Fantasy Football

2019 Fantasy Football Week 8 Defense Stream-O-Matic

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Alright, I’m back on schedule this week! I got to relax last weekend, take in a bunch of losing football teams, etc. A LOT of losing football – my Razorbacks got stomped by Auburn, my Giants lost to the freaking Cardinals, and I lost in 75% of my fantasy leagues. No worries because Week 8 is a new week!

Ugh, I guess we can look back to last week just for a few bullet points. Let’s review some suggestions I made last week and learn from them.

  • The Green Bay Packers were perhaps the most disappointing of the streaming options. They scored negative fantasy points against the Raiders at home, playing so far ahead that the Raiders were just racking up yards and points to catch up. I’m okay streaming the Pack DST against Matt Moore this week, but my expectations aren’t as high after their Week 7 performance.
  • I did, however, correctly advise fantasy folks to stream the Kansas City Chiefs defense in a great matchup against the Broncos. Go ahead and drop them, as they face a red hot Aaron Rodgers this week. What you should take away here is that the Broncos offense should consistently be allowing fantasy points to their defensive counterparts. More on that later!
  • I hope you listened and avoided the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks in Week 7. However, you may want to keep an eye on them…

Time for Week 8, party people!

2019 Fantasy Football Week 8 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 12-team 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. (NOTE: I’ll be incorporating a weighted average with 2018-2019 data.)
  • 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. (NOTE: I’ll be incorporating a weighted average with 2018-2019 data.)
  • 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
148.0Patriots99.1CLE502821303232
141.0Steelers66.1MIA502927292724
127.5Vikings83.2WAS5030222523.522
124.5Rams85.3CIN0027232223.529
123.0Titans57.9TB501828282519
118.0Jaguars79.5NYJ502629271516
113.049ers87.8CAR50251833131
110.0Saints86.5ARI50222482625
107.0Bears97.4LAC50247162827
105.0Panthers49.1SF00138243030
101.0Bills90.4PHI502111142921
97.0Eagles43.8BUF001420261918
86.5Colts35.7DEN502326178.57
85.0Buccaneers2.5TEN001130131417
85.0Lions9.8NYG50201923612
77.0Jets9.8JAX00121652123
75.0Seahawks40.5ATL001714211211
69.0Chiefs17.3GB509942220
67.0Packers43.3KC0019311826
66.0Chargers71.5CHI00161512176
65.0Texans26.1OAK50155151114
57.0Broncos23.8IND0010271028
55.0Raiders0.9HOU004251943
50.0Giants5.6DET008126168
41.0Redskins17.2MIN00313979
37.0Falcons2.6SEA50717224
36.0Cardinals8.8NO006101055
35.5Browns17.6NE0024118.510
33.0Cowboys34.9BYE----------2013
30.0Bengals0.9LAR00161832
28.0Ravens42.2BYE----------1315
28.0Dolphins0.7PIT00512011

Defenses on Bye Week: Cowboys, Ravens

Optimum Score: 164


Minimum Score: 2

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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  • It’s a fairly straightforward week for streaming options, but there are a couple of defenses that you need to double-check on the waiver wire for obvious reasons. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans are not as widely owned as I would’ve expected following Waiver Wire Wednesday.
  • I spoke on the Broncos offense in the intro. This bodes well for their opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, going into Week 8. The Colts have prevented two of the top offenses in the league (when healthy) to their worst performances of the 2019 season in their last two games. They held the Chiefs to just 13 points with Patrick Mahomes in Week 5, had a bye week, then picked off Deshaun Watson twice and sacked him three more times in Week 7. I expect the Colts defense to stay hot at home against an offense that just lost a key receiver by way of trade.
  • The Detroit Lions defense is not as bad as we saw in Week 7. This theory of mine will be put to the test against a sputtering Giants offense that just allowed eight sacks and turned the ball over three times against the Cardinals, one of the worst defenses in the league. The Cardinals were averaging less than a fantasy point per game prior to last week’s 16-spot. Time for Detroit’s get-right game at home.
  • I only have two words as to why you should stream the Seattle Seahawks this week: Matt Schaub. If we change one of those words to a ‘Ryan’, it might be a little different. I’d still be okay with it considering he’d be quite hobbled. He’d play more like a Schaub Ryan than anything, which is still nice for an opposing defense.

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.

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  • I’m avoiding the Carolina Panthers against the undefeated 49ers in Week 8. The San Francisco offense is very efficient and works through the run game, which limits the ceiling for the Panthers DST. You should be able to find one of those defenses in the previous section, all of which I would feel more comfortable streaming than Carolina’s D.
  • What are we to think of this game between the Buffalo Bills and the Philadelphia Eagles? Both defenses have very high ceilings and very low floors against their opposing offenses. The Eagles are coming off an embarrassing loss at Dallas while the Bills actually gave the Dolphins hope for their first win of 2019. If we look ahead to future matchups, it paints a clearer picture of what fantasy owners may want to do. The Bills will play the R-words, Browns, Dolphins, and Broncos in the next four weeks, which makes them a salvageable stream here in Week 8. On the other hand, the Eagles will play the Bears before a bye week, then the Patriots and Seahawks. Did I talk around in circles enough to go to the next bullet?
  • I just want to make sure none of you are crazy enough to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. They have allowed 68 points in their last two games, good for negative fantasy production. The chart had them higher than I expected, so I just wanted to clarify my stance.

Lagniappe

I’ve still got a little Louisiana in me. I’ll go through some extra notes in this section like future shares and units to drop.


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  • If there’s any way you can get one of your league-mates to buy the New England Patriots defense in a trade, now’s the window of opportunity. You must sell them while they have a good matchup because the schedule doesn’t do them any favors moving forward (BAL, bye, PHI, DAL, HOU, KC). Your squad is probably in a great place if you have them, so package them with one of your other performers for an upgrade and see if anyone bites. Someone in a league GroupMe of mine just posted “Should have drafted the Pats D with my first pick since they are averaging 7 points per game more than any RB or WR on my team”. People are getting restless – see if you can catch them off guard!
  • Just in case you thought about getting cute, neither the Baltimore Ravens or Dallas Cowboys defense is worth holding onto through their bye weeks.
  • A team that might warrant a stash though is the New York Jets defense. Despite the Monday Night Football debacle, I believe the Jets are in line for a bounce-back this season. Starting in Week 9, they’ll get the Dolphins (twice), Giants, Redskins, Raiders, and Bengals in consecutive fashion. It’s a solid defensive unit according to DVOA and the offense will get better once rhythm and health is established. You may be able to wait until next week – just keep an eye on them.

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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