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: One player from Thursday night's Colts-Texans game (Jonathan Williams) was taken out of this column, and roster percentages were updated on Friday morning.
While Tennessee has built a reputation for having a stout pass defense, the Titans have actually surrendered 21.3 fantasy points to quarterbacks since Week 7, eighth-most in the league. During this four-game sample, the Titans have also ceded the ninth-highest touchdown rate (per attempt) to opposing arms while only the Bengals have allowed more yards per completion to enemy arms than Tennessee during this stretch. Foles, meanwhile, wasn't as sharp as his stats suggest in Week 11, but it's still impressive that he completed 70.2% of his attempts all while pushing the ball downfield to his playmakers. Given a better-than-perceived matchup in Week 12 and his strong return to action this past week, Foles could provide real value during this final big bye week of the campaign.
The Raiders have allowed the fifth-most yards per completion and the second-highest touchdown rate to quarterbacks this season. Only the Falcons and Dolphins have pressured opposing quarterbacks less frequently than the Raiders, as Oakland has created pressure on just 24% of opponent dropbacks. This means Darnold, who has struggled under pressure this season, could work from a clean pocket often at home this week. Darnold, after all, sports a 102.1 passer rating and a 5.6% touchdown rate when working from an unpressured pocket this season compared to a 34.8 rating and a 2.7% touchdown rate. Given the potential for Darnold to have to time to operate in the pocket, he has emerged as a worthy streaming option.
Only the Chiefs and Panthers have surrendered more than the 32.8 fantasy points per game the Lions have allowed to backfields since Week 7. Opposing backs are averaging 101.6 yards on the ground against the Lions and a rushing touchdown per game during this five-game sample. Guice, meanwhile, could earn more touches and snaps now that he has a successful return to action under his belt thanks to Week 11's solid showing. There is some risk both in terms of game flow (falling behind) and workload for a player still working his way back from injury, but the upside is clear from the flashes Guice showed in his limited opportunities in Week 11.
Through Week 8, Cobb consumed just 13.4% of the Cowboys' total targets in the passing game. This sluggish usage rate led to Cobb producing just 11.3% of the team's receptions and yards during this stretch. During the past three games, however, the former Packers star has consumed a rewarding 18.7% share of the passing offense while producing 20.3% of the team's receptions and 23.3% of the receiving yardage. Cobb is leading the team with 15.6 yards before initial contact per reception during this recent three-game surge, a solid sign of his elusiveness and chemistry with Dak Prescott. The Patriots have been arguably the toughest matchup for outside receivers this season, which could funnel attention to Cobb from the slot this Sunday.
Injuries to both of the Steelers' starting outside receivers could mean Washington makes a leap in regard to snaps, routes and targets this week in Cincinnati. While Washington failed to secure his lone target against the Bengals in Week 4, this time could prove more productive given the potential (and arguably likely) uptick in opportunities headed his way this Sunday. The Bengals, after all, have yielded 39.1 fantasy points per game to receivers during the past month, eighth-most in the league.
The matchup this week isn't very appealing in that the Bills have been one of the stingiest teams in coverage against tight ends. The counter would be that Fant consumed wideout-like usage this past week against the Vikings with 27.8% of the team's total targets and 33.7% of the team's YAC (yards after the catch). Second on the team in targets and first in yardage the past month, Fant is the rare tight end worth streaming even in Orchard Park.
Ryan Griffin, New York Jets (18.3% rostered; vs. Raiders)
With Chris Herndon hitting injured reserve, Griffin is a fine stack partner with Darnold facing a Raiders back seven allowing 14.6 fantasy points per game to tight ends, the fifth-most in the league. Griffin has thrived as a top target of Darnold's the past several weeks with 16 targets, 12 receptions, and 157 yards and a score during the past three outings.
Cleveland Browns (59.4% rostered; vs. Dolphins)
Opposing defenses have averaged 12.2 fantasy points per game facing the Dolphins this season. Miami ranks last in the league with just 1.15 points per drive while sporting the league's fifth-worst turnover rate. Miami's leaky offensive line only adds to the potential fantasy fun for the Browns' D/ST.
Individual defensive players
While Oakland's overall pressure rate remains meager, Crosby is trying to change that with an incredible five sacks across his past two games. The Jets' line is inarguably porous, aiding Crosby's case for yet another solid day in the sack department.
From special-teams ace to thriving as the middle linebacker for Philly, Gerry's ability to capably fill different roles has proven impressive this season. With two sacks in his past three appearances and the potential for an every-down role if Nigel Bradham sits again, Gerry is a strong streaming candidate for Week 12's matchup with the Seahawks.
Earning and endorsement for the second consecutive week, Rapp remains undervalued by fantasy managers given he has tallied 29 tackles across his past three appearances. Next up is a meeting with the run-heavy Ravens, a matchup that should foster a healthy batch of tackle opportunities in the box for Rapp.