Streaming options that helped you dominate your league
By: J.J. Gosh @jjgosh
If you’ve been following Field of Streams all year long, you likely had a decent playoff run and hopefully even made your championship. In Championship week, Field of Streams came through for you in a big way. Sam Darnold proved me right with over 32 Fantasy points, finishing as the QB5. And of course, without this streaming Tight End, Darnold couldn’t have done what he did. Chris Herndon got you over 17 Fantasy points in your championship, good enough to be the TE3, while the Miami Dolphins Defense also came through, supplying you with a solid 14 Fantasy points finishing as the 4th ranked DST.
Before I get into this year’s review, here are last weeks’ results.
The definition of “streaming” can be different depending on who you ask, but at its’ core, streaming is using the waiver wire/free agency to fill a specific spot on your team and in your lineup. This is common for one-off positions like QB, TE, and DST where you only start one player (unless you play in a 2 QB league).
For this weekly article, I wanted to make this more realistic and applicable to the most people possible, so I wanted to limit who I qualified as “streamers”. The entire year, I focused solely on players who were under 30% owned (according to Yahoo) in leagues. This is particularly difficult at the beginning and end of the year for different reasons. At the start of your fantasy football season, despite what Fantasy Experts tell the public, most will have drafted 2 QB’s on their roster. That means that in a 12 team league, there are likely 18-20 QB’s already gone heading into week 1. Similarly, at the end of the season, smart owners will start to stockpile defenses that have good matchups in the Fantasy playoffs (weeks 14-16) which means there are far less DST’s to choose from in the later weeks.
Here you’ll see just how effective I was selecting streamers at the QB position. I’ve included the player that finished as the overall QB1 in Patrick Mahomes and the player who was drafted as the QB1 before the season started in Aaron Rodgers for comparison. The numbers in the chart represent where the player finished amongst the QB ranks for that given week. (Preseason ADP in the parenthesis)
|Week||P. Mahomes(16th)||A. Rodgers (1st)||Field of Streams|
|1||4||6||5 – C. Keenum|
|2||2||22||14 – N. Foles|
|3||6||13||3 – R. Fitzpatrick|
|4||12||19||11 – J. Flacco|
|5||17||1||24 – J. Flacco|
|6||3||2||1 – J. Winston|
|7||1||BYE||2 – M. Trubisky|
|8||2||20||3 – D. Carr|
|9||4||13||5 – R. Fitzpatrick|
|10||15||16||6 – B. Bortles|
|11||1||8||12 – E. Manning|
|12||BYE||25||8 – J. Winston|
|13||1||1||5 – D. Carr|
|14||5||12||9 – D. Carr|
|15||8||17||7 – J. Allen|
|16||7||1||5 – S. Darnold|
What you should notice is that Aaron Rodgers finished as a top-12 option 7 out of 15 weeks, good for 46.7% of his season. Meanwhile, you could have streamed a top-12 option 87.5% of the season. Both Patrick Mahomes and Field of Streams were fantastic throughout the year, each only missing 2 weeks of top-12 performances. Only because of the Bye week did Field of Streams gain percentage points over Patrick Mahomes.
Sure, Field of Streams performed well based on percentages, but what about Fantasy Points? Here is a chart showing just exactly where the players in the above chart ranked in season long points.
|2||Field of Streams||441.9|
Patrick Mahomes was in a world of his own this season with an absurd 492.74 fantasy points. Just about 51 points behind was Field of Streams, with a 34 point lead on the next best QB in Ben Roethlisberger. With the exception of Mahomes (16th) and Mitch Trubisky (24th) all of these QB’s had a preseason ADP (according to FantasyPros) inside the top-15 QB’s and Field of Streams outperformed all but Mahomes.
Now, everybody has good calls and bad calls alike. If you failed to choose the top-option I provided you, there’s still a good chance that one of the other options didn’t lose you your week. Below, you will see the same chart except instead of my top choice you will see an average of the 3 streamers provided and where they ranked for the given week.
|Week||P. Mahomes(16th)||A. Rodgers (1st)||Field of Streams AVG|
This is the average of the 3 streamers I provided, meaning if a QB was injured, or was pulled from the game for poor performance *coughBlakeBortlescough* their subpar performance is still included in this average. You will notice that including all of this, the average streamer was still a top-12 option over 31% of the time. To put this in perspective, Tom Brady was unanimously drafted as a top-5 Quarterback in fantasy drafts, and he only finished inside the top-12 in 5 of 15 weeks which is good for 33.33% and just slightly better than the Field of Streams average of 31.30%. The glaring difference is you didn’t have to spend the draft capital on the Streamers that you did on Tom Brady.
Shown below is where the average of all my streamers finished based on the season total of fantasy points.
|13||Field of Streams||310.98|
This doesn’t jump off the page to me, but the average of my streamers coming in just outside of the top-12 is solid considering QB13 is still higher than Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Matt Stafford, and a few other QB’s you may have spent a decent draft pick on.
Unless you had Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, or George Kittle, there is a strong chance you are disappointed in your Tight End’s season performance. I wasn’t particularly proud of my weekly picks at the Tight End position until I saw where exactly we finished the year. Unless you had one of the 3 players mentioned before, you had a roller coaster ride of a season. Just like the QB position, I am showing you where Field of Streams finished in comparison to the player who finished as the TE1 (T. Kelce) and the player who was drafted as the TE1 before the season (R. Gronkowski). Inside the parentheses is their preseason ADP.
|Week||T. Kelce(2nd)||R. Gronkowski(1st)||Field of Streams|
|1||52||2||9 – J. James|
|2||1||42||2 – J. James|
|3||2||20||10 – R. Seals-Jones|
|4||4||22||20 – V. McDonald|
|5||3||8||31 – C. Clay|
|6||14||10||16 – C. Brate|
|7||9||N/A||22 – G. Swaim|
|8||1||21||18 – J. Heuerman|
|9||1||N/A||3 – J. Heuerman|
|10||13||N/A||12 – R. Seals-Jones|
|11||1||BYE||17 – CJ Uzomah|
|12||BYE||6||11 – C. Brate|
|13||1||24||17 – CJ Uzomah|
|14||3||2||7 – J. Samuels|
|15||6||35||30 – CJ Uzomah|
|16||16||54||3 – C. Herndon|
While streaming a Tight End that finishes in the top-12 just half of the season doesn’t sound particularly appealing, this is the reality that we live in. What you’ll notice in the chart is that Field of Streams didn’t have a top option finish outside the top-31, meanwhile Gronk and Kelce finished outside of that mark 4 times combined.
So where did Field of Streams TE’s finish in the season long points race? Check out the chart below, and let me know if you’re as shocked as I was.
|6||Field of Streams||152.3|
Field of Streams Tight Ends finished as the TE6 on the season. Mind blowing when you consider just how awful the position was as a whole. Of the Tight Ends to finish ahead of Field of Streams, only Jared Cook was drafted outside the top-15 at the position, and he was 16th. Taking into account the draft pick that you likely spent on a Tight End, Field of Streams performed way above expectations at the position. What I noticed most was just how bad some of the TE’s performed. Jimmy Graham was the TE4, Jordan Reed was the TE10, and Gronk was the overall TE1 before the season. All of these players did not hit value at the position and all finished behind Field of Streams.
Sticking with the Kelce and Gronkowski comparison, this is where the average of the 3 options in Field of Streams finished. Below, you will see the same chart except instead of my top choice you will see an average of the 3 streamers provided and where they ranked for the given week. Again, this chart includes injuries or benching a player for poor play.
|Week||T. Kelce(2nd)||R. Gronkowski(1st)||Field of Streams AVG|
The big thing to notice here is that the average of the 3 streamers finished as a top-12 option just 25% of the season. This sounds awful, but when you compare this to Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham who were top-12 options 41.7% and 40% of the season respectively, this doesn’t seem too bad considering where you drafted Gronk (TE1) and Graham (TE4).
Here you’ll see where the average of Field of Streams Tight Ends finished based on points scored this season.
|14||Field of Streams||94.52|
All things considered, this is about as good as you could have hoped for. Field of Streams TE options still finished ahead of Jordan Reed and barely behind Jimmy Graham.
Now we get to the bread and butter of Field of Streams. Streaming DST’s turned out to be the easiest part of my weekly research. The Jacksonville Jaguars were widely considered the top overall DST, and rightfully so based on their performance last year. But how consistent were they for you this year? This chart includes this years’ top overall DST (Chicago), the DST drafted as the 1st off the board, and Field of Streams.
|Week||Chicago (13th)||Jacksonville (1st)||Field of Streams|
|1||9||10||12 – Cin. Bengals|
|2||1||14||6 – NY Jets|
|3||3||11||7 – Cle. Browns|
|4||4||3||1 – GB Packers|
|5||BYE||22||1 – Cin. Bengals|
|6||24||26||2 – Sea. Seahawks|
|7||25||13||3 – Ind. Colts|
|8||11||12||2 – Was. Redskins|
|9||1||BYE||5 – NY Jets|
|10||7||25||1 – GB Packers/Buf. Bills|
|11||2||8||1 – NO Saints|
|12||3||21||9 – Dal. Cowboys|
|13||21||2||6 – Sea. Seahawks|
|14||1||30||2 – NY Giants|
|15||13||7||1 – Atl. Falcons|
|16||11||2||4 – Mia. Dolphins|
While Chicago had a phenomenal season, finishing as the top overall Defense/Special Teams; they only finished as a top-12 option 73.3% of the games they played. Field of Streams had a streamer finish as a starting option 100% of the time. Every single week you were given a starting caliber DST. Something else to take note of is that the Bears and Jaguars combined to finish as the top overall DST just 3 times this season. Meanwhile, Field of Streams finished as the #1 overall DST 5 times, using 5 different teams (Packers, Bengals, Bills/Packers, Saints, and Falcons).
Because of these 5 finishes as the top-overall option, it’s no surprise where Field of Streams lands in the season long point total race.
|1||Field of Streams||266|
Of course the top Field of Streams option finished as the top overall DST, but what surprised me most is the gap between Field of Streams and the Bears. Almost 90 points difference between the two. This averages out to over 5 points per game across a 16 game season.
Sure, the top-option was great, but how often was the average of the 3 options still a top-12 defense? Surely I swung and missed on some defenses in a few weeks, but how does the average of the Field of Streams defensive options compare to the top overall DST (Chicago) and the 1st DST drafted (Jacksonville)? Below, you will see the same chart except instead of my top choice you will see an average of the 3 streamers provided and where they ranked for the given week.
|Week||Chicago (13th)||Jacksonville (1st)||Field of Streams AVG|
You’ll see that even with a few wrong choices, the average option finished as a top-12 option 75% of the season. This is still greater than the Bears who were a top-12 option 73.3% of the season, and well above the Jaguars 53.3%.
Surely the average points of all Field of Streams options were way lower though, right? No way did all 3 options still average out to an elite defense. Here is where the average of the 3 streaming options finished in the season point total.
|2||Field of Streams||147.01|
Many people drafted the Jaguars, Ravens, Vikings, Texans, and both LA teams before their final pick of the draft, yet the average of my 3 options still finished higher than all but the Bears in season points.
What Did We Learn?
Streaming isn’t a ‘recommended’ option of mine as you head into your Fantasy season. But a poor draft, preseason/early season injury or some other surprise may happen that cause you to need to stream. What I want you to take away from this is that you should not “reach” in your draft. Last years’ results aren’t necessarily indicative of this coming seasons’ performance. Just ask Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, or Jalen Ramsey and the rest of the Jaguars defense.
In all of these “One-off” positions, my goal is to make it feel like I am stealing from the rest of the draft. I wouldn’t draft Matt Ryan in the 7th round, but if he fell to me in the 10th or 11th, I would think that’s a good enough value, and he rewarded you with a QB3 finish. I will almost never draft a defense before the 2nd to last or last round of the draft, and this season is exactly why. In fact, 3 of the top 5 preseason defenses finished outside the top-15, while you could have streamed your way to the top overall DST finish.
Tight Ends look to be another monster of their own. Like I mentioned before, if you didn’t have Kelce, Ertz, or Kittle, you are probably disappointed. One thing to remember for the Tight End position headed into next year is all of the injuries that took place. Greg Olsen, Delanie Walker, Hunter Henry, Jordan Reed were widely considered top-10 TE’s and all missed at least some of the season with injuries. Assuming rehab goes well and no off-season injuries happen again, the position should be stronger next year. That being said, if Kelce, Ertz, or Kittle fall to me at the end of the 3rd or early 4th rounds, it will be extremely difficult to pass up.
If you’ve hung with me all year, hopefully I rewarded you with a decent fantasy finish or at least some knowledge on streaming. As always, follow me on twitter @jjgosh and follow @FFfaceoff for some of our off-season content.