Fantasy Football Streaming Week 3
While not quite as pronounced as the first week of the NFL season, the Year of the Injury continues to march on, as fantasy footballers lost guys like Greg Olsen and Corey Coleman for an extended period of time in Week 2. Olsen in particular is noteworthy for streaming purposes, as owners will be scrambling for a replacement at what is typically a single-starter position, and hard-core streamers will give consideration to Ed Dickson, the presumed tight end replacement for the Panthers.
While Dickson isn’t one of my favorite streaming options for Week 3, I have several targets for those of you scouring the waiver wire for lesser-owned tight ends, quarterbacks, and defenses. As always, ownership percentages noted are representative of ESPN standard leagues.
Ownership Percentage: 11.7%Watson made his first career start in Week 2, completing 15-of-24 passes for 125 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. While that isn’t a particularly exciting stat-line, the rookie added 67 yards on the ground and scored on a long touchdown run in a low-scoring Thursday night victory over the Bengals. It’s worth noting that Watson had a short week to prepare for his inaugural NFL start due to the Thursday schedule, and he subsequently gets a full 10 days to prepare for his second game under center for the Texans. While he will face a much tougher test in terms of the overall quality of his opponent when Houston travels to Foxborough to play the Patriots on Sunday, the matchup is actually a much better one for Watson’s fantasy prospects. New England has given up at least 350 yards passing and two touchdowns through the air in each of the first two weeks of the season, and has been particularly susceptible to big plays. While Watson is no Drew Brees (the Patriots’ opponent last week), this is the same defense that was carved up by Alex Smith in Week 1. With New England a league-high 13-point favorite this week, game flow should also favor the accumulation of passing stats for Watson in this matchup.
Ownership Percentage: 4.1%
The Dolphins 2017 season got off to a late start after Hurricane Irma forced the NFL to postpone Miami’s Week 1 contest with the Buccaneers. But the delay seemed to suit Cutler just fine, as the Dolphins’ new quarterback looked extremely comfortable in his return to an Adam Gase offense. Cutler completed 24-of-33 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown, consistently taking what the defense gave him and not falling into his old habits of forcing the ball into tight coverage. For his first road start with the Dolphins, Cutler travels to New York to take on a Jets defense that is just one off the league lead in passing touchdowns allowed this season. The Jets have generated little pressure on the quarterback through two weeks, with just two total sacks to show for their efforts. Comfortable in the pocket, Cutler should be able to utilize Jarvis Landry and Julius Thomas on short routes, while hitting the occasional big play to weapons like DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills. He’s a sneaky-good streaming option at quarterback this week.
Ownership Percentage: 1.4%
After a forgettable debut with the Ravens, in which he saw just one target and failed to make a catch, Watson snagged all eight of the passes thrown his way in Week 2, accumulating 91 receiving yards in the process. It’s a bit of a sad commentary on the Baltimore passing game that Watson now leads the team in receiving and is tied with Jeremy Maclin for the most targets, but Joe Flacco has been ramping up his activity after a back injury plagued him during the preseason. Following a Week 1 effort that saw the Ravens pass the ball just 17 times, Flacco doubled those attempts this past Sunday and remains tied to an offense that likes to air it out, particularly to its tight ends. Dennis Pitta led all NFL tight ends with 86 receptions in 2016 and a healthy Watson (even at 36 years old) is the most likely candidate to continue to fill that role for this year’s Ravens. A matchup with a Jacksonville defense that has already allowed 12 catches, 151 yards, and a touchdown to the tight end position over the first two games of the season furthers Watson’s streaming appeal.
Ownership Percentage: 0.8%
Seferian-Jenkins was reinstated by the NFL on Monday after serving a two-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. But before his temporary leave of absence, the first-year Jet drew rave reviews in training camp and flashed during the preseason some of the skills that made him a second-round NFL draft pick just three years ago. It’s hard to get too excited about any of New York’s skill position players right now, but the team is likely to be forced into passing situations thanks to its terrible defense and ineffective run game, and Seferian-Jenkins doesn’t exactly have a lot of quality players standing between him a potentially-significant target volume. At 6’5” and 262 pounds, the athletic big man should be able to create matchup problems (particularly in the redzone) for a Miami defense that just allowed 10 catches, 101 receiving yards, and a touchdown to Chargers tight ends in Week 2. That performance has the Dolphins allowing the most average fantasy points per game to the position on the young season.
Ownership Percentage: 12.8%
The Eagles defense has been erratic to start the 2017 season, opening the year with an impressive performance against Washington (11 points allowed, four turnovers, and a touchdown) only to come crashing down last week versus Kansas City (27 points allowed, no turnovers). But to be fair, the Chiefs are looking like an improbable offensive juggernaut this season and they are always tough to go against at home. And Philadelphia can at least take solace in the fact that they continue to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, recording four sacks in each of the first two games of the year. This is likely to be problematic for this week’s opponent, the Giants, since New York’s offensive line (particularly left tackle Ereck Flowers) looked like a turnstile on Monday night against the Lions. The Giants offense is a mess right now, scoring just 12 points in two games, and Philadelphia should be able to pressure Eli Manning into several sacks and potentially multiple turnovers.
Ownership Percentage: 6.4%
A date with the Seahawks might not immediately strike you as a favorable fantasy matchup for Tennessee, but consider that Seattle has been arguably one of the NFL’s worst offenses thus far in 2017, averaging just 268.5 yards per game and finding the endzone only once in two games. Russell Wilson is running for his life behind an offensive line that has allowed 16 hits on the quarterback, tied for fifth-most in the league, and Seattle couldn’t even get things going at home last week against the 49ers. The Seahawks are notoriously worse away from the friendly-confines of the Pacific Northwest, averaging 28.3 points and 380.5 yards with seven turnovers at home during the regular season in 2016 compared to 11.8 points and 257.5 yards with 11 turnovers on the road. Coming off a three-turnover, two-sack performance against the Jaguars last week, Tennessee’s defense is poised for another strong fantasy outing against the struggling Seahawks.
Self-described fantasy degenerate that has been participating in fantasy sports leagues since the spiral notebook scoring era. If you can make a fantasy league out of it, I’m in.