With Week 6 in the books, it’s time to turn an eye toward the waiver wire in Week 7. As always this column will aim to highlight waiver wire adds for total defenses and streamers for quarterbacks for the upcoming week; those players that you should be targeting on your league’s waiver wire. In the past few seasons, streaming the quarterback position has become a popular team management strategy. The guaranteed volume at the QB position makes it the easiest one in fantasy football to project, which therefore makes finding streaming options easy, especially if the matchup is a favorable one.
Before we move forward with the top QB and DST streamers for Week 7, here are the complete results at the quarterback position from last week’s article:
Josh McCown– 354 Passing Yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 21 Rushing Yards= 22.26 FP
Trevor Siemian– 376 Passing Yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 9 Rushing Yards= 17.94 FP
Kevin Hogan– 140 Passing Yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 36 Rushing Yards= 10.20 FP
Case Keenum– 239 Passing Yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 15 Rushing Yards= 14.06 FP
Jacoby Brissett– 212 Passing Yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 15 Rushing Yards= 13.98 FP
Quarterback Streaming Options
Josh McCown | New York Jets
With three games of two or more touchdown passes, McCown has shown the ability to be a QB1 in favorable matchups. The Dolphins are ranked 10th in fantasy pass defense, allowing 14 points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Even though I wouldn’t call this a favorable matchup, McCown is coming off his best performance of the season and the Jets have played better than anyone thought they were capable of. In Week 3, he threw for 249 yards and one touchdown against the Dolphins, so if you’re in need of a bye-week filler, McCown could give you similar numbers and be solid streamer for two-quarterback leagues.
Tyrod Taylor | Buffalo Bills
This week will be a true test to see how just bad Tampa Bay’s pass defense really is. Taylor will be without his top two weapons in the passing game as Charles Clay and Jordan Matthews are both sidelined with injuries. No worries, though, as Taylor brings exceptional rushing ability to the table, which helps to give him a high weekly floor. Tyrod has rushed 32 times for 121 yards in his five games played this year. The Buccaneers’ pass defense has been a mess this season, allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (nearly 20 per game).
Not only is Tampa allowing buckets of points to opposing signal callers, they haven’t faced a tough slate of QB’s outside of Tom Brady in Week 5. In Week 2, Tampa Bay allowed the now-benched Mike Glennon to pass for 300 yards and a touchdown. In Week 3, they coughed up 369 yards and three touchdowns to Case Keenum. This past week, Carson Palmer shredded them for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Now I don’t expect similar numbers for Taylor due to lack of offensive weapons, but he should still be able to muster 200 yards passing, a couple of touchdowns, and some decent rushing totals. Tyrod is still a solid streaming option in one-quarterback leagues.
Jared Goff | Los Angeles Rams
Goff will look to bounce back in Week 7 after two straight brutal matchups against the Jaguars and Seahawks. Goff and the Rams offense have been much improved this season and it’s been apparent to anyone and everyone. He has passed for either 300 yards or multiple scores in three of his six games played so far in 2017. The Arizona pass defense has struggled against opposing passers this season, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the position and ranking 24th in DVOA through Week 5. They are fresh off of allowing Ryan Fitzpatrick to shred them for 290 yards and three touchdowns in relief of an injured Jameis Winston in Week 6. Playing at home, Goff sets up as a solid streamer in one-quarterback leagues.
Blake Bortles | Jacksonville Jaguars
The 2017 version of Blake Bortles is not much fun in fantasy. Gone are the days of Bortles racking up heavy fourth quarter fantasy stats in garbage time. Outside of a four-touchdown effort in Week 2 (which was in London), the run-heavy Jacksonville offense has done exactly what the coaching staff wanted to do, which is to keep the ball out of Bortles’ hands. That might not be as easy in Week 7 as the Jags travel to Indianapolis with the possibility that Leonard Fournette might not be able to play due to an injured ankle suffered last week in their home loss to the Rams. As has been the case for several years, the Colts have been extremely generous to opposing quarterbacks, allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to the position. Despite a questionable workload, Bortles’ fantastic Week 7 matchup puts him on the radar as a low-end streamer in two-quarterback leagues.
Brett Hundley | Green Bay Packers
With Aaron Rodgers likely out for the season, Hundley becomes an interesting name in fantasy leagues. The third-year quarterback took over for Rodgers in Week 6 against a tough Minnesota defense and really didn’t perform well throwing one touchdown and three interceptions. One reason to be excited for Hundley starting is his rushing ability despite only one rush attempt last week. I believe that the Packers coaching staff will want to take advantage of that in their offensive game plan since Hundley will get all of the first-team reps in practice in place of Rodgers. The Saints pass defense has been an improved unit this season but they still aren’t a unit to be feared. New Orleans is allowing the 11th most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and allowed three touchdowns to each quarterback they’ve faced not named Jay Cutler or Cam Newton. While reaching three passing scores is a stretch for Hundley, he has plenty of weapons at his disposal and the matchup is favorable. He’s a solid back-end streamer in either one-quarterback or two-quarterback leagues.
Total Defense Streaming Options
Tennessee Titans | DST
The Titans defense has been below average this year, but they showed up in prime time Monday night and held the Colts to below 300 yards of total offense and 16 points (the Colts scored a defensive touchdown accounting for the other six points of their 22 points). Now the bad news is that they failed to get a sack against Jacoby Brissett and only forced one turnover. Tennessee has been abysmal in forcing turnovers (tied for 20th in the NFL with 7) and getting to the quarterback (30th in the NFL with 8), but this week the Titans travel to Cleveland to meet the lowly Browns who have the most turnovers (18) and are tied seventh in most sacks allowed (18) this year. It appears that the Browns have realized that Kevin Hogan is, in fact, Kevin Hogan, with the tea leaves suggesting that DeShone Kizer will be back under center for this game. That’s good news for fantasy owners in need of a defense: the only thing Kizer does more than throw interceptions is taking sacks. Streaming bad defenses always comes with some risk, but despite Tennessee’s aforementioned flaws, they’ve already put up two top-12 weeks. Until Cleveland proves otherwise, this is a plus matchup and an auto-play for Week 7.
Buffalo Bills | DST
Coming off of a bye, the Bills will be fresh and have extra time to prepare for their Week 7 opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Buffalo will have the added benefit of playing at home where they’ve held the Jets and Broncos to a combined 28 points and 680 yards of total offense while forcing four turnovers. Even though the Bucs haven’t been a great target to stream against; they’re allowing just 4.25 points to opposing defenses, 6th lowest in the NFL, I still believe that the Bills who by the way have the best scoring defense in the NFL (14.8 points allowed), have an excellent chance to be a solid streamer because of uncertainty at the quarterback position. Either the gritty, but turnover prone Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston, who suffered an AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder against the Cardinals last week will start on Sunday. If Winston plays, he’ll be less than 100%, and if he’s out, Fitzpatrick makes for a prime matchup for a defense that’s done an outstanding job in forcing turnovers.
New Orleans Saints | DST
This pick probably feels like points chasing, but it’s not. The Saints have done an excellent job of piling up sacks and turnovers and they’ve have held their last three opponents to under 350 yards of total offense. They’ve also forced all nine turnovers this season in that three-game stretch. They should continue their run of strong defensive play against the Packers without the services of Aaron Rodgers who could be out for the rest of the season due to a broken right collarbone suffered last week. Brett Hundley, who is the backup, was thrust into duty after Rodgers injury and threw three interceptions. The high-powered Saints offense is capable of scoring in bunches, and if they do so this week, that sets up an ideal situation of allowing the defense to pin their ears back and get after an inexperienced quarterback in predictable passing downs making his first NFL start.
Los Angeles Chargers | DST
The Chargers will get either an injured Trevor Siemian or a healthy Brock Osweiler, and either of those would be just fine for the LA DST. Siemian has come back down to earth after a hot start, throwing multiple interceptions in two out of his last three games as his completion percentage has dipped under 60 percent. He’s hit 300 yards just once on the season despite last week’s 50-attempt outing; in all actuality, it was the epitome of garbage time. As for Osweiler, he entered the preseason as the Browns starter and lost out to a rookie, so there’s that for you. Whoever it is under center, he’ll be without his top receiver Emmanuel Sanders, out with an ankle injury. Demaryius Thomas appears to be fine after leaving the game briefly, but there’s literally nothing else on the depth chart. The Broncos will try to rely on their ground attack featuring C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles, and Devontae Booker and that’s because the Chargers are allowing 5.0 YPC, 2nd worst in the NFL. That’s the risk. The reward comes if the Chargers can force Denver into a negative game script. Los Angeles’ 9.1 sack rate is 6th best in the league led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and that type of pressure has the potential to generate turnovers and touchdowns. We already saw it once in Week 1: LA went into Denver and racked up four sacks, nine QB hits, and two turnovers. A solid streaming option.
Dallas Cowboys | DST
Like the Bills, the Cowboys are coming off of a bye and are facing a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start. Although they’ve done a good job of getting to the quarterback (tied 7th with 16), the Cowboys defense has struggled to force turnovers (30th in the NFL with 4), has been a veritable sieve when it comes to points allowed per game (29th in the NFL with 26.4). Their ability to pressure and sack opposing signal callers may bode well for them adding to their turnover total when they travel to the Bay Area to face the Niners and rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard. The rookie relieved Brian Hoyer last week and almost led a comeback victory in relief despite only completing 19 out of 36 passes with a touchdown and interception. If the Cowboys are able to stake themselves to a lead, the defense will be able to fluster Beathard into making multiple mistakes (sacks, interceptions, fumbles). A decent streaming option.
Minnesota Vikings | DST
Just in case the Vikes defense is available on your league’s waiver wire, I strongly suggest you pick them up as a very solid streaming option for their Week 7 tussle against the Baltimore Ravens. Minnesota is playing at home and coming off a huge performance against the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers. This team is rolling with 17 or fewer points allowed in each of their last four games and now get a Baltimore Ravens team that is 25th in total offense this season. Here are some more defensive metrics in the Vikings favor that may sway you to choose them as a streaming option: 5th in Rush Defensive Efficiency, 16th in Pass Defensive Efficiency, and 11th in Total Defensive Efficiency. And also get the benefit of playing this game at home, so there’s another check mark for Minnesota’s defense. They have a high floor with plenty of upside for Week 7.
Philadelphia Eagles | DST
The Eagles dominated the Redskins in Week 1, tallying four sacks and four turnovers, one of which was returned for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter to seal the game. Since then, the Redskin offense has steadied itself, with Chris Thompson emerging as a viable threat in the passing game. I’m tempering my expectations for the Eagles DST despite being in the top-15 for Rush, Pass, & Total Defensive Efficiency, although using them as a streaming option is fine by me due to the home matchup and the ability of Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia offense to keep the defense off the field with long sustained drives to eat up the clock.
Streaming Options: Honorable Mentions: New York Jets (@MIA), Kansas City Chiefs (@OAK), Los Angeles Rams (vs. ARIZ)