Injuries have thinned things for fantasy football owners already this year, as they always do. But quarterback, tight end and team defense are a little easier to find fill-ins for, and streaming those positions each week is a viable strategy.
Here are my top quarterback, tight end and team defense streamers for Week 3.
Quarterback: Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys (Monday night)
Palmer has not looked good through two games, completing less than 55 percent of his passes with four interceptions and two touchdown passes. But he has topped 260 yards in both games, including 332 yards through the air against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2.
A reasonably favorable matchup is coming for Palmer in Week 3. The Dallas Cowboys held Eli Manning in check Week 1, then allowed four touchdown passes to Trevor Siemian in Week 2. Top cornerback Orlando Scandrick (broken hand) did not play last Sunday, and if he can’t go again next Monday night the Cowboys’ secondary will rely on a couple rookies (Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis) and ordinary veterans (Nolan Carroll, Anthony Brown) prominently.
Palmer stretches the ownership criteria to be a streamer, at least in Yahoo! leagues. Fantasy owners have jumped off the bandwagon, but Week 3 is an opportunity get back on and benefit.
Yahoo! Ownership: 59%
ESPN Ownership: 15.5%
Other Options To Consider: Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers: Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts vs. Cleveland Browns, Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills; DeShone Kizer, Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts
Tight End: Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos
Clay had just three catches for 23 yards against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2, as the Bills scored just three points, but he was more heavily involved with four receptions (on nine targets) for 53 yards and a touchdown against the Jets in Week 1.
The Denver Broncos allowed little to the Chargers’ tight ends in Week 1 (two catches for 17 yards). But Cowboys’ tight end Jason Witten had 10 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown (on 13 targets) last week, and Clay could be used similarly this week as Buffalo’s wide receivers are overmatched and taken away by Denver’s cornerbacks.
Clay should be Tyrod Taylor’s clear top target on Sunday, as the middle of the field stands to be the only way the Bills will get much done through the air. Looking toward target volume is a solid priority when streaming a tight end, and Clay is the top man for Week 3.
Yahoo! Ownership: 24%
ESPN Ownership: 12.9%
Other Options To Consider: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts vs. Cleveland Browns (check ownership); Benjamin Watson, Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars (London); Zach Miller, Chicago Bears vs. Pittsburgh Steelers; Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers, at Chicago Bears; Ed Dickson, Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
Team Defense: Tennessee Titans, vs. Seattle Seahawks
In their first two games, against at best middle of the pack defenses, the Seahawks have scored 21 points with one offensive touchdown. If not for Russell Wilson’s mobility, they surely would have surrendered more than six sacks thus far too. Offensive line woes are nothing new in Seattle, especially early in the season, but the Seahawks are also a different team away from home.
After allowing 26 points to the Oakland Raiders and forcing zero turnovers in Week 1, the Tennessee Titans rebounded to allow 16 points with three takeaways and two sacks against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. And without a meaningless touchdown late in the fourth quarter, in typical Blake Bortles fashion, the Titans would have allowed single-digit points in Week 2.
It may be a low-scoring slugfest in Nashville Sunday afternoon, and the Titans’ defense has the benefit of home field to gain an advantage defensively. Don’t expect a ton of takeaways, but a low point total allowed and a few sacks gives the Tennessee defense a nice floor for fantasy owners to bet on as a streamer.
Yahoo! Ownership: 11%
ESPN Ownership: 6.5%
Other Options To Consider: Philadelphia Eagles, vs. New York Giants; Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings; Green Bay Packers, vs Cincinnati Bengals; Miami Dolphins, at New York Jets