Fantasy Football Streaming
Welcome back to the Primal Stream, detailing fantasy football streaming options at Quarterback, Tight End, and Defense. Week 4 is the start of NFL Bye weeks, however, we’re being eased in the process slowly with just two teams off this week.
Week 4 Byes:
- Carolina Panthers
- Washington Redskins
Streaming Fantasy Quarterbacks
Eli Manning – 11.4% Owned
Saints at Giants
A quick glance at Eli Manning’s season-long stats will fail to inspire excitement. He’s thrown three total touchdowns, one interception has five total rushing yards, and sits at 24th among quarterbacks with 40.5 fantasy points. It’s unlikely that any of your league mates will be using their waiver priority (or spending FAAB), likely leaving him available as a free agent this week. A closer look reveals him to be an ideal streamer.
Manning has faced the Jaguars, Cowboys, and Texans so far, which is no cakewalk start to the season. The Jaguars and Cowboys currently rank 12th and 13th in PFF‘s overall defensive grading. Manning has earned an overall PFF grade of 80.2 through Week 3, ninth-best among quarterbacks, and his 297 yards passing and two touchdowns against Houston in Week 3 made him the QB11 in PPR leagues.
Manning now gets to face the New Orleans Saints defense, who’ve allowed 10 passing touchdowns (most in the league), 1,010 passing yards (third-most in the league), all while recording just a single interception. The Saints run defense, meanwhile, has allowed only 253 rushing yards, the sixth-fewest, with a PFF run defense grade of 82.9, #3 among all teams. Broncos running back Saquon Barkley’s 21 receptions on the season show him to be a legitimate receiving weapon out of the backfield, which can only help Manning’s outlook. The Saints also boast PFF’s second-highest graded passing offense, having scored eight passing touchdowns, while Drew Brees has yet to throw an interception. The Giants defense hasn’t shown anything that would indicate they can slow down the Saints offense, which should further push the Giants’ offensive attack toward the pass.
Two of the three quarterbacks to face the Saints – Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Ryan – have been the #1 and #2 fantasy quarterbacks for that week, and the other quarterback was the now-demoted Tyrod Taylor. It may feel strange to say, but Manning is a fairly safe bet for top-10 numbers in Week 4.
Case Keenum – 16.0% Owned
Chiefs at Broncos
Case Keenum has graded out with a 62.7 overall PFF grade through three weeks, 26th among quarterbacks. He hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 1, and he’s been picked off five times. He’ll almost certainly be available post-waivers in the majority of leagues. Keenum has also faced strong defenses in two of his first three weeks of the season, drawing Seattle in Week 1 and Baltimore in Week 3.
Keenum welcomes the Kansas City Chiefs to the high-altitude confines of Mile-High Stadium in Week 4, and it should be breath of fresh air. While they offer a serviceable run defense (69.6 grade via PFF, 19th out of 32 teams), their PFF coverage grade of 36.7 is second-worst, while their 32.2 PFF tackling grade is dead last. The Chiefs have allowed 8 passing touchdowns, tied for the second-most in the NFL, to go along with 1,088 passing yards, tied for the most in the league.
The Chiefs also offer one of the best offenses in the NFL, earning PFF’s third-highest overall offensive grade at 85.6, while quarterback Patrick Mahomes has thrown an absurd 13 touchdowns in three games without an interception. The Broncos will almost certainly be under pressure to try to match the Chief’s offensive output, and the opportunity should be available for Keenum to have his best performance so far this season.
Case Keenum was also featured in our week four Start’em Sit’em article.
Streaming Fantasy Tight Ends
Austin Hooper – 28.9% Owned
Bengals at Falcons
Through Week 3, Austin Hooper’s stats for the season don’t seem to separate him from the pack among tight ends. He has yet to exceed five receptions in a game, hasn’t yet amassed 60 yards in a game, and has just one touchdown on the season. His 13 total targets tie him for 18th among tight ends. That being said, Hooper is still a valuable streamer due to his high number of targets. Hooper has caught 11 of his targets, the third-highest percentage among 28 tight ends with at least 10 targets. Three of those targets have come in the red zone, tying him for fourth among all tight ends. Hooper has run a route on 90 snaps so far, tied for tenth among tight ends (per PFF), so his route volume has been there even though his target volume hasn’t yet.
That could change in Week 4, as the Falcons draw Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have a strong overall pass defense, having allowed the 13th-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, but they are averaging 18.5 fantasy points allowed to tight ends, fifth-most among all teams. Couple that with the fact that the Falcons have now lost cornerback Ricardo Allen for the season, after already having lost safety Keanu Neal and linebacker Deion Jones, which should make it a difficult task for the Falcons to slow down the Bengals offense. This could be a positive game script for the Falcon’s passing game, and a good matchup for Austin Hooper.
Mark Andrews – 1.4% Owned
Ravens at Steelers
Mark Andrews was one of my tight ends to stream in Week 3, and while he didn’t light the world on fire with 2 catches and 59 yards, his 7.9 PPR points were serviceable at the position. I’m revisiting the well here because Andrews’ ownership percentage has only risen by one percent since Week 2, while his usage by the Ravens has remained consistent. Andrews ran 48% of the total routes by the Ravens in Week 2, most among the Baltimore position group, followed by 45% in Week 3, again the most among Ravens tight ends.
The Ravens face the Steelers in Week 4, and Pittsburgh has been positively gashed by tight ends so far this season. They’ve allowed three touchdowns to tight ends, tied for the most in the league, they’ve given up 240 yards to the position, sixth-most, so they’re averaging 20.7 PPR fantasy points allowed to tight ends per game, second-most.
The Ravens are also playing in Pittsburgh, where Ben Roethlisberger performs remarkably better than he does on the road. While this won’t necessarily mean a wildly high-scoring game given the strength of the Ravens defense, it shouldn’t hurt the Ravens’ reliance on the passing game, where they’ve been far more successful than when running the ball. The Ravens have passed for 876 yards, ninth-most among all teams while rushing for only 260 yards, seventh-fewest.
Streaming Fantasy Defenses
Seahawks D/ST – 28.4% Owned
Seahawks at Cardinals
The Seattle Seahawks had a rather tumultuous off-season, losing the vast majority of the “Legion of Boom” defense while focusing on some young defensive talent in the 2018 draft. The expectations for the unit for fantasy purposes were tempered from years past, as they were the 19th defense off the board based on the ADP consensus in ESPN and Yahoo fantasy drafts.
Through three weeks, they are the 11th-highest scoring defense in fantasy. They have at least two interceptions in every game so far, and eight total sacks, tying them for the fifth-most. They haven’t really been tested yet in pass defense, as they have yet to face a quarterback in the top 20 in fantasy scoring. None of the offenses that Seattle has defended has had a passing grade ranked above 22nd. That won’t change this week.
The Seahawks face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4, who possess PFF’s lowest overall offensive grade (48.5), lowest-graded passing offense (37.8), and lowest-graded pass blocking offensive line (42.5). Seattle did make the change this week from an under-performing Sam Bradford to promising rookie Josh Rosen, but a rookie quarterback in his first career start remains an enticing target. Defenses going up against the Cardinals have averaged 12.7 points per week, the most in the NFL.
Lions D/ST – 9.9% Owned
Lions at Cowboys
The Detroit Lions opened 2018 in disastrous fashion, losing 48-17 to the Jets, sending many fantasy owners of their defense running for the hills. Somewhat lost in the result is that the Lions still salvaged a nine-point fantasy output in Week 1, due to a defensive touchdown on a pick-six.
The Lions followed up with a six-sack effort in Week 2 that resulted in a loss, Detroit followed up with an impressive Week 3 win against the Patriots, holding them to 10 points, with two sacks and an interception. Week 1 is beginning to look like more of an aberration than an indicator of a poor defensive season to come, and now the Lions visit the Cowboys in Week 4.
The Cowboys are allowing opposing defenses to average 9.7 points per week, fifth-most, as they lack both effective and experienced options in their receiving corps, grading out to a 64.0 receiving grade per PFF, 25th among 32 teams. The return of Darius Slay against the Patriots was a huge boost to the Lions defense, as he was the highest graded defensive player in that game with an overall defensive game grade of 81.9.
Other Artiles You Might Like
- Thursday Night Football Preview: Vikings at Rams
- 7 Players to Consider in FanDuel Cash Games Week 4
- Fantasy Football Rankings Week 4
- The FFFunhouse Podcast: Week 4 Trend Spotting
- Start’em Sit’em Week 4
- NFL Power Rankings Week 4
- Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 4
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.