Written By: Josh Crocker – Follow Josh on Twitter @jccrocker
Under the Stream
– Minnesota D/ST v Dallas –
Playing against an offense that seems to be a pretty unstoppable force I think I would continue to roster the Vikings D/ST, but if you’re in a key matchup this week I’d consider a streamer.
– Chiefs D/ST @ ATL –
I’m not sure what the Falcons’ approach to picking at this team will be, but I think we can expect that they’ll bring more fire power to the front line that Trevor Siemian’s Broncos did in what turned out to be an unexpectedly high scoring game. Again, if those defensive points could be big in a make or break playoff matchup I’d look elsewhere this week.
– Washington D/ST @ ARI –
Although the Cardinals may not seem like your stereotypical weak defense to stream against, there is substance to the argument for streaming against this team. In the last 5 weeks, no offense has allowed more points to DEF than the Cardinals. In that time-frame Palmer has been sacked 16 times and the team has turned the ball over 9 more times, allowing 2 defensive TD’s. No one is throwing the ball more than Arizona, and yet their deep, defense killing, threats are not really producing. This is so true that we are starting to see TE Jermaine Gresham be relevant, because Palmer is throwing more short passes. It seems to me like a shift in scheme to hide a weak offensive line, as well as a QB whose play has been disappointing. Palmer has gone from supporting 2-3 receivers, to a place where the only pieces I would want in this offense are Fitzgerald and David Johnson. As far as offensive output, we have to go all the way back to week 6 to find a game where Arizona scored more than 24 points. They have become an offense that is not intimidating to stream against.
At the same time, Washington has had a fair amount of success pressuring the QB with their 7th best in the league pass rush. As I hinted at already, they’re facing the 26th ranked pass protecting O-line. On the season WAS has the 8th most sacks per game. It’s a familiar story, when an offense is humming like the Redskins have been it helps the other side of the ball as well. To be fair, Washington is allowing a lot of points (24 per game) and has the worst rush defense in the league. It could be a David Johnson day, but the cracks that have appeared in this offensive unit aren’t new at this point and they haven’t abandoned the pass at all. Quite the opposite is true, Palmer has thrown the ball over 40 times in three of his last four. If the trend of the Cardinals allowing the sacks and giving the ball away continues we can tolerate a couple of David Johnson TD’s
– Dallas D/ST @ MIN –
In week 12 we saw Bradford face off against a familiar foe in the Detroit Lions. The Lions have gone to a scheme of playing very slowly on offense, possessing the ball and in effect hiding their weak defense. At the end of the day their defense was able to escape with a decent bottom line, against an impotent Vikings offense. And we are talking about a Lion’s defense that is objectively one of the worst defenses in the league. The precedent has been set. Comparing these two matchups, we have the Cowboys who lead the league in time of possession, which translates directly to opponents having fewer plays. Cowboys’ opponents are losing 9 plays compared to opponents of fast paced teams, that’s a quality possession that’s just gone. Carrying that line of thought, Dallas is allowing opponents less than 20 ppg, and they have an opponent here who isn’t likely to push the boundary. While the Vikings don’t turn the ball over much, they do allow a lot of sacks. At the same time they have a QB who may have the least pocket awareness among starting QB’s and seems to be caught in the throwing motion at least once a game. There is an excellent chance that even this mediocre Dallas defensive front line will be able to create problems for Bradford, and the defensive opportunities ensue.
– GB D/ST v HOU –
This pick really is just as simple as the idea that there is no way on earth that Brock Osweiler is able to punish this Green Bay defense into a bad score. We are at a place where the biggest threat on this team is the running game, and not either of the very good wide receivers that the Texans have. That plays into the strength of the Green Bay D. Rob Kelley, Demarco Murray, and Ezekiel Elliot have had good games against the Packers and that’s it for the season. The remainders are a lot of 40 yard days. So, if we are looking at a situation where Miller is limited to something like a floor day, and the day has to be won by Brock I want the defense in that scenario. Below is a chart that shows what Osweiler has done on days when Miller’s yardage was limited.
|Week 5 @ MIN 20 yards||184 yards 1 TD, 1 INT 10.4 FP|
|Week 7 @ DEN 61 yards||131 yards 1 Fumble 4.8 FP|
|Week 8 v DET 56 yards 1 TD||186 yards 1 TD 1 INT 10.1 FP|
|Week 12 v SD 57 yards||246 yards 3 INT’s 9.1 FP|
Some not fantastic defenses have been able to keep the Texans under control. On the year, Houston is scoring a lowly 17 points a game. They are passing for less than 200 yards a game. Brock has eclipsed the 250 yard mark only twice, and I’m willing to bet against him here.
Written By: Josh Crocker – Josh can be found on Twitter @jccrocker