Dreaming of Streaming: Week 11
November 16, 2015 | Chet
A cursory look at the quarterbacks whose offenses gave up the most fantasy production to opposing defenses in Week 10 tell a familiar story: Johnny Manziel, Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and yes, Peyton Manning.
All of those signal callers find themselves among the NFL’s least accurate passers. Only Cassel, quite unbelievably, is among the 20 most accurate signal callers when you factor in spikes, throw aways and dropped passes. Peyton ranks 28th, Fitzpatrick ranks 29th, and Manziel ranks 30th. All three were forced into negative game scripts of varying degrees. It’s a good formula, folks — and a simple one, to boot.
Our top-5 Week 10 streaming scores hardly set the world aflame. We had very low expectations for at least a couple of these defenses with great matchups, based on these defensive units failing time and again to take advantage of the tastiest matchups.
Defenses with top-5 streaming scores are averaging 6.7 fantasy points per game through 10 weeks. It’s not a great average, I have to say, considering that at this point in 2014, these top streaming plays were notching north of 11 fantasy points per contest. We should continue to seek defensive streaming plays in the second tier of these scores, as that’s where so many of the biggest performances have come from in 2015.
|Defense||Week 10 streaming score||Week 10 fantasy points||Week 10 D/ST rank|
Now let’s get into Week 11 streaming scores. Committed streamers should have quite a few of these teams available on their local waiver wire.
|Defense||Week 11 opponent||Week 11 streaming score|
- Don’t let Kirk Cousins’ ridiculous Week 10 showing push you off of the Panthers’ defense this week. Cousins’ game splits show that he crushes bottom-dwelling coverage units, while struggling mightily against elite units like the one in Carolina. Cousins, in six games against top-10 pass defenses, has thrown seven interceptions. Start Carolina with confidence.
- It’s hard to tell if the Jacksonville defense is atrocious or passable. They’ve failed to score more than three fantasy points six times in 2015, but they’ve put up two solid lines in their past three contests: 24 fantasy points against Buffalo in Week 7, and 11 points last week against Baltimore. Neither of those performances were at home. They get a home tilt this week against a Titans offense giving up the most schedule adjusted fantasy points to opposing defenses through 10 weeks. The Jags are at home and favored by Vegas — two keys to finding a good streamer — and Tennessee’s offense has allowed nine fantasy points to defenses in in six of their nine games. I’m not supremely confident in Jacksonville’s floor here, but I think they have quite the upside.
- The Ravens get yet another high streaming score against a St. Louis team that showed in Week 10 that they are prime streaming targets if the game script seems likely to go haywire. The Rams weren’t able to lean on Todd Gurley as heavily as they have once the Bears built a lead, forcing Nick Foles to have to try to score points — something he hasn’t done since Gurley’s ascent. Foles is 32nd in accuracy on aimed throws, just worse than Cam Newton. The Ravens’ secondary is a mess, but the team’s run defense is tough, and that might be all that matters in this one. I could see the Rams being unable to force the run game against Baltimore, which is why the Ravens have a surprisingly solid fantasy floor here.
- If our goal is to deploy defenses against inaccurate quarterbacks, there’s hardly a better Week 11 play than the Titans. Only Ryan Mallet has been more inaccurate this season on aimed throws than Blake Bortles, who got away with two would-be interceptions against the Ravens. Jacksonville opponents are averaging 11.1 adjusted fantasy points against Bortles and company. I prefer the Jags because they are favored and at home, but I wouldn’t quibble with anyone who rolls with Tennessee over Jacksonville. The health of Tennessee’s cornerbacks are a concern here. I would fade the Titans if both cover guys sit again in Week 11.
|Defense||Week 11 opponent||Week 11 streaming score|
- New England, like every Buffalo opponent, has a very low floor here. The Patriots managed 12 fantasy points in Week 2 at Buffalo, I know, but no defense is an incredibly appealing play when the opposing quarterback is completing 78.1 percent of his aimed throws and has thrown just four picks in seven games. The Pats’ new, more conservative offensive approach — in the wake of a rash of injuries — doesn’t lend itself to imposing horrid game scripts against opposing offenses playing catch-up for an entire half (or three quarters). I think you could do a lot better in Week 11.
- If Tony Romo is still out, then Miami is next up in the Matt Cassel sweepstakes. Defenses have scored 13, 16, 7, 9, and 12 fantasy points against Dallas with Cassel under center. The Cowboys’ offense is a dysfunctional disaster right now, and with Tony Romo’s return possibly a couple weeks away, we could soon lose Dallas as a reliable streaming target. Cassel, since leaving New England, has been particularly odious on the road, averaging 1.1 interceptions and 0.94 touchdowns in those contests, along with just 177.3 passing yards. No matter how much the Cowboys try to hide Cassel’s shortcomings, game flow eventually forces them to leave their quarterback exposed. That’s the hope here. I think it’s a pretty good bet.
- I think Atlanta has joined the ranks of defenses that can’t seize on great opportunities. Blaine Gabbert, after all, had his way with the ghost of the Falcons defense two weeks ago. It was flabbergasting, really: a quarterback with a sub-60 percent completion rate picking apart a secondary (any secondary). Matt Hasselbeck probably won’t pour on the points in Andrew Luck’s absence. Don’t expect the wily veteran to commit a lot of turnovers as Indy’s starter, though. Houston’s defense scored precisely zero points against Hasselbeck when he started for Luck early this season. Hasselbeck has yet to throw an interception in 76 pass attempts for Indy this season. Atlanta strikes me as a team with a low floor and a limited ceiling. You can do better.