Fantasy News & Analysis

Best Week 15 fantasy football QB/TE/DEF streamers

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Week 15 of the 2021 fantasy football season has arrive, and so have the fantasy football playoffs. It’s time to identify the best streamers at the quarterback, tight end and defense/special teams positions.

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Each position has a valuable contributor or two available on the waiver wire, but San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has developed into a very consistent option heading into this slate.

Quarterback

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints | 50% rostered

We’ve reached the inevitable point in the season where Hill is pushing for must-start territory. He has quietly come in as the QB3 and QB4 over the past two weeks. Hill might not be a great real-life player, but his mobility offers a bankable floor, essentially making any passing success a bonus. 

There’s good news on the horizon with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next up on the schedule. Tampa has given up a lot of points against rushing quarterbacks; they rank 27th in rushing yards, 16th in rushing touchdowns and 27th in explosive run percentage and rushing yards per attempt allowed to opposing QBs.

Sure, Hill can do *some* damage with his arm, but 63% of his fantasy points are a result of his legs over the past two weeks. Hill is in a great position for another QB1 finish on this slate.

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Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons | 41% rostered

Ryan has become one of the more unexciting players in the league, but he has at least managed to stay consistent with three straight finishes between 10-12 fantasy points. The issue is that he also has two absolute stinkers with less than 3 fantasy points combined between Weeks 10-11.

This week isn’t great on the streaming front at quarterback, but Ryan does have one of the more enticing matchups against the 49ers. This is a defense that ranks 13th in explosive pass percentage, 18th in passing yards per attempt allowed and 13th in EPA per play against.

The veteran doesn’t have a cakewalk matchup by any means, but the 49ers are allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to the position.

San Francisco 49ers vs QBs | 2021
Fantasy points allowed (Rank)
Week 1 28.9 (29th)
Week 2 21.8 (22nd)
Week 3 19.0 (16th)
Week 4 22.5 (21st)
Week 5 13.6 (10th)
Week 7 20.3 (17th)
Week 8 25.3 (27th)
Week 9 16.4 (15th)
Week 10 9.8 (10th)
Week 11 8.6 (9th)
Week 12 15.5 (18th)
Week 13 16.7 (16th)
Week 14 22.2 (22nd)

There’s almost no chance Ryan finishes as a QB1, but he could be a useful streamer for a team with minimal quarterback options who could use 10-15 points in a pinch. 

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers | 30% rostered

The flip side of the Falcons-49ers matchup offers another unspectacular but consistent option in Jimmy G, who hasn't scored less than 11 fantasy points since Week 8. He has actually topped 15 points in six of his past seven games.

Garoppolo will face a Falcons defense that has surrendered the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. They also rank just 24th in EPA per play against and 30th in passing touchdowns and explosive pass percentage allowed.

I’d lean toward streaming Garoppolo over Ryan because of the higher ceiling, and Jimmy G probably has a higher floor in this game as well. There is potential for big plays looming against a subpar Falcons defense in this one.

Tight End

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots | 60% rostered

Like most weeks, the tight end position doesn't offer many exciting options for streaming. Every time someone develops into a potential TE1 — like Pat Freiermuth — fantasy managers are quick to snatch them up.

Henry is one of the few players available with some actual upside, but he is very touchdown-dependent. He hasn’t scored double-digit fantasy points in a single game without a touchdown, though he’s been able to score seven times this season.

Nov 14, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry (85) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

At least Henry does have a good opportunity this week against the Indianapolis Colts, who rank 30th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Indianapolis is PFF’s seventh-highest graded defense overall, but they’ve conceded six TDs to the position (20th), and only one team has given up more receiving yards. Henry has top-10 upside in this matchup.

Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns | 41% rostered

It's tough to recommend a player who has scored 10-plus fantasy points only twice on the year — Hooper has only topped 50 receiving yards once.

But he is one of few tight ends with a good matchup, going up against a Las Vegas Raiders defense that doesn’t rank well in any area against tight ends.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. TEs | 2021
Category Production allowed (Rank)
Receiving yards 840 (29th)
Receiving touchdowns 9 (30th)
Explosive pass percentage 16.8% (22nd)
Passing yards per attempt 8.32 (27th)
EPA per play against 0.595 (32nd)

Hooper doesn’t have top-five upside, but he could squeak his way into TE1 territory. It's just hard to see him smashing in an offense with so little passing volume and other options. 

PFF’s TE Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between the Matchup Advantage column or advanced stats like targets, catch rate and yards per route run.
Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks | 31% rostered

Everett is one of the few players who has been usable at times this season yet still remains available in most leagues. He has emerged as a weapon for Seattle’s offense, securing double-digit fantasy points in three of his past five games.

Everett’s 27 targets and 17.6% target share both rank third on the roster over that same span. Even though he has just two touchdowns, his five targets within the 10-yard line are tied for the most among players at the position.

We’re seeing an expanded target share and red zone/goal line usage. Those are two of the most important usage areas to find productive players, and Everett should continue to push for TE1 production even in tough matchups against teams like the Los Angeles Rams this week.

Defense/Special Teams

Miami Dolphins D/ST | 47% rostered

We play matchups when it comes to defense/special teams, and the Dolphins have perhaps the matchup of the week with the Jets sharing the same field. The New Orleans Saints just had the pleasure of opposing the Jets and rewarded their managers with a 7-point and D/ST10 performance.

Miami has even more upside because their defense ranks inside the top-10 in scoring throughout the season. The Jets are prone to throwing interceptions and lead the league with 20, in addition to ranking 25th in sacks allowed with 40.

Cincinnati Bengals D/ST | 16% rostered

This week’s slate offers limited options for widely available D/STs with great matchups, but the Bengals are one of the better options. Cincy’s defense is the 14th-highest scoring unit this season and has a showdown with the Denver Broncos this week.

The Broncos aren’t the worst offense, coming in at 18th in PFF overall offensive grade. They rank 13th in EPA per play but just 20th in offensive scoring (touchdowns + field goals).

Cincinnati’s best route to take advantage of the Broncos is to get after quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Denver ranks 26th with 41 sacks allowed. The Bengals top the NFL with 44 sacks on defense.

Houston Texans D/ST | 5% rostered

Either defense in the Texans-Jags came is worth considering in the deepest of leagues, but I lean toward the Texans with the Jaguars in complete disarray right now.

The Texans' D/ST has outscore the Jags' 62-48 in fantasy points. Trevor Lawrence has struggled in his rookie campaign, resulting in the Jags ranking 26th in interceptions thrown. His offensive line hasn’t made things easy by any means, having allowed the sixth-most total pressures this season.

Lawrence has done well at limiting sacks, but pressures are a good indicator of what’s to come. The Texans have enough defensive talent to put up some fantasy points against the shipwreck that is the Jaguars.

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