Brandon Weeden showed precisely why even the most scientific approach to selecting weekly defensive plays can be such a dicey proposition.
Weeden, in all his aged glory, committed three turnovers on the Browns’ side of the field last Sunday, putting our Cleveland defense in a precarious position. Those fumbles and interceptions led to 13 Jaguars points — a kill shot to our premiere Week 13 streaming option.
Perhaps the lesson to be drawn from Week 13 is this: Jacksonville, for so long our reliable streaming target, is not nearly the sieve that the Jets’ offense has become. Miami scored 17 fantasy points against Gang Green last week, becoming the eighth team to post double digit fantasy points against Geno Smith’s bumbling, stumbling crew.
The Jaguars shouldn’t be crossed off our streaming target list, but I think it’s high time to prioritize the Jets and Giants over Jacksonville.
For those looking for an edge in the fantasy playoffs, check out my little chart of optimal defensive streamers for Weeks 14-16.
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets: How bad have things gotten for the Jets’ lifeless offense? There was confirmed chatter after Week 13’s debacle that David Garrard — he of recent retirement — could start behind center in Week 14.
The argument for Oakland’s defense begins and ends here: New York has allowed 16 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses over the past five weeks. That somehow includes a two-point outing by the Saints’ defense against the Jets in Week 9.
The Raiders will be a top-5 defensive play this week.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars: The Texans’ defense is bad, no matter how you cut it. Houston now sports a bottom-five pas coverage unit, according to Pro Football Focus, and opponents know it. Offenses have thrown an averaged of 35.5 passes against Houston over the past three weeks, reaping all the benefits you see on NFL highlight reels.
Jacksonville is allowing just 7.2 fantasy points to enemy defenses over the past month. It’s not a meager amount, of course, but streaming against the Jaguars suddenly lacks the upside it had in September and October.
I’ll still have Houston ranked as a top-12 Week 14 defense.
San Diego Chargers vs. New York Giants: Big Blue’s turnover rate, sadly, has dipped dramatically over the past month. Eli and company have committed just six turnovers over that span — a far cry from the 14 turnovers the Giants committed in the first three weeks of the season.
The Chargers’ defense has almost nothing going for it besides playing New York this week. San Diego’s front seven gets very little pressure on the passer and its secondary has been scorched time and again by pass catchers of every caliber.
What we’re banking on, as per usual, is the Giants’ propensity for turnovers and sacks allowed. Big Blue is still, even after their relatively decent play in November, giving up 1.6 turnovers per game. Only the Jets are worse.
I’ll have San Diego as a top-12 Week 14 play.