Streaming Defense: Week 3

Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF) takes a look at the top defenses you should stream in week 3.

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

Welcome back to another week of streaming defenses. In week 2, we saw some good in Tampa Bay’s defense, some bad in Washington’s outing, and some ugly in Minnesota. Here are the top-12 defensive performances from week 2:

 

Rank Team Points % Owned Sacks Interceptions Fumbles
1 Indianapolis Colts 15 40% 3 3 0
2 Baltimore Ravens 15 99% 4 1 1
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 50% 5 2 2
4 Pittsburgh Steelers 13 99% 7 1 1
5 Chicago Bears 13 93% 4 1 1
6 Green Bay Packers 12 16% 4 1 1
7 New York Giants 9 1% 4 2 0
8 Arizona Cardinals 9 47% 4 0 2
9 Los Angeles Rams 7 64% 0 2 1
10 New England Patriots 6 86% 2 1 0
11 Denver Broncos 5 37% 1 1 1
12 Tennessee Titans 5 72% 2 2 0

 

So, we did pretty well this week. Our top streamer (Tampa Bay) killed it. If we average our four choices from last week (Buccaneers, Rams, Washington, Seattle) we still came up with an average of 7 points, or good enough for 9th. We will continue to watch our stream of the week, as well as our average points, from everyone on the list. So, what can we take away from two weeks of football? Here are my biggest takeaways:

  • Minnesota is a terrible offense right now behind a struggling Kirk Cousins. You like that? No, Mr. Cousins, I do not. Minnesota is a great choice to stream against.
  • The Giants have given up an average of 10 fantasy points to defenses in their first two weeks. Full steam ahead attacking Daniel Jones and company.
  • The Jets have scored 17 and 13 points in their two games, and they are probably the best offense in the league to target with a depleted group of weapons.
  • Carson Wentz and the Eagles have been ugly en route to an 0-2 start. They give up a league-worst 11 points per game to opposing fantasy defenses.
  • Joe Burrow has had a decent start, but he was still sacked 3 times in each of his two starts. I’m guessing this continues and targeting Cincinnati should provide a safe weekly floor.

 

Moving forward, I want to keep attacking these bad offenses as much as possible. Good defenses are always nice, but I live for the struggling QB being thrown into the fire once again. With the case of Minnesota, I don’t see the passing game much improving–they don’t have any established weapons outside of Adam Thielen. For the Giants, I don’t trust Daniel Jones to protect the ball; did I mention the best weapon was KO’d for the season? For the Jets, need I say more than Adam Gase? Alright, let’s dive right into our teams for week 3.

 

Under-Owned Defenses

 

Tennessee Titans (@ Minnesota, 70%)

 

The Titans defense has underperformed a bit so far, failing to surpass the 5-point mark so far. Still, they are a team we should be able to rely on in good matchups. They have a strong running game, they use a risk-averse offense, and they can still get after the quarterback from time to time. They have a young defensive front, so I still think we could see a leap forward here. Even if not, Kirk Cousins has been a disaster thus far. I would target him with almost any defense in the league. Grab the Titans if they are out there and enjoy watching the Vikings flounder.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Denver, 50%)

 

I highly touted the Buccaneers last week, and they killed it again. This is your last chance to jump on the Buccaneers and ride them the rest of the way; after this week, I imagine a jump to at least 75% owned. Sure, Tampa Bay has to travel out west, but they play a Broncos team that is without its quarterback, top wideout, and second running back. I love this defense, I love targeting injured teams, and I loved playing backup quarterbacks. This one is a slam dunk. Tampa Bay is my number one add for the week if you can still get them.

 

Week 3 Streamers

 

Indianapolis Colts (vs NY Jets, 43%) Streamer of the Week

 

The Colts have shown well as a defense in their own right. They have held opponents to an average of 19 points and they recorded multiple sacks in each game so far. At home last week, they also picked off Kirk Cousins 3 times in an easy 28-11 win. Maybe the competition was lacking, but it will be again in week 3 as they host the hapless Jets. The Jets are without Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder. They were a terrible offense even at full strength, and now they are decimated. The Colts should win an easy one here and they are my choice for streamer of the week.

 

Los Angeles Chargers (vs Carolina, 31%)

 

The Chargers looked like a good team in week 2. Against a beastly Kansas City Chiefs squad, they fought hard to overtime before eventually falling short. I see a good defense in LA, and I think they have what it takes to compete this year behind an excellent pass rush starring Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. The Chargers are here for this reason, but also for their matchup: the Carolina Panthers. Let’s look at the checklist: east coast team playing out west? Check. Offense just lost its best weapon? Check. Struggling quarterback that we aren’t yet convinced of? Check. I see the recipe for a Carolina disaster, and I am happy to start the Chargers this week if Indianapolis is unavailable.

 

Deeper Leagues

 

 

Cleveland Browns (17%) vs Washington Football Team (16%)

 

There were two more games that I felt required to mention this week. They each feature a team I’m interested in, an offense I want to target, or both. In this first matchup, we have the Cleveland Browns against the Washington Football Team. Washington wasn’t stellar last week, but they still managed three sacks and an interception out of the 2-0 Cardinals. We know Baker Mayfield is prone to mistakes (21 picks last year) and sacks (40 last year). Meanwhile, Dwayne Haskins has proven to be utterly sack-able and he leads an offense that still doesn’t impress. I feel like at least one of these defenses will have a good week, and I might place some chips here if it weren’t for the great matchups we already have. If I had to place a bet now, I want Washington and their pass rush.

 

Philadelphia Eagles (36%) vs Cincinnati Bengals (3%)

 

We finish up with our last game: Philadelphia vs Cincinnati. The Eagles are giving up a lot of points, but they still have talent on that defensive line, and they don’t feel like they should be 0-2. I know, great logic. They have a talented and deep D-line, and I’m guessing they right the ship at some point. Still, their offense has been a disaster. Carson Wentz has 4 interceptions, 2 fumbles, and 8 sacks through two games. He threw multiple picks in each game and he is completing fewer than 60% of his passes. The Bengals, meanwhile, are hopeless as ever. They missed a field goal that could have forced OT in week one, and then they let the Browns put up 35 points and a mountain of rushing yards. Joe Burrow has been solid, but he still gets sacked way too much. The Bengals defense doesn’t really exist. If I was betting here, I’m guessing Wentz rights the ship and the Eagles look good. If you doubt Wentz, I suppose you could play the Bengals.

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