Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Week 5 Defenses: Stream-O-Matic

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For those non-Detroitians (is that a thing?), you will see a statue of ‘The Spirit of Detroit’ in the downtown area. According to the Detroit Historical Society, it has a religious connotation:

In the statue’s left hand it holds a gilt bronze sphere, emanating rays to symbolize God, and in its right, it holds a family group symbolizing all human relationships. On the wall behind the sculpture the inscription 2 Corinthians (3:17) “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” along with both the symbols of the city and of the county. On the plaque in front of the statue gives the inscription: “The artist expresses the concept that God, through the spirit of man is manifested in the family, the noblest human relationship.”

So basically the idea here is that the spirit of whatever God you worship and your relationship with your family and friends is intertwined and most important in life. At the risk of being a tiny bit sacrilegious, I will relate this to fantasy football in that your relationship with your players and the fantasy ‘gods’ are vital to success.

Breaking this terrible cross-relation down even further, say you’re streaming defenses on a week to week basis. In one hand you certainly still need the fantasy gods, but how about inserting this Stream-O-Matic chart in the other? It definitely would have helped last week, as it correctly singled out games like the Bills and Falcons to be fruitful for fantasy defenses while most thought it would be a shootout. Streaming options like the Steelers and Bengals were highly regarded and, despite my weak tout to use the Titans defense in deeper formats, the chart warned you against using them by ranking them outside the top 20.

What I learned last week was that I need to do a better job of evaluating the chart so you, the reader, can understand how to utilize it to your advantage. My goal is the same as yours – to optimize my points from the DST slot. Time to make that happen more consistently, especially now that the bye weeks have made themselves present.

Aside: If you’re mad that the chart didn’t predict that the Saints would pitch a shutout, then I don’t think fantasy football is for you. I mean, come on, who would have ever thought the Saints defense could complete such a feat!

2017 Fantasy Football Week 5 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: Broncos, Falcons, Redskins, Saints

Stream-O-Matic Chart

RkTeam DefenseOwn%OppLocWindVegasoSAC%oINT%FPPGDVOAOverall
1Lions35.6CAR5011222631.527122.5
2Bills9.7CIN05624222725109.0
3Bengals82.9BUF55132562424102.0
4Texans77.5KC50527231.531101.5
5Chiefs89.2HOU007.528212619101.5
6Eagles38.6ARI5013.52018201894.5
7Steelers71.6JAX5014114293093.0
8Ravens55.5OAK007131221.53285.5
9Vikings76.6CHI05121023151681.0
10Jaguars89.7PIT000.899302876.8
11Rams36.3SEA508.5118232075.5
12Raiders20.3BAL5011.5122713775.5
13Jets1.4CLE058142851575.0
1449ers1.7IND009262411575.0
15Browns3.7NYJ5510.5231513374.5
16Panthers65.6DET003.5184162263.5
17Cardinals87.1PHI001.515718.52163.0
18Cowboys16.3GB505.521107.51362.0
19Colts2.4SF506.519179.5461.0
20Giants31.5LAC5512.551631157.5
21Seahawks99.0LAR0043521.52356.5
22Titans25.3MIA051017202256.0
23Packers51.0DAL00261118.51754.5
24Broncos96.7------------252954.0
25Redskins6.6------------282654.0
26Dolphins21.7TEN552.82254851.8
27Chargers13.4NYG052.88137.51450.3
28Bears1.2MIN554.542131245.5
29Buccaneers21.6NE550.81626943.8
30Patriots65.2TB059.57191142.5
31Falcons17.6------------171027.0
32Saints1.7------------9.5615.5

Snooze-a-palooza of the Week

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I first wanted to mention the game that the Stream-O-Matic picks as the Snooze-a-palooza of the Week. The Chiefs and the Texans will face off on Sunday Night Football coming off huge wins.

I think both defenses are fine to play given the floors that they provide. However, I think the upside is very limited for both considering how hot the opposing offenses are. The Texans have scored 90 points in their last two games. The Chiefs are averaging 30.5 PPG and are extremely efficient with the ball. I would be interested in DST options with higher upside if you can stomach dropping or benching these teams.

Now, for my pick for the snoozefest honors, we head to Oakland. The Ravens and Raiders will battle it out for ‘most ineffective offense’ this week after some developments have come about. No developments needed for Baltimore, their offense just sucks. Name one skill position player that scares you when playing the Ravens. None? That’s what I thought.

As for Oakland, I figured out that EJ Manuel was their backup quarterback recently. Why is that? Because Derek Carr is sitting with a back injury and will be for a few weeks. This combined with the injury to Michael Crabtree and the stone hands of Amari Cooper make the Raiders an easy target for opposing defenses. This game is going to be a really terrible game offensively and I am fine with playing either defense. Baltimore especially should be in line for a great week, even if they lose.

Barn-Lighting Scoreboard-Burner

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Two of the worst teams on the Stream-O-Matic will face off on Thursday night as the Patriots travel to play the Buccaneers. The case can certainly be made for the Pats as the worst defense in football. More on that later! So if you own the Patriots DST, do yourself a favor and drop them for any possible player you could pick up because they are still in the negative point scale for 2017 in ESPN standard scoring. Reminder, we are four weeks in and that is bad.

On the Tampa Bay side, we have seen this defense give up 34 points to a Case Keenum-led offense. They allowed 23 points to the Giants last week, which was their highest point total for the season. They haven’t forced a turnover in either of those games either! Now they get to face an angry Patriots offense coming off a loss? No thanks, I’m out!

Shoulder Shrugger of the Century of the Week

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Torn between options, I decided to go in two directions here. There is just so much shoulder-shrugging going on for me this week!

For starters, the Colts host the 49ers this week in a matchup of two defenses that are owned in less than 3% of leagues. The Colts are coming off a week where they allowed 46 points to a struggling Seahawks offense. That came after they allowed 28 points to the terrible Browns. As for the Niners, they have performed decently outside of their Week 3 barn burner versus the Rams. I don’t mind playing San Francisco’s defense in deeper formats, but this game has ‘weird’ written all over it.

Next, let’s head to Cleveland where the Browns play host to the Jets, who got their first win of 2017 last week. Their run game looked pretty dang good against (allegedly) a strong Jaguars defense. Who the hell knows how the Jets will come out this week? Please let me know if you do. On the other side, the Browns have been very inconsistent on both sides of the ball. I’m not touching this game unless I have Bilal Powell or Duke Johnson in my flex spots.

Notables

Detroit Lions, DST1 (35.6%)

The spirit of Detroit remains strong in this Lions defense! With a top-five ranking in both FPPG and DVOA, this unit is proving that they can make this team a playoff contender and maybe even more.

Jump back to last week when everyone was talking about how the aforementioned Keenum looked much better against the Buccaneers and could lead this offense. The Lions then proceeded to hold them to just one touchdown and forced three lost fumbles.

Flash forward to this week, where all the fantasy pundits are saying ‘Cam Newton is back’ after proclaiming him washed up just a week before. Yes, the Panthers torched the Patriots in an upset no one saw coming. Are we really that scared of a Panthers offense that lost its best receiver, Greg Olsen, to injury? Or is everyone failing to see that the Patriots have the worst defense in the league?

This Lions defense has what it takes to shut down the running game (including Cam) of the Panthers. That’s going to be a huge factor in creating turnovers through the air and will make the Lions an elite streaming option once again.

Buffalo Bills, DST2 (9.7%)

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The Bills have two tasks to be successful against the Bengals on Sunday. One, they must double cover A.J. Green on the outside with E.J. Gaines shadowing. Two, they must contain Joe Mixon between the tackles. After that, it’s a cake walk. Now, the Bengals did turn around their offense against the lowly Browns in Week 4. How much stock can we really put into that though? This team is still allowing a ton of sacks and the stout Buffalo front seven should be licking their chops.The

The fifth-ranked defense by fantasy scoring, the Bills have faced much better offenses and succeeded this year. Most recently, they’ve put up strong performances in wins against the Broncos and Falcons. I didn’t trust the chart last week when it had the Bills as the eighth best option in Atlanta, but once again I was proven wrong.

Roll the Bills DST out with confidence this week and you could even hold them on a deep bench for their post-Week 6 (bye) schedule. They host the Buccaneers and Raiders before traveling to the Jets.

Philadelphia Eagles, DST6 (38.6%)

Philly has been a mediocre defensive unit at best this season, failing to meet expectations set from 2016’s squad that finished sixth in fantasy points. Injuries have hampered the secondary and they have been susceptible to the pass because of it. Guys like Alex Smith and Philip Rivers have had clean performances against them, which is odd.

Looking at this week’s matchup though, things line up well for the Eagles. The Cardinals are below average in both sacks allowed and turnovers, making them an easy target for most DST options. The running game has been nonexistent and Carson Palmer, while performing well, can’t keep taking hits from that shaky offensive line he stands behind.

If the Lions and Bills aren’t available in your league, I highly recommend the Eagles as a plug-and-play option in Week 5. You are looking at three sacks and a couple of turnovers, which bodes well for fantasy production.


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

About Tyler Thompson

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