Dreaming of Streaming: Week 8
October 21, 2014 | C.D. Carter
Week 7 Streaming Scores for the Vikings and Jaguars were so low that they didn’t qualify to be listed in this space, where any score less than 1.5 is thrown out.
It was those two defenses that finishes as the week’s top scorers, notching 16 and 15 fantasy points, respectively. It was very much an exception to the Streaming Score rule, and anyone who deployed Minnesota or Jacksonville last week should be given a back/butt slap and a hearty congratulations.
Here’s how our top Streaming Scores fared last week — a decidedly (terribly) tough week for streamers of every kind.
|Defense||Streaming Score||Week 7 points||Week 7 rank|
The Jets were able to mitigate the Geno-on-the-road Effect might running it all over the Patriots’ squishy soft front seven on Thursday Night Football, though I maintain that it was excellent process to roll with New England against Gang Green (more on that later).
Seattle, quite amazingly, has morphed into an unusable fantasy defense as we near the season’s midpoint. Get this: Washington, St. Louis and Tampa Bay all have more fantasy points than the Seahawks defense. They weren’t able to generate a single sack or turnover against the Rams in Week 7. Probably that’s the death knell for Seattle’s defense as a legit fantasy option in 2014.
If, for some reason, you’re using Seattle as an every-week option, stop right now and stream away.
See below for Week 8’s Streaming Scores, along with analysis on matchups that caught my eye.
* While we don’t love our streamers away from the friendly confines of their home stadiums, it’s tough to turn up our noses at the Buffalo defense as they get their shot at Geno and company. The Bills are allowing a league-low 3.2 yards per carry through seven weeks, meaning the Jets likely won’t be able to stick to their Week 7 game plan and run it 35 times in an effort to guard against Geno’s mistakes. The Bills have recorded a sack on an NFL-best 8.6 percent of their 2014 defensive snaps after applying nonstop pressure on Teddy Bridgewater in Week 7. Roll with the Bills if you can.
* Jacksonville won last week and still gave up eight fantasy points to the Browns defense. The Jags established a real life running game for the first time, but it was against a Cleveland front seven giving up a whopping five yards per tote. The Dolphins, allowing a meager 3.8 YPC, are as safe a play as any in Week 8. Blake Bortles will surely be forced to throw in this one against a Miami secondary giving up a low 60.2 percent completion rate to opposing passers. Bortles has 11 picks through five games as the Jaguars’ starter. Keep streaming against the rookie. Miami is your weekly Don’t Overthink It Special.
* Atlanta’s nonexistent offensive line has made them a fairly reliable streaming target in 2014. Matt Ryan, under constant duress for most of this season, has had to settle for short completions as oncoming rushers hurry his throws. That won’t change against Detroit’s front seven, as the Lions are giving up six yards per pass attempt (only two teams are better). The Lions are favorites on a neutral field, the Falcons have no semblance of a running game, and Detroit has forced six turnovers and generated 11 sacks over their past three games.
* The Cowboys’ defense — still available in 90 percent of leagues — flopped against the Giants last week. Here’s what you need to know about Dallas’ defensive prospects in Week 8: They might go up against Colt McCoy.
* I’d call New England a sneaky Week 8 play if their soft run defense didn’t scare me so much. The Bears are almost sure to lean on Matt Forte and their running attack with Jay Cutler and company struggling to create anything through the air. If you think the Pats can build a decent lead against Chicago and force Cutty to throw — and bolster his ever-increasing DGAF rating — then New England could be a very high-upside play. The Narrative Street take on this matchup: The Bears are collapsing. Jump aboard for the ride.
* Houston has posted double-digit fantasy points against really bad offenses twice in 2014. Now they get the Titans’ horrendous offense, making them a pretty decent Week 8 streamer. The Texans are on the road coming off a devastating Monday Night Football loss to the Steelers, which gives me some pause, but as long as the Titans don’t have a running game, I think they make for a nice streaming target. It doesn’t really matter to me if Jake Locker returns from injury in this one.
* I’d fade Tampa at all costs this week, despite their decent Streaming Score. The Bucs’ secondary is almost historically bad, meaning that an investment in Tampa’s defense is a home run swing and a wish for some sort of defensive or special teams touchdown. Stay away.
* The Colts are fantasy’s No. 4 defense through seven weeks. Maybe there’s something to that. Indy is averaging 8.7 fantasy points per game on the road, and that includes a Week 1 zero-spot against Denver. The Steelers’ seven schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing defenses isn’t exactly an inspiring stat, but you could do a whole lot worse than the Colts in Week 8.
* The Ravens’ Streaming Score doesn’t reflect the loss of A.J. Green. That’s an enormous factor, as we saw last week as the Bengals melted down against the Colts. Probably Baltimore doesn’t have the week’s highest ceiling, but their floor is pretty safe against a Green-less Cincy offense.