Let’s start with this: six of Week’1 top 10 fantasy defenses were owned in less than 20 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Let that wash over you. And while you’re at it, throw that inconvenient fact in the faces of anyone who insists their seventh round selection of the Seattle Seahawks defense was the correct one.
|Team||Ownership %||Week 1 points||Rank|
|Kansas City Chiefs||6||31||1|
|New York Jets||7||10||7|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||69||10||7|
I mentioned on Friday that Vegas’s over-under on the Raiders-Colts game made me a little queasy, and Terrelle Pryor proved the killer of our dreamy streamer. Oakland’s horrendous offensive line hardly mattered, as Pryor broke one tackle after another and stripped points from the Colts’ defense.
I count myself fortunate that Indy picked off two Pryor passes. They would’ve been a bottom-five fantasy defense otherwise.
Let this be a lesson against what we thought was a foolproof strategy: rolling out every defense that faces Oakland.
Here are my Week 2 rankings. You should always use the streaming option you want, rather than the one I have ranked higher. I wouldn’t suggest any streamer without confidence that they’ll be a viable weekly option.
Oakland Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: I own Jacksonville’s defense in a league with a deep bench because, naturally, I was all aboard the stream-against-Oakland bandwagon. I may have been the self-appointed conductor of said wagon.
The Raiders sacked Andrew Luck four times in their Week 1 matchup, while holding him to 178 yards through the air. The Colts seemed to take their foot off the offensive gas a bit in the second half, for whatever that’s worth. Chad Henne – who will almost certainly start with Blaine Gabbert nursing 15 stiches – is a turnover machine, and a streaming defense magnet.
Henne threw 11 interceptions in nine starts last season.
Jacksonville’s moribund offense gave up six sacks and two interceptions in Week 1. That makes the Raiders a top-10 Week 2 play, with top-5 potential.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns: I think it’s safe to say that fantasy owners who saw their precious Baltimore fantasy defense get chainsawed by Peyton Manning and company will drop the Ravens to the depths of your local waiver wire this week.
They have no foresight. The Ravens get the Browns in Baltimore Week 2, just seven days removed from Brandon Weeden’s three first-half interceptions against Miami. The Browns have talent, to be sure, to go along with a vertical threat that showed its teeth through much of the preseason. Cleveland all but shut down Trent Richardson after four nice early-game runs against the Dolphins, begging the question: Will Norv Turner tone down his aerial attack until further notice? If so, it’s good news for the Ravens.
The Ravens make for an elite Week 2 streamer.
Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills: The Panthers front seven shut down the usually dominant Seattle running attack in Week 1, while pressuring Russell Wilson almost every time he dropped back. Carolina’s defense was as impressive as its offensive was unimpressive.
Carolina’s secondary was gashed to the tune of 320 yards in the opener, posing concerns about EJ Manuel piling up the yardage if the Panthers shut down Buffalo’s running attack, as they did against Seattle. Bills offensive linemen Colin Brown and Eric Wood struggled mightily against New England — I wouldn’t expect that to change much against the Panthers’ impressive front seven.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This is a bit of a wild card, I’ll admit. the Saints are a decent option, however, if you’re in a 14-team league and stuck with a Week 1 streaming defense that has a hideous Week 2 matchup.
The Saints’ pass rush was ranked on Pro Football Focus as the sixth best of Week 1, and the New Orleans front seven bottled up Steven Jackson for all but one play that saved Jackson’s fantasy day. Matt Ryan gashed the Saints through the air last week, which should come as a shock to precisely no one.
Tampa Bay doesn’t have quite the aerial attack the Atlanta sports, and the New Orleans defense is improved from last season’s joke of a unit, so I wouldn’t expect Josh Freeman to go bonkers like he did against the Saints in Tampa last year.
Keep an eye out for my Friday update in which we examine Vegas’s advice for streaming options, in the form of over-unders.