It’s Thanksgiving week, and I’m thankful that we don’t have to dip into streaming players. It isn’t a great week for sleepers, as very few players available in at least 50% of them are both decent and in decent matchups. But, we will keep trying, just like every week, to find some deep value. These players are available in at least 50% of leagues, with one player at each position available in at least 90% of leagues.
Matthew Stafford at Arizona (48% rostered)
Stafford is getting Kyren Williams back this week, which should help to offset the likely Cooper Kupp absence, which means that he’s likely to continue to throw the ball all over the field. That’s something he’s been more than willing to do, as Stafford is currently tied for tenth in passing yards, with 261 per contest this season. Unfortunately, despite this, Stafford currently has zero top-twelve fantasy finishes and has been more of a high-end QB2 than someone that you’re rolling out there every week. This week, however, I think he gets off the schneid. Arizona is a top-ten matchup this week, with three straight quarterback rooms getting at least 18 fantasy points against them. They picked off C.J. Stroud three times last week, but those three were the first they had since picking off Geno Smith once in week seven.
Gardner Minshew versus Tampa Bay (16% rostered)
This is a more solid matchup, but a worse player, than Stafford and Arizona. The Buccaneers are one of the league’s worst pass defenses, allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on the year. Three of their five matchups since their bye resulted in the QB scoring at least 22 fantasy points, with the other two games coming against past and future backup quarterbacks (Desmond Ridder & Will Levis). On top of that, the Buccaneers will be without two stalwart starters (Lavonte David & Jamel Dean) and could be without two more (Carlton Davis & Devin White). Minshew’s been on a skid, posting only 210 passing yards, 1.3 touchdowns, and 0.8 interceptions over his last four contests. Those last four games came against teams ranked 20th or worst against opposing quarterbacks, and Tampa Bay stinks. The Gardner Snake should throw at least 30 times, which will give him enough value to matter this week.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson at Denver (6% rostered)
Let’s get weird. DTR has two career starts, and both went poorly. In week four, he scored 4.2 fantasy points on 19/36 passing for 121 yards, rushing for 24 yards. Last week, he ended up with 7.6 fantasy points, on 24/43 passing for 165 yards, and rushing for 20 yards. Those are both dismal outputs, but they also came against two teams ranked in the bottom eight in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks (Baltimore’s 31st-ranked defense held him to 4.2, and Pittsburgh’s 24th-ranked defense held him to 7.6). This week, however, he gets a Denver squad that allows the tenth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. They’ve somewhat tightened it up lately insomuch as they are getting a lot more turnovers, but they still are giving up at least 16 fantasy points per game with relative ease.
Odell Beckham, Jr. at L.A. Chargers (46% rostered)
Don’t look now, but the old Odell Beckham is back, at least temporarily. He has seven targets in three of his last five games and has 9.9 or more fantasy points in four of his last five games. All of those games came against teams outside the top ten in fantasy points per game. He leads the Ravens’ receivers in target share in the last five games and leads the team in receiving yards in the same timeframe. He’s also second in average depth of target for Baltimore in those last five games, as Rashod Bateman never materialized, and Zay Flowers has taken a massive step back lately. The Chargers won’t put up any resistance this weekend, as they are second in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers; and three different WRs had 12 or more PPR points against them last week.
Demario Douglas at N.Y Giants (35% rostered)
“Pop” Douglas is reaping the benefits of every other receiver on the Patriots going down with injury. He has at least six targets in four straight games, including nine in New England’s last game, two weeks ago. Thanks to this volume, Douglas is averaging 11 PPR points over his last four contests, without scoring a touchdown. Douglas is the only receiver worth having in the New England passing game, and the Giants are allowing the fifth-most points per game to WRs on the season.
Robert Woods versus Jacksonville (8% rostered)
With Noah Brown already ruled out for this AFC South shootout, you should turn to Woods if you’re desperate at receiver. Brown had 14 targets over his last two games and turned that into well over 300 yards. While Woods isn’t quite the athlete that Brown is, he’s every bit the receiver that Brown is. Woods has been dealing with injuries, but exempting the game where he went down with the injury, and the game that he came back from the injury, Wood is averaging eight targets per game. The Jags are a great matchup for Woods since they’ve started to shake apart recently. They’ve given up double-digit fantasy days to eight different receivers in their last five games, and at least 9 PPR points to ten receivers in their last five contests.
Ezekiel Elliott at N.Y. Giants (40% rostered)
Zeke making the list exemplifies the fact that running back isn’t the best position to stream this week. But, Elliott ended up with fifteen touches headed into the Patriots’ bye, and again, the Giants are terrible. Fourteen running backs have at least 10 touches against the Giants this season, and ten of them have double-digit fantasy point days, averaging 15 PPR points. Granted, this includes guys who had well over 15 touches, which is Zeke’s ceiling. If you strip it down to between 10 and 15 touches, those backs average 11 PPR points per game.
Tyjae Spears versus Carolina (39% rostered)
Here’s my beautiful, wonderful, glorious stream of the week. Tyjae Spears is quietly siphoning snaps in Tennessee over Derrick Henry, as he has one more game with 50% or more of snaps than Henry on the season. While this has resulted in only two double-digit PPR games, this week’s competition makes it a virtual lock that Spears gets double-digit fantasy points. The Panthers are awful against opposing running backs. 5% of runs against them go for at least 15 yards, which ranks seventh in the league. They’re also second in opponent rushing touchdown rate, with 5.3% of rushes against them going for a touchdown.
At first, appears as though the Panthers are allowing long touchdowns, but they’ve allowed 16 rushing touchdowns on the season (two over 9 yards), and 13 carries of at least 15 yards without a touchdown. Only two plays overlap, meaning there have been 29 rushes against the Panthers to go for at least 15 yards or a touchdown, out of 288 run plays against them, so just over 10% of rush attempts go for 15+ yards or a touchdown against the Panthers. They’re bad, and Tyjae Spears is good and playing over 50% of snaps more often than not, making this a streaming match made in heaven.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire at Las Vegas (5% rostered)
Okay, so it’s time to get desperate. There aren’t a lot of low-rostered running backs who have great matchups. So, we turn to CEH. Edwards-Helaire will get an additional run thanks to Jerick McKinnon missing the contest. We’ve only seen Edwards-Helaire get significant run this season when he had 16 touches for 57 yards against the Bears back in week 3. But, he gets the Raiders this week, who are likely to be without Maxx Crosby, and who are starting to circle the drain. The Raiders allow the sixth-most fantasy points on the season and have given up four double-digit fantasy days in their last three games.
Isaiah Likely at L.A. Chargers (50% rostered)
Mark Andrews is out for the season, or maybe not(?), but he’s at least out for this one, despite whatever coy proclamations John Harbaugh might make to the media. Likely was one of my favorite tight ends coming out of the draft last season, and I’m more than a little excited to see what he can do with a year and a half of seasoning under his belt. Likely has had more than five targets just twice in his career, and in those games, he finished with 8 catches for 103 yards and 6 catches for 77 yards. He has three games with five targets, and he scored in two of them and finished with the sought-after 4/40 that we look for in streamers. The Chargers boast(?) one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, and will be without Joey Bosa for this one. Look for Likely to get a ton of underneath targets as the Ravens cruise past the Chargers in this one.
Cade Otton at Indianapolis (28% rostered)
Don’t look now, but Cade Otton has quietly become one of the more consistently-targeted tight ends in the league. Over the last six weeks, Baker Mayfield’s targeted Otton an average of 6 times per game. That hasn’t resulted in a ton of production, however, as the Buccaneers played against three teams in the bottom 12 in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. The Buccaneers played two teams in the top five in that span, and Otton finished with 5 catches for 43 yards against Atlanta, and 6 catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans. While I don’t expect a 6/70/2 day out of Otton, I am hoping the Colts’ matchup is a fruitful one. Indy allows the fifteenth-most fantasy points to tight ends on the season, with only every tight end who had at least 6 targets against them scoring at least 7 PPR points. This is a good spot to for Otton to do some Yeoman’s work from your tight end spot, just don’t expect an explosive game.
Juwan Johnson at Atlanta (9% rostered)
When Juwan Johnson is healthy and playing, he is a top-twelve option, especially in plus matchups. He’s healthy, Derek Carr is back, and the Falcons are dreadful against tight ends. They’ve given up the third-most fantasy points per game to tight ends on the season, including 35 combined points in the last two weeks. Every tight end to get over five targets against them turned in at least 9 fantasy points, with six of the seven turning in 12+ PPR points.