Field of Streams: Week 13

Austan Kas

streams

In this 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 12, using standard PPR scoring. The weekly average through 12 weeks is in parenthesis.

QB — Brian Hoyer, 14.9 points (17.3)

WR — Dontrelle Inman, 17.5 points (13.4)

RB — Shaun Draughn, 13.6 points (8.7)

TE — Zach Miller, 9.0 points (10.5)

K — Nick Novak, 6.0 points (7.9)

D — Cleveland Browns, 10 points (7.9)

After a miserable week 11, I had some better luck in week 12. Hoyer was solid but didn’t go off against a bad, bad New Orleans’ defense. Inman had five catches for 65 yards and a score. For the second straight week, Draughn handled every single running back touch for the 49ers, which is unheard of nowadays. Miller salvaged his outing with a short touchdown while Novak hit a 32-yarder and three extra points. Cleveland came up with two interceptions, including a pick-six.

Here are the picks for week 13.

Quarterback

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Brock Osweiler, QB DEN

(owned in 41.5 percent of leagues)

I’m fudging a little here with Osweiler’s ownership rate over our 30-percent threshold, but the starting quarterbacks who fit the standard requirements — Case Keenum, Josh McCown, Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Cassel — are either terrible, have bad matchups or both. I would rather recommend someone about whom I at least feel can produce at a decent level. Osweiler, after playing fairly well against New England, gets a much easier matchup versus San Diego this week. If Ben Roethlisberger is sidelined, I like Landry Jones in a nice home matchup with the Colts, who rank 29th against the pass. Jones didn’t do well in his first start of the season, but on the road at Arrowhead Stadium is a tough place to make your debut.

Honorable mention: Jones (vs. IND).wright

Wide receiver

Jarius Wright, WR MIN

(5.78 percent)

Digging deep, I like Wright’s chances for an increased role this week. Seattle’s secondary isn’t what it once was, although it’s still very good. Seattle will likely allocate a lot of resources to slowing down Stefon Diggs and (what’s left of) Mike Wallace. With Richard Sherman chasing wideouts more this year, I’d assume he trails Diggs on a majority of snaps. That could make for a busier day than usual for Wright, who is averaging just over three targets per game. Chris Givens is going to have an opportunity to produce the rest of the way thanks to the Ravens’ injury woes. Unfortunately, Givens’ strength is the deep ball, and Matt Schaub’s strength is not the deep ball. Still, they hooked up for a long gain on Monday as Givens hauled in 1-of-3 targets for 48 yards.

Honorable mention: Givens (at MIA).

Running back

Bilal Powell, RB NYJ

(3.8 percent)

Since returning from an injury in week 11, Powell has received at least eight touches in two straight games, and he’s been very productive. In that stretch, Powell has made seven grabs for 74 yards and carried the ball ten times for 50 yards. It’s not a lot of work, but it’s a consistent role for a team committed to the run. The Jets take on the Giants this week. The Giants’ defense has allowed the 17th-most points on the ground and the 31st-most points to wideouts, which bodes well for Powell’s third-down role. Draughn is owned in 38 percent of leagues, but I’m including him in here because he can be a helpful piece as long as Carlos Hyde is out. As I mentioned earlier, Draughn handled all of the 49ers’ backfield touches in each of the past two games (40 total touches). At a position ravaged by injuries, he’s certainly worth an add — and possible start against the Bears — based on pure volume.

Honorable mention: Draughn (at CHI).

Tight end

Scott Chandler, TE NE

(12.01 percent)

With the injury to Rob Gronkowski, Chandler immediately jumps into the TE1 conversation, assuming Gronkowski misses at least one week. He was the go-to target for Tom Brady after Gronkowski left the game. Add in the absences of Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis, and Chandler could be in line for immense volume this week, even if Danny Amendola returns. Vance McDonald has quietly put together nice back-to-back weeks, recording at least 16 points in each of the last two games. With Garrett Celek sidelined, McDonald will have another opportunity to produce in week 13 against the Bears.

Honorable mention: McDonald (at CHI).

Kicker

Dustin Hopkins, K WAS

(13.7 percent)

Hopkins is in the midst of a stellar season for Washington. He’s 18-for-20 on field-goal tries, with his miss last week snapping a streak of nine straight makes. He is also a perfect 23-for-23 on extra points. Facing a solid Dallas defense, Hopkins could be in line for a couple field goal tries in week 13. Matt Prater is 14-for-14 on field goals this season. Detroit faces the Packers in a game which will be played indoors at Ford Field. Prater has produced at least nine points in three consecutive games.

Honorable mention: Prater (vs. GB).

Team defense

Chicago Bears

(3.6 percent)

Chicago Head Coach John Fox has built strong defenses wherever he’s been. Even with subpar personnel, he’s doing it again in Chicago. After ranking 30th in yards allowed per game in 2014, the Bears sit 15th in yards allowed per game this season. The improvement hasn’t led to much fantasy success, but with Blaine Gabbert and the 49ers coming to town, the matchup is superb. Tennessee is fourth in the league with 32 sacks, and they play a Jacksonville offense which has permitted the fifth-most sacks. Getting pressure on the quarterback leads to turnovers, which all we care about when it comes to fantasy defenses. Relevant sidenote: Blake Bortles has thrown the second-most interceptions in the league.

Honorable mention: Titans (vs. JAX).

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