Fantasy Football Position Streaming
Written By: Josh Crocker – Follow Josh on Twitter @jccrocker
ABOVE THE STREAM
– Jameis Winston –
If you played Jameis last week you’re probably ok with the outcome overall, but you might also feel like there was potential there for more. And if you’ve got him on your roster, I would sooner give him the start than rely on what lies below 50% ownership. In week 9 Winston is playing against Atlanta, whose pass D is 24th. Atlanta has a very mediocre pass rush with an adjusted sack rate of 5.7, so hopefully Jameis will have some time to find an open man. He will need that to continue to take most deep ball attempts per game with 6.4 pg, resulting in 170 air yards per game. Looking at the production of the Buccaneers offense as a whole, Jameis has thrown for or run in 15 of the team’s 18 TD’s, making him responsible for an 83% share of the team’s TD’s. He may not be ready to be in the conversation for a QB you’re happy to center your franchise around, but he does the things we like our fantasy QB to do. It’s not a vote for Canton, it is a step towards a win for your fantasy team.
The game will have to stand up to some very high expectations, with an over under set at 51.5. Tampa is not favored to win, even at home. Clearly the oddsmakers are looking for Atlanta to put some pressure on this Tampa Bay offense to keep up. I would say this game is one errant spark away from being a forest fire, I want a piece.
– Dak Prescott –
I’m clearly making some assumptions here about the Cowboy’s and their personnel decisions. Assuming that Dak is still the starting QB, I’d add or play him against the Browns. Future 50 year old Tony Romo may thank the Cowboys for starting Dak when he is able to walk, unless that is already a foregone conclusion. The Cleveland Browns are allowing QB’s to score 6.0 above their average. No question, it is a good matchup. The offense of the Browns is a lot more dangerous if McCown starts, but the defense will be no better because of it. I think the main problem with this pick would center around the fact that Cleveland also has the 30th ranked run defense. So, it’s likely to be a lot of Zeke, and that’s true. The following charts show the splits for Dak when leading, tied, and trailing, followed by Zeke’s.
Dak’s Rushing Stats
Charts courtesy of profootballreference.com
So there it is. It’s very true that when the Cowboys are ahead, which is most of the time for a team that is 6-1, they run more. However, it’s not what we might think. On 187 plays while leading, the Cowboys still threw the ball 55% of the time. When trailing the number only goes up to 64%, so there really hasn’t been a game script yet that has resulted in them abandoning the run. More importantly than that, Dak is a lot more efficient when he’s playing with a lead, maybe because of the threat of the run. It is also when our young QB does the majority of his rushing. I’m just not scared off by the fact that this is very likely to be a positive game script. According to the Harris Index, playing the Cleveland Browns results in a 6 point bump for QB’s, 3.9 for RB’s, 6.9 for WR’s, 5.2 for TE’s, and 0.6 for D/ST. It’s a very favorable matchup, don’t outsmart yourself.
– Sam Bradford –
Before facing Houston in week 8 the Lions had allowed opposing QB’s to score 6.8 points above their average. Last week Brock might have let you down in week 8 with this same matchup. After getting up a big lead, he wasn’t asked to do a lot, and rose to the task (of not doing much) scoring only 10 fantasy points. Even with that, in the last 3 weeks the Lions are allowing 286 ypg and 1.66 TD’s to QB’s. It’s still a fantastic situation for your streamer to be in. To make a quick comparison between Osweiler and Bradford, Bradford is the 15th ranked QB by DYAR, Osweiler is last. If the Vikings can protect Bradford better than they did against the Bears, which I’m not sure they can against a similarly talented Lions D Line, I think he’s capable of making good on this matchup.
The doubt here, I would say, centers around Bradford himself. He has had some uninspiring performances to say the least. If you watched the Lions and the Bears, he missed Steff Diggs deep early in the game on an opportunity that really could’ve changed to the whole complexion of that contest. But looking at Bradford as a talent, if we are going to say that he is just too bad to be usable, I think what you are really doing is making an argument for drafting an early round QB. Of those that are still largely unowned, I don’t think it’s silly to say that Bradford is at least as good as Kaepernick, Tannehill, Fitzpatrick, Mariota, and Alex Smith. Looking at his more fantasy relevant stats, Bradford doesn’t take a lot of shots downfield (3.8) but he’s completing 57%. That’s very good. That number rivals Russell Wilson’s numbers from last year before he had sex (with his wife) and ruined himself (not really, he is injured). Alex Smith is taking 3.1 deep shots per game and is only completing 27% HALF AS MUCH!! Streaming QB’s is this. It’s not a marriage proposal, it’s a one week fling.
– Colin Kaepernick –
I started writing Colin up as an “if you’re desperate” option, but I’m increasingly convinced that this play rivals the Bradford pick as a viable choice. Full disclosure, in a league where I had the option between the two I went with Bradford. If you just can’t with Bradford, then this is your option.
The 49ers are playing against the Saints who are only pressuring the QB 4.5% of the time. Kaep should have all the time he needs to begin the dissection of this secondary. Although, what this play is really about is not what Kaep does with his arm, it’s about what he does on the ground. In the two games that he has started he has had 66 and 84 rushing yards, which means that he really doesn’t have to do a lot through the air. The Saints have the 28th ranked pass and rushing defense by DVOA. The 49ers do have a capable running back, but we’re hoping that their inability to stop the run spills over to an inability to stop a rushing QB. This game also has a nice shiny 51 point over under. It’s no secret that the Saints like to push the points and run up the scoreboard. With the 23rd ranked defense it doesn’t appear that San Francisco will be an imposing impediment to that plan. Their best option may just be to keep up. In terms of team plays, these two should combine for one of the highest paced games of the week. It’s a situation that should be favorable for all point scorers, and while trying to pick the right pass catcher may be a little dicey, we know where those passes will be coming from.
BELOW THE STREAM
Stafford – is playing Minnesota. Although after watching the Bears on Monday night this seems like less of a problem, Theo Riddick is not likely to give the Lions what Jordan Howard was able to contribute to his team. These divisional games seemed to have a good chance of getting sideways, but I’d go elsewhere for the week.
Bortles – If you’re starting Bortles against the Chiefs, I can’t tell you that it absolutely won’t work out. But, I think you have a lot of better options here. 4th quarter magic like what we saw against the Titans will be much more difficult to manifest against the 7th ranked KC pass defense.
Written By: Josh Crocker – Josh can be found on Twitter @jccrocker