Dreaming of Streaming: Week 7 October 19, 2015  |  Chet



The hope, for those who streamed the Vikings’ defense in Week 6, was that a solid front seven would be able to pressure (and sack) Alex Smith. Kansas City’s offensive line, after all, has been a sieve in 2015.

Minnesota managed a grand total of three pressures and two sacks. Smith, quite amazingly, was one of the least-pressured signal callers of Week 6. It seems like a classic case of thinking we know something about something and acting on that something. Minnesota’s defense likely didn’t sink your team, but they didn’t contribute much in a dream home field matchup against a Jamaal Charles-less Chiefs team.

It was a solid, if not spectacular, week for defenses given top-5 streaming scores. Week 6 defensive scoring was certainly on the wacky side, however, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who embraces the position’s predictable variance.

Defenses with top-5 streaming scores, through six weeks, are averaging 9.15 fantasy points per game. That would be good for D/ST2, a long way behind the Broncos’ defense, which has proven a legit difference maker in 2015.

Defense Week 6 streaming score Week 6 fantasy points Week 6 D/ST rank
Jets 5.5 6 10th
Patriots 5 3 18th
Broncos 4 17 2nd
Vikings 4 8 8th
Seahawks 4 7 9th


A focus on quarterback accuracy has always been a linchpin of this column since a signal callers’ completion rate tells us a lot about how likely turnovers might be when that guy is forced to throw. The faithful streamer doesn’t care all that much about how many points an offense might score. It’s turnovers and sacks we care about. Knowing a quarterback’s accuracy when under pressure (among other great statistics kept by Pro Football Focus) has always been a foundational piece of my streaming strategy.

That’s why losing access to critical information is a gut shot for this streamer. Pro Football Focus, the keeper of incredibly useful stats, has walled off much of its best, most informative data. That cordoned-off information includes quarterback completion and interception rates when under pressure. Media elites and NFL beat writers still have access to that info. Avid, data-driven fantasy gamers willing to pay a reasonable subscription do not. Access denied, as the PFF web page told me. Access denied.

Any time data is made inaccessible to the masses — even the masses ready and willing to pay a fee — I think of this quote from science fiction writer Daniel Keys Moran: “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”

Leading-edge fantasy sites are tearing down the walls that once shielded the public from pertinent data. Others are erecting walls. But that’s none of my business.

Now let’s jump into Week 7 streaming scores.

Defense Opponent Week 7 streaming score
Washington Buccaneers 5
Bills Jaguars 5
Falcons Titans 4.5
Patriots Jets 4
Buccaneers Washington 4


  • Only six defenses have more fantasy points than Washington through six weeks — a fact not lost on those who thought the Falcons might put up a 50-burger against Washington a couple weeks back. They’re 10th best in fantasy points given up to opposing quarterbacks and seventh best in running back points against. Washington’s front seven puts decent pressure on the quarterback, and that’s certainly not a bad thing against Jameis Winston on the road. No quarterback has a worse completion rate on aimed throws (not throw-aways and spikes) than Winston. The Rotoviz Streaming D app lists Washington’s Week 7 matchup as a top-3 option. Kirk Cousins often puts his defense in precarious spots, but if he’s able to look like something close to a pro quarterback against Tampa and keep game script neutral, I think Washington’s defense will capitalize. Only four teams commit more turnovers per game than the Bucs.


  • I would play Washington over Tampa. The latter still makes for a nice option against Cousins and a mostly-horrid offense. The problem here is that Washington’s offense is a lot more functional in home contests, where they’ve allowed three and zero fantasy points to opponents in two 2015 home games. Only Matthew Stafford and Peyton Manning have thrown more interceptions than Cousins, so any defense playing against the turnover-prone thrower is worth a look.


  • The Jaguars in Week 6 looked more like the unit we used to know and love in this space. Houston, a team with no hint of a pass rush, recorded three sacks and picked off Blake Bortles thrice — once for a touchdown. Buffalo, on a neutral field against a Jacksonville offense that might be without its most potent weapon (Allen Robinson), is a high-end Week 7 play. The Bills are averaging five quarterback hits per game — a good indication that they could apply consistent pressure on Bortles this week. Bortles, after avoiding sacks for the first month of the season, has now been sacked more than all but five quarterbacks. He’s completing a very low 62.2 percent of his aimed throws. The Streaming App has Buffalo listed as the best Week 7 defensive option.


Defense Opponent Week 7 streaming score
Chargers Raiders 3.5
Panthers Eagles 3.5
Dolphins Texans 3.5
Giants Cowboys 3
Eagles Panthers 3
Lions Vikings 3
Browns Rams 3


  • I know it’s the Browns’ defense listed here, but I’d be hard pressed to stream Cleveland over St. Louis this week. The Rams’ defense, from a fantasy perspective, has been solid in two home games, scoring 12 and 13 points in those matchups. It’s hardly shocking that the Rams struggled when game script turned against them. The Browns, even with a seemingly functional offense, are averaging two give-aways in road games this season. That makes sense for a team throwing the ball as much as Cleveland has this season (37.9 attempts/game). The Rams’ front seven has recorded 14 quarterback hits over their past couple games. While Josh McCown has been more than viable this season, we saw what happens last week when the old vet throws under duress. St. Louis is sacking the quarterback 3.8 times per game. Good times for opposing defenses.


  • I think the replacement of Brandon Weeden with Matt Cassel make the Giants a much more appealing Week 7 streaming play. Weeden, as Jerry Jones babbled about last weekend, was ultra conservative with his decision making. Cassel, on the other hand, lets it rip. He also has a 59 percent career completion rate and a 3 percent career interception rate. The chances of turnovers, in my estimation, jump considerably with Cassel behind center for Dallas. There might be no better upside play than Big Blue in Week 7.


  • I wouldn’t be too squeamish about rolling with Carolina’s defense against Sam Bradford and company. The Panthers’ coverage unit is legit and Bradford — despite recent decent play — is still prone to streaks of terrible inaccuracy. He’s completed just 60 percent of his passes in road contests this season. Carolina, at home and favored by Vegas, has shut down opposing passers, giving up a 59.4 percent completion rate and a 68.4 quarterback rating (only the Jets are better). The Eagles could very well put up a lot of points in this one (46 over-under), but the turnover potential is real for the Carolina defense.


Defense Opponent Week 7 streaming score
Steelers Chiefs 2.5
Vikings Lions 2.5
Rams Browns 2.5
Titans Falcons 2.5
Cardinals Ravens 2
Texans Dolphins 2
Jaguars Bills 2
Cowboys Giants 2


  • I’m confident that many fantasy gamers will look to the Arizona defense this week against the Ravens. The numbers say it’s a less-than-optimal call; defenses are scoring 4.8 fantasy points per game against Baltimore, as Joe Flacco’s crew has held opposing defenses to one or fewer fantasy points in three 2015 contests. The Cardinals’ defense, outside of two nuclear performances against the 49ers and Bears, has failed to put up even pedestrian fantasy numbers. I’m disturbed that Arizona couldn’t capitalize on Mike Vick’s errant throws and generally horrible play in Week 6. The Cardinals might have a worthwhile floor in their matchup against the free-falling Ravens, but they don’t make for a primary streaming target. I’d much prefer Washington, Tampa, the Rams or the Giants.


2 Responses

  1. dreaming of streaming says:

    how would you rank minnesotta, washington, and atlanta this week?

    thank you!

  2. Mik says:

    Can somebody tell me why rotoviz has DET as the number 2 option this week?

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