Week 17 Streaming QBs and TEs

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Week 17 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: Patrick Mahomes (rest), Kyler Murray (leg), Deshaun Watson (arm), Ben Roethlisberger (rest), Jared Goff (thumb), Matthew Stafford (ankle)

Higher-owned options who might be available…

Kirk Cousins (@Det, 56%) — Cousins has been rolling in the second half of the season with 18+ FP in eight straight games. He’s coming off a 291/3 passing performance against the Saints on Christmas Day, and he gets a date with a Lions defense that just got eviscerated by Tom Brady for 348/4 passing last week…in one half.

Baker Mayfield (vs. Pit, 54%) — I’m giving Baker a pass for last week’s performance against the Jets since he played without any of his top WRs. The Browns should be back close to full strength this week against a Steelers’ defense which could rest some of their top players. Baker averaged 308.0 passing yards per game with 10 TDs and one INT in Weeks 12-15, and he was the QB5 in that span with a full cast of receivers with 25.5 FPG.

Players to consider streaming this week

Philip Rivers (vs. Jax, 40%) — Phil’s production has slipped in three consecutive games with Jonathan Taylor taking on a much bigger role in this offense, and he bottomed out with 12.8 FP against the Steelers last week. Luckily, Rivers found a get-well spot in the season finale against a Jaguars defense that’s given up 40+ points in consecutive games. The Colts have an implied team total sitting around 32 points so Phil has a great chance to throw for multiple scores for the sixth time in his last seven games.

Derek Carr (@Den, 39%) — I was shocked to see Carr on the field last week after he suffered what appeared to be a severe groin injury early in Week 15. He played fairly well through the issue, completing 21/34 passes for 336 yards and one touchdown against the Dolphins. Most of his production came on his 85-yard TD strike to Nelson Agholor, and Carr also has one of the hottest receivers, regardless of position, making plays for him right now in Darren Waller. Carr has posted 23+ FP in his last three full games, and he has a great chance to do it again this week against a decimated Broncos secondary in a game totaled north of 50 points.

Mitchell Trubisky (vs. GB, 17%) — No one in the league has more on the line this week than Trubisky. He could rewrite the narrative surrounding his career with a victory over the NFC-leading Packers to get the Bears into the playoffs with a four-game winning streak to end the regular season. Trubisky is 6-2 as a starter this season, and he’s scored 24 FP in two of his last three games against the Texans and the Jaguars. He gets a step up in class this week against Green Bay’s defense, but he did post a solid 242/3 passing with two INTs for 21.8 FP against them back in Week 12.

Tight End Streamers

Players to consider benching this week

In danger of missing: Travis Kelce (rest), Hunter Henry (COVID-19), Eric Ebron (rest), Evan Engram (ankle)

Higher-owned options who might be available…

Zach Ertz (vs. Was, 54%) — Ertz is worth a look this week if the Eagles rest Dallas Goedert after he left Week 16 early with a calf injury. Ertz has seen seven targets in each of his last two games, and he’s turned those looks into 5/102 receiving against the Cardinals and the Cowboys. The Eagles have nothing to play for against the Football Team in the season finale so there’s a chance the Eagles let Goedert rest. Ertz scored in this matchup all the way back in the season opener.

Austin Hooper (vs. Pit, 61%) — Hooper saw a massive 15 targets (28% share) from Baker Mayfield last week with the Browns missing essentially their entire WR corps. He turned those looks into a slightly disappointing 7/71 receiving, but he still has 14+ FP in consecutive games after missing Week 14 with a neck injury. The Steelers are giving up just 8.7 FPG to TEs (2nd-fewest) this season, but Pittsburgh could rest some key players on defense, including a key player like S MInkah Fitzpatrick, to potentially open things up for Hooper.

Hayden Hurst (@TB, 62%) — Hurst has been mostly disappointing this season, but he’s looking to end the season with a surge as he heads into his second season with the Falcons in 2021. He’s posted 4+ catches with a touchdown in consecutive games, with one of those performances coming against this week’s opponent. Hurst posted 4/21/1 receiving on five targets against the Buccaneers just two weeks ago, and Tampa had given up 12+ FP to individual TEs in three straight games before facing a miserable Lions offense last week.

Players to consider streaming this week

Irv Smith (@Det, 15%) — ISJ helped me win two of my finals last week as a streamer so you’re damn right I’m going back to him this week. Smith posted 6/53/2 receiving on nine targets against the Saints last week, which gives him three TDs in his last three games and he dropped an easy fourth TD in that span. He gets a glorious matchup against a terrible Lions team this week, who just gave up two TDs to Rob Gronkowski, and it looks like Kyle Rudolph (foot) could be a long shot to play again this week.

Jordan Akins (vs. Ten, 4%) — I would avoid Akins this week if the Texans backtrack and rest Deshaun Watson with his elbow injury this week, but he’s on the radar otherwise with a matchup looming against a lowly Titans defense. Akins has finally delivered on his targets in the last two weeks with 9/89 receiving on 10 targets against the Colts and the Bengals. The Titans haven’t been attacked by TEs in recent weeks, but they’re still giving up 12.6 FP to TEs (14th-most).

Chris Herndon (@NE, 12%) — Herndon is starting to look like the player I drafted a ton of in the late rounds this summer. He looked like a player that lost confidence in himself early in the season after basically missing his entire sophomore season to injury last year. Herndon is starting to show glimpses of his rookie form from 2018 after he scored his second TD of the season against the Browns in Week 16 on his way to 4/34/1 receiving on four targets. He’s now posted 7+ FP in consecutive games and he gets a matchup with a Patriots defense that just allowed 5/82/1 receiving to Lee Smith and Dawson Knox last 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.