Fantasy Football Quarterback & Tight End Streamers: Week 6 (2019)
We are now about a third of the way through the season, and already it is becoming slim pickings, especially at the dreaded tight end position. In recent years, the tight end has been a position with a handful of dependable giants alongside a pack of misfits. In 2019, the tight end landscape is looking more apocalyptic. Guarantees like Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Zach Ertz aren’t even performing up to their draft capital. In fact, after five weeks of fantasy football, Travis Kelce is the only one in the top 6 of tight ends, and he is barely the third best. Austin Hooper leads the way in PPR, with early-season streamable players like Will Dissly and Darren Waller nipping at his heels. My co-dark horse Gerald Everett had himself a game in Week 5 and will soon be off the streaming ballot as he tries to exert himself into the conversation of top-5 tight ends for 2019. It’s been nothing short of crazy. There’s a fine line between being a top-5 tight end and becoming streaming fodder. Just ask players like Eric Ebron, O.J. Howard, and Kyle Rudolph, who are now must-sits.
The quarterback position is still alive and well. A lot of that has to do with the fact players at this position are still dropping like flies. Mason Rudolph, a streamer himself, went down with such a thud that the entire football community has to confront the reality that injuries are not only serious but frequent. Brissett was disappointing as my Week 5 streamer of the week, but he was as good as the number one quarterback in football, Patrick Mahomes. The Colts/Chiefs game was set up to be a riveting offensive affair, but it ended up becoming an offensive nightmare in which Byron Pringle and Nyheim Hines lead their respective teams in receptions and yards. This is fantasy football people. If you thought it was unpredictable before this season, well, let me tell you, 2019 is proving to be even more. At least we have Gardner Minshew. He’s been the poster boy of consistency since his emergence. Our poster boy of reliability barely made the team as a late-round rookie selection but is now leading the way in streaming heading into Week 6.
Quarterback Streamer of the Week: Gardner Minshew (JAC) vs. New Orleans Saints
After five weeks of football, Gardner Minshew is the QB10. That puts him ahead of Jameis Winston, Jared Goff, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, and Baker Mayfield. It’s strange that Minshew is still only 23% owned. He’s averaging 33 attempts, 22 completions for nearly 256 yards per game. He has thrown nine touchdowns and has only thrown one pick. He also has 19 rush attempts for 124 yards. He’s on a run-first team that is constructed around the strength of its defense. However, Jacksonville’s defense has not been stellar. They are ninth in yards allowed per game and 13th in points allowed per game. Because of this, the Jaguars have needed to rely on their offense. Minshew is also against New Orleans this week. The Saints defense is third-worst in the league against quarterbacks in fantasy, only behind Miami and Arizona. They have given up an average of 25.2 points to opposing quarterbacks. Let the Minshew Choo Choo Train continue to ride into Week 6.
Alternate Streamer of the Week: Kirk Cousins (MIN) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Like I predicted last week, Kirk Cousins is now a streamer at 41% owned in Yahoo leagues. Let’s face it, apart from Dalvin Cook, the Minnesota Vikings offense has been both inconsistent and poor. Despite all of this, Cousins has not been horrible — he has completed almost 67% of his passes and has only thrown two interceptions. Their defense has been one of the best in the league — they are in the top-10 in every category. Because of their dominant defense, Cousins has not had to throw often. Currently, he is ranked dead last among quarterbacks who have started all five games in pass attempts. He is only averaging 25.2 passes per game. He is also averaging only 208.2 yards per game, which is also at the bottom. So why advocate for him now? Minnesota is too talented for this to continue. They are also facing a Philadelphia offense that will score points and a Philadelphia pass defense that is sixth-worst in the league. This should be a high scoring affair. Watch both Diggs and Thielen return to form. But most importantly, watch Cousins show us why Minnesota invested so much in him. This week he’ll right the Vikings’ ship.
Dark Horse Sleeper: Sam Darnold (NYJ) vs. Dallas Cowboys
Since Sam Darnold practiced all of last week with the first team but didn’t play, we will have to assume that he’s ready to go in Week 6. It is hard to understand what is going on in Adam Gase’s mind, but one thing is for sure — the Jets can’t win without Darnold. It also seems unlikely that Gase is trying to tank, especially if he wants to keep his job. With Darnold back, players like Jamison Crowder (14 receptions in the one and only game with Darnold) and Robby Anderson are now back in play. Le’Veon Bell’s fantasy stock will also improve. Finally, Chris Herndon is also back from suspension. Darnold and Herndon had a lot of chemistry in 2018, so expect that to be rekindled. The Dallas Cowboys have one of the better defenses in the league, but they have been regressing these past two weeks. As a result, this might be a good time for Darnold to reemerge and be successful. Don’t expect spectacular numbers, but do expect to get a solid performance from the Gang Green’s franchise quarterback.
Tight End Streamer of the Week: Gerald Everett (LAR) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Gerald Everett has now posted back-to-back convincing performances, and after this week, he will not be available to stream since he will surely garner a lot of attention from the fantasy football community. Put in a big bid for this athletic tight end playing on an offense that might be missing Brandin Cooks. Last week alone, Everett saw 11 targets, and he caught seven of them for an astounding 136 yards. The week before, he had five receptions from eight targets and got in the end zone. With the tight end landscape looking more cluttered with below-average talent and inconsistent week-to-week play, Everett may emerge as one of this year’s sleepers. He is up against a solid defense, but it is not an infallible one. Sean McVay has been going on and on for a long time about how he wants to utilize Everett more. It looks as though he is finally putting words into action.
Alternate Streamer of the Week: Chris Herndon (NYJ) vs. Dallas Cowboys
With both Darnold and Herndon back, the New York Jets already sound like they are going to be a much better football club. Herndon, now entering his sophomore season, was surprisingly solid last year. He had over 500 yards receiving to go along with four touchdowns. Don’t be surprised to see the Cowboys minimize the middle-to-deep passing attack with one of the best secondaries in the league. This might affect both Demaryius Thomas and Robby Anderson. However, this will not affect both the shorter options for Darnold. Players like Le’Veon Bell, slot receiver Jamison Crowder, and Chris Herndon should be the beneficiaries this week. Whatever Herndon lacks in recent game experience, he will make up for with his full bill of health and hunger to produce.
Dark Horse Sleeper: Noah Fant (DEN) vs. Tennessee Titans
Noah Fant was non-existent last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, so many will be surprised to hear me going to bat for him this week against a staunch Titans defense. As dominant as they have been, the Titans have been rather kind towards tight ends. After five games, Tennessee ranks fifth-most generous in the NFL towards tight ends in fantasy. They have given up 16.35 points per game to that position, ranking only behind Arizona, Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, and Kansas City. Fant has not lit the world on fire in his rookie season so far, but he really is a key part of Denver’s offense. He’s super athletic, and apart from last week, he has averaged almost three receptions a game. He is also only one of three players on the Broncos to have had a receiving touchdown in 2019. If Everett and Herndon are not available, Fant should be able to get you close to double-digit points even if he doesn’t get into the end zone.