- The second and final six-team bye week of the season is here. That means the stream is even more open for business than usual in fantasy football leagues.
Week 8 was another successful one on the stream for both quarterbacks and tight ends. Case Keenum’s 18.52 points were were fourth-highest among quarterbacks, with Josh McCown just behind him at QB5, posting 18.28 points. Tyler Kroft and Ben Watson both checked in with solid numbers as the Nos. 11 and 14 tight ends, respectively, in standard-scoring leagues. Let’s forge ahead to Week 9, where six teams are at home on the couch, making the stream more important than ever for teams impacted by those pesky bye weeks.
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.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts at Texans (13% owned)
Brissett is coming off an impressive 16.92 fantasy point performance in Week 8, tossing the rock for 233 yards and two touchdowns. In Week 9, Brissett heads to Houston for an AFC South showdown with the Texans and their 26th-ranked defense against quarterbacks, according to aFPA. With six signal callers watching from home this week, and several others sidelined due to injury, Brissett easily moves onto the stream radar.
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Josh McCown, Jets vs. Bills (27% owned)
Buffalo’s defense may not be the best to stream against, but McCown’s consistency is tough to ignore. He has thrown two or more touchdowns in his last four games, and is the No. 8 quarterback in standard-scoring leagues over the last five weeks.. The Bills defense is stout versus the quarterback position this season, but has taken some injury hits to their secondary along the way. Cornerback E.J. Gaines and safety Jordan Poyer were both out last week, and could miss Thursday’s game. The fact that the game is at home also gives McCown a nice boost.
Drew Stanton, Cardinals at 49ers (2% owned)
This is a total desperation play. As in “every other quarterback in your league is owned” desperation. San Francisco’s defense is riddled with injuries heading into Week 9, which does make Stanton slightly more intriguing. The 10-year NFL veteran has historically played well against the 49ers, including a 244-yard, two-touchdown performance in 2014, and another contest last season where he threw for 124 yards and two scores. The 49ers are ranked 25th in quarterback aFPA.
Vernon Davis, Redskins at Seahawks (26% owned)
In not so shocking news, Jordan Reed left the game in Week 8 with a hamstring injury, and is unlikely to start in Seattle on Sunday. Even when Reed is healthy, Davis holds his own, averaging 8.8 PPR points per game through seven games this season. Davis has 312 receiving yards, with an average of 18.4 yards per catch, all with Reed out for just one full game.
Washington heads to the Pacific Northwest in Week 9, to take on a Seahawks defense that ranks 18th in tight end aFPA. The Seahawks allowed big PPR games to Evan Engram (18 points) and Tyler Higbee (13.8 points), earlier this year. Davis is arguably the second-most reliable pass-catcher for Kirk Cousins, just behind Chris Thompson.
Ed Dickson, Panthers vs. Falcons (27% owned)
Dickson has seen at least five targets in each of his last four games, and is averaging 4.83 targets per game with Greg Olsen on the shelf. Those aren’t earth-shattering numbers, but his floor is decent enough, and his volume could increase with Kelvin Benjamin now in Buffalo. Atlanta checks in as at 15th in tight end aFPA, so the matchup is no better than neutral. Still, Dickson has enough of a floor to project as a low-end TE1.
Jonnu Smith, Titans vs. BAL (0% owned)
Delanie Walker could miss this week’s game with the Ravens because of an ankle injury he suffered before the Titans Week 8 bye. Should he sit, Smith will be a strong stream play against a Ravens defense that is 29th in tight end aFPA. Smith has shown some life in a limited role this year, catching 11 passes for 107 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It’s hard to imagine the Titans using Walker as a decoy, so if he practices by the end of the week, you’ll want to look elsewhere. If he’s out, though, Smith could turn into a low-end TE1.
Tennessee Titans vs. Ravens (15% owned)
With Joe Flacco still going through the concussion protocol, the Titans may see Ryan Mallett in Week 9 on their home turf. Even if Flacco is cleared to play, the Titans are still a strong streaming option. The Ravens offense hasn’t been able to generate any sort of consistent rhythm through the air or on the ground this season. This also has the potential to be a slow-paced, low-scoring game, and with the Titans favored and playing at home, the conditions are ripe for their defense to put up a strong fantasy performance.
Arizona Cardinals at 49ers (50% owned)
San Francisco pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade bringing Jimmy Garoppolo to the Bay Area, but the team will not throw him right into the fray. C.J. Beathard has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns this season, and a date with the Cardinals isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered. Streaming against Beathard and the 49ers is never a bad fantasy tactic. Go ahead and employ it this week if you can.