Dreaming of Streaming: Week 10
November 4, 2014 | C.D. Carter
Quite sadly, for those who snagged the Bengals’ defense off their local waiver wire, the Jaguars in Week 9 allowed single-digit fantasy points to a defense for just the second time in 2014.
Week 9 wasn’t the banner Streaming Score week we had in Week 8, when each of our top-5 defenses finished among the six highest scoring defenses. Our Week 9 Streaming Score juggernauts didn’t fare too badly though.
The Jets, unbelievably, didn’t commit a single turnover on the road against an improving Kansas City defense. I saw the Chiefs as a defense that could post unholy Week 9 numbers against Michael Vick and a disastrous Jets offense. They finished with a measly three sacks and seven fantasy points. So it goes.
|Defense||Streaming Score||Week 9 points||Week 9 rank|
Our top Streaming Score options, after nine weeks, are averaging a D/ST8 finish — numbers equivalent to the surprising Colts’ defense, which averages 8.9 fantasy points per week.
Let’s dive into Week 10’s Streaming Scores. It’s another bye-week apocalypse, meaning our options will be limited. Probably that means we should be a tad more aggressive with free agent auction bids this week, as there are a few mouthwatering matchups to exploit.
* The 49ers’ defense was seemingly on the verge of posting huge Week 9 numbers throughout the first half of Sunday’s game against a hapless Rams’ offense. Instead, St. Louis’ defense ended with more fantasy points than San Fran. We’re still going full steam ahead against the Rams this week, as they travel to Arizona, where the Cardinals’ defense have averaged 12 fantasy points over their past two home tilts. Only the Jags give up more fantasy production to opposing defenses than the Rams, who sport a bottom-3 pass blocking unit and go up against an Arizona front seven that has applied consistent pressure on opposing passers. There’s not a safer Week 10 option than the Cards. They’re available on 26 percent of waiver wires.
* Arizona may be the week’s safest defense, but I see Baltimore as Week 10’s highest-upside play. The Titans have allowed seven turnovers and 11 sacks in four road games this season and the Ravens have been (mostly) ferocious on their home turf. The Ravens’ defense, in fact, averages 12 fantasy points at home. They’re out there on 55 percent of waiver wires. Get them and stream them if you want your fantasy squad to live.
* I’m on the wary side in Pittsburgh’s matchup against Gang Green this week. I’m not saying you should avoid the Steelers — I’ll happily rank them among the week’s top-8 options — but I’d much rather have the Cardinals, Cowboys, Ravens, and Seahawks in Week 10. The wheels could come off the of Michael Vick Experiment at any moment though, so the Steelers remain a defense with a very high ceiling. I just think their fantasy floor is lower than other teams with elite Week 10 Streaming Scores. Pittsburgh’s defense is owned in just 18 percent of leagues.
* Deploying Green Bay’s defense could very well be an exercise in vomit control, but there could be a significant payoff for those looking to take advantage of the Bears’ total and complete collapse. Vegas projects this one to be the week’s highest scoring affair, which means the Packers are something of a swing for the fantasy fences in Week 10. It could easily be a swing and a miss. Chicago, over their past four games, is allowing 13.1 fantasy points to opposing defense as Jay Cutler’s DGAF metric spikes to all-time highs. The Packers have a top-6 secondary, according to Pro Football Focus — a possible sign of things to come against Cutty and his pick-happy ways.
* I don’t love the Falcons as a top Week 10 option, despite what they did against Tampa in Week 3. Atlanta’s defense and special teams, in case you forgot, went nuclear against Josh McCown and company, to the tune of 29 fantasy points. If McCown starts this week — as the touchdown-hating Lovie Smith threatened this week — then I might change my tune on the Falcons Week 10 prospects. McCown is terrible, and always has been outside of one six-game stretch under the Quarterback Whisperer. Atlanta’s defense, the sixth worst in fantasy, is on 93 percent of waiver wires. That they’re owned at all is mind boggling.
* I suspect Denver’s defense could land on a few more waiver wires after being eviscerated by New England’s blood-seeking offensive machine. But check your expectations against an Oakland offense that was once shaping up as a prime streaming target. Derek Carr is more than a functional quarterback and the Raiders seem intent on feeding their big pass catchers. The Raiders’ offense is an entirely different unit at home than they are away from the unfriendly confines of the Black Hole, as they give up an average of 4.2 fantasy points to defenses in home tilts. Oakland’s offensive line is keeping Carr upright of late. He’s been sacked just five times in four games. I think the Broncos’ defense has a lower floor than we might want to admit.