Fantasy Football Streaming
Welcome back to the Primal Stream, detailing fantasy football streaming options at Quarterback, Tight End, and Defense.
Week 5 is another week with only two teams on a bye, taking away a potentially strong quarterback option in Jameis Winston, a quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky coming off of a six-touchdown performance, two starting tight ends in Trey Burton and Cameron Brate, and the #1 scoring fantasy defense of the Chicago Bears.
Week 5 Byes:
- Chicago Bears
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Streaming Fantasy Quarterbacks
Blake Bortles – 19.8% Owned
Jaguars at Chiefs
Everything is coming up Bortles this week, and not just because The Good Place is back on the air. Through four weeks, Bortles 79.0 fantasy points place him 12th among quarterbacks, and yet he languishes on waivers in 80.2 percent of ESPN leagues. His season totals are a bit misleading, as per-game scoring has been a fantasy seesaw; his four games have seen him score 13.2 points, 32.5 points, 8.9 points, and 24.3 points. What makes me think Bortles can break his up-and-down pattern? I mean aside from the fact that it’s a meaningless pattern that has no predictive value?
Enter the Kansas City Chiefs! The Chiefs have allowed the 1,314 passing yards (second-most in the league), and 8 passing touchdowns (just eight teams have allowed more). Their 41.3 PFF coverage grade is the lowest in the NFL, while their 34.2 PFF tackling grade is second-lowest.
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has been ruled out for the game, which alone is likely to tilt the Jaguars’ offensive game script toward the pass. The juggernaut that is the Chiefs offense should continue to roll, further indicating a pass-heavy approach will be required from the Jaguars. Jacksonville faces the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6, so Bortles could be serviceable the following week as well.
Speaking of Bortles, how funny is this…
Dak Prescott – 28.8% Owned
Cowboys at Texans
Dak Prescott has had a rough start to the 2018 season. His 255 passing yards and 2 touchdowns last week resulted in 18.4 fantasy points, his highest mark of the season, though that point total was 17th among quarterbacks in Week 4. He hasn’t quite faced a defensive gauntlet in the first four weeks in the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks, and Lions, but he has yet to face a very forgiving defense. He finally does in Week 5 with a visit to Houston.
The Texans have allowed 1,229 passing yards, good for sixth-most, as well as 11 passing touchdowns, tied for third-most. Their 46.2 PFF coverage grade is second-worst, ahead of only the Chiefs, and their 50.7 PFF tackling grade ranks them 26th. In fact, their best PFF grade defensively is their run defense, with a 78.5 grade that ranks 10th.
That last grade is significant for a Cowboys team that not only has the third-most rushing yards, but is also the only team with total rushing yardage (581) that is within 100 yards of its total passing yardage (666). Prescott faces a defensive matchup that should lead the Cowboys into a pass-heavy approach, and his receiving corps should find themselves in welcoming matchups. The Cowboys face Jacksonville in Week 6, so Prescott is likely to be a one-week pickup.
Streaming Fantasy Tight Ends
Benjamin Watson – 35.3% Owned
Redskins at Saints
Tight end has become a very top-heavy and thin position in 2018, both from injuries to high-end players, as well as disappointing performances from the expected middle tier at the position. Ben Watson is 14th in yardage among all tight ends, with only 157 receiving yards, and he has yet to score a touchdown.
What is promising are Watson’s three red zone targets, two of which have come inside the opponent’s ten-yard line. The Redskins defense isn’t an easy matchup overall, as they come into Week 5 with the eighth-best PFF overall defensive grade at 75.8. The Redskins haven’t faced a team with the offensive weaponry that the Saints possess. The Saints have Michael Thomas, who has PFF’s fourth-highest receiving grade among wide receivers, to go along with Alvin Kamara, who has PFF’s fourth-highest receiving grade among running backs. Drew Brees checks in with the second-best passing grade.
The Redskins are likely to focus the majority of their defensive efforts on the Saint’s elite receiving options, which could make for some inviting coverage on Watson, particularly in the red zone. Drew Brees and his league-leading 75.8 completion percentage (per PFF) has the potential to turn around Watson’s fortunes in Week 5. The Saints have their bye in Week 6, followed by a matchup with the Ravens in Week 7, so Watson’s usefulness is likely to be one-and-done.
Tyler Kroft – 1.3% Owned
Dolphins at Bengals
It was awful to see Tyler Eifert carted off the field with a season-ending injury in Week 4. Eifert was faded by most this past offseason due to his extensive injury history, but his gruesome ankle injury wasn’t directly connected to any of his past injuries and was more a result of terrible luck. Be that as it may, this isn’t the first time Eifert has lost a season to injury, and it isn’t the first time the Bengals have moved on to the next man up, Tyler Kroft.
Kroft stepped up starting in Week 3 of 2017, and he would go on to score seven touchdowns on the season. He scored 44.8 points in the red zone last year, just behind Gronkowski’s 47.4, as all seven of his red zone receptions resulted in touchdowns.
Kroft faces a Dolphins defense in Week 5 that has yet to allow a tight end touchdown, and in the past two weeks they’ve held Jared Cook to 5 catches for 31 yards, and Rob Gronkowski to 5 catches for 40 yards. The Dolphins were afforded the luxury of extra defensive attention in both of these cases, as Cook is the Raiders’ leader in receiving yards, while Gronkowski has been the Patriots’ primary receiving target in the absence of Julian Edelman. Kroft is likely fourth in line for defensive attention behind A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and Giovani Bernard, and he should be an enticing red zone target for Andy Dalton. The Bengals face the Steelers, Chiefs, and Buccaneers in Weeks 6, 7, and 8, so grabbing Kroft now could pay dividends through Cincinnati’s Week 9 bye.
Streaming Fantasy Defenses
Jets D/ST – 27.2% Owned
Broncos at Jets
The Jets are currently the third-highest scoring defense in fantasy, but that isn’t reflected in their ownership percentage. That’s likely a result of the unit scoring less than half of its previous week’s fantasy points each week, declining from 25 points to 10, to four, to one.
They’ve done quite well in the turnover department with six interceptions and four fumbles forced, for 10 total takeaways that’s tied for third among defenses. They’ve also produced 10 sacks, and they’re blitzing at one of the highest rates in the league. They face a Denver offensive line that struggles in pass blocking, earning PFF’s seventh-worst pass blocking grade. Broncos quarterback Case Keenum has thrown six interceptions (at least one in every game), while all three of his total touchdowns came in Week 1.
The Jets go on to face the Colts and the Vikings in Weeks 6 and 7, so they’re likely to be a one-week stream.
Bills D/ST – 1.7% Owned
Titans at Bills
Somewhat lost in the Buffalo Bills’ 1-3 start has been the fact that the team fields a competent defense, with flashes of excellence. The Bills D/ST was the #1 scoring fantasy defense against the Vikings in Week 3, followed by a more subdued three-point performance against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 4.
The Bills face the Titans at home in Week 5, which shouldn’t be a matchup to shy away from. The Titans arrive having passed for only 813 yards, bottom-third in the league, while having amassed four total passing touchdowns, also bottom-third numbers. The Bills currently grade out with a very good 75.4 PFF coverage grade, eighth-best, and an above-average pass rushing grade of 68.9, ninth-best.
The Bills have only two interceptions so far, but given play-to-play performance, that number seems likely to positively regress. If you do stream this defense, it’s likely to be a single serving, as Buffalo faces the Texans and Colts in Weeks 6 and 7.
Thanks & Good Luck