Streaming Defense Week 6: A few fantasy D/ST options to consider this week, including a star-studded Broncos squad that has mostly disappointed so far in 2019.
My Wife’s Statement: While sitting at my in-laws, my wife and I were casually watching the Steelers game. For the most part, she does not watch much football outside of the Superbowl and has no opinion on it. That was not the case after watching Mason Rudolf getting hit so hard his nose turned red and started blinking.
After five replays of Rudolf getting hit and his head bouncing off the turf, my wife looked at me while holding our 3-month-old son and said, “Easton will never play football.” Of course, she worries a lot about different things hurting our kids, and most of the time I just brush it off, but after watching the same hit she did, I think I agreed with her.
I played football when I was younger, all the way up until I was a junior in high school where I gave it up because we were terrible and I wanted to pursue my dream of winning a state title in wrestling.
During my time on the football field, I loved it. It was so fun hitting people, getting big plays, and the feeling of playing under stadium lights. Although I do not regret quitting it, I do miss it. For my kids, I have always believed I would allow them to play any sports or activities they want, and I assume this will stay true even with football, but I do have some reservations. But after watching Rudolf get hit, what parent wouldn’t?
Streaming Defense Week 6
Turning Over a New Leaf: Pittsburgh Steelers
The deep ball, explosive playmakers, and being one of the top offenses in the league is not what the Pittsburg Steelers are known for anymore. With the loss of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, James Conner and Juju Smith-Schuster were slated to fill their cleats and with Big Ben still leading the offense, it seemed like another top ten offense.
Fast forward a couple weeks and the Steelers are on their third-string quarterback. With that comes the realization that the Steelers will not be scoring a great deal for the rest of the season. Should they throw in the towel and hope for a top draft pick next year? Maybe, maybe not.
With a 1-4 record, it doesn’t seem like they have much hope of making the playoffs unless you look at their division. With Baltimore leading the pack at 3-2, followed by the Browns, it doesn’t seem like a longshot that the Steelers could actually come out on top, especially after they almost beat the Ravens last week and the Browns got dismantled by the 49ers. If they can keep the standings close, they might have an outside shot to win their division. And to do that, they will need to turn to an old standby: their defense.
Over the past four weeks, they have become the foundation of the Steelers team, keeping the Steelers competitive in their last four games. Losing to the Seahawks, 49ers, and Ravens by an average of 3 points is impressive given that Russell Wilson is on track to be a contender for MVP, the 49ers are undefeated, and the Ravens were a top contender to challenge the Chiefs and Patriots for the conference title.
One of the main reasons for the close games is the absurd amount of turnovers the defense has gotten over the past four weeks. They are leading the league in turnovers, tied with the Patriots at 12, averaging 3 turnovers per week since Week 2. Very impressive.
Verdict: The Chargers have looked horrible in the last two weeks, giving up some serious points to opposing defenses due to lack of playmaking and high turnover rates. Just last week, the Broncos (who have scored an average of .5 points per week before Week 5) scored 11 points against the Chargers. I do expect Melvin Gordon to do a little better than last week, and I do believe that there is still a good chance the Charger’s offense still will have its issues and will give up the ball several times.
Prediction: PA: 14-21, Total Yards: 250-300, Sacks: 4, Fumbles: 0, Interceptions: 2, TD: 0.5, Fantasy Points: 10-15
Star-Studded Defense: Denver Broncos
For such a stacked defense, with big names like Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, it is amazing that before Week 5, they were averaging 0.5 points per game. On many preseason articles, they were slated as quite possibly the most dangerous defense in the league that had almost no weaknesses. Yet, with all that talent, much is left to be desired.
Last week, the Broncos finally broke through and had a respectable week against the Chargers. Fueled by two interceptions and a blocked field goal, the Bronco’s defense might have just jumpstarted their potential to be a great defense. Up next is a team that should provide an opportunity to continue to build upon that momentum.
The Titans have been hit or miss. Against the Browns and Falcons, they looked great. Against the Colts and Jaguars, they looked terrible. The reasoning behind this is the quality of defenses that they are facing. The Titans struggle against above-average defenses and do not have a high-powered defense to stop other teams from scoring. With the lack of true playmakers, Marcus Mariota struggles to play catchup when they fall behind, benefiting opposing defenses.
Verdict: I liked the look of Joe Flacco last week. I believe he has the right weapons to put together some successful drives against the Titans. This will cause the Titans to switch from the run game to the passing game. With the lack of great receivers, the Bronco’s secondary with have no trouble covering them. To avoid interceptions, Mariota will look to use his legs. Unfortunately, the people chasing him are some of the most athletic defenders in the NFL. Look for the Broncos to get multiple sacks.
Prediction: PA: 7-13, Total Yards: 200-250, Sacks: 5, Fumbles: 0, Interceptions: 2, TD: 0, Fantasy Points: 10-15