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Fantasy football streaming pickups for Week 9

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Each week of the NFL season, we will identify fantasy football waiver wire pickups specifically for those of you looking for streaming options in deeper formats (including IDP leagues). These are players available in a majority of ESPN Fantasy leagues (or close) who have enticing matchups in the week ahead that make them worthy of consideration for your lineups.

While you might notice some overlap with Field Yates’ pickup column that publishes on Mondays, an important distinction is that the options mentioned in this column are focused solely on this week’s matchup and not the players’ values for the remainder of the season.

Quarterback

Taysom Hill, QB, New Orleans Saints vs. Falcons (0.9% rostered)

Because of Winston’s torn ACL and damaged MCL, the Saints were forced to turn to Trevor Siemian to finish last week’s game against the Buccaneers. Despite not playing since Week 5 because of a concussion, Hill is expected to be the starter this week against the Atlanta Falcons. During the four games Hill started last season, he averaged 208.5 passing yards and 52.8 rushing yards. Averaging 28.5 pass attempts per game during that span, he completed 72% of them. Furthermore, Hill averaged almost 10 rushing attempts per game. The Falcons’ defense (21.25) allows the fifth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. Look no further than Hill if you are searching for an upside QB streamer.

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins vs. Texans (36.2%)

In spite of ups and downs for the Dolphins, Brian Flores continues to publicly support Tagovailoa. Since Week 6, the second-year quarterback has averaged 23.8 fantasy points per game. Even after a tough performance against the Buffalo Bills, Tagovailoa should have a much better showing this week against a Texans defense that has been a fantasy bonanza for quarterbacks for quite a while now. Matthew Stafford, Kyler Murray, Carson Wentz, Mac Jones and Josh Allen have averaged 21.38 points per game against Houston over the last five games.

Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears vs. Texans (17%)

In terms of total completions, Fields’ last two games were his best. Fields has thrown touchdown passes in three of his last four games. He completed 19 of 27 passes for 175 yards in Week 8. In addition, Fields carried the ball 10 times for 103 yards in his best fantasy point performance (27.1) of his young career. With the Bears providing him more opportunities as a rusher, he makes for an attractive streaming option this week against the Steelers. Over the last five games, Pittsburgh’s defense has allowed Baker Mayfield, Geno Smith, Teddy Bridgewater, Aaron Rodgers and Joe Burrow to average 18.7 points per game. The rookie could surpass that mark in Week 9.

Running back

Mark Ingram II, RB, New Orleans vs. Falcons (25%)

Last Friday, Ingram signed a one-year, $2.8 million contract extension with the Saints, and his familiarity with New Orleans’ offensive scheme allowed him to play a change-up role against the Buccaneers. Ingram rushed six times (one in the red zone) for 27 yards and added two receptions for 25 yards. From the time Sean Payton took over the Saints in 2006, the team has relied heavily on its running backs, so looking at former Saints back Latavius Murray may provide the best harbinger of Ingram’s opportunity; between 2019 and 2020, Murray had an average of 11.6 opportunities per game. Ingram should be able to provide fantasy managers with flex/RB3 value this week against a Falcons defense that allows the seventh-most points per game to running backs.

Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chargers (4.9%)

As a result of Miles Sanders‘ ankle injury, the Eagles placed him on injured reserve on Friday. Last week against the Lions, Kenneth Gainwell was expected to see a steady amount of touches. The optimism slowly dwindled with reports that Jordan Howard practiced with the Eagles’ starters and then Scott’s strong performance on Sunday. He rushed 12 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns against Detroit, playing 45% of the snaps. With the Chargers allowing the fifth-most points per game to running backs, Scott is on the RB3/flex radar with upside against a vulnerable Chargers defense that allowed Damien Harris to turn 23 rushing attempts into 80 yards and a touchdown last week.

Wide receiver

Gabriel Davis, RB, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chargers (4.9%)

Last week, Davis caught four of five targets for 29 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins. He tied his season-high in targets (5) as the Bills used more four-wide receiver sets. In terms of passing yards (276.3) and attempts (39.3), Buffalo ranks sixth in both categories. With the Jacksonville Jaguars allowing the seventh most points per game to receivers, Davis should see a similar volume of targets this week.

Tight end

Tyler Conklin, TE, Minnesota Vikings at Ravens (17.6%)

Conklin has averaged five targets per game over Minnesota’s last four games. Essentially, he’s operating as the Vikings’ third receiving option averaging 7.8 points per game. In this week’s matchup, Conklin faces a Baltimore Ravens defense that has allowed some impressive fantasy performances in recent weeks from C.J. Uzomah (24.1), Jared Cook (12.5), Mo Alie-Cox (8) and Noah Fant (16.6).

Josiah Deguara, TE, Green Bay Packers at Chiefs (0.1% rostered)

Robert Tonyan suffered an ACL injury last week and is out for the season. He had 28 targets, 18 receptions and 204 receiving yards through eight games and Deguara will be expected to fill the void. He will face a Chiefs defense that has given up the second most points to tight ends. On Monday Night Football against the Giants, this defense allowed two touchdowns to Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph, and we all know how proficient Aaron Rodgers is in the red zone.

Defense/special teams

Green Bay Packers at Chiefs (31.3%)

This season, the Chiefs have turned the football over 19 times and have allowed Patrick Mahomes to be sacked 16 times. As a result of Kansas City’s franchise quarterback’s pressing, disastrous results have occurred at times. Mahomes and the Chiefs face a Packers defense that is coming off of a two-sack, three-takeaway game against the Cardinals. If you need a streamer this week, you can depend on the Packers.

Miami Dolphins vs. Texans (11.7%)

The Dolphins’ defense will take on a Texans offense that ranks 31st in total yards (281.1) and points scored (30.1). Miami’s pass rush should shine regardless of whether Davis Mills or Tyrod Taylor is under center.

Las Vegas Raiders at Giants (11%)

This week, the Raiders’ pass rush should pose problems for the Giants’ offensive line. The DST20 is currently averaging 5.9 points per game, but has a good chance to surpass that against the Giants this week.

Kicker

Michael Badgley, K, Indianapolis Colts vs. Jets (8.4% rostered)

Since joining the Colts, Badgley has converted all three field goals and 11 extra points. He faces a Jets defense (10.86 points per game) allowing the second most points to kickers this season.

Jake Elliott, K, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chargers (1.6% rostered)

On Sunday, Elliott made all three of his field-goal attempts and added five extra points. With the Chargers’ defense allowing the fifth most points (9) to kickers per game, this momentum should continue.

Individual Defensive Players (IDP)

Defensive Line

Zach Allen, DT, Arizona Cardinals at 49ers (0.2% rostered)

Allen is in a unique position to step up for the Cardinals now that J.J. Watt is out for the season. Last week he played a season-high 78% of snaps and had a sack in each game over the last two weeks.

Linebacker

Baron Browning, DT, Denver Broncos at Cowboys (0.4% rostered)

It appears that Browning has been appointed the Broncos’ LB1. His eight tackles, including one for a loss, showed his talent and ability last week.

Defensive Back

Brandon Jones, S, Miami Dolphins vs. Texans (1.4% rostered)

Last week, Jones rushed the passer a career-high 18 times while playing 96% of the snaps against the Texans. This is exactly what IDP owners want from their defensive back.

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New England Patriots throw just three passes, dominate on the ground in win over Buffalo Bills

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Taking the ball out of rookie quarterback Mac Jones‘ hands in wind gusts over 40 miles per hour, and relying on their running game, the New England Patriots defeated the Buffalo Bills 14-10 at Highmark Stadium on Monday night to enter their bye week as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Overall, Jones was just 2-of-3 for 19 yards, while the Patriots ran for 222 yards on 46 carries.

The three passing attempts are the fewest ever in Patriots history, while the two completions match their fewest, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The three pass attempts were the fewest by any team since the Bills attempted just two in Week 3 of the 1974 season (vs. the New York Jets).

The Patriots’ fewest pass attempts in a game was previously five, which came in the 1982 “Snow Plow” game against the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Massachusetts – a game played in a driving snowstorm that was scoreless in the fourth quarter when stadium worker Mark Henderson drove a tractor on to the field to clear a spot for the only field goal of the game.

The Patriots improve to 9-4, with the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs all 8-4. The Bills, meanwhile, drop to 7-5 and their margin for error to win the AFC East has been thinned.

Jones threw just one pass in the first half — when the Patriots led 11-7 at the break — and completed it for 12 yards. The pass sailed high in the wind and tight end Jonnu Smith pulled it down.

That was the fewest first-half pass attempts by a team since at least 1978, which is as far back as data is available, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The previous record was two, which happened three times, most recently by the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14 of 2017 — also in Buffalo, in snowy conditions.

Overall, Jones’ only other completion was a screen pass in the fourth quarter.

The only other games in Patriots history in which they completed just two passes came in December of 1982, and November of 1969 — both against the Miami Dolphins.

Their one passing first down tied for the second fewest in franchise history, and was their fewest since Dec. 4, 1983. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the last team in the NFL that won a game with one or fewer passing first downs, doing so in 2010 with Dennis Dixon as their quarterback.

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Potential No. 1 pick Kayvon Thibodeaux to declare for NFL draft, skip Oregon Ducks’ bowl game

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Star Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is declaring for the NFL draft, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.

Thibodeaux will not play in the Ducks’ bowl game, a matchup against No. 16 Oklahoma in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29, and instead will start preparing for the draft, sources said.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has Thibodeaux rated No. 1 overall in his latest Big Board. Fellow ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has him as the No. 2-rated prospect in this year’s draft class.

The 6-foot-5 Thibodeaux was the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2019 and a first-team All-Pac-12 selection last year after arriving at Oregon as the No. 1-ranked player in the class of 2019. He played 10 games this season — an ankle injury slowed him up early — and finished with seven sacks and 49 total tackles.

Thibodeaux was also at the forefront of players’ ability to capitalize on their name, image and likeness. He signed a handful of deals, including one with Ebay, another with United Airlines and a six-figure memorabilia deal. He also released an NFT in partnership with Nike founder Phil Knight and sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield that sold for $100 per unit. In September, he launched his own cryptocurrency called $JREAM.

Thibodeaux’s early exit came on the same day Mario Cristobal left Oregon to take the head-coaching position at Miami.

Information from ESPN’s Paolo Uggetti was used in this report.

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New York Giants QB Daniel Jones (neck) unlikely to play vs. Los Angeles Chargers, sources say

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After further visits with team doctors and specialists to have his neck injury evaluated, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is unlikely to play Sunday vs. the Los Angeles Chargers, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Jones missed Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins. He was injured the previous week in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants (4-8) remain hopeful he won’t miss much more time and will return this season.

Mike Glennon started in Jones’ place on Sunday, but was diagnosed with a concussion after the contest. That puts newly acquired quarterback Jake Fromm potentially in line to start against the Chargers. It only adds to questions about whether Jones has done enough in his first three professional seasons to convince the Giants — and potentially a new general manager — that he is a true franchise quarterback they should build around.

Fromm, a University of Georgia standout, was signed off the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad last week. He has never played in an NFL game and could be making his first start 11 days after joining the team.

“It’s the beauty of the NFL. It’s next man up. Jake is getting his opportunity,” said Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas, who was also his teammate at Georgia. “I’m excited for him to get his chance. But like I said, next man up, and we’re doing everything to help him.”

The Giants also have former Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke on their practice squad. He seems to have been immediately jumped by Fromm on the depth chart.

Judge said that Fromm would be next in line this week at practice with Jones and Glennon sidelined. The Giants might still add additional contingencies.

“We’re talking internally about a lot of options personnel-wise to see what we can do and build in depth for a multitude of reasons,” coach Joe Judge said.

Judge said after the game in Miami that Glennon would remain the starter if healthy while Jones remained sidelined. But Glennon’s status is in doubt and might not be decided until late this week.

He’s currently in the concussion protocol.

“The optimistic view would be to have [Glennon] ready for the game on Sunday,” Judge said during a Monday afternoon conference call from Arizona, where the Giants are practicing this week.

New York is also dealing with COVID-19 issues. Offensive lineman Wes Martin and quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski tested positive on Monday, per Judge.

Martin was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday afternoon. Schuplinski was involved in meetings virtually throughout the day as the Giants try to get Fromm coached up quickly for a potential start.

Having Fromm start would provide some limitations.

“For a guy who has only been in your system for a couple days, you have to go ahead and select more of a menu what he can operate with in a game,” Judge said. “That is not always based on what he’s capable of with his ability, it’s just based on being new in a scheme and system and what he’s comfortable going out there and playing aggressively and making the right decisions within.”

Fromm has crammed hard since joining the Giants. He stayed after practice on Friday last week and did extra work with Jones there to provide input.

The fifth-round pick by the Buffalo Bills last year has made a positive first impression.

“He’s an intelligent guy. He’s demonstrated that already,” Judge said. “He has very good poise out there and he has a very good presence. Once thing that is very impressive about this guy is you talk to former teammates of his, like we did before he got in here, most of those Georgia guys, and every single one lit up and said we’d absolutely love to have that guy on the team.”

The bar won’t be especially high. The Giants failed to score a touchdown on Sunday in Miami. They have one touchdown in the two games since offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was fired.

Glennon went 23-of-44 for 187 yards with an interception against the Dolphins.

Jones has completed 64.3% of his passes for 2,428 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season.

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