The NFL regular season is finally upon us, and across the nation, people are setting their lineups and snagging their sleepers. Everyone likes an extra set of eyes, an extra suggestion or two, an extra look at the potentially overlooked talent available following the end of drafts. This week, I continue my weekly streamer series from last season. I'll give you a list of players that I'm intrigued by either this week or this season, with a focus on season-long value for week 1. Defenses are tough this week since many of the best defenses have the best matchups, but I'll outline a few defensive units that stand out who might be on your waivers as well. Hope this helps, and happy streaming!--Mike B.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cin. Most people are buying Dalton in leagues this year, but he's a guy that might have sneaked into undrafted territory in some smaller leagues due to concerns about WRs and Hue Jackson leaving the team. With Zampese taking over offensive coordinator duty in Cincinnati, Dalton could have a very strong season. He's worth a look if you can get him cheaply.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, NE. Garoppolo is a guy with a lot of similarities to Dallas QB Tony Romo. If you watch the film, at times they look like the same guy. If Garoppolo can use these similarities to his advantage, he should have a strong four game run as quarterback of the Patriots. Well worth a snag here if you're weak at QB.
Dak Prescott, QB, Dal. Prescott is a guy that is going to see a lot of snaps early in the season with Tony Romo out. He's done a lot of things well this preseason, and looked solid in college. While there will be growing pains, there's a chance at some real value here. Look accordingly if you need a quarterback.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cle. Duke Johnson is getting most of the hype in the Cleveland backfield, but Crowell could see a ton of carries as well. Hue Jackson is known to use a two running back attack effectively, and Crowell could become the bellcow back in the Cleveland offense. If you have room, snag him.
Jhurell Pressley, RB, GB. This is largely a speculative pick, but one that could pay off hugely. Maybe Lacy slows down and gets streaky like he has in the past. Maybe Pressley outperforms Starks in practice. Pressley is a guy to watch early and often this season. He could wind up taking carries in the Packers backfield at any point this season, at which point he may become fantasy relevant. The talent is there, but are the carries? Monitor his situation closely.
Charles Sims, RB, TB. Sims is the new Danny Woodhead. Lots of receiving yards and lots of receptions, as well as a reasonable amount of rushing yards. He's overlooked, especially in smaller leagues, but he will be useful, especially in a PPR setting.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pit. With Bell suspended to begin the season, Williams is a must-add if he's available in your league. Enough said.
Zach Zenner, RB, Det. Zenner is a huge fantasy sleeper right now. He could be this year's version of Joique Bell, and as someone who has watched a ton of his college film, he might be the best RB in Detroit. He's worth an early grab.
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Phi. With Jordan Matthews battling an injury, Green-Beckham could be the top WR in the Eagles passing attack this week. While Carson Wentz is an unproven commodity and Green-Beckham is still relatively inconsistent in his young career, the upside is there for something special. He could have a really nice game this week.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Was. Jackson had a solid finish to last season, and DeSean Jackson faces Pittsburgh, Dallas, the Giants, the Browns, the Ravens, the Eagles, and the Lions to open the season. That's a great schedule for a fantasy WR. If you can, grab him cheaply now, and trade him once he gets hot. Rookie WRs take a while to get accustomed to the NFL, so Doctson might have a slow start to the year, rendering DeSean the lead dog there for the first half of the year. As Doctson begins to find his stride, trade away Jackson at maximum value. It might not be a waiver pickup, but it's a strategy that could pay off nicely for you. Keep Jackson in mind.
Tajae Sharpe, WR, Ten. I get it. Sharpe is an underhyped guy, but look at his situation. He impressed at minicamp. He impressed in preseason so much that the Titans traded away WR Dorial Green-Beckham. He's not a guy that's going to be the immediate #1 WR on your fantasy team, but he's a guy that might be a free agent that could win your league this season. Get him now, if he's still there.
Eli Rogers, WR, Pit. Rogers is a guy I like a lot in Pittsburgh. While Sammie Coates is getting most of the love as a breakout candidate, Rogers looks the part of a perfect NFL slot receiver. I expect a big season out of Rogers this year, and he could be the second best WR in this Steelers offense. With Le'Veon Bell out to begin the season, they could look to pass a bit more often. Buy in early.
Dwayne Allen, TE, Ind. This week, the Colts play the Lions, a team who gave up a ton of points to tight ends last season. Allen is now the top dog in Indy's offense, and could have a big game this week. Worth a long look.
Coby Fleener, TE, NO. Last year, one of my favorite strategies when streaming tight ends was starting whoever started against the Raiders, one of the league's worst defenses against tight ends. This year, for starters, is no different. Fleener is worth a throw of the dart if he happens to be on waivers in your league. Grab him, start him, and sell high after a big game this week when everyone begins to think "Jimmy Graham 2.0".
Jesse James, TE, Pit. LaDarius Green is struggling with injuries, and the Le'Veon Bell is suspended for the first few games of the year. James could be a sneaky start this week. I'm not expecting a blowout performance, but I would expect at least a decent showing out of James this week.
Tyler Kroft/CJ Uzomah, TE, Cin. Pick whichever one of these guys winds up starting for the Bengals this week. One of these guys has to fill in the Tyler Eifert role in the Cincinnati passing attack. Kroft is dinged up too, so that might actually be Uzomah. I'll admit it, as a Bengals fan, it was nice just to be able to hype Uzomah for the week since I might never have another chance, but he could be a viable fantasy streamer if he starts this week. So could Kroft.
Cleveland Browns D/ST. This could be a big week defensively for the Browns. They face Carson Wentz in his first career start, and Wentz is still transitioning to the NFL. This might be a turnover-heavy matchup, which will generate points.
Philadelphia Eagles D/ST. I'm not entirely sold on Philly's defense, but they should have a strong showing against the Cleveland Browns in week 1. If you need a spot start, Philly's your team.
Minnesota Vikings D/ST. The Vikings play the Titans this week. While Tennessee has the makings of a solid team in place, their offense is a year or two away from fully arriving. They should be a good team to face for fantasy purposes this season. If the Vikings defense is available, they are a potential top 10 defense, and might even slip into the top 5. Buy early.
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