Dreaming of Streaming Week 4: Advice from Vegas
September 27, 2013 | C.D. Carter
The King Degenerates in Vegas are sending emergency smoke signals in the form of a preposterous Week 4 over-under.
They’ve set the Broncos-Eagles over-under at 58 — a number that simultaneously begs us to jam as many Broncos and Eagles into our lineups as possible, and run far, far away from their defenses.
I’ve seen the Denver defense described as a must-play — a top-5 option for some fantasy footballers — since they’re playing the turnover-happy Philadelphia offense.
It’s true that the Eagles have lost five fumbles, thrown two interceptions, and allowed two defensive scores through three weeks, and perhaps Denver’s defense will force Michael Vick’s hand a collect a couple more turnovers this week.
The potential for scoring in this game, however, makes the Broncos defense more of a middling fantasy play. Philadelphia’s horrid defense will be shredded by the Peyton Manning Machine, and the Eagles will have to score, and score a lot. Chip Kelly is going to keep his chubby little foot on the proverbial gas in Denver, and it’s going to strip fantasy points from your beloved Denver defense.
Only two teams give up more passing yards per game than Denver, which has been gouged by teams in catch-up mode for the entire second half. The Eagles are throwing for 252.7 yards despite the team’s run-heavy ways. Vick, to that point, is averaging 30 attempts per game. Twenty-four quarterbacks have thrown more passes through three weeks.
Oh, and this: Philadelphia is allowing eight fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. Thirteen teams are worse.
|Ravens at Bills||44|
|Bengals at Browns||42.5|
|Colts at Jaguars||43|
|Seahawks at Texans||42|
|Cardinals at Buccaneers||40.5|
|Steelers vs. Vikings||42|
|Bears at Lions||48|
|Giants at Chiefs||44|
|Jets at Titans||38.5|
|Cowboys at Chargers||45|
|Washington at Raiders||44|
|Eagles at Broncos||58|
|Patriots at Falcons||50|
|Dolphins at Saints||48|
* You’ll rarely see an over-under lower than the Jets-Titans showdown, if it can be labeled such. I mentioned both defenses as recommended streamers, as the Jets’ run defense is something akin to a spike-laden brick wall, and the Tennessee pass defense has proven borderline elite through three games. I don’t expect the Jets to turn ultra-conservative in this one, as they’ve let Geno Smith (60 percent completion percentage, 31st in the NFL) fling it everywhere of late. That’s a decidedly good thing for the Titans’ defense.
* The Cardinals-Bucs over-under seems about 37 points too high. Mike Glennon gets the start while Josh Freeman sends boxes of chocolate to every quarterback-needy general manager in the league, and the Arizona offense has been downright anemic of late. The Cardinals aren’t going to steamroll through Tampa, as the Bucs are in the top half of the league in both rush and pass defense. And without Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams — both of whom are (very) questionable to play this week — the Tampa Bay offense could be a real life dumpster fire. I have the Cardinals, available in 27 percent of NFL.com leagues, as a top-10 defensive play.
* The Saints‘ defense, free from their 2012 whipping boy status, is shaping up to be a sneaky good play for owners who couldn’t land the Chiefs, Titans, or Jets this week. The over-under is a bit on the high side, I know, but consider this: New Orleans sports the league’s 13th best run defense, according to Pro Football Focus, along with the seventh-rated pass rush. Miami will face a raucous, hostile environment Monday night unlike anything Ryan Tannehill has seen as a pro. The Dolphins might score a decent number of points against the Saints, thanks to the wonders of keeping up with Drew Brees and company. If you’re using the New Orleans defense, you’re banking on turnovers.