Streaming Defense: Week 4

Mike Miklius takes a look at streaming options for the D/ST position heading into week 4.

Another week passes and we know just a little more about the league. The Cleveland passing offense is not lighting the league on fire. Chicago has a sign of life after a big Monday-night win. Dallas is 3-0 and looks legit. San Francisco and Buffalo are also 3-0…though I’m still out on what they are. We have also seen some defenses clearly rising to the challenge. New England looks monstrous, though they have yet to play anyone relevant. San Francisco already has nine sacks and five picks though also against inferior competition. Green Bay has probably been the biggest surprise–racking up 12 sacks, four interceptions, and four fumble recoveries against the likes of the Bears, Vikings, and Broncos. Those are not pushover teams by any means. Hopefully you grabbed the Packers last week when you had the chance cause now they are most likely gone. Here’s how week 3 broke down:

 

Rank Team % Owned Opponent Sacks INTs Fumble Recov. Fantasy Points
1 Chicago 99% Washington 4 3 2 21
2 NY Jets 6% New England 1 1 1 16
3 Jacksonville 72% Tennessee 9 0 1 15
4 New England 98% NY Jets 5 1 0 14
5 New Orleans 41% Seattle 0 0 1 14
6 Carolina 17% Arizona 8 2 0 13
7 Detroit 2% Philadelphia 3 0 2 13
8 Green Bay 71% Denver 6 1 2 13
9 Dallas 94% Miami 3 0 1 12
10 Buffalo 77% Cincinnati 2 2 2 11
11 Pittsburgh 17% San Francisco 1 2 3 11
12 Cleveland 50% LA Rams 2 2 1 9

 

Our under-owned team was the Dallas Cowboys and they finished 9th overall. Miami should continue to be a weekly target, but we’ll get to that in our under-owned section for this week. Seattle was our stream of the week, but they laid an egg. They only managed two points (no sacks, no interceptions) against Teddy Bridgewater while playing at home! Clearly I overestimated the Seahawks defense. Our other streamers were Tennessee (1 point), San Francisco (7 points), and Green Bay (13 points). So, we had a fifty percent chance at success with the streamers and our under-owned team hit. It’s not bad, but I know we can do better.

This week also brought a lot of surprise teams to the mix as six of the top-12 were owned in 50% or less of Yahoo leagues. The Jets were frankly a shocker at #2 as they were dominated by the Patriots. A late pick-six thrown by New England backup Jarrett Stidham in garbage time was really to thank here. New Orleans dealt with Seattle across the country, but they also had a defensive score to thank for their final total. Still, I like their defense when playing at home. Carolina manhandled Arizona’s offensive line, but I’m not sold on the whole unit. Arizona’s line looked pathetic and I think almost anyone could have dominated it. Detroit has played decently under Matt Patricia, but they are a stay away team as they play the Chiefs this week–an offense we never want to challenge. The last defense I’ll mention is Cleveland: they look very capable so far this year, and I’m surprised to see them owned in less than 50% of leagues. They have managed 10 sacks and two interceptions thus far, and I think we saw Lamar Jackson exposed a bit against the Chiefs. This is a risky play for sure, but it’s own I like. Who are all my teams for week 4?

 

Under-Owned Teams

 

LA Chargers (@Mia, 81%)

 

Dear Miami, You are amazing. Keep doing exactly what you’re doing. We here at the Streaming Defenses office love you because you make our jobs so easy. I said it last week with Dallas, I said it the week before with New England, and of course the week before that with Baltimore. If you can start a defense against the Dolphins, do it! You are done reading…grab them and put a smile on your face. The Dolphins have yet to score 11 points. They have yet to hold an opponent to under 31. They have allowed 13 sacks and six interceptions while hardly forcing any interceptions themselves. We are facing a team with next to no weapons, and the Chargers surely have to be hungry after letting Houston escape. Grab this one if it’s there and don’t look back.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (@Den, 72%)

 

I’m gonna admit: I could see this game going either way. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jacksonville crush Denver, but I also wouldn’t blink at the opposite either. Really, both defenses feel useful here in what is sure to be a “grind it out” type of game. Jacksonville (1), like Denver (0), has been hurting for takeaways in this still-young season. They also might be missing Jalen Ramsey. If he’s playing they are formidable and should be up to the task of slowing down Joe Flacco. I like this matchup, but we might expect both teams to play it safe and turnovers could again be at a premium. It kind of feels like the first one to blink here will lose. Pick your side and probably don’t bother watching…it could very well be a snoozer.

 

Green Bay Packers (vs Phi, 71%) 

 

I mentioned Green Bay last week as a team to hold, and hopefully, you snagged them. The Packers’ defense has been excellent thus far, not allowing 17 points to any opponents. They average roughly four sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery per game and they draw an undermanned Eagles team. If Philadelphia was at full strength, this might be a different story. However, Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are probably still out, and the offense doesn’t scare me so much without it’s two primary pass catchers. Keep riding with Green Bay if you have them and try to get on the train if you don’t. They still have a near 30% availability.

 

Sleepers

 

Tennessee Titans (@Atl, 47%)

 

After the first two weeks, Tennessee was averaging four sacks and two interceptions per game. I was ready to grab them for the long term and then they laid an egg last week. I still believe in this unit, and they have an interesting matchup this week. Matt Ryan has been generous with the interceptions, averaging two per game thus far. If you trust the Titans defense or you distrust Matt Ryan this could be a great opportunity. There is a decent chance for a defensive score, and the Atlanta run game hasn’t looked that strong yet. However, Atlanta is at home and could really use this one. If they still see themselves as a playoff team, this is the kind of game they almost have to win. I could see it going either way, but I expect Atlanta to win. I’ll pass on this one, but it still felt worth mentioning.

 

Denver Broncos (vs Jax, 35% stream of the week)

 

I already mentioned this game, but it bears repeating now that I’m talking about my favorite part of the matchup. The Denver Broncos have been competitive in all three of their games thus far, and now they face Jacksonville at home. They are 0-3 and haven’t accrued a sack, interception, or fumble recovery yet. How could I possibly back this team? There are two reasons: first, they have too much talent to keep getting held off the board. Bradley Chubb and Von Miller are going to break through the sackless slump, and I think it happens this week. I don’t trust Gardner Minshew yet, and I could easily see a couple sacks and picks. The second reason I trust Denver is their coach. Vic Fangio has proven himself a defensive expert and I think he’s going to take the lack of stats personally. Denver has a strong running game right now and they should be able to control the clock assuming no costly mistakes. I like Denver to find their first win and they are my stream of the week.

 

Cincinnati Bengals (@Pit, 1%)

 

If you are desperate, you could do worse than to start the Cincinnati Bengals against the Pittsburgh Steelers this week. Mason Rudolph was not convincing as a starter, and James Conner is only averaging 32 rushing yards per week. Pittsburgh is in a bad place, and Cincinnati could take advantage of an early turnover or two. To be fair, the Bengals defense has not shown us much yet, and we have little reason to trust them. Still, I love chasing new quarterbacks on bad offenses who are struggling. I can’t see the Pittsburgh slide lasting much longer, and that scares me in this matchup. If you are desperate, though, it’s worth a shot

 

 

(Photo by Kyle Emery/Icon Sportswire)

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