I want to take you back to a simpler time. A time, let’s call it, the era of Blockbuster. Now, do you remember having to drive to an actual brick and mortar store, spend 20 minutes walking up and down several aisles, carry around 4 boxes so nobody took the last copy of whichever movie you decide to take home and watch…Then, the world changed.

Netflix delivered movies to your door, but only 1 at a time unless you paid extra, and heaven forbid you lose the damn DVD or envelope. Well, that was a mess and while an interesting concept, still didn’t quite push out the era of Blockbuster.

Eventually Netflix, among others, decided that streaming movies directly into your house or phone was the way to go. No more driving, no more walking up and down the aisles only to find the 35 copies of the one movie you drove to the store for had all been checked out. You simply scroll through and click on the movie or show you wanted to watch (or in my case, scroll, scroll, scroll, keep scrolling, then watch the same shows and movies I’ve seen a dozen times).

Well, I can’t promise that the world of fantasy football will go to a full fledged streaming service, unless you count DFS, but there are a few positions that can be more easily found via streaming than others. Quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses are the primary areas that I would recommend potentially using the streaming strategy.

This is a strategy I have long since employed as quarterbacks don’t have the same point discrepancy that exists at other positions; tight ends outside of the top few tend to be very TD dependent; and defenses are matchup based more often than not and we really only have so much information going into the season about how a defense will look. I will give a shallower and a deeper option each week… and here are Week 1 Streamers after the jump…

Week 1 Streamers

Quarterbacks

Marcus Mariota

I don’t think new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur would agree with Peter on this one, but he is one of the reasons I’m recommending Mariota as a streamer. Exotic smashmouth doesn’t sound like much of an offense for a quarterback to thrive in, rather, it sounds like Steve Harwell got the guys back together for some career saving pornos like, “Walking in the Son”, “Asstro Lounge” (can you believe that album went triple platinum?), and of course who could forget “Get Your Game On, Get Laid.”

Now that you have either terrible visual images or “Hey now, you’re an All-Star” going through your mind…I want to point out that LaFleur is thought to be a throwing mechanics specialist who came over from the Rams (remember how bad Goff looked his rookie season). He also was the QB coach for one Robert Griffin III, so, I believe he understands how to use a mobile QB. Although, I admit comparing RG3 and Mariota is not exactly apples to apples.

The Titans opponent, the Miami Dolphins, were bottom 5 in pass defense last season. The safeties aren’t bad actually, but their best corner is probably their slot guy, Bobby McCain. So, let’s just say that I’m not worried about the Dolphins defense being a hindrance and I think the upshot on Mariota is worth the gamble if you’re already playing the streaming game.

Blake Bortles

Sigh…I hate myself for making Bortles a recommendation for week 1. The tape has never been kind to Bortles who can miss a dump off pass by 5 yards when it was only a 3 yard toss. However, he has somehow managed to maintain his starting role for a playoff caliber defense and I guess has to be evaluated as a starting QB in the NFL, as sad as that may be.

My recommendation of Bortles in week 1 has little to do with his ability, but rather that he will be facing one of the worst defenses against the pass, at least according to last season’s numbers. I know that last season’s stats don’t necessarily dictate what will happen this season, but what, do you want me to use preseason stats? Plus, the Giants, despite huge defensive troubles last season, did little to address the problem this offseason.

In 2017, the Giants pass defense gave up the 2nd most yards, the most passing TDs, the 4th worst net yards per attempt, 3rd lowest in sacks, and 4th worst in sack %. All of this is to say, I’m not worried about the Giants pass defense and think Bortles could be an acceptable streamer, at least for week 1.

Defenses

Green Bay Packers

This might make me more sick than recommending Bortles. As a Chicago Bears fan, I do become slightly nauseated at the thought of playing a defense against my squad, but let’s face it, it’s probably a good idea most of the time. The last time the Bears were top 15 in points scored was in 2013 (first year of Trestman), and before that it was 2008.

They scored more than 30 points only once last season and that was against the hapless Cincinnati Bengals who allowed Jordan Howard to run for almost 150 yards and 2 TDs. The Bears offense has gotten better this year with the additions of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, and Da (new) Coach, Matt Nagy. While I don’t see a bottom 3 finish in offense from the Bears again this season, let’s just say I’m a bit skeptical that the first game, under a new offensive system, with a new coach, and new offensive pieces, is going to work out smoothly.

The Packers have added a couple pieces in Muhammed Wilkerson, Antonio Morrison (leading tackler from Colts in 2017), and brought back Tramon Williams. They also got rid of long time defensive coordinator Dom Capers and brought in Mike Pettine who was on the 02-08 Ravens coaching staff, 09-12 Jets, and 2013 Bills before trying his hand at head coaching in Cleveland.

Remember even Bill Belichick couldn’t turn around the Browns. I do think there is something to a new voice in the room especially when the old coach has been there for a while. For what it is worth, the Packers Defense is projected 7th best for week 1 at Razzball, and the game is in Lambeau.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills were an opportunistic defense in 2017 tied for 6th in interceptions with 18 and 7 fumbles recovered which puts them about mid pack. They are largely being ignored this season, which may have more to do with the changes to the offense than the defense. The Bills may not be able to ground and pound like they did all last season with the depleted O line they’re currently running out there, but the defense has remained largely the same, and I think has actually improved slightly.

The other reason for recommending the Bills is their opponent, the Ravens. There were only 4 games that the Ravens scored more than 30 points. They were against the Dolphins where they had 2 interceptions returned for TDs; the Lions who coughed up the ball 3 times in the game; the Steelers game was a legitimate good offensive performance; and the Raiders when Flacco completed two passes over 50 yards to Mike Wallace along with a fumble recovery for a TD.

In 2017, the Ravens put up the 6th fewest total offensive yards and the 4th fewest passing yards. So, all this is to say, I’m not worried about the Ravens offense and if you’re looking for a deep streaming defense, I think the Bills are worth consideration.

Tight Ends

Ricky Seals-Jones

My podcast co-host, @DonkeyTeeth87, likes the tape on RSJ a little more than I do, but this is a nice matchup for week 1 and he is available in 55% of leagues per Fantrax. While Jermaine Gresham has made a pretty miraculous turnaround after the achilles injury to even be removed from the PUP list, I do not believe we see him in this game leaving the tight end receiving duties to RSJ.

In his past, we have seen Sam Bradford utilize the tight end heavily. While we have to see what this offense looks like with no Carson Palmer and a new coaching staff, I do believe RSJ will get his share of targets in this one with all the attention on Fitz and DJ,. Plus, the Redskins have long been pretty ineffective against the TE. Last season, they gave up the 4th most yards and 7th most TDs, and the 7th most fantasy points to tight ends.

Jesse James

Maybe not the cleanest recommendation, but is likely available in all of your leagues. As of today, 9/5/18, Vance McDonald has not been able to practice and that leaves me to believe that Jesse James will be the Steelers starting TE on Sunday.

This could all change if McDonald gets on the field for practice and feels good enough to go, but James has had the occasional nice game, and as it sounds like the Steelers could potentially be missing a very big weapon in Le’Veon Bell, they may look toward the TE to supplement some of that lost offense.

In addition, Pittsburgh plays the Browns this weekend who were tied with the 2nd most TDs to TEs, bottom 10 in TE yards allowed, and gave up the 5th most points to TEs last season. I know the Browns have made a number of changes this offseason to improve their roster, but if you listen to my podcast, Ditka, Sausage, and Fantasy Sports, you know that I don’t believe that an institutional mess like the Browns can be cleaned up by a few new faces.

Extra Note: Just in case Vance does get back to practice and it sounds like he’s going to play, I also like Charles Clay and both Tampa Bay TEs (OJ Howard and Cameron Brate).

Find B_Don on Twitter @DitkaSausagePod. Subscribe to his podcast with @DonkeyTeeth87, Ditka, Sausage, and Fantasy Sports on Itunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

  1. steve stevenson says:
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    With Reed as my TE starter, I grabbed RSJ as an upside bench stash. However, Kittle was dropped. Should I add him over RSJ?

    • steve stevenson says:
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      @steve stevenson: I should add that Rudy’s projections (which are awesome) have them neck and neck for the season.

      • B_Don

        B_Don says:
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        @steve stevenson: I would go grab Kittle. I know Rudy’s projections have them pretty close, but I liked what I saw on tape from Kittle more and have him in my top 10 TEs for the season. We actually reviewed both guys on the TE podcast if you want to hear what myself and my co-host think about these guys in more detail.

  2. miles proudfoot says:
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    Who do you like for a flex spot in the Jax-Giants game, Engram or Cole? Thanks!

    • B_Don

      B_Don says:
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      @miles proudfoot: Give me Cole for this week. Jags were one of the best in the league vs the TE last season, and I think Cole will be filling in the Lee role in that offense against a bad Giants secondary, as mentioned aboved.

  3. Chucky says:
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    Betwixt and between tonight. All the experts say Devonta over Ajayi. I’m not so sure. When in doubt, go HFA, right? Also Cobb or Marquise Goodwin on Sunday? Looks like a toss up. Again, HFA with Cobb?

    • B_Don

      B_Don says:
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      @Chucky: I have Devonta over Ajayi as well, but given that we haven’t seen Devonta in the preseason at all, it would be understandable to have some skepticism about how much he’ll play, but I think he likely gets his full compliment of work.

      I think I like Cobb in PPR and Goodwin’s upside in standard.

  4. david corliss says:
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    i have to pick 2 players who do i start Connor Royce Freeman or Lesean McCoy

    • B_Don

      B_Don says:
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      @david corliss: I’m not sure if that is Royce and Devonta or just Royce, but I would have them Devonta, McCoy, Royce, Conner.

  5. Donaldson betts says:
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    Flex spot
    Burkhead
    Fuller
    Dion lewis
    Corey davis

      • Donaldson b says:
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        Why so low on fuller? Is it the hammy

        • MB

          MB says:
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          Yeah he can still climb when I update

  6. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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    reshad jones is a lot better than “not bad”. i’m not vouching for the other one

  7. Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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    oh yeah coleman stock going up, was screaming at TV (sat coleman to play ajayi in biggest money league) when in 1st half PHI’s idiot brain trusts give ajayi 3 carries to a pro bowler.

  8. Yr Never Too Old For Balloons says:
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    14 team dynasty super flex AND rushing/receiving yards further weakened by only being worth 1 pt per 15, rather than 10, so half demotion to RB/WR/TE vs QB’s. standard as well, so QB’s are king. in past years i had a variety of backups that may have played that aren’t now (foles till he went to KC and never played a main one), guys that retired (palmer) and i nabbed goff a few years ago. this year i made sure to get as many QB’s as possible (it turned out to ONLY be the BUF guys though, even with a 1st round pick for allen). a lot of my WR lost value over the offseason too (dez, cooks, parker)
    QB goff
    RB (2) gurley, hyde
    WR (2) cooks, green
    TE (1) walker
    regular flex: coleman
    super flex: peterman (or breida or m.will LAC)
    BN guys:
    QB: allen
    RB: breida, j.kelly
    WR: m.williams, parker, dez, j.washington
    TE: OJ
    IR guice (was able to obtain the 2nd best RB in this year’s draft due to injury he was cheap (2nd round)

    1. hard to trust super flex rankings as i can’t input my exact settings, peterman or breida or m.will this week?
    2. hold j.washington or drop for one of these: richardson, kirk, ginn, allison, a.wilson, grant, b.marshall at WR or one of these RB’s: samuels, t.austin, hines, j.allen, hill, dixon? if/when parker and/or dez is healthy i’d probably rather have 6 RB than 6 WR in this league due to standardness.

    • B_Don

      B_Don says:
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      @Yr Never Too Old For Balloons: 1. Give me Peterman. Breida listed at the top of the depth chart, but it’s a time split and heard them say that Alf may get the bulk of the carries today.

      2. I think the spec pickup of Washington is probably about the same as Richardson, Kirk, Allison, or Grant. I may lean toward Richardson as I’ve been a bit high on him all offseason, but I think they’re all around the same area and take the one you like the most.

  9. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    12 team half PPR 2 QB dynasty. michel able to be put in IR slot (have 2), 3 moves per week any move made tonight counts for week 1 (have no other week 1 moves used). daily FAAB (zero bids exist)
    QB: rodgers, tyrod, mahomes, foles, rosen
    RB (2): burkhead, kamara, ingram, ekeler
    WR (3): jordy, k.allen, thielen, d-jax, ross, edelman
    TE (1): ertz
    IR: m.lee, michel
    K: KC kicker

    who’s best add (could leave michel in IR slot for now, so depending on usage next week i could even start this player next week): t.will (LAC, hard to believe he’s not owned here, i could’ve grabbed him over j.ross, holy crap ross just TD’ed on the exact kind of play you’d not expect from him), j.brown, grant, a.wilson, clement, samuels, and a good amount of RB’s that COULD obtain value later today IF somebody gets hurt (jac rodgers, kelley, ivory, j.allen) but i’ll assume they aren’t the guy unless somebody DOES get hurt. yeldon, boom, fournette thing right there (he won’t be free though)

      • B_Don

        B_Don says:
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        @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: Probably Grant for me of the guys you listed. John Brown has looked good, but I don’t trust Flacco. The big pickup if something happened to fournette is going to be yeldon, but you already mentioned, he’s going to be a tough one to get potentially.

        • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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          @B_Don: and the fournette thing doesn’t sound that bad.

  10. Better Call Limehouse says:
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    12 team PPR with full 10 return yards per point (same as scrimmage). i was intending on targeting one of cohen/lockett (supposedly both punt and kick, lockett for sure is) and/or crowder (not all the time, but some returns). problem was i wanted to make sure i got one of wentz/luck, and then right after i did that i thought i could sneak in my only early TE draft pick of the year with walker, then lockett/cohen/crowder all went in the next 4 picks. now i’m left with no TE at all nor no useful returner.

    QB (1) mariota/wentz
    RB (2) barkley (broke a big one but if not that would’ve been ugly), royce (MF’ing timeshare), ajayi, coleman, clement (handcuff), booker (thought he was handcuff)
    WR (2) k.allen, fitz, cobb, hurns, callaway (was ridley, i dropped after that ATL game where he wasn’t used, also callaway COULD’VE been a return guy, wasn’t, clearly he’s a drop now)
    TE (1) walker
    1 flex (R/W/T)
    IR (1) jeffery
    kicker: prater
    DEF: BAL

    1. this look like good order to drop callaway for one of these: grant, brown (BAL), dede (like i thought, eventually used more than cole), ginn, j.grant MIA (27.2 points this week from returns AND some actual catches, those’ll go down when parker’s back but both kick/punt returns)

    2. drop hurns for a 2nd of these?

    3. best order for either dropping walker himself (if it’s pretty sure he’s gone a long time, which sounds likely) or dropping somebody else (i’m making so many WW claims here it’s very likely i’m not winning all these guys): dissly, j.smith (walker’s replacement), watson, ebron, hooper, gesicki, willson?

    4. doesn’t sound like i should be holding mariota here (he’s vs HOU and with the rest of my team it doesn’t sound like i have room for 3 QB’s to wait for mariota AND wentz), so drop him for which of (week 2’s matchups, WW’s go off monday night late (3 AM ish tuesday))
    keenum vs OAK
    flacco @ CIN
    eli @ DAL
    fitz vs PHI
    this sounds like an easy keenum. wentz might also be back week 2 anyway.

    5. RB replacement order for booker: lindsay, yeldon, hines, murphy BUF (20.5 pts from returns mostly, and THAT team is going to be getting a TON of those all year)

    6. and i’m guessing since i just lost a pretty high drafted starter (walker) i should make my top claim the TE replacement here? likely followed by callway replacement or booker replacement (or reverse these 2), then QB this week, then WR hurns replacement.

    one thing in leagues like this, as season goes on (i should’ve done this in previous season’s, will now) we want to know which kickers are very good at kicking the ball very far yielding few returns on kick returns (by far more useful yards come from kick returns, when they aren’t downed) and which teams yield the most yards on those returned kicks. so we know that succop (TEN) had 2/3 of his kicks returned, and TEN gave up 125 yards (grant’s gain of 18.5 points), tucker had 5/9th of his kicks returned for 165 yards (murphy’s 16.5 gain). so it’s better to face succop/TEN as a kick returner. the punt return yards for murphy and j.grant (there are actually TWO j.grant kick returners now as well, MIA i care about) are very negligible (-1 and 9)

    • B_Don

      B_Don says:
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      @Better Call Limehouse: 1. I think that order for pickups is about right. Given the return yards factor, I may move Grant over Ginn.

      2. I have a number of Hurns shares and I’m holding on for the most part. Both myself and Rudy’s projections liked Hurns quite a bit.

      3. Give me Ebron and then Hooper of the ones you listed.

      4. I agree, it’s probably Keenum of those listed.

      5. Agree with the order listed. Murphy and Ervin are 2 guys I was thinking about for return yards that might be available.

      6. I know you just lost your TE, but I’d still likely prioritize them RB, WR, QB (just in case Wentz doesn’t play), and then TE.

      Good thought with the new kick return rules. The teams that don’t just kick it into the endzone every time should be monitored for starts each week potentially in a kick return yardage league.

  11. Eric the Waiter with Hands for Hands says:
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    gurley owners nab mal brown here over kelly or just wait.

    • B_Don

      B_Don says:
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      @Eric the Waiter with Hands for Hands: Depends on the specifics of the league and your roster, but I wouldn’t worry about grabbing Malcolm Brown. I don’t know why Kelly was inactive this week, maybe Malcolm works on special teams, but if anything were to happen to Gurley, I do think it ends up being Kelly to take over because I believe he is the most talented RB there, after Gurley of course.

  12. Yr Never Too Old For Balloons says:
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    20 teamer PPR redraft.
    QB (1) luck, rosen (sounds like he’ll be getting that job shortly, issue is these 2 have the same bye, unless i thought fitz would still be starting in week 9 rosen was only likely starter left when i drafted the backup to luck, so fitz still around)
    RB (2) mixon, drake, ekeler, montgomery, ivory
    WR (3) hopkins, r.anderson, cobb, a.wilson, t.taylor (SF)
    TE (1) doyle, griffin
    1 flex
    K sturgis
    team D (1) CHI (only OAK/NYJ/IND out there)
    LB (2) z.brown, bucannon, barron, and a streamer (barron missed week 1)
    DE (1) griffen
    DT (1) casey
    CB (2) norman, about to grab a new 2nd
    S (1) collins
    1 IDP flex

    1. drop ivory for this order of RB’s: lindsay, murphy, j.richard? is murphy really the guy if mccoy went down
    2. drop any WR for any of: marshall, r.grant, meredith (meredith is who i dropped last minute for the extra LB for week 1)
    3. drop r.griffen TE for any/what order of: i.thomas, dissly (but he’s in a timeshare)
    4. somebody else likely to prioritize fitz more than me, but what chance you think he’s playing by luck’s bye (week 9)
    no IR’s here. this is why i had to drop meredith for barron week 1 replacement, that roster spot can be used in future for bye week replacements at numerous spots.

    • B_Don

      B_Don says:
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      @Yr Never Too Old For Balloons: 1. I think you have the right order. I imagine it’d be a time share if McCoy got hurt/suspended, and I wouldn’t think they’d be overly successful.

      2. I’d drop Wilson and Taylor if you can get Marshall or Grant. I don’t really care about getting Meredith back.

      3. If those are the only TEs available, then yes, that would be my order.

      4. I highly doubt Fitz is playing in week 9.

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