News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: Week 4 superflex and TE premium streaming options

In superflex and tight end premium leagues, your second quarterback or tight end is often pretty ugly. Choosing which mediocre passer to start in the flex can be the difference between leaving the week with a win or not. If every starting quarterback and recognizable tight end is already rostered in your league, take this as a list of players to start if they’re already on your roster. If any of the below players are available, they’ll make great streaming options in Week 4.

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Quarterback

Nick Foles, Chicago Bears

Down by 16 points in the third quarter, Matt Nagy and the Bears finally made the shift from Mitchell Trubisky to Foles in Week 3. Foles led the Bears to a comeback win over Atlanta and kept Chicago undefeated. Foles earned only a 62.2 passing grade in his Bears debut, but he actively looked for downfield throws. He attempted nine deep passes on his 29 total passes and finished the game with 188 yards and three scores.

Sep 27, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (9) passes against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Our sample size on Foles is large enough that it’s safe to assume he’ll continue being a middling passer with Chicago. However, he showed off a tendency to pursue large chunks of yardage in Week 3 and is a starting quarterback in the NFL. He’s worth an add in superflex leagues and could be started in a pinch.

Nick Mullens, San Francisco 49ers

Mullens doesn’t have the long-term upside of Foles because it’s assumed that Jimmy Garoppolo will return to the starting role within the next few weeks. He’s dealing with a high ankle injury that could keep him sidelined for another week or two. However, Mullens does offer a higher projection as long as he is the starter for San Francisco.

He terrorized the Giants' secondary with 343 yards and a touchdown. His 81.0 offensive grade ranks in the top 10 for Week 3 before the Monday night games. He’ll face an Eagles defense that has given up multiple touchdowns and at least 250 yards to opposing quarterbacks in consecutive weeks. They also lost starting corner Avonte Maddox in Week 3.

Finally, there’s this nugget from Ian Hartitz’s breakdown of the backup quarterback situations.

“The only rookie-signal callers (minimum eight starts) to average more adjusted yards per attempt than Mullens since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger: Dak Prescott, Robert Griffin, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson and Dan Marino.”

Keep tabs on: Alex Smith, Washington Football Team

Smith hasn’t been active once through three weeks, but Washington head coach Ron Rivera has stated that he is fully healthy. If that is the truth, Smith could be looking at a starting role in the near future.

Dwayne Haskins earned a mediocre 52.8 overall grade in Week 1 and has performed worse in each consecutive week. His 29.2 grade last week was the worst mark for a passer in a single game this year.

Smith ranked 35th out of 44 quarterbacks in overall grade when he last played in 2018. Be ready to nab him off the wire when the inevitable benching of Haskins comes.

Tight End

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

After playing the majority of passing downs in consecutive weeks for Green Bay, Tonyan finally broke out on Monday Night Football to the tune of five catches for 50 yards and a score. It was his second touchdown of the season. Tonyan hasn’t dropped a pass on eight targets this year, and Aaron Rodgers has a 145.3 passer rating when targeting him. Tonyan has recorded 71 receiving snaps compared to 56 snaps for all other Green Bay tight ends.

Tonyan and the Packers couldn’t ask for a better matchup this week, either, as they'll host the Falcons on Monday night. Teams have targeted their tight ends 11 times per game when playing Atlanta this year. Deion Jones, the Falcons' leading linebacker in coverage snaps, is ranked 30th in coverage grade among linebackers. Atlanta has six defenders with over 75 coverage snaps this year. None of the six rank better than 30th at their respective positions. Continue to attack the Falcons' defense with Tonyan off the wire this week.

Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers

Ebron is likely to be rostered in a majority of leagues that award tight ends bonus points, but he could make for a nice trade candidate after a slow start to the year. He had just four catches and 51 yards through two weeks but came back to life in Week 3. He saw seven targets for 52 yards and found the end zone versus the Texans. Diontae Johnson missed much of that game with a concussion, which boosted Ebron to second on the team in receiving snaps (90). Ebron’s stock would rise even more if Johnson misses time.

Ebron is a starting tight end, which makes him worth the roster spot, but his real value comes as the downfield weapon for Ben Roethlisberger. He has had four targets that occurred 15-plus yards from the line of scrimmage so far. That’s as many as Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster combined. Only Chase Claypool has a higher average depth of target on the Pittsburgh roster than Ebron’s mark of 10.9 yards. Tight ends who can stretch the field are rare and should come with a higher weekly upside because of the nature of their usage. Ebron fits that mold and is worth a flyer at the flex position in tight end premium formats.

Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears

The waiver wire is a tool for creating Chicago Bears stacks this week, as Graham rounds out the best adds that can be found even in tight end premium formats. He scored twice and racked up 60 yards on six catches in Week 3. The Bears' offense isn’t exciting with Foles under center, but it could improve marginally and Graham already has a secure role. The 33-year-old tight end's 99 receiving snaps trail only Allen Robinson in Chicago, as do his 17 targets. No Bears tight end has more than a quarter of Graham's receiving snap total.

Sep 27, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham (80) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Mykal Walker (43) after a catch during the fourth quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Lastly, Graham has quietly taken over red-zone duties for Chicago. He leads all Bears in red-zone targets (7) and targets inside the opponent’s 10-yard line (2). There are worse bets for overall volume and touchdown upside than Graham in Week 4. He’s worth a shot and could prove to be a grimy stack with Foles in superflex and tight end premium formats.

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