Streaming Defenses: Week 8

Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF) takes a look at the top defenses to stream in week 8

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

 

What a week we had! Our two under-owned squads (Kansas City and Buffalo) finished first and fifth respectively. Both cleared double digits, and both gave you a huge boost this week. Our stream of the week, not to be left behind, was Philly with a respectable 9 points, and a seventh-place finish. We mentioned Washington, who killed it with 17, and then we had the Giants (5 points) and the Cowboys (2 points). Here is a look at week 7’s top finishers.

 

Rank Team Opponent Fant. Pts. % Owned Sacks Interceptions Fumbles
1 Kansas City Denver 24 96% 3 2 2
T-2 San Francisco New England 17 75% 2 4 0
T-2 Washington Dallas 17 22% 6 1 0
4 LA Rams Chicago 15 86% 4 2 0
5 Buffalo NY Jets 14 97% 6 2 0
6 Chicago LA Rams 11 79% 1 0 1
7 Philadelphia NY Giants 9 84% 3 1 2
T-8 Arizona Seattle 7 20% 2 3 0
T-8 Cleveland Cincinnati 7 47% 4 1 0
T-10 Tampa Bay Las Vegas 6 84% 3 1 0
T-10 Green Bay Houston 6 20% 3 0 1
T-10 LA Chargers Jacksonville 6 71% 5 0 1

 

There are obviously some unsurprising results here. Denver, Dallas, both NY teams, the Bengals, and the Jaguars found a home as victims of week 7. These are teams we have proudly trumpeted, and they continue to be easy pickings. There may be another team to add to the list moving forward: New England. Here’s what the Patriots have done in their last three games:

  • Score fewer than 10 points per week as an offense
  • Allow roughly 3 sacks per game
  • Give up almost 4 turnovers per game

Now I still have faith in Bill Belichick, but the Cam Newton experiment is clearly starting to turn ugly. Newton has failed to clear 165 passing yards for three straight games. What’s worse, the whole offense lacks reliable weapons. If Cam isn’t playing well, I feel safe betting against this bunch. New England will face Buffalo in week 8 followed by the Ravens in week 10, so it looks like the struggles will continue. If you successfully grabbed the Bills defense last week, hold on and enjoy the ride. Outside of New England, who else can we pick on? Here are some quick hits:

  • Going back five games, the Jets average fewer than 10 points per week on offense. They also give up four sacks per game.
  • In seven games this year, Daniel Jones has 12 fumbles/ interceptions. He gets sacked 3 times per game as well.
  • Drew Lock is completing only 55.9% of his passes and he averages two fumbles/ interceptions per game.
  • Since Dak Prescott went down, “Cowboys QB” has totaled seven fumbles/ interceptions and 10 sacks. That was in only 2.5 games time.

 

Yeah, it’s fair to say there are plenty of easy targets out there, and I still haven’t mentioned Washington, Philadelphia, or Minnesota. Unfortunately, bad QB play is constant in a league that needs 32 starters. It feels like maybe a quarter of the league is truly happy with their guy right now, and everyone else is left searching. So who can we pick on in week 8? Let’s take a look.

NOTE: if you rostered Kansas City or Buffalo last week, hold on to them. Both have strong matchups and both should be considered ahead of everyone listed below.

 

Under-owned Teams 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (86%, @ NY Giants)

 

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you followed my advice, some of you have been rolling with Tampa Bay since week two. If you have, it’s been a fun ride. They are averaging 2 forced turnovers per game since then, and they have a big pile of sacks to go along with it. The Bucs should keep rolling this week against the Giants, and I would be shocked if they didn’t force at least one Daniel Jones turnover. Realistically, I think we can expect two plus. Tampa Bay is a great defense against anyone, but they are elevated into the elite tier against a terrible opponent.

 

Philadelphia Eagles (83%, vs Dallas)

 

Philadelphia showed up well last week, and I’m willing to trust them again. Sure, this isn’t the best option for the week. The Eagles needed a late comeback just to beat the Giants in week seven. Still, they get an even worse opponent: the Dak-less Cowboys. The Cowboys have been a complete disaster without their QB, and I see no reason to suddenly believe in them. This game is easy pickings for the Eagles, and it could be their chance to stake their claim to a pathetic NFC East. If Philly was under 50% owned, this would be my stream of the week. Since they are at 83%, they are simply another nice option.

 

Los Angeles Chargers (75%, @ Denver) 

 

Drew Lock has been a nightmare. He doesn’t look comfortable behind center and the term ‘gunslinger’ is being liberally applied to explain his flaws. The Chargers, meanwhile, have played well these last few weeks behind ascendent rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. I like the Chargers offense and defense, and I strongly dislike the Broncos’ offense. That’s a recipe for success and the Chargers make for another great option this week if you can get them. To clarify, I would rank the under-owned teams in the order I have listed them: Tampa Bay is the best choice, then Philadelphia, and finally the Chargers.

 

Week 4 Streamers

 

Seattle Seahawks (34%, @ San Francisco) Stream of the Week

 

Seattle’s defense hasn’t been great this year. They give up a decent amount of points, and they struggle to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Good quarterbacks can sit back and pick them apart. Luckily, we have two things going for us here: the Seahawks have forced plenty of turnovers (12 in their six games), and they are facing a mediocre–or bad–quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo threw two ugly interceptions last week, and I am beyond considering him a good quarterback. He is at best okay, and I expect a big mistake or two in week eight. Seattle just lost their first game, and I expect them to bounce back nicely. Give me two Garoppolo turnovers in a blowout, and that will be all we need. The Seahawks are my stream of the week.

 

Tennessee Titans (27%, @ Cincinnati)

 

Tennessee has certainly disappointed as a defense so far this year. They give up just over 25 points per game and that number has been worse in their last two contests. Still, they are playing the Bengals. While Joe Burrow has looked impressive, he is still making a fair number of mistakes. He’s also taking a lot of sacks behind a miserable offensive line. How do 4 sacks and two forced turnovers sound? That’s the average in Cincy’s last three games. The Titans, for their part, are great at creating turnovers. They have 12 so far, or two per game. I see a few sacks, a pick or two, and a Titans win. Just realize that the Titans will give up a fair amount of points along the way.

 

Green Bay Packers (20%, @ Minnesota)

 

Before the season, this was a highly anticipated game. Many expected Green Bay and Minnesota to be the class of the NFC North, continuing the epic battles from last season. Then the Vikings decided to be awful. Minnesota is 1-5 behind a defense that gives up 31+ per contest and an offense that has missed Dalvin Cook. Oh, and Kirk Cousins can’t keep the ball out of his opponents’ hands. I expect the Packers to dominate the Vikings from start to finish, and this means Green Bay’s defense should eat. If Aaron Rodgers can jump his team out to a double-digit lead, it will be fun to watch Cousins work in forced passing game scripts.

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