Fantasy News & Analysis

Best Week 9 fantasy football QB/TE/DEF streamers

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) drops back to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Week 9 of the 2021 fantasy football season is here, and it’s time to identify the best streamers at the quarterback, tight end and defense/special teams positions.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the quarterback position offers multiple intriguing streamers and a potential season-long keeper in Taysom Hill.

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Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts | 56% rostered

Wentz has quietly joined the QB1 discussion, ranking 11th at the position on the season. He has only scored fewer than 17 points once this year — all the way back in Week 3. Despite a 27-of-51 performance with two interceptions, Wentz was able to register a QB1 performance thanks to three touchdown passes against the Titans. He gets the benefit of a subpar New York Jets pass defense in Week 9 — the Jets are PFF’s 28th-graded defense and rank 24th in passing yards per attempt (YPA) allowed and 29th in explosive pass percentage allowed.

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins | 35% rostered

Tua may be on the trading block, but it’s not because of his fantasy performances. The second-year signal-caller has scored double-digit fantasy points in three straight games and topped 21 fantasy points twice in that time frame. Tua gets one of the best matchups on this slate with the Houston Texans up next. 

Texans Defense vs. QBs | 2021
Fantasy points allowed (Rank)
Week 1 19 (17th)
Week 2 17.5 (16th)
Week 3 25.2 (28th)
Week 4 27.3 (25th)
Week 5 11.5 (7th)
Week 6 17.0 (19th)
Week 7 21.3 (24th)
Week 8 24.4 (27th)

They’re trending in the wrong direction at the same time Tua is becoming a legitimate staring option while still available in the majority of leagues.

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints | 2% rostered

Hill is a risky addition: He’s rostered in almost no leagues and hasn’t played since Week 5 but will take over the starting quarterback job with Jameis Winston injured. He has thrown passes in just two games this season and has yet to throw the ball more than three times in a game. Still, this is a dual-threat QB who topped double-digit fantasy points eight times last season. Hill scored at least 17.5 points in every contest in which he attempted at least 16 passes in 2020. He just has a knack for finding ways to produce in fantasy leagues, even if the risk factor is higher than most of the remaining options.

Tight End

Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers | 58% rostered

As usual, the tight end position does not offer many options. Despite his inconsistency, Cook is one of the better players at the position. His 14.2% target share and 8.7 average depth of target figures are solid, but the production has been hit or miss inside a crowded Chargers passing game. Cook should have a decent chance to produce this week against the Philadelphia Eagles, who rank 24th in yards and 17th in EPA per play allowed to the position. They also rank 30th in fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends — there is a clear path to TE1 production this week.

PFF’s TE Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against individual defenders or view routes run, targets, catch rate and more.
Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers | 10% rostered

We’re now into the weeds, but Freiermuth should continue to see his playing time increase as the weeks go on. The rookie drew a start in place of Eric Ebron last week and produced a TE3 finish (prior to MNF) with 14.4 fantasy points. His productivity isn’t an accident, either, as his usage metrics were excellent and bode well for his role moving forward. 

Oct 31, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth (88) makes a touchdown reception during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Streamers are usually based on the matchup, but sometimes the players with the most consistent production and usage are the best options, regardless of the opponent.

Pat Freiermuth Efficiency Metrics |  Week 8
Figure ( Team Rank)
Target share 17.6% (2nd)
Routes run per dropback 63.9% (3rd)
Yards per route run 1.83 (4th)
Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars | 4% rostered

The Jaguars are a very bad football team, but Arnold is still a player worth targeting. His 16.9% target share is tied for third on the roster since joining the Jaguars in Week 4. He also happens to be coming off a strong eight-catch performance with 68 receiving yards. We should dial back the expectations against the Buffalo Bills, but Arnold could easily produce a top-15 week considering how weak the position is. The Bills’ defense ranks inside the top-10 in yards, touchdowns and EPA per play allowed to the position. It also ranks just 19th in average yards per play allowed.

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Defense/Special Teams

New England Patriots D/ST | 55% rostered

The Patriots are performing far too well to be rostered in just over 50% of leagues, currently sitting at DST7 with 58.0 fantasy points. It's important to chase matchups with fantasy defenses, and the Patriots have a good one with the Carolina Panthers next up on the schedule. The Panthers have just one 20-plus point performance in the past four games. During that span, they've thrown the second-most interceptions (5) and have given up the third-most sacks in the league.

New Orleans Saints D/ST | 43% rostered

The Saints should also be more widely rostered — they’re PFF’s fifth-highest graded defense throughout eight weeks. The Saints don’t have many sacks, but they rank sixth in interceptions and second in points allowed per game at 16.8. Their Week 9 opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, haven't been very turnover-prone or given up many sacks, but they’ve also been very inconsistent on offense. The Falcons rank 25th in EPA per play at -0.095 this season.

PFF’s OL/DL Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can use this chart to find advantageous fantasy football matchups for run blocking (run) or for pass blocking (pass).
Chicago Bears D/ST | 28% rostered

The Bears don’t have a cakewalk matchup with the Steelers on deck, but it's worth betting on the talent in this spot. The Week 9 slate doesn’t have many options at the defense/special teams position, and I’d be willing to bet on the best-performing units in those situations. The Steelers aren’t exactly a juggernaut, ranking 23rd in PFF offensive grade and 24th in EPA per play. They’ve scored fewer than 20 points in five of their seven games this season.

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