Fantasy Football Streaming
The Primal Stream is back, looking at streaming options at Quarterback, Tight End, and Defense for Week 3.
Streaming Fantasy Quarterbacks
Tyrod Taylor – 39.1% Owned
Jets at Browns
After intercepting five passes in Week 1, the Jets came back to earth a bit defensively, with no interceptions of Ryan Tannehill in Week 2. After posting an 86.9 team coverage grade in Week 1 (per PFF), the Jets followed up with a 52.9 team coverage grade in Week 2. What’s most notable are the 44 rushing yards allowed on eight attempts by Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill does have some mobility, but nothing close to the skill-set that Tyrod Taylor possesses. Taylor led the league in rushing yards by a quarterback in 2016, and followed that up with a third-place finish in quarterback rushing yards in 2017.
As a passer, Taylor has yet to throw for more than 246 yards, but he’s thrown zero interceptions to go along with his two touchdowns, while his rushing totals raise his scoring floor considerably. He finished as QB6 in Week 1, due primarily to his 77 rushing yards to go along with a rushing touchdown. His ball security is an established skill, as his four total interceptions in 2017 were the fewest among any quarterback with at least 500 dropbacks, per PFF.
Andy Dalton – 22.2% Owned
Bengals at Panthers
Where’s the love for Andy Dalton? He’s currently the QB9 in fantasy, and he just torched the Baltimore Ravens defense for 265 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Ravens earned PFF’s ninth-best overall grade defensively last season at 84.8, and graded out to 86.2 defensively in Week 1.
He’s about to face the Carolina Panthers, whose PFF 62.3 overall defensive grade ranks 26th in this young season. They haven’t consistently generated much of a pass rush, and while Kawann Short’s pass rushing productivity grade of 10.7 is ninth among all defenders, the Panthers don’t have another defender in the top 30. Meanwhile, Andy Dalton’s 83.0 accuracy percentage from a clean pocket is ninth among quarterbacks.
If he keeps playing at the level he’s established through the first two weeks, his ownership percentage should absolutely spike. He’s in a good spot for a stream this week, and next week he’s set to face an Atlanta defense that’s missing their #1 safety and #1 linebacker.
Streaming Fantasy Tight Ends
Will Dissly – 30.2% Owned
Cowboys at Seahawks
Will Dissly entered this season with very little hype, and he was completely off-the-radar among even most fantasy analysts. He’s currently the TE3 in PPR leagues, while his receiving grade via PFF of 84.0 is #4 among tight ends. Dissly’s 10 targets are the 12th-most among tight ends, and he’s been quite efficient as well, as shown by his 2.83 yards per route run, sixth among tight ends.
In Week 3, he’ll be facing a Cowboys defense that has ceded 109 yards and a touchdown to tight ends so far in 2018. Dissly may not be an athletic marvel, but he’s performed where it counts: in the red zone. His 15.7 PPR fantasy points on red zone targets are the most among tight ends, and both of his touchdowns have come from targets inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
It appears as though Dissly has built a rapport with Russell Wilson, and he’s an enticing red zone target at 6’4″. Its too soon to drop a tight end with an established track record of success for him, but it’s wheels up for streaming him this week, and he’ll face a struggling Arizona Cardinals defense in Week 4.
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Mark Andrews – 0.6% Owned
Broncos at Ravens
It’s a crowded TE corps in Baltimore, but looking at his usage so far, Mark Andrews is the Ravens TE to own. The Ravens selected Andrews in the third round of the 2018 draft, after using their first-round selection on tight end Hayden Hurst.
Hurst is currently sidelined with a foot injury, and Andrews is taking advantage of his opportunity. Andrews projected primarily as a receiving tight end coming out of the draft, and his 108.5, 83rd-percentile speed score (via playerprofiler.com) to go along with his 80th-percentile 15.5 college yards per reception indicate that he’s athletically suited for his current level of production.
Andrews faces a Denver Broncos defense that has allowed 170 yards and a touchdown to tight ends so far this season, and he should match up particularly well against Broncos safety Will Parks, whose 1.04 yards allowed per snap is the 11th-most among safeties with at least 20 snaps in coverage, per PFF.
Streaming Fantasy Defenses
Cleveland Browns – 30.6% Owned
Jets at Browns
The Cleveland Browns defense is off to a strong start for fantasy purposes, and the 20 fantasy points scored by the unit is the sixth-most. They’re currently tied with the Minnesota Vikings for fantasy purposes. This doesn’t mean they’re playing at the same level for real-football purposes, and this is reflected in PFF’s analytics, as the Vikings are the 14th ranked overall defense at 70.3, while the Browns are 25th at 62.9.
As fantasy football players, we are often real-football agnostic. In this case, the Browns scoring is tied closely to their ability to force fumbles and intercept passes, leading the league with eight takeaways. Browns newcomer Damarious Randall and rookie Denzel Ward already have three interceptions between them, while sophomore standout Myles Garrett has two forced fumbles and two sacks.
Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold is off to a strong start for the Jets, but as is the case with even the best rookie quarterbacks, he’s been interception-prone. Overall, the Jets’ five turnovers are the second-most in the league, making this a defensive matchup to target.
Dallas Cowboys – 18.1% Owned
Cowboys at Seahawks
The Cowboys defense is actually just ahead of the Browns in fantasy at fifth overall, with 21 fantasy points. They’ve gone about scoring in a different way, relying on sacks instead of turnovers. They’ve forced two fumbles so far, and have yet to intercept a pass, but they’ve produced 9 sacks in two games.
Their sacks are spread across edge rushers, defensive tackles, linebackers, and safeties, which potentially is a welcome change from 2017, when 65% of the team’s sacks came from the efforts of Demarcus Lawrence alone.
On the other side of the ball in Week 3, the Seattle Seahawks have allowed a league-leading 12 sacks along with 5 giveaways. Russell Wilson has been the second-most frequently pressured quarterback so far in 2018, with 33 pressured dropbacks, via PFF. Last season, Wilson was by far the most pressured quarterback, and his 271 pressured dropbacks were 41 more than next-most pressured quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Speaking of the Lions’ quarterback, The Seahawks defense should also be a useful streaming unit in Week 4 with their matchup with Detroit. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is the sixth-most frequently pressured passer so far this season.
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.