Streaming Spotlight – Week 8 QB & TE
October 27, 2016 | Chris Manni
Let’s start the week by paying respect to one of my favorite fantasy football running backs of our time. The fantasy football world had to say goodbye this week to Arian Foster. A somber moment for those who rode his numbers to fantasy titles, and I hope you appreciated his greatness during his prime. A silky smooth runner who was undrafted out of Tennessee in 2009, Foster proved his critics wrong and Head Coach Gary Kubiak right. In 2010, Foster achieved one of the great fantasy football seasons of all time by gaining 2,220 yards from scrimmage and 18 total touchdowns. Arian, we thank you for your contribution to the game we love and wish you well. Peace my friend.
As with everything life, we appreciate the good times, but it is time to move forward. You have probably heard this before, but it is true that NFL football is a week-to-week proposition. While historical performance is the best indicator for future performance, the variables are always changing. It’s like your pre-marriage love life…always evolving and sometimes you drift back to what is familiar even after you promised yourself you would never go down that path again. With the first of two back-to-back monster bye weeks, there are six teams off work this week. Let’s just say that in Weeks 8 and 9 “there are only a few fish in the sea.” As always, we are here to provide you the streaming options to get you to the promise land even when the supply is scarce and your options may seem scary. Here are deeper QB and TE streaming options with players who are less than 50% owned on NFL.com.
Don’t forget to check out our DFS Cheat Sheets!
Alex Smith at IND (NFL.com Ownership: 30.2%)
My commentary here is a “rinse and repeat” situation from last week’s article. Last week I detailed why I like Smith in Week 7, and he came through with 18 points. I also pointed out how his streaming services would be needed in Week 8 through Week 11. Starting with this week, Smith and the Chiefs travel to Indianapolis with a date with the eighth most generous defense to QBs. The three weeks after Week 8, Smith gets more favorable matchups with Jacksonville (14th most generous to QBs), Atlanta (4th), and Tampa Bay (17th). Now that we are into the monster bye weeks of Week 8 and Week 9, Smith should be considered a coveted streaming option during this time.
Bottom Line: Consider Smith a low-end QB1, high-end QB2 with the likes of Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning on bye.
Ryan Fitzpatrick at CLE (8.7%)
“Hello Ryan, how are you? I’m okay…it’s good to hear your voice. Can we grab a coffee and talk? I miss you.” – Jets management/coaching staff/players/fans and fantasy football streamers to Ryan Fitzpatrick
(Sigh) Rather than listing all the negatives with Fitzpatrick’s game, let’s focus on the positives. He came into the Jets’ Week 7 game in relief of an injured Geno Smith and led his team to a quality home win. He still has one of the game’s best wide receivers, good pass catching backs, and a glorious matchup versus the Browns. The Browns defense has allowed quarterbacks to throw 297 yards and 2.6 touchdowns on average per game. I know Fitz is not marriage material, but for one week, you can do worse.
Bottom Line: Playing Fitzpatrick is never a safe choice, but I expect at least 15 points in this matchup. If you can find that level of production with a higher floor, go for it. In Week 8, it may be difficult.
Brock Osweiler vs DET 7.4%
Before you even ask…yes, I watched the Monday night game in Denver. It was atrocious and bordering on incompetent. As I mentioned above, the NFL is a weekly proposition, and there is no better cure for the common quarterback incompetence than the Detroit Lions’ pass defense. They are the most generous pass defense in the league, allowing 284 yards and 2.6 passing touchdowns per week. They have even allowed two rushing scores. My thought here is that the Lions defense represents fantasy goodness, and, in a week with so many of our streaming options unavailable, yes, even Brock Osweiler is a good option.
Bottom Line: I have a lot of respect for Coach Bill O’Brien and the passing game weapons that Osweiler has available to him. I think this is the week that they get going. If Brock can’t come through with at least 15 points in this matchup, he is hands off for the foreseeable future.
Bye Week: Ben Roethlisberger/Landry Jones, Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, Case Keenum
Cameron Brate vs OAK (16.1%)
Brate was a big disappointment last week, catching only three balls for 29 yards. Even with that stat line, I’m dusting myself off and giving Brate another “green light.” The Raiders defense, who are currently the 6th most generous defense to tight ends, travel east to face Brate and the Buccaneers. In Brate’s two home games this year, he has averaged nine targets, five catches, 56.5 yards, and one touchdown per game. Even though I expect another monster outing for Mike Evans, I think Brate may be more involved.
Bottom Line: Brate deserves consideration as a low-end TE1 and a possible contrarian DFS play this week after the Week 7 dud.
Vernon Davis at CIN (9.7%)
If you watched the Week 7 Washington/Detroit game, you know why Vernon Davis is on this list. He looks like the Vernon Davis of a few years ago. He has never been a great route runner, but he has wheels and those wheels can still move. During the last two weeks with Jordan Reed out with a concussion, Davis has averaged 9.5 fantasy points per game. In Week 8, those wheels will really challenge a Bengals linebacking group that has historically struggled defending speed from the tight end position. On the year the Bengals are the seventh most generous defense to tight ends and with Reed unlikely to return, Davis is in a prime spot to help your team.
Bottom Line: I rank Davis as the ninth tight end in Week 8 over Martellus Bennett at BUF, Julius Thomas at TEN, and Jason Witten vs PHI.
Bye Week: Dennis Pitta, Jessie James, Larry Donnell, Will Tye, Vance MacDonald, Lance Kendricks
I have enjoyed fantasy sports for over twenty years and now enjoy sharing my thoughts with you fine folks. Follow me @chrismanniff on Twitter.