Mick’s Pick Six: Week 16 Streamers – Digging Deep in Denver
Congratulations on making it to the Championship Round! If you find yourself needing Week 16 streamers, they should not be too difficult to find. Many leagues lock the rosters of teams who either did not make or have been eliminated from the playoffs. Also, there is a high probability that owners of said teams have simply moved on and see no point in making roster moves just to collude with others or play spoiler. The waiver wire should be your playground, but for the sake of continuity, I will continue to use the same parameters I have used all season. The players below are widely available in a large number of Fantrax leagues. I have selected one player at each position and will throw in a bonus pick at the end for deeper leagues. Here are my Week 16 streamers.
Week 16 Streamers
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Sam Darnold, New York Jets v. Green Bay Packers
In all reality, if you have made it this far, you probably do not need to stream a quarterback this weekend. The position has gone relatively unscathed from an injury perspective. In my head-to-head leagues, the worst quarterback on a team that is competing for a championship is Dak Prescott. It’s not as if someone is needing an upgrade over Josh Rosen.
I decided against using Josh Allen again because it seems like cheating. However, I would like to point out that Matthew Stafford, Case Keenum, and Eli Manning are all currently rostered by and even being started by more teams than Josh Allen. If you are one of those people, please invite me to your league next season. If Allen is still available and you need a quarterback, grab him. He probably will not rush for a ton of yards this week because the New England Patriots are smart enough to scheme against their opponent’s strengths, but Allen should be a solid fantasy option this week nonetheless. But if you need to dig a little deeper, consider Sam Darnold of the New York Jets.
Darnold has played well since returning to the lineup following a recent foot injury. He was quietly Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded quarterback last week, throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns. He will host a Green Bay Packers squad that did not expect to be merely playing out the string at this juncture of the season. Their pass defense has struggled in recent weeks. They have allowed five touchdown passes in their last two games, tied for the most in the NFL. Darnold does not have the safest floor. Still, if for some reason you are in desperate need of a deep flier at quarterback, you can certainly do worse. The rookie is available in 65 percent of leagues.
Elijah McGuire, New York Jets v. Green Bay Packers
I promise I have not dipped into the eggnog too early. Nor will I blindly let my personal allegiance to Gang Green distort my view. But Elijah McGuire is a legitimate streaming option this week. The running back position has seen plenty of turnover in recent weeks, and most of the running backs who benefited are unavailable heading into this weekend. Elijah McGuire, however, is still available in 55 percent of leagues. He is also the de facto lead back in New York for the remainder of the year. McGuire has had at least 20 touches in consecutive games and has finished each of those weeks as an RB2. He should see a similar workload on Sunday against Green Bay, which could very well lead to a similar result.
Green Bay has been in the middle of the pack against the run on the season, though they are among the bottom-five in adjusted line yards according to Football Outsiders. There are a ton of question marks at the running back position heading into this week. If you have been using the likes of Justin Jackson or Jeff Wilson in recent weeks and now need a replacement, McGuire should fill the role nicely. The volume alone makes him worthy of Flex consideration, and he has proven he can be a top-15 back if things break right. Elijah McGuire is one of my favorite Week 16 streamers.
Robert Foster, Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
Add Robert Foster to the list of unlikely names leading teams to fantasy glory down the stretch of the 2018 season. Over the first half of the season, Foster did almost nothing. Through Week 6, he had totaled just two catches for 30 yards. In the next few weeks, he was demoted to the practice squad and cut before quickly being re-signed. Foster was back on the active roster in Week 10. The rookie received the wake-up call loud and clear.
That week he caught a 47-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage en route to a 105-yard day. It was the first 100-yard effort from a Buffalo wideout in over a year but seemed a little fluky. The Bills had their bye the following week, and starter Josh Allen returned to action in Week 12. Foster proved that his Week 10 effort was no fluke. He has totaled 333 receiving yards and two touchdowns since Week 12 and has been the overall WR10 during that stretch. Still, he remains widely ignored in fantasy. Foster is rostered in only 23 percent of leagues as teams prepare for their championship games.
Foster is likely to face off against cornerback Stephon Gilmore. That is not ideal, as Gilmore has had a tremendous season and has enough experience and size to contend with Foster on the outside. But Foster is too hot to simply blow off, even in a difficult matchup. Since Week 10, Foster has 55.8 fantasy points on just 24 targets. That is a ridiculously high rate of production. Buffalo is looking for some positives heading into the offseason, and I do not think they will shy away from Gilmore in this game. At the very least, owners should add Foster and consider using him as a Flex depending on the other options available.
Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For fantasy purposes, the tight end position can be summed up with the following stat: Lee Smith (no, not the pitcher who was just voted a Hall-of-Famer) has weekly finishes of TE11, TE13, and TE8 over the last three weeks. He has a total of five receiving yards during that stretch. Cue the Nick Young meme.
I cannot pretend to know which random tight end is going to score a touchdown this week. But I can tell you that Blake Jarwin has totaled 11 catches for 101 yards on 14 targets over his last two games. Yes, his fantasy finishes have been lower than Smith’s in each of those games, but there is only so much in our control as fantasy players. Jarwin gets a nice matchup with Tampa Bay this week. The Buccaneers have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points and fifth-most receiving yards to opposing tight ends this year. Jarwin is available in 94 percent of leagues. With his recent uptick in volume, he is one of the safest Week 16 streamers regardless of position. He is a surefire TE2 who can wind up as a top-five tight end this week if he adds a touchdown catch.
Indianapolis Colts v. New York Giants
This selection seems pretty cut and dried. Indianapolis pitched a shutout against Dallas last week. New York got shut out by Tennessee last week. While that obviously does not mean the Colts will shut out the Giants in Week 16, I do not think we need to overthink this one. The Colts are fighting for their playoff lives and hosting the Giants, who are reserving tee times and contemplating life after Eli Manning. Indianapolis is only owned in 34 percent of leagues and is currently active in just 17 percent. They should easily be a top-10 fantasy defense this week.
Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints
As always, there are a ton of options available, and you can argue for several kickers in this space. I just have a feeling Chris Boswell is going to have a good game on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. He is currently owned in 42 percent of leagues, and active in 28 percent.
Boswell has been terrible all year and missed another kick last week. But he did make a critical field goal toward the end of that game. New Orleans has played good red zone defense this season, so I think Boswell will get some opportunities. I also believe that this game will have a lot more scoring than the recent efforts we have seen from both squads. Despite the Saints’ recent stretch of great defense, games inside the Superdome often revert back to shootouts. The last five games inside the dome have produced at least 48 points, and this week’s tilt has a 53-point Vegas total. Boswell should benefit, but there are admittedly much safer options on the board this week.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
When Emmanuel Sanders was placed on injured reserve two weeks ago, many of us made sure to add Courtland Sutton in the leagues in which he was still available. (Sutton was scooped up in most leagues when DeMaryius Thomas was traded to Houston several weeks earlier.) However, just as Sutton’s production failed to increase following the trade of Thomas, it has not increased since the Sanders injury. In two games following the injury to Sanders, Sutton has scored a total of just 5.5 fantasy points. Meanwhile, the duo of DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick have emerged as viable options. Here are the numbers for the three Denver receivers since Week 14:
Patrick – 18 targets, 12 receptions, 161 total yards, 16.1 fantasy points
Hamilton – 21 targets, 14 receptions, 93 total yards, 15.3 fantasy points
Sutton – 12 targets, 7 receptions, 55 total yards, 5.5 fantasy points
We all know Sutton’s draft pedigree and potential, but he has been the least productive of the three following the injury to Sanders, and it is not particularly close. Hamilton has taken over Sanders’ role in the slot and has been very productive. The rookie out of Penn State has gobbled up a ton of targets and receptions. I contemplated going with him instead of Robert Foster as my weekly streamer at wideout. Ultimately, you can make a case for either. Hamilton is probably the safer add and the preferred PPR option if those are your choices. But for those who need to dig deeper, Patrick is a solid choice as well.
The matchup against Oakland should not scare anyone away from any Broncos receiver. I expect Rashaan Melvin, who is Oakland’s best corner, to guard Sutton on the majority of snaps. That would leave more operating room underneath for Hamilton and Patrick to do damage. Emerging cornerback Gareon Conley, who is tentatively scheduled to square off with Patrick, left last week’s game with a concussion. Patrick’s matchup would obviously be greatly enhanced if Conley were not able to suit up. Patrick enters the weekend available in 92 percent of Fantrax leagues. He is active in just two percent of leagues.
Some championship gamesmanship may also come into play here as well. If you have Keenan Allen or Odell Beckham, you will know their status early enough in the weekend to have contingency plans in place in case they miss their respective games. The same could be said if there is an injury later this week. If Doug Baldwin suffers a setback, for example, those who have him rostered may not want to gamble on him Sunday night. It may be wise to stash Hamilton and/or Patrick as insurance policies who can be employed in an emergency on Monday night. What’s better than the possibility of winning a fantasy championship because you played a 25-year old undrafted rookie free agent that you picked up at the very last minute? Both Patrick and Hamilton make viable Week 16 streamers, particularly in PPR formats.
Mick Ciallela has been writing for FantraxHQ since July 2017. He has also written for Bleacher Report. He is a lifelong sports fan and has been an avid fantasy sports player for many years. Mick was the Overall Champion of both the 2016 Football Challenge – Roto and 2017 Play 3 Football contests hosted by CDM Sports. Mick was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York and currently resides in New London, Connecticut.
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