Streaming Defense: Week 8
Photo by Kyle Emery/Icon Sportswire
After 3 weeks of “nailing it”, our luck has finally come to an end. Not only did our streamers miss the top spot, but we missed the list entirely. It wasn’t that streamers couldn’t be found: they were there by way of New England, Washington, Cleveland, and 4 more teams. We simply swung and missed this week. As a consolation prize, I should mention that both of our under-owned teams made the list with Indianapolis topping out at the #3 spot and the Chargers sneaking in at #12. Let’s take a look at the whole top 12 to see how things shook out.
|Team||Opponent||Fantasy Points||Percent Owned||Interceptions||Sacks|
|Denver Broncos||Arizona Cardinals||32||71||3||6|
|Los Angeles Rams||San Francisco 49ers||23||99||2||7|
|Indianapolis Colts||Buffalo Bills||19||70||3||2|
|New England Patriots||Chicago Bears||19||50||2||2|
|Washington Redskins||Dallas Cowboys||15||17||0||4|
|Cleveland Browns||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||23||2||4|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Cincinnati Bengals||14||15||1||2|
|Houston Texans||Jacksonville Jaguars||14||93||1||4|
|Minnesota Vikings||New York Jets||12||97||3||3|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Cleveland Browns||7||3||0||5|
|Carolina Panthers||Philadelphia Eagles||7||44||0||4|
|Atlanta Falcons||New York Giants||5||20||0||4|
|New York Giants||Atlanta Falcons||5||3||0||3|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Tennessee Titans||5||93||1||2|
In week 7 we clearly had a strong showing by the top defenses. There were the Broncos at 30+, the Rams with 20+, and three more teams with 15+. On top of that, we still had another four units with more than 10 points. Really, starting any of those groups put you in good shape for the week. With New England, the success was due to two special teams touchdowns…something nearly impossible for us to predict. Likewise, the Redskins benefited from a defensive touchdown of their own. Take away these scores, and suddenly the top-5 is looking much different. Thus is the nature of defensive scoring in fantasy though. So, we do our best to move on and predict the next week.
New England Patriots (87%)
Although I will be the first to admit that New England’s success in week 7 was a little fluky (a kick return touchdown and a punt block touchdown are probably not repeatable), they have a delicious match up this week. The Patriots travel to Buffalo to take on the hapless Bills in what is probably the safest lock of the week in terms of outcome. The Bills look to be starting backup Derek Anderson again as Josh Allen continues to recover from his elbow injury. New England’s defense is hardly fearsome, but it should be enough to shut down Anderson and his Bills. Grab this group if they are out there and don’t look back. I would start New England over all streamers this week if you are lucky enough to find them.
Indianapolis Colts (50%, stream of the week)
While I wouldn’t expect the Colts to finish on top overall for week 8, they still get to face the Oakland Raiders a week after the Jon Gruden traded away Amari Cooper for a first round pick. While I mocked the Khalil Mack trade, I have to give Gruden just as much credit for pulling this deal off. Amari Cooper seemed like damaged goods at this point, and Gruden brought back a first round pick for his troubles. Say what you will about the Raiders, but this off season is going to be extremely exciting with their 3 first round picks. They could be an entirely new team next year if things go well. Nevertheless, the Raiders are now without one more weapon and should be that much easier to stop. I haven’t even mentioned Marshawn Lynch going to the IR yet. Sure, the Colts have to travel across the country for this matchup. However, I see Indy winning this one handily and the Colts being a top-12 defense this week. They are my stream of the week.
Arizona Cardinals (34%)
Sometimes we get a great matchup where two quarterbacks light it up and the final score ends 43-40, ala Patrick Mahomes vs Tom Brady. This is always a focus for when I stream quarterbacks. However, there are also times where two bad offenses face off in what is sure to be a low scoring affair. The Cardinals-Niners game is expected to be the lowest scoring of the week based on Vegas lines, and both defenses should be useful to us as a result. The Cardinals are at home, and they have been a decent defense this year despite the awful tream record. I like their chances to stop a “meh” San Francisco offense led by C.J. Beathard. I should caution, though, to watch out for what happens to Patrick Peterson: if he gets traded away as he hopes, downgrade this unit a bit. Still, they are a viable streamer for me this week either way.
San Francisco 49ers (9%)
On the other side of the matchup, we see the San Francisco 49ers. Their defense has not been as good, giving up 33+ points per game over their last five. I would actually call them a bad defense if we are being honest. Still, they get to face the Cardinals offense which has mustered less than 5 points per week over the last 5 weeks. So, the question is really this: do you trust the bad offense to play poorly or the bad defense to keep playing badly? Personally, I think the Cardinals will find some kind of spark with new OC Byron Leftwich in place, and they will score more than they have over the last 5 weeks. Still, I could see it going the other way, and the Niners are likely out there waiting in every league.
Washington Redskins (29%)
We finish up with the Washington Redskins who take on the New York Giants in week 8. The Giants have officially given up on the season, trading away cornerback Eli Apple and defensive tackle Damon Harrison for future draft picks. The Giants were already bad at stopping the run, and this should only make things worse as they take on a team averaging nearly 120 yards per game on the ground. I expect the Redskins to run early and often, to control the clock with Adrian Peterson, and for them to easily handle the Giants. Even if Washington can’t muster a turnover, I don’t see them giving up many points to an anemic New York offense that clearly has minimal motivation to push on. The Redskins should make for a good streamer this week if better options (N.E., Indy, Arizona) are already taken.