Dreaming of Streaming: Week 4 September 28, 2015  |  Chet


Remember that stat about the Oakland Raiders bleeding fantasy points to opposing defenses on the road? No? Yeah, me neither. We’re on to Week 4.

The Browns’ defense, which notched one of Week 3’s second highest streaming score, laid an odious egg against Derek Carr and the Raiders. It turns out that the emergence of Latavius Murray and the addition of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper makes a difference in the functionality of an NFL offense.

Cleveland was a debacle, as were the Patriots, who accomplished a rare feat when they managed just five fantasy points at home against Jacksonville.

This is your weekly reminder that streaming scores calculate the appeal of a defense’s matchup. It doesn’t account for opponents’ offensive scheme changes or injuries to a secondary or the effectiveness of a certain defense against a certain offense. Streaming scores plainly and simply tell us if a defense has a favorable matchup — and whether it’s a decent matchup or a fantastic one.

If you think a defense is horrid and not capable of taking advantage of said matchup, then look down the list of streaming scores and pinpoint a defensive unit that you prefer, even if the scores don’t prefer that defense.

Here’s a reminder of why we favorite the favorites and pay close attention to Vegas lines and home fields.

Here’s a quick rundown of how our top-5 streaming scores fared in Week 3. Through three weeks, defenses with the five highest streaming scores are averaging 10.9 fantasy points.


Defense Week 3 streaming score Fantasy points D/ST rank
Patriots 6 5 T-12th
Texans 5 7 9th
Cardinals 5 28 1st
Steelers 5 11 7th
Browns 5 2 T-16th


OK, now we’re on to Week 4.


Defense Opponent Week 4 streaming score
Cardinals Rams 6
Broncos Vikings 5.5
Colts Jaguars 5.5
Eagles Washington 5
Packers 49ers 4.5


* I loathe to label defenses “opportunistic,” but it’s increasingly hard to deny as much about the Arizona defense. They have seven interceptions and three defensive scores through three games, along with a return touchdown. No defense has more fantasy points than the Cardinals after last week’s mutilation of the team formerly known as the 49ers. Vegas projections has St. Louis chasing from behind in this one, meaning Arizona will face Nick Foles in predictable pass-first situations. We in the industry call that a good thing for opposing defenses. Foles’ career completion rate stands at 61.6 percent — right around the league average — and the Rams offense is devoid of game-breaking threats. With a white-hot offense that has made opposing offenses one dimensional, the Cardinals are a locked-in Week 4 play.


* It’s tempting to shy away from road defenses. You can’t pass up the Packers’ defense against the 49ers — an offense that could be a streamer’s delight for the remainder of the year. Opposing defenses have racked up eight sacks and six turnovers against Colin Kaepernick’s merry band through three games. It’s become clear that San Francisco is an implosion waiting to happen once they fall behind. That’s more than a little likely in this matchup.


* We saw last week what happens when Kirk Cousins is forced to propel the ball forward through time and space. Mostly bad things happen. Washington’s game plan is crystal clear: keep the ball on the ground with Matt Jones and backup Alfred Morris, bleed the clock, and mitigate mistakes. Everyone understands that Washington loses when Cousins is forced into action. The hope here with Philly’s defense is that the Eagles understand as much and take full advantage of Cousins’ 61 percent completion rate and his 21:23 touchdown-interception ratio.


* Jacksonville hasn’t been nearly as generous in 2015 as they were in 2014 (or 2013). They’re allowing 8.7 fantasy points to opposing defenses through three weeks. The Jags’ improvement has a lot to do with sacks: they’ve allowed just seven sacks this season. They allowed 4.5 sacks per contest in 2014. They still make for a solid streaming target, as the Colts are at home, coming off a solid Week 3 outing that included two interceptions and a defensive score. Perhaps a word of caution from the machine world: the Rotoviz streaming defense app doesn’t have Indy as a top-10 Week 4 defense.


Defense Opponent Week 4 streaming score
Panthers Buccaneers 4
Dolphins Jets 4
Bills Giants 4
Seahawks Lions 4
Chargers Browns 3.5
Falcons Texans 3
Jets Dolphins 3
Bucs Panthers 3
Bears Raiders 3


* The Chargers’ defense, which isn’t technically good or even decent, is an intriguing Week 4 option at home against the Browns. Any defense facing off against Josh McCown is of great interest to me. He’s the quitesential inaccurate quarterback who we want to see in a throw-first scenario, no matter how bad the opposing secondary might be. One major concern here: defensive fantasy points correlate closely with quarterback pressure, and San Diego has hit the quarterback just eight times in three games. Only two teams are worse in pressuring the signal caller. The Chargers have recorded a single sack all season. If they’re going to pile up fantasy points in this one, it’s not going to be via the sack. We’ll need McCown to go Full McCown.


* The Jets and Dolphins play on a neutral field in London, so home field isn’t really a factor in this matchup. It’s getting hard to resist the debacle that is the Miami offense though. They have no running attack of which to speak, leaving opposing defenses to tee off on Ryan Tannehill and his shaky offensive line. Pro Football Focus grades the Dolphins as a bottom-five pass-blocking team. It’s getting hard to deny that the angst and turmoil and gnashing of teeth that surrounds the Dolphins after their humiliating loss to Buffalo won’t be a factor in this one. The end is nigh for that Dolphins coaching staff and I think the Jets’ defense could be a beneficiary of the coming meltdown. That’s my take and I’m sticking to it.


Defense Opponent Week 4 streaming score
Chiefs Bengals 2.5
Cowboys Saints 2.5
Saints Cowboys 2.5
Washington Eagles 2.5
Bengals Chiefs 2
Texans Falcons 2
Jaguars Colts 2
Giants Bills 2



5 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    thinking about replacing T. Williams with Percy this week. Any thoughts?

  2. Mik says:

    Is rotoviz worth subscribing to?

  3. TSmith says:

    No mention of the Ravens against M Vick on a Thursday game when it seems like defenses always have an edge?

    Also like the Ravens against the Browns and 49ers in the next 2 weeks.

  4. Mike says:

    Why the Bears over Oakland?

  5. Tyler Herman says:

    Think you could have the Chargers and Falcons a little higher. I’m probably going to stream a mix of them and the Eagles this week although I could see Washington keeping it on the ground and out of Kirk’s hands.

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