Defenses were the streaming stars in Week 8, with all three of our recommendations among the top 13 at the position, in fantasy points. Six teams are resting this week—the Bengals, Colts, Eagles, Giants, Cardinals and Jaguars—which should create some vacancies in fantasy lineups. Whether you’re looking to replace Carson Wentz, Andrew Luck or Zach Ertz, among others, or are simply needing to fill some short-term holes, the Week 9 stream is packed with options.
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 choosing weekly streamers.
To provide actionable advice, candidates for streaming must have ownership rates of 40% or lower in leagues on two of Yahoo, CBS and ESPN.
Joe Flacco, Ravens vs. Steelers
It’s been a roller coaster of a season so far for Flacco, but he should have a productive outing at home on Sunday against the Steelers. In their last meeting in Week 4, the Baltimore quarterback threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns, racking up 22.22 fantasy points. The Steelers rank 25th in quarterback aFPA, which also bodes well for Flacco on Sunday. In a week with three fantasy-relevant signal callers on the sidelines, Flacco is a safe option to plug into your lineups.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys vs, Titans
Prescott suffered a minor hand injury in Week 7, but he had a week off with the Cowboys on bye last week. He’ll play his first game with new teammate Amari Cooper on Monday night against the Titans in Dallas. Prescott has averaged 20.94 fantasy points per game at home this season, opposed to 12.37 on the road.
Derek Carr, Raiders at 49ers
Carr bounced back from his worst showing of the season to complete 21 of 28 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns while adding a rushing score in the 42-28 loss to the Colts. He has a short turnaround, but it’s a favorable matchup against a San Francisco defense that has played soft against the quarterback position. Through eight games, the 49ers rank 29th in quarterback aFPA.
Chris Herndon, Jets at Dolphins
Herndon is becoming a key member of the Jets’ passing attack, scoring a touchdown in each of the team’s last three games. Since Week 5, he’s third on the team in targets and snap rate, and he gets a solid matchup this week against a Miami defense ranked 24th in tight end aFPA. At a very low ownership across all fantasy sites, the 22-year-old stands out this week as one of the more attractive streamable options at tight end.
Hayden Hurst, Ravens vs. Steelers
Baltimore has used a committee approach at tight end this season, largely because Hurst missed time at the beginning of the season due to injury. The first-round pick is fully back in the fold, catching two of three targets for 29 yards and a touchdown last week. Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle were still a part of the offense, with Boyle on the field for one more snap than Hurst, but the premium the team paid for the latter tells us how it views him. Baltimore is home this week against the Steelers, a defense ranked 27th in tight end aFPA.
Jordan Thomas, Texans at Broncos
The sixth-round rookie stepped up in the absence of Ryan Griffin in Week 8, catching all four of his targets for 29 yards and two touchdowns. Griffin has missed the past two weeks due to illness, and his return is still unclear. Will Fuller is out for the season, and Keke Coutee is working his way back from a hamstring injury. There’s a reasonable chance that Thomas is the second-most-targeted pass-catcher for the Texans this week, behind DeAndre Hopkins. That’s enough to get him on the streaming radar with six teams on bye.
Kansas City Chiefs at Browns
The Chiefs are 10th among defenses in fantasy points through Week 8, and get a favorable matchup on Sunday in Cleveland. Kansas City is tied for second in the league with 24 sacks, and has forced 11 turnovers, two of which it returned for. The Browns, meanwhile, rank 26th in defensive aFPA, and are playing their first game under interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Chargers
The Seahawks’ defense has scored double-digit points the last two weeks, has totaled 19 sacks and 16 takeaways this season, and has allowed the second-fewest total points in the league. The Chargers are a tough test, but the game is in Seattle, and the Seahawks should, at the very least, get to Philip Rivers a handful of times.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Titans
Allowing an average of 16.71 points per game this season, the Cowboys defense has been strong despite the team’s losing record. Tennessee ranks 25th in defensive aFPA, surrendering 9.6 fantasy points to team defenses weekly. Both teams are coming off a bye, but Dallas has the edge playing at home.