I know you’re not mad at the Oakland Raiders’ defense. You’re just disappointed.
It’s what you’d say to your significant other during a spat: it’s not that you’re furious about forgetting our anniversary. No, not at all. You’re just so very disappointed.
The Raiders’ defense was the first one in a long time to permit any sort of offensive production to Geno Smith’s stumbling, bumbling bunch that had hemorrhaged 16 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses over the past month.
There was every reason to deploy the Raiders last week. It was a classic case of process over results. We looked for a reason to stream the Oakland defense, found ample evidence for their usage, and made a confident decision. That’s all that should matter because, many more times than not, this will net us points and wins and glory.
Oakland safety and senior citizen Charles Woodson said he was shocked by the ineptness of a Raiders’ defense that had played fairly well over the past few weeks. Gang Green, for what it’s worth, had scored 20 total points over its previous three contests. Geno and company dropped 37 on Oakland.
“I don’t want to sit here and make excuses about anything. We’ve played well at times and we haven’t played well and [the Jets game] is as bad as we’ve played this whole season,” Woodson said, via the Bay Area News Group. “It’s really embarrassing to be a part of it. We were like the Bad News Bears out there. … Defensively we went out there and basically peed down our legs.”
You peed on ten thousand fantasy seasons too, Chuck.
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings: I think we can safely write off the Vikings’ fourth quarter offensive explosion in Baltimore as an aberration, or something close to it.
That two-minute burst could also be a warning to those rolling with the Eagles’ defense this week that Matt Cassel has weapons at his disposal, including rookie receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who looks like he’ll make a career of torturing defenses.
Philly’s defense has vastly improved since September. They now sport the game’s sixth best run defense, according to Pro Football Focus, though their secondary is a bottom-10 unit. The Eagles edge rushers have gotten much more consistent pressure on the passer the past few weeks — a potential boon against Cassel, our No. 1 streaming defense target one short year ago.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills: In a shocking reversal of our season-long strategy of targeting Chad Henne and company, I’m pegging Jacksonville’s defense as the preferred streamer against the Bills’ deteriorating excuse for an offense.
The Jags’ defense was repeatedly and predictably mutilated in the season’s first half. Something changed after the team’s Week 9 bye week, as the Jacksonville secondary — except for one major hiccup against Josh Gordon — has proven a legit unit. The Jaguars’ defense has averaged 9.9 fantasy points over the past month after averaging 2.7 points in the season’s first eight weeks.
Buffalo, meanwhile, is now the NFL’s eighth most generous team to opposing defenses after Tampa Bay racked up 23 fantasy points last week against E.J. Manuel and crew. Defenses have scored eight or more fantasy points against Buffalo seven times this season, as the Bills are allowing an eye-popping 13.3 points to enemy defenses on the road.
I’ll have Jacksonville as a top-10 Week 15 defensive play.