Fantasy Football Streaming
The Primal Stream is back after it, bringing you fantasy football streaming options at quarterback, tight end, and defense.
Week 6 is the final week with only two teams on a bye until Week 12, so bask in the quality options out there this week, because the player pool gets smaller from here on out. Streaming a player for at least one of these positions will soon be essential for most teams, so getting a head-start on your league-mates is key.
This week’s byes take out two high-end starters at quarterback in Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford, while leaving that fantasy talent pool at tight end and D/ST more or less intact.
Week 5 Byes:
- Chicago Bears
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
These suggested players work off my NFL picks for the upcoming week. If you’re looking for some sleepers or underdogs use Draftkings sportsbook promo code to signup and win big.
Streaming Fantasy Quarterbacks
Baker Mayfield – 39.6% Owned
Chargers at Browns
From the moment Tyrod Taylor was knocked from the Browns’ Week 3 game against the Jets, Baker Mayfield has proven himself to be a high-end starter at quarterback. He has by far the highest mark among rookie quarterbacks with a PFF overall grade of 89.9, but that grade also places him eighth among all quarterbacks (albeit with two fewer games than most). Mayfield has yet to finish as a top twelve fantasy option for the week, but that could change in Week 6.
The Browns face the Chargers, and while the Chargers entered the season with high expectations for their defense, they’ve fallen a bit short of them through a combination of injury and underperformance. They’ve allowed 1,351 passing yards through five games, 13th-most, along with 11 touchdowns, tied for third-most. Quarterbacks facing the Chargers are averaging 19.6 fantasy points, which is the tenth-highest average among fantasy defenses.
Last week, Mayfield faced Baltimore’s defense, owner’s of PFF’s third-highest coverage grade at 84.4. He had his best game so far this season, throwing for 342 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Mayfield’s fantasy point total has risen in each game this season, and a home game versus the Chargers should allow that trend to continue. Mayfield could also be a valuable addition over the next few weeks, as he faces a string of the most quarterback-friendly defenses through his Week 11 bye, with an especially enticing matchup next week against the Buccaneers.
Jameis Winston – 33.3% Owned
Buccaneers at Falcons
Jameis Winston’s availability on the waiver wire is the result of a three-game suspension, followed by an uninspiring Week 5 second-half performance against an excellent Bears defense, followed by a Week 5 bye. Don’t let recency bias keep you away from Winston’s extremely high upside; he makes his first 2018 start with one of the best groups of receivers in the league, a group that allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw for 1,356 yards and 11 touchdowns through four weeks.
The Buccaneers draw a Falcons defense that has been ravaged by injury and is now among the most forgiving in the league to quarterbacks. Over the past four games, every single quarterback to face Atlanta has thrown 3 touchdowns, while they’ve averaged 330 yards passing. Through five weeks, the Falcons have generated only five total turnovers, allowing an eighth-worst 102.4 passer rating on average.
Winston’s aforementioned receiving corps consists of Desean Jackson (90.7 PFF receiving grade, #1), Mike Evans (85.0 PFF receiving grade, #6), and Chris Godwin (82.8 receiving grade, #10). He’ll also have tight end Cameron Brate to target, who managed to grade out with PFF’s 11th-best receiving grade catching passes from Winston in 2017. The Buccaneers match up with the Browns in Week 7, which makes Winston more of a one-week streaming target.
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Streaming Fantasy Tight Ends
Cameron Brate – 29.4% Owned
Buccaneers at Falcons
Cameron Brate got off to a slow start this season, seeing only 38 of a team total 124 snaps through Week 2, which was 31% of snaps to O.J. Howard’s 72%, and Brate receiving zero targets. Brate finally showed up in the box score in Week 3, with three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown, while seeing an increase in his snap percentage. O.J. Howard left the Buccaneers Week 4 game with a knee injury, and Brate took over, with 56% of the team’s snaps at tight end for the game, scoring a second touchdown to go along with another three catches for 29 yards.
With Jameis Winston starting, Brate’s upside only increases. Brate has put up superior numbers with Winston throwing him the ball; in the three-game stretch that Winston missed in 2017, Brate averaged under three targets and 9.3 total yards without a score, while averaging over 5 targets, 43 yards, and scoring 6 touchdowns with Winston.
O.J. Howard returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday, but with a 2-4 week recovery estimate for his MCL sprain, he appears unlikely to play. Brate should lead the Buccaneers tight ends in snaps on Sunday. Tampa Bay’s defense will have its own problems slowing down the Falcons’ prolific offense, as they’re allowing the most points scored per game in the entire league, making for a matchup that projects as the second-highest scoring game of week 6 with a 57.5 implied point total between the two teams. O.J. Howard is likely to return in Week 7, but with tight-end-friendly matchups with the Browns and Bengals coming up, Brate could continue to prove useful at a position severely lacking in depth this season.
Niles Paul – 2.1% Owned
Jaguars at Cowboys
There’s no sugarcoating this one; prior to Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ injury last week that saw a large spike in Niles Paul’s snaps, Paul hadn’t passed 32 receiving yards since 2014. He missed the 2015 season with a broken ankle, and spent the second half of 2016 on injured reserve. He was third on the depth chart behind Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis in 2017, before signing with Jacksonville in free agency in the offseason.
Paul made the most of his playing time in Week 5, catching seven passes for 65 yards, and there is reason to believe that he can continue to do so. It’s been eight years since Paul was drafted, but his athletic measurables remain impressive. Via playerprofiler.com, his 4.51 40-yard dash was in the 97th percentile, his 111.3-speed score was 88th percentile, and his 11.04 agility score was 96th percentile. He’s only 29, and could be seeing his best opportunity to translate his athleticism into fantasy production.
Paul goes up against the Cowboys defense, who hasn’t been a sieve against the tight end, but more middle-of-the-road. They’ve allowed 12.2 fantasy points per game on average versus tight ends, and while Paul is likely to share snaps with James O’Shaughnessy, Paul out-targeted him nine to six last Sunday. The Jaguars go on to face the Cowboys in Week 7, who’ve allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends, making Paul a potential two-week streamer.
Streaming Fantasy Defenses
Dolphins D/ST – 16.7% Owned
Bears at Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins faced a Bengals offense averaging 30 points per game in Week 5 and came away with 13 fantasy points, fifth among defenses. Their 38 fantasy points for the season is tied for fifth in the league, while the 11 turnovers forced by the unit is tied for second among all teams.
The Bears enter Week 6 coming off of their best offensive output of the season in Week 4, but I hesitate to weigh that performance too heavily, given that it was against the Buccaneers, who are allowing the most points per game in the NFL. The Bears offense has 1,364 total yards, third-fewest (though an early Week 5 bye obviously figures into this total). In the two weeks prior to the Bears’ Week 4 Buccaneers matchup and Week 5 bye, both the Seahawks and Cardinals managed top-12 fantasy finishes.
In what projects to be a low-scoring game, the Dolphins have a good shot to return streaming value this week, but a looming game against the Lions in Week 7 make them a likely one-week wonder.
Steelers D/ST – 14.5% Owned
Steelers at Bengals
The Steelers defense is tied with the Dolphins for fifth in the league with 38 total fantasy points for the season. The Steelers D/ST scored 17 points last week, tied for second among defenses, which is especially notable given the challenging matchup with the Falcons passing offense.
The Steelers’ 8 turnovers forced ties them for fifth-most, which is what they rely on for fantasy scoring purposes, as they’re far from a shut-down unit. They’ve allowed 13 touchdown passes, tied for the most among all teams, along with 1,481 passing yards, third-most. Andy Dalton has been turnover-prone this season, throwing seven interceptions so far.
Historical matchups have to be taken with a grain of salt given roster turnover year-to-year, but the Bengals have lost every one of their last five matchups with the Steelers over the past two seasons, having failed to surpass 20 points scored in any of those games. Streaming the Steelers in Week 6 is a one-and-done prospect, as they face their bye in Week 7, followed by challenging divisional matchups with the Browns and Ravens following their bye.
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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.