A streamers article for Week 1?!!? You’re damn right. If you’re reading this article, you’re really smart or really stupid. If you’re smart, kudos to you on your strategy. If you’re stupid and are still looking for a kicker, defense or even quarterback to plug in, don’t worry, I got you. Actually, skipping drafting a kicker or defense isn’t stupid if you’re able to grab a deep sleeper who just might end up with a starting job due to a late in training camp injury. But at the end of the day, in 90 percent of leagues you’ve got to put a kicker and defense on your team before Thursday. I’ll be here every week this season to help you rummage through the waiver wire trash of your league to find a diamond or two. Let’s look at our Week 1 streaming candidates:
Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos: I know that up to this point in his career Teddy Bridgewater could best be described as Tepid Bridgewater, but he’s a Bronco now. Think about this offense: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, and Javonte Williams. All very good pass catchers. This is a team built to throw and in Week 1 they get the NY Giants defense that gave up 23 ppg last season and didn’t do much to improve in the offseason.
Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers: Believe it or not, this isn’t the Sam Darnold revenge game narrative. Last year the Jets only had 10 picks on the season. This year they also have an entirely new coaching staff with a new defensive structure implemented. They may be good after a handful of games figuring things out, but Week 1 is usually not kind to teams with new defensive systems. Also, don’t you think that former Jets Darnold and Robby Anderson really want to stick it to the team that discarded them?
Zach Wilson, New York Jets: The rookie picked a good team to start his career against. The Panthers’ defense was atrocious against the forward pass last season. They ranked 23rd in the NFL in sacks and had only seven interceptions on the season. Come to think of it, in your DFS plays you might want to stack either Jets or Panthers. This could be a shoot-out.
Miami Dolphins: First, they get rookie quarterback Mac Jones in his first start. Second, last season Miami averaged 2.6 sacks per game, had 18 picks, tied for first in the league, and 41 sacks, good for 9th in the league. Welcome to the league Mac Jones.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills spent half of their 2021 draft picks on defense, including defensive ends in Rounds 1 & 2. They grabbed a safety and corner later in the draft as well. In Week 1 the Bills get the Steelers and Big Ben Roethlisberger who has a terrible O-line and less mobility than he had when he was younger. Also, the Bills are likely to be playing with a lead, which lets their D-line tee of when they know a pass play is coming.
Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers have a Bosa and the former Rams defensive coordinator and in Week 1 they face Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yes, he throws TD’s in bunches but if he’s pressured (Bosa) he also throw picks in bunches.
Kickers: Yes, in the tradition of my predecessor writing this weekly feature, I’m going to include kickers. If you’ve chosen to ignore them in the draft, you can look here for weekly suggestions that should put up kicker 1 numbers every week. In general, one of my rules when looking at kickers is to pick a kicker from a good running but poor passing teams. Teams that pass well score more touchdowns, leading to your kicker getting one point at a time. Teams that run well but pass poorly have drives that stall and lead to field goals. Here are my favorite waiver wire kickers this week:
Rodrigo Blankenship, Colts: Good running team, iffy passing team. Solid Seahawks defense.
Matt Amendola, Jets: The game overall should be a shootout because both defenses are not good.
Jake Elliott, Eagles: Jalen Hurts may run a lot, but he’s not the best passer. The Eagles won’t likely get too risky on third down and should settle for some field goals.
There you have it. See you next week for more kick-ass kicker rankings! Good luck this week! ~Phil