Fantasy Football Position Streaming
Written By: Josh Crocker – Follow Josh on Twitter @jccrocker
Back-up QB’s in Play
– Matt Barkley v Tennessee –
With an adjusted yards per attempt of only 4.1 and a 0 to 2 TD to INT ratio, he alone makes the Titans Def playable. There are a lot of options this week, so I’ll keep this short. This matchup could be a big enough slam-dunk to make me want to fade the Titans passing offense in DFS because if they can, they’ll probably just grind down the game clock.
– Scott Tolzien v PIT –
The Colts offensive line has been something of a disaster, and to some extent that has been covered up by the talent of Andrew Luck. I don’t really expect Tolzien to rise to that occasion. The Steelers have been putting up more sacks lately with more of a tendency to blitz. It’s a good situation for the Steelers D
– Houston v San Diego (50.2% owned) –
At home and favored is exactly how we like our defenses and that’s what we have here in Houston. The Chargers have become one of my favorite teams to stream a defense against with an offensive line that’s ranked 23rd (by DVOA) and has allowed 14 sacks in their last 5 games. QB Philip Rivers has now thrown for 11 picks with 4 in his last games. The second half slump seems to be on. Also in this half of the season, the Chargers have allowed 3 defensive touchdowns. 3 of the last 4 defenses to face San Diego have left with a defense scoring in double digits (by fftoday.com scoring.)
What’s really nice about this is that Houston, who’s not a bad defense at all (13th by Football Outsider’s Weighted Defense) just played the Raiders and was probably dropped in a lot of leagues. Even though their ownership number was hovering right at the threshold, I was able to pick them up in 2 leagues. The Texans haven’t allowed a 300 yard game to QB yet this season, although Carr did come awfully close. They didn’t have an impressive game against a very good offense from Oakland, but they have been able to limit lesser teams like the Jags and the Lions. I’d say the Chargers sit somewhere between those two. The path of least resistance, in my mind, would be for the Chargers to show us a lot of Melvin Gordon because the Texans aren’t as tough against the run. But we can count on our Chargers to drop back on, at a bare minimum, half of their plays and give our defense a chance to wreak havoc.
– Detroit v Minnesota (28% owned) –
The 1st place Detroit Lions will be playing host to the Vikings, who couldn’t run their way out of a paper sack. Against Arizona, McKinnon led the team with 44 rushing yards. The week before that it was McKinnon again as the leading rusher with a whopping 20 yards from scrimmage. Also standing behind a less than impressive offensive line we have Sam Bradford who has never seen a sack coming in his life. I really don’t think he’s a bad player on the whole, but pocket awareness is not a strength. The last time these two teams met up the Lions held the Vikings to 16 points, and this game will be played in Detroit. These mid-season divisional games tend to be pretty hard fought, and I just don’t think the Vikes are going to have much that this very familiar opponent hasn’t seen. As further evidence, Minnesota is giving opposing defenses a 4.4 point bump above their average, which to be honest this Lions defense can use.
It’s fair to have some hesitation about playing what is arguably the worst defense in the league. It’s not about them. It’s about the matchup. I suppose it’s also fair to say that I buy in to the divisional game narrative. In my own defense, look at what the Bears and Lions have already been able to do against this offense. The Vikings have just not been effective offensively in divisional games. While the Vikings really aren’t a turnover prone team, what they are is sack prone and there’s no running game.
– Atlanta v Arizona –
If you would have told me this summer that streaming a defense against this Arizona team might be a viable strategy, I may have laughed, but here we are. The truth is that these Cardinals aren’t really anything to be afraid of. Even though this game has a high over-under Arizona’s implied team total is only 23 points. Atlanta is a home favorite which checks another box in favor of this play. These Cardinals have allowed 19 sacks in 6 weeks, 14 in the last 3. On top of that Palmer has thrown 5 picks in the last 3 weeks. To be fair, he had 0 in the 3 weeks before that. I think it just shows that if you can pressure him, he’ll make a mistake. As a team, the Cardinals are mid-range in turnovers with 6 in the last 5 weeks, 18 on the season.
On the other side of the ball Atlanta’s defense has had 12 sacks in the last 5 weeks. Arizona has the 26th ranked O line allowing pressure 7.2% of the time. Atlanta’s D line is 14th ranked pressuring the QB 6.0%. The thing that multiplies this defense’s chances of getting to the QB is that the Falcons offense is putting teams in bad situations. Their opponents, in their attempt to keep up, become one dimensional and that allows the Falcons defensive front line to sell-out in the pass rush. It’s only fair to mention the fact that this defense does give up yards, 300 or more to Jameis, Rivers, & Cam. I’m not selling you the idea that Atlanta will be able to shut anyone down. This piay will live or die on other opportunities for the defense to score points.
I think it’s worth noting that the Arizona defense doesn’t seem to be limiting opposing offenses’ output that much. They gave up 30 scoreboard points to the Vikings, 20 to the 49ers, & 30 to Carolina. This reinforces the idea that the Cardinals get put into catch up mode and Falcons’ pass rushers pin their ears back in a whole sale pursuit of Carson Palmer, who isn’t exactly evasive. I can definitely see a scenario where this game ends up on the shoulders of Carson Palmer and things just get ugly when the Falcons tee off. It’s the most exciting defensive play on the week.
Written By: Josh Crocker – Josh can be found on Twitter @jccrocker