Maybe you weren’t prepared for your draft. Maybe you were overly excited to see your leaguemates and got tipsy three rounds earlier than usual. Hey, we’re not going to judge you. What we are going to do, however, is hit you with some Week 1 streaming options to help you start your fantasy football season with the all-important W. After you check out our quarterback streamers, tight end streamers, and defensive streaming options, check out our Week 1 Fantasy Rankings for help with your lineups! The numbers next to the players below represent the percentages each player is rostered in ESPN leagues.
Ben – Ryan Tannehill (35%)
When Ryan Tannehill took over the Tennessee offense last season he quickly ascended the QB ranks to become a staple in starting lineups. Coming into the 2020 season, he’s available in 35% of leagues which indicates that people appear to have forgotten how spectacular he was and are quick to write him off as the Tannehill of old (you know, the one who was stuck with Adam Gase for 3 years). Last season he averaged over 21 fantasy points per game and was a top 5 quarterback option during the second half of the season. With weapons like AJ Brown and Jonnu Smith notching another year under their belt, it doesn’t take much to imagine Tannehill balling out the same way he did last year.
Tannehill is headed to Mile High Stadium to face off against the Broncos in week one. Normally an intimidating matchup, it’s slightly less threatening this week due to defensive leader and star pass rusher Von Miller going down for the season with an ankle injury. Expect Tannehill to face less pressure and to capitalize on that the same way he did last year.
Nate – Teddy Bridgewater (14.5%)
Color me intrigued by Matt Rhule’s new offense helmed by former first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater. Clever college offensive schemes have been a mixed-bag when transitioning to the NFL, with Chip Kelly failing miserably but Kliff Kingsbury looking promising. Despite the risk, I am a believer in both Teddy and Rhule. It’s true, Teddy didn’t take many risks in NO last year while filling in for Drew Brees (his completed air yards per attempt was 3.2; compare Drew Brees at 5.3). Yet, the Saints were a much better football team than the Panthers project to be, meaning that Teddy didn’t need to take big risks filling in for Brees, and the Panthers didn’t pay big money to make Teddy a game manager in Rhule’s spread offense. Here, the Panthers have a good matchup against Las Vegas, which wasn’t a good defense last year and have a lot of new pieces to figure out, and we all love Teddy’s weapons (Robby Anderson, DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel). Plus, don’t forget that Teddy gets points for all those passing yards CMC racks up.
Robby – Tyrod Taylor (3%)
Cincinnati was 7th worst against QBs in 2019. Despite trying to fix that problem, things have already started off on the wrong foot before the 2020 season even got started. Newly signed cornerbacks Trae Waynes tore his pec and landed on injured reserve while Mackensie Alexander is dealing with battery charges from a bizarre incident that you can read about here.
Needless to say, a team that is finding last minute replacements at cornerback will struggle against Taylor who has Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry, & Austin Ekeler in his arsenal. Finally, Taylor averaged nearly 36 rushing yards per game during his three years as a starter in Buffalo. You can’t ask for a better floor than a rushing QB, with good weapons, who doesn’t turn the ball over.
Cody – Jared Goff (42%)
I’ll take the easy way out here and pick Jared Goff as my QB streamer for Week 1. The Cowboys/Rams game has the second-highest projected game total on the week at 51.5 and I might be taking the over here. Both defenses have lost key pieces from their 2019 starting rosters and both offenses boast high-powered passing attacks. Despite Goff’s struggles last year, he still finished 2019 as the QB15 and had seven top-10 fantasy weeks. Fire up Goff with confidence and enjoy the shootout as he and Dak Prescott go back and forth for four quarters of fantasy goodness.
Ben – Jonnu Smith (27%)
Jonnu Smith could be a diamond in the rough at the tight end position despite Tennessee being a run-first offense. A big-bodied athletic freak, he was explosive with the ball in his hands in 2019 and finished behind only George Kittle and Travis Kelce in forced missed tackles at the TE position (on 50+ less receptions, I might add). On top of his explosiveness, he fits the profile of a red-zone threat and he started to get more looks there once Ryan Tannehill took the reins of the Tennessee offense in week 7. With Delanie Walker out of the picture and Tannehill at the helm, Jonnu is in for a strong 2020 season that could get kicked off in a big way Week One versus a Denver defense that gave up the 12th most fantasy points to TEs in 2019.
Nate – Eric Ebron (34%)
As a Lions fan, it’s very hard for me to say anything nice about Eric Ebron (although it’s much easier to say mean things about the former GM who picked Ebron over Odell Beckham Jr. and Aaron Donald…). Regardless, Ebron has value this year. The Steelers offensive bounce-back is nothing to ignore with a Hall of Fame-caliber QB returning from injury. The buzz out of camp is that the Steelers intend to use Ebron as a “mismatch chess piece”, which sounds a lot like what he did in Indianapolis in 2018 when he finished TE4. Remember, you don’t need a TE to have a huge target share or a huge snap percentage to be useful week-to-week. You just need them in high-value situations, like 3rd downs and goal-line. Sounds like the Steelers intend to use Ebron in exactly those situations, which means that you can stream him against a terrible Giants defense.
Robby – Dallas Goedert (26%)
With Alshon Jeffrey and Jalen Reagor both expected to miss Week 1, we don’t have to look that far back to see what happened to Philadelphia’s TE2 when injuries decimated the Eagles’ wideouts. Last season, from Weeks 11-17, Dallas Goedert averaged over five receptions per game and 55 yards. During that span, he only had two games of under 40 yards. In one of those two games, he caught a touchdown. In the other, he had seven receptions and was saved in PPR leagues. That also compiles really nicely with a matchup against a team that was 4th worst against his position in 2019. Washington disregarded upgrading their outside linebacker or safety position this offseason, so expect more of the same in 2020. Stream Dallas Goedert for Week 1.
Cody – Blake Jarwin (21%)
Basically everything I mentioned above with Jared Goff can be copy and pasted here. Jarwin got a bit of a surprise extension with the Cowboys this offseason and there hasn’t been a negative blurb posted about him since. While Jarwin’s targets may fluctuate on a weekly basis due to the Cowboys absurd receiving room, I think he could easily put up a TE1 week against the Rams. Los Angeles’s safeties are going to have their hands full with Amari, Gallup, and Lamb, and their starting inside linebackers are a 5th-round pick and a UDFA. Dak Prescott and Jarwin apparently have developed a solid chemistry throughout training camp and if dusty ass Jason Witten can put up a TE1 season, Jarwin should be just fine.
Ben – Eagles (39%)
The Eagles defense comes into the 2020 season refreshed and with the expectation to finish the year significantly better than they did during their 2019 campaign. Their defensive line is solid with Javon Hargrave (who is currently questionable for Week 1) joining Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Derek Barnett. On top of that, they plugged some holes in their secondary by trading for Darius Slay and signing Nickell Robey-Coleman. The defense may not be elite, but it has the pieces needed to be plugged into your lineup.
On top of the improvements to the Eagles defense, they open the season with a friendly matchup against the Washington Football team. Washington finished 2019 with the second-fewest total yards in the NFL and will likely remain low on that list in 2020. With a new head coach in Ron Rivera, an unproven QB in Dwyane Haskins, and some receiving question marks behind Terry McLaurin, you can feel safe rolling out the Eagles defense in week one.
Nate – Kansas City Chiefs (21%)
When picking a streaming defense I look for two things: a team playing at home against a team that gives up a lot of sacks (Watson led the league in getting sacked in 2019 with 55). Kansas City’s defense played far better in the second half of the season in 2019 and maintained a lot of continuity (returning 85% of defensive snaps from 2019). Traditionally, these NFL openers do not result in a lot of points being scored (36 total points in 2018, 13 total points in 2019). That might be even worse in 2020 without a pre-season. So, while I like my colleague’s picks better, Kansas City will likely surprise in their defensive output for Week 1.
Robby – Chargers (39%)
Losing Derwin James sucks. No doubt about that. However, this defense is still incredibly good, especially for fantasy purposes. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram combined for 18.5 sacks last season to lead the way for a strong defensive line unit that added veteran Linval Joseph from Minnesota. In the secondary, both Casey Hayward and Chris Harris Jr. are strong and capable corners to match up against any NFL wide receiver duo.
On the flip side, Cincinnati’s offensive will start a hodge-podge of unproven lineman. Pro Football Focus ranks the Bengals offensive line as 2nd worst as we enter 2020. That doesn’t bode well for a rookie QB making his first start in Joe Burrow. The Chargers should be able to cause havoc in the backfield for Burrow and should be expected to have a handful of sacks and potentially a turnover or two. This is an easy streamer choice if you decided to wait on defense during your draft.
Cody – Lions (6%)
Hopefully you don’t have to dig this deep for your D/ST Week 1 streamer, but if you do, the Lions are a solid option despite barely being rostered. The Lions have completely revamped their starting defense over the offseason, and typically this is a scenario I would fade, especially given the craziness that has been going on. Enter, Mitchell Trubisky. Despite Trubisky ranking 19th in pressured dropbacks last season, he took the 10th-most sacks. Trubisky also had the fifth-worst passer rating when pressured. Basically, as long as Matt Patricia can dial up some pressure against Trubisky, the Lions should at least come away with some sacks. I don’t see the Bears lighting up the scoreboard, so Detroit D/ST may be a safe floor play.