Welcome to the beginning of the 2017 NFL Season and my first installment of a weekly article which will detail some of the off-the-radar choices that the fantasy football masses may overlook or the more commonly known colloquialism: Week 1 Streaming Options. These options may assist you in winning your weekly fantasy football matchup. Now to be clear, most of these players will be low owned/starting in ESPN, NFL.COM and Yahoo leagues, but I believe that they have an opportunity to surprise you with plentiful fantasy production. Since this is Week 1, I won’t have any concrete ownership/starting data, but rest assured, that will change starting in Week 2.
Now, with the introductions out of the way, let me list some of the Week 1 options:
Kendall Wright | WR
With the season-ending knee injury to Cameron Meredith, an already weak wide receiver group takes another blow even before the regular season opener against the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. This means Wright will have an increased snap count and target shares within the Bears offensive scheme. It is important to note that Dowell Loggains, who is the current Bears offensive coordinator, was the Tennessee Titans OC when Wright was drafted by the team in 2012. In 2013, Wright had career highs in targets, catches, yards so there is a familiarity with one another which is a valuable asset when sudden change happens. Now, he doesn’t come with a high ceiling, but the consistency is there and you’ll gladly take that if you’re thinking of using Wright as a WR3 or FLEX play.
Marquise Goodwin | WR
Goodwin signed as a free agent this spring with the Niners hoping for a fresh start to his career since his time with the Buffalo Bills was rather nondescript. The drumbeat coming out of Niners camp is that he’ll be on the field regardless of formation or personnel. Now, this is the time of the article where I would say: “Temper your expectations, fantasy football owners…” because he’ll be quite volatile during the year and of course Garcon will be the target magnet for the Niners, but there will favorable matchups where Goodwin could be a sneaky play. All your looking for is something in the neighborhood of 8-12 points for Goodwin to be FLEX worthy.
Charles Clay | TE
With the trade of Sammy Watkins, the impromptu retirement of Anquan Boldin, & the questionable status of Jordan Matthews, Clay becomes more and more of an option to whoever is starting at quarterback, whether it be Tyrod Taylor or the rookie from the University of Pittsburgh, Nathan Peterman. It would wise to look Clay’s way as an outlet, a safe haven sort of speak to move the chains and keep possession of the ball. Scoring a touchdown would be a complete bonus, but a line of 6-50 would suffice for a streaming option at TE. Wouldn’t surprise me if either Zay Jones or Clay leads the team in either targets or receptions.
DeShone Kizer | QB
Now, this pick is for Superflex and 2 QB leagues only because this will be Kizer’s first start ever as a pro and it’s against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. This being the home opener for the Browns will be an asset for Kizer and his offensive teammates because the Steelers defense will be looking to come at him with plenty of different looks at the line of scrimmage and in the secondary. Kizer will be using his legs quite a bit to escape the pocket and that’s where his value comes in along with his very strong arm. Be forewarned: He does have an enticing ceiling, but a rather dubious floor. Proceed with caution and temper expectations.
Buffalo Bills | DST
Although they are still adjusting to a new scheme under head coach Sean McDermott, the front four is still a strength while the secondary has gone under a new renovation with four new starters. They probably won’t need to be top notch to fluster, aggravate, and put a hurt on Josh McCown who is playing behind a rather piecemeal offensive line and pedestrian weapons. The Bills playing at home (I see you #BillsMafia…) is another crucial factor pushing me to count on their defense in this opener for these two bottom feeding AFC teams.
Jared Goff | QB
This is my other Superflex/2 QB Leagues cascade option and yes, I know some of the fantasy football twitter has a running hate fest for Goff, but this matchup against the beleaguered Colts defense is too good not for him to have success. The Colts will be without Vontae Davis, their best cover corner which SHOULD open up things for Sammy Watkins to have a big game in his home debut at the Coliseum. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp should also be mentioned as excellent cascade options if you don’t trust Watkins to show up and produce.
Honorable Cascade Mentions: Kyle Juszczyk, Evan Engram (if Odell Beckham is ruled out for Sunday), Tarik Cohen, Robby Anderson, Brandon Coleman, Bengals DST, Falcons DST