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Week 3 Defenses to Stream (Fantasy Football)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Sep 19, 2017

Last week’s streaming selections delivered the goods. One of those selections is a repeat visitor with the potential to face a backup quarterback, though, that’s far from certain. Another of the selections below plays in the frequently offensively stunted Thursday Night Football game. Among the other selections is the Jets’ opponent this week.

*Spreads and totals are from Pinnacle, and other stats provided in the tables are from Pro-Football Reference.

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Los Angeles Rams

Opponent Spread/Total Ownership
Points Allowed Per Game(Rank) Turnovers Forced (Rank) Sacks (Rank)
 @ SF  -2/40  32.1%/70%  18.0 (T-10)  3 (T-7)  6 (T-9)

First of all, if you’re on Yahoo! and looking for a sub-50% owned defense (the threshold I tend to use for ESPN and Yahoo! ownership for inclusion), the Jaguars are owned on just 48% of teams there while carrying a 95.8% ownership rate at ESPN. Ultimately, a lack of viable defenses with sub-50% ownership at both ESPN and Yahoo! resulted in me opting to include the Rams due to their lower Yahoo! ownership rate than Jacksonville’s ESPN ownership percentage. The Jaguars are playing the Ravens in London, and it should be a low-scoring affair with an over/under total of only 39 points.

Getting back to the highlighted defense, the Rams punished the overwhelmed, Scott Tolzien-led Colts in the opener. Aaron Donald returned for the second game, but the Rams were more giving against an NFL-caliber Redskins’ offense. They failed to force a turnover and recorded only two sacks, but they get a much better draw that’s closer in talent level to their Week 1 opponent facing the 49ers this week. The 49ers totaled just 248 total yards of offense, allowed two sacks, and turned the ball over once with only nine points scored against the stout defense of the Seahawks in Seattle in Week 2. Through two games, San Francisco has scored only 12 points. Now, they have a short week as a result of playing on Thursday night. The floor and ceiling are high for the Rams defense and special teams unit this week.

Green Bay Packers

Opponent Spread/Total Ownership
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank) Turnovers Forced (Rank)  Sacks (Rank)
 vs. CIN  -8/44.5 9.4%/37%  21.5 (T-17)  1 (T-23)  6 (T-9)

The Packers’ defense was picked apart by the Falcons on Sunday Night Football, but that’s a forgivable poor showing against a high-octane offense in a road tilt. They’re back at home this week, and the Bengals’ offense has been so pathetic this season that they opted to fire offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. Cincinnati has yet to score a touchdown through two games. They’ve mustered only 516 yards of offense, turned the ball over six times, and yielded eight sacks. Green Bay’s offense is capable of giving them a monster lead, and even in their rough game against the Falcons they sacked Matt Ryan three times. If Andy Dalton is put in predictable passing situations, the Packers will be in a great spot to hang a ton of fantasy points. Dalton melted down under those conditions in the season opener and took five sacks while turning the ball over five times. It also appears Dalton and the Bengals could be without the services of tight end Tyler Eifert this week. The ceiling is very high for Green Bay’s defense and special teams this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent Spread/Total Ownership
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank) Turnovers Forced (Rank) Sacks (Rank)
 @ MIN  Not Posted  8.3%/26%  7.0 (3)  4 (T-3)  1 (T-29)

After being forced into a bye in Week 1 as a result of Hurricane Irma, the Buccaneers played well in all facets of the game last week. They hung 29 points and held the Bears to just seven points. The defense did a great job of rushing the passer and forcing turnovers last year, and they picked things right back up this year in the turnover department forcing four, including one pick-six. The Vikings looked like world beaters in their first game, but that was against the putrid defense of the Saints. Perhaps more importantly, that was with Sam Bradford playing quarterback. Bradford was inactive in Week 2 with a knee issue, and Case Keenum started in his place. Bradford’s status is essentially day to day for the time being. With Keenum starting, the offense mustered only 237 yards on offense and nine points against the Steelers. The Buccaneers defense is a solid option against a Bradford-led offense, but they’re an elite option if Keenum is pressed into duty again.

Miami Dolphins

Opponent Spread/Total Ownership
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank) Turnovers Forced (Rank) Sacks (Rank)
 @ NYJ  -6/41.5  3.4%/5%  17.0 (8)  0 (T-29)  1 (T-29)

As I promised in the first article in this recurring weekly series, if a low-owned defense faces the Jets, they’ll be included. The Jets have an implied total of only 17.75 points this week. They scored 20 against the Raiders in Week 2, but they were held to only 271 yards of offense in a blowout loss. They have only 485 yards through two games, and they’ve turned the ball over four times while surrendering five sacks. As was the case with the Bucs, the Dolphins were on bye in Week 1. Miami, too, won their season opener last week. They held the Chargers to just 17 points. There was some bend but don’t break to their defense against the Chargers. The Dolphins allowed 367 yards and forced no turnovers. They also sacked Philip Rivers just one time. As a result, they didn’t hang a huge fantasy point total last week. Their outlook is better against an offense that lacks the talent the Chargers boast.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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