Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Week 1 Defenses: Stream-O-Matic

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Draft season is over and the fantasy football regular season is upon us. Just like every preseason, all the attention has been placed on the signal callers and the skill position players. Rightfully so in the fantasy realm considering that most of your roster is comprised of offensive players.

You know what they say – offense sells the tickets, defense wins games.

Well, I’m here to help you win games then! How many times last season did a fantasy football defense put you over the top in a fantasy matchup? If you can’t think of any, maybe it was because you weren’t keeping close tabs on the Stream-O-Matic chart. It was calling out some awesome streams last year including the rise of the Chiefs defense, a stellar performance by the Falcons against the Rams in your fantasy playoffs, and the fall of the Vikings in the second half.

Does this sound like I’m bragging? Remember that the Stream-O-Matic is all statistics based and that I have no input on the chart. I simply react to the results and give you advice on how to analyze it. I get no credit other than the credit one gets for mindlessly entering data into a spreadsheet. Hmm, sounds like my life…

Well, I’m happy to say that the Stream-O-Matic is back for a second season and I’m very excited to continue this article for as long as it is effective. On to Week 1 in the fantasy football defense world, my friends!

2017 Fantasy Football Week 1 Defenses Stream-O-Matic

Scoring

I use a traditional rotisserie scoring style commonly used in fantasy baseball season-long leagues to give point totals to each team.

Categories

The categories for the chart are listed below along with links to websites that I use to find this data.

  • Own%: Ownership percentages based on ESPN leagues. This gives me an idea of which fantasy football defenses might be available in differently sized leagues. This doesn’t factor into the standings.
  • Location: Generally speaking, defenses play better at home than on the road. Thus, I will give a five point advantage to all home teams.
  • Wind: The only weather element that has shown a direct correlation with point totals is winds in excess of 15 MPH. I have added another five point bonus to both teams playing in such a windy condition.
  • Vegas: Using Vegas odds, I will look at the spread and over/under to generate the game score the bettors go against. This game score depicts what the game flow could look like and, therefore, which fantasy football defenses are in a good position to succeed.
  • oSAC%: To gauge how good (or bad) an opposing offensive line might be, look at the sack percentage for that team’s offense. Not only are some offensive lines bad, but the quarterbacks they have don’t show the ability to avoid the sack and that shows in this statistic.
  • oINT%: The opponent’s interception percentage obviously helps in streaming a defense. I didn’t use turnover percentage because fumbles can be a little fluky and turnover percentage uses both fumbles and interceptions.
  • FPPG: I used ESPN defensive scoring rankings to determine a ranking of the fantasy football defenses.
  • PFF: Pro Football Focus ranked each of the defenses based on their analysis of performance.

Defenses on Bye Week: Buccaneers, Dolphins

Stream-O-Matic Chart

RkTeam DefenseOwn%OppLocWindVegasoSAC%oINT%FPPGPFFOverall
1Broncos100.0Chargers50131628--3193.0
2Steelers56.2Browns0015.33019--2286.3
3Rams28.7Colts50142521--17.582.5
4Texans100.0Jaguars5015.31120--28.579.8
5Bills13.2Jets50161830--5.574.5
6Panthers95.549ers0012.52813--2073.5
7Packers4.2Seahawks509.52615.5--1672.0
8Falcons15.3Bears0013.5827--2169.5
9Patriots97.9Chiefs5014.5138--28.569.0
10Vikings100.0Saints5010.5515.5--28.564.5
11Cardinals99.3Lions009.51910--25.564.0
12Colts0.2Rams006.52729--1.564.0
13Jaguars73.4Texans005.3925--23.562.8
14Chargers16.4Broncos005.32211--23.561.8
15Lions0.3Cardinals5061722--959.0
1649ers1.4Panthers502.52026--457.5
17Ravens13.8Bengals007.5246--1956.5
18Seahawks100.0Packers003.5154.5--3255.0
19Bengals60.9Ravens5012718--1153.0
20Giants46.3Cowboys003144.5--28.550.0
21Cowboys4.4Giants5011.3323--749.3
22Raiders3.8Titans004.51214--17.548.0
23Jets0.4Bills002297--1048.0
24Redskins1.7Eagles5071017--847.0
25Eagles20.8Redskins008.5412--1539.5
26Browns1.1Steelers501.3224--5.537.8
27Bears1.0Falcons501.3233--335.3
28Titans8.8Raiders50819--1235.0
29Chiefs100.0Patriots000.561--25.533.0
30Saints0.6Vikings004212--1.528.5
31Dolphins4.7POSTPONED------------1414.0
32Buccaneers3.9POSTPONED------------1313.0

Snooze-a-palooza of the Week

This Broncos-Chargers matchup in Week 1 is going to be one of the better games to watch. Both of these squads should compete for second place in the AFC West behind a team I will talk about next. However, they will be competing in different ways.

Denver has the ‘elite defense versus stout offense’ issue this week. Despite the high octane nature of the Chargers offense, Philip Rivers is definitely prone to interceptions. He led the league in interceptions at 21 last year although he was without Keenan Allen for the entire 2016 season. The Chargers will be a tough offense to handle for most teams, but the Broncos can hang.

Los Angeles will be experiencing an ‘above-average defense versus average offense’ dynamic. The Chargers are solid across the board defensively, with eight of the eleven starters rating 75 or better on Pro Football Focus. The Broncos are solid at the skills positions, but the offensive line and quarterback play is certainly disconcerting.

Both of these defenses are solid starts this week with Denver being the better option. Los Angeles will defintiely be more available on waivers though.

Barn-Lighting Scoreboard-Burner

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With the highest over-under of the week, the Titans-Raiders duel should be a high-paced one in Nashville.

On the Raiders side, their defense is basically two studs and a bunch of scrubs. Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin can’t do everything. The Titans are absolutely loaded on offense and aren’t just your typical ground-and-pound unit anymore. With nice additions to the receiving corps, Marcus Mariota should be able to slice and dice his way through this Oakland secondary.

Switching sides, the Titans defense should be much improved. However, the numbers say that the Raiders were right on par with the Patriots as far as offenses that were the toughest challenges to face in 2016. On top of that, they even made improvements at tight end with Jared Cook and running back with Marshawn Lynch.

This is a DFS match made in heaven – just not for the defenses.

Shoulder Shrugger of the Century of the Week

Does anyone know what’s going to happen in this Bengals-Ravens contest? I mean, I don’t trust either of these defenses to win or lose this game by looking at their opposing matchups.

Looking at the Ravens first, what a mess this preseason has been. Injuries, suspensions, and committees are fruitful with this offense. Nonetheless, Joe Flacco should be playing in this game with a couple of decent receivers and their backfield is healthy-ish. We didn’t get a chance to see what this offense can be in the preseason so jury is still out.

With the Bengals, I believe that this offense is underrated, especially in the passing attack. With Tyler Eifert and AJ Green both healthy, Andy Dalton should get a chance to ball out in this matchup. The running back committee is in full force, but that’s solid from a real-life standpoint.

Long story short, these two defenses are about middle of the pack and the matchups are average at best. I will be ignoring both of these units for fantasy purposes.

Notables

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Pittsburgh Steelers, DST2 (56.2%)

Don’t over think this one – play an average or better defense against Cleveland. Although it’s a new season, take a look at opposing defenses against the Browns last year. The Browns did not face any of the top four defenses by ESPN’s standard scoring in 2016. If you streamed just defenses playing the Browns, you would have gotten an average of 12.3 FPPG, which was better than any team defensive unit in 2016.

Again, don’t overthink this one – the Steelers should be 100% owned this week.

Los Angeles Rams, DST3 (28.7%)

With Andrew Luck out of this game, the Colts become an easy target for defense streaming. Scott Tolzien is nothing more than a low-end backup in the NFL and has no business starting games. My main concern is that he will be too scared to turn the ball over. However, if it’s floor that you want, look no further than the Rams defense this week. Indianapolis won’t be able to move the ball consistently enough in this game to threaten the Rams.

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Buffalo Bills, DST5 (13.2%)

Every year there’s a team that is constantly picked on by fantasy football defense streamers everywhere. However, I could argue that there hasn’t been an offense as easy to pick on as the 2017 Jets in the last decade. This roster is incredibly depleted and will make any defense look like a championship caliber squad. Their quarterback situation is incredibly volatile and led by an oft-injured Josh McCown. The receiving corps is so bad that they just traded for Jermaine Kearse. The offensive line has one, maybe two decent players.

Alright, I’m getting carried away. Point is that you should have waited on defense in your draft and selected the Bills with one of your last picks.

Green Bay Packers, DST7 (4.2%)

I’m not sure what the Stream-O-Matic chart sees in this game. It has the Seahawks really low and the Packers really high, which seems contradictory. If we are expecting the Packers to put up points on Seattle’s stout defense, then I’m expecting this game to turn into a shootout. I would go a different route here and select one of the other readily available defenses in the top 10 instead.

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Atlanta Falcons, DST8 (15.3%)

Mike Glennon.

Okay, you want more analysis than that? I strongly believe that Atlanta is going to be able to sell out for the run and cover the mediocre receivers one-on-one on the outside. Guys like Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, and Ricardo Allen had great 2016 seasons and are in the third year of a stout Dan Quinn defense. The Falcons should blow out the Bears this week and the defense should play a large role in that.

Indianapolis Colts, DST12 (0.2%)

This is my friendly reminder that you can’t just start any defense with a good matchup. As I mentioned earlier, the Rams shouldn’t have many problems with the Colts offense. Therefore, the Colts defense is not going to be in a position that is conducive to fantasy scoring. The Rams have looked much cleaner on offense in the preseason and will have the opportunity to run Todd Gurley early and often. I’m totally out on the Colts defense this week.


Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Tyler Thompson

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