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Let’s Stream Defenses: Week 2 (2019 Fantasy Football)

Sep 10, 2019

The Patriots D/ST is a great choice as massive favorites over the Dolphins.

For the past month, we’ve really just been guessing at which offenses are good and bad matchups. I don’t think the Steelers or Falcons were on anyone’s radar as offenses to target, but they sure looked bad in Week 1. Of course, they could turn it around – we’re only one week in after all – but it’s not looking great.

We also learned that Lamar Jackson can, in fact, throw a football. There are very few defenses that I won’t use in a good matchup, but boy did the Dolphins embarrass themselves against a Ravens team we thought was weak. It turns out, when you sell out to stop a running quarterback, you can’t leave the receivers literally uncovered. Fortunately, we don’t have a tough decision with Miami this week, as they host the newly-Boomin‘ Patriots as massive 18.5-point underdogs.

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Projections Time

There are several good options with middling ownership this week, but if none of the top options are available, TEN and CAR both rank as low-end starters and have rock-bottom ownership. Feel free to ask me questions on Twitter. Ownership numbers were pulled from Yahoo on Tuesday morning.

Rank Team Opponent O/U Spread PA Sack Turnovers FPTS Own%
The Start Them with Confidence Tier
1 BAL ARI 42.5 -13 14.8 3.2 1.4 8.9 98%
2 NE @MIA 47 -18.5 14.3 2.1 1.4 8.1 80%
3 HOU JAC 52.5 -9 21.8 3.2 1.4 7.1 51%
4 CHI @DEN 42.5 -1.5 20.5 2.9 1.3 6.8 100%
The Still a Fine Choice Tier
5 LAC @DET 46.5 -2.5 22.0 3.0 1.3 6.7 95%
6 BUF @NYG 42.5 -2 20.3 2.3 1.4 6.6 45%
7 PIT SEA 46.5 -4 21.3 3.3 1.1 6.6 22%
8 TEN IND 44 -3 20.5 3.4 1.0 6.5 8%
9 CLE @NYJ 46 -2.5 21.8 2.5 1.4 6.5 92%
10 CAR TB 50.5 -6.5 22.0 2.4 1.4 6.4 6%
11 NYG BUF 42.5 2 22.3 2.5 1.3 6.3 1%
12 DAL @WAS 44.5 -4.5 20.0 2.3 1.3 6.2 68%
The Surely You Can Find Something Better Tier
13 MIN GB 45.5 3 24.3 3.3 1.1 6.1 93%
14 DEN CHI 42.5 1.5 22.0 2.7 1.2 6.1 63%
15 GB MIN 45.5 -3 21.3 2.2 1.3 6.0 7%
16 IND @TEN 44 3 23.5 2.8 1.2 5.9 15%
17 SF @CIN 45 1 23.0 2.3 1.3 5.9 5%
18 CIN SF 45 -1 22.0 3.0 1.0 5.9 0%
19 NYJ CLE 46 2.5 24.3 2.3 1.4 5.9 24%
20 KC @OAK 52 -7.5 22.3 2.3 1.2 5.7 34%
21 WAS DAL 44.5 4.5 24.5 2.9 1.1 5.7 2%
22 DET LAC 46.5 2.5 24.5 2.3 1.3 5.5 5%
23 PHI @ATL 51 -1 25.0 2.4 1.3 5.5 82%
24 ATL PHI 51 1 26.0 2.7 1.2 5.4 3%
25 SEA @PIT 46.5 4 25.3 1.8 1.4 5.1 78%
26 TB @CAR 50.5 6.5 28.5 2.3 1.3 4.8 1%
27 JAC @HOU 52.5 9 30.8 3.1 1.2 4.8 90%
28 NO @LAR 54 3 28.5 2.7 1.2 4.8 63%
29 LAR NO 54 -3 25.5 1.7 1.3 4.8 98%
30 ARI @BAL 42.5 13 27.8 2.3 0.9 3.8 2%
31 OAK KC 52 7.5 29.8 1.5 1.2 3.4 2%
32 MIA NE 47 18.5 32.8 1.8 1.1 2.8 1%


Some Notes on the Top Picks

  1. BAL vs ARI: Despite the fourth-quarter heroics, Kyler Murray’s Cardinals looked terrible for the majority of Sunday’s game against the Lions. One quarter is not enough to scare the excellent Baltimore defense, who repeat their #1 ranking. If Baltimore’s offensive explosion is legit, that’s only a good thing for their defense, because an opponent who’s playing catch-up is more likely to pass often and make mistakes.
  2. NE @ MIA: New England is favored by 18.5 points on the road in a divisional game. That is an incredible line. Last week they held a Steelers offense that we thought would be pretty good to just three points. They should have no trouble with a Miami team that only scored 10 points against Baltimore, and the turnover upside is massive.
  3. HOU vs JAC: Week 1 was a scary time to be a collarbone, as Nick Foles, Devin Funchess, and Tyreek Hill all suffered serious clavicle injuries. Sad as that news is, any time a backup quarterback becomes a starter, that creates an opportunity for defenses. Gardner Minshew looked decent in relief of Foles on Sunday, but like all backup QBs, we will absolutely target him with defenses until he proves we shouldn’t. Houston looked really good until they didn’t visiting the Saints last week, so they should have an easy time against the Jags at home.
  4. CHI @ DEN: As a Broncos fan, I take immense joy in their play confirming my opinion of their terrible leadership. The Bears looked excellent against the Packers, who are better than the Broncos at almost every offensive position.
  5. LAC @ DET: The Chargers are one of several road favorites this week, and should terrorize a Lions offensive line that allowed Matthew Stafford to get sacked three times by the Cardinals last week.
  6. BUF @ NYG: This is one of those glorious games between two bad teams where both defenses are viable in fantasy. The fact that Buffalo of all teams is favored on the road proves that Eli Manning really is the worst of the worst. Daniel Jones is a promising player that could be the next Baker Mayfield, but until Pat Shurmur gets his head out of the sand and starts Jones, the Giants are a great offense to target.
  7. PIT vs SEA: The Patriots ran all over The Steelers in Foxborough last week, but the Steelers should have a chance to right the ship at home against a sack-prone Seattle offense that was decidedly meh last week.
  8. TEN vs IND: Last week the Titans embarrassed the much-hyped Browns offense in Cleveland. The Jacoby Brissett-led Colts did fine last week against the Chargers, but with an implied point total of just 20.5, I’m perfectly willing to target them.
  9. CLE @ NYJ: The Browns are looking to right the ship after a disastrous Week 1, and they have a great opportunity against a Jets team that only scored 16 points against the Bills last week.
  10. CAR vs TB: Obnoxious Thursday Night Football commercials aside, the Panthers are in a great spot hosting the Jameis Winston-led Buccaneers who disappointed absolutely everyone last week.
  11. NYG vs BUF: Last week the Bills made me look like a genius after I ranked the Jets higher than any other expert, by giving them four turnovers including a pick-six, and a safety for good measure. This week the other New York team gets a shot, and they’re available in basically every league.
  12. DAL @ WAS: The Cowboys are pretty substantial favorites with four and a half points on the road. Any team with an implied point total of 20 or lower is worth targeting in fantasy. Washington has exactly that, allowing Dallas to sneak in as a low-end starter.

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

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17George Kittle (SF)TE
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19Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
20Lamar Jackson (BAL)QB
21Josh Jacobs (OAK)RB
22Kenny Golladay (DET)WR
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30Mark Andrews (BAL)TE
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19Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
20Anthony Rendon (LAA)3B
21Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)SS
22Rafael Devers (BOS)3B
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24Aaron Judge (NYY)RF
25Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
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28Jack Flaherty (STL)SP
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16Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
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21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
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