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CORNERING THE MARKET: Week 7 Streaming CB Plays

When it comes to streaming cornerbacks, matchups play a huge role. And when it comes to matchups at the cornerback position this year, no one holds a candle to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Not only have the Bucs allowed the most fantasy points per game to defensive backs this year in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring, but in the Deathmatch IDP Showcase League at Fantasy Sharks (an IDP league that requires a weekly starter at the position) the Buccaneers are allowing the most fantasy points per game to cornerbacks by a sizable margin.

It doesn’t exactly take a rocket surgeon to figure out why. Tampa ranks third in the NFL at 41.4 pass attempts per game. Only Ryan Fitzpatrick of the New York Jets has tossed more interceptions than Jameis Winston. And no wide receiver in the NFC has been targeted more this year than Mike Evans.

In other words, IDP owners in CB-required formats most assuredly want a piece of the player who will be tasked with covering Evans in a given week. In Week 7, that job will fall to Tramaine Brock of the San Francisco 49ers, who leads the NFC with four touchdown catches allowed in 2016.

Despite that, 49ers defensive coordinator Jim O’ Neill told David Fucillo of SB Nation he still has confidence in the 28-year-old. “Yeah, I know Brock’s been hit on a couple touchdowns and the one thing I’ll say is, a lot of times in our defense, Brock absorbs the hardest job play in and play out,” O’Neill said. “He’s given up some, but he’s also made a lot of plays for us. So, I wish Brock would have made a couple of those plays, but again, he’s made a lot of plays for our defense. He’s going to continue to be a big part of what we do defensively. So, I’m not down on him at all.”

IDP owners shouldn’t be down on Brock, either. In fact, if you need a spot starter at cornerback you should be down with him. Evans is averaging almost 12 targets a game — and every one of those targets is an opportunity for Brock to produce.

If you can’t get a seat on the Tramaine train, here are a few other streaming options at cornerback to consider.

 

E.J. Gaines/Troy Hill, Los Angeles Rams (vs. NYG)

After missing all of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 to injuries, Gaines is back in the starting lineup for the Rams. He told Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles News he feels he’s rounding back into form. “I feel like, every game, I’m getting it a little more back and getting back into the swing of things,” Gaines said. “After you sit out a whole year, it takes a while, but I’m just trying to make as many plays as I can for this defense.”

Hill, on the other hand, has been forced into the lineup by the sprained ankle suffered by Trumaine Johnson. Hill assured Gary Klein of the L.A. Times he’s up to the task. “I’ve just got to play the game and not try to make the big plays,” he said. “Just stay calm and just stay focused and stick to my technique and fundamentals and let it come to me.”

In their Week 6 loss to Detroit, it was Hill who had the bigger game from a statistical perspective, out-tackling Gaines eight to five. With Odell Beckham and the Giants on tap Sunday morning in London, both young cornerbacks have potential as streamers, with Hill the preferable option of the pair.

 

Deshawn Shead, Seattle Seahawks (at AZ)

Shead told John Boyle of the team’s website, that playing opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman can be both blessing and curse. “When you have one of the best to ever play the game on one side of the field, I anticipate teams coming at me a lot, so I try to do my best job of eliminating some of those passes,” said Shead. “In this league, you have to have that short memory as a corner. They game-plan for us as well, they know some of our tendencies and we know theirs, so sometimes they’re going to catch the ball, but you’ve got to have that short-term memory, because there’s going to be another play.

Shead has also rapidly become IDP-relevant, racking up at least seven solos in two of his last three games. It’s Shead, and not Richard Sherman, who will likely spend the majority of Sunday night’s big NFC West showdown covering Larry Fitzgerald given how much time the veteran wideout spends in the slot at this point in his career. That should mean plenty of opportunities for Shead in Week 7 — Fitz has been targeted just under nine times per game this season.

 

Jamar Taylor, Cleveland Browns (at CIN)

The Browns enter Week 7’s matchup with their cross-state rivals as the only winless team in the NFL, but Taylor told Matthew Florjancic of WKYC-TV that his preparation for each week is the same. “Every time that you get an opportunity to play and I’m healthy and I can be out there, you have to realize how blessed you are. I’m excited every week,” Taylor said. “I’m not pumping this game up bigger than what it needs to be. I know as a team we need the win. It is bigger than me, and that is all I’m worried about.”

This isn’t just any game for Taylor and the Browns secondary, though. With star cornerback Joe Haden doubtful with an injured groin after missing practice all week, Cleveland will be short-handed when they face a Bengals squad in desperate need of a win. That injury leaves it to Taylor to defend Bengals wideout A.J. Green, who has been thrown at more times this season than any wide receiver in the National Football League not named Antonio Brown.

It’s probably going to be a long day for Taylor and the Browns — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for IDP owners who choose to roll him out there.

About Gary Davenport

A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications. These publications include the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is a both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is a seven-time FSWA Award finalist and two-time winner who was named the organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year for 2017. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. Gary was one of the co-founders of, and Head Writer at, Fantasy Football Oasis before joining Fantasy Sharks as an IDP Senior Staff Writer in 2011. He knows football. Or so he's heard.