Dreaming of Streaming: Week 2 September 15, 2015  |  Chet

Time to import your team to My Playbook for season-long management and advice.


Fantasy defenses are subject to a lot of whims — one of those whims being the disastrous performance of a rookie signal caller in his first NFL game.

Tampa’s defense, which featured Week 1’s top streaming score, was decimated by Marcus Mariota and the Titans mysterious offensive machine as Tennessee was time and again put in excellent position to score, thanks to Jameis Winston’s apocalyptic performance.

It was a debacle through and through, but it’s hardly a reason to abandon the formula that did us so well in 2014.

Twitter reaction the the Bucs’ catastrophe centered around the factoring of home field advantage in these weekly streaming scores. I don’t care about home teams anymore, the thinking went. But while I prefer a home team defense as my streamer, you should know that home field advantage is a very small part of how I calculate these scores. Tampa would’ve had a top-5 streaming score even if they were on the road last week.

If you hold deep skepticism about a top-end streaming score, please feel no obligation to invest in said defense just because they sit atop this list. And if it makes you feel better — and I’m sure it will — I live and die with the top streaming scores every week. I died with Tampa, so you have that going for you.

The good news: Four of our top-5 streaming scores posted top-6 Week 1 performances, averaging a hefty 14.2 fantasy points. The Jets, whose streaming scores wasn’t as high as I had suspected, managed a top-5 week despite Johnny Manziel moving the ball effectively after Josh McCown helicoptered himself out of the game.

Chris Raybon, a daily fantasy maven and writer for 4for4.com, has the definitive breakdown of which stats correlate with D/ST scoring. You’ll see why selecting a defense can prove so maddening: passing touchdowns against and total yardage against do not correlate with fantasy defense success. Turnovers and defensive scores are all we care about here.

Here are last week’s results.


Defense Week 1 Streaming Score Fantasy Points Week 1 Rank
Buccaneers 6 1 29th
Panthers 5.5 21 1st
Dolphins 5.5 15 6th
Seahawks 5.5 19 2nd
Titans 4.5 15 6th

And now on to Week 2’s top streaming scores. Let us not lose faith.


Defense Week 2 Opponent Week 2 Streaming Score
Saints Buccaneers 6
Rams Washington 5.5
Dolphins Jaguars 5.5
Browns Titans 5
Steelers 49ers 4.5


* I’m honestly afraid for Kirk Cousins’ health this week against the NFL’s most vicious front seven. Not many defenses can notch a streaming score above 5 while playing on the road, but here we have the Rams with a sky-high score on the road. St. Louis’ defense racked up 27 fantasy points (seven sacks, two interceptions) against Washington’s putrid offense last season in Week 14, and not a whole lot has changed since then. Colt McCoy started that game, but who could say that Cousins is an upgrade? I don’t think he is. Cousins is an inaccurate, turnover prone quarterback who won’t have the luxury of hiding behind a stout running game. I see the Rams as the defense with the highest floor and the highest ceiling for Week 2.


* Skinny Blake Bortles seems to be as laughably bad as fat Blake Bortles. Here, again, we have a top streaming score playing on the road. While Miami depended on a return touchdown to post top Week 1 fantasy numbers, I wouldn’t quibble with anyone deploying the Dolphins over every other team this week. Jacksonville has averaged 1.8 turnovers per contest over the past 17 games, to go along with 4.6 sacks per game. The Jags seem to be as juicy a target as any and the Dolphins’ defense could feast on Bortles and company if/when Miami seizes a lead in this one.


* Marcus Mariota strikes me as the kind of quarterback that — even if he struggles in a given week — won’t hemorrhage turnovers. That’s one reason I’d hesitate to stream the Browns here, despite their high streaming score. If forced to stream a defense in this game, I’d go with Tennessee. Johnny Manziel could have a very nice day here while committing a couple brutal turnovers. We saw a bit of that in his action against the Jets last week.


* Be careful with the Steelers’ defense here. Their high streaming score has more to do with how putrid the Niners’ offense was in the waning weeks of 2014. It also doesn’t account for Pittsburgh’s defense potentially being horrendous this year. I’m skeptical of any defense that decides not to cover Rob Gronkowski.


Defense Week 2 Opponent Week 2 Streaming Score
Ravens Raiders 4
Washington Rams 4
Colts Jets 4
Texans Panthers 4
Cardinals Bears 3.5
Bengals Chargers 3.5
Jaguars Dolphins 3.5
Titans Browns 3.5
Chiefs Broncos 3.5


* It doesn’t matter to me whether Derek Carr plays this week. Carr is terrible. So is his backup, Matt McGloin. In fact, I hope Carr starts because he seems intent on making risky throws into tight windows. That’s good for any defense that plays Oakland. Forget the Terrell Suggs injury and roll with Baltimore’s defense if you can. Oakland has averaged a whopping 1.82 turnovers per game since the start of the 2014 season.


* The Chiefs’ defense, favored in this one, intrigues me. Running a defense against Peyton Manning has been a clear sign of insanity over the past decade and a half, but things are different now. Denver’s offense is decidedly less field stretching these days, keeping passes at or near the line of scrimmage. Against a fast, aggressive Kansas City defense playing at home, that could spell disaster for the Broncos, who have given up double-digit fantasy points to opposing defenses in two of their past three games. I think the Chiefs’ defense could feast on the ghost of the Broncos’ offense. KC’s defense makes for a sneaky DFS play, at worst.


* The Texans make for a legit play this week. First off: don’t stream defenses against the Chiefs. They don’t commit turnovers and don’t give up sacks. Defenses playing the Chiefs — like the Texans last week — always have a capped ceiling. Back to this matchup: Carolina’s pass-catching crew is odious and Cam Newton is an inaccurate passer who could once again be forced to the air. Probably Houston has a low floor in this matchup, but I like their ceiling if Houston’s offense can hold its own (doubtful) and turn game script against Cam and his offense.


Defense Week 2 Opponent Week 2 Streaming Score
Lions Vikings 3
Vikings Lions 3
Patriots Bills 3
Giants Falcons 3
Jets Colts 3
Bills Patriots 3
Chargers Bengals 2.5
Panthers Texans 2.5


*  If you have the Bills’ defense, you’re using them whenever they’re at home. Even against the Patriots. We saw what Buffalo’s defense did to the game’s most potent offense in Week 1. Buffalo’s streaming score is suppressed this week only because New England is so stingy against opposing defenses. The Pats gave up 2.2 fantasy points per game to defenses in 2014. The Steelers’ defense scored a big old zero against New England in Week 1.


12 Responses

  1. Dr. Evil says:

    Might be nice to add a look-ahead segment for the following week for those of us with fellow defense streamers in our leagues or positioning for byes..

    Ended up having to play the DEN DST against KC this week. Was much better than expected, especially with the fumble recovery TD at the end. Gave me 21 points.

  2. Nick says:

    Surprised to see the Eagles NOT even making the list. They play at home, against Dallas w/o Dez and a messy running situation. Not to mention the Dallas secondary is going to give up tons of points, causing Romo to air it out. That should make for some defensive points for the Eagles….
    Last year the Eagles were Yahoos #1 D…..

  3. Tyler says:

    I streamed tge panthers defense last week and was very pleased with the result. It looks like they can have another good week against mallet. Or do you think I should play the titans defense vs interception prone manziel?

  4. Kevin says:

    In my league 3 people have multiple defenses (I know, not smart but whatever) so my options are the Broncos, the Browns and the Titans. Out of those three choices you suggest I choose the Titans? Manziel is pretty injury prone.

  5. Vic says:

    This is a good week to pick up the Pats defense. I could see the Bill playing from behind and getting away from their game plan of running the ball. I don’t know if you can trust Tyrod Taylor’s arm. If you pick up the Pats defense this week, you can double dip them for next week match-up vs the Jaguars.

  6. craig says:

    Just curious where the Bucs got a point on defense? I streamed them in Yahoo and they got me 0…and of course, I lost by .42 points.

    Basically I am wondering if there is a potential stat correction here?

  7. David says:

    Fantastic stuff, I had Carolina last week, may hold.

  8. Dave says:

    Why so low on the Jets, do you see a big bounce back from the Indy O, or is this a comment on the Jets D?

  9. Justin says:

    Panthers from 1st to Last? Against a possibly Mallet-led offense starting Alfred Blue? Yikes…I was sure they were Tier 2, maybe Tier 1 this week.

    May I ask the rationale for the downgrade?

    • c.d. carter says:

      I like Carolina this week, but streaming scores are still somewhat based on last year’s stats. Houston was tough against opposing defenses last season (didn’t give up a lot of sacks or turnovers). The Panthers make for a really solid play despite the low score.

      • Justin says:

        Ah gotcha. Yeah, last year they didn’t turn the ball over much. Makes sense. I’m still thinking a solid week is ahead facing off against that lousy offense (Mallet isn’t afraid to gun it wildly). Plus I had Carolina last week, so dare I say, a streaming double dip?

        Thanks as always C.D. for the detailed analysis. Always great to read.

  10. Andrew says:

    Why are the Panthers the lowest against Houston? Seems their offense is terrible and Panthers D looked good week 1.

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