Week 5 Streaming Defenses: As the weeks go on, picking high-value streaming teams will become more and more difficult. Most of the underdog defenses that are actually good have been taken (Bears), the overrated defenses are still on a team for some reason (Vikings, Eagles), and the rest of the quality options are usually picked up during the waiver period (Titans). That means for an owner to actually do well streaming, they need to look ahead in order to steal the great options. For the following articles, I will explain which teams are some good streaming options that are owned in less than 50% of leagues. I will also provide some future advice for teams looking to stash the best defenses for the next week.
Week 5 Streaming Defenses
Got to Sack ‘em All: Carolina Panthers
One of the easiest ways to determine a good streaming option for defense is to look at the weakness of an offense and the strength of a defense. If the two match up, the defense will usually have a good outing. Although big plays are usually the predictor for great fantasy outings, those are much more difficult to predict and are not something you can count on. With our first option, we have a defense that most likely will not score a big play, but they will have a good outing (8-10) points, and all it would take is one big play to make it a great streaming option. Side note: The Carolina Panthers are coming off of a bye week and the New York Giants have been off to a rough start, so a big play is not out of the question.
As mentioned earlier, when an offense’s weakness is the strength of a defense, you will have a good defense. Well, the Carolina Panthers might have one of the most intimidating front sevens in the league and the Giants have been struggling keeping Eli Manning protected or developing a solid run game to take pressure off of him. Saquon Barkley has only had one 100+ rushing game and that was only because of a 70+ yard touchdown run. Just last game, he only managed 44 yards. So it is safe to assume they will not lean on the running game which will force Manning to throw. This is an issue, not because of Manning’s abilities, but his options. With the offensive line folding under the pressure all year, Manning has been forced to only throw short passes, never allowing deeper routes to set up. This takes away the big play ability and allows safeties to play up leaving the shorter passes more dangerous. For plays to actually have time to set up, Manning has to create time by scrambling out of the pocket. Unfortunately, Manning is not a great scrambler, resulting in either incomplete passes out of bounds or sacks.
In the past four weeks, the Giants have surrendered 15 sacks. In the three weeks that the Panthers have played, they have accrued 8 sacks, so it is safe to assume that they will most likely get around 4 sacks. In addition to that, the week before their bye, they had four interceptions against the Cincinnati Bengals. Although they will have fewer chances to intercept the ball due to the lack of risks Manning will take, the Panthers most likely will be winning towards the end of the game, resulting in Manning forcing more dangerous throws.
Verdict: The Giants have only scored over 20 points once this season, and Manning has not thrown over 300 yards. They will score, but Carolina’s defense will keep their yard total and point total low enough to limit the amount of deductions from the point total. Add that to the potential 4-6 sacks they could get and maybe an interception or two, they will have a good outing.
Prediction: PA: 10-20, Total Yards: 250-300, Sacks: 5, Fumbles: 0, Interceptions: 1, TD: 0, Fantasy Points: 8-12
Deep Sleeper: San Francisco 49ers
This week was difficult to pick streamers based on the lack of options. The good defenses were already taken and the best streaming options were most likely gone after the waiver wire period (Titans). But there is still one team that might be a potential steal this week.
The San Francisco 49ers have a good matchup against the Arizona Cardinals who have yet to win a game (although they almost beat the Seahawks which is a good sign for them). The Cardinals have been almost the best team to face in fantasy this year for defenses, giving up over 10 points per game. Josh Rosen did a decent job last week, throwing for one touchdown and zero turnovers, but only had 180 passing yards. He is not the threat in this offense, and neither are his receiving corps which might be one of the worst in the league.
The issue is David Johnson. He still has not been used the way he should be (passing to him in space, giving him room to evade), but they have started to give him the ball much more. Last week, they gave Johnson 22 carries, which should become the standard. If Johnson gets in the groove, or they start throwing to him every other down, the Cardinals could put up a lot of points. But I’m doubting that will happen. They will stack the box, keep a linebacker shadowing him, and force Rosen to throw other directions.
Verdict: The 49ers will have a good game against the Cardinals with both teams struggling to move the ball effectively. Some people have picked up the Cardinals defense because of the backup quarterback situation at San Francisco, but that is a mistake. C.J. Beathard had a great outing last week, throwing for just under 300 yards, two touchdowns, and no turnovers. The 49ers have the ability to move the ball and score points so it won’t be long before the Cardinals are down by two scores. On the other side, they are still struggling under the new play caller and figuring out how to move the ball. Even though Rosen didn’t turn over the ball last week, he is still a rookie and the possibility is there. With the pressure of keeping his team in the game, he will take more risks opening up the possibility for turnovers.
Prediction: PA: 10-20, Total Yards: 200-250, Sacks: 3, Fumbles: 0, Interceptions: 2, TD: 0, Fantasy Points: 8-12
As stated earlier, from now on this article will have a section of future pickups. It is not a bad strategy to hold two defenses per week: One as your starter and the second as next week’s starter. If you have a good team and don’t want to waste a roster spot on a third string running back, don’t be afraid to use this strategy. Plus, you will always get the top streaming option each week which could make the difference. For each of these, I will give you my top two teams to target.
- Chicago Bears: Most likely they are already owned in your league, but they are on a bye week so some owner might make the mistake of dropping them. If they do, get them as soon as possible. They will be the highest-scoring defense after Week 10 without a doubt. They have a great upcoming schedule and could put up 15+ points week to week.
- Indianapolis Colts: They have done surprisingly well for themselves this year, having a solid pass rush and a low touchdown rate to opposing offenses. Although they have not posted great numbers yet, they will. In the next two weeks, they have Jets and Bills on their schedule. These are the most friendly fantasy teams to go against for fantasy. Mix that with the solid performance of the Colt’s defense and you have a top five fantasy pick the next two weeks.