Originally posted: November 28, 2017
The regular fantasy season is winding down and by now you’re either streaming the TE position weekly, happy with a TE1 that you initially drafted or have picked up a guy along the way who puts up enough points to satisfy each week. No matter where your roster sits on the TE spectrum, you should always be reevaluating to gauge if your current TE is worthy of starting this week, or if you’re better off hitting the waiver wire in search of a better option. As a strategy, streaming aims to find players with above-average matchups, which can hopefully translate to TE1 production for your fantasy squad.
The main focus of our research when looking at a TE’s matchup is 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) metric. As the season continues to progress and more data is available, aFPA becomes more and more reliable, using rolling 10-week data. Targets and efficiency metrics are also considered when coming up with weekly TE streamers.
The goal in streaming is to roster a player that is going to return TE1 fantasy points and Week 12 was another crazy one in the TE world. Two guys made me look good this week, as Tyler Kroft put up TE11 numbers with 10.4 PPR points, followed by Julius Thomas’ 10.2 as TE12. After 12 weeks of football, 4for4 streaming candidates are averaging 8.96 PPR fantasy points per game, which currently ranks as TE14. The optimal TE streamer has 195.7 PPR fantasy points, enough for TE1 on the season thus far. On to Week 13 and the players who can bail you out of a bad draft choice, or simply provide the weekly streaming points you crave.
In order to provide advice that you can actually implement, candidates for streaming must be available in at least 40% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.
Julius Thomas (MIA) vs. DEN
I’d lead with the revenge game narrative, but Thomas was a member of the Broncos two teams ago, so no dice. He is, however, quietly putting together a nice little season for himself, remaining healthy and actually playing in all 11 games thus far. Over the past four weeks, Thomas is TE3 in fantasy points, averaging 11.6 per contest, and sixth in TE targets in that time frame with 23.
The Broncos sit 28th in TE aFPA, surrendering 15.0 schedule-adjusted PPR points to the position weekly. While the Dolphins do have plenty of offensive weapons to go around, the plus matchup and a backup QB in Matt Moore tips the scales to favorable for Thomas in Week 13. At a Yahoo ownership of 27%, there’s a decent chance he’s there for you to plug and play.
Eric Ebron (DET) @ BAL
Although not having the breakout season that we anticipated, Ebron has been serviceable fantasy-wise since the Lions’ bye in Week 7. He’s averaging 8.5 PPR points per contest and sits as TE9 in total fantasy points from Weeks 8 through 12.
He gets a promising opponent on Sunday, as the Ravens are 23rd in aFPA against enemy TEs, and are playing on a short week, while Detroit will have been recovering from their turkey day contest for nine days. At an ownership of just 31%, Ebron is certainly stream-able this week in Baltimore.
Ricky Seals-Jones (ARI) vs. LAR
In the two weeks with Blaine Gabbert under center for the Cardinals, Seals-Jones has exploded, averaging 18.8 PPR points per game, with a total of 126 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The Gabbert/Seals-Jones tandem is a thing, and I want a part of it.
This week, Arizona gets a home tilt versus the Rams, a team ranked seventh in TE aFPA, but one that’s also given up some big games to TEs this season, including 17 PPR points to Evan Engram in Week 9, and 15.7 to Jimmy Graham in Week 5. For now, Seals-Jones is on the waiver wire in 97% of Yahoo leagues, but I suspect that number will decrease as we move through the week.
O.J. Howard (TBB) @ GB
Tampa Bay seems to be working their first-rounder into the rotation more in recent weeks, as Howard has out-snapped Cameron Brate 72% to 55% in Weeks 11 and 12, with eight targets to Brate’s five. Howard’s stat line was the exact same in Week 12 as it was the previous week, posting three receptions for 52 yards.
In a 4-7 season, four games behind the NFC South-leading Saints and Panthers, it would seem that the Bucs would want Howard to get as much NFL experience as possible, which works out great for those fantasy players who stream weekly. Week 13 isn’t the best matchup for Howard, as the Packers rank eighth in TE aFPA this season, however, they sit 31st versus WRs so their secondary isn’t score-proof. Rostered in 26% of Yahoo leagues, Howard is stream-worthy this week as you hopefully secure a spot in your league’s postseason.
Other Streaming Candidates:
- Charles Clay (BUF) vs. NE – 32% owned
- Ben Watson (BAL) vs. DET – 13% owned
- C.J. Fiedorowicz (HOU) @ TEN – 20% owned
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