A hearty congratulations to anyone and everyone who banked on defensive and special teams touchdowns and cashed in – big time – with the Washington, Denver, Giants, and Arizona defenses.
Vegas’ over-unders for each of those Week 8 contests, as we discussed late last week, were sky high, and urging us against plucking our streamers from those matchups. The possibility for statistically unpredictable defensive scores always makes a defense playable, I suppose.
Our streaming options, and Saints and Packers, finished the week as the seventh and tenth highest scoring units, respectively. It’s a minor miracle Buffalo mustered 17 points against a suffocating New Orleans defense that showed, once again, that they are to be taken deadly seriously.
Three of our most reliable streaming targets – the Giants, Jaguars, and Cardinals – are on bye week in Week 9. A preliminary perusal of the available waiver wire options, however, brought a smile to my degenerate face.
Before we run through our Week 9 dreamy streamers, here’s an updated look at the five defenses with the softest remaining strength of schedule (SOS), according to rotoViz’s handy Streaming D app.
|Kansas City Chiefs||1|
Here are defenses I’m targeting for Week 9.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings: Dallas, available on roughly half of waiver wires, is next up in the sadistic little game, “Who Can Make The Vikings’ Offense Look Worse,” a game show that would surely get killer ratings on NFL Network.
I know it’s been sung, but it can’t be said enough: Minnesota’s offense is a debacle, and without giving up an opening kickoff return for a score Sunday night, the Packers’ defense would have been a top-6 Week 8 defensive play. Minnesota somehow didn’t turn it over against Green Bay after committing five turnovers in the previous two games.
Dallas’ vulnerability on the ground is the only factor keeping the Cowboys out of my top-5 defenses this week. Adrian Peterson still looms large, even in that abomination of an offense, and the Cowboys are ranked 24th against the run, according to Pro Football Focus. Probably it won’t matter, but it’s well worth noting.
New Orleans Saints at New York Jets: It was inevitable that an offense led by a rookie in a pass-heavy attack would eventually become a big, juicy defensive streaming target. And so it came to pass with Geno Smith and Gang Green.
The Jets are officially bleeding fantasy points to opposing defenses, allowing 16 points per game over their last three. Only two teams, the Titans and Texans, have been more generous to opposing defenses since Week 4.
The Saints sport a top-10 pass rush, with a new blitz-heavy scheme wreaking havoc on pass protections, and top-15 in pass coverage – a heady feat for a defense facing a barrage of pass attempts as teams try their damndest to keep pace with Drew Brees and company.
New Orleans, fantasy’s No. 13 defense, is still floating around seven in 10 waiver wires.
Oakland Raiders vs. Philadelphia Eagles: I would have put a fair chunk of change on Chip Kelly’s bunch never becoming an every-week streaming defense target. It’s happened though, and we’d be fools to ignore it.
Defenses have piled up 15 fantasy points in back to back games against Philadelphia’s sputtering disaster of an offense. Philly’s generosity to enemy defenses has been skewed by the offense’s complete and total evisceration of the Giants and Bucs in Weeks 5 and 6.
Michael Vick will likely miss this week’s game – and several more, I’d think – putting Nick Foles or (hopefully) Matt Barkley under center.
The Raiders’ defense, which have averaged 13 fantasy points in their past three home tilts, instantly becomes a top-5 option if and when Barkley is declared the Week 9 starter. The best news for those in the deepest of leagues? Oakland’s defense is owned in 3 percent of fantasy leagues.