Week 16 Streaming QBs and TEs


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Week 16 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. 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 are from Yahoo leagues.

Quarterback Streamers

Players to consider benching this week

In danger of missing: Derek Carr (groin), Matthew Stafford (ribs)

In tough matchups: Russell Wilson (vs. LAR, 14.5 FPG allowed), Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Ind, 17.7 FPG allowed)

Higher-owned options who might be available…

Kirk Cousins (@NO, 60%) — Cousins has cooled off a bit in the last two weeks, but he’s still been good for 18-23 FP in six of his last seven games — the outlier was a 27.2 FP performance against the Panthers in Week 12. Cousins has attempted 35+ passes in each of his last four games, and volume is typically half the battle when we start Cousins. He gets a tougher matchup against the Saints this week, but the stars are aligning for 35+ passes again this week. Dalvin Cook could be stifled a little more than usual against this nasty run defense and he could be operating in a negative game script as seven-point road underdogs. Cousins also has 3+ carries in four straight games for 97 yards to supplement his fantasy production.

Players to consider streaming this week

Jalen Hurts (@Dal, 39%) — Hurts is a mid-QB1 option at the worst this week with a golden matchup against the Cowboys looming, and he can still be added and played in quite a few leagues. At the very least, he should be added to block your league-mates from potentially playing him in the fantasy finals. Hurts has scored 20.3 FP against the Saints and 37.8 FP on the road against the Cardinals last week, and he gets his easiest matchup yet against the Cowboys. Dallas is in the midst of an easy slate of quarterback matchups since their Week 10 bye, but they got torched by Lamar Jackson’s running in Week 13 to the tune of 94/1 rushing and 26.7 FP. Hurts ranks behind just Lamar with 29.1 FPG over his first two games, and he should be good for another 10+ carries and 60+ rushing yards this week.

Baker Mayfield (@NYJ, 47%) — Baker has been humming over the last month since he got out of the awful conditions that plagued Cleveland’s games in Weeks 8-11. Mayfield is averaging 308.0 passing yards per game with 10 TDs and one INT in his last four games, and he’s been the QB5 in that span with 25.5 FPG. He’s also attempted 32+ passes in three straight games after failing to reach that mark in six straight games in Weeks 6-11. Cleveland’s rushing attack wasn’t nearly as good as we’ve seen without Wyatt Teller (calf) in the lineup last week so the Browns could skew a little more pass-heavy than usual once again since Kevin Stefanski classified Teller as a week-to-week before their showdown with the Giants. Early forecasts indicate that Mayfield and company should have good December conditions for this weekend after they got their taste of playing at MetLife Stadium last week. Mayfield is a low-end QB1 going against a Jets secondary that’s allowing 288.3 passing yards (3rd-most) and 2.1 passing TDs (2nd-most) per game.

Marcus Mariota (vs. Mia, 1%) — Derek Carr is a long shot to play in the final two weeks after it looked like a sniper shot him in the groin on the first drive of Week 15. Mariota stepped into the lineup and he gave the Raiders a chance to beat the Chargers, completing 17/28 passes for 226 yards (8.1 YPA), one TD, and one INT. He also added 9/88/1 rushing for 26.8 FP with HC Jon Gruden calling plays to take advantage of Mariota’s dual-threat ability. Gruden should aggressively use Mariota’s legs in a must-win game to keep Las Vegas’ slim playoff hopes alive, but Mariota does get a tough matchup with the Dolphins. The Raiders have scored 27+ points in six of their last seven games, and they’ve given up 30+ points in five straight games so the Raiders have the potential to turn this game into a shootout despite their opponent this week.

Mitchell Trubisky (@Jax, 12%) — The Bears offense is humming right now with 30+ points in three straight games, and they have a great chance to keep it going this week against a Jaguars defense that’s given up 27+ points in 12 of their last 13 games since they beat the Colts in the season opener. The worry with using Trubisky this week is that David Montgomery could dominate the work after seeing 32 carries against the Vikings last week. Trubisky attempted just 21 passes in their victory in Week 15, which limited him to 202 yards (9.6 YPA) and one touchdown but he at least added 34 rushing yards. Trubisky, who is now 5-2 as a starter this season, will get the second-best fantasy matchup in the league against the Jaguars, who have allowed multiple passing TDs in eight straight games.

Tight End Streamers

Players to consider benching this week

In danger of missing: Mike Gesicki (shoulder), George Kittle (foot)

Higher-owned options who might be available…

Logan Thomas (vs. Car, 63%) — Thomas is hitting his stride in the final weeks of the season with Antonio Gibson (toe) out of the lineup and with Terry McLaurin hitting a bit of a rough patch. Thomas has reached double-digit FP in each of his last four games for 71.6 FP overall, which ranks behind only Travis Kelce (95.8 FP) and Darren Waller (94.2) at the position in that span. He got it done with Dwayne Haskins last week, too, with 13/101 receiving on 15 targets so he can be trusted with both Alex Smith and Haskins this week. The Panthers have given up double-digit FP to a TE in nine straight games so fire up Thomas with some confidence this week.

Austin Hooper (@NYJ, 48%) — Hooper has been a disappointment in his first season with the Browns, but he has a chance to end his 2020 on a high note after posting a season-high 15.1 FP last week with 5/41/1 receiving on six targets. He also ran routes on a promising 71.4% of Baker Mayfield’s dropbacks (25 of 35) last week so he has the chance to keep his momentum going against a bad Jets defense. New York is giving up league-highs in receiving yards per game (66.1) and touchdowns (13) to tight ends after Tyler Higbee beat them for 4/67/1 receiving last week.

Players to consider streaming this week

Irv Smith (@NO, 20%) — I consider Smith as a low-end TE1 option anytime Kyle Rudolph is out of the lineup, and there’s a solid chance the veteran TE will miss again this week. Rudolph didn’t come close to playing last week, the Vikings are on short rest in Week 16, and Minnesota doesn’t have anything to play for after the Bears eliminated them from playoff contention last week. ISJ had a game of what-ifs in Week 15 as he dropped an easy touchdown before he watched Tyler Conklin score a touchdown later in the game. He still posted a decent 3/37 receiving on four targets while running a route 85.4% of Kirk Cousins’ dropbacks (35 of 41). Smith does get a tough matchup with the Saints this week, but Dallas Goedert managed 4/43 receiving on six targets against New Orleans two weeks ago.

Cole Kmet (@Jax, 12%) — Kmet has ascended quickly for the Bears, and he’s officially an every-down player after playing every snap against the Vikings last week. Unfortunately, it didn’t translate into fantasy production with Mitchell Trubisky attempting just 21 passes. The rookie still ran a route on 76.9% of Mitch’s dropbacks (20 of 26), but he turned his two targets (9.5% share) into just 12 yards. I’m slightly worried about a lack of passing volume again this week with the Bears entering as 7.5-point road favorites, but the Jaguars have been a defense to pick on all year with tight ends. Jacksonville is giving up the second-most TDs per game to TEs (.8) this season after Mark Andrews got them for 5/66/1 receiving last week.

Dan Arnold (vs. SF, 2%) — Arnold is a player who can be picked up in just about every league, and he’s not a terrible dart throw against the 49ers this week. He’s scored four touchdowns in his last five games, and he’s coming off a season-high five targets (13.9% share) in Week 15, which he turned into 3/54 receiving. Maxx Williams also left Week 15 early with an ankle injury, which means Arnold snaps could see an uptick this week after he barely led the Cardinals TEs with a 38% snap share. Arnold has turned in 7+ FP in five of his last six games while the 49ers have allowed 9+ FP to TEs in three straight games after doing it just once through their first 11 games this season.

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 64.3% clip last season and he owned the last undefeated team out of 3000 entries in Scott Fish Bowl 12.