Eagles defense tops Week 3 fantasy streaming options

Print


Since Alex Gelhar already masterfully identified some of the top waiver-wire targets ahead of Week 3, and Matt Harmon examined top deep league adds in his deep dive, it's my job to provide some streaming candidates at quarterback, tight end and defense for the upcoming slate of games. Keep in mind, most of these players/teams are bottom-of-the-barrel targets for deep leagues, and I'm not saying they're going to be top scorers at their position, but they should do enough to keep your team competitive in Week 3 if you need some assistance. So, let's get to it.

*Ownership percentage data from NFL.com fantasy leagues.

Quarterbacks


Trevor Siemian at Bills | 6.9% owned: Through two weeks, Broncos signal caller Trevor Siemian leads all NFL quarterbacks with six passing touchdowns, and added a rushing score in Week 1 for seven total on the year. He's fantasy's second-highest scoring quarterback thus far despite the fact that his 450 pass yards rank him 15th in the league. It seems like he's comfortable using his legs when he needs to, as well since, he has 11 rush attempts so far, third-most in the league. Considering his production, his fantasy ownership percentage on NFL.com leagues is criminal.

Siemian led Denver to a dominating win over Dallas in Week 2. The Broncos converted all four of their red zone chances and the young quarterback tied his career-high in touchdown passes with four. His success makes sense, seeing as he has two perennial thousand-yard receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Siemian has funneled 73.2 percent of his wide receiver targets to the duo this season and that should continue.

In Week 3, the Broncos head to Buffalo for a road game against what, on paper, seems like a tough matchup for fantasy quarterbacks. But when you consider that the Bills faced the sub-par Jets offense in Week 1 and the Panthers run-heavy scheme in Week 2 you can see why Buffalo's defense has allowed 10.65 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks in 2017. Siemian and company should have no trouble finding holes in the Bills secondary. And the way Denver's defense is playing, the team should dominate time of possession with Buffalo's lack of playmakers on offense. This game isn't expected to be high-scoring, but we're talking about a low-owned streamer who at worst will be a serviceable fantasy option. Given his 45.3 fantasy points through two games with seemingly difficult matchups, Siemian is a fine option. Plus, he's undefeated in his career in the month of September, so if nothing else do it for the trends, right?

Jay Cutler at Jets | 4.1% owned: I had listed Jay Cutler in this space ahead of Week 2, and while he didn't win any matchups for fantasy managers, he posted a respectable 13.1 fantasy points, that's more than Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston for what it's worth. Crazy, I know.

Anyway, Cutler spread the ball around with some success against the Chargers in his debut with Miami. He locked-in on Jarvis Landry in short area routes, because Los Angeles was allowing him a ton of separation. When I say Cutler locked onto Landry, I mean 15 targets locked on. We got a glimpse of DeVante Parker as Cutler's favorite deep threat as he accounted for 49.8 percent of his intended air yards, per NextGenStats. Cutler also threw a touchdown pass to Kenny Stills, a 29-yarder in the third quarter. Cutler is playing with perhaps the most skilled and diverse set of pass-catchers he's had at his disposal in his career, and it should be fun to watch the team develop chemistry as we get deeper into the season.

Week 3 presents a perfect opportunity for that, as the Dolphins head to MetLife Stadium to take on the Jets. New York hasn't played very well on defense through two games. In fact, the Jets have allowed 400-plus yards to opposing offenses in each of the first two weeks. The unit has also surrendered 33 points per game to opposing teams, so the table is set nicely for Cutler to feast here. It's not out of the question to think he'll finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback at the end of Week 3.

Tight ends


Zach Miller vs Steelers | 2.7% owned: In all honesty, when you're streaming a tight end all you're really looking for is a touchdown and/or some volume. Zach Miller should at least provide the latter given his usage through the Bears first two games and the team's lack of reliable options in the pass-catching corps.

Miller's 15 targets on the season rank him sixth among tight ends, and he ranks second on the Bears to only Tarik Cohen (21). He's also tied for the team lead in red zone targets (four, Kendall Wright) and is third on the team with 81 receiving yards (10 receptions). Miller was on the field for 74 percent of Chicago's snaps in Week 2, so he's getting more run than Dion Sims, at least. I understand that Mike Glennon isn't the most elite of quarterbacks, but he's loading up his tight end with targets which counts for something.

The Steelers haven't allowed a ton of production to tight ends this season, but they've played the Browns and a Case Keenum-led Vikings team through two games. Not exactly vaunted attacks there. Last year, Pittsburgh was one of 11 teams to allow over 900 receiving yards to tight ends, so they're somewhat susceptible to the position. It's a deep streaming option, but if you're in a PPR format and need some help, Miller could provide a reasonable floor in Week 3.

Austin Hooper at Lions | 25.9 % owned: Before I dive into why you should stream Austin Hooper this week, I'll have you know that I realize he has just four targets on the season, two in each game. He ghosted in Week 2 after putting up 128 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, so he obviously comes with volatility. But hey, if you're going to target a deep tight end to stream, it might as well be a guy in a high-flying offense, right?

Like I said, Hooper had a huge Week 1 on the heels of an 88-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. You obviously can't bank on an explosive play like this, but the way it came about does matter. The Falcons were in a close game with the Bears, so Matt Ryan was throwing more in the second half. In fact, 18 of his 30 pass attempts in Week 1 came in the second half, compared to just eight of his 28 second-half attempts coming in the second half when Atlanta was up big over the Packers in week 2.

The Falcons face the Lions in Week 3 in a game slated to be a close, and high-scoring affair per our friends in the desert. Detroit allowed double-digit touchdowns to tight ends last season and were a weekly target of streaming the tight end position because of their inability to stop them. This trend continued on Monday night when Giants rookie tight end Evan Engram scored his first NFL touchdown and finished the game with 10.49 standard points. Consider that performance a preview of what Hooper, who plays in a much better offense, might be able to do in Week 3.

Defenses (D/STs)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Vikings | 13.6% owned: While your mainstream pals were watching the Ravens and Broncos defense do their usual thing on Sunday, the Buccaneers sneakily posted more fantasy points (19.00) than any other unit in Week 2. Granted, it came against a lowly, Mike Glennon-led Bears offense that struggled to get anything going on the road. Still, Tampa Bay's defense terrorized Chicago with four takeaways, scored on a pick-six, recorded one sack and allowed just seven points in an impressive outing.

In Week 3, Tampa Bay heads to Minnesota and will either face a less-than 100 percent Sam Bradford at quarterback or a Case Keenum-led Vikings offense. Either way, the Bucs, even on the road, make for a solid streamer. Keenum threw for just 169 yards on 37 attempts against the Steelers and he didn't throw a single touchdown pass. If Bradford does play, it will obviously be a downgrade for the Bucs D/ST, but the unit should still be added considering they finished seventh overall in total fantasy points in 2016 and are trending up this year with defensive stars like Lavontae David, Gerald McCoy and Robert McClain lurking. The aforementioned trio combined for 14 tackles, four quarterback hits and two turnovers in Week 2.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Giants | 21.9% owned: The Philadelphia defense was a bust against a loaded Kansas City offense on the road at Arrowhead Stadium, so hopefully you shied away from them following a 22-point Week 1 performance. But the Eagles return home for a Week 3 contest against the division rival Giants and should be considered a solid streaming option once again.

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has turned this unit around as noted in my Week 1 write up. And despite giving up 27 points to Kansas City, the Eagles still managed four sacks against Alex Smith. It was the second game in a row the unit notched four sacks. That spells trouble for a Giants team whose evident weakness is in its offensive line.

With just 97 rush yards through the first two games, dead last in the NFL, New York has virtually no run game. So the onus falls on Eli Manning to get the ball to his receivers as we saw Monday night against the Lions. He struggled in Week 1 against Dallas without Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) and wasn't much better against Detroit. If Philadelphia can focus on stopping the pass (they allowed just 232 pass yards to the Chiefs) New York will be no match on the road and should return to their productive ways for fantasy managers.

It's not too late to play NFL Fantasy! Join or create a league for FREE.

-- Follow Matt on Twitter @MattFranchise, on Instagram @mattfranchise and like his page on Facebook

Print