Dreaming of Streaming: Week 7
October 14, 2014 | C.D. Carter
The Cardinals against Kirk Cousins, the Titans against Blake Bortles, and the Broncos against Geno Smith: Three perfectly fine defenses facing quarterbacks who we want to see forced into throwing ye ole’ pigskin early and often.
It paid off to target these reliably inaccurate signal callers in Week 6, as Cousins, Smith, and Bortles combined for five interceptions and were sacked 14 times. That’s a whole lot of defensive points right there, dear streamer.
Our Week 6 Streaming Score all-stars put up stellar numbers against vulnerable opponents, raising our seasonal average for top streamers to a collective eighth place finish.
And yes, I understand that Seattle and the 49ers were not widely available on waiver wires, but these Streaming Scores are not just meant to show which streamers have the best matchups.
I hope these scores — based on Vegas projections, turnovers, home field advantage, and other factors — have proven helpful for those unsure about deploying a non-streaming defense in a given week. The hope was that a high Streaming Score could offer some modicum of confirmation for owners deciding between their season-long defense and one hanging out there on the wire.
Here’s how it broke down in Week 6.
|Defense||Streaming Score||Fantasy points||Week 6 rank|
Now on to Week 7, which offers us a bunch of fantastic dreamy streamers. Remember: the more weeks that pass, the more data we collect, the more clarity we have in pinpointing matchups begging for our attention. Below are Week 7’s best streaming options, with breakdowns below each group of Streaming Scores.
* Don’t be scared away by the Patriots’ annihilation of Buffalo’s defense last week. The madmen calling the shots in New England have once again transformed the offense into a workable unit capable of creating mismatches and scoring points. Minnesota, after having allowed 15 sacks over the past two weeks, has the league’s fourth worst pass blocking unit, according to Pro Football Focus. Buffalo, meanwhile, has notched 3.2 sacks per game through six weeks — the third best mark in the NFL. The Bills head into this one with the highest fantasy floor of any Week 7 defense, and they’re available in 41 percent of leagues. Go get them.
* New England is somehow owned in 90 percent of leagues. If you can acquire them this week, do so with great zest. Geno Smith is now averaging 1.6 interceptions and .6 touchdown throws in away games. He’s a disaster and he’ll have to put it up early and often in this one.
* The Browns, available on 79 percent of waiver wires, is this week’s Don’t Overthink It special. They get the Jaguars — an atrocious offense giving up 15.2 schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing defenses. Do we want our streamers playing at home? Well, yes, but if it ever doesn’t matter, this is the case. I think the Browns’ ceiling might be a bit capped in this one only because they can — and will — grind down the Jags on the ground, shortening the game and making it unlikely Bortles will throw 40-45 passes. They’re still a locked-and-loaded dreamy streamer. The Rotoviz Streaming D App is all over the Browns this week.
* The Cowboys, thanks to their fantasy-killing offensive ways, have largely shut down every position not called tight end through six weeks of the 2014 season. Teams are running a measly 56.1 plays per game against the Dallas defense, the lowest in the NFL. Now they play a Giants’ offense reeling from a blowout loss to the Eagles in which they were forced to max protect Eli Manning to allow him any time to get rid of the ball. Philly created the blueprint for shutting down New York’s offense, and I don’t see any reason the Cowboys — PFF’s fifth-best pass rushing defense — don’t deploy the same script against Big Blue. I dare say the Cowboys’ defense has a tremendous ceiling against the Giants.
* The Bears are at home against a Dolphins’ defense that should be ripe for the picking. Ryan Tannehill could very well be forced into throwing it a lot against a Chicago defense allowing just 5.8 yards per play in 2014. While Miami’s run-heavy attack doesn’t create a ton of turnover opportunity, the Bears have a nice and high floor in Week 7.
* The Ravens-Falcons game is projected by Vegas to be one of the week’s highest scoring affairs, though the Ravens at home against a porous Atlanta offensive line could be the makings of a beautiful defensive performance. Baltimore will be an easy top-10 play for me in Week 7.
* Detroit, fantasy’s second highest scoring defense through six weeks, isn’t a must-bail option for Week 7. The Saints’ offense, which wasn’t exactly lighting the world aflame with Jimmy Graham in the lineup, will be without their otherworldly tight end in this one. The Lions managed 16 fantasy points against the Packers a few weeks back — thanks to a defensive touchdown — and by every measure, Detroit’s defense is a legit unit that could be fantasy’s highest scoring by year’s end. No defense has allowed fewer total yards to opponents this season. The Lions are holding teams to just 270 yards per game. That’s incredible.
* If you’re deploying the Titans on the road against Washington, you’re hoping Kirk Cousins continues his laughably inaccurate ways. Tennessee is averaging a decent 1.6 forced turnovers per contest, so maybe it’s not the worst bet to stream them against Danny Boy’s fledgling team as their season circles the drain. Beware though: the Titans have a bottom-10 secondary, according to PFF’s grades through Week 6.