Dreaming of Streaming: Week 10 Update
November 7, 2014 | C.D. Carter
There seems to be some gnashing of fantasy teeth among those who have the Detroit Lions’ defense stashed on their bench as the NFL’s top defense prepares for a home game against a suddenly functional Dolphins offense.
The temptation is there, it seems, to snag a widely available streaming option from the local waiver wire and fade the Detroit defense in Week 10. I get it: Miami’s offense has been as hot as any over the past three weeks, especially in last week’s total destruction of a Chargers’ defense that, once upon a time, looked like a decent unit.
I’m firmly against benching the Lions for a streamer like the Steelers, Cowboys, or Falcons, though I wouldn’t argue with a fantasy owner who rolls with the Cardinals or Ravens over Detroit.
The Lions sport a respectable Week 10 Streaming Score of 3.5, certainly not the traditional green light we see among teams facing the league’s worst offenses, but far from the lowly scores that serve as preemptive warnings for streamers.
Ryan Tannehill has put up elite fantasy numbers lately in large part because Miami’s running attack — averaging a robust 137.7 yards per game — has kept defenses more than a little honest, fearing the run enough to beg off of forcing Tanny into unfavorable situations. I think that changes in Week 10, when a Lions’ defense giving up a paltry 74.1 rushing yards per contest.
Tannehill remains a matchup play despite three straight solid outings, and I think this week’s matchup represents a prime opportunity for a complete and total collapse. That’s why I’m deploying the Detroit defense, with its top-8 pass rush and its top-10 pass coverage unit, per Pro Football Focus. I don’t believe in Tannehill.
Here are a couple more last-minute Week 10 observations…
- The Eagles’ Week 10 Streaming Score of 2.5 seems terribly low, but if we boil down our streaming priorities to their core, we find an objectively high upside play in the Philly defense as they take on Carolina. We target the NFL’s most inaccurate signal callers — of which Cam Newton and his 60 percent completion rate is one — and we target teams unable to keep defenders off their quarterback’s back. The Panthers rate as PFF’s worst pass blocking team — by far — and the Eagles sport a recently ferocious pass rush that ranks as PFF’s No. 5 unit. I think the Panthers are bordering on dumpster fire. They’re more than a little vulnerable in a prime time road game against fantasy’s highest scoring defense. Philadelphia has recorded four or more sacks five times in 2014.
- I get the sense that fantasy footballers want to roll out Buffalo’s defense this week against the Chiefs. I think I understand the appeal: a solid if not unspectacular defense at home against a Kansas City offense that is described by precisely no one as explosive. The problem, from a streaming standpoint, is that the Chiefs don’t commit turnovers and don’t give up sacks. They’re one of just seven NFL teams that allow less than one turnover per contest and Alex Smith’s mobility often prevents defenses from racking up fantasy points via quarterback take downs. Smith, who’s tossed four picks this year, is completing 73.3 percent of his passes. Those check downs don’t leave a lot of room for error, and don’t offer opposing defenses much upside, if any. Buffalo’s penchant for causing turnovers can serve as something of a silver lining in this matchup. The Bills force 2.2 turnovers a game; only Houston forces more turnovers per game. I’d still fade the Bills’ defense in standard-sized leagues.