Take cover! The beginning of Bye-pocalypse is officially upon us! With the fantasy regular season over halfway finished, owners are starting to see how they stack up against their competition. Week 8 presents itself with the 1st of back-to-back bye weeks involving six teams. Playoff positions are on the line and it is crucial for owners to know who they can trust in the absence of many of their starters, whether for bye weeks or injuries. So if you are one of these owners, sit back and let’s dive into the world of fantasy football streamers.
Week 7 Star:
- Josh McCown @ Miami Dolphins: 17-27 for 209 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception; 3 rushes for 1 yard and a touchdown
- Future Fantasy Outlook: Even in a losing effort in South Beach, McCown turned in a fantasy performance that most likely lead to many fantasy victories this past week. The New York Jets may not be elite and their play may not be pretty, but their fantasy output has been surprisingly good. Going forward, McCown will most likely be on waivers throughout the rest of the season, as he should; however, he will be very useful as a streaming option as he has shown his fantasy potential. Look out for to be featured again in the near future.
Week 7 Bust:
George Kittle: 1 reception for 16 yards on 2 targets
- Future Fantasy Outlook: After two straight games with eight or more targets, Kittle turned in a nightmare-ish fantasy performance last week across all formats. If you watched the game, he was on the field less than half of the 49ers offensive snaps, which struck me as odd due to his chemistry with starting quarterback C.J. Beathard dating back to college. Going forward, he has immense potential and I believe we will see more games with TE1 type targets. The 49ers have lacked offensive power and will continue to rely on the few bright spots they have. Kittle will be a streaming option depending on matchups.
Week 8 Bye Weeks: Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans
Stream of the Week: Minnesota Vikings QB @ Cleveland Browns
I will start off this week’s top streaming quarterback option as more of a committee than just one player. Whether it is Case Keenum (9% owned), Sam Bradford (7% owned), or the miraculous return of Teddy Bridgewater (3% owned) that draws the start, I would feel safe inserting the Vikings starting quarterback into my starting lineup. With Latavius Murray, Jerick McKinnon, Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs at their disposal, I believe that the Vikings quarterback will turn in a solid fantasy performance against the #31 ranked defense against opposing quarterbacks in the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have shown promise against the run, as we saw last week against the Tennessee Titans, but have failed to have the same effect in the air. Add this to the fact that the Vikings defense is projected to have a great performance against a struggling Browns offense and it equals out to have amazing fantasy potential for the Minnesota offense.
Jacoby Brissett (13% owned) @ Cincinnati Bengals
Jacoby Brissett continues to evolve as a starting quarterback and I believe that even when Andrew Luck finally does return, we will see Brissett as a starting quarterback somewhere going forward. Last week, Brissett struggled against the tough Jacksonville Jaguars defense, going 22-37 for 200 yards and rushing 5 times for 31 yards. The fantasy output would of been much better if his offensive line could keep him upright, but against that “Sacksonville” defense it was a tough matchup. The positive out of this game was that he did not commit a turnover. This week Jacoby Brissett travels to Cincinnati to face the #6 ranked Bengals defense against opposing quarterbacks. On paper, this is a matchup that does not look good; however, with the lack of streaming options available during the first half of Bye-pocalypse, Brissett offers a safer option. Last week, Ben Roethlisberger managed to throw for over 200 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Bengals pass defense. I believe that the combination of arm talent and mobility will allow Brissett to continue to get better and better as a quarterback, leading to fantasy positivity.
Josh McCown (12% owned) vs Atlanta Falcons
I told you that McCown would return to the list didn’t I? Honestly, it hurts me to include him when taking on my Atlanta Falcons (and truthfully I almost left him off) but I am separating my allegiance on this one. Josh McCown has proven to be a quarterback that I trust in my starting lineup if needed. I detailed what he did last week, and this coming week we see him go up against another tough matchup in the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are currently the #10 ranked team against opposing quarterbacks, but there is plenty of room for positivity. The Falcons have only recorded three turnovers from quarterbacks and have been on the field constantly due to the lack of offense the Falcons have shown through Week 7. Atlanta’s defense has only allowed one 300+ yard performance and have yet to allow a three touchdown performance from the position, but the lack of sacks and turnovers have allowed opposing quarterbacks to still succeed for their fantasy owners. Whether a close game or a blowout in either direction, the game script should allow McCown to rack up plenty of fantasy points against a solid, but not spectacular, pass defense.
Stream of the Week: Tyler Kroft (8% owned) vs Indianapolis Colts
With the tight end position this year, there are only two stats that you can really focus on when looking at streaming options in my opinion: targets and touchdowns. Taking over the tight end role for injured fantasy stud Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft has proven he is more than capable of filling his role. Since Eifert’s injury, Kroft has racked up 20 targets, hauling in 17 of them for over 150 yards and 3 touchdowns. This trend looks to continue as Week 8’s matchup against the Indianapolis Colts sets up perfectly for the Bengals. The Colts have given up the 8th most FPS against opposing tight ends, including a touchdown in 4 of their 7 matchups on the year. I believe that Kroft, along with the rest of the Bengals offense, will have a field day this weekend.
Jack Doyle (44% owned) @ Cincinnati Bengals
On the other side of the previous matchup sits 2016 fantasy darling Jack Doyle. Somehow, Doyle is still available in over half of all Yahoo fantasy football leagues. Doyle is ranked inside the top 10 of targets for tight ends on the year. His lowest target total in one game this season you ask? The answer is three, the first week of the season. Doyle’s targets have proven to be there and his touchdown total should rise as he continues to receives plenty of targets. The Bengals sport the 4th best ranking against opposing tight ends, including a shutout last week against the Steelers, but Doyle’s role is set in stone for the Colts. He will receive plenty of targets and with TY Hilton gaining attention in the secondary, look for Brissett to target Doyle this week.
Nick O’Leary (3% owned) vs Oakland Raiders
In previous articles, I detailed that I believed Charles Clay would have a TE1 season. Because of an injury, that is no longer the case and his role has been taken over by Nick O’Leary for the time being. Since being inserted into the starting lineup, O’Leary has caught 7 of 8 targets for 102 yards. He has shown that he is capable of making big plays in his short stint and is continuing to develop rapport with Tyrod Taylor. This week, the Oakland Raiders travel across country up to Buffalo. While the Raiders have been better than years past against tight ends, they have still had their struggles. Giving up the 11th most FPS to tight ends, the Raiders have allowed all but two tight ends to score double digit points in PPR leagues and have allowed 4 of them to score. This game should be close, and Nick O’Leary will look to help out Tyrod Taylor in keeping up with an improving and dangerous Oakland offense.
Other Notables: Jared Cook (40% owned) @ Buffalo Bills
Stream of the Week: New Orleans Saints (44% owned) vs Chicago Bears
The red-hot New Orleans Saints defense came back down to Earth last week in a disappointing fantasy performance against a Green Bay Packers team playing without Aaron Rodgers. The defense did played well, but for fantasy purposes, allowing 17 points and recording only 1 sack and 1 interception did not live up to the hype we all thought they would have. Lucky for us, this could mean that the Saints will be available in your league for their Week 8 matchup in the Superdome against the Chicago Bears. Chicago’s offense has given up the 3rd most FPS to opposing defenses and we saw that trend continue last week as they only gained 175 total yards and a field goal on offense. Luckily for the Bears, Cam Newton struggled and the Bears scored two defensive touchdowns on their way to a victory. The struggling Bears won’t catch many breaks this week in New Orleans and we should see the Saints defense take full advantage of the young nucleus the Bears have on offense.
Detroit Lions (33% owned) vs Pittsburg Steelers
Just like Jack Doyle earlier, I am completely shocked that the Detroit Lions are only owned in 1/3 of Yahoo fantasy football leagues. They have only had one bad outing for the year and have shown that even if they allow points to be scored, they can make up for it by recording sacks (13), turnovers (14), and touchdowns (3) at-will. I am assuming many owners either dropped the Lions because of the recent bye week or their matchup against a dangerous Steelers offense. They are still a must-owned team in my opinion. Week 8 presents itself with a matchup that many fantasy owners would steer away from in the Pittsburgh Steelers, but even with Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell traveling to Detroit, the matchup offers a lot of fantasy value. Roethlisberger has thrown 8 interceptions, fumbled twice, and been sacked 10 times on the year. He just has simply not looked good this year. The Lions have proven themselves as a possible start against any offense in the NFL, so I believe that after an extra week to prepare, they will give Big Ben and the Steelers offense plenty of fits.
Cincinnati Bengals (23% owned) vs Indianapolis Colts
I know what you’re probably thinking. “Why are the Cincinnati Bengals on the same list as Jacoby Brissett and Jack Doyle as streaming options?” I will explain. This week, there is a lack of streaming options at the quarterback position, and like I explained above, Brissett offers both the arm and his legs as potential to gain fantasy points. With that being said, the Bengals should take full advantage of an offensive line that just gave up 10 sacks to Jacksonville, racking up fantasy gold. Combine this with a Colts offense that has given up the 2nd most FPS to opposing defenses this year and we should see both sides of this equation come out positively. It is not ideal, and I would not suggest starting both Jacoby Brissett and the Cincinnati defense in the same lineup, but I can see a scenario occur that will allow both to have above average fantasy performances.
Other Notables: Miami Dolphins (28% owned) @ Baltimore Ravens (TNF)