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Fantasy Football Week 9: Stream Team

Welcome back to the Stream Team, your weekly think-tank regarding fantasy players under 50% ownership. With back-to-back successful weeks, I had my eyes set on a big Week 8 to continue the Stream Team’s hot streak. And boy did we pull through. Week 8 saw our second 100 plus point performance since the Team’s inception six weeks ago in Week 3, headlined by Juju Smith-Schuster (28.80 fantasy points) and leap-of-faith quarterback choice Josh McCown (18.28). The running backs did not perform up to snuff, but the defensive choice (Cincinnati Bengals DST) proved once again to be one of our strong suits putting up a solid 14 fantasy points. The Week 9 wide receiver choices leave quite a bit to be desired, so careful research and attention to trends will lead to solid floor plays with great potential. So let’s get our hands dirty and scout the matchups this upcoming Week 9.

Quarterback

QB: Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams (46% Yahoo ownership)

Although this game screams Todd Gurley, do not overlook Jared Goff against the Giants 26th ranked defense against fantasy quarterbacks. The Giants have allowed over 21.8 fantasy points to opposing quarterback in 3 of their past 4 games, and the lone omission came in Week 6 where Trevor Siemian threw for 376 yards and scored only 17.94 fantasy points. Goff maintains a wide range of weapons in his arsenal (see below) and should be able to find his groove off play-action fakes to Gurley. In a week where most low-owned quarterbacks face strong defenses, this is the one matchup where I have complete confidence.

Running Back

RB1: Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens (34% Yahoo ownership)

Allow me to introduce you to the most popular waiver add in Week 9. Based on pure volume and potential alone Alex Collins shows up as the RB1 on the Stream Team this week. There are more than a few things going against Collins this week, however, as he faces one of the toughest run defense in the league (Tennessee) and may have Ryan Mallet commanding the ship from the quarterback position. Yikes. However he showed true explosiveness in Week 8 rushing 18 times for 113 yards, while also showing his diverse skills in the passing game adding two catches for 30 yards. Javorious Allen may still find a role carved out for him, but do not be fooled: this is Collins backfield until further notice.

RB2: Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets (46% Yahoo ownership)

So nice we do it twice! As expected, Matt Forte continued dominating the passing game for Jets running backs, catching 6 of 7 targets for 45 yards. And while Bilal Powell out touched him 17 to 10 in the game, the two backs still saw the same amount of snaps (29 each). Proving as a more than effective pass catcher Forte should remain an integral cog to the Jets passing attack, especially on a short week of rest in Week 9 against one of the better run-stuffing defenses.

Wide Receiver

WR1: Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle Seahawks (31% Yahoo ownership)

Watch for this guy’s ownership levels to spike this week. With Russell Wilson playing like a QB1 and the Seahawks running back core playing like an RB176, the Seahawks fate lies in the hands of Wilson each week. And while Doug Baldwin continues to be the ace wide receiver on this team, do not overlook Paul Richardson and his performance this year. While Richardson ranks fourth on the team in terms of reception and targets, he ranks second on the team in yards and first on the team in yards per catch and touchdowns (5). Baldwin will get his 6 or 7 catches per game, providing you a steady floor, but Richardson turns his handful of opportunities in big, explosive plays for large fantasy outputs. Richardson has only scored below 7.9 points once this year, and has three double digit performances. In Week 9, the Seahawks welcome a Redskin team fully equipped with Josh Norman back, so look for Wilson to look towards Richardson more often than normal.

WR2: Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams (29% Yahoo ownership)

If I had to match one Ram wide receiver with Goff, it would be Robert Woods. Woods leads all Rams in targets, receptions and yardage, but still curiously has 0 touchdowns on the year. Very frustrating for fantasy owners. And while the Giants do tend to keep wide receivers out of the end zone, a few second options have had success against their unit: Week 7, Richardson (2/61/1 touchdown); Week 6, Emmanuel Sanders (5/76); Week 3, Marvin Jones Jr. (1/27/1 touchdown); Week 1, Terrance Williams (6/68). Given Woods’ consistent floor production (at least 7.5 fantasy points in four of his last five games), expect another solid performance, with the potential for a WR2 designation if he can find pay dirt.

Tight End

TE:  Tyler Kroft, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (47% Yahoo ownership)

I am admitting going in the matchup is not great. But last week Tyler Kroft did not let the Stream Team down, and with a dearth of options to choose from you can do much, much worse. While the Jacksonville Jaguars boast one of the better pass defenses, they are middle of the pack against tight ends. And that tight end list includes name like Benjamin WatsonJesse JamesC.J. Fiedorowicz and Gerald Everett. Not really Tony Gonzalez or Rob Gronkowski. Kroft did damage again in Week 8, catching 5 of 6 targets for 46 yards. Kroft and Andy Dalton have a strong connection, so look for the burly tight end to receive a steady volume of passes as a back end TE1.

Flex

Flex: Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants (47% Yahoo ownership)

With the LA Rams allowing the 8th most rushing yards per game, 5th most yards per carry and second most total rushing touchdowns, Eli Manning and the Giants would be smart to keep the ball on the ground and out of air against a the Rams ball-hawking secondary. And while the Giants still may employ somewhat of a committee between Wayne Gallman and Orleans Darkwa, Darkwa appears to be the leader in the clubhouse for carries and, more importantly, productive fantasy points. Over his past three games, Darkwa averages 11.17 fantasy points per game, making him a borderline RB2 and solid flex play in all formats. Needing to keep the ball on the ground, look for the Giants to lean on their number one rusher and play clock management at home against a superior team.

Kicker

K:  Ka’imi Fairbairn, K, Houston Texans (8% Yahoo ownership)

As DeShaun Watson goes so will this Texans offense. And this week the Texans play host to the Indianapolis Colts, one of the league’s worst defenses. Last week, the Texans hung 38 on Seattle in Seattle, so scoring should be aplenty this week, making Ka’imi Fairbairn a great floor play. Yet to miss a field goal this year, look for Fairbairn to be in range all day Sunday, with double digits all but guaranteed. 

Defense

D:  Buffalo Bills DST (47% Yahoo ownership)

The minimum fantasy points scored this year by the Buffalo Bills DST is 7. The minimum. Talk about consistent. This ravenous defense has recored multiple turnover in every game this year except Week 2, which is great to know going against a turnover prone Jets offense. Sure McCown is playing much better recently, but that team still suffers from a severe lack of offensive talent. The Jets rank in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to defenses, so look for the Bills (6th ranked fantasy defense) to feast off this juicy matchup.

And that’s a wrap for Week 9 of the Fantasy Football Streamers. Be sure to check back every Tuesday to see where to turn to next and get the early leg up on your opponent. Until next time, good luck and godspeed, and may the fantasy football gods forever be in your favor.

To contact me with any questions or general fantasy football discussion, please email me at redsocker45@gmail.com or tweet me @AJGamballer.

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