Dreaming of Streaming: Week 15 Edition
December 10, 2012 | C.D. Carter
I will not, I refuse, I won’t. Put it out of your collective mind, streamers.
We’ve been fixated on the Chiefs this season, and for only the best reasons: They have an abysmal offense with exactly one difference-making player (Jamaal Charles) and a penchant for turnovers of every kind.
Avert your eyes, streamers, from the mess that is the Kansas City offense, because this week, they play the Oakland Raiders, whose defense is so porous – so rife with players simply going through the motions – that even Brady Quinn and Brian Daboll can post points against the Silver and Black.
The Raiders have allowed 80 points and forced just three turnovers in the last three weeks. We’ve watched quarterbacks of every ilk conduct complex surgeries on the Oakland secondary, and the front seven made fantasy owners have good feelings about Knowshon Moreno in Week 14.
Stream them if you must. I’ll take my shot somewhere else – anywhere else.
A quick Week 13 ‘dreaming of streaming’ recap: Our Browns came through, even after Charles busted an 80-yard score on the Chiefs’ first play from scrimmage. They scored 16 fantasy points, more than the Bears, Ravens, and Broncos combined. Kudos to those who put their playoff fate in Cleveland’s so very unreliable hands.
Now, for Week 15: Fantasy Playoff Apocalypse, Part 2.
Cincinnati Bengals at Eagles – Nick Foles isn’t going to post Breesian numbers for a second straight week. Tampa Bay, in its Week 14 game against the Eagles, sold out to stop the once-great Bryce Brown and force Foles to win the game. Well, he did, while posting a cool 381 yards and three total touchdowns (one on the ground).
The Bengals have an NFL-best 42 sacks this year, three ahead of the Broncos and their quarterback harassing machine, Von Miller. Cincy’s front four is aggressive, teeing off on obvious passing downs. This could lead to a nice night for Brown, who should be able to exploit that no-holds-barred upfield aggressiveness, but Foles will feel the heat, much like the late Whitney Houston.
The Bengals’ defense, before last week’s so-so effort against Dallas, had posted four consecutive double-digit performances, forcing nine turnovers and tallying 16 sacks during that span. The Eagles have given up 41 sacks – third worst in the league. Their offensive line has been sieve like at times in 2012. Cincinatti’s secondary isn’t superb, with aged corners Terence Newman and Pacman Jones proving burnable at times this year, but they’re an unstoppable force compared to the putrid Bucs’ secondary, which let Foles pick it to shreds like a squirrel carcass on a desert highway. You know, with vultures and stuff. Whatever.
The Eagles have given up the fourth most points to fantasy defenses through 14 weeks (10.9 PPG). Even if Foles continues his progression, and Brown busts a run or three, I trust the Bengals to stay afloat with sacks and the inevitable turnover.
The Bengals are available in 59 percent of ESPN leagues.
Detroit Lions at Cardinals – The #LongLiveLindley movement fizzled out when the rookie was supplanted by make-believe quarterback, John Skelton. So let’s just change it up a bit, you Lindleyites.
The Cardinals, in case you didn’t hear, lost to Seattle by a cool 58 points. They scored precisely zero. They gave up 36 fantasy points to the Seabeagles’ defense, winning and losing a hundred thousand fantasy playoff games in the process. Arizona’s offense is a shambles, they can’t get the ball in Larry Fitzgerald’s hands even when they force feed the one-time superstar, and they have no running game to speak of, or see, or anything else.
Here’s perhaps the most striking streaming defense statistic of 2012: the Cardinals have allowed double digit fantasy points to opposing defenses in nine of their past 10 contests. Arizona now allows 14 fantasy points per game to defenses, a solid two points more than even the Chiefs. It wouldn’t be off-base, amazingly, to say that any defense playing the Cardinals will score double digits.
Yes, even the Lions. They were borderline awful in the first half of the year; now, they’ve crossed the threshold. They’re just awful. Detroit has given up 24 points or more in each of their past five games, never scoring more than five fantasy points in any of those matchups. They look confused at times on defense, blowing coverages that ruin the good work of their front four.
It’s that Detroit pass rush that makes the Lions a legit streaming option in Week 15. The Cardinals’ cast of signal callers have been sacked 51 times, the most in the NFL, while the Lions have recorded 30 sacks. Look for Ndamukong Suh to apply the pressure and kick the genitals of whichever Arizona quarterback suits up Sunday (that’s still in question as of this writing) and pick up the Lions if you can.
They’re available in 51 percent of ESPN leagues.
Cleveland Browns vs. Redskins – Here’s your Week 15 playoff special, but this streamer comes with one condition: if Robert Griffin III misses Sunday’s game with his knee ailment, the Browns become a more-than-viable streaming option. Cleveland has forced 11 turnovers in its past four games, swarming ball carriers and stiffening in the secondary. I like their chances at home against Kirk Cousins.
If RG3 plays, you’re leaving the Browns’ defense to wander the vast wasteland of your local waiver wire.
Here are my full Week 15 rankings. Godspeed, dear streamers.