Week 1 Streaming QBs and TEs

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Week 1 Streaming QBs and TEs

You’re not playing fantasy football right if you’re not streaming in any of your leagues. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, streaming is the act of rotating starters at a position and playing someone off the waiver wire based on a favorable matchup and/or increased opportunities. There’s a good chance you should be streaming at least one of your positions each week unless you drafted the perfect team this summer — there’s a chance you did since you subscribed to this site!

I’m almost always streaming defenses in all my leagues during the season so I highly encourage you to check out Justin Varnes’ weekly streaming defenses piece. I’m also not afraid to stream at the typical one-starter skill positions like quarterback and tight end. Every week in this space, I’ll take a look at some lesser-owned players you might want to start based on a matchup, increased opportunities, and/or other factors that might boost their value in a given week. I’ll also highlight some typical weekly starters that you might want to shy away from because of a tougher matchup, an injury, and/or playing time issues.

Important note…

These are not strict Start/Sit recommendations. This article is meant to give you players who are widely available and are looking better than usual this week. Conversely, I’ll also give you players who are widely owned and are looking a little worse than usual this week. Also, ownership percentages for the streaming options are from Yahoo leagues.

Quarterback Streamers

Players to consider benching this week

On bye: None.

In danger of missing: None.

In tough matchups: Daniel Jones (vs. Pit, 14.7 FPG allowed in ’19), Matthew Stafford (vs. Chi, 14.8 FPG allowed), Baker Mayfield (@Bal, 13.1 FP allowed), Kyler Murray (@SF, 16.3 FPG allowed)

Top options if they’re available…

Jared Goff (vs. Dal, 68%) and Ben Roethlisberger (@NYG, 83%)

Players to consider streaming the next couple weeks

Jimmy Garoppolo (vs. Ari, @NYJ, @NYG — 51%) — Jimmy G is set up to get off to a fast start this season with three juicy matchups to start the year against the Cardinals, the Jets, and the Giants. The 49ers have an implied team total sitting at 27.25 points this week against a 49ers defense that Jimmy G lit up for 741 passing yards and eight touchdowns last season, which accounted for 18.6% of his passing yards and 29.6% of his passing TDs last season. Garoppolo could be a little undermanned this week if Deebo Samuel (Jones fracture) isn’t quite ready to play, but George Kittle has the top TE matchup of the week against a Cardinals defense that allowed the most FPG to TEs (19.39) last season. The Cardinals did draft S/LB Isaiah Simmons in the top-10 of last April’s draft, but he’ll have a brutal first assignment trying to slow down Kittle. Garoppolo may not see volume this week if the 49ers jump out to a big lead as seven-point home favorites, but it’s not a big enough concern to scare me away from Jimmy G this week.

Tyrod Taylor (@Cin, vs. KC, vs. Car — 8%) — Taylor is so far ahead of rookie Justin Herbert heading into Week 1 that there’s a chance Taylor could hold onto the starting gig for most of the season. The Chargers aren’t going to throw Herbert into the fire until he’s ready and the Chargers aren’t going to pull Taylor from the lineup until they’re out of the playoff mix. Tyrod has the chance to build some early momentum with a juicy opening stretch of games, including a beautiful spot against the Bengals in Week 1. Taylor averaged 6.4 carries per game in his 47 games with at least 14 pass attempts in 2015-18, and the Bengals allowed the most QB rushing yards per game last season at 30.6. The Bengals allowed the second-most yards per play (6.1) last season, which bodes well for an offense that may be without perimeter WR Mike Williams in the season opener. Taylor is unlikely to finish among the top QB scorers in Week 1, but he should provide a high floor if you’re looking for a safe QB option.

Players to consider streaming this week

Mitchell Trubisky (@Det, 3%) — The Bears named Trubisky the starter at the end of training camp, and he gets a matchup he loves right out of the gates. He’s 3-0 against the Bears over the last two seasons, and he’s averaged 288.0 passing yards per game in those contests with exactly three TD passes in each game with just one INT overall. I also think HC Matt Nagy could be a little more aggressive running Trubisky out of the gates since he now has Nick Foles insurance behind Mitch. Nagy tried to make Trubisky a pocket player early last season with just five carries in his first five appearances in 2019, but the fourth-year quarterback averaged 4.2 carries and 17.3 rushing yards per game in his final 10 contests last year. The Bears may have to be a little more creative with Trubisky running the rock this week too since lead runner David Montgomery may not be at 100% for this week’s matchup. I am slightly worried that Nagy could have a quick hook if Trubisky struggles, but Trubisky is a risky play no matter what this week. He’s the ultimate boom-or-bust option against the Lions, and I’d have at least a small amount of exposure to him in DFS.

Gardner Minshew (vs. Ind, 27%) — The last time we saw Minshew he was busy shredding the Colts defense in a 38-20 season-finale beatdown in 2019. The Jock Strap King completed 27/39 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns in his only appearance against the Colts last season, which did have some players sitting out on both teams. Minshew was a fringe QB1 option during the first nine weeks of last season until Nick Foles returned to the lineup in Week 10. He averaged 24.6 rushing yards per game because of his scrambling ability, and the rock could be in his hands more than usual right out of the gates. The Jaguars cut Leonard Fournette last week and they currently have UDFA James Robinson at the top of the RB depth chart. Jacksonville’s rushing attack could struggle out of the gates, and Minshew was already expected to be active with the Jaguars potentially chasing points as eight-point home underdogs.

Teddy Bridgewater (vs. LV, 23%) — Bridgewater gets a friendly first matchup against a Raiders defense that allowed the fifth-most FPG (21.01) to opposing signal-callers last season. Las Vegas did make some moves to improve their defense this off-season, but it’s still an exploitable group and first-round CB Damon Arnette (thumb) is up in the air for the season opener. Bridgewater has never been one to test defenses deep, but he has a pair of after-the-catch beasts in Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore and potentially a third in Curtis Samuel. Bridgewater has some downside if this Panthers offense isn’t in sync just yet in Joe Brady’s new system, but the Panthers defense could have Bridgewater chasing points in a game totaled at 47.5 points with the Panthers entering as 3.5-point underdogs.

Tight End Streamers

Players to consider benching this week

On bye: None

In danger of missing: None

In tough matchups: Austin Hooper (@Bal, 8.0 FPG allowed in ’19) Mike Gesicki (@NE, 10.9 FPG allowed), Rob Gronkowski (@NO, 11.3 FPG allowed)

Top options if they’re available…

Noah Fant (vs. Ten, 81%)

A player to consider streaming the next couple weeks

Chris Herndon (@Buf, vs. SF, @Ind — 55%) — I’m not endorsing Herndon as a top-end play the next couple of weeks, and it’s actually quite the opposite with matchups against the Bills and the 49ers looming to start the season. The Bills (9.3) and the 49ers (9.8) were two of just six teams to allow fewer than 10 FPG to TEs last season. I’m including Herndon on this week’s list because I think he should be owned in just about every format heading into the season opener. Top perimeter and downfield threat Breshad Perriman is already dealing with swelling in his knee, and the Jets could be forced to start Chris Hogan in the opener. Herndon has a clear path to challenging Jamison Crowder for the largest target share in this passing attack, and it doesn’t hurt that Herndon and Sam Darnold had a strong connection as rookies. Herndon could see enough volume this week to offset the tough matchup against the Bills.

Jonnu Smith (@Den, vs. Jax — 56%) — I didn’t end up drafting Smith too much this summer, but he’s certainly a skilled enough player to break out this season. Smith finished behind only Noah Fant in average yards after the catch (8.4) for the position last season, and Bill Belichick even called Smith the best tight end after the catch before their playoff game last season. The problem is Smith saw just 3.6 targets per game with Ryan Tannehill last season. OC Arthur Smith should ramp up the creativity to get Jonnu more involved this season, and perhaps it will happen against a Broncos defense that allowed the 12th-most FPG to TEs (12.8) last season.

Players to consider streaming this week

Dallas Goedert (@Was, 57%) — The Eagles spent the off-season bolstering their WR corps, but it looks like Carson Wentz will be leaning heavily on his tight ends once again in the season opener. Rookie Jalen Reagor (shoulder) is at least a week away from playing while Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc) appears to be even farther away from joining the lineup. That means we’re going to see Zach Ertz and Goedert on the field a ton again in passing situations. The Football Team allowed the fifth-most FPG (14.2) to TEs last season, and Goedert posted 5/55 receiving on six targets against Washington in Week 15 last season.

Jack Doyle (@Jax, 28%) — Doyle isn’t a sexy option this week, but he’s a good bet to provide a solid fantasy floor against a Jaguars defense that allowed 11.8 FPG to the position (20th-most) last season. Doyle doesn’t have much competition for targets at tight end right out of the gates this season after Eric Ebron bolted for Pittsburgh while his replacement Trey Burton landed on the injured reserve with a calf injury to start the season. Doyle actually tied for the team lead with 72 targets last season, but the Colts WR corps should be in better shape this season with youngsters Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman in the fold. However, it could take a couple of weeks for Campbell and Pittman to take on big roles after Campbell suffered a concussion in August and with Pittman having an up-and-down rookie training camp. Doyle is a safe option in PPR formats if you’re looking for your TE not to crush your lineup this week.

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.

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