Last week the streamer suggestions at quarterback were Ryan Tannehill and Carson Wentz, unless of course you were holding the previously recommended Colin Kaepernick. Despite finishing as the QB1 last week, Kaepernick is only owned in 47 percent of leagues on both ESPN and Yahoo. Playing quarterback opposite him was Tannehill, who matched Kaepernick with three touchdown passes en route to a top-five fantasy performance of his own. Wentz struggled at home against a bad Green Bay Packers pass defense. Thankfully, a rushing touchdown boosted the rookie into a mediocre fantasy effort.
At wide receiver, Brandon LaFell saw nine targets for the second consecutive game. Only three were converted into catches, however, for a merger 38 yards. Moving onto running back, LaFell’s teammate Rex Burkhead slightly out-snapped Jeremy Hill and led the Bengals in rushing, albeit for only 29 yards on five carries. On the other side of that tough matchup, Kenneth Dixon matched Terrance West‘s production on the ground while adding four catches for 31 yards. The rookie’s 13 carries for 49 yards represent new highs for the year and could signal a long awaited takeover in the Baltimore backfield.
Finally, C.J. Fiedorowicz had another solid day with six targets, four receptions, and 42 yards. He’s now at 39-percent ownership on Yahoo and 51 percent on ESPN. Finally, Eli Manning was only asked to throw 27 times last week against the Browns. That left disappointing streaming option Will Tye with only two targets and 12 yards.
If you need to stream a quarterback we need to do what we can to avoid having to play Brock Osweiler. The Packers have issues against the pass, but as previously mentioned, Carson Wentz just failed in this same spot a week ago. Once a streaming quarterback staple, Alex Smith — the best looking quarterback in the NFL — is finally back in the conversation.
No one gives up more fantasy production to quarterbacks than the Atlanta Falcons, who will be without their top cornerback Desmond Trufant (pectoral) for the rest of the season. The odds makers have placed Chiefs at Falcons among the highest scoring contests of the week. Smith is also coming off a game in which he threw 44 times, his highest number of attempts since Week 4. Smith could see Jeremy Maclin (groin) return this week after enjoying part of the recent Tyreek Hill breakout in his absence. While Smith isn’t rushing much these days, the leaky Chiefs secondary will surrender points to a dominate Falcons offense and lead to a lot of passing in response.
Ryan Fitzpatrick… He is coming off arguably his best game of the season: 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns against New England. Now Fitzpatrick – last year’s gold standard for the streaming quarterback – faces a Colts defense that has allowed multiple touchdowns passes to be scored against them in nine games thus far.
Matt Barkley… Don’t call it garbage time. Barkley could have led the Bears all the way back from a 20-point deficient early in the fourth quarter if not for an absurd number of drops by his wide receivers. If the depleted Chicago defense can slow the 49ers down in a revenge game for defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Barkley could be handing off to Jordan Howard for much of the day.
My goodness. The number of wide receivers plays that are available this week is overwhelming. Rather than focusing on only two or three, I’ll list them by ownership on the major sites. Running back is so barren as this point, hopefully these bonus wide receiver picks can make up for skipping over the position this week.
Will Fuller (Y! 43%, ESPN 45%)… No faith in Brock Osweiler, but Fuller is finally healthy again as witnessed by his handling of punt returns again.
Cameron Meredith (Y! 39%, ESPN 32%)… Bears slot receiver only managed two catches for 19 yards last week despite nine targets thanks to some brutal drops.
Taylor Gabriel (Y! 37%, ESPN 37%)… His last 13 receptions have led to four touchdowns. It’s hard to totally trust the limited number of targets, even in a likely shootout.
Quincy Enunwa (Y! 34%, ESPN 45%)… Yet another slot receiver crushes the Patriots: five targets, five receptions for 109 yards, and a touchdown. This week’s matchup against Indy is also favorable.
Anquan Boldin (Y! 31%, ESPN 32%)… With 11 receptions on a dozen red zone targets, Boldin is the Lions best option when they get into scoring position. The Vegas total of 53.5 easily tops the slate.
Pierre Garcon (Y! 31%, ESPN 45%)… Already averaging nearly seven targets per game, plus Patrick Peterson is likely to follow either DeSean Jackson outside or Jamison Crowder in the slot.
Malcolm Mitchell (Y! 20%, ESPN 15%)… Tom Brady is showing confidence in a rookie receiver yet hardly anyone is taking notice. Rob Gronkowski (back) is done for the year, freeing up targets going forward.
Dontrelle Inman (Y! 18%, ESPN 15%)… Caught all six targets last week for a 119 yards and a touchdown. Did not suffer a concussion after being checked out late in the game. Tyrell Williams (shoulder) has yet to practice this week.
Adam Thielen (Y! 16%, ESPN 18%)… He just played Thursday night, but needs to be owned after another good performance, a team-high 86 yards on nine targets and seven receptions.
J.J. Nelson (Y! 14%, ESPN 7%)… Doors could reopen for the tiny burner with John Brown (hamstring) and Michael Floyd (hamstring) hobbled.
Marquess Wilson (Y! 11%, ESPN 9%)… Dropped two likely touchdowns last week while still catching eight of his 11 targets for 125 yards and a score.
Kenny Stills (Y! 8%, ESPN 14%)… If DeVante Parker (back) is unable to play this week, Stills steps in as the top deep threat. Already has three touchdowns in three of his last five games.
Dorial Green-Beckham (Y! 6%, ESPN 7%)… DGB quietly has 18 targets over his last two games. Although last week was aided by an inactive Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews (ankle). Finished with season-highs across the board: 10 targets, six receptions, and 82 yards.
Ladarius Green does not play a lot of snaps, but when he’s on the field he’s running routes. On Thanksgiving he saw the field for just 26 percent of the Steelers offensive plays, yet managed to record 67 yards on only two receptions. Green’s return to action has been a slow roll out, one that could benefit fantasy owners that can afford to be patient.Vance McDonald has seen at least six targets in five consecutive games, scoring twice in that span. McDonald has a great opportunity against a Chicago defense that has lost both of its interior linebackers. Danny Trevathan suffered a season-ending knee injury while Jerrell Freeman has been serving a suspension.