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Let’s Stream Defenses: Week 4 (Fantasy Football)

Sep 25, 2018

Earl Thomas and the Seahawks D could be strong plays in Week 4

People who love baseball will tell you that one of the great things about the sport is that, “every day, something happens that’s never happened before.” The 2018 NFL season is giving baseball a run for its money in that area, with week 3 continuing the pattern of being absolutely bananas. Michael Thomas set the record for receptions through the first three games of the season, with 35. Patrick Mahomes set the record for most passing TDs through three weeks with 13, and passing TDs to the most different receivers, with 9. Alvin Kamara set the record for targets to a running back in a game, at least since 1992. The supposed-to-be-the-worst-in-the-league Buffalo Bills beat the spread by more than 37 points, embarrassing the Vikings 27-6 as 16.5-point underdogs. The Cleveland Browns won the Super Bowl. The Patriots are two games back in the AFC East for the first time since 2002, behind the Miami Dolphins.

Ranks, Please?

Looking ahead to week 4, there are a few good home favorites at the top, but there don’t seem to be nearly as many good options past the first tier. I added a You-Might-Not-Be-Able-to-Find-Anything-Better tier, of match-ups that I wouldn’t have ranked as starters in the first 3 weeks, but there really aren’t many better options. Fortunately for those of us that stream, two of the Tier-1 teams, and two of the Tier-2 teams, should be available in most leagues. As always, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter with suggestions.

Rank Team Opponent O/U Spread PA Sack Turnovers TD FPTS Own%
The Start Them With Confidence Tier
1 JAC NYJ 38 -7.5 15.25 2.43 1.47 0.22 8.60 100%
2 SEA @ARI 38.5 -3 17.75 2.36 1.47 0.21 7.78 26%
3 GB BUF 45 -10 17.50 2.89 1.32 0.15 7.73 30%
4 LAC SF 47.5 -10.5 18.50 2.67 1.42 0.16 7.49 60%
5 PHI @TEN 41.5 -3.5 19.00 2.14 1.42 0.21 7.16 98%
The Still a Fine Choice Tier
6 ARI SEA 38.5 3 20.75 2.76 1.42 0.12 6.89 12%
7 OAK CLE 45 -2.5 21.25 3.03 1.40 0.09 6.85 2%
8 LAR MIN 49 -6.5 21.25 2.30 1.50 0.14 6.62 99%
The Maybe You Can’t Find Something Better Tier
9 DAL DET 43.5 -3 20.25 2.37 1.46 0.10 6.56 31%
10 IND HOU 47.5 -1.5 23.00 2.75 1.50 0.11 6.55 1%
11 NE MIA 47.5 -7 20.25 2.24 1.52 0.10 6.53 69%
12 CHI TB 46.5 -3 21.75 2.12 1.54 0.16 6.52 94%
The Surely You Can Find Something Better Tier
13 KC @DEN 56 -5 25.50 2.54 1.56 0.16 6.31 16%
14 DET @DAL 43.5 3 23.25 2.29 1.36 0.18 6.22 7%
15 NO @NYG 50 -3.5 23.25 2.29 1.31 0.16 5.97 36%
16 ATL CIN 51 -6 22.50 2.27 1.33 0.12 5.86 26%
17 TB @CHI 46.5 3 24.75 2.47 1.33 0.15 5.85 2%
18 TEN PHI 41.5 3.5 22.50 2.26 1.29 0.12 5.80 9%
19 HOU @IND 47.5 1.5 24.50 2.50 1.16 0.17 5.74 90%
20 CLE @OAK 45 2.5 23.75 1.90 1.44 0.15 5.70 56%
21 NYJ @JAC 38 7.5 22.75 2.03 1.33 0.13 5.68 31%
22 BUF @GB 45 10 27.50 2.69 1.36 0.12 5.46 1%
23 BAL @PIT 51 3 27.00 1.95 1.41 0.15 5.11 85%
24 PIT BAL 51 -3 24.00 1.95 1.26 0.10 5.06 49%
25 NYG NO 50 3.5 26.75 2.20 1.33 0.09 4.86 5%
26 MIA @NE 47.5 7 27.25 2.18 1.21 0.13 4.76 25%
27 MIN @LAR 49 6.5 27.75 1.92 1.24 0.12 4.36 99%
28 CIN @ATL 51 6 28.50 1.97 1.20 0.11 4.16 15%
29 SF @LAC 47.5 10.5 29.00 1.89 1.21 0.09 3.84 3%
30 DEN KC 56 5 30.50 2.13 1.17 0.09 3.62 85%

 

Tell Me About the Top Picks

  1. JAC vs NYJ: Despite their week 1 stomping of the Lions, the Jets are still an offense we want to target, and they happen to be visiting one of the best defenses in the league.
  2. SEA @ ARI: The Cardinals are bad. Josh Rosen could surprise us in his first actual start at home, but he had more interceptions than minutes in the game last week. The Seahawks have real turnover upside here, and shouldn’t give up many points.
  3. GB vs BUF: The Bills are supposed to be bad, right? It’s hard to know what to think after the Bills obliterated the 1-0-1 Vikings last week. The Vikings offense was abysmal, but the Bills do deserve credit. Next up they have one of the toughest challenges in the NFL – facing the Packers in Lambo Field. There is reason for pause here, but the Packers are still the Packers and the Bills are still the Bills, and Vegas agrees with another huge line of -10.
  4. LAC vs SF: The sky is falling in San Francisco after the tragic torn ACL suffered by Jimmy Garoppolo. That sucks for everyone, but it does mean the Chargers defense are heavily favored at home.
  5. PHI @ TEN: The Eagles are our second road team in the top 5 – this week is rough. The Titans won an absolute mess of a game against Jacksonville last week with only 9 points. With two Titans quarterbacks that are varying levels of injured and bad, the Eagles should have a good week.
  6. ARI vs SEA: Any time a game has an over/under of less than 40 points and a spread within 3, it’s a candidate for strong defensive performances on both sides. The Seahawks are the better side, but the Cardinals are still at home facing the possibly underrated wet paper bag that is the Seattle offensive line. Keep an eye on this line
  7. OAK vs CLE: Despite curing cancer last week, Cleveland has a very short track record of success. There is uncertainty here – maybe Baker Mayfield does what Deshaun Watson did last year. Until that happens though, Cleveland are still a team to target, especially as underdogs on the road.
  8. LAR vs MIN: After getting embarrassed by the supposedly-terrible Bills in week 3, the Vikings now have to go visit one of the best teams in the league, in Los Angeles.
  9. DAL vs DET: This is where it starts to get hairy. From here on, these are teams that I wouldn’t start in a normal week, but the lack of other options mean you might have to. This game looks to be a low-scoring mess between two bad teams, but the defenses are bad as well, so it could go wrong. The home favorite in such a game should be a reasonable fantasy play.
  10. IND vs HOU: DeShaun Watson has fallen short of pretty much all expectations here, and is a big turnover risk. Fortunately for the Colts, they get to put 11 guys on the field in Indianapolis to catch those interceptions.
  11. NE vs MIA: The Patriots are 7-point favorites at home against Miami, what’s new? Well this time, the Patriots are 1-3 and the Dolphins are 3-0. The numbers say the Patriots should be a good play here, but there’s enough risk that I’m very hesitant to start them.
  12. CHI vs TB: The big story of Monday Night Football was Ryan Fitzpatrick turning back into a pumpkin with three interceptions in the first half – never mind the fact that the Buccaneers were only a field goal short of overcoming a 20-point deficit in the second half. Chicago are a better defense than Pittsburgh, and the upside is there – Pittsburgh had a great fantasy day last week. You’re betting on that happening again if you play Chicago, but we all know what the downside is.

How Did we Do Last Week?

Last week was a huge mess as far as D/ST prediction goes for just about everybody. Of the 12 teams to score at least 8 fantasy points, only 4 were among my recommended starters. Fortunately, my highest-ranked team that was widely available – Cleveland – performed well. If you started them in almost every league like I did, it turned out well. Here are the actual outcomes from last week’s recommended starters:

Rank Team Opponent O/U Spread Proj. FPTS Act. FPTS
The Start Them With Confidence Tier
1 MIN BUF 41 -16.5 9.67 3
2 CHI @ARI 37.5 -6 8.2 13
3 JAC TEN 39.5 -6.5 7.83 7
4 BAL DEN 43 -5 7.78 6
5 HOU NYG 41 -6 7.51 4
6 CLE NYJ 39 -3 7.28 9
The Still a Fine Choice Tier
7 NYJ @CLE 39 3 6.77 4
8 DAL @SEA 41.5 1 6.62 2
9 PHI IND 47.5 -6.5 6.61 3
10 SEA DAL 41.5 -1 6.57 15
11 MIA OAK 44 -3 6.54 8

 
Jacob Herlin is a Senior Data Analyst for FantasyPros. For more from Jacob, follow him @jacoblawherlin.

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