How many times have you heard someone telling you to “stream” a position? Whether it be quarterback, tight end, or defense, the idea of streaming is great, provided you get the players you want off the waiver wire. The issue with streaming week-to-week is that everyone knows who you’ll be targeting in those good matchups and you might have that player swiped from underneath you, or even worse, your opponent that week may snag a player just to ensure you don’t get them.
We started this article so you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Each Saturday morning, you’ll head over to your waiver wire and snag the players who are lined up for good matchups the following week. They may have a brutal matchup for that current week. Great, even better. That just means they’re more likely to be available for you. By snagging them a week prior, you eliminate the need to spend a lot of FAB dollars on the top tier defense that everyone is chasing. Here are the players who have solid Week 16 matchups on tap and are less than 40 percent rostered.
Jalen Hurts (PHI) at DAL in Week 16
It blows my mind that Hurst is still available in 70 percent of leagues but I’m guessing that’s due to most teams being out of it and not playing the waivers anymore. There are many fantasy managers who say, “I’ll stick with what got me here,” but if your quarterback has a poor matchup, Hurts makes a lot of sense in this game. The Cowboys have faced a run play on 49.2 percent of their plays, which is the most in the league. This is actually a positive for Hurts, who just rushed the ball 18 times (season-high for quarterbacks) for 106 yards against the Saints, a team that had allowed a league-low 68 rushing yards to quarterbacks coming into that game. So, we know he has a floor. The Cowboys have allowed their opponents a league-high 30.8 points per game, which gives Hurts the ceiling you need to win a championship.
Baker Mayfield (CLE) at NYJ in Week 16
There have been four games that Mayfield has played without Odell Beckham that didn’t involve 40-plus MPH winds and massive rainfall. His finishes in those four games were QB6, QB12, QB4, and QB2. Look, this isn’t me saying he’s better without Beckham, but rather he may not be trying to force the ball anywhere. Here are the last six quarterback finishes against the Jets (most recent first): QB8, QB1, QB6, QB2, QB8, and QB1. The Jets are better than average against the run and it’s led to quarterbacks producing top-eight numbers. Mayfield should offer a stable floor, as well as a ceiling.
Decent alternate: Mitch Trubisky (CHI) at JAX in Week 16
Lamical Perine (NYJ) vs CLE in Week 16
It seems like he’s returning to the lineup this week, so you’ll at least have an idea as to how the Jets plan to use him. What we do know is that they wanted to give him more reps to close out the year to see if he was their long-term answer at the position. Even better is that this matchup should favor his role as the primary pass-catching back. He ran 57 routes to Frank Gore‘s 32 routes from Weeks 6-9 before getting hurt. This is the time of the year for winless teams to see who’s going to be on the team for the long haul.
Gus Edwards (BAL) vs NYG in Week 16
It seems like the Ravens have moved on from Mark Ingram after he played one single snap in Week 14. That means this backfield that’s generated 21.4 carries per game, and that’s obviously not including Lamar Jackson‘s carries. There have been just eight teams who’ve run the ball 19-plus times against the Giants, and five of those teams rushed for at least 112 yards, while three of them rushed for multiple touchdowns. He doesn’t come with a massive floor but with the projected gamescript, he should offer streaming value for those in an emergency.
Rashard Higgins (CLE) vs NYJ in Week 16
I can’t tell you how high I’ll have Higgins in my rankings next week, but it’s going to be pretty high. There have been just four non-heavy wind/rain games where Higgins has played without Odell Beckham this year. His performances in those games? 6/110/0, 1/15/0, 6/95/1, and 6/68/1. You could say that this game is going to be a blowout, but the Jets are a better than average run defense, and it’s why they’ve allowed the sixth-most PPR points per game to wide receivers.
Keelan Cole (JAX) vs CHI in Week 16
The Bears were a feared opponent for quite some time, though that time has seemingly passed, especially in the slot, where Cole plays 70 percent of his snaps. Despite missing last week’s game, Bears slot cornerback Buster Skrine has allowed 539 yards in his slot coverage, which is just three yards off the most in the league. On top of that, Cole will have Gardner Minshew under center, who he’s played much better with this year.
Lynn Bowden (MIA) at LV in Week 16
They’re running out of bodies in Miami, and it’s led to opportunity for Bowden, who’s now seen 13 targets over the last two weeks. Even better, he can be used as a running back on most hosting sites. The Raiders have allowed the seventh-most PPR points per target (1.88) to their opponents, so given Bowden’s newfound supply of targets, he should offer a stable floor.
Desperation option: A.J. Green (CIN) at HOU in Week 16
Cole Kmet (CHI) at JAX in Week 16
No one wants to be associated with the Bears offense, I get it. But guys, they’ve generated 25, 30, and 36 points over the last three weeks and are about to go against the Jaguars who’ve allowed a massive 29.5 points per game to their opponents. Kmet is coming off a game where he played a season-high 85 percent of the snaps, and he’s also seen seven targets in back-to-back games. The Jaguars have allowed a ridiculous 2.32 PPR points per target to tight ends, which is equal to the number that the Arizona Cardinals averaged last year, you know, the team we streamed every tight end possible against.
Jordan Akins (HOU) vs CIN in Week 16
He was on the streamer list last week and though he didn’t quite pan out against the Bears, he should’ve. He was wide open in the end zone with no one within 10 yards and the ball hit him in the chest after he lost it in the sun. Prior to limiting Dalton Schultz to 3/34/0 last week, the Bengals had allowed 9/88/1 to Mike Gesicki and 6/129/0 to Evan Engram. They’ve faced more targets (108) and allowed more yards (867) to tight ends than any other team in the league.
Desperation option: Tyler Eifert (JAX) vs CHI in Week 16
Houston Texans vs CIN in Week 16
Any time you can play a defense against Brandon Allen and the Bengals offense, you just gotta do it, right? Since Joe Burrow went down, the Bengals offense has generated just 40 points over four games, while allowing the quarterback to be sacked 14 times and turning the ball over 10 times. Heck, they even allowed the Dallas defense to finish as the No. 3 option last week. The Texans have their issues, but they’ve also generated 10 sacks over the last three games.
Washington Football Team vs CAR in Week 16
Why isn’t this defense rostered in more than 40 percent of leagues? Someone needs to remind people that they’re the No. 6 defense on the year and that they’ve generated four-plus sacks in five of their last seven games, while forcing eight turnovers in their last four games. The Panthers have allowed three-plus sacks in five different games this year, while Teddy Bridgewater has just a 53.3 QB Rating while under pressure (ranks 26th among quarterbacks).
Decent alternate option: Philadelphia Eagles at DAL in Week 16