Week 4 was a good week for our streamers, with 50% ending up with a ‘strong’ finish. Unfortunately, a number of injuries stopped us from hitting even more. I hope you had some luck in your matchup and got the win. Regardless, let’s get into making your team better from Week 5 and beyond.
To keep things simple, we’ll define a streamer as any player you wouldn’t usually start who is a viable option for this week. We’ll define a stash as any player you can probably find on waivers that you should stash for the future, either because they have a favorable match-up coming up, or because they could become a future starter.
I’ll also be reporting my streamer record from the season to date above each section to give you an idea of what to expect. Strong finishes mean top third of starters at the position, moderate means the top half of starters, and bust is everyone else.
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QB Streamer (Week 1: 5 strong, 2 moderate, 5 bust):
Sam Howell (WAS): While the Commanders youngster is yet to have a big game, Howell has finished QB11-14 three times with season, only busting against the elite Bills defense. This week he faces the generous Bears team who couldn’t even hold onto a 21-point lead against the winless Broncos. While it could end up being a heavy run game for Washington, the upside is sufficient to make Howell a bye-week streamer if you’re in need.
Brock Purdy (SF): The 49ers offense has started the season strongly, and that has led to some strong fantasy returns for their passer. Against the Cowboys and Browns, though, it’s very hard to trust him. Thankfully, he has some great matchups coming up in Weeks 7 and beyond, so he’s a stash if you like to prepare for bye weeks early or if you’re sick of Joe Burrow.
RB Streamers (Week 2: 11 strong, 3 moderate, 1 bust):
Breece Hall (NYJ): The Broncos have for weeks proven an excellent running back matchup. With Hall starting to ease ahead of Dalvin Cook for early-down snaps and another week into his injury recovery, he becomes a solid start in Week 5.
David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs (DET): I assume most of you will be starting Montgomery after his Week 4 antics, but I would also suggest the rookie Gibbs is a viable option against the Panthers, who have conceded the 4th most fantasy points to running backs this season. This remains a split backfield, and both should have value, especially in PPR leagues.
Jonathan Taylor (IND): Please don’t think I’m suggesting you pick Taylor up on waivers. I’m not that silly. But I’m suggesting you shouldn’t be starting him in Week 5 against the elite Titans run defense. He is, however, someone you can trade for and hold, as we know he has the potential to be a league-winner.
Running backs get injured more than any other player in fantasy, with the average Top 36 running back missing two games per season in fantasy. For that reason, your best bet in fantasy is to roster running backs who are an injury away from an every-down role. While I can’t predict who will get injured, I can say who’ll be most effective when given the opportunity. Each week, I’ll be listing my favorite RB backups, only including players you won’t be starting most weeks.
Handcuffs: Chuba Hubbard (CAR), Tyler Allgeier (ATL), Zach Charbonnet (SEA), Ezekiel Elliott (NE), Tyjae Spears (TEN), Elijah Mitchell (SF), Antonio Gibson (WAS), Roschon Johnson (CHI) and Tank Bigsby (JAC).
WR Streamers (6 strong, 8 moderate, 4 bust):
Zay Flowers (BAL): The Ravens’ wide receiver room has been banged up of late, but even when they’re all healthy, Flowers is the only consistent option, running by far the most routes each game. The rookie is a strong start against the questionable Steelers secondary.
Garrett Wilson (NYJ): The Jets made some personnel changes in Week 4, moving Garrett Wilson to the slot more often and involving Xavier Gipson instead of Randall Cobb. This led to a lot more success for Wilson, and against the Broncos, he is a solid start, especially as we hit bye weeks.
Jameson Williams (DET): It will be tempting to unleash the Lions speedster in his first game back, but as we learned last year, Detroit may be intent on bringing him on slowly. We’re yet to even get confirmation of what role we should expect. A tough matchup against the Panthers isn’t the time to risk it.
TE Streamer (4 strong, 5 bust):
Tyler Higbee (LAR): While the possible return of Cooper Kupp makes the Rams’ tight end a scary proposition, the Eagles have been generous to opposing tight ends so far this season, and Higbee is running an elite number of routes each week. He’s a must-start.
Jake Ferguson (DAL): Despite a scarily low number of routes run, Ferguson has been performing at a high level for fantasy. I’m concerned about the chances of him regressing long-term, but if the former Badger’s route involvement can increase, even once Peyton Hendershot returns, he could become an elite fantasy option. For that reason, he’s a stash-and-hold.
K/DST Streamers (7 strong, 3 moderate, 4 bust):
Please note I won’t be listing any kicker or DST stashes, as you should never roster more than one of either of these positions.