Quarterback & Tight End Streamers: Week 5 (Fantasy Football)
Another crazy week in football. I don’t know if I can take it anymore! Cleveland and Oakland combined for 87 points while Pittsburgh and Baltimore racked up only 40 points. Mitchell Trubisky threw six touchdowns — three times as many as he threw in his first three games. His top two receivers were not Allen Robinson or Trey Burton but Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel. Nick Chubb had only three carries but had more fantasy points than first-round picks Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, and David Johnson. Jared Cook has more fantasy points than any other tight end after four weeks. There were three overtime games, and a total of seven games played on Sunday that went down to the wire but no ties. Very exciting, yet unpredictable. And this all happened before Patrick Mahomes played.
So what’s in store for us in Week 5? Probably more unpredictability. And with it headaches for the guy who has to write streaming articles! With that being said, let us trudge into the muddy, slippery pasture that is the NFL. Here are my streamers for the quarterback and tight end positions for this week.
Now that Dalton is officially over 60% owned, he is our next quarterback to be eliminated from the stream of weekly dreams. Not to fret, there is still enough waiver wire riff-raff that could pan out this week.
Stream of the Week: Blake Bortles (JAX) vs Kansas City Chiefs
Since I’m writing this prior to the end of Chiefs/Broncos, I am choosing Blake Bortles based on the three-game sample size. The Chiefs have been the second leakiest defense for opposing quarterbacks, allowing them to average over 30 fantasy points per game. Bortles is coming off a 388-yard, two-touchdown performance against a pretty good defense in the New York Jets. On Yahoo, that’s good enough for 27 fantasy points. Bortles has been predictable thus far. He scored many fantasy points against weaker defenses (43 points against New England) and has scored fewer points against better ones (five points versus Tennessee). Therefore, based on a four-game sample size, he should be in for a big day against the Chiefs. He has so many receiving options at his disposal — it is anyone’s guess which player will emerge. It could be Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrooke, Donte Moncrief, Austin Seferian-Jenkins or even D.J. Chark. Jacksonville’s defense is good but it isn’t 2017 good. Therefore, this should be higher scoring than many expect with Bortles having to show off his arm.
Derek Carr (OAK) vs San Diego Chargers
Many had the Chargers as a top five defense this year. So far, so wrong. The Chargers have allowed an average of 30 points to opposing teams. Sure it includes Kansas City and prodigal son Pat Mahomes as well as their innercity rivals, the Rams, who might be the best team in the NFL. However, they have also played against the Bills and the San Franciso 49ers led by backup quarterback, C.J. Beathard. Alth0ugh Derek Carr is no Mahomes, nor is he on a team as dominating as the Rams, he is better than average on a better-than-average offense. Plus the Raiders are coming off an important, emotional win, after defeating the Browns in overtime. Carr has weapons. On any given day Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, and Martavis Bryant can make an impact. And don’t forget (as mentioned earlier in this article) he does have the most productive tight end in the game currently. Jared Cook is finally looking like player everyone thought he would be. The Chargers should win easily but that is what we said when they played Buffalo and San Fran. It just seems that the football gods never want the Chargers to walk over anyone. It is another divisional game which always brings out the anger and determination to win. Oakland isn’t at home but they also don’t have a long distance to travel. This should be a slugfest which translates into a lot of fantasy points.
Joe Flacco (BAL) vs Cleveland Browns
Before last week, the Browns looked to have solidified a formidable defense. They allowed less than 20 points per game including two of the best offensive powerhouses Pittsburgh and New Orleans. Last week they fell off the rails, giving up 45 points to Oakland. The AFC North is so exciting this year because any team could win it. Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton have been revelations and have probably been the best two streaming quarterbacks up to this point in the season. Unfortunately, Dalton is now 64% owned but for some reason Flacco is still only 25% owned. Get him now. He has been good to great this year. The biggest difference for him has been his receiving corps. John Brown has regained his stud status from a few years ago, Willie Snead is starting to look like the guy he was in New Orleans and Michael Crabtree still hasn’t hit is stride yet but we know what he is capable of. Flacco might even get his first-round tight end, Hayden Hurst, back from injury. There isn’t any particular player that has set the world on fire, except perhaps Brown, but as a unit they are putting the fear in opposing defenses. The ultimate benefactor is Flacco. He has spread the ball around with ease and has found that je ne sais quoi that he had when he won the Super Bowl years ago. Out of the bunch of quarterback streamers this week, Flacco might not have the highest upside but he comes with the highest floor.
I haven’t felt good about the tight end streamers during the first four weeks of the season. This week I feel more confident about the options out there. This continues with my constant proclamation of ASJ.
Tight End Stream of the Week: Vance McDonald (PIT) vs Atlanta Falcons
Vance McDonald is clearly now Pittsburgh’s go-to at tight end. He was being touted in the offseason as a potential sleeper but got injured during training camp and took time to get right. Jesse James filled in nicely but it was only a matter of time before McDonald would usurp James and take over the starting job as the tight end Big Ben would target the most. For two weeks now McDonald has been tearing it up and has a great matchup against a defense that gifted Tyler Eifert a touchdown in Week 4. This will probably be one of the biggest games of the week — at least it should be a very high-scoring affair. McDonald, despite his monster performance against the Buccaneers and a solid showing against the Ravens, is still only 43% owned on Yahoo. When healthy, McDonald has proven to be both a target monster and a touchdown machine stemming back to his days in San Francisco. In the past three games since coming back from injury, he has amassed 200 yards on 12 receptions with a touchdown. McDonald is a must-start this week and could be a guy you decide to just keep in your lineup for the rest of the season.
Jack Doyle (IND) vs New England Patriots
I am assuming that Jack Doyle will be back in Week 5 based on the fact that he seemed close to returning Week 4. Many have gotten off the Doyle train and now only 42% own him in Yahoo leagues. Doyle has been the most consistent receiver on the Colts next to T.Y. Hilton for the past three years and though he has not had a 2018 season to remember thus far, look for him to bounce back. Eric Ebron filled in nicely but did not capitalize on the opportunity, leaving the door open for Doyle to resume his role. Ebron is more of the “goal line end,” and is, therefore, more touchdown dependent, whereas Doyle is more of the “bell cow end” who gets the most targets. The Patriots do allow a lot of fantasy points to the tight end though they were stingy last week against the Dolphins. However, Doyle is not a rookie like Mike Gesicki, and let’s be honest, he has a much better quarterback in Andrew Luck throwing him the ball. Look for Doyle to give you a high floor with the potential for an exciting ceiling. Now that Luck does not have the same cannon as he did before his shoulder injury, look for him to give Doyle more looks. He could also see more targets if Hilton is unable to go due to injury. Keep your eye on his status for Week 5 in case he does not play.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (JAX) vs Kansas City Chiefs
I swear if ASJ has another lackluster performance then I will officially be done with him in 2018. If he can’t do it against one of the worst defenses in the league then it is time to cut him loose. However, it is the Chiefs we are talking about. Bortles has many mouths to feed but this game should be higher scoring. ASJ seems a reception or two from breaking out so now’s his chance to do just that. Try to get either McDonald or Doyle first but if neither of them is available then give ASJ a chance. It might take until Week 5 to get going but if he decides to finally get going, now’s the time. If he ends up fizzling then do what I will do. Ignore him completely from now on no matter the matchup. Some tight ends build a special bond with their quarterback and some don’t. Week 5 is pivotal for ASJ.
The Dark Horse: Charles Clay (BUF) vs Tennessee Titans
Charles Clay emerged from the rubble that is the Buffalo Bills’ offense. It wasn’t sexy, catching four passes for 40 yards, but it was a start. He did lead the Bills in overall receiving which is depressing if you are a Bills fan but encouraging if you are thinking about taking a chance on Clay. Let’s face it, Buffalo will not light it up often and Josh Allen is indeed a work in progress so tight ends at this stage can be a young quarterback’s best friend. Also, there is not a lot of competition for Clay. He has been consistently better than mediocre over the past three years and when it comes down to streaming a tight end, mediocre is good enough. Remember getting six points is better than a big fat zero. Perhaps it took a bit of time for Allen and Clay to be on the same page or perhaps the Bills’ play calling is as bad as their offensive line. Regardless, look for Clay to put up solid weeks from now on. Tennessee is a stingy defense against tight ends but did allow Zach Ertz over 100 yards in Week 4. Clay most likely will not trump Ertz but could be the safety blanket that Allen needs in the fourth quarter when they are down by double-digits points.
Important TE note
Add Greg Olsen and Cameron Brate now. Olsen looks to be back from injury within the next few weeks and is only 50% owned. We all know what potential he has when on the field. Brate started the year off poorly but has a touchdown in his last two games. He would be one of my top choices, but he is on bye during Week 5 so nab him now. O.J. Howard is banged up and Jameis Winston is back and loves targetting Brate.