Packers don’t bode well for tight end production.
Jonnu Smith – 1.4% Owned
Titans at Colts
Jonnu Smith returns with glory to The Primal Stream, having put together the TE6 performance in Week 10 with 13.5 fantasy points as a recommended stream. Smith’s athleticism was never in doubt, but his potential target volume has been. Smith put up a career-high 45 yards on three targets to go along with a touchdown, his second consecutive game with a score. Two of his four red zone targets have come in his last three games.
The Titans face the Colts this week, who are allowing an average of 69.3 yards per game to tight ends, which is nice, while their 14.4 fantasy points allowed to the position is tied for sixth-most. The Colts boast one of the better run defenses in the league, owning PFF’s ninth-best run defense grade at 84.4, while their 63.1 pass rushing grade ranks 27th, and their 70.2 coverage grade ranks 19th.
The Colts are averaging 28.9 points scored per game, sixth-most, and they are a formidable offense to face. For their part, the Titans defense is allowing the fewest points per game at 16.8, so this is a matchup of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. The matchup has an implied point total of 49.0, which forecasts a reasonably high-scoring game. This may well be Smith’s last week as a useable streaming option, with the Titans set to face a string of defenses from Week 12 onward who have limited tight end scoring.
Streaming Fantasy Defenses
Titans D/ST – 32.0% Owned
Titans at Colts
The Titans defense has scored 60 fantasy points through ten weeks, ranking them ninth overall. They’re coming off of an impressive performance against the Patriots in Week 10, putting up 8 fantasy points, tied for eighth-most for the week. They haven’t relied heavily on turnovers, as their nine total takeaways tie for fifth-fewest, but they’re allowing an average of just 16.8 points per game, fewest in the NFL, along with a total yards-per-game average of 328, sixth-fewest.
Their matchup with the Colts isn’t an easy one, as Indianapolis’ 3,418 total yards are the twelfth-most. They’re allowing an average of just 3.9 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses, and only two opposing D/STs have scored double against them. The Titans do match up well with the Colts’ greatest strength offensively, which is passing touchdowns to their tight ends. Andrew Luck has thrown 13 of his 26 touchdowns to his tight ends, while Tennessee has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game in the league to tight ends at 6.8. They have yet to allow a touchdown to a single tight end, and only one tight end has more than four catches or 40 yards against them.
The Titans could be a useful D/ST to hold on to in the coming weeks as well. After a matchup with the Texans in Week 12, they face two consecutive enticing matchups against the Jets and Jaguars in Weeks 12 and 13.
Saints D/ST – 17.3% Owned
Eagles at Saints
For the purposes of actual football, the Saints defense has been thoroughly disappointing in 2018. They’ve allowed the ninth-most yards per game at 376, tied for the fourth-most total touchdowns allowed at 28, while opposing quarterbacks are averaging 24.5 fantasy points per game, most among all teams. For fantasy purposes, however, they’ve been quite useful. Last week they scored 11 fantasy points, making them the sixth-best fantasy D/ST for Week 10.
The Saints defense also put up 11 fantasy points in Week 8, followed by a fantasy score of negative six against the offensively dominant Rams in Week 9. They draw the Eagles this week, and while it’s a reasonably challenging matchup, it’s not one to avoid entirely. The Eagles have allowed an average of 5.4 fantasy points to the D/STs they have gone up against, which is right at the league average. They’ve allowed at least four sacks in three of their past four games, while they’ve turned the ball over 13 times on the season, tied for seventh-most. The Saints have 10 total takeaways, but half of those have come in their past three games.
Streaming the Saints D/ST this week requires a bit of a leap of faith, but they could easily outscore a number of defenses that are more highly owned. They’re likely to be a one-week start, as they face a string of daunting offenses starting with Atlanta in Week 12, and their fantasy playoff schedule against the Buccanneers, Panthers, and Steelers is one to avoid like the bubonic plague.
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Thanks for reading
I’m just a guy who was born in Massachusetts and went to college in Minnesota (Macalester College) and moved to New York and then went to grad school in San Francisco (The American Conservatory Theater) before moving back to New York and finally to Los Angeles. I began playing fantasy football in a single league in 2001, which quickly grew into multiple leagues, and has continued into just about every form that fantasy football takes today (no developmental leagues yet). My strong opinions are loosely held, always trying to get better.