- Six teams are on bye this week, making the stream as important as it has been all season in fantasy football. These quarterbacks, tight ends and defenses, all likely to be available in your league, can help fill in the holes created by bye weeks.
The stream delivered again in Week 7. Tyrod Taylor’s 22.02 points were the ninth most among quarterbacks, while the Titans and Bills checked in as the sixth- and 10th-best defenses, respectively. On to Week 8, where we have six teams watching from home on their bye, making the stream more open for business than usual.
For streaming purposes, 4for4’s Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) is a metric we rely on heavily to determine weekly matchup strength. As the season progresses and more data is available, aFPA becomes more and more reliable, using rolling 10-week data. Targets and efficiency metrics are also considered when coming up with weekly streamers.
To provide advice that you can actually use, candidates for streaming must be available in at least 50% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.
Josh McCown, Jets vs. Atlanta (20% owned)
Crazy as it may seem, McCown has entered the conversation as not just a streamer, but a regular starting fantasy quarterback. He has scored a combined 58.70 fantasy points in his last two games, and sits 14th in passing yards (1.583) and 13th in touchdowns (10). The 38-year old faces a middle-of-the-pack Falcons defense in Week 8 that owns an aFPA of 15.9 against quarterbacks. This could develop into a shootout if Atlanta’s offense gets going, and that bodes well for McCown’s output.
Case Keenum, Vikings at Browns (11% owned)
Keenum threw for just 188 yards and a touchdown in Week 7, but is averaging 227 passing yards per game in his other five starts this season. The Minnesota quarterback has 77.28 total fantasy points heading into a Week 8 tilt in with the Browns, the league’s 31st-ranked passing defense. The Browns are allowing an aFPA of 21.3 to opposing quarterbacks, including a whopping 35.54 fantasy points to rookie Desean Watson in Week 6. While Keenum isn’t exactly a dream player each week, he makes this list due to the favorable matchup.
Want more in-depth fantasy football analysis? Click here for a free 7-day trial from our partners at 4for4 Football, home of the most accurate fantasy football predictions since 2010.
Tyler Kroft, Bengals vs. Colts (29% owned)
In Week 7, Kroft put up an impressive 12.3 PPR points on a Steelers defense that came into the game ranked eighth in the NFL against opposing tight ends. The third-year Bengal is flourishing with Tyler Eifert on the shelf. Since taking over the starting gig, Kroft has scored the eighth-most fantasy points among tight ends. He’s becoming one of Andy Dalton’s legitimate weapons, one that the quarterback can count on moving forward.
The Bengals get a home contest in Week 8 against a Colts defense that allowed rookie George Kittle to score 21.3 PPR points in Week 5, and Marcedes Lewis to find the end zone last Sunday. Kroft has plenty of touchdown upside, and that’s what we’re looking for out of these fringe TE1s.
Ben Watson, Ravens vs. Dolphins (12% owned)
Baltimore’s offense remains an enigma, yet somehow Watson is still managing to score fantasy points. With the receiver corps banged up, the 36-year old tight end led the Ravens in receiving yards last week, and currently sits as second in targets on the offense with 34. The opportunity is there for Watson, and that’s more than half the battle at this position.
In Week 8, the Ravens stay home to face a Dolphins team that struggles to defend the tight end, with an aFPA of 15.7 points per game to the position. Watson may not be the sexiest of streamers, but he has the 16th-most points among tight ends this season, with an average of 8.1 per game in PPR formats. With tight ends like Delanie Walker and Evan Engram on bye this week, Watson could be just the spot starter you need.
Darren Fells, Lions vs. Steelers (1% owned)
Eric Ebron’s issues with drops have seemingly pushed him down the depth chart. Ebron, who began this year as the starter with legitimate breakout hopes, as given way to Fells. In Week 4 through Week 6, the team’s last three games before its bye, Fells outsnapped Ebron by 12 percentage points and outscored him by 26.8 points in PPR leagues.
The Steelers are no walk in the park for a tight end, but as I mentioned earlier, Tyler Kroft managed to score 12.3 points against them just last week. Their aFPA is 10.5 through seven weeks. Fells can be of service this week, especially in deep leagues. If you can get your hands on Kroft or Watson, though, you should leave Fells on the free agent scrapheap.
Miami Dolphins, at Ravens (24% owned)
This matchup is expected to be low-scoring, with Vegas installing an over/under of 37.5 points. That should be enough to make both defenses in the game attractive for fantasy purposes. The Dolphins are underdogs on the road, contextual factors that typically work against a defense, but no fantasy owner should be scared of Joe Flacco and the Ravens. The low-scoring expectations, plus the high potential for turnovers, makes the Dolphins defense a great stream play.
New Orleans Saints vs. Bears (46% owned)
The Bears just won a game last week in which their quarterback attempted seven passes—yes, seven—and their lead running back rushed for 65 yards. This is not an offense that’s going to suddenly explode for 40 points. In fact, the Bears allow the fifth most fantasy points to opposing defenses in with an aFPA of 11.7 points per game. The Saints have played better defensively this season than they have in years, and have put up some legitimately huge fantasy performances, most notably their three-touchdown game against the Lions. If the offense can get going, John Fox and Dowell Loggains will have no choice but to take the reins off Mitchell Trubisky. It’s there where the Saints can really take advantage.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Panthers (11% owned)
The Buccaneers have struggled while dealing with multiple injuries to their starting 11 on defense, but this is what the stream is all about. They get a favorable matchup in Week 8 at home against a Carolina team coming off one of the worst offensive performances of the season. The Bears shut down the Panthers a week ago, highlighted by safety Eddie Jackson scoring two defensive touchdowns. The Panthers offense ranks 25th in the league against fantasy defenses, with an aFPA of 10.4 points per game. The Buccaneers need this one to stay in the NFC playoff hunt, and they should be able to get it playing at home.