Each week of the NFL campaign, we will sift through the deeper options at each position with an eye toward identifying streaming fantasy commodities with valuable matchups to consider.
Do you need replacement options for injured players? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues? We have some choice names to consider for those seeking widely available options at each position.
NOTE: One player (Bo Scarbrough) was removed from this column, since he played Thursday, and roster percentages were updated on Friday morning.
The matchup isn't ideal, but maybe the player is? I mean, only Lamar Jackson is averaging more fantasy points per game among quarterbacks than Tannehill since Week 7. Some of this is driven by a small sample, but we also find Tannehill with at least 37 yards rushing in three in a row, which equates to roughly an extra passing touchdown per game of production. While he won't always have such success finding the end zone as a runner as recent games might suggest, it helps Tannehill's case as a streaming option that the Colts have ceded 15.9 fantasy points per game to signal-callers.
Unlike Tannehill, Darnold's recent surge as a rushing weapon is likely an outlier, as he had only one rushing score in his previous 18 starts before reeling off two in the past three outings. The good news is that he might not need much success on the ground given how savory this matchup with a shaky Cincinnati defense is; the Bengals have produced the fifth-lowest pressure rate on passers while allowing 8.92 yards per attempt to enemy arms, the highest rate in the AFC.
On his local radio show on Monday, James Conner seemed to suggest his shoulder injury could take more time to heal, placing his status for Week 13 in doubt, though he was able to get in a limited practice Thursday. We just saw Snell earn a majority share of the rushing workload sans Conner. Jaylen Samuels' audition as a featured back appears over, while Snell is a stellar speculative add heading into a matchup with a Browns defense that struggles to contain opposing rushing games.
Nick Foles almost always airs it out for Conley; the veteran wideout enjoyed a team-high 168 air yards in Week 12 and ranked second on the team in air yardage in Week 11. Steady vertical usage can drive some big box scores for even somewhat nameless wideouts like Conley. The Bucs have allowed the most yards per game to receivers, setting up Conley as a worthy streaming option.
A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (21.4% rostered; at Colts)
An emergent playmaker for the Titans, Brown just produced the most receiving yards in a game for the franchise by a rookie since 1995. The Colts have allowed the seventh-highest completion rate and sit around league average in yards allowed to receivers, evidence that Brown can deliver flex-worthy production with Tannehill's hot hand.
Ryan Griffin, New York Jets (24.9% rostered; at Bengals)
Sixth among tight ends in fantasy points per game since Week 8, Griffin's ascent has been fueled by a strong red zone rapport with Darnold. The Bengals, meanwhile, have yielded 12.9 yards per catch to tight ends, the third-highest rate in the league.
The Steelers have struggled at times in coverage against tight ends, allowing 12.9 fantasy points per game to the position, ninth most in the league. With a second week of practice under his belt, Njoku could return to action and consume a worthy target share given the plus matchup metrics.
Green Bay Packers (24% rostered; at Giants)
No team has a higher turnover rate since Week 3 than the Giants' 20.6% clip (per drive). The Packers, for their part, have the league's 11th-highest interception rate (per attempt) on defense. Due for a rebound effort and with a choice matchup, the Packers make for a sound plug-and-play candidate.
Individual defensive players
Chad Thomas, Cleveland Browns (3.8% rostered; at Steelers)
Playing a healthy snap rate with Myles Garrett suspended, Thomas has two sacks in his past three games and is coming off a season-high five tackles. With plenty of snaps coming his way this week, Thomas is a fine streaming option off the edge.
Preston Smith, Green Bay Packers (8.2% rostered; at Giants)
An edge menace with skills in run pursuit as well, Smith has compiled four sacks across his past three outings and next faces a leaky New York line.
One of the league's best overall defensive forces as a rookie, James makes his return from injury just in time to face a mistake-prone Denver passing game. With James widely available, now is the time to strike and acquire this gifted playmaker.