The NFL schedule is going through bye weeks right now, and Week 8 is the first of three this year where six teams are idle. Those six teams this week are the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and the Tennessee Titans.
So streaming seems sure to be a viable strategy in Week 8, and here are my top options at quarterback, tight end and team defense.
Quarterback: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts
After looking good heading into the Bengals’ bye week, Dalton hit a wall against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7 (140 passing yards, four sacks, two touchdowns, two interceptions). That kind of performance could have been expected in a tough matchup, but Dalton has a good chance to rebound in Week 8.
The Indianapolis Colts have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks (19.2 per game, ESPN scoring), including over 300 passing yards in three straight games and at least 295 yards through the air in six out of seven games.
Dalton is sure to remain somewhat inconsistent going forward, but he’s got too good a matchup to ignore in Week 8.
Yahoo! Ownership: 55%
ESPN Ownership: 32.9%
Others To Consider: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills vs. Oakland Raiders; Case Keenum, Minnesota Vikings vs. Cleveland Browns (London), Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (Monday night); Josh McCown, New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons; C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
Tight End: Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks
In Week 6, before the Texans’ bye week, Griffin had three catches (on a season-high eight targets) for 52 yards against the Cleveland Browns. That matchup has to be taken into account, but Griffin has at least five targets in three of his last four games.
The Seattle Seahawks have allowed 23 receptions and 12.3 yards per catch to opposing tight ends over their last four games. That seems to be the best way to beat them through the air, and Deshaun Watson should be looking Griffin’s way often on Sunday. DeAndre Hopkins will remain heavily involved, but Griffin could easily be right behind in target total.
Griffin is not the most exciting tight end option this week. But I see some sneaky value, especially in PPR formats.
Yahoo! Ownership: 5%
ESPN Ownership: 4.8%
Others To Consider: Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills; Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts; Nick O’Leary, Buffalo Bills vs. Oakland Raiders; George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles; O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers
Team Defense: Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (Thursday Night)
They are trending the wrong direction in terms of points allowed, but the Dolphins’ defense has 11 sacks over their last three games with multiple turnovers forced in two of those contests. Now, on a short week, they’ll take on the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night.
The Ravens have not turned the ball over at all in two of their last three games, but they have allowed eight sacks over their last two and are injury-riddled at wide receiver. Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) and Breshad Perriman (concussion) may return this week, but how much their presence would offset how bad Joe Flacco has been is a question.
There aren’t many good options for team defense streamers this week. So I’ll take the safe floor the Dolphins offer, with some upside potential against a feeble offense.
Yahoo! Ownership: 27%
ESPN Ownership: 35.1%
Others To Consider: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts; New Orleans Saints, vs. Chicago Bears; Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Francisco 49ers