Mick’s Pick Six: Under the Radar Week 2 Streamers
An underrated part of fantasy football is recognizing favorable matchups and finding the right streamers each week at any given position. If you read this column last week, you know that the streamers I selected at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver all finished in the Top-6 at their position. I believe this proves how significant weekly roster management is to success. Despite this typically being the week where much overreaction occurs, there are still plenty of players who offer streamer potential and are readily available in many leagues. Players included here are currently active in less than 50 percent of Fantrax leagues. In many cases, you can still grab these players on the waiver wire. I believe everyone listed below warrants starting consideration in all formats. Here are my favorite Week 2 streamers.
Week 2 Streamers
Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints
Given the current landscape among Fantasy quarterbacks, I am pretty sure I can list Tyrod Taylor here each week and just change a few words around here and there. Taylor’s ownership and active percentages have risen slightly this week, but until a significant injury occurs at the quarterback position, Taylor will continue to be a weekly streamer option. He is active in just 21 percent of leagues and is still rostered in just 53 percent of leagues.
Taylor continues to be undervalued following a QB6 finish last week. He was not good at throwing the football but made up for it with his legs. The rushing potential is what will likely keep Taylor in the weekly streamer conversation going forward. Taylor faces a Week 2 matchup in New Orleans. Ryan Fitzpatrick of all people just lit up the Saints for 46.45 points last week. Taylor owners should not expect anywhere near that level of production, of course, but another Top-10 game is in play in Week 2.
Case Keenum, Denver Broncos v. Oakland Raiders
Case Keenum is another widely available quarterback who has QB1 potential in Week 2. The free agent acquisition from Minnesota finished just behind Taylor last week, posting the seventh-most fantasy points among signal callers in Week 1. Keenum threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions but made up for it with 329 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Keenum has an even better matchup in Week 2 when he and the Denver Broncos host the Oakland Raiders.
Oakland lacks defensive playmakers near the line of scrimmage, particularly following the trade of Khalil Mack. Keenum should have a clean pocket on Sunday, which will enable him to utilize the receiving duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders as he did against Seattle. There is a bit of concern that Keenum may not need to attempt a high number of passes as he did in Week 1 should Denver jump out on Oakland early. However, I still like him as a QB1 this week, and he is one of my favorite Week 2 streamers.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills
Austin Ekeler matched teammate Melvin Gordon fantasy point for fantasy point in Week 1. The dynamic duo tied for 10th at the position with 18.6 fantasy points apiece in the Chargers’ Week 1 defeat. Make no mistake – Ekeler is not a threat to Gordon’s job by any means. But he has carved out a role for himself in what is a high-octane offense in Los Angeles. He saw 10 touches last week and could be in line for a similar workload in what should be a very favorable matchup against the Buffalo Bills.
Last season, Buffalo allowed the most fantasy points and rushing touchdowns to opposing backs. They also gave up the second-most rushing yards ahead of only the Chargers themselves. They opened up 2018 by allowing three different Baltimore Ravens to rush for scores and figure to offer little resistance against the Chargers. Ekeler finished as an RB2 in this matchup last season and I would not be surprised to see him repeat the feat this Sunday. Active in just 33 percent of leagues, Ekeler offers Week 2 streamer potential in both Standard and PPR leagues.
Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos v. Oakland Raiders
Phillip Lindsay went from an undrafted afterthought in both real-life and Fantasy to a significant contributor in both realms in one fell swoop on Sunday. The free agent rookie burst onto the scene, netting 102 total yards and a receiving touchdown in Denver’s Week 1 victory. Needless to say, his ownership percentage saw the most dramatic spike in Fantrax leagues. His ownership went from 8 percent prior to last week to 69 percent. However, he is still only being started in 25 percent of leagues. He is certainly worth an add where available and is a viable streaming option heading into a Week 2 tilt against Oakland.
Lindsay saw more snaps and touches than Ekeler in Week 1, and I will not quibble with those who value Lindsay as the better Week 2 play. I think Lindsay has the higher upside, especially in season-long leagues. He has a much better chance at leading a committee in Denver than Ekeler ever has of overtaking a healthy Melvin Gordon. However, I happen to believe Ekeler has a higher likelihood of finding his way into the end zone this week, thus he is higher in my rankings. Both are worthy Week 2 streamers and should be added where available.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears
First, let me just say how happy I am to see Kenny Stills finally active in over 50 percent of leagues and thus ineligible for this column. Now it is time for me to get another one of my preseason favorites enough love to be removed from this menagerie. I am speaking of course about Tyler Lockett, who also happens to be among my Week 2 streamers.
I loved Tyler Lockett before Doug Baldwin’s preseason injury, and I loved him after. When Baldwin admitted prior to Week 1 that he would not be playing at 100 percent this season, it was wheels up for Lockett in season-long formats. Unfortunately (but predictably), Baldwin further damaged his knee in Week 1, tearing his MCL. He will likely miss 2-4 weeks. Lockett is left to contend with Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown for targets in Seattle. Lockett is active in just 34 percent of Fantrax leagues and he is only owned in 79 percent. Both of those numbers are way too low.
Lockett has a Monday night matchup in Chicago. While the Bears sport a stout defense, they got lit up for Randall Cobb’s overall WR7 Week 1 performance. This is significant because Lockett played considerably more snaps in the slot once Baldwin went down. This figures to be the case once again on Monday. I suspect Russell Wilson will have to throw quite a bit in this game, and Lockett should receive more than the four targets he saw in Week 1. Tyler Lockett needs to be added immediately where available and should be started this week as a high-upside WR3 in this matchup.
Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos
Jared Cook just snuck in under the percentage started threshold, as he is currently active in 49 percent of leagues. He is an easy selection here following his monster night in Week 1. The 10-year veteran accounted for a whopping 180 receiving yards on nine catches on Monday night. That is an obvious outlier, but Cook should be in for another nice game in Week 2 when facing the Denver Broncos.
Denver has a good defense overall but just surrendered a 3-105-1 line to Will Dissly in his NFL debut. Dissly was not exactly known for his receiving prowess at the University of Washington. The converted defensive lineman had just 336 receiving yards in his entire college career. Cook’s route-running chops and ability to find the soft spot in a defense are obviously significantly better than the rookie’s. Cook was easily Derek Carr’s favorite target last week, and that may be the case once again in Week 2. Oakland has historically had great difficulty targeting Denver’s secondary in recent years. It would behoove Carr to target Cook early and often in this matchup. I have Jared Cook as my overall TE9 this week.
Chicago Bears v. Seattle Seahawks
Twitter was on fire when Khalil Mack was doing Khalil Mack things early in his Bears’ debut. Mack had a strip sack/fumble recovery and a pick-six in the first half in Chicago’s eventual loss. Despite the final score, it is obvious that Chicago’s defense is going to be a force to be reckoned with in 2018.
Week 2 should provide another nice opportunity for Chicago’s defense. They host the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night. Seattle surrendered six sacks in Week 1, as Von Miller and company ran roughshod around and through Seattle’s beleaguered offensive line. Chicago should take full advantage of Seattle’s deficiencies up front in this matchup. Chicago is likely to be a top-10 defense both in Week 2 and for the rest of the season. They are active in just 47 percent of leagues and still available in 24 percent.
Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos v. Oakland Raiders
Apparently, all of the Week 2 streamers are playing in Denver on Sunday. Brandon McManus is an ideal candidate for those streaming at kicker this week. First, Denver has a very healthy projected Week 2 total. They are expected to score 26 points this week when they host the Oakland Raiders. Oakland allowed three touchdowns and five field goal attempts last week, so McManus should have plenty of opportunities to put points on the board.
In addition to the opportunity factor, there is another reason McManus is my top streamer at kicker this week. The thin Mile High air in Denver is always a nice little bonus in the kicking game. McManus converted two field goals of at least 50 yards in Denver’s Week 1 home victory. Those kicks are significant in leagues that award bonus points for longer field goals. McManus also connected on both of his attempts from at least 50 yards out during the preseason, so he should enter Week 2 with a ton of confidence. Still available in 62 percent of leagues, McManus is a likely fantasy starter this week.
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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