Field of Streams: Week Six

Austan Kas

streamsIn this weekly series, we narrow the focus to just the current week and give you some streaming options for the upcoming games. The goal is to identify a player at each offensive position, as well as a team defense, who is owned in less than 30 percent of leagues and may be in line for a productive outing.

You can read more about this series here. We use MFL rates for the ownership percentages.

Let’s take a look at how things went for our top picks in Week 5, using standard PPR scoring. The weekly average through five weeks is in parenthesis.

QB — Michael Vick, 13.28 points (17.16)
WR — Willie Snead, 20.1 points (12.58)
RB — Chris Thompson, 10.8 points (10.9)
TE — Ben Watson, 12.6 points (11.1)
K — Josh Lambo, 11.0 points (11.3)
D — New York Giants, 2 points (4.6)

Vick was atrocious for much of the Monday night game, but salvaged his outing with a good fourth quarter. Snead continued his hot run with 141 yards on six grabs. He is more than a streaming play; he’s a serviceable week-to-week wideout as the No. 2 option in New Orleans. Game flow didn’t go Thompson’s way as Washington hung right with Atlanta, but he still made six catches. Watson saved a 36-yard day with a touchdown. Lambo drilled a 40-yarder and a 54-yarder. Despite playing an offense which was giving up the most points to fantasy defenses, the Giants made the Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers look good Sunday night.

Let’s recap how this is going through five weeks. Other than defenses, which have been terrible, it’s going decently well.

If you had played the quarterback I chose each week, you’d have 85.88 total points, which would rank ninth and is more than Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and Peyton Manning. At receiver, you’d have 62.9 points, which checks in 35th. For running backs, you’d have 54.4 points. That ranks 30th. With tight ends, you’d have 55.7 points, the ninth-best total. Kickers (57 points) and defense (24 points) rank third and 28th, respectively.

Here are the streaming picks for Week 6.

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Brian Hoyer, QB HOU

(owned in 11 percent of leagues)

Yikes. It’s a rough week for quarterback streaming. A lot of the other options (Josh McCown, Kirk Cousins, Michael Vick) have difficult options or are on a bye, so we settle on Hoyer against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars just made Tampa Bay look like an offensive juggernaut. Hoyer, surprisingly, looked good last week against the Colts, throwing for 312 yards. It helps to have (a healthy) Arian Foster and DeAndre Hopkins, who figures to get another 15-plus targets. Ryan Fitzpatrick is owned in 39 percent of leagues, making him ineligible for the list, but if he’s available in your league, he’s a good option against the Washington Redskins.

Honorable mention: Fitzpatrick (vs. WAS), Cousins (at NYJ).

Wide receiver

Jamison Crowder, WR WAS

(10.8 percent)

Washington has a tough matchup with the Jets, but things could work out in Crowder’s favor. Darrelle Revis will likely be on Pierre Garcon, which should increase Crowder’s looks from Cousins. Even if Desean Jackson returns, Crowder should see plenty of action. Over the past three games, Crowder is averaging seven grabs and 66 yards on eight targets. Being a rookie, Crowder is worth a stash in most dynasty leagues. Jermaine Kearse is leading Seattle in receiving with 274 yards and has at least 76 yards or a touchdown in every game. If Alshon Jeffery is out again, Marquess Wilson makes for a good play against Detroit. Wilson has 12 receptions for 165 yards and one score in the previous two games. Digging a little deeper, Andrew Hawkins may fare well against Denver. With Chris Harris and Aqib Talib locking down the outside receivers, McCown may be forced to feed Hawkins in the slot, making him a solid PPR option.

Honorable mention: Kearse (vs. CAR), Wilson (at DET), Hawkins (vs. DEN).

Running back

Chris Thompson, RB WAS

(19.4 percent)

At this time of the season, the selection of available running backs is a barren wasteland, but Thompson has carved out a nice little role for himself amidst the Alfred MorrisMatt Jones battle. He has averaged nine touches per game over the past three contests. It’s not a lot, but he’s proven to be a reliable pass-catching option. Thompson hauled in six passes last week against Atlanta. Much like the reasoning with Crowder, the matchup with a stout Jets’ defense is not a terrible thing for Thompson. It would benefit him even more if the Redskins got themselves into a big hole. With Jamaal Charles going down, Charcandrick West is going to be one of the top pickups this week. The Chiefs play the Vikings and Steelers the next two weeks before taking their bye. I think West and Knile Davis will split things pretty evenly, and I prefer the safety of Thompson’s receptions to any added carries West may get.

Honorable mention: West (at MIN) and Lorenzo Taliaferro (at SF).

Tight end

Jacob Tamme, TE ATL

(12.8 percent)

Maybe it was Leonard Hankerson’s early injury or Julio Jones’ troublesome hamstring, but Tamme went bonkers in Week 5, catching eight passes for 94 yards. He gets a dreamy matchup this week with the Saints, who just allowed Brent Celek to score. With an over/under of 50.5, this game has all the makings of a points-fest. If Jones is out, Tamme will certainly see an increased role. The Colts have faced Tyrod Taylor, Fitzpatrick, Marcus Mariota, Blake Bortles and Brian Hoyer, and they rank 28th in passing yards allowed per game. Tom Brady and the Patriots are going to do whatever they please, so Scott Chandler isn’t a bad gamble for a touchdown in deep leagues. Watson came through with a touchdown last week and has another good matchup this week.

Honorable mention: Chandler (vs. IND), Watson (vs. ATL).


Mike Nugent, K CIN

(16 percent)

Nugent and the Bengals have a tough matchup at Buffalo, but that could work in Nugent’s favor. With the Bills boasting one of the league’s top defenses, Cincinnati’s drives may be more likely to end in field goals than touchdowns, which hasn’t happened very often this season. The Bengals’ efficient offense and the stellar play of Andy Dalton has limited Nugent’s fantasy potential. Nugent has hit 5-of-7 field goals and 17-of-18 extra points this season.

Honorable mention: Nick Novak (vs IND), Santos (vs. CHI).

Team defense

San Francisco 49ers

(27.6 percent)

I’m a process-over-results person. I think I’ve made good decisions with a lot of my defensive streaming picks this season — they just haven’t worked out. The Giants checked off a lot of boxes last week in their matchup against the 49ers, but they flopped. Week 6 is a tough one, with a lot of the lesser-owned defenses having tough matchups. The 49ers don’t have a great matchup against Baltimore, but it’s the best streaming option. Without Steve Smith, who may be back this week, the Ravens offensive weapons, which weren’t stellar to begin with, are pretty lackluster. Playing at home, the 49ers may give Baltimore some fits, although the San Francisco defense is far from fearsome. The Vikings, owned in 45 percent of leagues, get a home game with the Charles-less Chiefs. They’d be a better option if they’re available.

Honorable mention: Vikings (vs. KC), Jaguars (vs HOU).