Sweet Streams for Week #17
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns – I wrote about Mayfield in last week’s article, but things didn’t play out as the entire WR corps for the Browns wound up on the COVID 19 list. Baker was forced to play with practice squad players in a game they ended up losing to the Jets. Heading into this week, the Browns are fighting for their playoff lives taking on the Steelers who intend to rest their starters in Week 17. If Cleveland wins, they’re in, so I expect a fully motivated Cleveland offense to take advantage of Pittsburgh’s back-up defense.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears – The Bears and Packers are both playing for something this weekend as the Bears need a win and they’re into the NFC playoffs. Trubisky has been up and down since taking back over as the starter, finishing in the top 7 3/6 times and finishing outside the top 24 3/6 times. This game has the second highest Over/Under on the slate and with both teams still fighting, I think we get a high scoring affair. The Packers are decent favorites (-5.5) so expectation says some catching up from Trubisky and the offense. While Green Bay isn’t the sexiest match-up, I think there’s enough volume in a meaningful game for Trubisky to get it done, plus the Green Bay run defense has gotten better as the season has gone on.
Chad Henne, Kansas City Chiefs – A deeper dive for 2QB and Superflex leagues, Andy Reid said they will also rest their starters in Week 17. Unlike most teams, the weapons on Kansas City run extremely deep so even the back-up WRs and RBs should still be starter level quality for Henne including guys like Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins. The Chiefs are underdogs against the LA Chargers, but only by 3.5 points, which is interesting given KC is playing back-ups and we expect to see the Chargers starting squad. An Andy Reid offense is extremely QB friendly, and the Chargers have been one of the worst passing defenses over the last three weeks.
Running Back Rampage
Darrell Williams, Kansas City Chiefs – As mentioned above the Kansas City Chiefs are expected to sit their starters this week and that should give guys like Darrell Williams a chance to carry the load. The Chargers have one of the worst run defenses in the league and Williams has been efficient this year, averaging 4.3 yards per attempt. The Andy Reid offense has shown positive results regardless who’s in, and 15+ touches for Williams should make a nice fantasy day this week.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens – The Baltimore Ravens are still fighting for a playoff berth, so I expect a full arsenal this week against the Bengals. Baltimore is an enormous 11.5-point favorite which leads us to believe in plenty of rushing attempts for Baltimore this week. Mark Ingram has been a healthy scratch the last few weeks and the backfield has become a share between Edwards and Dobbins. Even without a touchdown last week Edwards finished in the top 20 and has shown RB1 potential this year. The Bengals give up over 130 yards per game on the ground and almost 5 yards per carry, Edwards should feast this weekend.
J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team – I’m not sure if McKissic qualifies as a streamer anymore but somehow, he is still ranked outside the Top 20 in Week 17 rankings. Regardless of the QB, he has been a target monster this year, especially lately amassing 10 targets in 3 of the last 4 games. Washington vs. Philly this week should be a great game as Washington is still fighting for the division, and I’m sure the Eagles want to see as much of Jalen Hurts as they can before this off-season. The Eagles are middle of the pack against RBs but have given up some great days to pass catching RBs. In a tight game I think McKissic gets enough targets to provide another solid day.
Wide Open Receivers
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans – Odds are if you played Davis last week you aren’t playing anymore fantasy football this week. A goose-egg left owners dazed and confused but I like Davis to bounce back this week in a big way. The Titans are playing meaningful football this weekend, win and they’re in, and they’re game against Houston carries the highest Over/Under of the week (56.5). Houston has one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL and gives up over 28 points per game. Add in the fact Tennessee also has one of the league’s worst defenses in terms of yards and scoring, Deshaun Watson should be able to put points up on the board as well, forcing this game into a shoot-out.
Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns – I mentioned Higgins last week as a solid streaming option but unfortunately, he was added to the COVID 19 list right before the game started last week. Reports say they expect the WRs back this week, so I’m double dipping on Higgins in a must-win game for the Browns. Higgins has been a solid producer since OBJ went down and is going up against a back-up Steeler defense. I like Higgins to have a great day. Cleveland is a huge 9.5-point favorite with an Over/Under of 42.5, giving them an implied total of 26 points and I like them to go over that number in a must-win game.
Chad Hansen, Houston Texans – This is a deep stream idea if you’re truly desperate this week knowing a few teams are benching their starters. Hansen has gotten more work since Fuller got suspended, playing above 50% of the snaps each of the last three weeks. You’ll see a few streaming ideas from this game as it carries the highest Over/Under on the week and with the Texans decent underdogs against the Titans awful pass defense there should be an abundance of fantasy points in both of these passing offenses.
(Not So) Typical Tight Ends
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints – The Saints have clinched their division and are still fighting for the first-round bye this week against Carolina. New Orleans is a heavy favorite (6.5) with an implied total of 26.5 and Carolina allows the 8th most fantasy points to the tight end position. There should be a good amount of scoring on the Saints side, and with Michael Thomas set to miss the finale, that means more targets must go elsewhere to guys like Cook and Emmanuel Sanders. Carolina has also been one of the worst red-zone defenses over the last three weeks, allowing a touchdown on 71% of red-zone drives.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins – Gesicki has been a solid contributor since Tua has come in at QB and Brian Flores has already mentioned Tua will start again in Week 17. The Dolphins need to win this game to get into the playoffs and they take on a Bills team that has clinched the division and can’t climb any further in the playoff standings. So, I imagine we see a bit more motivation from Miami. The Bills give up the 7th most fantasy points to Tight Ends and Gesicki has gotten 5 or more targets in six straight games.
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans – Jonnu was one of my favorite sleeper Tight Ends coming into the season and after a hot start he seemed to cool off quite a bit in the middle of the year. Since coming back from injury, he has gotten 5+ targets in each of the last two games and along the same lines as the Corey Davis and Chad Hansen idea, I’m targeting anyone I can in this game. It has the highest Over/Under on the week by far and Tennessee games have hit the Over six of the last seven. Houston is middle of the road against Tight Ends and has one of the league’s worst passing defenses.
In My Defense
Cleveland Browns – The Browns have been a streamer darling for the last few weeks as their schedule lined up beautifully, taking on the Giants and Jets each of the past two weeks. However, low fantasy outputs against both teams leave us wondering if Cleveland can be trusted again? This week they’re taking on a Steelers team resting their starters, so that means Mason Rudolph comes to town. Cleveland is heavy (-9.5) home favorites in a game with a low Over/Under (42.5) and that is usually the recipe for a solid DST streaming option. I expect Cleveland to win this one easily and I think their defense has a great day against the Steelers second string unit.
Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles were knocked out of playoff contention last week but still can play spoiler to a division foe. They are home underdogs (+2) to Washington in a game with a low Over/under at 43 points. Washington gives up the 6th most points to DSTs which is a tribute to several things. They are one of the worst scoring offenses in the NFL, and rank near the top of the league in sacks allowed and giveaways. Dwayne Haskins was released this week which means we’ll see either Taylor Heinicke or Alex Smith at QB. Regardless I think Philly is a safe DST play this week.
New York Jets – Playing some inspired football the last few weeks the Jets take on the New England Patriots in the season finale. Neither team has anything to play for this week, but we’ve seen a bit of a resurgence from New York the last two weeks, knocking off the Rams and Browns back to back. We got a glimpse of Jarrett Stidham last week and I imagine Belichick will roll Stidham out there once again. Whether it’s Stidham or Newtown, I think the Jets are a solid play this week against a New England team with nothing to play for in a game with only a 39-point Over/Under. New England has allowed 4 sacks and a giveaway per game each of the last three games. I’m not too worried about what we saw from Jarrett Stidham the other night to bench the Jets DST.
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