Streaming your starting QB, TE, or D/ST isn't the goal in fantasy football. But, if you're weak at a position where you only have to start one player, picking up usable fantasy weeks from the waiver wire can be a beneficial process. In typical start-one quarterback, tight end, and D/ST 12-team formats, most of your league mates won't -- and shouldn't -- carry a backup QB or D/ST. Positional scarcity leaves the waiver wire flush with plausible weekly starting options based on their matchup and expected game-flow.
Simply put, because quarterback and defensive matchups are easier to predict and their output varies less on a weekly basis, sharp fantasy owners have an edge in their leagues if they can stream their "onesie" positions (usually their defense) better than their opponent.
With four more teams on bye (Atlanta, Dallas, LA Chargers, Tennessee), this is another important streaming week:
The on-field product has been uneven, to say the least, but Mitchell Trubisky is on a mini-hot streak of high-end fantasy finishes. Over his last three games, Trubisky has piled on QB1, QB5, and QB2 overall weeks. In this span, Trubisky has thrown for over 315 yards in each contest and compiled 3/53, 8/47, and 6/81/1 on the ground. Trubisky has missed multiple throws this season, as evidenced by his third-worst adjusted completion percentage per PFF. Trubisky's receivers have only dropped three passes, too -- the fewest in the NFL. He's far from a polished passer at this early juncture of his career, but Trubisky has another excellent chance to continue his QB1 (top-12) output in Week 8 against a Jets side that is allowing 285.0 Pass YPG (tenth-most) and gave up decent days on the ground to fellow mobile quarterbacks (8/44 to Ryan Tannehill; 4/22 to Tyrod Taylor; 3/28 to Blake Bortles).
Fresh off his QB6 (20.9 fantasy points) performance in Week 7, Mayfield draws another fantastic matchup against a struggling Steelers' secondary. Over the full year, Pittsburgh has allowed the league's fifth-highest passing TD rate (6.1 percent), they've allowed the sixth-most Pass YPG (305.2), and coughed up the seventh-most passing fantasy points per dropback (0.51). After finally syncing up with Jarvis Landry for a much-awaited big day last week (10/97/1), Landry should run wild again against Pittsburgh's shoddy slot coverage (second-most receiving YPG allowed to receivers).
If nothing else, C.J. Uzomah is playing a ton without Tyler Eifert (ankle) and Tyler Kroft (foot) healthy. Now, third-stringer Mason Schreck (knee) is also on I.R. The Bengals have no other choice but to feature Uzomah at this point. Over the last two weeks, Uzomah has been on the field for 91 and 98 percent of Bengals' snaps and parlayed his playing time into useful 6/54 and 2/13/1 receiving lines. Uzomah is far from a week-winner, but tight end is the thinnest position in fantasy this season, turning usual back-end streamers like Uzomah into weekly starters. No team is allowing more fantasy points per target to TEs than the Bucs.
If you're truly desperate going through the bye weeks, check and see if Ed Dickson is available in your league. The Seahawks lost Will Dissly (knee) for the season while Nick Vannett (back) missed Seattle's game before the bye. Dickson is returning from a groin injury and his only competition for tight end targets is Vannett, if healthy. This week, Dickson's floor is literally zero -- but, at the very least, he faces a Detroit side allowing 1.68 fantasy points per target to tight ends (ninth-most).
The most obvious play of Week 8. In Derek Anderson's first start in place of Josh Allen, he absorbed two sacks, threw three INTs, and lost a fumble. Anderson's passer rating was 39.8 as the Colts tagged 19 fantasy points on the Bills. As Rotoworld pointed out, Anderson's TD-to-INT ratio over the last ten years is 17 to 28. Load up.
I'm not entirely sure how the Raiders think they are going to score points in 2018. Derek Carr is throwing deep at the league's lowest clip (6.4 percent) and is now without the only receiver that has shown a semblance of explosion this season now that Amari Cooper is in Dallas. Oh, by the way, Marshawn Lynch (groin) is on I.R., too. The Raiders' skill group in Week 8 will be Doug Martin, Jalen Richard, Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant, Seth Roberts, and Jared Cook. Yuck. Barring a miracle turnaround from rookie T Kolton Miller -- who leads all offensive tackles in sacks allowed (7) per PFF -- the Raiders are going to remain a weekly streaming target for fantasy defenses.
No team is pressuring the quarterback more often than Washington (34.4 percent). Meanwhile, no quarterback turns into a turtle against pressure faster than Eli Manning. Seriously, when Manning faces pressure -- he has absorbed a sack 28.8 percent of the time, the ninth-highest rate in the NFL. The Giants offensive line isn't doing Manning any favors for sure, but Manning rarely sticks in the pocket and delivers a throw under duress. Per Next Gen Stats, Manning gets rid of the ball in 2.88 seconds (seventh-fastest) and averages just 5.9 scramble yards per attempt (seventh-fewest) when under pressure. With limited pocket mobility, Manning turns into a sitting duck against violent front sevens. Washington has one. After finishing as a top-12 option in three of the last four games, the Redskins D/ST may be the sneakiest fantasy play on the Week 8 slate.
Case Keenum will be a semi-popular Week 8 streamer because of two obvious reasons: The Chiefs defense and projected game-script. Now, to be fair, the Chiefs are allowing the second-most pass YPG (332.7), but they are only allowing a 3.6 percent TD rate (fifth-lowest) and an 83.2 passer rating (tenth-lowest). Essentially, the Chiefsare giving up passing yards in spades ... but that's really it. Offenses aren't torching Kansas City for scores left and right because of their still-elite front seven. The Chiefs don't blitz often (sixth-lowest rate, per Next Gen Stats) and still fire up 2.7 sacks per game (tenth-most). Keep in mind, Keenum has just one top-12 (QB1) finish this season and has finished outside of the top-20 scorers three times. Keenum has thrown one interception in every game this season and has absorbed multiple sacks in five-straight (3.0 per game in this span).