Fantasy Football

2018 Fantasy Football Week 3 Defense Stream-O-Matic

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Wait, what? It’s already Week 3?! It’s going to be time for bye weeks before we know it.

Week 3’s Stream-O-Matic chart brings forth lots of questions and potential waiver pickups. First, let’s look back on Week 2 and acknowledge the standout individual performances from games that I was able to watch.

  • Geno Atkins, defensive tackle for the Bengals, made the Ravens o-line look like children last Thursday. He had two sacks on the night but was in Joe Flacco’s face many more times. We’ve come to expect this from the All-Pro tackle.
  • It’s hard to deviate from what the Jaguars were able to do defensively against the Patriots, notably Rob Gronkowski. Jalen Ramsey and company backed up the talk, shutting Gronk down for just 15 yards on two receptions. When Ramsey wasn’t on him, Myles Jack was and the combo was magnificent. This Jacksonville defense has a chance to be an all-timer.
  • It’s an eye-test thing, but Leighton Vander Esch looked very good against the Giants. As a Giants fan, this author was hard-pressed to be positive, but Vander Esch was impressive. When (and not ‘if’) Sean Lee gets hurt, he will be racking up tackles. He was third on his team with seven tackles in Week 2 despite not playing even 50% of the snaps. The 2018 first rounder has a shot to be a serviceable IDP-league pickup.

Now, let’s check out the results from Week 2 courtesy of my colleague Keith Lott. We may disagree on the Buccaneers‘ current QB situation, but he is still cordial enough to provide me this chart. What a cool dude! You can find him on Twitter at @WeTlkFntsySprts.

Once again, trendline pointing in the right direction! It’s an even steeper slope this week, which is what we expect given that we start accruing some better statistics. The biggest hits were the Bears, Dolphins, & Jets (more on them later). The biggest miss was the Ravens, who put up an absolute stinker in Week 2 (more on them later, too).

Time to dive into Stream-O-Matic No. 3!

2018 Fantasy Football Week 3 Defense 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 gives us an idea of who is available. This doesn’t factor into the standings.
  • Location: Generally speaking, defenses play better at home than on the road. Thus, a five-point advantage is given 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. Another five-point bonus is awarded to teams playing in such windy conditions.
  • Vegas: Using Vegas odds, the spread and over/under generates a projected game score that the bettors go against. This game score portrays 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 some quarterbacks don’t show the ability to avoid the sack.
  • oINT%: The opponent’s interception percentage obviously helps in streaming a defense. Turnover percentage is not used here because fumbles can be a little fluky and turnover percentage uses both fumbles and interceptions.
  • FPPG: I use ESPN defensive scoring rankings to determine a ranking of the fantasy football defenses.
  • DVOA: Probably the most popular tool for evaluating defenses, the DVOA efficiency ratings are utilized to give a strong baseline to the rankings.

Stream-O-Matic Chart

OverallDefenseOwn%OppLocationWindVegasoSAC%oINT%FPPGDVOA
158.0Vikings98.6BUF503231322731
138.0Browns5.5NYJ502822282827
126.0Jets25.4CLE002129183226
118.0Bears58.7ARZ002912223124
116.0Dolphins18.9OAK50245252928
116.0Ravens96DEN50274311930
115.5Jaguars99.2TEN503122925.523
114.5Cowboys11SEA0013322625.518
110.0Rams99.3LAC50241093032
106.0Eagles98.2IND50248231729
102.0Texans91NYG50302571025
94.5Seahawks6.9DAL5022282.51621
92.5Redskins15.8GB501026823.520
89.5Bengals3.2CAR0016201123.519
89.0Broncos78BAL001219152122
84.5Cardinals16.8CHI501923194.514
81.0Chiefs4.7SF5011303032
81.0Panthers41.4CIN50266121517
76.5Packers9.8WAS0020212.52211
75.5Giants2.5HOU0014.5272185
73.0Raiders1.4MIA0014.524244.56
67.0Patriots80.7DET0018327613
62.0Titans51.9JAX0017116208
60.0Saints51.6ATL0091617216
59.5Buccaneers0.8PIT505.51320124
59.0Colts0.2PHI0071861810
55.0Steelers21.6TB0087141115
49.5Chargers89.9LAR005.51113812
49.0Lions19.3NE5021510143
45.5Falcons12NO504142.5137
29.549ers2.1KC00192.589
27.0Bills1.5MIN00317511

Defenses on Bye Week: NONE!

Tyler’s Top Team

I’m not going to waiver from my Week 2 stance that the Rams are the best defense in football. However, we do have a new second place team here!

The Ravens shouldn’t be terribly downgraded after their remarkably poor performance on Thursday Night Football. However, they should be supplanted, if only briefly, by a defense that I was impressed with in Week 2. The Vikings have a decent schedule upcoming and start it with a bang against the Bills. We’ve got a history of Minnesota’s defense being special and 2018 should be no different.

After tilts against the Rams and Eagles in back-to-back weeks, make sure they aren’t floating around on waivers for their next two matchups. The Cardinals and Jets are providing opposing defenses with some turnovers and lack of playmakers, so the Vikings DST is going to be extremely useful.

Snooze-a-palooza of the Week

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I was going to pick the Thursday Night Football game of Week 3, but I want to save those teams for later. Instead, let’s focus on this Cardinals-Bears matchup this Sunday.

There are many words that could be used to describe the Cardinals offense to start the 2018 season. None of them are positive. People are already labeling David Johnson as a fantasy bust, Sam Bradford looks more skittish than ever, and the play-calling has been horrific. Until further notice, they are an offense to target when streaming defenses. I would personally love to see Josh Rosen unleashed, as he was my favorite pocket-passer in the draft. But alas, we have the current version of this Arizona club. The Bears defense should dominate in this one.

On the other side, we have a Bears offense that is mundane in nature. Mitch Trubisky is not there yet in his quarterback progression, which leaves much to be desired. He’s not taking that second-year jump like Carson Wentz and Jared Goff did in 2017. However, due to their ability to run the ball and win the turnover battle, they aren’t an offense to stream against. That doesn’t mean that the Cardinals won’t hold them to under 20 points. It just means that this game is going to be boring as hell.

Barn-Lighting Scoreboard-Burner

I was picking between two games for the high-scoring affair of the week. Then I thought, hell, why can’t I pick both?



The Buccaneers and Steelers have been playing nothing but high-scoring games to start the year. They are coming off two huge weeks offensively. Ryan Fitzpatrick is out here trying to steal your girlfriend. Antonio Brown is pissed off at some nobody saying he isn’t good. This game has all the workings of a magical fantasy game. Oh, and don’t touch these defenses with a ten-foot pole.

Meanwhile, the Falcons and Saints have been inconsistent offensively in the first two weeks. The Saints looked great in Week 1 against the Bucs but faltered against a strong Browns defense at home. The Falcons did the exact opposite – looked horrendous on opening night against the Eagles before bouncing back against the Panthers. However, both defenses rank in the bottom third of the Stream-O-Matic chart, so it stands to reason that this game will feature points. Lots of them.

Notables

Cleveland Browns, DST2 (5.5%)

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If you look at the top five on the chart, outside of the Vikings at No. 1, who saw this coming before the season? These were supposed to be some of the bottom feeders in the NFL. That usually doesn’t bode well for defenses in the streaming world. However, here we are with the Browns at No. 2 on the chart for Week 3!

Guys, the Browns defense is really freaking good. They handled the Steelers at home en route to a tie. They absolutely should have won against the Saints in the Superdome due in large part to the defense. Cleveland’s defense made Drew Brees uncomfortable until the very end and suffered the loss because of a hurt kicker. They don’t hand out participation trophies or moral victories in the NFL, but this year’s Browns are different than the one from the last two years and it all starts on defense.

The Jets just don’t have the firepower on offense to scare anyone. All of the skill-position players they have are just super average. Their offensive line is ranked 19th by ProFootballFocus, which I think is a little generous. Sam Darnold has looked fine, but he’s throwing interceptions like you’d expect a rookie to do. The Browns certainly have the defensive backs to take advantage of that and I believe the Browns are a must-start this week.

New York Jets, DST3 (25.4%)

On the other side of the ball, we’ve got a great Jets defense. Now, I believe the Browns will (finally) win this game at home and experience a sort of high that can only be achieved on the floor level of a Wiz Khalifa concert.

Anyway, Cleveland’s offense hasn’t been spectacular and just lost their best deep threat. Josh Gordon really was their only field-spreader unless Antonio Callaway can step up. I don’t think the Jets finish as a top-five option, but they could be serviceable enough as a DST1 that won’t hurt you. Still, I would much rather have the Browns DST or the next defense on my list…

Miami Dolphins, DST5 (18.9%)

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I’m hopeful that I can keep up the streak of using featured images of animals. The rise to the top of the charts for the Dolphins allowed me to start the streak at two. Who’s going to allow me to continue the streak next week? Tune in to find out.

While shamelessly promoting articles I haven’t even thought about writing yet, check to see if the Miami DST is floating around on waivers. Odds are the Browns were able to be picked up and streamed, but if they were snagged before you could read this, who knows? The Dolphins DST is underrated this week and could still be out there. They’ve been the best defense by DVOA standards in 2018 through the first two weeks. Now, it was against the Titans and Jets so let’s slow down a bit. However, they get the Raiders this week.

Frankly, Oakland has been a circus show to start the season. A winless start capped off by a blown 4th-quarter lead last week has Raiders fans worried. The offense has a wicked stench to it, which likely comes from the performance of the offensive line to-date. The Raiders are 5th-worst in points per game and, while the yards per game has been serviceable, something just doesn’t feel right here. I’m loving the Dolphins at home and would be honored to call them my ‘Stream of the Week’.

Dallas Cowboys, DST8 (11.0%)

If these other defenses get scooped up, I would pick on the Seahawks again by streaming the Dallas DST.

Seattle has been horrid offensively through the first two weeks. Sure, it was against two bad defenses, but they were playing from behind in those games and Russell Wilson still couldn’t get much going. I’m going to say this again – if you’re leading receiver is some slow tight end with the nickname of ‘Uncle Will’, you’re in trouble. They are 27th in yards per game and 29th in rush yards per game, specifically. This one-dimensional offense is just begging to accrue sacks and turnovers.

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Enter the Cowboys defense, who has actually been impressive to start the year. In the first two weeks, they contained great players like Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Odell Beckham Jr., and Saquon Barkley. They rank 13th by DVOA standards and now face a struggling Seattle squad. The one part I don’t love is that it’s on the road, but I think Dallas can get the job done.


Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our outstanding team of writers.

About Tyler Thompson

Follow me on Twitter at @therealwody. For all the latest news and best advice out there, like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.

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