Fantasy Football: Week 1 Streamers to Consider
Fantasy football season is finally here and it’s time to start making roster decisions! You might have planned to play Week 1 with the exact team you drafted. But are you sure that’s the best way to go? Maybe you took a top-tier kicker but he is playing in what projects to be a low-scoring game. If that’s your case, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with our weekly streamers article to help you deal with this kind of situation and get the most out of your QB, K, and D/ST roster spots. Each week I’ll be sharing some relatively available options for those of you who are willing to stream one or several of these positions. So let’s dive into the Week 1 streaming pool!
I know not many people are looking for a QB streamer right now. Even the late-round QB crowd leaves their drafts with a signal caller they are confident to start. Nevertheless, here are some widely available options that have favorable matchups and things to prove in Week 1, in case you want to try them out.
Sam Howell – Washington Commanders (25% rostered)
I’ve already written about how Sam Howell could finish this season as the QB who outperforms his ADP by the most positions. It’s too early to say he’ll be an every-week starter, but he will be a very streamable QB more often than not. The Washington Commanders are facing the Cardinals this week, a team that allowed the eighth most points to the QB position in 2022. The Cardinals are still dealing with some important injuries and they might even be tanking this season, which makes them a very juicy opponent for any team. Sam Howell has a golden opportunity to show what he can do in the very first week of the season and he is only rostered in 25% of leagues. So if you’re looking for an upside play at QB for Week 1, he might be your guy.
Jordan Love – Green Bay Packers (43% rostered)
What a great matchup for Jordan Love. He has the chance to demonstrate he inherited the Bears’ ownership from Aaron Rodgers. Last season, Chicago surrendered 17.91 points per game to opposing QBs. The Bears have been doing their best effort to improve that horrible defense, but Green Bay has enough young offensive playmakers to find a way to score points. How good can Jordan Love be? We’ll just have to see, but his Week 1 matchup is interesting enough to fire him up if you see him available and need a QB.
Jared Goff – Detroit Lions (67% rostered)
Not as available as the other two, but if you’re lucky enough to find Jared Goff among your league’s free agents, you might get the most solid streamer for Week 1. The Lions are playing the Chiefs in the much anticipated NFL kickoff game, which is expected to be a very offensive matchup with a lot of passing volume on both sides of the ball. Of course, Detroit is the clear underdog against the champions, so get ready to see Jared Goff tossing the rock around trying to keep up with Mahomes and company.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the art of streaming kickers. In it, I mentioned that the key to finding the right kicker each week is to target the ones playing in games with a high over/under line. There are other variables to consider, like games being played indoors or different coaching styles. I like using all this information to categorize kickers as follows:
Green light: likely to score 10+ points
Yellow light: likely to score around 7-9 points
Red light: unlikely to score a satisfactory amount of points
Of course, nothing is guaranteed in the kicker realm. But in this weekly article, I will use the available data to highlight some green or yellow light kickers that are relatively available in enough leagues to help improve fantasy managers’ chances of getting more points from the position. So let’s take a look at the best streaming kickers for Week 1.
Riley Patterson – Detroit Lions (11% rostered)
The world expects a lot from the Detroit Lions this season. They have enough offensive weapons to be a high-scoring team. Their kickoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs is projected to be the week’s highest-scoring matchup, with an over/under line of 54. This means the Lions are expected to score around 24 points as the underdogs in this game. Riley Patterson is a great option if you haven’t chosen a kicker for Week 1.
Jason Sanders – Miami Dolphins (50% rostered)
The Dolphins are playing the Chargers in what is expected to be a very high-scoring game. Even though Miami is the underdog according to Vegas, it will be a close game and both teams should have a lot of scoring opportunities. Why go with the underdog’s kicker and not with the Chargers’ Cameron Dicker? Los Angeles Head Coach Brandon Staley is obsessed with going for it on fourth down, which can be very frustrating when you start his team’s kicker, even though they often play in games with very high over/under lines. So if you want to chase kicker points in this game, go with Jason Sanders.
Dustin Hopkins – Cleveland Browns (0.6% rostered)
The Browns are facing the Bengals in a divisional game that projects to be one of the highest-scoring affairs of Week 1. Of course, Evan McPherson would be the preferred kicker in this game, but he is most likely taken in your league. Dustin Hopkins is a very capable kicker who simply didn’t have enough chances to shine in Los Angeles, due to Brandon Staley’s aforementioned obsession. This will be his first game with the Browns and he will try to make the most out of every opportunity. According to the Vegas line, there will be a lot of chances for him to score points. And it seems most people still don’t know he is the new Browns kicker, since he is available in almost every league.
Greg Zuerlein – New York Jets (8% rostered)
The fantasy world is still not used to considering the Jets a high-scoring team. But with Aaron Rodgers slinging the ball around, they will be able to stay in games against high-powered offenses like the Bills. This game will be a tough first test but Robert Saleh and Aaron Rodgers will try to show everyone that this team is a real contender. This will provide enough scoring opportunities for Greg the Leg to be a solid Week 1 streamer.
Defense & Special Teams
Washington Commanders (47% rostered)
The Arizona Cardinals seem to be already thinking about the 2024 NFL draft. Kyler Murray is not even close to coming back from the PUP list. The Commanders are still battling with some important injuries on their defensive side, but the matchup is just too good to be true. If you’re looking to stream a D/ST with top-five potential in Week 1, the ‘Manders are the way to go.
Jacksonville Jaguars (21% rostered)
The Jaguars’ defense has a very juicy matchup against the Colts. Things have not been going great in Indianapolis lately. The whole Jonathan Taylor situation, his injury, and the team’s frustrated trade intentions have left their running game in the hands of backup players. Besides, rookie QB Anthony Richardson’s completion percentage has not been great during the preseason, so he might give Jacksonville some interesting opportunities to score fantasy points.
New Orleans Saints (48% rostered)
The Saints might be the best option for fantasy managers looking for a D/ST they can leave in their starting lineup for several weeks. They will kick off the season playing against the Titans, and if Marshon Lattimore can cover their only major threat (DeAndre Hopkins), they should provide decent fantasy production. After that, they’ll play against Carolina, Green Bay, Tampa Bay, New England, Houston, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, and Chicago. If you want to forget about streaming the position for a while, go get the Saints D/ST as soon as you can.
Green Bay Packers (26% rostered)
The Packers are facing the Bears in Week 1 and although Chicago has improved its offense with the addition of D.J. Moore, they are not expected to suddenly turn into a high-scoring offense. LB Rashan Gary and CB Jaire Alexander are not yet 100% on their injuries, but they are both expected to be on the field to help the Packers stop the Bears as best as they can. They might not have a huge ceiling but the Packers are a solid D/ST streamer for Week 1 if you’re still the only manager in your league without one.