Quarterback & Tight End Streamers: Week 9 (Fantasy Football)
I remember watching The Blair Witch Project when it first came out almost 20 years ago and thinking how awesome and terrifying it was at the same time. That sums up my quarterback recommendation this past week. Derek Carr’s performance was as awesome as it was terrifying. He tore it up in Oakland, throwing three touchdowns and running one in. As it stands right now (not including the Monday night game), Carr is the third-best quarterback in fantasy for Week 8.
He was a bit of a gamble considering Oakland appears to be in tank mode, but Carr was electric in his team’s loss to the Colts. I am going to shy away from him this week as I am terrified that he won’t be able to follow up that performance with anything similar.
My tight end streamer, Vance McDonald, was decent, yet disappointing and is now too popular to stream. I saw enough of Ed Dickson to believe in him enough going forward. Week 9 welcomes some quarterbacks back from byes so streaming this week has a few potential sleepers available on your waiver wire. Conversely, with the tight end streamers available, we are welcomed back to the nightmare. Speaking of the horror, since Halloween is soon upon us, we might as well go with that theme in this week’s article.
Quarterback Streamer of the Week: Dak Prescott (DAL) vs. Tennessee Titans
This week Prescott is set to be The Hellraiser. The Cowboys offense is similar to the puzzle box in the movie. Sometimes, they are anemic, but when they successfully solve the box, it unleashes a potential offensive monster.
Dallas seems to somehow solve it at home. Prescott and the gang are winless on the road, but have a perfect record at home. In Dallas, they have averaged almost 28.7 points, compared to only scoring an average of 13.5 when away. The good news is Dallas plays at home this week — ready to terrorize the Titans who are on a three-game losing streak, including an away loss to the hopeless Bills. Tennessee does have a solid defense, but Prescott is coming off his best game in yards thrown (273) and has been finally exploiting the Konami Code, as he has rushed for over 100 yards in his last two games combined as well as scoring his only two rushing touchdowns this season.
There is also some sense of optimism that he will also benefit with the addition of Amari Cooper. A better receiving corps helps Ezekiel Elliott and the run game, which consequently helps the passing game. Prescott has thrown eight touchdowns and four interceptions this year so far — five touchdowns have been at home to go along with no picks. It is becoming apparent that Prescott plays better in Dallas so he is a great quarterback to consider this week and for future home games.
Joe Flacco (BAL) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Flacco stars in The Exorcist this week. In Week 8, he looked like the Flacco we all know and loathe as fantasy owners. Despite playing his worst game against the Panthers, where he failed to eclipse 200 yards passing and managed to throw two interceptions, we still feel optimistic that Flacco will bounce back. It was an ugly game that hopefully has been exorcized from his memory, similar to Andy Dalton’s dramatic win this week after a horrific showing against the Chiefs the week before in primetime. Flacco is playing at home which is good news. At home, he has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions in three games.
Ever since selecting Lamar Jackson in the first round, Flacco has been motivated to hang on to his job or at least perform well enough to still be a starter for another team next year. He has the best bunch of receivers he has had in a long time, so look for him to convert last week’s horror show into a divisional showdown that should be exciting and hopefully full of fantasy goodness. So evilness and bad quarterback play be gone! In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!
Dark Horse: Ryan Fitzpatrick (TB) vs. Carolina Panthers
Fitzpatrick finds himself back at the helm in 28 Days Later. He relieved Jameis Winston exactly 28 days after Winston relieved him on September 30 during the Bears/Bucs debacle. This game won’t be set in London (like the film), and it most likely will be devoid of any zombies, though Winston resembled one in Week 8 by throwing four interceptions in just three quarters. In just over a quarter, “Fitzmagic” was able to throw twice as many touchdowns as Winston without throwing a pick. Apart from one half against the Bears, Fitzmagic has been stellar and deserves to be back on the field.
Carolina has a good defense, so this is why I am calling him my dark horse. However, Fitzmagic has the most upside out of the three quarterbacks mentioned this week. However, along with the upside, he also has the most potential to fall flat on his beard. Proceed with contained excitement.
Tight End Streamer of the Week: Chris Herndon (NYJ) vs. Miami Dolphins
Let me preface that the entire pool of possible streaming tight ends with the movie Fright Night. Whoever you decide to put in your starting lineup this week will be scary and suck you dry. Even “sure things” like David Njoku, Ben Watson, and C.J. Uzomah got people nothing this week. Yes, nada. They transformed into the apparitions that might haunt many of us for weeks on end. This week I am recommending Herndon with extreme caution.
He has somehow been The Conjuring, having the ability to magically score a touchdown in each of his last three games. In only one game has Herndon garnered more than two targets, so if you do decide to pick him as your tight end du jour just know that the party will end sometime. Hopefully not this week as he is my streamer of the week. However, don’t be surprised if Mr. Herndon decides to magically disappear.
What is giving me some kind of hope is the defense he is playing. Miami has been horrific on defense. They have given up at least 20 points a game in all of their games except one. Unfortunately, that game was against the Jets in Week 2. To be fair though, Miami has looked much worse of late. They have given up the 13th-most points to tight ends in 2018 including two touchdowns last week to rookie unknown Jordan Thomas. There are three tight ends on the Jets, but Herndon seems to be the one Darnold trusts the most.
Ed Dickson (SEA) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Dickson’s 2018 debut was last week, and he managed to have two receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown. Not bad considering he has never played with Russell Wilson before. With rookie sensation Will Dissly out for the remainder of the season and only having to compete with a below replacement tight end in Nick Vannett, I feel that Dickson has the best chance to be somewhat productive the rest of the way.
I am not expecting him to get double-digit targets or score every week, but with his experience as a serviceable tight end, Dickson is one of the more dependable tight ends out there that will make sure you don’t end up with a big fat zero. At least Seattle’s offense is looking more positive going forward, and Wilson could be the Re-Animator to help propel Dickson to some fantasy relevance and consistency.
Dark Horse: Hayden Hurst (BAL) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Hurst had himself a decent game against the Carolina Panthers. He had two receptions in Week 8 but most importantly also scored a touchdown. I am pretty hesitant to recommend Hurst who is just one of four tight ends that have been used this year in Baltimore. This rookie does have the first-round pedigree, but was out-targeted by fellow rookie Mark Andrews. Many believe that Hurst is the better all-around tight end, with some believing the Andrews is the better pass-catcher. However, sometimes Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle end up being the most used in a game.
In the end, I have to refer to the entire Ravens tight end core as Paranormal Activity. Why I am leaning towards Hurst over the other three is he was drafted in the first round for a reason and, despite missing the beginning of the season, seems to be acclimatizing to Flacco and the Ravens offense and could as early as this week pull himself ahead of the rest. Pittsburgh is a good matchup for tight ends as well. The Steelers are ranked the third-easiest defense in 2018 regarding tight end production.
Let us just hope that all of the above recommendations find the end zone, not the Dead Zone. You might want to go with your gut to Let the Right One In. Hopefully deciding who to choose won’t make you Psycho. I do hope it will not end in Misery for you. Instead, one of them will enable you to Get Out ahead of your competition and lead you to victory.