Dreaming of Streaming: Week 3 September 21, 2015  |  Chet


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I was afraid to look, as my Twitter mentions burned to the ground and faithful readers of this column swore to every deity that there had been a monumental mistake in Week 2’s streaming scores.

I finally, after hours of dread, peaked at the New Orleans Saints defense’s fantasy output after the Bucs beat them at home. There must be something wrong, I thought. I refreshed the page, hoping an update to the numbers before me would make it clear as to why readers had laid waste to my Twitter mentions — why they were furious, why they had abandoned all hope in our process.

But no, the numbers didn’t change. There was the Saints’ defense with seven fantasy points. Only seven defenses, headed into Monday night, had notched more fantasy points in Week 2. I had assumed New Orleans’ defense had scored negative points against Tampa. Seven fantasy points, apparently, is cause for a degenerate uprising.

D/ST scoring is volatile, dear streamer. There’s no way around that. Defensive points do not correlate with points allowed, but rather with sacks, turnovers and defensive touchdowns — all tough to predict, as you might know. Sometimes the week’s top streaming play falls short as game flow turns against them and they come up with seven points. It happens. On a related note, it’ll all be OK.

Projecting streaming defenses is tough action. You might say it’s the analytical opposite of proclaiming “Gronk is good” and calling it a day.

It could’ve been worse for those who streamed the Saints. You could’ve plugged in the Rams or Dolphins or Ravens — all highly-owned defenses that tanked in Week 2.

Week 2’s top-5 streaming scores averaged eight fantasy points, bringing our yearly average to 11.1 fantasy points.


Defense Week 2 Streaming Score Fantasy points Week 2 D/ST Rank
Saints 6 7 8th
Rams 5.5 4 11th
Dolphins 5.5 1 24th
Browns 5 20 2nd
Steelers 4.5 8 7th


Now let’s get to Week 3 streaming scores. Reminder: these scores are based on matchups, not injuries or defensive prowess or what happened last week. If you think a defense stinks — even if they have a solid matchup — then please feel free to dig down into the second tier of streaming scores. There are gems in that tier every week.


Defense Opponent Week 3 Streaming Score
Patriots Jaguars 6
Steelers Rams 5
Texans Buccaneers 5
Browns Raiders 5
Cardinals 49ers 5


  • We saw what happens when game script turns decidedly against the 49ers’ offense and Colin Kaepernick is forced to abandon the absolutely vanilla offensive game plan. The Steelers’ defense scored eight points against the Niners in a blowout despite massive numbers from Kap, who is among the league’s worst fantasy producers in losses. Well, Vegas has Arizona as a favorite in this one. Keep them plugged into your lineup after their Week 2 mutilation of the Chicago Bears. The Cardinals have been fairly stout against the run in home matchups over the past year, giving us more reason to think the 49ers won’t be able to lean on the run game and keep the game script something close to neutral.


  • I wouldn’t read too much into Oakland’s destruction of Baltimore’s defense. Perhaps the loss of Terrell Suggs makes the Ravens a (very) borderline play for the remainder of the year. Remember that the Raiders were at home, where in 2014 they gave up a meager 5.3 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. On the road, Derek Carr and company were golden streaming targets, allowing an incredible 14.2 fantasy points per contest. The Raiders are much improved with the additions of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, but don’t be fooled. Streaming adherents want home defenses favored by Vegas playing against inaccurate quarterbacks. That’s precisely what we have here. Carr has completed 58.6 percent of his passes as a pro. He has 17 turnovers in 18 games. Stream the Browns if you can.


  • The reason for rolling with Pittsburgh’s defense isn’t that they’re any good — they’re not — but because the Steelers could put the Rams’ offense in a precarious position, making Nick Foles take to the air. Foles sports a 61.5 percent career completion percentage, which is right line with the league average. That percentage has dipped in two games as the Rams starter, however, and we saw what happened last week when Washington made St. Louis one dimensional. The Rams narrowly escaped a few disastrous second-half turnovers. Steelers opponents have thrown 36.5 passes per game since the start of 2014. That’s what we’re hoping for here. I prefer the Browns, Cardinals, Panthers and Colts though.


Defense Opponent Week 3 Streaming Score
Colts Titans 4.5
Panthers Saints 4.5
Seahawks Bears 4.5
Eagles Jets 4
Broncos Lions 3.5
Vikings Chargers 3.5
Chargers Vikings 3.5
Ravens Bengals 3.5


  • It’s hard to trust any member of the Eagles right now — even their defense. With an offense that has been totally inept for all but a quarter and a half of football in 2015, the defense is continually put in unenviable situations. The Eagles are on the road against a team that will do anything and everything to play it close to the offensive vest, play smash mouth football and bleed the clock. Philly’s streaming score is decent here, but I see them as an option with a moderate floor and almost no ceiling in Week 3.


  • Remember when the elevator in “The Shining” opens and an ocean of blood pours forth? That’s a metaphor for the genocide of Native Americans and a preview of this week’s Seahawks-Bears matchup. Seattle is a set-it-and-forget-it play in Week 3.


  • The Panthers make for a nice streaming option once again against the ghost of the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have been borderline terrible on the road for some time, and they’re not even good at home now. Drew Brees averages 1.1 interceptions on the road over the past couple season, up from 0.7 picks per game at home. His touchdowns plummet from 2.96 at home to 1.76 in road contests. Carolina was a touch disappointing in Week 2 as Ryan Mallet took to the air 58 times — a recipe for streaming success if I ever saw one — but they still make for a solid play as home favorites against a lifeless New Orleans offense.


Defense Opponent Week 3 Streaming Score
Cowboys Falcons 3
Dolphins Bills 3
Jets Eagles 3
Falcons Cowboys 2.5
Bills Dolphins 2.5
Washington Giants 2.5
Titans Colts 2.5
Bengals Ravens 2
Packers Chiefs 2
Raiders Browns 2


  • I’d rather deploy the Jets’ defense at home against the Eagles than the Philly defense, which has a higher streaming score this week. Sam Bradford has completed a woeful 59 percent of his NFL passes, and even though that percentage has jumped to 66.3 percent in two games as an Eagle, I think the prospect of Bradford throwing in must-pass situations is mouthwatering. Maybe every situation is of the pass-first variety for Chip Kelly’s offense, which seemingly can’t advance the pigskin at all via the run. Facing a team with pressure building, no deep threat receiver, an anemic running game and an inaccurate signal caller entering a hostile road environment, I think Gang Green should be considered among Week 3’s top options.

7 Responses

  1. Josh says:

    The Falcons D in that last tier is interesting to me. I know its on the road, but they have totally stuffed the run through 2 games, and now get No Romo, no Dez? Seems positive.

  2. Robert says:

    I have the Panthers – drop them for the Browns this week given Brees’ rotator cuff issues?

  3. Eli says:

    Hi C.D., I’m a big fan of your work and columns, keep it up man. I currently own the Bengals D, and am sure of whether to ditch them for the upside of the Browns. Any opinion would help me make a decision.


  4. craig says:

    Hey C.D.,

    Through 2 weeks have streamed the Bucs in week 1 in a couple of leagues (ouch) and then had the Rams (ouch) and Saints in week 2 ( I think some of what made people upset about the saints in week 2 was the scoring for Yahoo had them tied for 13th).

    Anyway, attempting to right my streaming here and need some help from my D in week 3. On the WW are the Steelers, Colts and Broncos (looked good so far/Lions have not/perhaps a multi-week hold?).

    Would you have them in this order? Also, do you recommend being aggressive with FAAB’s for these guys or just waiting until that process is over and selecting the best “free” option after that and saving your cash for other acquisitions?

    Thanks again!

    • c.d. carter says:

      Thanks for reading every week. Denver is a great Week 3 play. Get them while you can. I prefer the Steelers, then the Colts after that.

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