Dreaming of Streaming: Week 4
September 23, 2014 | C.D. Carter
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The Atlanta Falcons, even without Devin Hester’s Thursday night heroics, made for an ideal streaming option that I simply didn’t identify as such.
Maybe it was because Atlanta’s defense had been picked apart by its first two opponents, or maybe it was that the Falcons’ Week 3 Streaming Score didn’t exactly jump off the page, but I think hindsight has a valuable lesson here.
Besides focusing on Vegas favorites, home teams, and defenses that consistently apply pressure on the passer, we’ve also discussed inaccurate quarterbacks having to throw the ball and how this can lead to turnovers — the lifeblood of a fantasy team defense.
Josh McCown, for all his success in Marc Trestman’s offensive system from the fantasy gods, is not even an average quarterback. He’s bad. And against a high-powered Atlanta offense that was sure to decimate a Tampa defense that made Derek Anderson and Austin Davis look like Hall of Famer quarterbacks in the season’s first two weeks, McCown was sure to be forced into slinging it around the park.
The Falcons’ defense is not even close to good — especially their secondary — but that doesn’t matter to us. A bad quarterback throwing, no matter the opponent, is what we should consider beyond the week’s top Streaming Scores.
Here’s how defenses with our top-5 Streaming Scores fared in Week 3.
|Team||Streaming Score||Fantasy points||Week 3 rank|
Indianapolis showed once again why we shouldn’t overthink our streaming options (more on that below), the Bears’ injury-ravaged secondary showed why we target inaccurate quarterbacks who will have to pass quite a bit, and the Patriots showed that we should be careful against an Oakland team that has now turned the ball over just five times in three games — with four of those turnovers coming in Week 2 against Houston.
Defenses with top-5 Streaming Scores are now averaging a weekly finish of 11th.
Below are Week 4’s Streaming Scores, with analysis to follow.
- The Blake Bortles era has officially begun in Jacksonville, and while I trust the rookie will be a viable streaming option and a boon for every one of the team’s skill position players, I don’t think there’s any reason to back off of the Chargers as a top Week 4 streamer. Their Streaming Score is just half a point from the maximum of seven. Bortles threw for 223 yards and two scores in one half of work last week, but he also threw two picks and posted a 61 percent completion rate. San Diego is sporting the NFL’s third-best pass coverage unit, according to Pro Football Focus.
- While I’m bullish on Geno Smith as a streaming quarterback, I’m also a big fan of streaming defenses against the mercurial second-year signal caller. Geno will continue to put up decent fantasy outputs while committing turnovers that make one slap oneself in the forehead. The Rotoviz Streaming D app is telling us to stream Detroit and the Lions’ suffocating run defense should force Geno to the air early and often in this one.
- Take a look at Oakland. Their Streaming Score is, for the first time this year, higher than their opponent’s score — and for good reason. Miami’s sluggish offense — captained by the possibly soon-to-be-benched Ryan Tannehill — has committed four turnovers through three games and generally can’t move the ball downfield with any consistency. The Raiders have a top-10 pass defense grade on PFF, rather surprisingly. The Dolphins have given up the seventh most points to opposing defenses over the season’s first few weeks, making the Raiders a sneaky play in Week 4.
- McCown’s thumb injury is a devastating loss for defensive streamers everywhere. Mike Glennon isn’t great, but he’s a marked upgrade over the journeyman turnover machine that Lovie Smith loves unconditionally. Pittsburgh’s defense is more than a little dinged up after last week’s win in Carolina, but at home as a Vegas favorite against a team that has allowed an average of 16 fantasy points to opponents? Well, that’s all we can ask for.
- Beware of the Texans this week. They may have a decent floor against Buffalo, but their ceiling leaves a whole lot to be desired. The Bills have committed precisely one turnover over the first three weeks of 2014, making them an avoidable run-heavy team for streamers. I won’t have Houston ranked as a top-12 play this week.
- I don’t want any part of the defensive side of the Eagles-49ers tilt. Vegas projects this one to be high scoring and the Niners have now allowed seven touchdowns to wide receivers. I don’t see a reason to roll with San Fran with so many superior options available this week. I would play Oakland’s defense before I used the 49ers.
- I know that as defensive streamers, we’ve been trained to always target the Giants’ offense. The mere mention of Eli and the Turnovers makes us salivate. But there’s no way I’m deploying Washington against Big Blue this week, as Washington’s swiss cheese secondary is ripe for the picking. New York’s more conservative approach is bad news when game flow doesn’t go haywire, and I don’t think it’s great process to bank on game flow going sideways in this one.
- Miami, PFF’s top-rated defensive team, don’t make for a bad Week 4 streamer. They might be very good, in fact, if the offense can generate some early points and force Derek Carr to the air. I’m still a little wary of the Dolphins.