The Thanksgiving week is here, which means the fantasy football playoffs are right around the corner and managers are doing everything they can to grab a win in these final few weeks.
Streaming the waiver wire will be vital this week. With three games on Thursday, some of the choices have to be made quickly. Couple that with the fact that a whole lot of fantasy firepower is on a bye this week as the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals are off. Choosing the right matchups will be crucial.
In order to qualify as a streamer, a player cannot be rostered in more than 50% of ESPN leagues. For each position, I’ll give a “stream of the week” indicating the priority streamer along with an additional two options. I’ll also be quickly recapping the prior’s week’s streamers in order to give you a chance to roast me on Twitter for tanking your team (shameless plug – @KevinHickey11).
Let’s take a look at the top streaming options in fantasy football for Week 12:
Week 11 Accountability Check
Quickly, we will be looking through the previous week’s streams. For quarterbacks, any finish around QB15 or higher is considered a win while tight ends simply want to be within the top-12. For defenses, we just hope they don’t tank—around five fantasy points would be considered solid.
Tua Tagovailoa at NYJ: 17.5 fantasy points (QB13) —Stream of the Week
Justin Fields vs. BAL: 3.5 fantasy points (QB28)
Cam Newton vs. WAS: 26.4 fantasy points (QB4)
Tagovailoa and Newton were strong plays if you streamed them in Week 11. Fields was injured halfway through the game but at the rate he was playing, he probably wouldn’t have done much for fantasy. Two out of three isn’t bad there.
C.J. Uzomah at LV: 1.9 fantasy points (TE40) — Stream of the Week
Dan Arnold vs. SF: 0.0 fantasy points (TE56)
Tyler Conklin vs. GB: 5.0 fantasy points (TE23)
Woof. That’s a rough week. Looking back, Uzomah was probably too much of a risk to make my stream of the week. Arnold’s matchup against the 49ers outweighed his recent volume. Conklin wasn’t bad but the TE23 on a week isn’t helping anyone.
Dolphins D/ST at NYJ: 7.0 fantasy points (DST15) — Stream of the Week
Chargers D/ST vs. PIT: -1.0 fantasy points (DST29)
Eagles D/ST vs. NO: 11.0 fantasy points (DST5)
The Dolphins didn’t do as well as I thought they would but it was still a good week. The Chargers defense absolutely laid an egg while the Eagles salvaged this week with a Darius Slay pick-six.
Stream of the Week: QB Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans
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Week 12: vs New York Jets
Taylor stayed fantasy relevant with two rushing scores in Week 11 and while that is certainly a part of his game, we can’t expect that every week. Fortunately, the matchup against the Jets bodes well for Taylor to bounce back as a passer. They’ve allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last five weeks while ranking as the third-best matchup for quarterbacks according to NumberFire’s adjusted fantasy points allowed metric. Add in Taylor’s rushing floor, and he should be in for a solid streaming week.
QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants
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Week 12: vs Philadelphia Eagles
Trust me, I get it. You have to have some intestinal fortitude to start Jones as a streamer. But fortune favors the bold and all that. The matchup for Jones and the lack of reliable options on the waiver wire make him a viable streamer in Week 12. He’s volatile, of course, but so are all of the other options. We can take solace in the fact that the Eagles have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last eight weeks and are 29th in pass success rate, according to NumberFire. Also, with Jason Garrett relieved of his duties, Jones may find more success under the play calls of Freddie Kitchens. There’s risk, but there’s also enough upside to warrant consideration.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
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Week 12: vs Minnesota Vikings
Though he may not possess a high ceiling, Garoppolo has turned into a safe option for fantasy managers. With the full allotment of his weapons now healthy and working well together, Jimmy GQ has been a reliable streamer even if it hasn’t been all that exciting. He’s the QB5 in fantasy points per game over the last four weeks (19.4) since coming out of the bye. The Vikings have allowed a weekly finish of QB2 in two of the last three weeks. It may be uninspiring, but Garoppolo is a safer option than most in Week 12.
Stream of the Week: TE Evan Engram, New York Giants
AP Photo/Steve Luciano
Week 12: vs Philadelphia Eagles
Apparently, I’m all in on the Giants this week? That probably doesn’t bode well. Still, Engram appears to be the option with the most upside among waiver wire tight ends. That’s what we’ll chase—reasonably, of course. Engram is far removed from his fantasy glory days but the matchup is too strong to ignore. Over the last seven weeks, the Eagles have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends and at a clip of 18.2 points per game. That’s three points higher than the next closest team. Engram has decent enough usage as well with a double-digit target share in each game he’s played. Over the last four games, he hasn’t posted a target share under 12%. The upside and matchup is enough to warrant Engram a viable option.
TE Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
Week 12: vs. Atlanta Falcons
The fact that we’re going back to Arnold after he posted a fat goose egg in Week 11 just goes to show how bare the cupboard is when it comes to finding fantasy value at tight end. I’m willing to chalk up his Week 11 zero to a tough matchup against the 49ers combined with Trevor Lawrence’s struggles. Now, he gets a chance to bounce back against the Falcons, who are 25th against tight ends, according to NumberFire’s adjusted fantasy points per target metric. Since Week 5, Arnold is tied for the team lead with 39 targets while leading the offense in target share per game (21%).
TE Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears
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Week 12: at Detroit Lions
After a career game in Week 9 where Kmet saw eight targets for six receptions, 87 yards and a touchdown, he had the bye in Week 10 and posted a dud in Week 11 to the tune of 1.7 fantasy points and a TE41 finish on the week. The Lions have been a little better than average against tight ends and while Justin Fields has been ruled out for the Thursday game, Kmet won’t have to compete for targets with Allen Robinson. Kmet is 15th among tight ends in routes run, per Pro Football Focus, and still played 90% of the snaps in Week 11 despite his low usage. It won’t be flashy, but there’s a good chance Kmet gets you some points on Thursday if you need it.
Stream of the Week: Chicago Bears D/ST
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Week 12: at Detroit Lions
Though they may be without Khalil Mack for the remainder of the season, this matchup is too favorable to ignore if you’re in need of a streaming defense. Since Week 4, the Lions offense has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses at a rate of 9.4 fantasy points per game. Even if Jared Goff returns for this game, the Bears are a solid play in Week 12.
Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST
Bob Self/Florida Times-Union
Week 12: vs Atlanta Falcons
There is an inherent risk when it comes to streaming defenses. But given the volatility and replaceability of the position in fantasy football, even bad defenses have value in the right matchup. Right now, the Jaguars find themselves in that situation against a Falcons offense that is spiraling out of control. In standard defensive scoring over the last five weeks, the Falcons have been by far the most favorable matchup for defenses. In that span, they’ve allowed 68 fantasy points. The second-most behind them? The Carolina Panthers at 48 points. I’m not great at math but a 20-point difference there is telling. Add in the fact that the Jaguars’ 26.5% pressure rate (PFR) is tied for the eighth-highest in the NFL, and it becomes easier to consider streaming them in a pinch.
Los Angeles Chargers D/ST
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Week 12: at Denver Broncos
In what seemed like a solid matchup for the Chargers defense in Week 11, they wound up posting a dud. We’re going to stick with them again, though, partly because of the bare options in Week 12. The Chargers have a solid defense even if they do struggle at stopping the run. Since Week 6, the Broncos have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses while the offense has failed to hit 30 points in all but one game this season.