Quarterback & Tight End Streamers: Week 4 (2021 Fantasy Football)
Normalcy is starting to kick in. We’re not quite there, but we are starting to see things look clearer. Some things we were quite adamant about heading into the season are clearly not true. The Washington Football Team’s defense is not elite. The addition of Julio Jones has not made the Tennessee Titans any better on offense. One thing is for sure: Brandin Cooks is good at football no matter which team he plays on or who is throwing him the ball. Mike Williams is becoming a first-round stud. But we are also reminded that those things that ‘make you go hmm’ still exist. Cordarrelle Patterson has the WR/RB tag in Yahoo. Excluding Week 3’s Monday night game stats, he is currently WR12 and RB6. For those of you scoring at home, that translates to a WR1 and an RB1 on a team that has scored only five touchdowns in total. No one saw that coming. One more thing is also certain. Streaming tight ends continues to be a labor of hate. Man, it is ugly out there, and we are only approaching Week 4!
So let’s start with the quarterbacks. At least with that position, we can find some kind of hope and comfort.
Upside Streamer of the Week: Sam Darnold (CAR) @ Dallas Cowboys
Sam Darnold’s in a zone. He’s Gase-free and has found a new lease on life in Carolina. And his schedule has been nice. And it continues this week as he will fire with guns-a-blazin’ versus another good offense that may expose the Panthers’ defense. This only helps Darnold as this has the potential to be a high-scoring bonanza. His weapons are a-plenty. D.J. Moore is playing out of his skin. Robby Anderson is hot and cold, but when he’s hot, he can scorch the earth. And we will get to see Chuba Hubbard show the world that he’s better than people think. And don’t forget Terrace Marshall, the other rookie who has superstar potential and is already hitting the ground running. It’s never been a case of talent for Darnold. It has always been his confidence. And right now, it could not be any higher. It may be tough for him to beat Dak Prescott and America’s team at home, but this is all about the fantasy points, and Darnold has a chance to get his.
Safe Floor Streamer of the Week: Taylor Heinicke (WAS) @ Atlanta Falcons
Taylor Heinicke is 2021’s version of Gardner Minshew. Maybe lacking in facial hair and overall swag, but the fantasy community is loving this guy. And for good reason. He’s exciting to watch and is passionate about the game. He plays blue-collar-style. Gritty and grimy. He’s had to play that way. WFT’s defense, despite its reputation heading into this season, has been abysmal. Atlanta has all the talent to explode and yet has not done so. This could end up being a better game than most would expect. Hopefully, it isn’t a boring defensive affair like last week when Daniel Jones and the Giants made it to be with Matt Ryan, who has yet to find his groove. I think he will pick it up this week, forcing Heinicke to keep up. Like the Cowboys/Panther game, I like the over no matter what, and this will be a game that favors the offenses. Terry McLaurin is the next Stefon Diggs. Logan Thomas is proving that last year wasn’t a fluke. And if Riviera can somehow realize how talented Antonio Gibson is as a pass-catcher, then this will be one of the week’s most talked-about games. Maybe not “playoff talk,” but just for its offensive potential. Atlanta, despite keeping Daniel Jones in check last week, is still a defense to exploit. Heinicke is going to keep his team rolling.
Darkhorse: Mac Jones (NE) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay is another fun team to watch. Tom Brady has been reinvigorated these past two years after moving south to Florida. The Buccaneers have had a good defense in recent years. However, this season, the Bucs have given up almost 30 points a game in three games. Mac Jones and company are coming off of a bad loss, but Jones is producing. I see him putting up good numbers in this a “Brady revenge game,” which has “not boring” written all over it. Brady may not step down for anyone, but the same can be said for his former coach Bill Bellichick. Jones has three competent receivers in Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne. Possible bust N’Keal Harry is back. He showed a pulse during the preseason and is fighting for his football life. There are also two tight ends that can cause trouble in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Jones took a step back last week against the Saints by throwing three interceptions. That being said, he did throw 300 yards for the first time in his young career. He also had an impressive 74% completion percentage in the two games previously. If he can keep his composure, I can see Jones posting big numbers in order to keep up with Brady. This will inevitably lead to a big week for him in fantasy. And let’s face it, Tampa Bay’s defense isn’t scaring anyone at this point of the season.
Upside Streamer of the Week: Tyler Conklin (MIN) vs. Cleveland Browns
Ugly. Ugly is a word synonymous with tight ends outside the top-five. Last week was a bit of a breakthrough, though, for Tyler Conklin. While many were confidently starting third wideout, K.J. Osborn, it was Conklin who became Kirk Cousin’s third most targeted weapon. Conklin outscored everyone in Week 3, including Travis Kelce. He had eight targets, seven receptions, 70 yards, and a touchdown. The reason why I do not think it is a fluke is because he has not had less than four targets this season. If there is a tight end that fits the Logan Thomas emerging prototype, it’s Conklin. According to Player Profiler, despite lacking speed, he possesses an 89th-percentile burst score, a 76th-percentile agility score, and an 82nd-percentile catch radius. He was used extensively last week against the Seahawks, who have been poor against tight ends. As pointed out in my first streaming article for the season, the Browns have been crushed by tight ends for the past three seasons. It just feels like another Tyler Conklin week. This is a player I would pick up in both redraft and Dynasty now. He’s still only 26-years old and has the potential to become the tight end to roster in Minnesota now and forever. Sorry, Irv.
Safe Floor Streamer of the Week: Dawson Knox (BUF) vs. Houston Texans
Safe may be irony at this point, but Dawson Knox has put together two great games out of three this season. He’s been a fan favorite on account of his incredible athleticism and the fact that he is on the Bills offensive juggernaut. Knox has been a disappointment up to this point in his career, always giving people hope with an odd amazing game followed up by a lot of nada. However, he may be in for a legitimate breakout in 2021. Remember, Knox is only in his third year and is still 24-years old. He’s only averaging four targets a game, but he’s been ultra-efficient and is earning the trust of Josh Allen. The Texans have been playing better than anyone would have expected but is a team in need of a future quarterback. And in order to get one, they need to keep losing. Buffalo is coming off a dominant performance against Washington, and look for them to feed off of that momentum gained. Knox will always have that upside we love, but now he seems to be also providing that floor we hope for in a tight end.
Darkhorse: Pat Freiermuth (PIT) @ Green Bay Packers
Another emerging tight end is rookie Pat Freiermuth. Many will be quick to tell you that Eric Ebron still ran the lion’s share of routes last week despite cashing in on zero receptions. Also, remember that Freiermuth is a rookie at a position that normally takes years to develop. All that aside, there’s no denying his presence. Unlike Ebron, he has great hands. He’s also reliable in the red zone. He’s turning into the Heath Miller many envisioned when the Steelers drafted him. This means Ben Roethlisberger trusts him and views him as dependable already. I’d argue and say his ceiling is higher than Miller’s based on his natural ability. He could end up being the next Mark Andrews that comes out of the AFC North. And he’s showing us this after only three games played in the NFL. I advocated him last week with success and will continue doing so this week.
Marc Mathyk is a featured writer at FantasyPros and is a co-founder of Veridian Global, a fantasy football apparel company. He is also a member of The Undroppables. For more from Marc, check out his archive and follow him @Masterjune70.
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