Week 1 Fantasy Streaming Adds: Cases For Rostering Sam Darnold, Panthers Defense & More
Chris Keane/Getty Images. Pictured: Sam Darnold.
“Streaming” quarterbacks, kickers and defenses has been a fantasy football strategy I’ve used successfully for years.
I’ve parlayed that success into a series of weekly recommendations of the top streaming options at those three positions as well as tight end — a position I don’t recommend streaming week-to-week, though still offer recommendations for fantasy players who may need a short-term rental.
Note that these players are rostered in fewer than 50% of Yahoo! leagues, but that these recommendations do not mean that they are the best streamer play for your league — be sure to check my up-to-the-minute rankings to see who the best available player is in your league.
Panthers QB Sam Darnold vs. NYJ
Sometimes living the #StreamerLife forces us to make uncomfortable decisions. Using Sam Darnold for Week 1 is one of those times. However, there are plenty of reasons to like Darnold this week.
- #RevengeGame narrative.
- Surrounded by pass-catching weapons (Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, Terrace Marshall Jr.).
- Matt Rhule and Joe Brady are a major upgrade over Adam Gase.
- The Panthers have a 25.5 implied team total.
- The Jets are extremely weak at cornerback.
The last reason may be the most important one. It’s unclear who the Jets will lineup at CB across from Bryce Hall. As a result, they will be forced to play one or two of the following corners: Michael Carter (fifth-round rookie), Jason Pinnock (fifth-round rookie), Brandin Echols (sixth-round rookie) or Isaiah Dunn (UDFA rookie). If Darnold can’t produce a top-20 score this week, we can safely avoid him the rest of the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jimmy Garoppolo are the other viable options to stream at QB if you prefer not to roll the dice on Darnold.
Panthers Defense vs. NYJ
The Panthers defense is probably still one or two years away from completing its rebuild. However, they have enough talent in Derrick Brown, Brian Burns, Hasson Reddick, Jaycee Horn and Jeremy Chinn to be playable in certain spots.
Their Week 1 matchup against the Jets makes it the perfect time to stream them. No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson will be making his NFL debut. He will be very aggressive as a rookie and will likely make his fair share of mistakes, especially early in the season. Therefore, I like taking advantage of his turnover potential here. The betting market doesn’t anticipate the Jets putting up many points here either, as they have the fourth-lowest team total this week.
Jaguars Kicker Josh Lambo at HOU
Josh Lambo is one of the more reliable kickers in the league, going 76-for-80 (95%) on field goals since joining the Jaguars in 2017. The Jags are 3-point road favorites and should set up Lambo with plenty of scoring chances this week.
Titans TE Anthony Firkser vs. ARI
Anthony Firkser has the widest range of outcomes of all potential TE streaming options for Week 1. The Titans need someone to step up as the primary receiving option at TE following Jonnu Smith’s departure. Firkser is expected to be that guy, and he could potentially be Ryan Tannehill’s No. 3 target in 2021 (while offering low-end TE1 value). There is also a chance that Firkser’s liability as a blocker prevents him from taking on a more prominent role in 2021. I like the idea of rolling the dice on him in Week 1 to see if we can strike gold.