Unfortunately, IDP owners already missed out on at least one streaming option in CB-required IDP leagues in Week 6. That is, unless you rolled the dice on San Diego Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward on Thursday night against the Denver Broncos.
The recipe for IDP success was there. A banged-up Chargers secondary. A player in Hayward who has demonstrated some ability to produce in the past. And a Denver team that boasts one of the NFL’s best one-two punches at wide receiver in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas.
Yes, the Denver offense never really got going in a 21-13 loss that raises real questions about the Super Bowl champions. But even with the Broncos stuck in neutral Hayward put up six solos and a batted pass. As an IDP owner who used Hayward myself in the Deathmatch IDP Showcase League at Fantasy Sharks, I’ll take CB1 numbers off the scrap heap any day.
Here’s a look at some other streaming options who could enjoy similar success in Week 6.
Marcus Cooper, Arizona Cardinals (vs. NYJ)
Cooper has emerged as the every-down starter opposite Patrick Peterson for the Redbirds, and the converted wide receiver told Josh Weinfuss of ESPN his time as a wide receiver at Rutgers has helped him reel in three interceptions already in 2016. “I try to look and see what things I would do to get open if I was the receiver and just figure out what to do to stop how I would get open and go from there,” Cooper said.
Cooper’s fantasy production for the season is inflated by a massive game in Week 2, but there’s plenty of reason to think another big showing could be in the Cards (see what I did there?) Sunday against the Jets. With Peterson shadowing Brandon Marshall Cooper is likely to be targeted early and often by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has seemingly had more success completing passes to corners in 2016 than to wideouts.
Ken Crawley, New Orleans Saints (vs. CAR)
Per Nick Underhill of The Advocate, Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn thinks Crawley has played pretty well all things considered after injuries thrust the youngster into the starting lineup. “He’s been put into a position where he’s getting a lot of playing time,” Aaron Glenn said. “It’s unfortunate as a rookie, an undrafted rookie, to be put in that position, but I think he’s handled it well.”
Crawley, for his part, said his confidence is growing. “That’s from preparation — knowing what routes I’m expecting and just going out and playing them and having fun,” he said. “Not playing too tense out there. Just knowing my responsibility and matching those routes.”
The confidence of IDP owners in Crawley should be growing as well. Since moving into the starting lineup Crawley has posted 16 solo tackles, and this week he draws a highly favorable fantasy matchup with the Panthers. “Rookie Corner Rule” alert! “Rookie Corner Rule” alert!
E.J. Gaines, Los Angeles Rams (at DET)
Gaines confessed to Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News that his lost 2015 season and three-game absence to open 2016 were a hard pill to swallow. “Frustration beyond frustration,” Gaines said. “I’m a player that hates missing football games. Whether it’s a full season like last year or three games to begin this season, missing games isn’t something I want any part of. Both situations were mentally challenging and frustrating.”
Gaines has a new challenge to face now – with top corner Trumaine Johnson nicked up Gaines will be tasked with his biggest role for the Rams since he started 15 games as a rookie in 2014. For what it’s worth, in that rookie season Gaines tallied 70 total tackles and had six games with at least six solo stops. He’s already got one such effort this season.
Marcus Williams, New York Jets (at AZ)
Williams, who had seven total tackles and a pass defensed in last week’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, told Connor Hughes of NJ.com that he doesn’t know why the Jets defense is struggling – but he knows Gang Green will fix it. “I really can’t even tell you,” he said. “We’re not finishing drives,” Williams said. ‘We have to make sure guys are getting off the field on third down. From last year to this year, we’re just giving up more big plays. We’re going to keep going, fighting, and finishing until we get a complete game.”
Of course, at least part of the Jets’ defensive struggles might have something to do with the fact that neither Williams nor Darrelle Revis ranks inside the NFL’s top 85 cornerbacks at Pro Football Focus. Add those struggles to a matchup with an Arizona team that’s sixth in fantasy points allowed to cornerbacks so far this year, and you have the makings of a fat stat line.