Dreaming of Streaming: Week 11 Update
November 14, 2014 | C.D. Carter
Editor’s Note: Check out our DFS Cheat Sheet!
Many of you dedicated defensive streamers were champing at the bit to deploy the Browns’ defense in their Week 11 showdown with the Texans, and after an absurd amount of research into the matchup, I can say with certainty that your collective bit champing was justified.
Cleveland’s defense, after a rough patch that made them close to unplayable outside of the juiciest matchups, has posted a very nice 10.4 fantasy points per game over the past month against a variety of opponents. The Browns are particularly vicious in the not-so-friendly confines of the Dawg Pound, collecting at least eight fantasy points in four of their five home games.
The Browns’ secondary, after some early season struggles against the long ball, are now rated as Pro Football Focus’ top pass defense — by a healthy margin too.
The only knock against Cleveland’s defense is that they’re cleary vulnerable against the run. Luckily, for anyone who grabbed the Browns off their local waiver wire this week, those run defense struggles won’t matter against Houston. Arian Foster, by all indications, won’t suit up against the Browns, leaving replacement level Alfred Blue to handle the bulk of carries against Cleveland.
Then there’s the likely terrible signal calling elephant in the room: Ryan Mallet, getting his first start in a hostile environment without Foster as a security blanket, behind an offensive line that PFF rates as the league’s fifth worst pass blocking unit. Only two quarterbacks — Austin Davis and Russell Wilson — have been pressured more often than the dispatched Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2014. Fitzy was pressured on 42.5 percent of his snaps, per PFF.
This creates a dream matchup of sorts for Cleveland’s’ defense: They’re at home, they’re favored, and they’re taking on a quarterback considered to be a fairly inaccurate thrower who will likely have to toss it a lot on Sunday.
The Browns’ Week 11 Streaming Score of two — one of the lowest of the week — is deceiving, just like the Lions’ score. I would play the Browns over any defense besides Detroit. I think the Browns-Texans tilt could be a massacre.
A Streaming Defense Look Ahead
Instead of various observations headed into the week’s games, I’m going to lay out a game plan for those with the luxury to pick up defenses set to become streaming heroes in the fantasy football playoffs.
- Week 14: Houston, Detroit, Washington and Arizona are the top defenses in Week 14, per the Rotoviz Streaming D app. Houston, fantasy’s No. 4 defense through 10 weeks, gets the Jaguars in Jacksonville, making them a top-end option. The Texans’ defense is available on 38 percent of waiver wires. Get them ASAP.
- Week 15: Baltimore gets the Jags in Week 15, at home in what will likely be a critical game in their run for a Wild Card spot. The Ravens are only owned in 40 percent of fantasy leagues, even after five double-digit fantasy outputs in 2014. If you can’t grab Baltimore, get the improved Chiefs’ defense, which takes on the Raiders’ fledgling offense in Kansas City.
- Week 16: The Giants get their crack at the flaming trash heap that is the Rams’ offense in fantasy football’s championship week. It doesn’t matter much to me that Big Blue will be on the road here — they’ll surely be a top-3 play. The Titans’s defense, which managed 11 fantasy points in its first matchup with the Jaguars, plays at Jacksonville in Week 16 in what could be the ugliest sporting event in recent human history. No matter. The Jags have allowed double digit fantasy outputs to all but two opposing defenses in 2014. Tennessee’s defense could be the key to your fantasy title game happiness.