Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Week 4 Defenses: Stream-O-Matic

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After rejoicing over my Week 2 success, karma came back and bit me squarely on the ass.

Week 3 was just a horrible week for fantasy defenses. I don’t feel too bad about my miscues, but I am nonetheless blindsided by the outcomes. The Ravens laid an absolute egg against the Jaguars across the pond. The Redskins and Raiders were very disappointing on the offensive side of the game. My suggestions for the Eagles, Dolphins, and Rams all sucked. It was a frustrating week, to say the least.

Despite the frustration, it’s important to not overreact and change any formatting on the Stream-O-Matic chart. I have been saying all along that it will have its faults in the early going. Maybe Week 3 was just a reminder of that fact and it got lucky in the first two weeks. Whatever the case may be, I know the process is right and the chart can still be trusted moving forward.

As for Week 4, the streaming options don’t look great. Most of the offenses I like to target are facing highly-owned defenses. That’s no bueno! Still, the Stream-O-Matic has pointed out some possible unseen options that can be productive for a fantasy team. I can’t wait to share them with you this week and I am ready for a bounce back to normal!

2017 Fantasy Football Week 4 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.
  • DVOA: The defenses will be ranked by how well they have performed this year by DVOA efficiency ratings.

Defenses on Bye Week: None!

Stream-O-Matic Chart

RkTeam DefenseOwn%OppLocWindVegasoSAC%oINT%FPPGDVOAOverall
1Steelers57.8BAL001113313128114
2Bengals59.7CLE001323322320111.0
3Seahawks100.0IND50163026823108.0
4Cardinals94.9SF5014.52620.51922107.0
5Jaguars89.4NYJ0013.5191728.529107.0
6Broncos100.0OAK50101514252695.0
7Redskins4.1KC002.5313302793.5
8Bills2.6ATL000.81822252489.8
9Browns2.2CIN506.5292912.5688.0
10Falcons16.6BUF5012.52811171285.5
11Ravens59.3PIT505.586273283.5
12Rams20.5DAL00271328.53181.5
13Patriots95.9CAR501527301381.0
14Chiefs100.0WAS5011.5179191980.5
15Eagles13.6LAC007.3525251880.3
16Packers7.2CHI50141419141480.0
17Buccaneers13.0NYG5012162416780.0
18Panthers100.0NE000.8223223077.8
19Chargers16.3PHI506241212.51675.5
20Titans6.2HOU0010.532234.5474.0
21Lions18.1MIN009.343322573.3
22Cowboys7.2LAR5015.5610191772.5
23Bears0.6GB0032515151371.0
24Raiders8.1DEN00521278566.0
25Giants33.7TB004.5102881565.5
26Texans98.8TEN50818212164.0
2749ers1.3ARI003.52020.56252.0
28Vikings98.5DET509.397101050.3
29Jets0.8JAX507.32164.51145.8
30Saints0.8MIA008.512182141.5
31Colts1.4SEA001.511311834.5
32Dolphins22.3NO504333927.0

Snooze-a-palooza of the Week

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Ugh, we have seen this matchup before! It seems like it’s always a snoozefest between the Bengals and Browns. This will most certainly not be the game on my radar if I’m watching for entertainment purposes only.

Both teams are coming off weeks where they scored more often than they did in the first two weeks combined. On one side, the Bengals could actually be believed to be having an offensive turnaround. They faced a decent Packers defense and it was their first game with new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. On the other hand, the Browns may have been blessed with the gift of the matchup as the Colts have posed little threat to opposing offenses.

That being said, I am willing to throw the Bengals out there in any league as a streaming option. However, I would stay away from the Browns despite the elevated ranking on the chart.

Barn-Lighting Scoreboard-Burner

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When in doubt, pick the game with the Saints playing! The Saints will go marching into Miami with a bit of confidence after dominating the Panthers last week in all three phases of the game. Drew Brees and them boys torched the Carolina defense and had fantasy owners with joy in their hearts. Furthermore, we will see the return of Willie Snead, a favorite of this author, which will bolster this passing attack over the middle of the field.

Now, we must go to the ugly side. The Dolphins really pooped the bed last week against the Jets with only some garbage time points for DeVante Parker to show for it. They will be really anxious, one must think, to get back home and shred a New Orleans secondary that’s had its issues outside of Week 3. I’m expecting big games out of all the skill players and Jay Cutler should be a sneaky DFS play if other players are turned off by him after last week.

Please don’t play either of these defenses. That’s a fantasy death wish.

Shoulder Shrugger of the Century of the Week

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Anyone have a good idea of what’s going to happen in this Chargers and Eagles game? If so, please tell me so I know what to do with all the possible streaming options.

Looking at the Chargers, what can we make of them at this moment? We’ve seen some great and ugly play from Philip Rivers. The offensive line has been terrible for the most part with three linemen rated less than 50 by Pro Football Focus standards.The defense has been hit or miss based on matchups in the first three weeks. They always seem to play to the level of competition though with Rivers needing to drive the length of the field with a minute left and no timeout.

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The Eagles have been quite sporadic through three games. At times they look like world beaters and, at others, they have defensive breakdowns in the secondary. Carson Wentz has been the one stable commodity for them but with Darren Sproles now out for the season, things could be shaky in the run game.

I trust Philly to move the ball consistently enough to make the Chargers a bad defensive streaming option. However, while the Eagles didn’t come through against the Giants last week like I thought they would, I would be okay rolling them out yet again against a turnover-prone Rivers. All in all, I would be avoiding this game for defenses if possible.

Notables

Atlanta Falcons, DST10 (16.6%)

All but one defensive player is ranked 64 or above for the Falcons defense. That player – Robert Alford, who was a great player in 2015 and 2016. If he bounces back, we are looking at a top 10 unit in 2017, which is scary considering how good we know this offense can be.

This will be a perfect week for Alford to return to form, as the Bills don’t have any receivers that can punish him on the outside. The Buffalo offensive line has been a mess as seen by the horrendous sack percentage allowed through three weeks. LeSean McCoy has fared well against 3-4 fronts, but struggled against the Carolina 4-3 and is banged up. Atlanta also runs a 4-3 and their front seven should have no qualms manhandling the Buffalo line.

If the Falcons get ahead quickly, the positive game flow will be too much for Buffalo. That makes the Falcons a sneaky great play here in Week 4.

Green Bay Packers, DST17 (7.2%)

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Here’s a math problem for you – what does Mike Glennon plus a short week equal? A top-five finish in fantasy scoring.

Alright, so you want more encouragement? Well, there have been no negative performances from defenses facing the Bears. The worst probably goes to Pittsburgh last week, who still was able to garner two turnovers and just 17 points allowed in regulation. The Bears are averaging 13 PPG and Vegas odds say that the Packers will give up around 18 to them this week.

My point is that nothing has to give! The Packers have a very nice floor this week and Glennon could turn that floor into a beautiful Sistine Chapel-esque ceiling if things go wrong. Grab them before the Thursday night matchup and reap the rewards.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DST18 (13.0%)

Why are the Bucs still high on this chart? I want answers! Did you not see how poorly the defense played against a Case Keenum-led offense?

Oh right, the Stream-O-Matic has no eyes. Well, let me be its eyes – this defense got torched by Dalvin Cook and Stefon Diggs time and time again. Now they face a revamped Giants offense that looks entirely different with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. Yeah, no thanks to this option!

Tennessee Titans, DST20 (6.2%)

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This contest between AFC South rivals could be an under-the-radar snoozefest. The Texans have a stout defense of their own despite getting torched by New England last week. I mean, who doesn’t get lit up by Tom Brady these days?

The Titans defense has been a large reason for their success this season though. Sure, they have weaknesses here and there, but this isn’t the matchup that can exploit that. They will have plenty of help in slowing down DeAndre Hopkins in the secondary. The run game for Houston has been stinky outside of a few good runs by DeShaun Watson.

And while we are at it, let’s talk about Watson – yes he looked great against New England in Week 3. But what is the Patriots defense at this point? It’s the worst fantasy defense by far through three weeks – why should I believe that Watson has broken out officially? I need to see more from him.

Thus, I will stream the Titans defense if I am searching for options. This seems like a move that an owner in a 12-team league could make.


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

About Tyler Thompson

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