As Week 8 arrives, we are right in the heart of the fantasy season. Our decisions are never more critical than they are right now. One right or wrong decision in the middle of the season can be the difference between missing or making the playoffs. Crossing the Streams is here to help!
This article aims to help you with those tough decisions at kicker and/or D/ST. For the purposes of this column, I will be avoiding any options ranked inside the top 12 by Fantasy Pros ECR on the start side of things. Those options are easy calls and are unlikely to be helpful. I’m going to look into the deeper options to help those hampered by matchup or bye-week issues.
Defences/Special Teams (Start’em)
Miami Dolphins vs. NE
The Dolphins currently rank as DST13 on the season but are a solid start this week against a Patriots team that allows 12.1 fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs, the third most in the NFL. Miami has 6 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 3 interceptions, 24 sacks and 1 touchdown through seven weeks.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. CHI
The Chargers currently rank as DST 30 on the season and have been terrible. This week they face a Bears squad allowing 11.4 fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs, the 4th most in the NFL. Los Angeles has 4 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 4 interceptions, 22 sacks and 0 touchdowns through seven weeks.
Seattle Seahawks vs. CLE
The Seahawks currently rank as DST8 on the season and have been a pleasant surprise. They matchup with a Browns team allowing 11.2 fantasy points to opposing DSTs, the 5th most in the NFL. Seattle has 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 4 interceptions, 23 sacks and 2 touchdowns through seven weeks.
Houston Texans vs. CAR
The Texans currently rank as DST19 but seem to be improving as the season progresses. In Week 8 they face a Panthers team allowing 8.5 fantasy points to opposing DSTs, the 8th most in the NFL. Houston has 7 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 4 interceptions, 9 sacks and 0 touchdowns.
Blake Grupe, NO vs. IND
Grupe has been surprisingly consistent for the Saints this year and ranks a PK8 on the season. They face the Colts this season who have been the best matchup for opposing kickers, allowing 12.9 fantasy points per game. Grupe is 16 for 20 on field goals, 11 for 11 on extra points and has added in 4 field goals from 40+ yards, and 3 from 50+ yards.
Riley Patterson, DET vs. LV
Patterson won the Lions kicker job in the preseason and has been decent throughout the season. He ranks as PK28 currently and has been hit-and-miss this season. He faces the Raiders this week who are allowing 10.3 fantasy points per game to opposing kickers, 5th most in the NFL. Patterson is 7 for 8 on field goals, and 21 for 21 on extra points, but is yet to hit a field goal from beyond 40 yards.
Graham Gano, NYG vs. NYJ
Gano and the Giants have struggled mightily this season and it has shown in his fantasy value as he currently ranks as PK29. This week he squares off with the Jets who are allowing 10.2 fantasy points per game to opposing kickers, the 6th most in the NFL. He is 10 for 14 on field goals this season and 7 for 7 on extra points. He has also added in 3 field goals from 40+ yards and 3 from 50+ yards.
Cameron Dicker, LAC vs. CHI
Dicker won the Chargers kicker job from Dustin Hopkins but has not been good in his place. He currently ranks as DST27. This week he faces a Bears squad allowing 9.4 fantasy points to opposing DSTs, 9th most in the NFL. He is 8 for 9 on field goals and 16 for 16 on extra points. He has yet to hit a 40-50-yard field goal but has hit twice from 50+ yards.