Since Alex Gelhar already masterfully identified some of the top waiver-wire targets ahead of Week 8, and Matt Harmon examined top deep league adds in his deep dive, it's my job to provide some streaming candidates at quarterback, tight end and defense for the upcoming slate of game. Keep in mind, most of these players/teams are bottom-of-the-barrel targets for deep leagues, and I'm not saying they're going to be top scorers at their position, but they should do enough to keep your team competitive in Week 8 if you need some assistance. So, let's get to it.
Andy Dalton vs Colts | 23.4% owned: Your fantasy league pals might be running from Andy Dalton after a wretched performance on the road against the Steelers in Week 7. The Bengals generated just 19 yards of offense in the second half as Pittsburgh's defense tormented Dalton into two picks in the game and sacked him four times after halftime. But a return home in Week 8 is a solid bounce-back opportunity for the Bengals quarterback. Dalton will go up against a Colts defense that is allowing more points per game to opposing offenses than any other team in the NFL (31.7). Indianapolis is one of only two teams (Patriots) that's allowed over 300 pass yards per game and they lost talented rookie defensive back Malik Hooker to a torn ACL last week, further weakening a secondary that was already less than mediocre. Dalton is set up nicely for a big game in Week 8, so put a claim in if he's available.
Josh McCown vs Falcons | 1.6% owned:Josh McCown's been hot in recent weeks, and is a streaming candidate again for Week 8. The Jets quarterback has logged at least 20 fantasy points in each of his last two games, his latest victim being the Miami Dolphins against whom he tossed three touchdown passes and rushed for one. Leading up to Week 7, Miami had been solid against opposing quarterbacks, too, allowing just five touchdown passes in the last four weeks.
McCown gets a middle-of-the-pack Falcons pass defense at home in Week 8. On paper, the Falcons are a top half team in terms of limiting opposing fantasy quarterbacks (15.06 fppg allowed). But Atlanta's only real challenges came against Aaron Rodgers in Week 2 (18.52 points) and Tom Brady in Week 7 (18.46 points). The other quarterbacks they have faced include Mike Glennon who lost his job to a rookie, Matthew Stafford who has averaged 13 fantasy points per game after Week 1, Tyrod Taylor who is averaging 14.8 points per game on the season and Jay Cutler who hasn't posted a single outing with more than 13 fantasy points.
On the flipside, McCown has posted three top-15 fantasy games in his last three outings, one top-10 game and one top-five contest last week against Miami. He's shown a real connection with Jermaine Kearse, Robby Anderson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins in recent weeks, and there's no reason that can't continue to build on Sunday. We've reached a point in the season where bye weeks and injuries at the quarterback position have created a scenario in which McCown could legitimately be a top-five option for the second straight week.
Matt Moore at Ravens (TNF) | 0.1% owned:Jay Cutler suffered a rib injury against the Jets in Week 7, and is slated to miss at least a couple of weeks pending further testing this week. When he left the game with 12:55 left in the third quarter Sunday, Matt Moore slid in under center for Miami, and ended up leading the Dolphins to a comeback win against New York. Moore helped his team out-score the Jets 17-7 in the fourth quarter, throwing for 188 yards, two touchdown passes and one pick. His 13.52 fantasy points in less than two quarters of work was more than Cutler has posted in any full game this entire season. Moore's matchup, on a short week, on the road in Baltimore, is not a favorable one. So if you're streaming him, you will have to temper expectations. The Ravens lone bright spot this season has been the pass defense, limiting opposing quarterbacks to 189 pass yards per game. Baltimore's defense is allowing an average of 10.27 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, which is third-lowest in the league behind only Pittsburgh and Jacksonville. But if there's a silver lining here, its that Baltimore hasn't exactly faced a murder's row of opposing signal callers, as Alex Gelhar pointed out.
C.J. Beathard vs Eagles | 0.1% owned: If you're desperate, Beathard is a deep option in Week 8. We'll see how the Eagles defense handles Kirk Cousins on Monday night, but overall this season, the unit hasn't been very solid against opposing quarterbacks. Philadelphia has allowed four top-12 fantasy quarterback performances in six games so far this year, and is allowing 17.59 fantasy points per game to the position, 11th most in the league, heading into Monday night. The Iowa product held his own in his first career start in Week 7 against the Cowboys. And while he didn't throw a touchdown pass, he did run one in. He threw for 235 yards and a respectable 14.40 fantasy points, a top-15 finish for the week. So, in his last two games, the rookie has posted 13 and 14 fantasy points in less than ideal situations. The majority of his appeal comes from his passing volume. With the 49ers defense struggling, Beathard has attempted over 35 passes in the last two weeks. Who's to say he can't keep it going against a questionable Eagles secondary in Week 8? Beathard represents a desperation play if you're in need.
Tyler Kroft vs Colts | 2.1% owned: With Tyler Eifert out for the season, Tyler Kroft is the Bengals top pass-catching tight end. He scored a touchdown in Week 7 against the Steelers in what was a disaster of a game for Cincinnati's offense, which is promising for his outlook going forward. All three of his red zone targets on the season have been converted into touchdowns, and he's averaging 4.6 targets over his last three games, with all three touchdowns in that span. His 98 percent snap share is promising for his Week 8 outlook as the Bengals play a Colts pass defense that ranks as the second worst in the NFL.
O.J. Howard vs Panthers | 7.3% owned: The Billsforgot to coverO.J. Howard in Week 7. Twice, to be exact. He scored two touchdowns and led the team with 98 receiving yards. This kind of performance shouldn't be expected every week, but it's a sign that perhaps the team has found a way to get the rookie involved more so than he was early in the season. Howard was on the field for 49 snaps compared to Cameron Brate's 38, and much of that likely has to do with Howard's blocking assignments. Brate remains one of Jameis Winston's top red zone targets along with Mike Evans, and there are a lot of mouths to feed in this passing attack. But Howard has earned himself more looks and is worth an add ahead of a Week 8 game against the Panthers. Carolina has given up four touchdowns to tight ends in the last three weeks, so Howard makes for an intriguing streaming option with big-play ability as we saw against the Bills.
George Kittle at Eagles | 2.0% owned: Kittle only saw two targets in Week 7, but was averaging 8.5 targets per game in the two contests prior. The Iowa connection between Kittle and his former college quarterback, C.J. Beathard, didn't pan out against Dallas in what was a high-volume passing game for the 49ers, as they were losing big nearly the entire game. That's somewhat of a concern but it makes sense seeing as his playing time took a hit from about 90 percent of snaps in Week 6 to roughly 48 percent of snaps in Week 7 because of the blowout -- he didn't play a single snap in the fourth quarter. Kittle remains on the streaming radar this week, but keep expectations tempered.
Miami Dolphins D/ST at Ravens (TNF) | 4.3% owned: The Ravens offense is a team to target for streaming defenses because it is not a productive one. Joe Flacco has yet to throw for more than 235 yards in a game, and has averaged 183 pass yards in his last two contests. With his receiving corps nearly non-existent (Jeremy Maclin-shoulder, Mike Wallace-concussion) Flacco has thrown two touchdown passes in his last five games. That all bodes well for a Miami defense that is allowing just 18.7 points per game to opposing offenses, a top-five mark in the league.
New Orleans Saints D/ST vs Bears | 30.6% owned: The Chicago Bears have one, maybe two offensive weapons. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen pose the only legitimate threat to opposing defenses. If New Orleans can find a way to limit the Bears ground attack, they should have no problem putting up a solid fantasy stat line on Sunday. Chicago's coaching staff has handcuffed rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, as he's completed just 12 pass attempts in his last two games combined. If the Saints can get out to a lead early on in the Superdome and force Trubisky to get into a throwing game script, it could get ugly quickly. The Saints defense has racked up six sacks and six turnovers in its last two games.
Philadelphia Eagles D/ST vs 49ers | 28.6% owned: The Eagles D/ST has been consistently decent in fantasy, with eight points in each of its last two games. In Week 8, Philly welcomes the 49ers in from the West Coast for an early game, which is already going in the Eagles' favor. When you factor in that rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard is starting his second career game and failed to throw a touchdown pass last week, you can see why the Eagles defense is worth streaming consideration. In their last three games, the Eagles D/ST has totaled six sacks and recovered five turnovers. Philadelphia represents a great floor play for fantasy owners in Week 8.
Cincinnati Bengals D/ST vs Colts | 9.2% owned: The Bengals defense had its worst outing (-1 fantasy points) of the season against the Steelers in Week 7. But just like its offense, Cincinnati's defense is in a prime bounce-back spot against a struggling Colts team in Week 8. No team in the NFL is allowing more points per game to opposing D/STs than Indianapolis (13.14). The Colts lead the league with 29 sacks against them. Weaknesses in the offensive came to light in Week 7 when the Jaguars sacked Jacoby Brissett 10 times. The Colts quarterback has now thrown just a single touchdown pass in his last three games and T.Y. Hilton is the only real threat in the Colts offense. If the Bengals can lock him up the way the Titans and Jaguars have the last two games, it should be a high-scoring game for Cincinnati's defense in fantasy.