Here’s a coffee. Sober up. It’s time to thank the Chargers and move on because you are a monster — a true defensive streaming hellian.
Posting that score on a Thursday is the fake football equivalent of giving your opponent a forearm shiver to the jaw. Even if you lost your game because Doug Martin decided to get all historic on your unlucky ass, it felt good to have Week 9’s second highest scoring defensive unit, plucked from the forgotten wasteland of your league’s waiver wire.
It’s what streaming is all about.
The obvious Week 10 streamer — the dreamiest streamer, many would say — is the Pittsburgh Steelers. I plucked them from a couple waiver wires three weeks ago when fellow owners lost patience after some lackluster performances. They’re playing the Chiefs on Monday night, in Pittsburgh, with Kansas City in even further disarray than they were in Week 9. The match-up couldn’t be juicier. If you can nab the Steelers, do it, and play them over everyone but the Bears.
The Steelers are owned in 85 percent of ESPN leagues, a fact that will be tweeted to me many times after this column goes live. So here’s a slightly less dreamy alternative, but still worth your attention…
Indianapolis Colts at Jaguars – Many of you will buck at this pick, and I get it — no one wants to plug and play a defense that has scored a grand total of four fantasy points over the past three weeks. That, dear reader, is an odious stat. I gagged twice while writing it.
The explanation, as you might know, is simple: The Colts’ defense is putrid, allowing an average of 130 yards on the ground as teams are simply blowing Indy’s front seven off the line at will. The Colts’ pass defense — shockingly, I think — is ranked a respectable 11th, giving up just 221 yards per game. Probably that’s a product of opponent’s turning almost exclusively to the run.
Here’s the rub, and it’s one I’ve written on: Blaine Gabbert and the the Jaguars’ offense. They’ll be without Maurice Jones-Drew once again this week, Rashad Jennings has shown close to nothing in his precious 2013 audition, and while elusive wide receiver Cecil Shorts has shown flashes of serious skills, Gabbert’s inconsistency has hampered his potential in the worst way.
I have a hint of hesitation to roll with Indy when they play Jacksonville on Thursday night. The team is coming off an uber-emotional win against the Dolphins, after which their cancer-stricken head coach offered his tear-jerking words of wisdom to a locker room buzzing with a sense of purpose, or fate, or something. They’re on the road. It’s a short week. These are less-than-ideal factors that make the Colts defense a top-12 play, rather than an elite option, like San Diego was last week.
Remember though, Jacksonville is giving up the third most fantasy points to opposing defenses (11), behind only the Chiefs and Cardinals. The Jaguars allowed 63 points to opposing fantasy defenses between Weeks 4-8 — an astounding number, no matter the offense’s ineptitude.
Last week was sugary sweet for streamers, thanks to a couple defensive touchdowns for our beloved Chargers, but we shouldn’t fall into the trap of sky-high expectations for our streaming picks. Touchdown predictions are iffy for the most reliable fantasy commodities; for mediocre defensive units, it’s especially dicey. I think you can rely on a turnover of three, and hopefully, if you’ve made the proper concessions to your favorite deity, the Colts will take one to the house.
In other words: Don’t lose your fantasy-addled mind when the Colts don’t drop a Thursday Night Football people’s elbow on your opponent.
Here are defenses I’d play over the Colts: Seahawks, Cowboys, 49ers, Bears, Dolphins, Texans, Patriots, Steelers, and the Giants. You can add the Lions to that list if Percy Harvin sits. Christian Ponder could very well throw for negative yardage.