Now less than two weeks away, fantasy draft season has arrived. With Covid-19 preventing preseason and limiting information from training camp, 2020 remains a unique challenge for fantasy owners. With the quarterback position deeper than ever before, streaming in Week 1 makes sense. With that said, here are a few potential steaming options to start the year.
Philip Rivers – Indianapolis Colts
Moving over to Indianapolis in free agency this offseason, Philip Rivers provides an upgrade over Jacoby Brissett. Helping Rivers immediately, the Colts take on Jacksonville on opening day. Facing perhaps the NFL’s worst defense, Rivers enters the streaming conversation right away to start the year.
Comparing Rivers to Brissett, Rivers remains an upgrade in almost every facet of the game. Rivers completed 66-percent of his passes last year to Brissett’s 60.9-percent. Rivers also averaged 7.8 yards per attempt to Brissett’s 6.6. While Brissett holds the edge on the ground, Rivers’ presence should boost the Colts overall offensive efficiency.
In Week 1, Rivers also benefits from a matchup against the Jaguars. Completely depleted on defense, the Jaguars no longer have Yannick Ngakoue, Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith, Calais Campbell, Marcel Dareus, or AJ Bouye. Even with some of those players still on the roster, Jacksonville ranked 21st in points allowed per game last year (24.8).
Favored by seven points on the road, Rivers and the Colts should handle Jacksonville in Week 1. For those looking at streaming options, Rivers provides a safe option
Cam Newton – New England Patriots
Earning himself a fresh start in New England, Cam Newton remains just 31 years old this year. While injuries hampered Newton each of the past two seasons, he still showed efficiency when playing. With a matchup against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, Newton looks like a premier streaming option to start the year.
Examining Newton’s most recent play, he even played efficient football while hurt in 2018. Managing a shoulder injury, Newton completed a career-high 67.9-percent of his passes. Still efficient as a rusher, Newton rushed for 754 and 488 yards in back-to-back seasons while healthy. Now playing in one of the NFL’s most efficient offenses, betting on a Newton bounce back looks solid.
As for the matchup, Miami still remains a team in rebuilding mode. The Dolphins have a strong secondary with Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, and first-round rookie Noah Igbinoghene, but they remain a work in progress up front. Likely to struggle to defend the run and rush the passer, this remains a favorable matchup for Newton in Week 1.
Favored by 6.5-points at home, Cam Newton and the Patriots look capable of rolling Miami in Week 1. Providing dual-threat ability, Newton makes sense as a streamer.
Teddy Bridgewater – Carolina Panthers
Moving over to Carolina this offseason, Teddy Bridgewater reunites with Joe Brady. Now the offensive coordinator of Carolina, Brady formerly coached Bridgewater as an offensive assistant with the 2018 Saints. Matched up with a questionable Las Vegas secondary in Week 1, Bridgewater holds streamer appeal.
Looking at Carolina, this team underwent monumental shifts this offseason. In addition to bringing in Matt Rhule as head coach, Brady now coordinates the offense. At LSU last season, Brady’s offense ranked 14th in pass attempts, 35th in plays per game, and first in points per game. With Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Ian Thomas at his disposal, Bridgewater should continue the efficiency he showed in 2019.
As for Las Vegas, this team allowed ranked 25th in passing yards allowed per game last year (256.7). They did upgrade the secondary by drafting Damon Arnette in the first round and signing Prince Amukamara. However, Arnette remains a first-round reach after running a slow 4.56 40-yard dash. Meanwhile, Amukamara allowed a 102.3 Passer Rating in his coverage.
Playing in a potential Week 1 shootout, Bridgewater remains as solid quarterback streaming option to start the season.
Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions
Limited to just eight games last year, Matthew Stafford looked poised for a career resurgence prior to his season-ending injury. Stafford threw for 2,499 yards and 19 scores. Extrapolated over the course of 16 games and Stafford finishes with 4,998 passing yards and 38 scores. Fully healthy this offseason, Stafford now emerges as a breakout candidate in 2020.
Diving into Stafford’s profile, Stafford also excelled from an analytical perspective in 2019. Stafford completed 64.3-percent of his passes last year, but his 8.6 yards per attempt ranked second in all of football. With more difficult throws downfield, Stafford’s completion percentage looks even more impressive.
As for Week 1, Detroit faces a Chicago Bears team trending downward after a 2018 playoff appearance. Chicago let Prince Amukamara walk in free agency while losing free-agent acquisition Artie Burns to a torn ACL. While the Bears drafted Jaylon Johnson to fill the void at corner, he projects to come along slowly in 2020. Still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Johnson’s role could remain limited in Week 1.
With Detroit quietly building a high-powered offense around Stafford, look for the 32-year old to bounce back as a streamer in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears.
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