Streaming Defense Week 10: A few fantasy D/ST options to consider this week, including the unlucky Giants as an intriguing desperation play for deep leagues.
A Loser’s Problem
At this point, it might have become evident that you cannot make the playoffs. More than likely, you have looked at the math, several times, and have determined that it is impossible. At this point, you are at a crossroads. Do you continue to play, or do you just ignore it for the rest of the year? And to answer that question, it all depends on the person you are. Below I have provided a breakdown of your options, based on what type of loser you are.
Scenario #1: Sore Loser
If you are like me, I hate to lose. Even if it is a pointless race with my two-year-old, I will not lose. I might make it close, but dad will always barely beat her in the end. If this is you and you have determined you cannot make the playoffs, you have two options. If you do not like the people you play with, ignore it and ignore their hate. They most likely will complain about you, they might even kick you out of the league.
But who cares? You hate them and you’re just going to start your own league next year that is going to be way better. If you do like the people you play with, you have to keep playing. When people bring up that you suck at fantasy football though, just tell them that their kids suck, or start talking about a controversial topic like gun control or politics. That will help you avoid people talking about your terrible season.
Scenario #2: A Gracious Loser
At this point, you know that you have lost and that is okay with you. Sometimes things don’t work out in your favor and you still had fun (you also probably secretly hope you’ll get a participation trophy). Although you are not fazed about losing, it is still probably a topic you want to talk about with your friends. So the easiest way to avoid that conversation is to bring up how great they are at fantasy, making sure that you really go all-out on the compliments. Most people in fantasy are used to trash-talking, so they won’t know how to respond to someone genuinely being nice.
Scenario #3: You Don’t Care If You Win
Who cares? You obviously don’t read up on streaming fantasy defenses if you don’t care if you win, so you’ll never read this anyway.
Defenses to Stream in Week 10
Momentum, My Old Friend: Baltimore Ravens
Just as I said would happen last week, people are starting to get lazy. When looking through potential streaming options, I noticed that the Baltimore Ravens were only owned in 34% of leagues even after the waiver wire passed. That is egregious. Not only do they have two of the most apparent characteristics of a top streaming option (unproven quarterback, top offense vs bad defense), but they also have a third, less-known characteristic: momentum.
Over the past three weeks, the Baltimore Ravens have been on a tear defensively. Facing top teams like Seattle and New England, the Ravens’ defense has scored three touchdowns, forced four turnovers, and sacked the opposing quarterback four times. Those numbers might not seem impressive, but they were against Tom Brady and Russell Wilson, one of which will probably be in the Superbowl this year. With the Cincinnati Bengals up next, expect that momentum to carry on through Week 10.
Verdict: The Bengals are starting unproven quarterback Ryan Finley this week. Although last week Brandon Allen had a great showing against the Browns, history suggests that it is almost always a benefit for fantasy defenses to play against a new quarterback. With momentum on their side, a powerful offense that will put the Bengals in catch-up mode quickly, and a new man under center, expect this ridiculously-little-owned defense to be a top-five option.
Prediction: PA: 10-14, Total Yards: 200-250, Sacks: 4, Fumbles: 2, Interceptions: 2, TD: 1, Fantasy Points: 16+
Unlucky Bunch: New York Giants
I don’t know why the powers that be hate the Giants. They started the game off so well, up 10-3 on the Cowboys, their longtime rival. Everything was going great until a black cat ran across the Giant’s field. It didn’t take long for the bad luck to start affecting the Giants’ team. By the end of the game, the Giants just couldn’t sustain a drive and the Cowboys were seemingly lucking out on everything, including the last second defensive touchdown. The only positive for that game was the fact that I had the Cowboys as a streaming option so that last-second touchdown hopefully won some of my readers their games.
This week, I am actually all for the Giants as a desperation play, for deep leagues. If you need a high reward team because you are the underdog, the Giants are your team. With a good matchup against the Jets, this defense could really pay off. Plus, I heard they outlawed black cats from buying football tickets in New York ever again.
Verdict: The Giants have actually been a decent option over the past several weeks, scoring above their projection in three of the past four weeks. Their best week came against the Cardinals, where I predicted they would score a touchdown, which they did. This week the likelihood of a defensive touchdown is just a good with Sam Darnold throwing the ball.
Over the past four weeks, he has turned over the ball nine times (eight of which were interceptions). He has struggled since his return and I predict those struggles to continue against this underrated Giant defense. With that high of a chance for interceptions, you can bet that one of them might have the potential to go back for a touchdown.
Prediction: PA: 17-21, Total Yards: 300-250, Sacks: 1, Fumbles: 0, Interceptions: 2, TD: 1, Fantasy Points: 5-15