Dreaming of Streaming Update: Week 12
November 21, 2014 | C.D. Carter
Keep my Twitter mentions in your thoughts and prayers today as it recovers from a raging fire sparked by the Chiefs’ inexplicable inability to stop the Raiders’ dead-on-arrival offense.
My mentions — or rather, the charred remains of my mentions — would greatly appreciate your support during this difficult time.
Sometimes defenses drop upwards of half a dozen interceptions. There’s nothing we can do about it but stare unblinkingly at our bedroom ceilings and ponder the nature of existence, right before we sob until we sleep.
But onto our late-week defensive updates…
* There seems to be a real and present need to deploy the Bills’ defense against Michael Vick and the Jets this week. Buffalo’s defense was certainly a top-10 option in the apocalyptic conditions in western New York, and I’m not sure a whole lot has changed now that the Jets-Bills game has been moved to Ford Field on Monday evening (don’t say Monday night or the suits at Monday Night Football will have you imprisoned for 2-4 years). The Rotoviz Streaming D machine pegs Buffalo as a top-3 play for Week 12, though it should be noted that these aren’t Geno Smith’s Jets. Defenses have averaged 5.5 fantasy points in Vick’s two starts for Gang Green, where they had averaged 9.4 points during Geno’s disastrous run as Jets starter. The Bills might have a nice floor, but I don’t see them as a high-upside play. On a neutral field, I wouldn’t mind rolling with the Jets’ defense, which is more than likely to force Kyle Orton to chuck the ball all around the field. I know Orton roasted these same Jets last month, but he’s struggled mightily of late and is as likely as anyone to commit a turnover or three.
* The Bengals have collapsed a few times in road games this season, creating a pretty noticeable split for defensive streaming purposes. Andy Dalton’s merry band had allowed 14 and 12 fantasy points to opposing defenses on the road before Cincy’s Week 11 dismantling of the ghost of the Saints. The Bengals have what Pro Football Focus grades as the league’s fourth best pass-blocking unit, so perhaps a JJ Watt-led lightning storm of sacks — and the subsequent sacrifices at the alter of the selfie-hating 1950s transplant — is a little more than unlikely. I still don’t think the Texans’ defense is a bad play at home, where they’re averaging 15.5 fantasy points in four games.
And now on to the part dedicated streamers have wanted all week: a look ahead to Week 13-16 defensive plays. I would warn fantasy footballers that while it’s critically important to scoop up streaming plays before they become desired commodities on your local waiver wire, it’s not worth dropping a positional player who might have value down the stretch.
Remember that defensive fantasy production is always going to be the most unpredictable and replaceable in our little game, no matter how much we pretend to know when recommending defensive plays on Thursday night island games.
Week 13: I prefer, in order, the Giants, Rams, Colts, Texans, Dolphins, and Vikings. If Vick goes down between now and then, Miami jumps to the top of that list, though Big Blue and Indy are still fantastic plays. Washington, who plays the Colts during this week, is a preeminent streaming target as the team collapses on itself.
Week 14: For this week, I want the Texans, Packers, Rams, 49ers, Lions, Giants, then the Vikings, in that order. Houston’s pass rush should feast on Blake Bortles while the Packers’ opportunistic defense taking on the abominable Atlanta offense could be considered a crime against humanity, per section C, part 119 of the United Nations’ founding documents. I’m stashing Green Bay’s defense for just the occasion. The Rams’ pass rush could set back the Washington franchise a decade in their Week 15 tilt.
Week 15: I’m targeting the Ravens’ defense, first and foremost, and then the Cardinals, Chiefs, Lions, Giants, and Packers. Don’t be scared off the Kansas City defense after their Week 12 flop. The Raiders are somehow even worse on the road, and in the hostile environment of Arrowhead Stadium, I’ll be all over the Chiefs.
Week 16: Fantasy championship week’s top play would’ve been the Packers had they been at home, but alas, they’re at Tampa to end the fantasy season. They’ll be my second-best play behind only the Titans, who get the Jaguars in Jacksonville. It’s not ideal, but consider that the Jags have allowed 17, 16, 8, 26, and 11 points to opposing defenses in Jacksonville. In order of preference for Week 16: Titans, Packers, Giants, Bills, and the Patriots.