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Let’s Stream Defenses: Week 5 (Fantasy Football)

Oct 2, 2018

The Titans are quietly one of the better D/STs in the league

Week 4 was really a return to form for the NFL. There were some shootouts, but they were mostly the ones we expected (Mitch Trubisky set some records, whatever). The Browns found a way to lose, despite every attempt by the Raiders to hand them the game. The Bills got shut out by an average defense. New England crushed Miami right after everyone decided that Tom Brady was done. Ryan Fitzpatrick is back on the bench. The clock ran out on Tyler Eifert, who suffered a gruesome broken ankle. O.J. Howard – one of the few bright spots in the barren wasteland that is the Tight End position – suffered a sprained MCL that will sideline him for a month. I lost two different fantasy matchups thanks to a blown call on an illegal forward pass that resulted in 3 fantasy points for Travis Kelce.

Show Me Your Ranks

This is another week where there aren’t a ton of teams I’d love to start, so I’m compelled to include a third Tier of teams that you can start in a pinch.

Rank Team Opponent O/U Spread PA Sack Turnovers TD FPTS Own%
The Start Them With Confidence Tier
1 SF ARI 41 -4.5 18.25 2.62 1.47 0.13 7.44 3%
2 TEN @BUF 39 -3.5 17.75 2.5 1.3 0.17 7.36 19%
3 BAL @CLE 47.5 -3 22.25 2.56 1.46 0.21 7.01 69%
4 NYJ DEN 43 -2.5 20.25 2.58 1.55 0.11 6.99 19%
5 CAR NYG 44.5 -7 18.75 2.38 1.4 0.14 6.96 42%
6 LAR @SEA 50.5 -7 21.75 2.56 1.4 0.16 6.7 99%
The Still a Fine Choice Tier
7 HOU DAL 45 -3.5 20.75 2.59 1.33 0.12 6.5 75%
8 PHI MIN 44.5 -3 20.75 2.3 1.31 0.17 6.5 97%
The Maybe You Can’t Find Something Better Tier
9 BUF TEN 39 3.5 21.25 2.43 1.38 0.12 6.38 1%
10 DEN @NYJ 43 2.5 22.75 2.37 1.36 0.16 6.27 64%
11 CIN MIA 50 -6 22 2.18 1.51 0.12 6.27 10%
The Surely You Can Find Something Better Tier
12 NO WAS 52.5 -6.5 23 2.45 1.42 0.13 6.22 32%
13 ARI @SF 41 4.5 22.75 2.47 1.35 0.14 6.21 14%
14 DAL @HOU 45 3.5 24.25 2.43 1.43 0.13 6.02 23%
15 NE IND 53.5 -10 21.75 2.6 1.18 0.1 5.9 61%
16 KC JAC 48.5 -3 22.75 2.21 1.36 0.13 5.9 16%
17 LAC OAK 53.5 -5.5 24 1.94 1.57 0.11 5.71 88%
18 MIN @PHI 44.5 3 23.75 2.21 1.29 0.14 5.63 93%
19 DET GB 57.5 -1.5 28 2.74 1.42 0.12 5.49 12%
20 NYG @CAR 44.5 7 25.75 2.29 1.25 0.13 5.25 4%
21 JAC @KC 48.5 3 25.75 1.85 1.21 0.17 4.96 100%
22 GB @DET 57.5 1.5 29.5 2.24 1.47 0.13 4.86 67%
23 CLE BAL 47.5 3 25.25 2.17 1.18 0.09 4.85 53%
24 MIA @CIN 50 6 28 2.15 1.34 0.12 4.76 15%
25 SEA LAR 50.5 7 28.75 2.09 1.34 0.08 4.29 73%
26 PIT ATL 57.5 -3 27.25 1.81 1.23 0.09 4.22 59%
27 ATL @PIT 57.5 3 30.25 2.12 1.36 0.09 4.08 23%
28 WAS @NO 52.5 6.5 29.5 1.89 1.33 0.1 4.06 4%
29 OAK @LAC 53.5 5.5 29.5 2.04 1.17 0.08 3.71 2%
30 IND @NE 53.5 10 31.75 2.15 1.21 0.08 3.4 5%

 

Tell Me About The Top Picks

  1. SF vs ARI: This should be an interesting game. The choice not to allow either team to field a Quarterback is an odd one, but I guess the NFL will try anything to attract more Millenial fans.
  2. TEN @ BUF: In week 3, Buffalo cast doubt on everything we know about Football. Fortunately, they returned to form last week and made Green Bay the highest-scoring fantasy defense in the league, and all was well. Tennessee, meanwhile, has quietly been the 6th-highest-scoring defense in fantasy. They should feast in Buffalo this week.
  3. BAL @ CLE: There is no team quite like Cleveland in terms of finding new and innovative ways to lose football games. They helped Oakland earn the distinction last week of allowing the 2nd-highest points against in the league (remember the other team’s defensive TDs don’t count), while still being the 3rd-highest-scoring fantasy D/ST. Cleveland’s implied point total is low but not a home run. That fact combined with some turnover upside make Baltimore a great play this week.
  4. NYJ vs DEN: If you didn’t know Kansas City was the worst defense in the league, the Monday Night Football announcers made sure you do know. Despite that fact, they held Denver to just 23 points while recording 4 sacks and an (incredible) interception. The Broncos are horrible, and even if you throw out the Jets’ 25-point explosion against the Lions in week 1, they are still averaging 7 fantasy points per game.
  5. CAR vs NYG: Speaking of horrible teams playing slightly-above-average defenses, Eli Manning is a professional Quarterback in the NFL, and the Panthers get to host him. The implied point total of 18.75 for the Giants is just too good not to target.
  6. LAR @ SEA: Even with Doug Baldwin back on the field, the Seahawks only put 20 points on Arizona, of all teams. There’s just no reason to fear Seattle anymore, and this week they face one of the best defenses in the league.
  7. HOU vs DAL: Outside the matchups we’re really excited for, the best remaining defenses are usually the home favorites in games with moderate (<= 45) over-unders. Houston fits the bill against a Dallas offense that finally showed signs of life last week, but does it really count if it’s against the Lions?
  8. PHI vs MIN: This is the other game that fits the bill for Tier 2. The Eagles defense has been solid this year, and the Vikings offense mostly hasn’t.
  9. BUF vs TEN: With an over-under of just 39 and a non-huge spread, both sides should be startable in this game. Tennessee is the better side, but Buffalo is certainly still usable. We know they have a nice ceiling – Remember what they did to Minnesota?
  10. DEN @ NYJ: Even though they didn’t win, Denver’s defense was impressive on Monday night, giving Patrick Mahomes a challenge for the first time this year. Look for them to put up an even better fight against an anemic Jets offense.
  11. CIN vs MIA: The Bengals are heavy home favorites against a Dolphins team that couldn’t run the ball at all against New England last week. Expect Cincinnati’s stout run defense for force Miami to throw often, creating some real turnover and sack upside. This type of game script prediction is a dangerous exercise – we are frequently surprised – but this is what you’re betting on if you start Cincinnati this week.

New England is an honorable mention here. They are heavily favored at home (what’s new?) against the Colts. If you just need to avoid a disaster they’re probably fine, but Andrew Luck being who he is should limit the opportunity for sacks and turnovers.

How Was Last Week?

Last Week was pretty solid, with four of the leagues five teams to score 10+ fantasy points appearing in our recommended starters, including all three teams that did so without a defensive touchdown. The Seattle-Arizona game, while low-scoring, was disappointing on both sides due to a near complete lack of turnovers (1) and sacks (3) between them. Hopefully everyone started Green Bay, who were only owned in 30% of leagues before last Wednesday.

Rank Team Opponent O/U Spread Proj. FPTS Act. FPTS
The Start Them With Confidence Tier
1 JAC NYJ 38 -7.5 8.6 7
2 SEA @ARI 38.5 -3 7.78 4
3 GB BUF 45 -10 7.73 23
4 LAC SF 47.5 -10.5 7.49 5
5 PHI @TEN 41.5 -3.5 7.16 5
The Still a Fine Choice Tier
6 ARI SEA 38.5 3 6.89 3
7 OAK CLE 45 -2.5 6.85 12
8 LAR MIN 49 -6.5 6.62 2
The Maybe You Can’t Find Something Better Tier
9 DAL DET 43.5 -3 6.56 3
10 IND HOU 47.5 -1.5 6.55 5
11 NE MIA 47.5 -7 6.53 10
12 CHI TB 46.5 -3 6.52 14

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

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