Welcome to season two of my QB & DST Streaming Options article for The Fantasy Authority! If my weekly musings last year led you to the fantasy championship, all I can say is: Where’s my cut?? (totally kidding of course…). But in all seriousness, it was an honor and privilege to be some small factor in your championship quest.
For newcomers, this article will highlight some options that may not be readily apparent. Some really good “off the beaten path” selections that may help you win that week’s fantasy matchup.
Onto my QB & DST streamers for Week 1:
Andy Dalton | Cincinnati Bengals
The Red Rifle enters Week 1 at home against a mediocre Indianapolis Colts defense. Dalton gets a strong backfield duo in a trimmed down Joe Mixon and a healthy Gio Bernard. Along with the perennial Pro Bowler AJ Green, emerging 2nd-year wide receiver John Ross, tight ends Tyler Eifert & Tyler Kroft there should enough weaponry for Dalton to put up sufficient numbers to be an effective streamer in either 1-QB or 2 QB/Superflex leagues.
Joe Flacco | Baltimore Ravens
Despite the presence of his possible successor in Lamar Jackson, Flacco is having the best training camp of his career. We’ll see if this factor manifests itself into pertinent production in a Week 1 home contest against the Buffalo Bills. Flacco has a rather strong wide receiver corps featuring Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, John Brown, and Chris Moore. Although Buffalo has an underrated secondary, the Ravens should be able to have a modicum of success. A low-end QB2 in Superflex leagues should suffice if you’re deciding to use him on Sunday.
Nick Foles | Philadelphia Eagles
Doug Peterson named Foles as the starter for Thursday’s night home opener against the Atlanta Falcons. This selection does come at some risk due to Foles’ variance of production throughout his career. The Eagles opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, don’t use multiple coverages so Foles could find some open spots to attack. I would call this a decent streaming option in 1 QB leagues, and a good one for 2 QB/Superflex leagues.
Blake Bortles | Jacksonville Jaguars
It may look ugly, but he’s been an effective fantasy quarterback over the past three seasons. Bortles managed to be the #2 QB over the final five weeks of the 2017 season. He just produces done from a fantasy perspective. That’s all you can ask for from a weekly quarterback streaming option.
Fast forwarding to 2018, we find the Jaguars traveling to the Meadowlands to face the Giants. Bortles will come into this game short-handed due to the loss of Marqise Lee to a season-ending knee injury. But the Jaguars are meeting a Giants defense that ranked near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories. Will this be a quarterbacking masterpiece by Bortles? Probably not, but he should be a reliable streaming option in 2 QB leagues for this week.
The Lions DST has finally taken a big step forward last year (finishing DST5) after a half-decade of futility and with the returning Kerry Hyder to bookend Ziggy Ansah on the defensive line, Detroit should be better against the run & provide a better pass rush. Their Week 1 opponent, the New York Jets will come in with rookie Sam Darnold as starting quarterback. The Lions secondary, led by perennial Pro Bowl CB Darius Slay, should be able to grab an interception or two.
Washington travels to Arizona for their Week 1 opener to meet the Cardinals and new head coach, Steve Wilks. They’ll deal with an offense led by Sam Bradford, the returning David Johnson, and future HOF’er Larry Fitzgerald. Despite those weapons, the Cardinals offensive line is a liability which can be attacked. And of course, there’s the possibility that Josh Rosen has to finish the game due to a Bradford injury.
Geno Atkins and Carl Lawson anchor a Bengals DST that has a chance to cause major problems for their Week 1 opponent —Andrew Luck & the Indianapolis Colts. Despite attempts by the Colts to bolster the offensive line, it’s still a liability which Cincinnati can capitalize on. A secondary factor is Luck himself; will he have too much adrenaline in his 1st game action in almost 2 years? Could he give Bengals defenders a chance to make an interception or two? It’s a distinct possibility. For that reason among others, I’ve listed the Bengals as a very good streaming DST option.
This selection is largely based upon the opponent, not the ability of the defensive unit.
Led by Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo, Tennessee should be able to pressure a struggling Dolphins offensive line. Furthermore, with the loss of the uber-consistent Jarvis Landry, Miami takes a hit on offense. Under new defensive coordinator Dean Pees, the Titans should be able to force a couple of mistakes.
Green Bay Packers
First of all, the additions of Muhammad Wilkerson and Dean Perry should significantly improve the defensive line that was a weakness in 2017. Also, the additions should assist stalwarts Clay Matthews and Nick Perry in increasing the Packers pass rush & run defense —both were rather lacking last season. The Green Bay front office spent significant draft capital to strengthen the secondary, selecting Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson. Therefore, this team has a chance to fulfill their fantasy potential against the Chicago Bears.
It’s a complete unknown how Chicago will look on the offensive end with new head coach Matt Nagy & offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, so this selection does come with some risk. I certainly expect the Packers DST to come out attacking under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. As a result, this spot is as good as any to show the league what kind of defense they’ll be.
Good Luck in Week 1 and Remember: #FortuneFavorsTheBold
Thanks for reading my Streaming Options article and hopefully some of my selections will guide you to victory this week! As always, feel free to check out our content at The Fantasy Authority. You can follow me on Twitter @MStepney71