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:
Tough matchup: Joe Burrow (Vs. LAC, 16.5 FPG allowed)
Top Streaming Options:
Taylor Heinicke (WAS) (AT LV, 35%)
Heinicke is averaging 17.0 FPG in his full games this season, which is good enough for QB14, just behind Joe Burrow and just ahead of Carson Wentz. That’s high-end QB2 production, but Heinicke hasn’t exactly been consistent in how he’s gotten there, posting 5 games with 20.0 fantasy points or more, and another 4 games with under 12.0. That lack of consistency does push Heinicke towards the riskier end of QB streaming options, so I’m typically targeting in weeks when he has a favorable matchup or scoring environment. And while his matchup against the Raiders is largely a neutral one (19.0 FPG allowed, 13th-most), it does present the 3rd-best scoring environment of the week, with a total of 49.5. I consider Heinicke a high-end QB2 and my favorite streaming option of the week. Granted, he does carry more downside risk than a QB like Tua Tagovailoa.
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) (VS. NYG, 33%)
In his full games this year, Tua has earned 18.3 FPG — good enough for QB12 over the full season. Crucially, Tua has been quite consistent in his healthy starts, never having a game worse than 12.3 fantasy points. That may be due, at least partially, to a lack of downfield aggression, as Tua’s aDOT of 6.8 ranks as the 2nd-lowest among starting QBs, ahead of only Jared Goff. Tua’s Week 13 matchup with New York is a rough one from a scoring perspective, as this game’s 41.5 total is the lowest of the week. Still, the Giants are giving up 19.2 FPG to opposing QBs (11th-worst) and Tua has averaged 16.9 FPG in games with a total lower than 43.5 in his career, which would still be good enough for QB14 this season. I’m viewing Tagovailoa as a mid- to high-end QB2 this week, albeit one with a relatively narrow range of outcomes in a weaker scoring environment.
Teddy Bridgewater (DEN) (AT KC, 21%)
Bridgwater is tied with Ryan Tannehill for QB20 this season, and while I’m not a huge fan of Teddy in fantasy due to his limited ceiling (only exceeded 25.0 fantasy points in 4 of 60 career starts), he does draw a strong matchup this week, pushing him into streaming consideration.
Kansas City is giving up the 8th-most passing yards per game (252.7) and the 3rd-most FPG to opposing QBs (20.6). Bridgewater has also performed well in similar scoring environments, averaging 20.5 FPG in his 12 career games with a total of 47.5 or more (this game’s total is 47.5). So, if there was a week to stream Teddy, this would be it. I still prefer Tagovailoa and Heinicke overall, but if those players are unavailable on your waiver wire, Teddy is the next best bet.
Players To Consider Benching This Week:
Tough matchup: Hunter Henry (AT BUF, 8.9 FPG allowed)
Top Streaming Options:
Tyler Conklin (MIN) (AT DET, 33%)
Among TEs this season, Conklin ranks 12th (tie) in targets (55), 12th in yards (413), and 15th in FPG (9.0). And his volume has been remarkably consistent, seeing at least 3 targets in every game this season, and at least 5 targets in 6 of his 11 games. Despite consistent high-end TE2 production, Conklin is the 20th-highest owned TE on Yahoo fantasy, which at this point, makes little sense.
His Week 13 game against Detroit is a rather middling one from both a matchup and scoring environment perspective, but that means we can view Conklin as we would view him in any other week - a excellent streaming option with a strong floor and a relatively strong ceiling (two games with more than 16.0 fantasy points this season).
Foster Moreau (LV) (VS. WAS, 1%)
#Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia says TE Darren Waller (knee) is "week to week."— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) November 29, 2021
Darren Waller appears doubtful to play this week, and if he can’t suit up, Foster Moreau becomes arguably a high-end TE2 streaming option in Week 13.
Moreau ranked 2nd on the team in targets (6) and tied for 2nd in routes (30) in Week 7 with Waller inactive. The result? 18.0 fantasy points — by far the best fantasy performance of Moreau’s career. And after Waller left the 2nd quarter of the Raiders Thanksgiving day game with a knee injury, Moreau earned 4 targets in the 2nd half. For reference, 4 targets ties with Moreau’s season-high in the 10 games he’s played with Waller. And that was just in a half. So Moreau is clearly in for a significant volume bump, should Waller be inactive.
Washington is a middle of the road matchup for opposing TEs, allowing 12.8 FPG this season (17th-most). Regardless, this is a strong scoring environment, with the 3rd-highest total (49.5) of the week. Overall my expectations for Moreau are similar to Tyler Conklin, assuming Waller is out this week. At 1% ownership, managers in deep leagues desperate for a TE should absolutely make Moreau a priority.
Cole Kmet (CHI) (VS. ARI, 24%)
Since Week 8, Kmet has been 2nd on the Bears in targets (27, +12 more than the No. 3 player), and 2nd on the Bears in routes (122). In that span, Kmet tied his career high in targets in Week 9 (8 targets), and then subsequently shattered that career high on Thanksgiving, recording 11 targets. And he’s averaged 9.2 FPG in that stretch, which would make him the TE15 if sustained for the full season. So, things are certainly trending in the right direction when it comes to Kmet’s offensive involvement. He’s clearly the Bears No. 2 receiver with Allen Robinson (hamstring) sidelined, and especially if Robinson misses Week 13, I like Kmet as a mid-range TE2 streaming option.
Arizona is on the tougher end of matchups, as they’ve allowed -3.4 schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing TEs (6th-toughest). But the Bears are 8.0-point underdogs, meaning they will almost certainly need to throw, and 4 of Kmet’s 5 highest-scoring games this season have come when the Bears are underdogs, so this could be considered a favorable environment for the young TE.