By Tony Reimas (@mrmeseeksff)
One more week of the 2017 NFL Season in the books and one more week of generally disappointing quarterback play. Through the first two weeks only half of the quarterbacks taken in the top 12 have finished there. This is why we wait on quarterbacks. While last week may have been tough for streaming, including for myself, you haven't been alone in your suffering. The one saving grace is that unlike your counterparts, you didn't use a top five pick on a quarterback. Hopefully you have more depth at the key positions than your league mates as a result. Just like quarterback, tight end has been pretty brutal for the top guys. With the exception of Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce, no tight end has justified the draft capital you spent on them. And even Gronk is now battling an injury. Whether it’s because of injury or underperformance, most owners are in need of a new tight end. No matter what your league size is there's production to be found off the waiver wire. As always, I'm here to help you find it.
10 Team Leagues- Carson Wentz vs New York Giants
Anyone that was banking on a breakout second season from Wentz has been rewarded for their foresight. Through 2 weeks Wentz is the number three QB in fantasy, averaging 21.9 PPG. Last week he threw for 333 yards and two TDs on the road against a Kansas City team that shut down the Patriots opening night. Another thing working in Wentz owner’s favor: Philadelphia’s lack of a running game. LeGarrette Blount has been awful since the first week he signed with Philadelphia and Wendell Smallwood hasn't been any better. The best running back on the Eagle’s roster is Darren Sproles, who is best utilized as a pass catcher. The Eagles rank 24th in rushing attempts through two weeks and there's no reason that should change. While I'm a believer in the Giant’s defense, Wentz showed in Kansas City that he can be matchup proof. The Giants have also shown an inability to cover the TE. They’ve allowed 13 receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns to the position this season. Zach Ertz should be able to take advantage of that. Trust the volume, trust the production and put Wentz in your lineup with confidence this week.
12 Team Leagues- Trevor Siemian @ Buffalo Bills
This one has shocked me. Nothing about Trevor Simeon last season showed me that he was even a viable starter in the NFL, much less one capable of being a QB1 in fantasy. He has proven his doubters wrong and made Denver look like a legit Super Bowl contender. Siemian and the Broncos offense as a whole were downright dominant Sunday against Dallas. Throwing for four touchdowns, Siemian proved he can be efficient enough to produce for fantasy, even without a high volume. This week he travels to Buffalo to take on a Bill’s team that is already playing for 2018. Since the Bills traded Ronald Darby, I don't see anyone in that secondary who can cover Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sander. With those weapons and a great running game Denver shouldn't have much issue moving the football. In a game the Broncos should win pretty easily, Siemian is a safe option. I expect him to limit his turnovers, throw for around 250 yards and two TDs and finish as a QB1 once again.
14/16 Team Leagues- Jay Cutler @ New York Jets
I know what you're thinking: am I really expecting you to trust Jay Cutler in your lineup? To be frank, I'd trust just about anyone to perform against the Jets. Cutler looked good last week, throwing for 230 yards and a touchdown against a good Chargers defense. Adam Gase seems to have cracked the code with Cutler and is able to at least limit his turnovers and make him look like a suitable NFL quarterback. Miami also has no shortage of weapons with the always steady Jarvis Landry and emerging stars Jay Ajayi and DeVante Parker. The Jets are basically an expansion team, so I expect Miami to control most of this game. I expect Cutler to improve upon his numbers last week and finish as a viable starter in deeper leagues.
10 Team Leagues- Coby Fleener @ Carolina Panthers
This is the Coby Fleener we were waiting for! A popular breakout candidate after signing with New Orleans, Fleener ultimately disappointed fantasy owners who invested an early pick in him. That doesn't mean we were wrong however, maybe just a bit early. When Willie Snead was suspended for a DUI, fantasy analysts wondered who would benefit from his absence and it turns out it was the much maligned tight end. Brees has been known to utilize the tight end, from his days to Jimmy Graham to revitalizing Ben Watson’s career. Fleener and the Saints travel to Carolina to take on a Panthers team that finished second worst in the league against tight ends in 2016. While I worry that this will be over when Snead returns you should ride the hot streak while it lasts.
12 Team Leagues- Ben Watson @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Joe Flacco really loves tight ends doesn't he? After relying on Dennis Pitta, who led all tight ends in receptions in 2017, Flacco may have found another tight end best friend in Ben Watson. Watson has shown in the past that he can be a viable fantasy asset when utilized. This week the Ravens take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville has one of the best cornerback tandems in the league. I suspect they'll be able to limit Jeremy Maclin and Breshard Perriman. With Terrance West reportedly battling soft tissue issues Baltimore will need to rely on Javorious Allen and Watson in the passing game if they hope to move the ball. While this should be a low scoring game, Watson should see enough volume to be a viable starter.
14/16 Team Leagues- Zach Miller vs Pittsburgh Steelers
I don't blame you if you haven't been paying much attention to the Bears outside of Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard. I don't blame you at all. I'm a Bears fan and I barely pay attention to them. Let me fill you in on something though: the Bears have no pass catchers. Literally. I'm pretty sure I could make the roster at WR. So in an offense devoid of weapons, someone has to catch the ball, right? Miller has four and six receptions off nine targets the last two weeks. In a game against Pittsburgh, the Bears will most likely be behind which should lead to more passing attempts. It's not going to be pretty but the volume should be there for Miller to be a startable TE in deeper leagues.
10/12 Team Leagues- Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
The Dolphins are playing the Jets. The Jets are abysmal at football. Stream them with confidence.
14/16 Team Leagues- Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts
The Browns aren't exactly a defense you're used to streaming, but the truth is they haven't been half bad. They scored five points in week one and six points in week two against much better offenses than they face this week. With leagues this deep, sometimes you have to make difficult choices. In a game that should be ugly on both sides, the Browns should be able to avoid negative points. And when a team is facing the Colts, the upside is always there for a big week.