Fantasy Football

2019 Fantasy Football Week 2 Defense Stream-O-Matic

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The Stream-O is back again for its fourth year. It’s been a fun ride and I am not ready for all the Twitter notifications. Fantasy baseball prospects are a controversial topic, but people get SERIOUS about their stupid fantasy defenses.

Sorry, let me phrase this differently – I mostly do this article to present the hard data and have fun with some intriguing topics of the NFL world each week. The chart needs to be taken as a guideline to reaffirming your gut feeling on defense for a week or provoking thought about an underrated defense that has the perception of being awful due to recent history.

With all this said, there are some big disclaimers to go over for Week 2. Since there’s only one week of data, a few of these categories seen below will need to be adjusted due to the small sample size. For example, oSAC% and oINT% have 2018 data incorporated to provide further context. It may or may not make sense for certain teams (Jacksonville being one that comes to mind first) – you’ll have some decisions to make.

Additionally, the ESPN scoring column will just be last week’s scoring ranking due to general lack of time on the part of the author. The DVOA column will be replaced by the DAVE rankings that the Football Outsiders due to combat their sample size.

Enough qualifiers – let’s see what the chart looks like this week!

2019 Fantasy Football Week 2 Defense Stream-O-Matic

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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
147.0Ravens73.2ARI503127232932
134.5Patriots83.7MIA0032283021.523
124.0Jets23.3CLE501326323018
120.0Bears99.5DEN002919182430
116.5Vikings89.5GB0014.529162829
112.049ers9.7CIN001622113231
105.0Texans41.4JAX50301524625
103.5Titans47.7IND5026.51053126
98.5Panthers23.4TB5022.51831139
96.5Packers5.5MIN5026.52142713
96.5Lions3.1LAC509.525221817
95.0Bengals0.9SF5020.5142621.58
93.5Bills89.2NYG0026.5992524
92.5Cowboys29.3WAS0026.512121527
91.5Broncos43.9CHI5022.52421811
90.0Steelers21.8SEA5024317419
90.0Jaguars87.2HOU0073228221
87.5Colts24.8TEN0014.530151612
87.0Rams94.8NO50114192028
81.0Buccaneers0.6CAR00416252610
80.0Eagles66.2ATL00122027714
76.5Seahawks17.1PIT009.52202322
70.0Giants0.7BUF5018132932
67.0Browns56.3NYJ0020.523109.54
66.5Chargers80.7DET00181769.516
61.0Saints85.3LAR0055171915
56.0Cardinals1.5BAL0031181420
56.0Chiefs12.5OAK0018713126
51.0Raiders1.2OAK502713177
45.0Redskins2.9DAL50881455
34.0Falcons2PHI50663113
12.0Dolphins0.6NE5013111

Defenses on Bye Week: NONE!

Optimum Score: 170

Minimum Score: 5

Holy shnikes – the Dolphins were seven points away from a minimum score. Five of those points are just because the chart throws a bone for home-field advantage. The Patriots at -19 are looking very tasty…

Streaming Service

Here I’ll talk about defenses that stand out on the chart as valid waiver wire options. Just like streaming services versus cable/satellite in the TV world, streaming defenses are more popular than the drafted ones. Not a bold take.

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San Francisco 49ers, DST6 (9.7%)

This is a prime example of the chart having a one-week bias to it. The 49ers straight up dominated Jameis Winston and the Bucs in Tampa last week. The defense scored two touchdowns on four turnovers and added three sacks. Winston looked lost, the receivers were shut down (or very ill, and not the Beastie Boys kind), and Bruce Arians will have to wait to show off his offensive prowess.

There were a lot of factors that played into San Fran’s fantastic performance. However, it can’t be completely written off. The defensive line led by veteran DeForest Buckner, a correctly lined-up Dee Ford, and newcomer Nick Bosa should make for a menacing crew. They will be wreaking havoc on a Cincinnati offensive line that allowed five sacks last week. Besides, a Joe Mixon-less offense that relies on Andy Dalton should lead to turnovers, plural.

Do I think the Niners put up a top-five week? No, but a DST1 performance is well within range for this opportunistic defense. Perhaps they are best utilized in daily fantasy with the thought that you have a better streaming option for your season-long leagues.

Carolina Panthers, DST9 (23.4%)

Speaking of those Jameis-led Buccaneers, we go to Carolina!

This has all the makings of an ugly game. It’s the first Thursday night football game on short rest. Both teams have quarterbacks that weren’t impressive in Week 1. However, Vegas strangely has this game at a 49.5 O/U and I am not buying it at all. As my good friend would say, “when in doubt, hammer the under”. The Panthers are a 6.5-point favorite, so maybe Vegas is factoring in some garbage time and potential defensive scoring?


Nonetheless, you can’t base your perception of the Carolina defense on their performance against the Rams. Every team in the league will look like that against the smart and sexy Sean McVay. After watching the Bucs offense in Week 1 against a TBD 49ers defense, you’ve got to trust the matchup. Analysts preach ‘talent & opportunity’ for running backs and receivers, but the same applies to defenses. The opportunity is definitely here with Winston’s turnover history.

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Dallas Cowboys, DST14 (29.3%)

Okay, this one is for those who want to get a headstart on Week 3. I mean, I think their chances of flopping against the Redskins is small. Washington might have had their highest-scoring game of the year last week (and still lost). This is a bad team and the game context is going to favor Dallas. As a 5-point favorite in a 46.5 O/U, the Cowboys should be a DST1 at week’s end.

However, a Dallas DST pickup means you get a 2-for-1. The Cowboys will play host to the Dolphins, who actually looked worse than if Miami decided to put 11 actual dolphins on the field. The only team with a higher chance to go 0-16 than Dallas’ Week 2 opponent is their Week 3 opponent. Be that try-hard in your league and jump on the Cowboys a week ahead of the mass ownership percentage jump.

Run Away!

Here I’ll talk about waiver wire defenses that the chart likes but I’m not comfortable streaming. I will be running away – not unlike King Arthur and his knights upon their visit with the French.

New York Jets, DST3 (23.3%)

This is a bizarre ranking by the Stream-O-Matic. Vegas rates them mediocrely as a 2.5-point underdog at home. DVOA (well, DAVE) rates them about middle-of-the-pack. A middle-of-the-pack defense is about where I would rank them as well for fantasy in Week 2. So, what gives?

The Browns offense did not live up to lofty expectations in Week 1. In fact, they did exactly the opposite of whatever that is. Baker could not handle the heat and the Titans kicked him out of the kitchen. Therefore, the chart is overreacting to the one-week performance in the oINT% and oSAC% columns. Additionally, their ESPN fantasy points per game rotisserie score of 30 vaulted them to the top.

I just don’t want to bet on the Jets defense to lead me to victory next Monday night. Maybe that’s a weird way to look at it, but I would just feel so uncomfortable and not confident. There are many safer defenses out there to use rather than bank on a stacked Cleveland lineup to flake again.

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Green Bay Packers, DST10 (5.5%)

Umm, what am I missing in this game? The Vikings are coming off a dominant performance against the Falcons, who arguably have better offensive weapons than the Packers. I know it’s on the road, but I like the Vikings to win that game. So, it’s a matter of how much of a buyer you are in the Green Bay defense in just one game.

I am selling hard due to a lack of faith in Mitch Trubisky to provide a benchmark. That Chicago offense looked very flat last week and looked like a team that was trying to work kinks out on offense. They shifted away from running between the tackles, which helped Trubisky thrive in the offense last year. It was truly a strange performance and seemingly an outlier. I guess what I’m saying is that Green Bay’s defense didn’t look dominant to me – they just looked like they were letting the Bears implode.

This week’s test will be much harder and I expect a clean game by both teams. This is the whole ‘talent & opportunity’ thing again – the opportunity sucks and the talent is suspect. Big no thanks for me – I’m willing to be wrong here to play the Panthers, Bills, or Cowboys defenses.

Detroit Lions, DST11 (3.1%)

This one is very interesting to me. Should you play the Lions defense against the Chargers in a dome? Absolutely not. The opportunity here sucks.

However, I wanted to mention them here as a defense to watch. This defense certainly has talent all over the field. The addition of Trey Flowers to an already stacked d-line is advantageous. The secondary is improved, led by standout corner Darius Slay. If they are able to contain the Chargers to 20 points or less, it would be extremely noticeable.

Okay, I should have looked at their schedule before writing all of this. It goes LAC, @PHI, KC, bye, @GB, and MIN. Now, if they get through THAT gauntlet… Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that the Lions defense will be a waiver-wire option for the next couple of months.

Pop, Lock & Drop It

Why are these defenses so highly-owned? Should you drop them? What does the author know? Does he know things? Let’s find out!

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  • The Philadelphia Eagles (DST21, 66.2%) gave up how many points to a Case Keenum-led charge? Woof. The Eagles made Vernon Davis and Terry McLaurin valid fantasy pickups this week. I think they may have been caught by surprise, but that’s no excuse. They go on the road to Atlanta, where fantasy defenses go to die.
  • If you aren’t playing the Cleveland Browns (DST24, 56.3%) defense this week, do yourself a favor and drop them. They’ll host the Rams next week, then go on the road to face the almighty Ravens in Week 4. If the Browns start 0-4, they’ll burn the city down.
  • If it weren’t for a historically bad Texans offensive line, the New Orleans Saints (DST26, 85.3%) defense would’ve had a negative scoring week in standard ESPN scoring. The next three matchups feature the Rams, Seahawks, and Cowboys. Not only did those offenses look impressive in Week 1, but they are typically offenses that don’t allow opposing fantasy defenses any opportunities for big plays. The four matchups between Weeks 5 and 8 are beautiful though, so just wait to re-roster them then.

Check out the rest of our 2019 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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