Dreaming of Streaming: Week 9 November 2, 2015  |  Chet


 

 

Denver’s domination of the Packers’ potent attack served as an intriguing one-week case study for anyone interested in the innards of what makes for a solid defensive matchup.

The Broncos stifled Aaron Rodgers and company from the word go, making the all-world quarterback look flummoxed, flustered, and frustrated. Rodgers completed 14 passes for a grand total of 77 yards. The Packers never had a chance to mount anything resembling a drive against Denver’s defense.

Yet the Broncos’ defense managed eight fantasy points, thanks to a trio of sacks and a safety. They were the week’s seventh highest scoring fantasy defense. It’s all well and good, but it speaks to the power of matchups and what we’re looking for in a great matchup. Green Bay, for as dismal as they were on offense, didn’t commit a turnover.

And that should come as no great shock: The Packers allow 0.6 turnovers per contest, the second lowest mark in the league. That’s precisely what made them an unfavorable matchup in Week 8, and why the Broncos hardly showed up in last week’s streaming scores. Denver acquitted itself just fine, but a bad matchup is a bad matchup. It doesn’t matter that Green Bay couldn’t move the pigskin against the Broncos.

The Bucs’ defense scored more Week 8 fantasy points than Denver while hemorrhaging nearly 500 yards of offense to Atlanta. It’s a lesson in the differences between two kinds of football: real and fake.

Below are Week 8’s streaming score results. Through eight weeks, defenses with top-5 streaming scores are averaging 6.9 fantasy points. Defenses in the second tier of scores have proven to be more reliable than the top scores this year, though I think that will change during the second half of the season. Top-5 streaming scores notched 12.8 fantasy points, on average, from Week 9-17 in 2014.

 

Defense Week 8 streaming score Week 8 fantasy points Week 8 D/ST rank
Falcons 5.5 2 16th
Rams 5 12 4th
49ers 4.5 2 16th
Seahawks 4.5 5 15th
Cardinals 4 6 11th

 

Let’s get into Week 9’s short slate, which, thankfully for us, includes a few very appealing defensive streaming plays.

 

Defense Week 9 opponent Week 9 streaming score
Bengals Browns 6
Saints Titans 5.5
Eagles Cowboys 5
Chargers Bears 4.5
Broncos Colts 4.5

 

  • The Saints’ defense is #notgood, but neither is Houston’s, and the Texans managed a cool 20-spot against Tennessee last week. New Orleans has the best matchup of the week, per the Rotoviz Streaming D App, as Zach Mettenberger has proven more disastrous than we could’ve imagined. The Saints become a borderline option if Marcus Mariota suits up for the Titans, but plug them into your lineup and don’t look back if Mettenberger — he of at least one pick in every pro start — is back under center. Tennessee is giving up 2.3 turnovers per contest. Defenses are taking away the football three times per game when the Titans are on the road. Game script should be our friend here, giving the Saints plenty of chances to capitalize on Mettenberger’s endless string of errors.

 

  • Dallas was able to avoid melting down against Seattle’s defense thanks to game flow staying nice and neutral and Matt Cassel being prohibited from taking downfield chances against the Seahawks. The Cowboys are committing 1.8 turnovers per game. The concern here is that the Eagles are getting almost no pressure on opposing signal callers. Only the Titans have logged fewer quarterback hits through eight weeks. We know that quarterback pressure is closely correlated to defensive fantasy production. Philly has a pumped-up streaming score in this one, but with a sputtering offense that hasn’t created negative game scripts for opponents in 2015, I think there are a handful of better options. I would much prefer the Saints if Mettenberger starts.

 

  • It’s true that the Chargers can’t stop anyone on the ground, and hardly anyone through the air. The Bears, led by Captain DGAF, have allowed eight or more fantasy points to five of the past six defenses they’ve faced. Being without Matt Forte won’t help matters either. While San Diego, being gouged via the ground, certainly has a scary floor, I see them as a sneaky high-ceiling play even if (when) Chicago scores a good number of points against the Bolts. Jay Cutler is 28th in accuracy on aimed throws, barely better than Colin Kaepernick.

 

Defense Week 9 opponent Week 9 streaming score
Falcons 49ers 4.5
Vikings Rams 4
Jets Jaguars 4
Bills Dolphins 3.5
Steelers Raiders 3.5
Colts Broncos 3.5
Giants Buccaneers 3
Bears Chargers 3

 

  • Atlanta’s defense hasn’t been anything close to solid in recent weeks. They would still rise to the top of the streaming pack if Blaine Gabbert is named San Francisco starter against the Falcons in Week 9. This column used to be subtitled, “Target Gabbert,” and for good reason. Gabbert threw an astounding seven interceptions in 42 attempts during three 2013 games. He completed 48.7 percent of his passes, which is no big surprise when you consider Gabbert has a 53.2 percent career completion rate. Gabbert is everything we seek in a quarterback target: an inaccurate thrower who will surely have to drop back and sling it in this one. Atlanta would have been a good play even with Colin Kaepernick under center. They are an elite play with Gabbert taking the wheel for the crumbling team formerly known as the 49ers.

 

  • The Broncos appeared to be an entirely different offensive unit coming out of their bye week. They seem intent on keeping Peyton Manning from being exposed by opposing defenses — a definite blow to fantasy defenses that were putting up chunks of points against Denver in September and October. I’ll be wary of streaming against this renewed Denver attack. The Colts’ streaming score might be deceiving in this one. It’s worth noting, however, that Manning is 29th in accuracy when you account for spikes, throwaways and drops.

 

  • I don’t think the streaming scores have adjusted to the Rams’ new offensive identity, which includes the safest of game plans and hearty doses of the game’s most explosive runner, Todd Gurley. Nick Foles simply isn’t allowed to make the mistakes he was making during the season’s first four weeks, when every St. Louis opponent had sky-high streaming scores. I’m not bullish on Minnesota’s defense in Week 9, and I think the Rams are well worth the play if you have them on your roster. St. Louis has sacked the quarterback 26 times (second most) and is fifth in quarterback hits through eight weeks. Teddy Bridgewater is among the most accurate quarterbacks on aimed throws — mostly because he throws so many short passes — and the emergence of Stefon Diggs has given the Vikings’ otherwise toothless offense some bite. I remain confident in the Rams’ floor here.

 

Defense Week 9 opponent Week 9 streaming score
Patriots Washington 2.5
Dolphins Bills 2.5
Cowboys Eagles 2.5
Rams Vikings 2.5
49ers Falcons 2.5
Jaguars Jets 2
Panthers Packers 2

 

  • New England’s streaming score will probably set my Twitter mentions aflame. But consider this: when adjusted for strength of schedule, Washington allows the 10th fewest fantasy points to opposing defenses. The Falcons and Dolphins scored double digit fantasy points against Kirk Cousins and company, but four of the past five Washington opponents have failed to crack seven fantasy points, with two notching exactly zero. It’s tough to imagine this one being close, however, meaning Cousins will have to put it up against the Patriots’ opportunistic secondary (eight interceptions through seven games). I believe New England has tremendous upside in this matchup. It’s their floor that I’m worried about.

8 Responses

  1. Jimmy says:

    With the jaguars playing the jets beat up qbs, why aren’t they higher.

  2. Zach says:

    “The Bears, led by Captain DGAF”

    Never fails to elicit a laugh. Love it

  3. Billiam says:

    Where can I find the QB streaming options?

  4. bill slu says:

    No streaming for me. I have the Broncos and the Rams rostered. I do love this column tho.

    Cheers!

    • c.d. carter says:

      Thanks, Bill. Appreciate that. I wouldn’t hang on to both defenses though. I might even try to trade the Denver defense to sure up a weak spot on your roster.

      • bill slu says:

        I should mention that in my league scoring system that D/ST is our Highest/2nd highest pt total each week.

        point totals this year:

        1 – 271 – Den
        2 – 219 – StL
        3 – 210 – Sea
        4 – 188 – Ariz
        5 – 178 – Phil

        and Sea Az and Phi have played an extra game.

        I think Den might win me a championship! Im hanging on to StL for week 12 when Den plays NE.

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