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Fantasy Overview: Week 9

Get yourself caught up on what's going on in the league as we enter Week 9 of the NFL season. Here's my take on the fantasy landscape around the league and how you can benefit. 

Week 8 is complete and the season is halfway over for the teams who have yet to have their bye. In most fantasy leagues there's only four or five more weeks left before the playoffs begin. Is your team in position for a playoff run? Do you need a few more wins to secure a berth? This week I take a look at some streaming options not only for Week 9, but also the rest of the season. It's always good to look ahead a few weeks for waiver claims or in some cases, four or five games ahead. 

Quarterback

Anyone who plays Carolina. The Panthers may have turned the corner defensively, after a positive game against Arizona last week, however they are still giving up a ton of passing yards regardless of whether or not the defense shows up. This was also the case last year. The Panthers would get out to an early lead and then allow teams to get back into games in the second half. Carolina had 8 sacks on Carson Palmer last week, but still allowed 363 yards (most of which came in the second half) and 3 touchdowns. On average, since Week 3 Carolina allows opposing quarterbacks 344 yards passing and 2.6 passing touchdowns per game. Here's a look at their opponents the rest of the season that includes three good streaming options, including one this week.

Week 9: at LA (Case Keenum)
Week 10: KC (Alex  Smith - barring concussion status)
Week 11: NO
Week 12: at OAK
Week 13: at SEA
Week 14: SD
Week 15: at WAS (Kirk Cousins)
Week 16: ATL 

Joe Flacco Weeks 10 & 12 - The Ravens face division rivals Cleveland and Cincinnati at home for Week 10 and 12. Cleveland has allowed opposing quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns in 7 of 8 games this year and 275 yards passing in 6 of 8 games. Cincinnati has averaged 339 yards passing to opposing quarterbacks on average over the last three games making them fourth worst in FPs allowed in that span. 

Tampa Bay's opponent: Streaming options - Take a peek at Jay Cutler (Week 10), Alex Smith (Week 11), Dak Prescott (Week 15). Those quarterbacks will face the Buccaneers who are also among the cellar dwellers in fantasy points allowed. The Bucs seem to do worse against the Top 10 quarterbacks than those that you might consider as streaming options, but the matchups are stil favorable. Against Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer and Derek Carr, Tampa Bay has allowed an average of 383 passing yards and 3 touchdown passes. 

Running Back

Running back streaming is more about opportunity than matchup, because there's not many streaming running back options available on the waiver wire, but there may be some possibilities sitting on your bench. Looking ahead, here's some marquee matchups to take note of. 

Anyone against San Francisco - The 49ers have struggled mightily to stop the run since losing Novorro Bowman. They have re-tooled their linebacker assigments, hoping to find that magic formula for success, but have come up empty. Perhaps the bye week will bring different results, but even an improvement will still be one of the best opponents to exploit. From Week 3 to present, opposing running backs have averaged 190 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. That's a big sample size (6 games). Here's the list of backs who will face the 49ers.  

Week 9: NO (Mark Ingram II & Tim Hightower)
Week 10: at ARI (David Johnson)
Week 11: NE (Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount, James White)
Week 12: at MIA (Jay Ajayi)
Week 13: at CHI (Jordan Howard)
Week 14: NYJ (Matt Forte, Bilal Powell)
Week 15: at ATL (Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman)
Week 16: at LA (Todd Gurley)

Pittsburgh has struggled lately against the rush - LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi have rushed for 127 and 204 respectively against the Steelers in the last two games with two rushing touchdowns apiece. The Steelers may have figured out their run defense over the bye, but it's worth noting their struggles recently. Pittsburgh faces at BAL, DAL, at CLE, at IND, NYG at BUF, at CIN, BAL to finish the season. One of Terrance West or even Kenneth Dixon could keep the running streak alive this week. A lot can change in the next few weeks, but if the defense continues to falter, your targets for surprise value are Ezekiel Elliott (Week 10), Isaiah Crowell (Week 11), Frank Gore (Week 12), Paul Perkins (maybe) Week 13 and by Week 14 LeSean McCoy should be fully healthy. 

Cleveland is another team to exploit - The last four games, Cleveland has allowed opposing running backs to average 141 rushing yards and 1.8 rushing touchdowns - 4th worst in fantasy points allowed. Some backs to target as lineup insertions include BAL (Week 10), NYG (Week 13) and CIN (Week 14). Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon and Paul Perkins seem to be popular options for streaming favorable matchups. 

Wide Receiver

Which team gives up the most fantasy points (PPR) to wide receivers?

Since Week 1 - CHI
Since Week 2 - CAR
Since Week 3 - CAR
Since Week 4 - CAR
Since Week 5 - CHI
Since Week 6 - CAR
Since Week 7 - CAR
Since Week 8 - ATL 

It's obvious that the teams to target for wide receivers are Carolina and Chicago. Here's some stats and details involving each team.

Chicago - Allows an average of 17 receptions to wide receivers each week with 195 yards and 1.1 touchdowns. 
Carolina - Allows an average of 14 receptions to wide receivers each week with 204 yards and 1.3 touchdowns.

Remaining Schedule
Carolina: at LA, KC, NO, at OAK, at SEA, SD, at WAS, ATL, at TB
Chicago: BYE, at TB, at NYG, TEN, SF, at DET, GB, WAS, at MIN 

Do you see the common denominator among those two teams? WASHINGTON. They play Carolina and Chicago Week 15 and 16. Go get Jamison Crowder and Pierre Garcon now and buy low on DeSean Jackson

Other notable teams to exploit include San Francisco and Baltimore. Each allow 1.9 touchdowns to wide receivers per week. Since Week 5, SF has allowed a whopping 2.3 touchdowns to wide receivers each week. Baltimore has allowed 1.7 in the same span. 

If yards is your gig, Seattle and NY Giants have allowed 219 and 211 yards respectively to wide receivers each week since Week 5. 

Tight End

There's quite a few teams you can target your tight ends against. Here's the top teams to target:

Detroit: Most fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends this year. On average teams get 18.7 PPR FP/game against Detroit. They have given up 8 touchdowns to tight ends and they haven't faced the big dogs like Gronkowski, Olsen, Graham, even Kelce. They have given up 8 touchdowns to names such as Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle, Delanie Walker (probably the biggest name), Richard Rodgers, Zach Miller, Lance Kendricks and C.J. Fiedorowicz. Start your tight ends against Detroit. Coming up, this is good news for Kyle Rudolph, Julius Thomas, Coby Fleener, Zach Miller (again), Will Tye/Larry Donnell (whichever one emerges in the next few weeks), Jason Witten and Jared Cook (or Richard Rodgers, depending on health). 

Cincinnati: The Bengals are allowing an average of 9 receptions to opposing tight ends since Week 5. Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis went off last week, Rob Gronkowski, two weeks prior. Looking ahead, Cincinnati plays NYG Week 10, followed by BUF, at BAL, PHI, at CLE, PIT, at HOU, BAL. We'll see if the trend continues, but right now, Dennis Pitta, Zach Ertz, Gary Barnidge, Jesse James and C.J. Fiedorowicz look like decent plays in the coming weeks.

Indianapolis: The Colts have allowed an opposing tight end to reach 5 receptions in six of eight games this year. Since Week 5 tight ends are averaging 9 receptions and 99 yards per game against the Colts. Things heat up in Week 11 vs TEN, followed by PIT, at NYJ, HOU, at MIN, at OAK, JAC. Some tight ends to target in this mix include Jesse James, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Kyle Rudolph, Clive Walford and Julius Thomas. Some of these players were also good matchups against Cincinnati or Detroit. 

Tennessee: Opposing tight ends have averaged 9 receptions for 93 yards in the last three games against Tennessee, including 0.7 touchdowns per game. In that span, they are the 3rd worst for fantasy points allowed (PPR). Tennessee plays at SD this week, followed by GB, at IND, at CHI, BYE, DEN, at KC, at JAC, HOU.  Hunter Henry looks like a good play this week, as does Jack Doyle, Zach Miller, Travis Kelce, Julius Thomas and C.J. Fiedorowicz

Good luck this week. Go get your playoff berth. 

 

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to haseley@footballguys.com