Dreaming of Streaming Update: Week 13
November 28, 2014 | C.D. Carter
I spent an inordinate amount of time looking a reason — any reason — to hedge on the Giants’ defense in their Week 13 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But home-away splits, pass and run blocking grades, turnover rates and myriad other factors told me to shut my degenerate mouth and fully trust Big Blue’s high Streaming Score.
The Jags, thanks almost entirely to the astoundingly inaccurate Blake Bortles, are bleeding fantasy points to opposing defenses in home games. Opposing defenses are notching a ludicrous 15.6 fantasy points per contest in Jacksonville, and that includes Cleveland’s rather pedestrian eight-point outing against the Jags in Week 7.
Bortles has been atrocious on his home turf, tossing 10 interceptions in five games, and only once cracking a quarterback rating of 32 in Jacksonville. Simply put, that’s bad. Really bad.
Bortles has hardly been helped by his offensive line. Jaguars tackles are rated by Pro Football Focus as the 52rd and 62nd best at their position, while 28 centers are rated as better pass blockers than Jacksonville’s center. Brandon Linder is the team’s lone offensive line bright spot through 12 weeks.
New York’s defense is still available in more than 80 percent of leagues, somehow, someway. I’d rather deploy the Rams’ defense since they’re at home against a Raiders offense that has been an abomination on the road, but I have no problem with you sticking by the Giants no matter how is available. Even the Dolphins.
We’ll continue to do what we’ve done all season and trust the matchup.
Now we’ll jump into rest-of-season defensive plays for those in leagues with deep benches. Snag one or two of these defenses in the next couple days and get a jump on the competition. I’m especially bullish on this strategy when I’ve wrapped up a playoff spot a couple weeks before the fantasy postseason kicks off.
Week 14: Run, don’t walk, to your local waiver wire and pick up Houston’s defense. They’re available in about a third of fantasy leagues and they take on the Jags in Week 14. The Texans’ defense has managed double digit fantasy points in four away games this season. This one will likely be their fifth. After Houston, I prefer Green Bay, Minnesota — at home against the Jets — then the 49ers and Rams. The Vikings are owned in just 10 percent of leagues.
Week 15: Baltimore’s defense, available in 37 percent of fantasy leagues, is a potential semifinal playoff game difference maker in Week 15. They go up against Blake Bortles and company at home in a game they’ll likely have to win to compete for one of the final AFC playoff spots. The Ravens have been cash-money at home over their past four, notching 13.3 fantasy points per contest. If you can’t get them, target the Chiefs, Cardinals, Lions, and Titans, in that order.
Week 16: The Packers’ defense would be the plugged-in play of the week, but they’re on the road, where they’ve hardly been the fantasy point-producing machine they’ve been at home in 2014. I’m going with the Titans’ defense as the best championship week play against Jacksonville, with the Patriots, Eagles, Dolphins, and Lions serving as good fallback plays.