Dreaming of Streaming: Week 6 October 13, 2015  |  Chet



It wasn’t the 49ers putting up 27 points that surprised me. It was that they didn’t commit a single turnover and gave up a meager two sacks. Points scores by a streaming target don’t matter much at all — that doesn’t correlate closely with D/ST fantasy production — but a lack of sacks and turnovers is a death blow for any fantasy defense.

The Giants, at home, favored by Vegas, playing against a San Francisco offense that had allowed 17 sacks, were the biggest streaming D/ST disappointment of this young 2015 campaign. Still, they were a locked-and-loaded top-line Week 5 option because every sign pointed toward their success against the Colin Kaepernick.

Defensive scoring is the most fickle part of fantasy football outside the kicker position though, no matter how much a matchup makes your mouth water.

Defenses with top-5 streaming scores are averaging 10.08 fantasy points through five weeks. Three of last week’s top-5 scores ended up as top-6 defenses, with the Giants and Jaguars flaming out.

Defense Streaming Score Week 5 fantasy points Week 5 D/ST rank
Falcons 5 12 6th
Broncos 5 20 2nd
Jaguars 4.5 1 27th
Giants 4.5 2 26th
Packers 4.5 21 1st


Now let’s get on to Week 6, which features a bevvy of options for streamers undeterred by the unavoidable variance of this often-maddening position. Remember: streaming scores are measurements of matchups — nothing more or less. Any defense can notch a high streaming score if their matchup is good/great.

If you don’t think a defense is capable of taking full advantage of said matchup, look down the list of streaming scores for the next best option. These are not weekly ranks.

Defense Opponent Week 6 streaming score
Jets Washington 5.5
Patriots Colts 5
Broncos Browns 4
Vikings Chiefs 4
Seahawks Panthers 4

*It took a while, but Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense showed why they’re a fairly reliable streaming target. The plan headed into Week 5 was to deploy the Atlanta defense against a Washington offense that would quickly become one dimensional as they fell behind the Falcons. Game script ended up being fairly even throughout and the Falcons still managed 12 fantasy points thanks to a game-ending pick six. The Jets have our highest Week 6 streaming score, which makes sense when you consider the following: Only four teams give up more weekly turnovers than Washington, the Jets average a league-high 3.2 takeaways per contest, the Jets are fifth in quarterback hits, and Cousins’ completion percentage plummets when he’s under pressure. Opponents are scoring just 13.75 points per game against Gang Green. No team gives up fewer total team fantasy points than the Jets. It all points to a defense with a hefty fantasy floor and a tasty ceiling if Washington can’t lean on its running attack.

*Minnesota, averaging two take aways per game, take on a Chiefs’ offense that could be scarily ineffective without Jamaal Charles, who shredded his ACL last week. Kansas City’s offensive line has resembled Swiss cheese for much of 2015, as Alex Smith has been sacked 22 times through five games, more than any other quarterback. Without Charles in the backfield, we could see the Vikings — at home, favorited by Vegas — put Smith under constant duress in this one. The Chiefs are committing 1.5 turnovers on average and could very easily be forced to chase from behind, if Vegas projections are on point. The Vikings D/ST has scored nine and 15 fantasy points in their first two home contests. They’re a top-3 defensive option for me in Week 6.

*I wouldn’t be timid to plug in the Seattle defense against the Panthers this week. The Seahawks’ defense might not be the reliable juggernaut they were in 2013 and 2014, but they remain a solid play at home, in the Thunderdome, where they’ve scored 18 and seven fantasy points in two 2015 home tilts. While Cam Newton has played reasonably well so far in 2015, it’s important to remember that he’s still an inaccurate thrower of the pigskin. Newton’s 55.6 percent completion rate ranks 34th among signal callers. Jameis Winston and Nick Foles have been more accurate than Newton in 2015. This is hardly shocking when you consider Newton has a career completion rate of 59.2 percent — well below the league average. Why does this matter? Because D/ST scoring correlates well with signal callers who are historically inaccurate. We want those guys throwing, and throwing often. That’s why Seattle is a plug and play for me.

Defense Opponent Week 6 streaming score
Texans Jaguars 3.5
Lions Bears 3.5
Washington Jets 3.5
Cardinals Steelers 3.5
Dolphins Titans 3.5
Chiefs Vikings 3
Eagles Giants 3
Falcons Saints 3

*I would fade the Texans’ defense if I had other viable options. The Jaguars are simply not committing the turnovers and giving up the sacks that they have over the past two seasons (when this column mostly boiled down to streaming against Jacksonville). We saw Matt Hasselbeck and the Colts’ offense wreck Houston’s defense in Week 5. JJ Watt’s defense ranks 23rd in quarterback hits and 31st in sacks through five weeks. It’s just not what we look for in D/ST options. Houston becomes a must-start, however, if Blake Bortles misses this game with a shoulder injury.

*Washington’s defense, even with an injury ravaged secondary, proved tough last week against the Falcons. The Washington front seven applied constant pressure on Matt Ryan, as they’ve done through most of 2015. Signal callers are completing just 60.3 percent of their passes against the Washington defense, which could be a red flag in Week 6 for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who completes just 60.7 of his tosses. Only three quarterbacks have thrown more interceptions than Fitzy in 2015. The Rotoviz Streaming D App lists Washington as the fourth best defensive play of Week 6.

Defense Opponent Week 6 streaming score
Panthers Seahawks 2.5
Bengals Bills 2.5
Titans Dolphins 2.5
Bills Bengals 2
Bears Lions 2
Giants Eagles 2

*Tennessee makes for a sneaky Week 6 play against a Miami offense in disarray. Opposing signal callers are completing just 55.2 percent of their throws against the Titans’ secondary, which isn’t nearly as awful as I thought they’d be this year. The Titans’ defense has had only one truly disastrous week in 2015 (against the Colts in Week 3). Ryan Tannehill is completing a measly 56.7 percent of his passes, though many of those throws are of the safe and short variety. Fives teams allow more total team fantasy points through five weeks of 2015. I think that makes the Tennessee defense a high-floor D/ST option as a home favorite.






6 Responses

  1. Craig says:

    I have the Jets and the Patriots are available. Is either D one you would play every week from here on out or still stream and risk losing them to someone else?

  2. Wes says:

    I have both the Packers (thanks to your column) and now the Vikings (thanks to your column). Which should I deploy?

  3. Mike says:

    What about the bengals against a banged up bills team?

  4. Chris says:

    Didn’t Bortles get sacked six times last week?

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