Each week of the NFL campaign, we will sift through the deeper options at each position with an eye on identifying streaming fantasy commodities with valuable matchups to consider.
Do you need replacement options for injured players or those on byes this week? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues? We have some choice names to consider for those seeking widely available options at each position.
NOTE: Players from Thursday night's Chiefs-Broncos games have been taken out, and rostered percentages have been updated.
Only the Dolphins and Falcons have proven more generous to opposing arms than the Cardinals. The return of Patrick Peterson isn't enough to offset the overall struggles of the Arizona secondary, aiding Jones' case as a strong streaming option given what should be a stronger collection of skill weapons. This is an admittedly poor week for streaming, thus I selected players who while they have solid rostered rates, haven't been started often thus far. Given the bye week and injuries eroding the depth at quarterback, it's time to trust a gifted rookie like Jones against a fallible defensive foe.
A stellar, if unsustainable, touchdown rate has helped fuel QB1 production for Brissett, who currently sits 12th in fantasy points per game at the position in ESPN leagues. The Colts' effectively conservative offense is up to fifth in points in per drive, suggesting Frank Reich's creative game plans are proving effective. The Houston defense has a strong reputation, but the secondary is quite exploitable, with the Texans allowing 19.7 fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks, ninth most in the league.
I'm endorsing a third signal-caller in order to fit in a player more widely available in ESPN leagues. A sluggish start to the season saw Cousins hit free agency in a majority of leagues ahead of Week 6's four-score opus. While the Lions have been competitive against top opponents such as Kansas City and Green Bay this season, they have the league's 12th-weakest pass rush, pressuring passers on just 25% of dropbacks (league average is 27%). This could mean Cousins has additional time to operate and build on his revival performance against Philly last week.
It's difficult to project how the Green Bay backfield will operate going forward, but it's becoming clear Williams isn't just a change-of-pace option after a brilliant Week 6 showing. Aaron Jones might very well lead this backfield in snaps and touches against Oakland this week, but given the Raiders have yielded more than 120 yards from scrimmage to backfields per game this season, there is room for Williams to still earn flex-worthy usage and production.
Earning a nod for the second straight week, Edmonds maximized his seven touches to the tune of 67 scrimmage yards with a touchdown. David Johnson is still the bellcow for the Cards, but Edmonds could see meaningful receiving work and even late-game rushing work if the Cardinals are able to build a lead on New York. It's a dart throw of a play, but there is some evidence of per-touch efficiency in a choice matchup with a leaky New York seven that already is down multiple linebackers. Such variance is also simply the nature of streaming running backs. For those in shallower formats, pick up or make a reasonable trade offer for Devin Singletary ahead of a prime matchup with the ultimately generous Miami front seven.
From undrafted and on the roster bubble last year to leading the Bengals with a dozen targets last week, Tate's ascension to premier possession target has been unique. The Jaguars, meanwhile, present a fun matchup for Tate given they've allowed nearly 180 receiving yards per game to wideouts on the season.
Stacking Josh Allen with John Brown (who is surprisingly available in nearly half of ESPN leagues despite pacing for more than 1,200 yards) is an ideal plan this week, but not everyone can put together that pairing. Beasley, however, is available in most leagues for the price of a roster spot and has enjoyed more dynamic and daring usage with Buffalo than in Dallas. Most of this endorsement is fueled by the opponent, though, as receivers are netting a silly 15.5 yards per catch against Miami this season.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (6.5% rostered; vs. Dolphins)
With the Fins coming to Orchard Park, it's worth noting Miami has surrendered 67.6 yards per game to tight ends, fourth most in the NFL. Knox, to his credit, tied for the team lead in targets in Week 5 and has made several highlight catches already as a rookie "move" tight end.
Green Bay Packers (50.0% rostered; vs. Raiders)
The Packers claim the league's 12th-highest pressure rate and the ninth-highest sack rate. The Raiders, meanwhile, have scored just 1.9 points per drive, a league average clip that shouldn't scare away fantasy investors from streaming this talented Green Bay D/ST.
Individual defensive players
Josh Allen, Jacksonville Jaguars (11.3% rostered; at Bengals)
Not to be confused with the Bills' dual-threat quarterback, this Allen is a menacing rookie edge rusher with four sacks in the past four games. The Bengals' patchwork line should provide Allen with multiple pressures this Sunday
Nick Vigil, Cincinnati Bengals (21.8% rostered; vs. Jaguars)
The Jaguars prefer to ride Leonard Fournette on offense as much as possible, which means Vigil will earn plenty of tackle opportunities in the box chasing Jacksonville's feature back. Vigil has produced at least 11 tackles in three straight games and should make it a fourth given the matchup.
A sluggish three-tackle showing in Week 6 is somewhat of an outlier based on Awuzie's past month of productive play (averaged nearly seven tackles per game in prior three games). I'm willing to trust that Awuzie will prove busy corralling the Eagles' receivers, tight ends, and backs in a division battle where he shouldn't leave the field very often.