Week 1 Fantasy Football Streamers: Add Russell Wilson, Greg Joseph, More

Week 1 Fantasy Football Streamers: Add Russell Wilson, Greg Joseph, More article feature image

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Wilson.

"Streaming" quarterbacks, defenses and kickers has been a fantasy football strategy I've successfully used for years.

I've parlayed that success into a series of weekly recommendations for the top streaming options at those three positions, as well as tight end, which can be of assistance in a pinch.

The concept behind streaming is that you add someone for a given week based on the matchup, rather than putting the emphasis behind a player's long-term projection.

I’m only highlighting players who are available in at least 40% of Yahoo! leagues. Please refer to my player rankings based on your league settings to see who is the best available player in your league.

QB Russell Wilson

vs. Raiders

It’s not a great week for streaming quarterbacks as no one inside my top 12 is available in 40%+ of leagues. Russell Wilson is currently the top option as my QB13 to open the week.

He’s coming off of a disastrous debut season with the Broncos, but he could bounce back in Year 2 under new head coach Sean Payton. The Raiders were 32nd in DVOA against the pass last season and while they should improve after signing cornerback Marcus Peters, this is still a great matchup for Wilson.

I like the idea of streaming Wilson if you are looking for a long-term option at QB. There's a real chance he rebounds and becomes a weekly QB1 option again.

TE Irv Smith Jr.

at Browns

Sam LaPorta is available in 34% of leagues, which means there is a chance he's available as the top streaming option in your league. He could be this year’s Greg Dulcich, who is one of the comps I gave for LaPorta entering the draft.

The next-best option is Irv Smith Jr.

A talented former second-round pick in the 2019 draft, Smith has been held back by injuries through his first three seasons. Still, he's only 25 years old and entering his prime.

Smith is a breakout candidate given his standing as the Bengals' new starting tight end. He should see a 60-70% routes run rate in one of the top passing offenses in the league — that gives him high-end TE2 upside.

If Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins or Tyler Boyd ever miss time, Smith would become one of Joe Burrow’s top-three targets and potentially offer TE1 value. He’s worth rolling the dice on for Week 1 as a potential long-term solution at a thin position.

K Greg Joseph

vs. Buccaneers

The Vikings are six-point home favorites, have the fourth-highest team total and are playing indoors. These are perfect ingredients for a streaming option, thus, Joseph, who's widely available, opens the week as my No. 6 kicker.

DEF Vikings

vs. Buccaneers

The Vikings defense should improve under new defensive coordinator Brian Flores. While they won’t be inside my top five — or even top 12 — most weeks, they are my No. 3 defense to open the week as they have a great matchup against the Buccaneers.

Tom Brady was able to mask the Bucs' deteriorating offensive line — a downturn which began when Ali Marpet retired following their 2021 Super Bowl win — by getting rid of the ball at the fastest rate last year. Baker Mayfield, who is not Brady, is a signigicant downgrade and could provide the Vikings with a few sacks and potentially some turnovers. The Bucs also have the fourth-lowest team total of Week 1.

It’s important to remember that a lot of what goes into defensive rankings in a given week comes down to “luck” more than any other position. I am not saying the Vikings will finish in the top five, but based on metrics that are somewhat predictive, they check the box for all of them this week.

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