Dreaming of Streaming Update: Week 7
October 17, 2014 | C.D. Carter
Every week, upon the release of my Streaming Scores, there are a spate of questions about defenses that might seem like a top streaming option, but ended up on the wrong end of the Streaming Score spectrum.
Usually this happens with defenses squaring off against offenses that are considered to be walking, breathing collective disasters. This week, questions poured in about why the Cardinals’ defense — facing Oakland in Week 7 — had a middle-of-the-road score of three — lower than 10 defenses for this week.
The Raiders looked to be a season-long streaming target just a month ago after the Dolphins’ defense racked up 17 fantasy points against a listless Oakland offense that looked just barely better than its bottom-barrel defense. And yes, a big part of the reason we streamed San Diego against the Raiders in Week 6 was because there was reasonable expectation that the Chargers’ otherworldly offense would build a nice lead and force Derek Carr to the air.
That never happened, and Carr once again looked more than serviceable, carving up the Chargers’ secondary for 282 yards and four scores.
Take away the debacle against Miami in Week 4 and the Raiders have committed a respectable five turnovers in 2014. Consider that the Cardinals sport what could be the NFL’s worst secondary — allowing 44.9 schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing receivers and 20.3 receiver receptions — and Arizona seems like a pretty clear fade for Week 7. Oakland’s passing game is no joke and teams have consistently attacked the Cardinals’ coverage unit, with great success to boot.
Arizona is also on the road this week — a factor taken into account in our weekly Streaming Scores. I think you could do a whole lot better than the Cardinals in Week 7.
Below are a few other observations that might change for defensive streaming plans for Sunday and Monday…
* You know I’m bullish on the Dallas defense, at home against a Giants’ offense that doesn’t look so hot when Eli Manning is relentlessly pressured by blitzers. The Giants are allowing eight fantasy points per game to defenses on the road this season, and that includes New York’s Week 4 nuclear annihilation of Washington. I’d much prefer the Bills and Browns — in that order — but I’d happily settle on the Dallas defense this week in deep leagues. Big Blue is giving up 1.8 turnovers and the Cowboys are allowing just 227 passing yards per contest. I think they have a shockingly high ceiling in this one.
* Defenses are scoring bucket loads of fantasy points against the St. Louis offense, but that’s thanks in large part to special teams and defensive touchdowns — precisely the sort of scoring we can’t (and shouldn’t) depend on when selecting a weekly defense. It’s good that Seattle is no longer considered a no-brainer defensive play, especially away from the Thunderdome, where they’re averaging one fantasy point per contest. The Rams are a viable streaming target, to be sure, though I’d rather use our highlighted Week 7 streaming options over the Seahawks. Remember: They only have seven sacks and five forced turnovers this season. Tread carefully.
* Washington’s defense is the ultimate Week 7 flier. They can’t be ignored simply because they’re playing either Jake Locker — an oft-broken turnover machine — or Charlie Whitehurst, who probably cares more about the quality of his sandals than the quality of his throws to Justin Hunter. The Titans have given up double-digit fantasy points to opposing defenses twice this year — both times on the road. I suppose Washington’s moribund secondary could — like a blind squirrel finding a nut in a blizzard — pick off a pass or three against Tennessee.