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:
Top Streaming Options:
Taysom Hill (NO) (AT TB, 51%)
Hill is, at the very least, a mid-tier QB1 for as long as he’s the starter in New Orleans. In his 6 career starts at QB, Hill averages 21.9 FPG.
21.9 FPG, if extrapolated out for the full season, would rank 5th among all QBs, just behind Kyler Murray and just ahead of Matthew Stafford and Jalen Hurts.
And Hill’s floor is basically unmatched. He’s averaging 12.4 rushing FPG in his 6 career starts, which, if sustained for an entire season, would rank as the greatest fantasy QB rushing season of all-time, ahead of 2019 Lamar Jackson (10.8 rushing FPG).
Any fantasy team that’s still competing in the playoffs and doesn’t have a top-5 QB needs to consider Hill as a potential streaming option this week, if he’s available. His Week 15 matchup with Tampa Bay is fairly close to neutral, as the Buccaneers are giving up the 11th-most FPG to opposing QBs (18.8). But, New Orleans are 11.0-point underdogs, so Hill may be forced to throw more often than the Saints would like. With a PFF passing grade of just 44.6, Hill carries more risk of a downside performance than a normal week should he be forced to air the ball out, but I’d still gladly start him as a QB1 given the historically great rushing floor.
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) (VS. NYJ, 33%)
In his full games this season, Tua has averaged 18.3 FPG, a mark that’s good for QB12 this year. So, as the 19th highest-owned QB in Yahoo fantasy leagues, Tua is clearly being undervalued by the fantasy community.
A Week 15 matchup against the Jets as 8.5-point favorites would normally suggest a run-heavy approach. But the Dolphins may not be able to go that route this week, as their top-5 RBs are all either injured (Patrick Laird and Malcolm Brown) or on the reserve/COVID-19 list (Myles Gaskin, Phillip Lindsay, Salvon Ahmed). If 100% of the Dolphins’ backfield production from the first 13 weeks of the season is unavailable come Sunday, it’s certainly reasonable to expect the team to air the ball out given the Jets are PFF’s 3rd-worst graded coverage unit (41.0 team coverage grade).
And if Miami does go pass heavy, that’s great news for Tua, who has averaged 21.9 FPG in the 3 games this season he’s thrown more than 40 passes. With a healthy backfield, Tua can be considered a high-end QB2, but should Miami be without all of their leading rushers, Tua absolutely enters the QB1 conversation in Week 15.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) (VS. ATL, 30%)
Since Week 8, Garoppolo has averaged 17.9 FPG, which would be good for QB12 over the full season. But what makes Garoppolo stand out this week is his matchup with Atlanta. The Falcons have given up the 2nd-most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing QBs this season (+3.3). And they are giving up the 2nd-most passing FPG (18.2), 5th-most passing fantasy points per pass attempt (0.51), and the 3rd-highest passer rating to opposing QBs (103.2). Atlanta’s coverage unit has certainly struggled this season, as they rank 4th-worst in Football Outsiders pass defense DVOA (22.7%). Plus, San Francisco has an impressive implied team total of 27.25, the 5th-highest mark of the week.
So, really anyway we choose to look at this matchup, it’s an outstanding one for Garoppolo and the 49ers passing attack. He’s a high-end QB2 with solid upside in this stellar matchup.
Players To Consider Benching This Week:
Tough matchup: Kyle Pitts (AT SF, 6.3 FPG allowed)
Top Streaming Options:
Tyler Conklin (MIN) (AT CHI, 47%)
Among TEs this season, Conklin ranks 12th in targets (66), 12th (tie) in receiving yards (489), 13th (tie) in red zone targets (15), 5th (tie) in end zone targets (7), and 16th in FPG (8.9). He’s been no less than a high-end TE2, with TE1 upside in weeks with a strong matchup.
And that was before Adam Thielen suffered a high-ankle sprain. Thielen is questionable to play in Week 15, and should he sit, it’s reasonable to expect at least a fraction of his 7.7 targets per game to go to Conklin, but more importantly, Thielen ranked top-15 among WRs in both red and end zone usage. So even if Conklin’s target boost with Thielen out is a modest one, it’s likely those additional targets will be close to, or in, the end zone given Conklin ranks behind only Thielen and Justin Jefferson in team red zone and end zone usage.
With that said, Conklin saw a season-low 2 targets in Week 14 with Thielen out, so it’s possible his role will remain largely unchanged while K.J. Osborn and Jefferson soak up the excess target volume. But even if that’s the case, Conklin can safely be considered a high-end TE2 in a tougher matchup against a Chicago team that’s allowed the 12th-fewest schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing TEs over their last 5 games (-2.2).
Gerald Everett (SEA) (AT LAR, 31%)
Since Week 10, Everett ranks 11th (tie) in targets per game (5.8), 6th (tie) in receptions per game (4.4), 13th (tie) in red zone targets (5), 10th in routes (133), and 11th in FPG (9.4) among TEs. In fact, over that 5 game stretch, Everett has just 7 fewer targets (27) than both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf (34). And after seeing no more than 5 targets in any of his first 6 games, Everett has eclipsed 6 targets in 3 of his last 5.
Pete Carroll heavily implied post-draft that Everett would be Seattle’s “third receiving option” and that finally seems to be coming true in the 2nd-half of the season.
Week 15 appears to be a solid spot for Everett, as the Rams are giving up the 10th-most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing TEs (+1.5). And the Seahawks are 7.0-point underdogs, so more likely than not, this will be one of Seattle’s high volume passing games. Russell Wilson has attempted more than 40 passes just once this year, but in that game, Everett saw 8 targets, recorded a season-high 63 receiving yards, and scored 14.3 fantasy points. If Seattle gets down big early, Everett is sure to be a beneficiary of increased passing volume. He’s a high-end TE2 this week, albeit one with more downside risk than Tyler Conklin, as Everett has fallen under 1.5 fantasy points on 3 separate occasions this season.
Ricky Seals-Jones (WAS) (AT PHI, 19%)
In his starts this season, Seals-Jones has averaged 7.8 FPG, a mark that would rank 22nd among TEs. That’s obviously subpar, but Seals-Jones does have a few things going for him in Week 15 that push him into streaming consideration in deeper leagues.
The first is an elite matchup. Philadelphia has given up the most schedule-adjusted FPG (+5.8) to opposing TEs this season, and they’ve been even worse as of late, giving up +10.0 schedule-adjusted FPG over their last 5 games. And no team has allowed more receptions (88), yards (874), or TDs (11) to opposing TEs this season. In every sense, the Eagles’ defense funnels targets to the TE, exemplified by their league-leading 32% opposing TE target share.
Seals-Jones is primed to take advantage, as he averages as many red zone targets per game (1.3) and end zone targets per game (0.5) as George Kittle. On Washington, only Terry McLaurin sees better usage near the end zone than Seals-Jones, and McLaurin has a significantly tougher matchup, as the Eagles rank as the 3rd-toughest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing WRs (-6.4), and have allowed just 5 TDs to outside WRs this season (3rd-fewest). So, Seals-Jones may benefit from additional work close to the end zone should the Eagles defense give McLaurin trouble, as they’ve done to opposing WRs all season.
RSJ sets up as a mid-range TE2 this week, but he carries outstanding TD equity (for a TE2) in this elite matchup.