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Week 1 Streaming Picks


What the heck are you doing reading a streaming article in Week 1? Did you screw up your draft that bad?!?

I’m kidding, of course.

Clearly, you’re here because you understand that fantasy football is a weekly game once you’re inside the season, and you want to maximize your team’s output every time out. Starting this week.

In case you’re new to DS or simply haven’t read the Streaming Picks series before, I’ll be doing this every week throughout the season. I’ll be using owned rates from ESPN.com leagues to gauge eligibility, and I’ll try for 30% or less when possible to expand the relevance. (I say “when possible,” though, because I’m probably not going to reach for a weak dude at 12% just because my preferred target is sitting at 36%.)

I’ll pick a QB, a TE and a team defense every week. I’ve found TE to be the toughest position to effectively stream, because week-to-week scoring often relies fairly heavily on TD luck -- especially within the depleted pool we find as the season wears on.

D/ST, on the other hand, is fertile ground for streaming throughout the year. We’ll find options there every week. And this season I’ll start looking a week ahead for the next target, so that we can try to stay ahead of other team-D streamers in our leagues.

Need these recommendations earlier in the week to beat your league’s waiver run? Well, check the Free Agent Focus articles we’ll deliver every Monday, along with the weekly rankings that hit the site midday Tuesday.

Before we get to the 1st round of streaming picks, let’s look back at what top-12 weekly defenses looked like.

First of all, only the Bears and Rams finished more than 9 weeks among the top 12 defenses last season. Twenty defenses put up 7+ top-12 weeks. That means 18 -- a little more than half the league -- delivered 7-9 starter-level performances for 12-team fantasy football leagues. And only the Raiders failed post at least 4 top-12 weeks.

So what did weekly top-12 defenses look like? Of the 221 total top-12 finishers (including ties for #12 in multiple weeks) …

-- 75.6% came from winning teams
-- 57% entered their games as favorites
-- 55.7% were home teams
-- 45.3% were defenses that finished top 12 for the season (according to NFL.com)

On the other side, 15 different offenses allowed top-12 weeks by team defenses facing them. Jacksonville led the way with 13 allowed. Arizona came in next at 12. Oakland allowed 10. Five others allowed 9: Buffalo, Chicago, San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Tennessee.

Of those 8 offenses, 5 ranked among the league’s bottom 6 in scoring.

Now, on to the picks ...