Dreaming of Streaming Update: Week 8
October 24, 2014 | C.D. Carter
Check out The Fake Football’s Week 8 NFL DFS Cheat Sheet!
We have a new rookie quarterback to target, though I’m not sure Zach Mettenberger will be the streaming miracle other inexperienced signal callers have been in 2014.
New Titans’ starter Mettenberger, in my estimation, doesn’t make the Houston Texans a better Week 8 defensive option. They’re still a top-10 play, to be sure, but let’s not pretend like Jake Locker and his career 57.2 percent completion rate hasn’t been prime streaming meat for a while now. I think there’s an argument to be made that Mettenberger, his canon arm, and his willingness to utilize big-bodied deep threat Justin Hunter represent a slight downgrade for Houston’s defense.
The Texans’ defense, still available in 29 percent of leagues, is fantasy’s third highest scoring defense through seven weeks thanks in large part to big point totals against Washington and Buffalo. The Texans sport the league’s third best pass rush, according to Pro Football Focus grades. That’s hardly a shock to anyone who has watch J.J. Watt and company harass opposing passers.
Could Mettenberger perform admirably and still make a rookie mistake or three? Of course. Does the rookie starting his first game mean I’d use Houston’s defense above all others? Absolutely not.
Here are a couple more notes on defensive plays as we head into Week 8…
* Jay Gruden’s answer as to whether Colt McCoy would start for Washington on Monday Night Football was similar to the response of those who picked up the Dallas defense as a solid Week 8 streaming option: “Oh yeah. Yeah.” I think we all need to trust that McCoy’s respectable play against a borderline terrible Tennessee secondary was not a sign of things to come, especially in a road game against a defense allowing just 14.4 fantasy points to quarterbacks, when adjusted for strength of schedule. The Cowboys have a top-5 pass rush, according to PFF’s grades, to go along with top-6 secondary. Washington’s only hope is to whip the Dallas defense — which gives up 4.9 yards per carry — on the ground. I don’t believe they’ll have the chance to establish and maintain a running game in this one, making the Cowboys a top-3 defensive play. Dallas’ game of run-heavy keep away could leave Washington with no option but to let McCoy sling it anywhere and everywhere.
* I don’t write about the Colts‘ defense nearly as much as I should. Perhaps that’s because I refuse to believe they’re the No. 4 fantasy defense as we near the season’s midpoint, trailing only the Eagles, Lions and Texans. There might be something to Indy’s success though, as they’re allowing a miniscule 311 total yards per game to opponents. Only the 49ers and Lions allow fewer total yards per contest. A big reason for that defensive domination: Indy has hogged the pigskin through seven week. Opponents are averaging 57.2 offensive snaps against the Colts, the second lowest mark in the NFL. I don’t see much reason that would change in Week 8 as the Colts travel to Pittsburgh — a team that has given up seven schedule-adjusted fantasy points to defenses. Indianapolis has collected 14 sacks over their past three games. Against a sometimes-shaky Steelers offensive line and a quarterback who refuses to throw away the ball and live to see another play, I think the Colts could have a curiously high fantasy floor in this matchup. The Colts are my No. 10 defense this week.