Now to delve into my other specialty: zombies.
You, dear defensive streamer, are undead, no thought in your rage-ravaged mind, only a radiant impulse for brains, flesh, and blood. You’ll do anything to satiate your dead-but-still living body as it lumbers toward a meal, somewhere out there, never halting until you’re elbow deep in human remains. You crave it. You exist to find it.
You and your fellow fantasy defensive streamers have sniffed out the weakest of the few remaining people, and you’ve had a snack or two, just enough to tide you over. Now though, as you find your dead self shoulder to shoulder with a flood of walking corpses, you smell the feast within the shopping mall, where terror-stricken people make their last stand against the monster that is you.
You smell the sweet meat.
The New York Jets, my friends, are that sweet meat. Rex Ryan stands, crossbow in hand, knowing the (formerly) fat guy always goes first. The Jets must be targeted, every week, from here on out (along with teams like the Jaguars, Rams, and Chiefs). Just watch the highlights of Sunday’s 60-minute meltdown against the 49ers — an admittedly elite defense — and you’ll see why the Jets should be defensive streamers’ Holy Grail, no matter who New York plays.
Look ahead at Gang Green’s schedule: The Texans, Colts, Patriots, Dolphins, and Seahawks are next. Stash one of these defenses if you have a spacious fantasy bench, and play any and all of these defenses against Mark Sanchez and his happy-time mix of misfits. They can’t run, Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller are nicked up, and Santonio Holmes might be out for a long while. Things are only going to get uglier.
Even when — not if — Tim Tebow snatches the job from Sanchez, be a disciplined zombie and stay the course. Tebow’s Broncos last year gave up 28 defensive fantasy points to the Lions in Week 8, and 33 points to the Bills in Week 16. Devour the offensive offense that is the Jets, no matter who’s calling signals.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Titans – I don’t think last week’s game against the Lions was indicative of how dominant the Vikings’ special teams unit is, but rather how putrid Detroit’s coverage unit is. Percy Harvin is a threat to take it from goal line to goal line every time he touches the pigskin, but you won’t have to rely on flukey return scores this week against Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans. The Vikings’ defensive front, led by Jared Allen and his entrancing facial hair, has recorded eight sacks in the past two weeks. The Titans have allowed 15 quarterback hits this year, including one that might have knocked out Jake Locker for a long time. Hasselbeck looked flustered at times against the Texans after Locker went down with a shoulder injury, and proceeded to toss two picks, one for a touchdown. This shoddy Titans’ offense could crumble in the deafening roar of a rejuvenated Metrodome crowd on Sunday, facing a Vikings defense that has shut down three of its four opponents so far this season. I’m using the Vikings defense in every league this week — they’re all a streamer could ever wish for. Minnesota is owned in 3.5 percent of NFL.com leagues, 4.4 percent of ESPN leagues, and 15 percent of CBS leagues.
St. Louis Rams vs. Cardinals – I chickened out last week. I had the Rams’ Dreaming of Streaming entry all typed up and ready to go. A highlight and delete later, my reccomendation was gone, along with my bravery and self respect. The match up seemed prime for picking: The Seabeagles, coming off an emotional roller coaster of a Monday night victory the week before, were hitting the road on a short week. And sure enough, the Rams picked off the miniature Russell Wilson thrice and sacked him twice while holding Seattle to 13 points. Jeff Fisher’s aggressive pass defense is ranked 11th in the league, in part because teams have exploited St. Louis’s run defense. Against the Cardinals, a team shut down in every facet of the game during the first half of their Week 4 tilt against Miami, I expect the Rams to give Kevin Kolb fits, and there’s been nothing in the Cardinals’ running attack that makes me think Ryan Williams will explode on Thursday in St. Louis. The Rams play fast and angry — and dirty, with Courtland Finnegan leading that charge. Arizona, on a short week on the road after a brutally physical contest against the relentless Dolphins’ defense last week, is vulnerable, and a perfect target for defensive streamers. The Rams defense is owned in 1.5 percent of NFL.com leagues, 4.7 percent of ESPN leagues, and 10 percent of CBS leagues.
Other streaming considerations: The Dolphins and Bengals, who play each other in Cincinnati this week. Miami will shut down the Bengals’ struggling run game, and Ryan Tannehill is good for a couple boneheaded turnovers.