Week 8 Fantasy Football Quarterback Streaming: Targeting Tampa Bay
Are you still streaming quarterbacks? Just need a bye week fill-in for Colin Kaepernick this weekend? You've come to the right place. Here are five waiver wire options to get you through this week in fantasy football, starting with a rookie facing the best matchup of his young career.
Teddy Bridgewater (vs. Tampa Bay)
Until further notice, starting a quarterback against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is your optimal streaming strategy on a weekly basis. The Bucs have the worst pass defense in the league by quite a wide margin (over three touchdowns worth of Net Expected Points (NEP) worse than the next best team, according to our opponent-adjusted rankings), so you can almost throw Teddy Bridgewater's statistics out the window and just trust anyone with a pulse going against the Bucs.
But then consider that Bridgewater threw for over 300 yards and ran for a touchdown in a win over the awful Atlanta defense, and you can see the clear path to a very good day for the Louisville product. His performances against the Lions (third-best pass defense) and Bills (11th-best pass defense) aren't really comparable to the Swiss cheese coverage he'll face in Tampa this weekend.
Ryan Tannehill (vs. Jacksonville)
Jacksonville currently sits 10 spots higher in our pass defense rankings than the Buccaneers, but that's partially due to their ability to limit some of the league's worst quarterbacks over the past two weeks (they faced the Titans and Browns). Prior to that, the Jags were allowing good fantasy production through the air to everyone, including the now benched Kirk Cousins.
Ryan Tannehill is quite a good margin ahead of the low-tier quarterbacks who struggled against the Jaguars, as he's actually a couple of spots ahead of Nick Foles in our Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) rankings (the same Foles who led a second-half comeback against the Jaguars in Week 1). Our team rankings have the Jaguars last in the NFL, and our nERD calculation projects them to lose to an average NFL team by over 11 points. The Dolphins should roll in this matchup, and Tannehill will lead the way.
Carson Palmer (vs. Philadelphia)
The Philadelphia Eagles currently rank 10th in our pass defense rankings, which would seem like a tough matchup for a streaming quarterback. But their ranking is bolstered by opportunistic turnovers and a dominant game against Eli Manning and the Giants, and isn't reflective of the fantasy output they allow. Think back to Week 1, when Allen Hurns and Chad Henne combined to torch the Eagles multiple times in what would be a closer-than-expected game.
This weekend the Eagles face the Cardinals and a seemingly healthy Carson Palmer. Palmer ranks 13th in our quarterback NEP data, which means he's more than capable of lighting up a defense that allowed 260 yards and two scores to Henne, and 427 yards and three scores to Colt McCoy's backup, Kirk Cousins.
Alex Smith (vs. St. Louis)
The Rams have been one of the most disappointing teams this season, as their defense hasn't lived up to preseason expectations at all. They currently sit as the fourth-worst pass defending unit in the league (according to our data), and have allowed consecutive weeks of 300-plus yards and 3 total touchdowns to opposing signal callers.
Those quarterbacks were Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, who are both among the more athletic players at the position, and this week the Rams face Alex Smith, who is also among the most athletic quarterbacks in the league. Smith is currently the ninth-best player at the quarterback position per our numbers, and should have a field day running and throwing against the Rams porous defense.
Kyle Orton (vs. New York Jets)
Kyle Orton has started one fewer game than E.J. Manuel this season, but has already completed more passes than the former first-round rookie from FSU. The Bills trust Orton to throw the ball early and often, and that's valuable for quarterback streamers in fantasy football. The Purdue grad has thrown 43, 38 and 43 passes in his three starts, and is completing nearly 70 percent of those throws.
This week he faces the New York Jets, which currently rank in the bottom half of our pass defending rankings. It's not the best matchup in the world, but it's certainly good enough for a quarterback with that much volume. Orton is almost guaranteed 250 yards and a touchdown based on volume alone, and the matchup isn't too difficult to prevent him from more than that.