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Week 16 fantasy streamers: Go back to Dak

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Streaming your starting QB, TE, or D/ST isn't the goal in fantasy football. But, if you're weak at a position where you only have to start one player, picking up usable fantasy weeks from the waiver wire can be a beneficial process. In typical start-one quarterback, tight end, and D/ST 12-team formats, most of your league mates won't -- and shouldn't -- carry a backup QB or D/ST. Positional scarcity leaves the waiver wire flush with plausible weekly starting options based on their matchup and expected game-flow.

Simply put, because quarterback and defensive matchups are easier to predict and their output varies less on a weekly basis, sharp fantasy owners have an edge in their leagues if they can stream their "onesie" positions (usually their defense) better than their opponent.

It's championship week! Let's get to the Week 16 streamers:

Quarterbacks


Floor and Ceiling: Dak Prescott vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Coming off his worst game of the season, Prescott may end up being waiver fodder in many leagues ahead of Week 16. That is a mistake. Obviously, Prescott and Co.'s upcoming draw against the Bucs is pristine -- only Oakland is surrendering more fantasy points per dropback than Tampa -- but what is far more intriguing are Dak's home/road splits. Over the full year, Prescott has averaged 25.8 fantasy points per game at home versus just 16.5 PPG on the road. For context, Prescott's overall efficiency (111.3 passer rating; 8.2 YPA) at home pales in comparison to his road struggles (78.9 passer rating; 6.4 YPA). Prescott is a no-brainer QB1 play during championship week.

Floor and Ceiling: Baker Mayfield vs. Cincinnati Bengals

After barely squeaking out a win against the Broncos, the Browns passing offense is in a prime bounce-back spot against the Bengals. Cincinnati has allowed seven total QB1 (top-12) performances this year (tied for third-most) and the seventh-most passing yards per game on the road. Second meetings between in-division rivals are notoriously lower scoring, but Mayfield ripped this same secondary for 258 yards and four scores on just 26 attempts just a month ago.

Floor and Ceiling: Josh Allen vs. New England Patriots

Still available in 90 percent of NFL.com leagues, trusting Allen in fantasy has proven tough for most. On the back of his 40/351/3 rushing, Allen is the QB2 behind only Patrick Mahomes over the last five weeks. In fact, if we isolate Allen's rushing stats among running backs only in this span, he would be the RB15 in fantasy points per game. Allen's passing floor is basically nil -- he's completed exactly 50 percent of his passes since returning from injury a month ago -- but New England's front-seven has quietly leaked the tenth-most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks. Mobile passers like Deshaun Watson (8/40), Blake Bortles (6/35), Mitch Trubisky (6/81/1), and Marcus Mariota (2/21) have all added to their fantasy output with their legs against the Pats' this season.

Tight Ends


Per usual for 2018, the championship week streamer list is thin at tight end. And, like normal, there are 5-6 options that have reasonable floors with very little separating their outlook:

-- Gerald Everett (vs. Arizona): Has seen seven targets in back-to-back games on the back of season-high snap rates (57 percent, 45 percent), but the Cards' have quietly been pesky against alpha TEs all year. George Kittle is the only tight end to eclipse 60 yards against Arizona as they've held Trey Burton (4/50), Travis Kelce (6/46), Jared Cook (3/31/1), and Jimmy Graham (8/50) relatively in check.

-- Ian Thomas (vs. Atlanta): Over the last three weeks, Thomas has compiled 20 targets over 11 quarters of action. The only problem is that Cam Newton (shoulder) is far from healthy.

-- C.J. Uzomah (vs. Cleveland): Leads the Bengals in targets (24) with Jeff Driskel under center and is due for another bump in volume without Tyler Boyd (knee) to close out the year. However, while Cleveland has given up bulk stats to the position, they have allowed the sixth-fewest yards per target to tight ends.

-- Chris Herndon (vs. Green Bay): Leads Jets in passer rating when targeted (101.0), but his target count has been uneven over the last five weeks (4, 8, 6, 2, 4).

Defenses


Note: There are five strong streaming starts for Week 16 lineup decisions. I have them ranked in order of preference, but the margin is fairly slim. All of these options are over 60 percent available on NFL.com.

Floor and Ceiling: Titans D/ST vs. Washington Redskins

Fresh off blanking the Giants at home, the Titans get an equally inept Redskins pass offense next. Tennessee promptly held the Odell Beckham-less Giants to just 229 yards passing as Eli Manning threw an interception and absorbed three sacks in the onslaught. The injury-ravaged Redskins beat the Jags, but Josh Johnson was held to a measly 6.0 YPA and he absorbed three sacks in the process. Washington now has to travel to Nashville for a back-to-back AFC South road date. After recording back-to-back top-6 fantasy finishes over the last two weeks (27 fantasy points scored), the Titans are the top streaming option for championship week.

Floor and Ceiling: Browns D/ST vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Over the last four weeks, Jeff Driskel has completed 58 percent of his passes, averaged a brutal 5.4 yards per attempt, and a 77.2 passer rating. This year, only Chicago (72.9) has permitted a lower passer rating than Cleveland (82.1). Oakland's D/ST predictably failed last week, but both the Broncos and Chargers got home for top-10 fantasy performances against the Driskel-led Bengals in Weeks 13-14. The Browns struggled through two tough matchups (Chiefs, Chargers), but have scored nine or more fantasy points in four of their other 5 home matchups this season.

Ceiling: Dolphins D/ST vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags' have scored one offensive touchdown over their last three games while 4 of the last 5 D/ST's to face Jacksonville have logged top-12 fantasy results. Need I say more?

Floor: Colts D/ST vs. New York Giants

The Colts defense was the shock of the Week 15 slate, holding the relatively hot Cowboys' attack to zero points on a day where Dak Prescott threw one interception and took 3 sacks. Indy has been far from the fantasy radar all year -- they were the 21st-highest scoring defense heading into last week -- but they potentially get the Odell Beckham-less Giants next. Over the last two seasons, the Giants have averaged 21.6 points per game with Beckham in the lineup versus 14.8 points without OBJ.

Floor: Packers D/ST vs. New York Jets

Green Bay has a fantastic draw "on paper" against Sam Darnold, but the Packers have been an unusable fantasy option on the road this year. At Lambeau, the Packers D/ST has scored 10.3 PPG (second-most) but they are averaging a paltry 3.0 PPG on the road. Only the Bengals (2.6), Panthers (2.3), Buccaneers (1.9), and Raiders (1.8) have been worse on the road than the Packers D/ST. Still, we have enough of a floor through the matchup to warrant top-12 consideration in Week 16. Sam Darnold has averaged 1.8 turnovers and 2.2 sacks per game across 11 starts.

-- Graham Barfield is the managing editor of fantasy football content at NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @GrahamBarfield.

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