Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Week 9 Defenses: Stream-O-Matic

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Week 8 was one of the weirdest fantasy weeks of the season. It was no different in the defensive landscape, where turnovers and sacks ruled the day across the league. How about a minor recap?

  • The Philadelphia Eagles had a stellar defensive performance in a great matchup under heavy rain conditions. If you streamed them last week, consider firing them up again in a contest against the Broncos. We all saw how their offense looked on Monday Night Football and it’s only getting worse with a change at quarterback.
  • One of the more surprising performances of Week 8, the Carolina Panthers were basically willed to a victory by its defense. They forced three turnovers and sacked Jameis Winston three times en route to allowing just three points. I honestly don’t mind once again using them at home against the Falcons if you are in a league with limited waiver options. It’s not like Atlanta has been blowing anyone away on offense in 2017.
  • The Seattle Seahawks didn’t look great against DeShaun Watson and the Texans last week, but the defense still got some fantasy points by way of three turnovers and five sacks. Look for them to take advantage of some opportunities with an identity-less Redskins offense coming to the Northwest.

Let’s check out the chart, shall we?

2017 Fantasy Football Week 9 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: Bears, Browns, Chargers, Patriots, Steelers, Vikings

Stream-O-Matic Chart

RkTeam DefenseOwn%OppLocWindVegasoSAC%oINT%FPPGDVOAOverall
1Jaguars92.5CIN502424233232140.0
2Eagles86.6DEN502523252318119.0
3Texans74.7IND502626122225116.0
4Lions46.8GB001620182926109.0
5Bills32.5NYJ0018.522172823108.5
6Rams52.3NYG00211193029100.0
7Seahawks95.1WAS5023135252192.0
8Saints61.3TB5019520241790.0
9Ravens79.0TEN005816313090.0
10Panthers71.3ATL5015615172785.0
11Titans21.1BAL5022.5122191281.5
12Broncos90.1PHI004158183176.0
13Bengals82.1JAX0011714202274.0
14Falcons39.5CAR0013142610568.0
15Cardinals30.4SF0020181141366.0
16Packers9.9DET5012.5193121465.5
1749ers1.4ARI501417192663.0
18Colts1.0HOU00125245.5459.5
19Cowboys27.6KC50816121859.0
20Redskins19.8SEA003910142056.0
21Steelers80.5BYE----------272855.0
22Jets2.8BUF5082125.51152.5
23Raiders10.2MIA001710221252.0
24Dolphins35.2OAK506413131051.0
25Bears11.0BYE----------261945.0
26Vikings97.1BYE----------192443.0
27Giants12.4LAR5010.5378942.5
28Chiefs89.2DAL0082616739.0
29Chargers8.9BYE----------151631.0
30Browns2.8BYE----------111526.0
31Buccaneers10.9NO002147317.0
32Patriots41.3BYE----------314.0

Snooze-a-palooza of the Week

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My Snoozefest of Week 9 is…

Fantasy folk, I seriously was laying in my bed while writing this and napped when I got to this part. You can’t make that stuff up! Anyway, is anyone going to willingly watch this Ravens and Titans matchup? Sure, both teams are in the playoff picture and could win their divisions. That doesn’t mean they can’t be extremely boring to watch.

The Ravens are coming off a HUGE win over the Dolphins last Thursday night. That was mostly due to the defense, as the opposing Matt Moore-led offense could not hold onto the ball for more than a few plays at a time. The Titans offense is a bit more efficient albeit trudging. The Ravens will be a fine defensive start in fantasy, but don’t expect anything more than a couple of sacks and a turnover.

As for the Titans, after a couple of terrible games to start the season, the defense has been improving. The matchups have been easy against the Colts, Dolphins, and Browns. However, the Ravens offense won’t present anything too outlandish, especially with Joe Flacco banged up and a depleted receiving corps. You could do worse than the Titans this week and they should be available on waiver wires everywhere.

Barn-Lighting Scoreboard-Burner

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The Chiefs face the Cowboys in what is destined to be the latter’s first game without its star running back. The numbers for Dallas certainly reflect an offense with an elite running game, so they will take a hit. However, how far down can they go? Perhaps an Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden split provides a nice balance against opposing defenses. I don’t expect a big change in this game in terms of fantasy. It might cost the Cowboys a better chance at a win, but it doesn’t somehow make the Chiefs a usable option. The chart has them second to last among active defenses this week. Yikes.

Even after a nice start against the Redskins last week, you absolutely can’t use the Cowboys defense. That was a rainy event that encouraged turnovers for Washington. I don’t think the Chiefs aren’t giving you any opportunities for fantasy scoring this year, especially after watching the Monday nighter against the Broncos. Denver got two turnovers and still scored in the bottom half of ESPN scoring among defenses in Week 8.

Leave both of these defenses alone in this matchup! 51 point over/under, by the way…

Shoulder Shrugger of the Century of the Week

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I read plenty of fantasy football articles during work breaks and lunch and while most of it is great, it gets tiresome sometimes. Especially when you see different analysts all suggest the same thing without much hesitation. This is what I see this week regarding the Cardinals and 49ers matchup at the moment – “play the Cardinals, they’ll be awesome against a bad 49ers offense” has been the phrase of the week. How useful is this though?

The chart has these two teams almost back to back at DST15 and DST17 for Arizona and San Francisco, respectively. To be honest, I have no idea what’s going to happen in this game, hence the shrug of the shoulders. I’m not saying that the Cardinals defense won’t be a great play – I actually think the chart underrates them a bit. However, I don’t believe this is a locked and loaded stream. The Cardinals will be led by Drew Stanton this week, which could put the defense in constant stress if he is turning the ball over or not able to move the offense.

By the way, Arizona is a 2.5 point favorite, so it’s not like Vegas thinks they will be in favorable situations all game. Their defense has been bottom five in ESPN fantasy scoring this season too. This isn’t your same old Arizona defense from the previous seasons.

All this to say that I am skeptical of this game. The Cardinals and 49ers haven’t played well on either side of the ball this year and I’m not willing to risk streaming either side unless I can’t find a better option.

Notables

Detroit Lions, DST4 (46.8%)

The Lions are a top five defense by average FPPG, but it still seems like they don’t receive the love they deserve. The setting isn’t ideal at Lambeau Field on a Monday night, but the matchup on the field sets up nicely.

There’s still time for him to develop, but Brett Hundley has not looked good in his first two games. 4.1 YPA is really freaking terrible considering league average is around 7.0 YPA. For perspective, DeShone Kizer is last among qualified quarterbacks with a 5.4 YPA this season. It’s not even all his fault – Aaron Rodgers made that offensive line look way better than it was and now they are being exposed to constant pressure. The above average front seven of the Lions will exploit this unit especially and not allow Hundley to get throws off cleanly.

A top-five ranking for the Lions is a little optimistic, but a top 10 floor is certainly in the wings.

Buffalo Bills, DST5 (32.5%)

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The Bills are an absolute must start this week on defense against the Jets. I know what you’re thinking – ‘Tyler, the Jets offense has actually looked good the last few weeks’. You aren’t wrong, but just how good have they looked?

The Jets are on an interesting run here. By ESPN standard scoring, opposing defenses have had the 12th best scoring day each of the past four weeks. That’s fringe DST1 numbers every time out. However, when you look at the teams facing them between the Browns, Patriots, Dolphins, and Falcons, your eyes light up a bit. They average a 25.3 DVOA ranking and still scored a DST1-worthy week!

The Bills are 10th in DVOA and therefore a respectable 5th on this Stream-O-Matic chart. I’m all in on the Bills as a top 5 defense this week and they are my stream of the week.

Los Angeles Rams, DST6 (52.3%)

The Rams have been an above average defense this year, ranking in the top five in FPPG due to some recent performances. They certainly take advantage of vulnerable offenses and rake up the fantasy scoring.

Enter the Giants, who might have the worst offense in the league. Sure, they beat the Broncos a couple of weeks ago for their first win. However, that win isn’t looking so great now that Denver is on a downward spiral. The offensive line is porous, the receiving corps is depleted, and Eli Manning is looking older by the snap. (I’m a Giants fan – I’m allowed to be this critical!) I expect the Rams to get ahead quickly and win handsomely. This will put their defense in many advantageous situations and lead to a nice output from the NFC West contenders.

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Also, I’m really surprised that the spread is only 3.5 points. Vegas must know something behind the scenes because I don’t see how the Rams don’t win by double digits.


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

About Tyler Thompson

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