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.
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 given how much parity there often is at the bottom-half of both positions. Every week, I’ll take a look at some lesser-owned QBs and TEs 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.
Players To Consider Benching This Week:
In danger of missing: Dak Prescott (Calf)
Tough matchup: Jalen Hurts (VS. LAC, 16.7 FPG allowed)
Top Streaming Options:
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) (VS. HOU, 36%)
Over his last three games, Tua ranks 12th in PFF passing grades (75.9), 5th in passing yards (825), 7th in TDs (6), and 9th in FPG (21.0). Week 9 brings about as good of a matchup as we could hope for, with Tua facing the Texans at home. Houston has allowed the 4th-most FPG to opposing QBs (22.1), and they rank 2nd-worst in PFF team coverage grades (36.7). To put it bluntly, this is a terrible pass defense.
With a middling total of 46.0, this game is far from the best scoring environment on the slate, but with Tua playing like a low-end QB1 these last three weeks, he's the week’s top streaming option in a fantastic matchup.
Tyrod Taylor (HOU) (AT MIA, 6%)
Taylor has been listed on the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list, suggesting he will likely start for the Texans in Week 9. Assuming Taylor does come back this week, he can be safely started as a mid-end QB2. In his only full game this season, he scored 23.6 fantasy points, and in his three seasons starting with the Bills from 2015-2017, he averaged 17.4 FPG, which would currently be good for QB17 this season. Taylor isn’t an elite passer of the football by any means, but he does offer a compelling rushing floor, as he averaged 5.6 rushing FPG in his time as the starter in Buffalo — a mark that would rank 5th among all QBs this season.
This week, Taylor gets a strong matchup with Miami, the team that’s allowed the 3rd-most FPG to opposing QBs (23.8). And the Texans are 6.5-point underdogs, so the ball should be in Taylor’s hand given the projected negative gamescript. Keep an eye on injury and practice reports to make sure Taylor starts this week, but assuming he does (as is expected), he’s an outstanding streaming option in deeper leagues, given he’s available almost everywhere after being on IR for 7 weeks.
Taysom Hill (NO) (VS. ATL, 3%)
Payton said Taysom Hill is progressing through protocol, on schedule and "all that's good."— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) November 1, 2021
Similar (but riskier) to Tyrod Taylor, Taysom Hill has a shot to start for New Orleans this week after Jameis Winston tore his ACL on Sunday. Given that Sean Payton was non-committal about who the Saints starting QB would be this week, Hill should obviously be treated with caution. Still, things seem to be trending in the right direction for Hill to make his first start at QB this year against Atlanta, a team that’s given up the 2nd-most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing QBs (+4.7). And let’s not forget that in his four starts last season, Hill averaged 21.1 FPG — a mark that would tie him with Justin Herbert for the QB9 this season. That’s low-end QB1 production available in basically every league. Even if Hill doesn’t start in Week 9, he’s an excellent bench stash and should still be considered as a waiver claim in deeper leagues this week, as it’s reasonable to assume he will be one of the more valuable QBs in fantasy once he’s healthy enough to play.
Mike White (NYJ) (AT IND, 2%)
Most passing yards in first career start:— Jake Tribbey (@JakeTribbey) November 2, 2021
1. 2011 Cam Newton - 422
2. 2021 MIKE WHITE - 405
3. 2009 Kevin Kolb - 391
4. 1987 Vinny Testaverde - 369
5. 1992 Browning Nagle - 366
If Taysom Hill and Tyrod Taylor aren’t available or can’t play in Week 9, Mike White may be the player to turn to for QB needy teams in deep leagues. On Sunday, White indisputably had one of the greatest NFL QB debuts ever, throwing for 405 yards and 3 TDs, earning a 70.0 overall PFF grade, and scoring 26.8 fantasy points. Could it have been a fluke? Absolutely. But, there is a chance that White is actually a good NFL QB, and thus, a relevant fantasy contributor until Zach Wilson returns as the starter. He draws a decent matchup as a 10.5-point underdog against a Colts defense that ranks middle of the pack in the defensive metrics that matter to me, so White should, at the very least, have the opportunity to throw the ball as much as any QB in Week 9. Still, with the Jets offense routinely looking like a dumpster fire, I’m not exactly excited to start Mike White this week. White’s a decent fill-in for the most desperate of teams in Week 9, but just remember it’s a high-risk, highish-reward type of play — something I generally try to avoid in season-long formats.
Players To Consider Benching This Week:
Top Streaming Options:
Dan Arnold (JAX) (VS. BUF, 5%)
Dan Arnold over the last 3 weeks:— Jake Tribbey (@JakeTribbey) November 1, 2021
7.7 targets per game
53.0 yards per game
If extrapolated over a full season, those numbers rank 14th-, 4th-, and 8th-best among TEs.
Over the last three weeks, Dan Arnold has ranked 3rd on the Jags in target share (16.3%), 3rd in targets per game (7.7), 3rd in routes (99), and 3rd in FPG (10.0). Or, in other words, that’s the same target share as Zach Ertz, 0.5 more targets per game than Mark Andrews, a comparable number of routes per game as Mike Gesicki, and the same FPG as C.J. Uzomah. Jacksonville went out of their way to trade former Round 1 pick CJ Henderson for Arnold, and they’ve shown in the month he’s been with the team that they clearly want to make him an active part of the offense. Of the TEs on this list, Arnold is my favorite long-term hold given the stellar usage he’s seen thus far as a Jaguar.
Arnold faces a difficult matchup with Buffalo in Week 9, but the Jags are 14.5-point dogs, and that means plenty of pass volume for this offense, and thus, routes and targets for Arnold. He can be safely trotted out as a mid-range TE2 this week — similar to Tyler Conklin — with the key exception being that Arnold is available in 20% more leagues.
Tyler Conklin (MIN) (AT BAL, 25%)
Conklin has been a remarkably consistent fantasy contributor, which is exactly what we look for in a TE streamer. He’s seen at least four targets and has scored at least 4.5 fantasy points in 6 of his 7 games this year, and has flashed a compelling ceiling, scoring 20.0 fantasy points in Week 4. Conklin is the TE17 by FPG, and assuming he stays healthy, should be a consistent mid-range TE2 for the remainder of the year.
Conklin's Week 9 matchup with Baltimore is certainly on the plus side, as the Ravens are giving up the 3rd-most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing TEs (+4.8). And Minnesota are 5.5-point underdogs, so they should have some of the better pass volume of Week 9. Conklin can be viewed as a low-risk TE2 this week.
Evan Engram (NYG) (VS. LV, 33%)
Engram has disappointed fantasy owners this season, but he’s still playing like a low-end TE2, which is valuable, at least for streaming purposes. Engram has seen consistent volume, logging at least 4 targets in every game this year and averaging 9.0 FPG over his last four games. With the NYG receiving corps riddled with injuries, there’s no reason to expect a drop in volume for Engram anytime soon. He isn’t exactly playing well (56.1 PFF receiving grade), but that’s not too terribly concerning given he’s a virtual lock to avoid the dreaded ‘goose-egg’ on a week-to-week basis. Week 9 provides Engram with a solid matchup as a 3-point underdog against Las Vegas, a team that’s given up 16.5 FPG to opposing TEs (7th-most). Like the other TEs discussed, Engram falls in the mid-range TE2 conversation, granted he’s not a player I’m particularly excited about for the remainder of the season.