RB/WR/TE Streamers: Week 1

Brandon Miller highlights and ranks his top RB/WR/TE streamers for Week 1.

Now in the fourth NFL season of writing this article, my primary goal is for the weekly content to be usable by teams in leagues of all types and sizes. Ultimately, it will come down to the ever-changing needs of your fantasy team, but my basic goal is to provide you with some amount of information, insight, or advice that will move the needle for your squad. I have come to learn a few things about what this article is and what it is not.

What I aim to offer this season:

  • Highlight a variety of RBs, WRs, and TEs (< 65% rostered on ESPN and/or Yahoo) who I feel could produce fantasy value, either that specific week as a replacement in your lineup or as a bench/ stash option.
  • Rank RBs, WRs, and TEs (< 65% rostered) in order. You may note that the players who are highlighted in the article are not always my top-ranked streamers. These rankings & notes could be useful for teams in deeper leagues or as a means to find names to fill out your “Watch List”.
  • Although base rankings tend to skew toward 12-team, half-PPR leagues, I will provide clarifications if a player is best used in a specific scenario or league type.
  • Recap the performances of the previous week’s highlighted players.

 

WELCOME BACK to any of you that have read this article in the past and nice to meet anyone clicking for the first time. Let’s have a great 2022 season!

 

* If anyone featured below is at risk of not playing or is relegated to a bench role late in the week, I will do my best to keep you all updated on Twitter (@BrandonMillerFB).  All players below are under 65%-rostered as of 09/07/21.

 

Running Back

 

J.D. McKissic (RB, Washington Commanders)

 

While there will likely be a handful of more intriguing RBs emerge throughout the season, I tend to roll with established veterans vs chasing breakouts in my starting lineup during the early weeks. At a minimum, McKissic should retain a role as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and provide a decent floor as an RB3 in half and full PPR leagues. His 2021 game log was a bit “Jekyll and Hyde” as he basically alternated double-digit point totals and subpar single-digit outings. Over 11 games played last year before sustaining an injury, he had five games of 13.3 points or more and six games of 7.6 points or fewer (half PPR).

Bottom line, McKissic is capable of registering useful fantasy weeks when the opportunities are there, but can also disappear if the Commanders are in a position to go run-heavy. As narrow home favorites (-2.5) against the Jaguars in Week 1, I expect a relatively neutral game script that will allow McKissic to get enough work to move the needle, particularly since rookie RB Brian Robinson is out to begin the regular season.

 

 

Mike Davis (RB, Baltimore Ravens)

 

I view Davis in a similar light as McKissic in that they are both post-prime, veteran RBs who might not strike fear into the heart of your opponent, but can provide a solid floor from your RB3/ Flex slot in Week 1. After an underwhelming 2021 in Atlanta that saw Davis cede his lead back role to Cordarrelle Patterson, the 29-year-old bruiser out of South Carolina joined the Ravens this past offseason to provide RB depth behind J.K. Dobbins. Ravens coach John Harbaugh recently mentioned that Dobbins (ACL recovery) has “a chance” to play Week 1, leading me to believe it will be a limited workload even if he does suit up on Sunday against the Jets.

I do not feel that Baltimore will want to push Dobbins or put him at risk of a health setback this early in the season, leaving Davis and fellow newcomer Kenyan Drake to pick up any leftover slack. If you are searching for a long-term answer at RB, you can probably keep scrolling past Davis, but I think he will be fantasy-relevant in Week 1’s plus-matchup against the Jets. Unless you have more comfortable RB options to kick off 2022, Davis should be able to help out any fantasy managers in a pinch.

 

RB Streamers (ranked): J.D. McKissic, Mike Davis, Darrell Henderson (38% ESPN), Kenneth Gainwell, Rex Burkhead, Rachaad White, Kenyan Drake, Damien Williams, Alexander Mattison (priority handcuff + trade candidate), Raheem Mostert, Ameer Abdullah, Travis Homer, Zack Moss, Isiah Pacheco, Boston Scott, Samaje Perine, Zamir White, Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson Jr, Dontrell Hilliard, Matt Breida, James Cook, Ty Johnson, Demetric Felton, Joshua Kelley, Khalil Herbert, Tyler Allgeier, Giovani Bernard, D’Ernest Johnson.

 

Wide Receiver

 

Rondale Moore (WR, Arizona Cardinals)

 

There is a real possibility that the RBs highlighted above register performances that invoke a feeling of “It ain’t much, but it’s honest work.” That said, it is time to add a little sizzle with a couple of young, upside WRs that I loved targeting late in drafts this year. With no DeAndre Hopkins (suspension) for the first six games of the season, the second-year Moore will join Marquise Brown, A.J. Green, and Zach Ertz in a committee of Cardinals’ pass-catchers with no true alpha WR1 at the moment.

Moore is very shifty in the open field (averaged the fourth-most yards after catch per reception in the NFL last season) and is now expected to take on a larger role handling touches out of the backfield. Add up the big-play ability, an emphasis on generating more touches in space, and a quarterback in Kyler Murray who can extend plays, and you have the potential for someone who is available on many fantasy platforms to carry your WR3/ Flex slot for several weeks. Even if he is not in your starting lineup to begin 2022, I feel that he needs to be rostered for that upside alone.

 

Isaiah McKenzie (WR, Buffalo Bills)

 

I will acknowledge that McKenzie’s ceiling is likely capped as long as he has to contend for looks alongside Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Dawson Knox. However, 184 targets from 2021 are now gone with Cole Beasley (112 targets) and Emmanuel Sanders (72) no longer around. This leaves McKenzie and free agent acquisition Jamison Crowder as the top candidates to fill that void out of the slot in the short-to-intermediate passing game.

Although Crowder is the veteran of the two, McKenzie appears to be first in line for the primary slot receiver role. Whichever player ultimately emerges should be fantasy-relevant on this dynamic Buffalo offense that is projected to produce ample opportunities for long drives, red zone targets, and overall volume. Particularly in half and full PPR leagues, McKenzie is another exciting WR to target as a WR3/ Flex with potential for season-long production.

 

WR Streamers (ranked):  Rondale Moore, DeVante Parker,  Isaiah McKenzie, D.J. Chark, Marvin Jones Jr, Julio Jones, Jalen Tolbert, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, A.J. Green, Jarvis Landry, Corey Davis, George Pickens, Van Jefferson (stash), Robby Anderson, Nico Collins, K.J. Osborn, Wan’Dale Robinson, Mecole Hardman, Jahan Dotson, Zay Jones, Noah Brown, Alec Pierce, Kenny Golladay, Garrett Wilson, Bryan Edwards, Curtis Samuel, Donovan Peoples-Jones.

 

Tight End

 

Albert Okwuegbunam (TE, Denver Broncos)

 

In case you are new here, please understand that streaming tight ends is not typically a fun process. Most weeks, it is a dice roll of hoping that whichever fringe TE1-TE2 option you snag off the waiver wire falls into the end zone or breaks free for enough yards to provide a productive stat line. “Albert O” is perhaps the fourth target for the Broncos in the passing game, but that may be good enough to produce fantasy goodness with Russell Wilson lifting the Denver offense as a whole.

If you are throwing darts on the TE position each week, you might as well speculate on someone with elite physical tools for his position who plays on what is expected to be a high-level offense. There will likely be inconsistency this season due to all the playmakers now in Denver, but there are few waiver wire TE options that offer Okwuegbunam’s upside.

 

TE Streamers (ranked): Albert Okwuegbunam, Noah Fant, David Njoku, Austin Hooper, Gerald Everett, Evan Engram, Irv Smith Jr, Mike Gesicki, Tyler Higbee, Robert Tonyan.

 

 

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire)

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