Streaming Defense: Week 3

Mike Miklius (@sirl0inofbeef) takes a look at the top options for streaming a defense in week 3.

I hate to jump to conclusions after two weeks of the season, but I think I’m ready to make a firm stand about the 2019 season: the Dolphins aren’t all that good at football and it might be in our best interest to target them with our fantasy defenses. In fact, I would be shocked if they made it to four wins on the season. Here is a look at Miami’s per-game statistics on offense after two weeks:

 

Passing yds TDs INTs Rushing Yds TDs Fumbles Sacks allowed
160.5 0.5 3.0 31.5 0.0 0.5 5.0

 

Now stats are one thing. How has the team looked? Well…awful. I don’t know what to tell you if you’re a Dolphins fan. There isn’t much here to get excited about, save for the near-guarantee of Tua Tagovailoa joining your team next year. For those of us in the streaming world, this means we should be focusing on Miami’s schedule first and foremost. The Cowboys are the beneficiary this week and they are probably in line to be the #1 overall defense. New England (our under-owned favorite from last week) exploded for a monster week and was available in 20% of Yahoo leagues. How did the whole week shake out?

 

Team % Owned Opponent Sacks Interceptions Fumbles Fantasy Pts
1 New England 96% Miami 7 4 0 37
2 Green Bay 17% Minnesota 1 2 2 12
3 Kansas City 33% Oakland 3 2 0 11
4 Atlanta 3% Philadelphia 3 2 1 10
5 Houston 83% Jacksonville 4 0 1 10
6 Detroit 3% LA Chargers 1 1 1 9
7 Tampa Bay 1% Carolina 3 0 1 9
8 LA Rams 94% New Orleans 2 1 0 8
9 LA Chargers 82% Detroit 0 2 0 8
10 Jacksonville 72% Houston 4 0 0 8
11 Tennessee 35% Indianapolis 3 1 1 8
12 Pittsburgh 19% Seattle 4 0 2 7

 

So how did our streamers fair? The Panthers were my top streamer, but they finished with only 6 points. Clearly there were better options available and I blame this on Cam Newton’s play. He couldn’t keep the offense moving, so the Buccaneers never really had to push. The Colts/ Titans game produced two decent defenses…the Titans were my second favorite choice on the week and they had 8 points (tied for 8th) while the Colts had 5 points. Nobody crushed us, but I’m starting to see some better choices. The theme of our week 3 streamers is all about possible keepers….defenses you can take and jump off the streaming boat. I feel strongly about three defenses we’ve seen and I’m going to recommend holding with any of them if you can get them. Let’s start with our under-owned teams.

 

Under-Owned Defenses

 

Dallas Cowboys (vs Mia, 70%)

 

We already touched upon this one, but let’s hit it again. The Cowboys have been serviceable on defense so far, allowing 19 points per game to the Giants and Redskins. Now, they get the Dolphins at home which should be a much easier test–much easier even than the banged-up Giants. Minkah Fitzpatrick was just traded away for a Steelers first-round pick, and there is talk of Kenyan Drake leaving town as well. Ryan Fitzpatrick is still starting and he’s a turnover machine. Everything about Miami has been a disaster, and we don’t need to overthink this one. Grab the Cowboys if you can and start them this week in the king of all matchups. I expect Dallas to be favored by at least two touchdowns.

 

Streamers

 

Seattle Seahawks (vs NO, 50%, stream of the week)

 

Last year, we talked a lot about our recipe for streaming success. Step one is to find a defense that is at the very least serviceable. I would rank Seattle in the top half of defenses, so that’s a check. Step two is to look for underperforming quarterbacks, or backups forced into action. Teddy Bridgewater…come on down! Finally, it’s nice if our defense gets to play at home and even nicer if they get a unique home-field advantage. Seattle is at home and New Orleans is about as far away as they could be. Seattle also know how to get loud. I had my eyes on the Saints after they lost Drew Brees, and it just so happens that we get a strong defense to take them on. The Seahawks have tallied six sacks, an interception, and five forced fumbles in their two games. They’ve also done an excellent job stifling opposing runners. Seattle is an excellent streaming option, and they are my “Stream of the Week”.

 

Tennessee Titans (@Jax, 35%)

 

Streaming defenses doesn’t just come down to matchups. Sure, it’s great when the opposing offense sucks. We could only hope they have no clear #1 receiver, their QB has gone down for the year, and they are 0-2 with a good chance of spiraling down.  However, none of this is what sells me on the Titans. Tennessee has looked elite in their first two games, totaling eight sacks, four interceptions, a forced fumble, and a defensive touchdown. At this point, I would start the Titans defense against almost anyone. They decimated the up-and-coming Browns in week one before knocking off the Colts in week two. They shouldn’t have too much trouble with Jacksonville in week three. If you pick up Tennessee, consider holding them for the near future. Atlanta, Buffalo, and Denver are all nice matchups ahead. My only hesitations here are the Gardner Minshew experiment and Jacksonville getting the home-field advantage. Still, I’d roll with Tennessee.

 

San Francisco (vs Pit, 18%)

When I looked at the matchups for this week, two questions immediately came to my mind: who gets to play the Saints and who gets to play the Steelers? I love targetting a backup quarterback forced into the limelight. Well, the Steelers have to travel cross-country and face off against the undefeated San Francisco 49ers. The Niners have gotten to 2-0 behind a defense giving up 17 points per game while also racking up four interceptions, four forced fumbles, and seven sacks. Sure, most of those turnovers came against Jameis Winston. However, are you sold on Mason Rudolph as the new Steelers starter? While this matchup looks great on paper, I do have one hesitation, and it’s the reason this isn’t my start of the week: the Steelers, despite all their troubles and injuries right now, always seem to find a way to turn things around. I’m nervous about betting on them to go 0-3. If you don’t share this irrational fear, then San Fran is an excellent stream in week three.

 

Green Bay Packers (vs Den, 17%)

 

When the Packers crushed the Bears in week one, I think most saw it as another failing of Mitch Trubisky and the Chicago offense. That’s probably fair–I admit this even as a Bears fan. However, Green Bay then held the Vikings to 16 points in week two. The Packers have accumulated three interceptions, three forced fumbles, and six sacks in their two games. They look like they are putting something special together, and this could mean trouble for the NFC North. This week, they face off against Joe Flacco and the Denver offense at home. The Broncos have only mustered 30 points so far, and their offense has hardly been inspiring. I like the Packers regardless of matchup, and they are another strong choice if you are looking to get off the weekly streaming path.

 

(Photo by Jeff Halstead/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.