Swimming Upstream: Week 9

Swimming Upstream: Week 9

Fantasy Football Lineup Management

Swimming Upstream: Week 9


A popular tactic in fantasy football is known as “streaming,” where owners cycle through the best available matchups among waiver wire options from week to week. This strategy is most commonly used with defensive teams, place kickers, tight ends and sometimes even quarterbacks.

Week 9 bye teams: Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Washington Redskins

Quarterbacks to consider

Cody Kessler, Cleveland Browns vs. Dallas Cowboys

Note: I wrote Tuesday about Josh McCown being a one-week play in the Week 9 release of “The Pick-up Joint.” Here is an excerpt of the same reasons that apply to Kessler:

“… this defense [Dallas] will be without safety Barry Church (arm) and likely not have cornerback Morris Claiborne (groin).”

That’s largely the crux of Kessler’s inclusion in replacement of McCown. Kessler has thrown just one interception on 133 attempts and a TD every 22.3 completions with a depleted receiving corps at the time.

The Cowboys technically provide a negative statistical matchup, but the Browns could exploit all of these injuries. WR Corey Coleman is ready to play, and Terrelle Pryor Sr. has proven to be over his hamstring strain. Factor in Duke Johnson and Gary Barnidge to create a quality set of targets.

Tight ends to trust

Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles Rams vs. Carolina Panthers was included in Tuesday’s release of “The Pick-up Joint.”

Virgil Green, Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

Green caught four of his six targets last week for 55 yards. He is generally a non-factor, but there is plenty of hope against Oakland’s secondary. Broncos receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders should command at least three sets of eyes on every play, which could force Trevor Siemian to look Green’s way more than usual.

Oakland has, for the record, given up four touchdowns on its last 25 allowed receptions. That cannot be ignored with desperate gamers looking to replace a bevy of studly tight ends in Week 9.

Larry Donnell, New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Total flier? Like the bottom of the barrel … yep. Sure is.

The matchup, on paper, is brutal. Philly ranks in the bottom six teams against tight ends. This defense has given up only 10 receptions in the past five weeks (four games), which is the lowest in the NFL over that time frame. The only — and I mean only — upside to this matchup is that two of those 10 catches have gone for TDs. That one-out-of-five ratio is the third best from a tight end’s vantage point.

Cozy up with a kicker

Cairo Santos, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Chiefs’ offense will be down Alex Smith and Spencer Ware in Week 9. This could be a low-scoring game decided by field position and kicking games. Santos has kicked 10 of his 11 extra points and seven of 10 field goal tries through the uprights since Week 3.

The Jaguars have been the most generous team for fantasy kickers in that same window, giving up 11.5 points per game (non-distance scoring). Kickers have averaged three field goals and 2.5 extra points.

Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers

Succop has connected on eight of his night attempts from distance, while making 14 of 16 extra point kicks since Week 3. The Titans have afforded him five combined kicking chances, on average.

The Chargers, meanwhile, have permitted five combined kicks to go through the uprights, stemming from allowing a matching 14 XPAs and FGAs since the third week of the season. Fantasy’s third softest matchup in terms of fantasy points surrendered comes on the back of the fifth most combined attempts per contest. … can’t score points without the opportunity.

Get daring with this defense

Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t been a turnover vending machine in the last two weeks, but we have seen enough of him in the last decade to know that handing over the ball at egregious rates is just what he does. That’s in his football DNA, and it ain’t comin’ out.

Miami is fresh off a bye week and has plenty of familiarity with the Jets. New York has yielded 15 sacks, two fumbles lost, five interceptions thrown and a defensive touchdown in five games since Week 3.


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