Streaming Defense Week 4: A few fantasy D/ST options to consider this week, including a Houston Texans defense that should bring Kyle Allen back down to earth.
News and Notes: Antonio Brown
I am so thankful I did not draft this guy in my NFL fantasy leagues, but now I am interested in his potential as a college fantasy football player. Recent news is he is signed up to go back to college, and if he has any eligibility left, he is easily a WR1 in all formats for college fantasy.
Sometimes you look at your fantasy team, and it looks nothing like the one that you drafted a month ago. For instance, in one of my leagues, I had five players on my starting lineup that were not drafted but picked up in Weeks 1 and 2. Although it doesn’t speak highly of my draft ability in that league, it does show that I am willing to play whoever, whenever, to get the W.
There are times when my buddies make fun of me for going through four hundred players a year, dropping and picking up players like a taxi in New York. But if there is no limit on the number of players you can acquire, why not? Plus, I get to make fun of them every year for giving me their money for winning the league.
Defenses to Stream in Week 4
The Tin Curtain: Pittsburgh Steelers
If you drafted any of the Steelers, you’re probably looking to either trade or pick up a new hobby. Although JuJu Smith Schuster had a great touchdown to save his week, before that he was only at two catches for five yards.
As an owner who drafted him in multiple leagues, it is fair to say that I have my work cut out for me. This week though should be better for him because he won’t have the elite cornerback or defenses to deal with, such as Xavier Rhoads, Richard Sherman, or Bill Belichick’s defense.
Expect a better performance for JuJu, while James Conner might be in trouble since opposing defenses will stack the box and make Mason Rudolf beat them with his arm. The other receivers might get more targets, but they have failed to show any kind of play-making abilities, so they are a high-risk play.
Yet through the muck of uncertainty, there is another usable Steeler this week: their defense. Over the past three weeks, they have done surprisingly well with turnovers and sacks.
Given the exception of the game against New England, the Steelers are averaging 2.5 sacks per game and 3.5 turnovers per game against Russell Wilson and the stingy 49ers. Although I do not expect the Steelers to win the game, I do expect the Bengals to give up a lot of free points and be low scoring.
Verdict: The Bengals are a gold mine for fantasy defenses. With the unlikelihood of A.J. Green coming back, a terrible line, and the uncertain arm of Andy Dalton, the Steelers should be a great starting option. If I haven’t convinced you yet, here are some numbers. Average sacks per game: 3.7. Average turnovers per game: 2.7. Start the Steelers with confidence.
Prediction: PA: 10-20, Total Yards: 250-300, Sacks: 4, Fumbles: 2, Interceptions: 2, TD: 0.3, Fantasy Points: 10-15
Coming Down to Earth: Houston Texans
Kyle Allen had a great game against the Arizona Cardinals. Throwing for four touchdowns and putting up over 28 fantasy points across most leagues is a great start to any backup’s season. Many fantasy football analysts are putting him down as a potential wavier target for this week. Just looking at his performance, I believe he might be worth a stash or a second quarterback in two-quarterback leagues, but not this week.
His stats are impressive, but so are every other quarterback’s stats against the Cardinals. On average, 28 points is actually the lowest amount of fantasy points against the Cardinals defense. This week, he will have a much tougher test: the Houston Texans. Quarterbacks against the Texans average below 20 points per game, and that includes a healthy Drew Brees and the gun-slinging Phillip Rivers. Expect some regression this week for Kyle Allen.
Verdict: With Houston averaging close to five sacks per game over the past two games, expect the pressure to be on Kyle Allen to move out of the pocket to make plays, which will lead to an increased chance of sacks/turnovers. Carolina’s defense is good, but not good enough to stop Deshaun Watson and company, so expect Carolina to be forced to score at some point to keep the game from getting out of reach. This will inevitably lead to sacks and turnovers.
Prediction: PA: 14-20, Total Yards: 200-250, Sacks: 5, Fumbles: 0, Interceptions: 2, TD: 0, Fantasy Points: 8-12