As Week 9 arrives, we are right in the heart of the fantasy season. Our decisions are never more critical than they are right now. One 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 D/ST. For the purposes of this column, I will be avoiding any options ranked inside the top 12 by Fantasy Pros ECR. 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)
Las Vegas Raiders vs. NYG
The Raiders currently rank as DST27 on the season and have been nothing short of terrible this season, so this one is a case of trusting the matchup. I’m choosing to stream them this week against a Giants offence that allows 14.3 fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs. That’s the most in the NFL. Las Vegas has 16 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 6 interceptions and 1 touchdown through eight weeks.
Washington Commanders vs. NE
The Commanders currently rank as DST22 on the season and have a hot and cold defensive unit that has been extremely matchup-dependent. This week they square off with a Patriots offence that allows 11.4 fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs. That’s the 2nd most in the NFL. Washington has 25 tackles, 7 forced fumbles, 6 fumble recoveries, 5 interceptions and 0 touchdowns through eight weeks.
Indianapolis Colts vs. CAR
The Colts currently rank as DST24 on the season and have been a largely disappointing squad that has underperformed as of late after a great opening month of the season. This week they face a Panthers offence that allows 8.3 fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs. That’s the 8th most in the NFL. Indianapolis has 21 tackles, 9 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 6 interceptions and 1 touchdown through eight weeks.
New York Giants vs. LV
The Giants currently rank as DST23 and have been solid as of late after a horrible start to the season that had them categorized as completely unplayable. This week they get a matchup with a Raiders offence that is almost as bad as their offence. The Raiders are allowing 8.3 fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs, the 10th most in the NFL. New York has 15 tackles, 5 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 4 interceptions and 1 touchdown through eight weeks.
Eddy Pineiro, CAR vs. IND
Pineiro has been slightly above average but not spectacular this season. He did, however, hit a game-winning kick in Week 8 that may serve to boost his confidence. Pineiro currently ranks a PK25 on the season and is slowly moving up the rankings. He faces the Colts this week who have been the best matchup for opposing kicker. The Colts are allowing 12.3 fantasy points per game. Pineiro is 12 for 14 on field goals, 11 for 12 on extra points and has added in 4 field goals from 40+ yards, and 3 from 50+ yards.
Chad Ryland, NE vs. WSH
Ryland has not been great in his rookie season and has topped ten fantasy points only once through eight weeks. He currently ranks a PK32 on the season and ranked last among starting kickers. He faces the Commanders this week who have been the 3rd best matchup for opposing kickers. The Commanders are allowing 11.0 fantasy points per game. Ryland is 9 for 13 on field goals, 11 for 11 on extra points and has added in 4 field goals from 40+ yards, and 1 from 50+ yards.
Anders Carlson, GB vs. LAR
Carlson has been mediocre this season, he has alternated passable games with total duds and has been a huge risk to start. He hasn’t shown a truly playable ceiling this season and is more of an average streamer. Carlson currently ranks a PK31 on the season and will need to string together some solid outings to become relevant. He faces the Rams this week who have been the 4th best matchup for opposing kicker. The Rams are allowing 10.6 fantasy points per game. Carlson is 9 for 10 on field goals, 13 for 13 on extra points and has added in 0 field goals from 40+ yards, and 2 from 50+ yards.
Joey Slye, WSH vs. NE
Slye has been decent. he hasn’t killed your lineup but he hasn’t won you any weeks. He seems to rest comfortably in the 8-10 point range on a weekly basis. Slye currently ranks a PK26 and his ranking reflects his little upside. He faces the Patriots this week who have been the 7th best matchup for opposing kickers. The Patriots are allowing 10.1 fantasy points per game. Slye is 10 for 14 on field goals, 17 for 17 on extra points and has added in 2 field goals from 40+ yards, and 3 from 50+ yards.